As June comes to an end, sadly so does the months’ worth of partying, celebration and regular exposure to Toronto Pride. But of course in no way does this mean, it’s time to put away your Pride flags, glitter or go-to flasks.

 

What first started as a protest from the raids of the bathhouses in 1981, to what’s now known as a celebratory phenomenon globally – Toronto’s Pride Parade has turned into an iconic gathering of extravaganza with people visiting from all over the world! This Pride we ki ki-ed with a few of Toronto’s iconic LGBTQ+ members to get their insights into the community and what their thoughts are towards the future of Toronto Pride.

header photo via DailyHive 

 

HOLR: What does Pride mean to you, and why?

 

Vince Racanelli: “Pride is a space where you can celebrate the past, present and the future of our community uniting together. It’s a place where you can feel welcome regardless of your gender, sexual orientation or race. Pride is a reflection of the innocence in which we are born with – a blank space free of any inherited thoughts, beliefs or judgments. Pride is the meaning of life – love.”

Priyanka: “To me, Pride means living your truth. I went to my first pride only 3 years ago and it was life changing! The bubble that exists in the LGBTQ+ community is a real thing and that’s okay as long as we feel safe. Within our bubbles we must protect each other and that’s what pride is about!”

 

 

HOLR: What are your thoughts on the negative occurrences within the LGBTQ+ community happening around the world?  

 

 

Vince Racanelli: “I think it’s clouded a lot by a surface of issues that has a lot more underneath. Yes, we stand together but sometimes we sit and watch for a while. I think we get comfortable in the bubble of the North American privilege. I think the problem is that we are paying attention to our own movement and forgetting that there are people being left behind. I also feel like not everyone in this community has the same experience with acceptance.”   

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Priyanka: “It breaks my heart. But that’s why protesting and fighting for our equality is more important than ever. There are so many people that have come before me that have paved the way so I can roam freely on the street to hold hands with my partner (if I had one… someone please date me) and it’s up to us to keep paving the way and breaking barriers. We need to show people that love exists no matter what gender you are and violence can’t win!”

 

HOLR: For the future of the LGBTQ+ community in Toronto what do you imagine?

 

 

Vince Racanelli: “More cultural involvement! We see it starting to blossom, but I crave for more! One day I hope to see more cultural stages that bring more to pride than just mainstream, party celebration.”

Priyanka: “I imagine that we’ll be living in a space where people stop assuming. Stop assuming how to say my name, what gender I am, what my background is, how I life my life. Educate yourself by asking the right questions and being open minded.”

 

HOLR: If you could identify Pride as one word what would it be, and why?

 

 

Vince Racanelli: ““Me” because it can be flipped to “We.” I think it’s important to bring in as many people as possible so that we can see what Toronto truly is, a cultural mosaic. It’s not just about you, it’s about us.”

Priyanka: ““Inspiring Growing up in a small town you are so tucked away as a gay person it’s not funny. Going to a PRIDE, and showing your PRIDE is the most inspiration thing to really be able to be yourself and live your truth.”

 

 

HOLR: What perspectives of the LGBTQ+ community to the world would you want to change and why?

 

 

Vince Racanelli: “A lot has to be changed in terms of the prosecution and the murder or innocent LGBTQ+ individuals around the world. A part of me always feels guilty that I was born in a place, in a family, in a world that accepts me for who I am. There are times I feel like I am not fully accepted but at least I don’t have to hide who I am so I don’t get prosecuted. Can you imagine telling someone that who they naturally are is a felony? That’s 74 countries in this world that house these laws of a criminal offence. I think this needs to change and become more visible.”

Priyanka: “I wouldn’t want to change anything. People will perceive people the way they want too but that comes from upbringing and close mindedness. What I’d want to change is for people to stop jumping to judgement, and jump to curiosity so they can learn more about what it means to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.”

 

Now, after sissy-ing that walk down Toronto’s parade, and learning what Pride really means to those represent the LGBTQ+ Community in our city, it’s time we all learn to support one another. Of course our Pride season has come to an end, and so “the library is officially CLOSED!” until next year!  

 

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