Toronto’s collective celebration of Pride reflects the endless diversity of voices who make up the city’s beautiful LGBTTI2QQ community. Beyond official parades, parties and performances that are carefully—and at times controversially—organized, funded and subsidized as part of the official Pride festival, there are many wonderful grassroots, alternative and unofficial events all happening all around the city.
These amazing alternative places and spaces that celebrate Pride are vital, including many important events in the West End. As we’re gearing up for a month of celebrating Pride, we’ve set out to hear from people in the Gladstone’s LGBTTI2QQ community: What does West End Pride Mean to YOU?
Babia Majora — Curator of the F*ck Sh*t Up: Trans & Non-Binary Cabaret
Queer St West could benefit from: recognition and investment in its importance for the queer community, and to foster spaces for marginalized communities.
An alternative West End Pride Event I’m really excited about this year is: Fuck Shit Up’s Youth Show, and Bricks & Glitter.
My earliest memory of west end Queer events is: going to the Beaver in my undergrad, and seeing a queer audience that reflected me.
Miss Moco — Drag Queen Extraordinaire & Host of Drag Brunch
To me, a vibrant Queer Neighbourhood includes: safe spaces where anyone can go and be their authentic self.
Belle Jumelles is an amazing burlesque performer & producer based in Toronto
“I think it’s important for all of us (queers) to remember the people and spaces that support us all year round! During Pride month, keep attending local queer producer’s events, keep heading to the venues that create spaces and stages for queer art all year long, show up for the people who show up for us all the time – not just during pride month!”
Sam Sferrazza is a host of the amazing Working Women — Queer Comedy Showcase
To me, a vibrant Queer Neighbourhood includes: Queer owned businesses, friends cackling into the night and a sense everything will be just fine, darling.
Queer St West could benefit from: A giant public Ouija board where we have dance parties and speak to our queer ancestors. And more queer comedy.
An alternative west end Pride Event I’m really excited about this year is: *ahem* WORKING WOMEN COMEDY – PRIDE 2019 June 6th 8 pm. Also keep your eyes peeled for a second pride comedy show happening later this month next door from the Gladstone at The Beaver.
My earliest memory of west end Queer events is: Bad Tuck with the Haus of Filth at the Beaver and The Henhouse. Nancy Bocock spat crickets at me during a lip sync and I’ve never gone east of Yonge since.
Syrus Marcus-Ware — Curator of That’s So Gay
To me, a vibrant Queer Neighbourhood includes: diversity- a lot of different kids of people doing lots of different and exciting things.
Queen West, This Is How You’ve Changed: You were a home for many of us mad folks, psych survivors. Our movements grew on your streets. You’re different now, but we are still here, fighting.
Queer St West could benefit from: More distinct green spaces and parks – much more than another condo!
An alternative West End Pride Event I’m really excited about this year is: The second year of Bricks and Glitter, a queer/trans BIPOC extravaganza lead by a collective including Rosina Kazi from LAL/Unit 2.
My earliest memory of west end Queer events is: Hmm, I’m dating myself if I say my first memory, so I’ll just say an early fond memory was the event Chubb Rubb, which featured fat activists performing and DJ-ing in a positive fat affirming space- it was held in the Gladstone Ballroom in the early 00s and was just magical!