Every June, rainbow flags can be seen scattered across Toronto in celebration of Pride Month. This year was no different. The U of T community participated in numerous Pride Toronto events, including the Trans March, Dyke March, and the Pride Parade, as well as hosting eight of its own events.
Pride Flag Raising
The festivities began with the annual Pride Flag Raising at Varsity Stadium on June 1. The Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education showed their support of U of T’s LBGTQ+ community by flying the rainbow Pride flag alongside the Canadian flag and the U of T Varsity Blues flag.
On June 3, the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office (SGDO) sponsored the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival screening of Thrive, a collection of short films focusing “on trans people just being who they are and thriving.” Following the screening was an after-party at Glad Day Bookshop.
U of T also played host to an official Pride Toronto affiliate event with the U of T Pride Pub on June 9, with performances by the Asian Women Taiko drummers, DJ Cozmic Cat, and DJ Sammy Royale. Organized by the SGDO, the event was sponsored by Hart House and Steam Whistle Brewery. During the day, the pub held all-ages events featuring button-making and face painting.
On June 16, LGBTOUT revealed a photo series that has been in the works for the last year with artist Albert Hoang. INHALE is a photo series that aims to capture members of U of T’s queer community through metaphors meant to embody breathing.
Organizations across all three campuses came together on the afternoon of June 19 to host the U of T Pride Picnic. The Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students hosted the event and collaborated along with 11 other organizations including the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU), Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union, and the SGDO.
With the controversy surrounding the police float ban at Pride Toronto this year, Vice-President Equity Chimwemwe Alao organized the event Unpacking Police and Pride on June 21. Rodney Diverlus, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto Chapter (BLMTO), was invited to dispel misinformation about BLMTO’s demands and the police’s relationship with the Black and queer communities.
As the Pride Parade drew closer, the SGDO and UTSC invited students and the U of T community to prepare for the marches with t-shirt painting parties. White t-shirts with UTSU’s Pride design were available to be painted with markers, paints, and other art supplies. Across the backs, participants were encouraged to express what they added to Pride Toronto.
The Pride festivities wrapped up on June 25 as students, faculty, and alumni marched alongside the UTSU Pride float.