Pride festivities culminate with weekend parades

Rick McGinnis/Metro Toronto


Enza “Supermodel” Anderson poses with Pride Toronto 2006’s grand marshal couples (from left) Les Sheare and Robert Berry, and Clayton Wilson and Don Middleton.

A party is nothing without a parade. Pride Week festivities culminate this weekend with two of its most recognized events, the Dyke March and the Pride Parade. Leading Saturday’s 11th annual Dyke March is honoured dyke Zahra Dhanani. Following Dhanani is the honoured group, Women For Recreation, Information And Business (WRIB), a business networking group for lesbians and bisexual women.

“We are very proud to be marching with Zahra and WRIB,” says Lenore McAdam, Dyke March co-ordinator. “Their contributions to the community are extensive. WRIB has been providing a safe environment in which members can share and learn from each other’s experience since 1991, and Zahra has bridged the gap between different communities with messages of equality and justice. By enriching the community in their unique ways, they have created an environment where queer women can indeed be fearless.”

Then comes Sunday. Considered one of the most attended parades in North America, with its semi-buff dancing men, sequined-glittered drag queens and colourful floats, the Pride Parade draws an estimated one million spectators. Leading the 26th annual spectacle are honoured grand marshal couples Les Sheare and Robert Berry, and Don Middleton and Clayton Wilson. The couples have been together for 50 years.

Following them will be honoured groups like the Prime Timers, an over-40 gay social group, and Supporting Our Youth, an organization that assists youth through arts and culture programs.

Celebrity parade judges Trey Anthony, author of Da Kink In My Hair, Nina Arsenault, author of T-Girl and Fab Magazine, and Jake Gold, Canadian Idol judge, will use their talents to spot the best of the parade in a variety of categories.

This Saturday the Dyke March starts at 2 p.m. at Church and Hayden Streets.

Sunday’s Pride Parade starts at 2 p.m. at the corner of Bloor Street East and Church Street. Bring lots of water and sunscreen.

Happy Pride everyone!

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