Pride Toronto 2010 was the third year Fridae TV has covered the celebrations since I started Fridae TV in 2008. Last year was incredibly colourful but this year the rainbow shone brighter! I absolutely love the fact they have been holding the event in some form or another for thirty years. This was the 30th Year Anniversary for Pride Toronto, such a remarkable accomplishment for the LGBTTIQQ2SA* (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited and Allies) communities in Toronto. The love continues to spread farther every year. Pride Toronto is the 3rd largest Pride celebration in the world and with over 1.2 million people in attendance it is the largest Pride celebration in North America. The festivities are usually held annually during the first weekend of July, this year Pride week kicked off June 25th and wrapped with the ever so popular Pride Parade formerly known as the Gay Parade but this year they changed the names of the different parades.
Last year my friend Mikey Sin (Fabulous Photographer and Fashion Designer who I’ve known since I was Sixteen!) and I were in the Parade as Aids Ribbons a Part of the ACT (Aids Committee Of Toronto) float. The ribbons were red balloon wings and looked so awesome, just before it was our turn to march it started to pour down some serious rain, midway through the Parade my flip-flop broke! The water made the glue unstick with the constant friction, I needed to buy a new pair fast, nope that did not happen! It took us three hours to find a store because everyone wanted a picture with us, we found a store finally! A couple of people followed us into the store just to take a picture. I’ve seen it happen to so many people so many times but I’ve never been the target of such hardcore stalking! Exes and weirdoes don’t count! (Laughs) Feeling a little dizzy no food all day I needed to eat something, it took us half an hour to get street meat and even longer to eat it! Mikey eventually told people no more photos because honestly I was tripping out, the crowd was growing by the minute it was really scary! People were throwing their kids, grandbabies, dogs, cats whatever and who they had with them into the last set of pictures. I totally understand and feel for people who have to deal with the craziness on a daily basis. Funny thing is, about five hundred or so people have a picture with us holding a hotdog!! When we finally escaped and found a place to hide from the people (Good thing I know Downtown Toronto like the back of my hand!) the hotdogs were so cold! That was too crazy of an experience! This year we opted for more coverage rather than marching in.
Dyke Day was Saturday June 3rd they had the Dyke March, the last time I managed to get footage of the Dyke March was in 2008 since then for some reason I always miss it! That meant Sunday’s Parade was definitely getting some great coverage I had to make up for it. Cyndi Lauper was the headlining musical act for the 30th Anniversary of Pride Toronto; she was performing a free show at Queens Park with Dragonette and a bunch of other bands opening prior. I really wish that stage wasn’t so far away from everything else it would have made it much easier to get a lot more covered, we didn’t have the golf carts the Pride staff did but maybe next year we should get one! There was plenty of conflicting schedules with many performances I wanted to see, wish I had real wings but I don’t!
For the twenty minutes I waited for Mikey to join me I was surrounded by women, I am a secure straight women but it was crystal clear these chicks weren’t. Every lesbian I have known or met has always tried to recruit me on their team, sorry ladies I love men way too much to be gay. I support people no matter what, every person deserves to be treated like a human being and as a women I face a Man’s world every day, we have come a long way but we’re still not fifty fifty. More chicks were flocking near me, I was getting very uncomfortable because they were all staring at me really hard, like a bunch of dudes would, it was creeping me out!
Thank God Mikey came and we migrated to go check out Dragonette who I possibly have already seen live but I don’t remember if it was this band or another. Either way this time they impressed me a whole lot more, I could actually hear her vocals once the audio tech fixed up her mic levels, she was having major issues with her mic. From the two tracks I filmed (Three tune rule in effect, we missed the first tune) my favorite is ‘Liar’ I also like ‘Pick Up The Phone’, most of the tracks are catchy and re-listenable. By re-listenable I am meaning the music won’t bore me after a few plays as most new music has lately. After Dragonette we had time before Cyndi’s set, we decided to wander Queen’s Park because if we went to Church Street where the other festivities were going down, we would not have made it back in time for Cyndi’s set.
We had the usual three tune rule in effect and as expected someone had to be a drama queen! Label chick or manager whoever that crazy lady was, stormed into the media pit on a rampage yelling like a psycho and booting everyone out of the pit after two tracks. Talk about disrespect, I don’t understand what her damage was, nobody in the media pit that I could see caused this lady to go off on a super bitch power trip she popped out of nowhere! We were shafted a third tune but this was not the first time, the grumpiness reminded me of Edgefest when Linkin Park was headlining. I honestly couldn’t have been happier for the booting! We needed to fly over and try to catch a little bit of Ivana Santilli’s performance before the camera batteries died and that was a trek to the Wellesley stage.
Ivana Santilli is a Canadian artist who has been on the scene for a long time, I first heard about her in the mid 90’s when my older cousin played me some ‘Bass is Base’ an R&B/Pop group in which Santilli was a part of. Before the Black Eyed Peas there was ‘Bass is Base’ but the difference is Ivana is so much more talented and natural than Fergie (Stacy really needs to stop messing with her face, it looks very creepy, you can tell clear as day it has been altered.)
For all of you foodies out there here’s a little fact: Ivana’s old band mate “Roger Mooking”, is now a chef who co-owns several restaurants in Toronto and has his own show ‘Everyday Exotic’ on the Food Network. Ivana recently released her new record ‘Santilli’; she had an autograph signing/performance at the big HMV on Yonge Street promoting her record the day prior. She is a sweetheart and such a talented woman, wish I had filmed more of her set she has a great tone to her voice! More the power to her! Telling all of you that everyone must check out Ivana Santilli.
Sunday July 4th was the major parade and the weather was amazing! No rain in site but it was a hot and humid kind of day. Thankfully this year Pride Toronto was catered and there was water available at every stage, even on the streets during the parade people were handing out some sort of refreshment to keep everyone hydrated. I was a little disappointed in many Queen’s this year the costumes were not as flamboyant as previous years the only one we can count on is ‘Lola Plantain’ to get into the spirit of Pride and do it up to the nines. She always has something creative to contribute to the Parade and I’m sure every year she will take it to the next level.
This year Lola was an alien creature from the film ‘Avatar’, we ran into her after the parade and she gave me a few trannie kisses leaving blue stuff on my cheeks. It’s the year 2010 and there still is so much prejudice and narrow-minded beings who think others don’t deserve the rights they have. Come on! I can’t believe California retracted the legal Gay marriages, it’s like telling an orphan their parents are alive but then take it back and tell them you lied and the kids parents are still dead, just plain wrong. How would their marriages affect you in your life? Exactly! You wouldn’t be affected at all because it has nothing to do with you, so why not give them the choice to make the ultimate ‘I love You’ commitment of getting married?
The last Musical performance before we decided to completely wing it was Girlicious, an American Pop Group brought to you buy the creator of “The Pussycat Dolls” Robin Antin. The girls were performing at Splash Bash an Epic Pride Foam Party at Yonge Dundas Square.
The area was fenced off and people needed to pay twenty five bucks to get into the exclusive jam, unlike the many free events held there this one was private. The Yonge Dundas Square staff were absolutely amazing, so accommodating and polite. Foam was floating in the air the water fountains were on full force and there were so many hot gay boys dancing around getting all wet!
The girls put on a pretty decent show for a manufactured pop group, who I thought just lip-synchs to their backing track like most pop tarts. I was surprised when they sang live, it was not perfect at all but the girls held it together managed to sound decent enough to publish and did well in those sick heels. It’s beyond extremely hard to sing and dance at the same time even with hairography (Not much choreography mostly just a bunch of hair flips and whips). The combo is especially hard when trying to hit those high notes flawlessly without going flat and sounding like a dying lamb. Anyone who has mastered it should get an award! So far, not one entertainer I have ever seen live has been able to master that.
Most of the group’s songs are catchy and extremely commercial I didn’t know how popular they were until I uploaded a video. My favorite track of theirs is “Maniac” I heard it for the first time as they performed it at Pride. The popperific tune was infused into my brain for the rest of the day. I like Girlicious, as manufactured as they are at least you know it and they don’t try to hide it unlike other artists who claim to be original but are just as pre-packaged. If you try that hard to be different you are not at all unique, clearly you need to resolve that identity crisis. Very satisfied with how Pride celebrations turned out but I am hoping next year’s Pride Parade will be filled with more colourful costumes and less boring corporate floats. Thank you Pride Toronto looking forward to more of the festivites in 2011!
(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited and Allies)