Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wear It Proud

DJ deko-ze
Originally uploaded by 416style.
I made it down to Toronto's Pride after the parade to check out the scene, I should have expected that I would find it kinda sketchy. It was a Sunday afternoon after all and these "kids" have been giving it their all - all weekend. There were still some in costume and some fresh faces willing to pose for pictures. Some adorable sailors smiled for me on cue, while other shots I had to sneak around to get.

At the north end near the swing stage all the dorky types congregated - making me think Toronto's gay scene is probably one of the most boring around; certainly not the same as Sydney’s salacious celebration. My girlfriends and I walked south along closed–off Church Street to a skinny "beer garden" in a parking lot with the floor covered in shipped-in sand and a sign saying "no barefeet". We parked ourselves in some lawn chairs and sucked in all the corporate sponsorship. Ah. Pride. Isn't it about throwing "off" conventions and breaking out of the mainstream?

I got a big laugh out of the crowd at one stage - after DJ Deko-ze (pictured) played for a jumping crowd DJ Jelo came on and played the kind of music that makes you think everyone is too wasted to really think about what they're dancing to. Jelo was playing "Ghostbusters - who ya gonna call?" while mixing in techno beats, crowd-cheering tracks and the occasional siren to make it officially some of the silliest music I've ever seen a crowd go wild for; though it was enough to make the girls on stage take off their tops and let it loose for the ogling masses. Well, maybe only the straight security guard was looking - but he was definitely getting an eyeful.

In between all the made for the masses music and corporate culture was an occasional person just doing their own thing and loving life - whether dancing in the street or letting their pride hang out. It was moments like this that reminded me what this whole pride event is meant to be. Walking home I heard one Sydneysider talking to a friend back home saying "It was great - while it lasted". I knew that after today all the rainbow flags would slowly come down and people would have to tuck their pride back in their pants until next year, but that sharing this weekend of freedom with all their friends was sure worth the trip.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's certainly a cultural/social/political conundrum that we face: what do you do when everything that was subversive, rebellious or countercultural becomes an accepted norm? Not to say that acceptance into the mainstream is always a bad thing, but it is true that some things become rather ho hum, or at worst, parodies of their former selves. Gay Pride sponsored by Pepsi? Punk shows sponsored by Nike? C'mon... something just doesn't feel right anymore. I guess the trick is to do your own thing and maybe try to be benignly indifferent to the world around you sometimes.

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