Toronto Pride 2002 is shaping up to be a defiant one.

With the theme Uncensored in mind, outlaws have been handed the positions of grand marshal and designated group for this year’s parade (to be held Sun, Jun 30).

Grand marshals JP Hornick and Rachel Aitcheson, nominated independently by four individuals, fought the law – and won. They’re the two women who were charged with liquor offences when male police officers visited the Toronto Women’s Bathhouse event in 2000. Hornick and Aitcheson argued that the police violated their constitutional right to privacy when officers trooped around the sex party ogling the 300 patrons. An Ontario court judge agreed with them on almost every point.

The designated group, Glad Day Bookshop, wasn’t so lucky in court last year. It challenged the right of the Ontario Film Review Board to control videos after inspectors seized a gay adult video. Glad Day lost its court battle, but is appealing.

“In both of these cases, we are honouring people who have made sacrifices by defending themselves in legal battles on behalf of the community. I think that really struck a chord with the public, especially in the context of this year’s Uncensored theme,” says Pride co-chair Kyle Knoeck.

Everyone who attended Pride’s February meeting got to vote on bestowing the honours.

Paul Gallant

Paul Gallant is a Toronto-based journalist whose work has appeared in The WalrusThe Globe and Mail, the Toronto StarTHIS magazine,, and many other publications. His debut novel, Still More Stubborn Stars, was published by Acorn Press. He is the editor of Pink Ticket Travel and a former managing editor of Xtra. Photo by Tishan Baldeo.

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