Out of the closet and into the streets

Your fashion guide to Toronto pride

This story was created by Xtra's branded content team alongside Sammydress, separate from Xtra's editorial staff.

If Pride panic hasn’t sunk in, it will very soon. Our proverbial gay Christmas is way more fabulous than regular Christmas — Santa Bear Claus and his twinkish elves may be clad in leather, but picking out an outfit for every event you want to attend can seem impossible. Rolyn Chambers invited gal-pal Amy Pearl (also known as freestyle Jewish rapper Miss Butter) to discuss outfit choices over light cocktails.

ROLYN: Pearl, gurl, Pride month kicks off with the Pride flagraising ceremony at Queen’s Park on June 1. How about something big boy business casual?

PEARL: You can turn it down, honey, I’ll be fully turnt up in a bright dress that’s rainbow flag proud. Either way, let’s be sure to bring a mini flag of our own to own the moment.

ROLYN: Then we can learn more about Toronto’s gay history at the Human Rights Panel on Bathhouse Raids on June 7 at The 519. Something reserved but screams sauna queen at the same time works for me.

PEARL: And seeing as women were also the subject of such raids, I’m opting for a more forceful fuck-you couture.

ROLYN: Remember Queer as Folk? One of the “characters” in the show was the fictional club Babylon, which was set inside Fly. The Club Babylon Party on June 17 is our excuse to channel our inner Justin or Emmet.

PEARL: Flashy, see-through, clingy might be ways to describe your current fling, but it’s also what I’ll be wearing to attract the attention of Randy Harrison.

ROLYN: OMG! They’re screening Mean Girls at the Harbourfront Concert Stage on June 22 at 9pm. We absolutely must wear pink, top to bottom.

PEARL: I’m not huge fan of the colour but I’ll borrow a dress from one of my drag sisters or maybe I’ll doll myself up like Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink. I know, wrong movie.

ROLYN: This is an interesting first, Pearl. Ripley’s Aquarium’s A Night At The Aqueerium on June 26 will plunge us into their underwater world. Blue and greens are clothing colours that swim to mind.

PEARL: And flowy patterns that move with the waves as we drink like a fish and dance to the tidal wave of beats of Australian DJ superstar Kitty Glitter.

ROLYN: Pearl, gurl, Pride weekend revs up with Green Space Festival’s annual Starry Night schmooze at Barbara Hall Park at The 519 on June 30. Let’s just blend into the lush surroundings with some campy camouflage gear.

PEARL: Oh no, honey! I wanna step up my wardrobe with something bright for those Toronto and RuPaul’s Drag Race queens performing. But a sensible pair of come tuck me pumps are a must for dancing on the grass.

ROLYN: So many Pride stages so little time. The AlternaQueer Stage is gonna require some outside the box thinking.

PEARL: Especially with the House of Filth’s The Trash Cabaret, Hotnuts presents CHRISTEENE and JD Samson of Le Tigre, I need to wear something loose so I can get really cray-cray.

ROLYN: Taking a break from dancing we should, in our cheeky art-inspired outfits, stop by the Art Fair in the Alexander Parkette on July 2. And who care if we aren’t bears! Let’s show some skin at the Bear Garden on July 2 too.

PEARL: With all our diverse local DJs, as well as Andy Butler of Hercules & Love Affair and Vjuan Allure, producer of the new RuPaul album, we need to give the children full butch queen realness.

ROLYN: Uhm, Blockorama on July 3? Of course! This year Pride’s international honoured guests, the Prancing Elites, from Mobile, Alabama, dubpoet d’bi young and The 333 headline with the Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds, so you know I’m going to be wearing something wind-worthy.

PEARL: And our local DJs and performers will be fully representing The Six so me gonna be dressed to the bawtie-wind-nines.

ROLYN: Yaaassss. With all the cameras out on Pride Sunday, trust we’ll be camera ready. Bright colours, crazy graphic t-shirts and fresh rainbow-inspired, but not stale rainbow-tacky looks.

PEARL: Instagram mega-like time. I need something to compete with all those floats or maybe just something I can easily slide through the crowd in. Okay, how many looks is that?

ROLYN: This is just the first draft, Pearl. We still have a plethora of other Pride events to work out. Another drink?

All images courtesy of sammydress.com