Happy Pride!

The week long Toronto Pride Festival, a celebration by the LGBT community, culminated on Sunday, June 29. The festivities climaxed at the Pride parade on Sunday which was attended by over a million people.

Gay Pride Parade
Parade on Yonge Street (picture ftom CTV website)

“Pride Week is an event held in Toronto, Ontario during the last week of June each year. It is a celebration of the diversity of the LGBT community and is the one of the largest organized Gay Pride festivals in the world, featuring several stages with live performers and DJs, several licensed venues, a large Dyke March, and the Pride Parade. The epicentre of Pride Week is the city’s Church and Wellesley village…” (read more on Wikipedia)

Some pictures from the parade:

I was told that visitors from neighboring districts of Toronto arrive into the city with their families for this event. Indeed there were several kids perched on their dads’ shoulders and armed with water guns that were used on unsuspecting revelers. There were also plenty of foreign tourists (especially Chinese and Indians) who wore a completely baffled look on their faces. But still, they stayed till the end (almost 3 hours). Clearly, everyone was enjoying this carnival.

Church Street, the primary street in the gay village, and the arterial streets were closed for traffic for last three nights. Streets were full people partying and exhibiting their artistic skills and other ass-ets ;-) The initial part of the week was dominated by several music, dance, theatre and such cultural events.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people out on the streets. I never saw so many people at the same time, it felt like a typical mela, with buskers, street food, chaos, people bumping into each other and an indescribably joyous environment.

People were happy. Simply happy. I have never seen so many happy people ever. It was insane.

Meanwhile, a Pride Parade was held in Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore too. Although the turnout was a modest 600-800 and the event barely made a blip in the news, yet this was a symbolic step towards social equality and an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation for millions of Indians.

Happy Pride

PicturesThere are many more (and better) pictures in the Pride Parade 2008 Photo gallery.

13 thoughts on “Happy Pride!

  1. Very colorful indeed, many people in india arnt even mentally that mature to understand homosexuality so it is understandable – but still having a pride parade in delhi is itself a big step! until people have courage like manvendar singh and stand up to their rights they r bound to suffer – plus at least manish arora – one of the top notch designers attended -if not the media in general .

    Hope u had a nice time.

  2. Hum gay hi to kya hai, dilwale hai…

    Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai Hetero Homo Bhai Bhai..cool.
    And now more news from Toronto.
    Thank you for sharing. Your pictures speak a lot.

  3. Praxbhau: It will take a few years but it will happen. It has to, if we are to move to the next level of social justice. I did have a nice time, thanks for commenting :)

  4. I guess seeing all those people reminded you of India huh! We are so used to people we feel happy to see deserted streets!
    But seriously, are all these people gay? Or simply coming out in support?
    Well I guess having such a parade in India itself is something. I had read about it but not saved the cutting. I’ve saved it now in case I ever write about it.

  5. Hi Nita:

    Indeed I was totally baffled by the crowd :) And it reminded me so much of India – specifically some Mumbai rail station during peak hours… people bending to check if the train is arriving or not!

    Not all of the people marching were gay, many of them were marching in support – heads of police, hospitals, social organizations and even the mayor of Toronto.

    I will be delighted to read something about this on your website :)

    Re: problems posting comments… Many people have told me but I didn’t get around fixing it. This weekend for sure.

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