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Gearing up for Pride!

Amelia Murphy-Beaudoin

April 21, 2012

It’s Pride season in Toronto! Pride week this year is June 21 to July 1. The theme “Celebrate and Demonstrate” may be an indication that the Queer community is re-politicizing.

Over the past few years, the attempted exclusion of the group QuAIA (Queers Against Israeli Apartheid) from the parade mobilized Queer activists to respond to issues of censorship. A new group, Pride Coalition For Free Speech, organized a political pride march carrying the message “Our Pride Includes Free Speech”. An alternative march called Take Back the Dyke has been organized autonomously for the past two years without the endorsement of Pride Toronto.

Pride Toronto is already planning the festivities for 2014, when the city plays host to the fourth World Pride event previously hosted in Rome, and in Jerusalem. There were protests against the holding of World Pride in Jerusalem because of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians no matter what their sexual orientation. This year it will be in London, England.

In April, Pride Toronto held public meetings to hear questions and ideas from the community, and present the plan thus far. World Pride is an opportunity for the Queer activist community to bring human rights to the forefront and organize opposition to state and corporate sponsorship.

Something about the consciousness of the community has shifted. Not only has the Queer community learned about Israeli Apartheid, there is a sense that the community is coming together with a reinvigorated understanding and a growing sense of awareness of the political roots of Pride.

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