Pride month is a time of celebration, but it’s also a time to remember how much the queer community had to go through in order to be where they are today; it is also a time to remember how much discrimination that queer people still face all over the world, and to mourn those who have lost their loves because of prejudice. In this article, I want to talk about some of the events happening during Toronto’s Pride that focus more on activism and discussion, because while the parties I mentioned in my previous posts are great, we can’t forget about the past or what still needs to be done. Whether you’re straight or queer, attending one of these events is definitely going to leave you with new perspectives you hadn’t considered before.
At the 519 Ballroom, you can listen to human rights panels throughout June. These seminars and lectures focus on a variety of topics, from pressing human rights issues to achievements that are worth celebrating. One of the panels discusses the 1981 Bathhouse Raids, and how that event and the subsequent political mobilization of the queer community changed politics in Canada.Another panel will focus on anti-blackness within the West, paying special attention to black trans and queer individuals. The lectures will be held at the 519 Ballroom on 519 Church Street, and are free to attend.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic took many lives, and queer communities all over the world have all been deeply affected. Entire generations of queer people died because of the disease, and it is important to remember them. To commemorate those who passed, the AIDS Candlelight Vigil invites members of the queer community and their allies to pay respects at the vigil. This year’s theme is strength within communities, highlighting the importance of accepting and protecting each other. The vigil will be happening on June 19th at 9 pm, at the Barbara Hall Park on 519 Church Street.
If you are trans or nonbinary (enby), you can find a safe place at the Trans Pride Community Fair on June 22nd. The fair provides members of the trans and enby community with information and support, and you can purchase goods from members of the community to help support them. The event runs from 3 to 10 in the evening on the 22nd, even during the Trans March. You can find the fair at Allan Gardens in the Village.