Pride Month was observed across the world during the month of June and St.James Town being the diverse community it is, had its own share of celebrations. On the 13th of June 2019 the annual pre-pride festival for 2019 called ‘Know Your Pride’ was celebrated at The Corner. This year’s event highlighted the history and recognizing the incredible milestones within the LGBTQ+ community. Guests attending the event also participated in a community discussion on gender expression and what it means to be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community.
The event was conducted in collaboration with Sick Kids, Toronto Public Health, The Neighbourhood Organization, Sherbourne Health, and Soy Flame Youth. The event had a variety of activities for residents of all ages to enjoy and some delicious food. Residents were invited to create their own art with their very own button of self-expression while also battling it out for prizes with a game of pride trivia.
With all the activities taking place during the event, what made this year’s pride festival special was the stellar performances by SOY (Supporting Our Youth) Flame Youth. SOY is an organisation working with youth from the LGBTQ+ community. Although some of the performers were on stage for the very first time, they definitely brought out the excitement within the crowd as the audience had their eyes glued to the stage the entire time. Performances included dance, singing, rapping, and drag.
Even with the forecast of heavy rain and a surprise fire alarm, residents turned up to express their solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. This year’s pre-pride event has definitely set the bar high for next year.