2016 marked my 20th year of attending Pride in Toronto.
Pride was different this year. Quite the different beast from 20 years ago, and certainly in more recent times.
The one thing that was missing was, what I would consider, community representation. It’s been happening for years. I’m not talking about the parade, but booths for community groups, and even small vendors.
Sure they existed, but NOT in the numbers they used to. And it’s extremely sad to see. Remember when you’d run out Saturday to go see your mate’s at your local Bear club booth, then you’d see what new pride beads there were, and then go see what sport clubs were representing, etc…
Prices have been going up way too high. It’s great that the Toronto Pride committee wants to top entertainment every year, but at some point the kind of growth cannot be sustained. You really lose out on the point of the weekend.
I think it’s time to go back to and to re-find some of our roots. I’d love to see more clubs and gay-owned businesses represented.
From a parade perspective, it was really neat, essentially realizing that probably 50% of the people marching were allies of our community. As long as their hearts and understanding of what Pride represents stands, I have no issue with this. If you’re in it for the big party and not much more substance? For me, this isn’t the party or parade for you.