Summer arrives at the end of this week, ushering in new bonanzas of fruit (it’s there all year round, but the magnificent mountains of gleaming delicacies seem more appealing in the bright shine of the summer sun), open patios, and summer dress or states of undress. You do know that women can go topless in Ontario if they so choose, right?
The first day of summer, June 21, also heralds the arrival of Pride Week celebrations in Toronto. The LGBTTIQQ2SA* community has come a long way since the federal government decriminalised homosexual acts for consenting adults over 21 back in 1969. That was thanks to the Justice Minister of the time: Pierre Trudeau. “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation,” said Trudeau at the time.
The big capper to the events is the Pride Parade on June 30th. Here are some tips for the parade:
1. Show up early if you want a good seat.
2. Bring your own chair.
3. It is always notoriously hot for the parade. Bring sun block and wear a hat.
4. Be prepared to get wet. Nudity, although not as prevalent as in years past, still happens. And no matter what your sexual orientation there will be plenty of eye candy. But that’s not the kind of wet I’m talking about. I mean wet as in soaked by squirt guns and water cannons.
5. Know that it will be LOUD. Massive stereo systems blasting funky beats are everywhere.
6. Take some cash for the street fair. Once-a-year treats await you.
7. Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of standing or walking.
8. Know that the police are everywhere. Not because they have to be, but because they want to be. The Pride Parade is a celebration of love and the police are keenly aware of this fact.
9. Smile. Laugh. Dance. Feel the sense of community and love. Go ahead: taste the rainbow.
Learn more about Toronto’s Pride Week festivities (and more about its history) by visiting the official Pride Toronto website.
To commemorate the coming of summer and the advent of Toronto Pride Week, I will be releasing a special short story on Smashwords entitled Werebian. Watch for Werebian this Friday.
* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited, Allies (some say ‘Asexual’)