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Jun 21st 2017
disco ball with a rainbow flag draped across the picture. A yellow strip with pink text on it writing queer, trans south asian guide to pride
Berkha

The first time I attended Toronto Pride was 10 years ago (wow, that feels hard to believe). I knew almost no queer people at that time and didn't feel like I could really bring any of my straight friends with me. I spent Sunday wandering around just checking out the festival, parade and volunteered for Pride, as that felt like a tangible way for me to feel less anxious. Big surprise, 10 years later, I'm still navigating Pride as a worker and community organizer, as a way to feel like I belong here.

Each year, I'm usually completely overwhelmed trying to figure out what to attend and who to go with while balancing my energy levels to survive all three days. In the last month, I've also had multiple conversations with other queer, trans south asians (QTSA's) about similar sentiments.

All that to say, here's a list of events that I think might be of interest to QTSA's, along with opportunities to meet other QTSA's. Events with *** have meetup opportunities with other queer, trans south asians.

Thursday, June 22

Pre-Pride Crafting

6:00PM - 9:00PM @ Sherbourne Health Centre

Free  |  Physically Accessible  |  Gender Neutral Washrooms

Inviting youth to come out for a pre-Pride craft session! We'll have all of the supplies you need to make buttons, t-shirts, posters, and banners, including lots and lots of glitter.

Transformation: Indigenous and Borderless Sounds

6:00PM - 11:00PM @ Yonge-Dundas Square

Free  |  Physically Accessible  |  ASL Interpretation

Revolutions Per Minute—an Indigenous global new music platform, label, and artist collective—will present a curated lineup of music blending Indigenous and global sounds.

 

Flowers While We’re Living

8:15PM - 11:00PM @ Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

$15  | Physically Accessible  |  Gender Neutral Washrooms

A showcase that aims to celebrate and share the work of BIPOC / racialized trans and queer artists with the rest of Toronto’s communities.

 

Friday, June 23

Trans March and Community Fair

Trans Pride Community Fair

3:00PM - 10:00PM @ Allan Gardens

Free  |  Physically Accessible   |  ASL Interpretation

Looking for information, connections or support within the trans and nonbinary community? Browse the offerings of the 2017 Trans Pride Community Fair in Allan Gardens.

 

***Trans March

6:30PM - 8:30PM  | Starts at Church and Hayden Streets

Free  |  Physically Accessible  | ASL Interpretation

Open to Trans and nonbinary folks, friends and allies

Join yourself or you can march with ASAAP (Email Praney at mensoutreach@asaap.ca for more info)

Pride Stages

Yalla Barra

6:00PM - 2:00AM @ Wellesley Stage

Free  |  Physically Accessible

Pride proudly presents the return of Yalla Barra, celebrating Middle Eastern culture with an amazing lineup.

 

Alterna Queer

6:00PM - 11:00PM  @ Village Stage

Free  |  Physically Accessible  | ASL Interpretation

6:00PM Dainty Smith & Les Femmes Fatales (a burlesque troupe composed primarily of women of colour) followed by Virago Nation (First Nations burlesque group)

8:00PM Lal

 

Yes Yes Y’all Block Party

6:00PM - 2:00AM  @ Central Stage

Free  |  Physically Accessible  | Gender Neutral Washrooms

YYY will be in full swing with hip hop/r&b/dancehall/soca and the bill is packed. Catch Coco Supreme’s set at 7:00PM. 

 

Parties

***Rangeela presents: Chhakka

10:00PM - 4:30AM  @ Club 120

$15 Advance  |  $20 Door  |  19+

A group of queer south asians are grabbing dinner and going together to this LGBTQ Bollywood party. If you are interested in going with them, visit their Facebook event and message Arshi.

 

MiNK

10:00PM - 3:00AM  @ Beaver Cafe

$5  |  POC-centred party  |  19+

Featuring DurtyDabz, Dj K, Coco Supreme

 

Saturday, June 24

***Resist: Dyke March

1:00PM - 4:00PM  | Starts at Church and Hayden Streets

Free  |  Physically Accessible  | ASL Interpretation  | Scent reduced

Welcomes all women and trans people only

Join yourself or you can march with ASAAP, alongside Women’s Health in Women’s Hands and Black Cap’s Women’s Team (Email Abhi at education@asaap.ca for more info)

 

Stages

***South Asian Express

2:00PM - 11:00PM @ Village Stage

Free  |  Physically Accessible

Come out for a full day of South Asian programming and performances including Lal, DJ Zehra, Coco Supreme, DJ Amita, Rakkatak and more. 

 

***brOWN//out (part of South Asian Express)

5:00PM - 8:00PM @ Village Stage

Free  |  Physically Accessible  |  ASL Interpretation

Part of South Asian Express, brOWN//out is a cabaret style program, hosted by Rahim Thawar and curated by Anu Radha Verma, featuring vibrant performers from across the GTA. Performers include: Sammy Samosa, Maani-I-Fest, Rishi & Kareem, Kama La Mackeral, Sushmita, Bilal & Babar, Gitanjali, Bilal, Nisha & Angela, and Adri.

A Colour Deep collective members will be there (backstage and in the audience) so come find us and say hi :)

 

Fruit Loopz

2:00PM - 8:00PM  @ Alexander Parkette

Free  |  Physically Accessible  | ASL Interpretation  | Drug & Alcohol Free

Celebrate the 15th year of Fruit Loopz Youth stage - a festival of arts, words and ideas for queer and trans youth, by queer and trans youth.

 

Pan Dulce

2:00PM - 2:00AM  @ Wellesley Stage

Free  |  Physically Accessible  | Gender Neutral Washrooms

Pan Dulce, or Sweet Bread, marks the return of a Latinx focused event.

 

Parties

Cherry Bomb Pride: 10 years of Queer Love!

10:00PM - 3:00AM  @ Mod Club Theatre

$20 Advance  |  $25 Dopr  |  19+

Dance, sweat & celebrate as Toronto’s biggest party for queer women and friends turns 10 and goes extra large to give you the love at this Official DYKE DAY AFTER PARTY! 

 

Sunday, June 25

***37th Annual Pride Parade

2:00PM - 5:00PM  |  March lineups start earlier

Free  |  Physically Accessible  | ASL Interpretation

Watch the Pride Parade or march with one of many groups! Here’s two options:

March with ASAAP (Email Praney at mensoutreach@asaap.ca for more info)

Join the Pride Youth Contingent: Meet at 12:45PM at Bloor St. & Ted Rogers Way - spot B2.

 

Stages

Flex N’ Fluid

2:00PM - 11:00PM @ Village Stage

Free  |  Physically Accessible  |  ASL Interpretation

Features a Drag King Hour, lineup of DJ’s and a special performance at 5:45PM by ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company 

 

Blockorama 19 - Take it Black

12:00PM - 11:00PM  @ Wellesley Stage

Free  |  Physically Accessible  | ASL Interpretation  | Disability viewing area

Full day programming of DJ’s and performers, guaranteed to always be one of the best parts of Pride every year.

 

Ninjichaag: The Spirit Within

12:00PM - 1:00PM and 5:00PM - 9:00PM @ Alexander Parkette

Free  |  Physically Accessible  |  ASL Interpretation

The stage will open at 12pm with an Opening Ceremony by Ma-Nee Chacaby and pick back up again at 5pm with a number of 2Spirit performers and special guests.

 

Honourable Mentions

Family Pride

Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25

10:00AM - 5:00PM @ Church Street Public School

Free  |  Physically Accessible  |  All Ages Event

With programming geared to children ages 0-12 and their families, visitors to Family Pride will enjoy a variety of sporting activities, games, crafts, face painting, stories, and performances.

Clean, Sober & Proud

Paul Kane Parkette

Free  |  Physically Accessible  |  ASL Interpretation

Dedicated drug and alcohol-free space for everyone to enjoy. Includes live performances, health and wellness practices and confidential recovery meetings.

Notes:

  • I've put this list together based on my research, invites, conversations, and online guides. I'm definite I'm missing really great things - please comment or message me (here, on FB, or email berkha@gmail.com) to let me know if I should add something. 
  • I have only included events that are BIPOC-centred but cannot guarantee that each of these spaces will be also be trans-positive and accessible. If you have specific questions, feel free to msg me and I'll try to give what info I can.
  • Also, if you're doing a meetup/hangout and are open to us sharing it, let me know and I'll add it to this list :)

Coming soon: A list of events to look out for between June 26 - July 15, including a QTSA Potluck Picnic hosted by a colour deep.

 

I'm one of the collective members of the QSAY collective (which operates a colour deep). I'm also one of the organizers of the monthly QTBIPOC meetup in Peel. I'm always interested in meeting new QTSA's so do private message me or come out to an event/meetup and say hi - just know that I'd love to meet you!

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