representatives from T.D. Bank, believe it or not. photo: R. Jeanette Martin
After 27 years of Gay Pride – I haven't missed one – I'm back in love with the city's sexiest, happiest party. Why?
I love Pride because you can make a new friend on the way down to the site. It didn't take me 30 seconds to connect to artist and writer Bill Bissett. Good thing we liked each other – we had to get pretty close on the rammed southbound subway.
I love Pride because it turns the CN Tower into a rainbow-coloured beacon of light.
I love Pride because it's figured out how to celebrate and get serious at the same time. Hats off to the human rights contingent that pointed out where being queer can be a life-threatening choice.
I love Pride because Dyke Day gives a ton of space to the lesbian community so we can party our faces off.
I love Pride because the event attracts pop stars like Melanie C, who's kinda like to the Spice Girls what Cynthia Nixon is to Sex And The City.
I love Pride because everybody wears a big fat grin.
I love Pride because, sitting at the Tallulah's, my fave hang-out spot on Pride weekend, I can watch the girl with the pinhead hold hands with the girl with three double chins and be happy that they found each other.
I love Pride because Supporting Our Youth's Fruit Loopz arts event reminds me of what I didn't have when I was a teenager and how far we've come.
I love Pride because the street food, including ribs, jerk chicken, smoothies, roasted corn, is terrific – city of Toronto, take note: we're starving for this stuff.
I love Pride because the eye candy is terrific. T.D. Bank (huh?) sent a herd of hunky guys to their booth and they did their dueling abs thing with the boys from the Trojans condom kiosk next door.
I love Pride because I can see a night of terrific queer videos on Wednesday and then see them again during the weekend – on the TTC for God's sake. OK, they were silent on the subway platform, but the visibility of queer artists was awesome.
I love Pride because the crowd can cheer when the suddenly welcoming Armed Forces parade by and then cheer just as loud when a guy wearing a "This is what a feminist looks like" T-shirt climbs a light standard and waves a peace banner.
I love Pride I love Pride because I can rediscover a musician like former Brother Love Canal frontman Steve Diguay, who's reinvented himself in the fabulous aggro-rock trio Senor Kasio and kicked ass on Sunday's alterna-queer stage outside Buddies.
I love Pride I love Pride because you can hear some of the best writers in the country, including Shani Mootoo, Mariko Tamaki and R.M. Vaughan, read on the Proud Voices stage, while right next to it, artist Melissa Levin's art installation invites femmes to hang their salacious items of clothing on her clothesline.
I love Pride cuz I got to use the bathroom at Bumpkins even though I wasn't eating or drinking at the restaurant (true, my girlfriend was refused entry but I snuck in).
I love Pride cuz you can ignore the weather report completely. Rain? Not a chance.
Hope you had a good Pride, too.