#PrideToronto, #LGBTQcommunity, #JohnTory, #TorontoCityCouncil,#CarolynnBennett, #KathleenWynne; 35YearsofHIV/AIDSActivismPride;
Toronto, June 25 (IBNS): Pride Toronto, one of the largest annual event of North America, witnessed this year thousands of marchers on Toronto's downtown core in the midst of rain turning the grey day into a rainbow of celebration.
Rainy Weather on Pride Toronto 2018 event
'The rain did not slow down another incredible Pride Parade', tweeted Toronto Mayor John Tory, who officially opened parade at 12:30 p.m at the intersection of Church Street and Bloor street which later made its way to Yonge-Dundas Square.
A not-for-profit organization, Pride Toronto, has a mission to bring people together to celebrate the history, courage and diversity of the LGBTQ.
Pride Toronto theme, this year is '35 Years of HIV/AIDS Activism Pride' and Pride Toronto 2018 is, in fact, a celebration of the progress made by the LGBTQ+ community against HIV/AIDS.
Thirty-eight years after the first community parade, Pride Toronto is still symbolic of solidarity and celebration for many in the LGBTQ community.
Later on while walking along with other marchers in the float: Toronto City Council Marches with Pride, Tory had tweeted,
"What an absolutely amazing day at the Toronto #Pride Parade! I am so proud to lead a city that is inclusive and embraces diversity."
Toronto City Council in Pride Toronto Parade 2018
The panels covered a variety of topics including Youth and HIV, Criminalization of HIV, Trans and HIV, Living and Thriving with HIV and 35 Years of AIDS Activism and included speakers from local organizations as well as local activists, many of whom are living with HIV.
In addition to this campaign, Pride Toronto is lending support to the private member’s Bill M-186, which advocates for the involvement of those with HIV/AIDS in government healthcare decisions relevant to them as well as a renewed focus on reducing stigma in the community.
Some other 2018 Pride parade participants were:
A for Asexuality & Aromanticism; Toronto Fire Services; AIDS Committee of Toronto; Toronto Public Library;Alliance for S outh Asian AIDS Prevention; LGBT Doctors and Allies; LinkedIn Pride Parade 2018 Registration; Excited Mental State; Facebook Canada; Twitter Canada; CAMH Pride Parade Walkers – Mental Health IS Heatlh; Gay Fathers of Toronto; The Toronto People With AIDS Foundation; CNIB; NDP; Liberal Party, Air Canada and many more.
Marching side by side with our entire Liberal Party family to say loud and clear that: Love is Love is Love. Happy Pride Toronto - rain or shine this is one of the best days of the year!', tweeted Bill Morneau, Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre and Canada's Minister of Finance.
"What a day at Toronto's Pride parade! Proud to join @theJagmeetSingh and our newly elected NDP MPPs alongside thousands of marchers to celebrate love and the diversity of our LGBTQ2S+ communities". Andrea Horwath, Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition had tweeted.
Other dignitaries present in the Pride Toronto 2018 march were Carolynn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and Kathleen Wynne, formerly liberal Premier of Ontario.
The Air Canada float was another amazing spectacle to watch.
The parade in recent years has been a source of controversy when police withdrew their application to march in the event because of tensions over the handling of the case of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.
Keeping with the subdued tone at the annual celebration, as marchers paused for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. and later, during of the parade, when participants dressed in black T-shirts that read “we will not rest until we’re safe.”
Formerly known as the Black March 'we will not rest until we’re safe' had been being introduced as part of the Until We’re Safe campaign and was launched in partnership with 10 community organizations and 24 courageous community members who have shared their experiences of violence, bullying and trauma.
These moments were Pride’s way of paying tribute gay men who were the alleged victims of 66-year-old Bruce McArthur.
These tension had in the least effected the joyous faces of about 120 groups who danced their way from the city’s gay village to Yonge-Dundas Square in grandeur and waving the signature rainbow Pride flags.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj,