R. Jeanette Martin
Whether our mayor likes it or not, Toronto's LGBT community is one of the world's largest and most influential, drawing millions of dollars to the city year round - but never more than during Pride.
Unofficially beginning June 20 and running to Pride Day, June 30 - when the giant parade takes over Yonge - festival events flaunt T.O. talent on official Pride Toronto stages and beyond.
This year's Trans March proudly makes its way down Yonge, not Church, on June 28, and the June 29 Dyke March winds up at Allan Gardens. But the biggest logistical change this year happens on Pride Day, when the Pride Parade extends all the way to Dundas. There, at Young-Dundas Square, the day climaxes with a huge pop-up party. On Pride stages look for Carole Pope, Diamond Rings and the Cliks June 28 and Melissa Ferrick June 29. More info at pridetoronto.com.
See S. Bear Bergman, Catherine Hernandez and others at the Proud Voices literary series June 29 and 30 at Glad Day (gladdaybookshop.com). And at Buddies, among other things, Gavin Crawford performs his show Sh**ting Rainbows June 21 to 22, and Am I Right, Ladies? on June 22 features Mariko Tamaki, Teresa Pavlinek & Shoshana Sperling and others, with headliner Sandra Shamas (buddiesinbadtimes.com).
Highlights at the Gladstone include the art exhibit That's So Gay: Say It To My Face, June 12 to July 28, curated by Elisha Lim and featuring Syrus Ware, Genesis Tremaine, Sharlene Bamboat & Alexis Mitchell, a performance by Rae Spoon June 22 and lots more (gladstonehotel.com).
T.O. theatres, clubs and galleries sizzle with queer energy all through the fest. For complete Pride listings, watch for NOW's glossy Pride Preview, a pullout supplement June 20.