Today is the last day of World Pride in Toronto. The festival has been exciting, a tad overwhelming, fun, and has been embraced by much of the downtown core. I went to the Carly Rae Jepsen concert on Friday, did the Pride and Remembrance Run on Saturday morning, saw Hercules and Love Affair Saturday night, and mostly spent time with friends.
I loved the energy of the festival. I was moved by its diversity and grateful that I live in such a vibrant and accepting city. Although Toronto hasn’t always been that way, and certainly at present LGBTQ people experience oppression here because of a myriad of reasons, we have human rights, legal precedents, and lots of social indications that being openly LGBTQ is quite alright. All of this makes Toronto a spectacular place to be.
Not to mention the fact that Kathleen Wynne, our Premier of Ontario, is openly lesbian!
One of the groups tabling at the festival on Saturday was the Out & Out Club of Toronto, which was founded in 1980. On their webpage they explain that the club was started “by a small group of people who wanted to go canoeing and camping in an LGBTQ-positive environment. One of the founding members explained their goal was ‘to be out of the closet and out in the country’.” Ha!
I’ve consistently heard great things about the club and some of their activities are quite unique. For a full list of some past and present programming go here.