It’s been said that love is the universal language. But gay Pride comes in a close second.
Rainbow-colored everything. Shirtless men holding hands. Lesbians on motorcycles. No matter where in the world you may find yourself, there are certain aspects of Pride events that transcend verbal communication and simply convey the coming together of a diverse group of people with one unifying sense of purpose and celebration.
While we’re deep in the heart of Dixie for Dallas Pride, Toronto is deep in the planning stages for World Pride 2014, a massive international event that promises to be the biggest gay party on the planet. And what better host than a Canadian city that proudly rejoices in equality for everyone, 365 days a year.
Toronto Pride, which took place earlier this summer, features 10 full days of events every June, with parties, marches, parades and performances that celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer (LGBTTQ) communities. (Yes, they have an even longer abbreviation than we do in the U.S., just another example of their commitment to all-inclusion.)
The festivities — and the broader acknowledgment of equality — extend far beyond the parade route and the borders of the gay village. At the airport, banners authoritatively welcome visitors to Toronto Pride. Taxicabs are adorned with Pride colors and event logos. And in all parts of the city, rainbow flags pop up in storefronts and restaurants as a warm gesture of “welcome.”
It’s a sight you normally expect to find only in the Castro, or Key West, or P-town … to see it citywide in a major city comes with a real sense of Pride for a visitor.
But you don’t have to wait until Pride Week to experience the vibrant energy of one of the gayest cities in the world, and home to Canada’s largest LGBT community. Toronto’s Gay Village (or simply “The Village”) is the area immediately surrounding the crossroads of Church and Wellesley streets, filled with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, bathhouses and gay-oriented businesses. Many may recognize a few building exteriors from the U.S. version of Queer As Folk, which frequently filmed on location in this neighborhood.