Toronto Pride recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with a week of fun, colour and partying in Toronto – and a special performance by Cyndi Lauper! The diverse festival celebrated different sexualities with parties, panel discussions and activist rallies that covered issues related to human rights, community support and awarness, and entertainment. Jugni Style's resident Toronto culture vulture, Daniel Pillai, talks about his experience at Toronto Pride Week 2010.

 

 

From my experience over the past few years, attending Pride meant being one of a decent sized group of Indians present at the festival, where the majority were largely Caucasian. But this year was different. This year was a surprise, this year was a revelation and this year was heart warming. It was truly a touching experience to see so many individuals, all from different parts of the city, and many from outside the province and country, come together to celebrate their sexuality, their uniqueness and their independence – or simply present to support the LGBTQ community.

Being a member of the South Asian Diaspora, I struggled with my sexuality at a very young age and only came into “full” existence and acceptance within my early adult years. It was refreshing and promising to see so many South Asian youth embrace their sexuality without any fear and march, dance and sing on Yonge Street – celebrating what makes them unique.

Aside from my personal emotions regarding the event, I realized that Toronto Pride is much more than just a festival celebrating the LGBTQ community in Toronto. It's about advocating, encouraging and celebrating love, acceptance, tolerance and most of all, the power to be yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story By: Daniel Pillai  |  Photographs: Pride Toronto, Mark Wong Photos, Janine M Photos