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Happy gay and lesbian Pride

One Pride fits all. “I thought it was catchy, plain and simple,” says Pride co-chair Tami Kazan of this year’s theme.

But she also says it reflects how Pride has changed.

“The whole Pride event has evolved from being strictly political. Now there’s a great percentage of people who are straight who show up. But it’s still a chance for people who are closeted 362 days of the year to be open. And it’s still a statement for a lot of people. They come into town, and you can see their jaws drop.”

Kazan became co-chair in September. She became interested when it was pointed out that there had been no woman co-chair last year.

“It didn’t take much to get me involved. But nobody realizes until they get involved how much work it is. The people who put it on have to be extremely committed.”

Kazan says this year has also reflected the growing acceptance of gay men and lesbians in the corporate world.

“I think we have a better corporate acceptance. The sponsorship is more varied. It shows we’re being recognized as a force – maybe just an economic one – but a force.”

Kazan says she has been attending Pride since 1992, but used to miss the parade because of work.

“I don’t think I even saw the parade until 1995. But it’s always amazed me, the Woodstock phenomenon, that so many people can congregate in a small area and it’s still safe.”

Pride’s other co-chair is David Clark.

Pride weekend is Sat, Jun 26 and 27 – at Church and Wellesley (the Wellesley subway station on the Yonge line).

Pride is at (416) 92-PRIDE; the offices are located at 65 Wellesley St E, suite 304. The website is www.pridetoronto.com. Pride meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7pm at the 519 Church Street Community Centre.

Krishna Rau

Krishna Rau is a Toronto-based freelance writer with extensive experience covering queer issues.

Read More About:
Power, Culture, Pride, Toronto

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