Okay, so more people are eyeing your foot size than your ecological footprint come Pride time.
But just because someone’s decked out in a boa and G-string at this weekend’s events doesn’t mean he doesn’t get a hard-on over Al Gore or that she doesn’t dream of sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g Darryl Hannah during her next nature protest.
Pride itself has actually hooked up with Toronto’s Green Shift to help ecofy events a little. That’s why you’ll be gulping from biodegradable cornstarch-based cups in the beer tents and at the Front Door Organics booth at Family Pride (free organic juice and snacks!).
Here are eight steps to your own Pride greenification.
1 Everywhere you look, people will be sucking back disposable water bottles. While there are recycling bins about, too many bottles are just trashed. It’s enough to drive conscious partiers batty.
At the very least, do your part by bringing your own refillable canister (like a Kleen Kanteen or Sigg), and fingers crossed you’ll spot the city of Toronto’s H20 To Go water filling station (something any ecoholic would love at every event). Or check into Camros Organic Eatery on Hayden, near the Yonge/Bloor leg of the parade, for pesticide-free munchies served in sugar-cane-based containers.
2 If you’re really worried about waste, you should also tuck your own reusable food container, cutlery and a cloth napkin into your backpack to avoid disposables on the road.
3 While you’re pushing the greener way, you want to be dressed for success, right? Showing up at Pride in organic duds doesn’t mean making yourself an unkempt target for Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. For hot organic boybeaters and jersey Ts in colours like pomegranate and dijon, head to American Apparel stores (there’s one on Church). Pop over to Green Is Black on Yonge north of Wellesley while you’re shopping and check out the fab organic fashions and accessories for men and women, including adorable boy-cut panties emblazoned with the words “Eat Organic.”
Boxer-brief boys and tightie-whitie fans can even stock up on super-soft soy undies and bamboo briefs at Skiviez.com.
4 Things get a little trickier when fetish wear is your thing. PVC is the naughtiest of plastics (and not in a good way). It’s extra-toxic to produce and made soft and squishy by adding plastic-softening phthalates, banned from kids’ toys in Europe.
And since those off-gas, you’re inhaling hormone-disrupting chemicals with every whiff. (Same goes for your PVC toys.) Leather is no better, thanks to all the incredibly harsh chemicals used to process it and the dead animals needed to make it.
Instead, saddle up with slick and sexy natural latex (from the rubber tree) fetish wear, and look for quality silicone, glass, stainless steel, even porcelain toys.
Come as You Are carries natural rubber bondage belts and harnesses, PVC-free vegan leather restraints and rattan canes, as well as organic lubes (like Good Clean Love and Hathor).
5 Boys, I know you’ve got your condoms packed. Just make sure you don’t flush them down the loo when you’re, um, done, since they could end up floating in local waterways if there’s a storm sewer overflow. That’s bad news for hungry fishies mistaking them for a snack. Same goes for dental dams, ladies.
6 Just as you wouldn’t go bareback, don’t hit the parade bare-skin, at least when it comes to solar protection. Forget the drugstore kind filled with dodgy synthetics (like oxybenzone and octinoxate) and hit a health store for a good natural brand that offers solid UVA/UVB protection like Lavera or Badger.
7 Green queens will want to make sure they detoxify their makeup stash, too. You wouldn’t want to smear your face with cancer-linked parabens, lead-tainted lipstick or mercury-laced mascara, would you? Fear not, eco cosmetics have come a long way, baby.
Noah’s Yonge location south of Bloor, one of the closest health food stores to the gay epicentre, carries Zuzu Luxe lipsticks, liners and such.
8 Not meeting enough tree-hugging LGBTs in your life? Queer-dedicated eco groups are sorely lacking in Toronto (although gay-positive spaces like the Sherbourne Health Centre are greening their programs and events), but hey, you never know who you’ll find reading pamphlets at the Global Aware or Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation booths.
So once the Pride hangover wears off, start up your own Crunchy Queers site on Facebook or MySpace. There’s already an Ohio-based Crunchy Queers for “all those granola-munchin’, tree-huggin’ radical queers pushing for a vibrant alternative to both mainstream enviro and homo cultures.”
Speaking of vibrant alternatives, Montreal’s gay village is giving the finger to motorists: the strip has gone totally car-free for the summer. Ah, if only Toronto followed in its footsteps, we could keep the Pride vibe up right through to fall and fold in some good old-fashioned pollution reduction in one hot stroke.
In the meantime, party green.