Pride 2019 to celebrate Stonewall heroes

Published On June 11, 2019 | By Pragati Kaushal | News

Although Pride is celebrated annually in Toronto there are many countries where homosexuality can lead to imprisonment or death. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch).

Pragati Kaushal

Pride Toronto will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the origin of the LGBTQ+ community during the annual Pride parade on June 23.

In 1969 Marsha P. Johnson, an African-American transwoman, helped organize mass civil disturbances in New York, Olivia Nuamah, Pride Toronto executive director said.

The riots were a response to police crackdowns against the gay community. The first Pride Parade was held a year later.

Johnson was known for her bold and fearless style and her leadership in the LGBTQ+ community.

She was also known as a ‘drag mother’ for helping homeless LGBTQ+ youth.

This pride month will celebrate Johnson’s life and is also dedicated to drag performers all over the world.


While Pride Month is celebrated annually in Toronto, there are many parts of the world where homosexuality is criminalized.

In Kenya, homosexuality was recently criminalized by the high court, a New York Times article said.

Someone convicted will face imprisonment of up to 14 years.

There are 70 countries around the world where the same sexual activity is criminalized and in some nations, and even in countries where homosexuality is legal, it can still be dangerous, an International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) report said.

In Taiwan and Brazil, same-sex marriage is illegal. In Brunei, legislation was passed that made homosexuality punishable by death, but backed down after facing international condemnation.

Additionally, U.S. President Donald Trump’ administration has prohibited U.S. embassies from flying the rainbow flag during Pride Month.

Humber College will also participate in the Pride Parade as well as the Trans March on June 21 and the Dyke March on June 23.

Humber is also hosting the Pride Speaker Series, in which leaders from the LGBTQ+ community will share their experience and stories with students.

IGNITE, the school’s student government, will also march in the Pride Parade to support students, president Monica Khosla said.

“We will be there to show our support and also to embrace people for who they are and they should be proud of it,” she said.

“For promoting [the event] we are using social media to share and to reach out to a wider audience,” Khosla said.

Every year Ignite has participated in the celebration and is excited to be part of it, she said.

IGNITE also published a list of Pride events around Toronto.

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