Today, Mayor John Tory proclaimed Pride Month in Toronto and the Rainbow and Transgender flags were raised at City Hall. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s flag raising ceremony was held virtually and featured pre-recorded messages from Mayor Tory, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre), Sherwin Modeste, Executive Director of Pride Toronto, and Grant Gonzales and Yuri Hernandez, Pride Toronto Board of Directors Co-Chairs.
After the Rainbow and Transgender flags are raised on the courtesy flagpole, following conversations with Pride Toronto, they will be immediately lowered to half-mast in memory of the 215 children whose bodies were buried at Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory.
This year marks two major anniversaries for Toronto’s Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and questioning communities (2SLGBTQ+): the 40th anniversary of Pride Toronto and the 30th anniversary of the City proclaiming Pride Day.
The annual Pride Festival is a vibrant celebration of Toronto’s diverse 2SLGBTQ+ communities. While the COVID-19 pandemic means in-person celebrations are not currently possible, the City encourages residents to virtually participate in one of Toronto’s largest annual cultural events. The 2021 festival runs from Tuesday, June 1 to Sunday, June 27, culminating in a virtual Pride Parade that honours Pride’s history, highlights Toronto talent and fosters community. More information is available here
To read the Mayor’s proclamation, view the 2021 flag raising video and learn more about key milestones for Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, visit here
“Although, COVID-19 has changed how we celebrate Pride in the month of June, it is important to continue recognizing and acknowledging the many contributions this community has made to our city and the continued work ahead in building an inclusive city for our 2SLGBTQ+ community. Pride events are some of our city’s most beloved moments and are a true signal of a Toronto summer. I encourage all Torontonians to show their support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, its businesses and artists by attending one of the many virtual Pride events taking place this month.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Raising the Rainbow and Transgender flags at City Hall is always a special moment for me. 2021 is a year of significant milestones, as 30 years ago Toronto elected its first openly gay City Councillor, Kyle Rae, and that same year the City of Toronto proclaimed Pride Day for the first time. This year also marks the 40th year anniversary of Pride Toronto and the gay bathhouse raids, where Toronto police arrested 286 men, making it the largest mass arrests in our city up to that date. Pride represents joy and celebration in how far we have come while affirming our need to continue fighting for dignity and full acceptance of all 2SLGBTQ+ people.”
– Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre)
“We are excited to be commemorating our 40th anniversary by sharing our story through digital content and by showcasing our heroes, our Elders, of the Toronto Queer and Trans communities. Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across Toronto, especially racialized and marginalized communities, are frustrated, exhausted, and anxious about their future. However, this year has also highlighted their sacrifices and resiliency in the face of great challenges. We hope you enjoy while we continue to celebrate, rejoice, be resilient, honour, and be proud of everything we have done and the work that is to continue. Happy Pride!”
– Sherwin Modeste, Executive Director, Pride Toronto
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
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