Enza’s guide to pride



Enza Supermodel/Metro Toronto


Drag queens (left to right) Miss Conception, Daytona, and Donnarama get Pride festivities rocking at the VIP launch party at Woody’s.


Unstoppable! That’s Pride Toronto’s Pride Week theme. And being the official event that launches this city’s summer party season, this annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered celebration is sure to get out of control. The festivities kick off today and run through to this weekend.

If you want to see politicians hard at work, then today at noon is your chance. Join Mayor David Miller and his political misfits as he rings in Pride Week with the official raising of the rainbow flag, followed by the reading of the Pride Week proclamation. It all takes place in the main square of Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.

“One of the many reasons why Pride Week is so ‘unstoppable!’ is that its events attract more people every year,” says Pride Toronto co-chair Lenore MacAdam.

Forte, The Toronto Men’s Chorus, adds its vocal power while the 2Spirited People of the First Nation provide the opening ceremony’s spiritual blessing.

Come the evening, you will want to kick some of that somber energy up a notch.

It all starts with the third annual Artwherk, a collective founded by young queer artists Christopher Hayden, Chris Jai Centeno and Ryan Hinds. The goal is to create more space for young members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer community during Pride celebrations. This gathering brings together young artists with multiple disciplines from around the world and at home.

“We saw a need for young people to celebrate Pride in a wholesome way as opposed to always going to a party,” says co-founder Hayden.

This three-day art fest, June 18 to 20, is sure to get your creative side buzzing with artists showcasing spoken word, gallery works and performance pieces. The art takes place in the heart of the gay village, 491 Church St. from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visit www.artwherk.ca.

Dubbed the Pride Video Launch Project, Pride Toronto and Trinity Square Video have partnered up to present film works from queer filmmakers the likes of Alec Butler, Dara Gellman, John Greyson, Peter Kingstone and Mishann Lau.

This first time project launches its assault with a wild opening party at the Drake Hotel’s Underground, 1150 Queen St. West. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Several filmmakers will be in attendance plus there will be special screenings of the films. www.thedrakehotel.ca

Photo courtesy of Steve Martin

Catch Mr. Leatherman 2007 auctioning off his jockstrap at Woody’s tonight at 9 p.m.

But the crème de la crème of Pride Week’s first night of partying goes to the busiest gay bar in the country, Woody’s, 467 Church St. The night kicks off with Leather Pride, 9 p.m. Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2007 Steve Martin will be doing the honours in the jockstrap auction. That’s right — he will be flinging his own jockstrap up for grabs, and raising money for People With AIDS Foundation. The hot streak continues as drag divas Stephen Stevens and Miss Conception host the pants dropping, skin revealing Best Butt Contest, 11 p.m. www.woodystoronto.com or 416-972-0887.