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Toronto celebrates Pride Month with George Takei, Margaret Atwood, and Black Lives Matter

Last Updated May 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm EST

For the first time ever, Toronto’s Pride celebrations will run for an entire month, kicking off June 1 and ending on July 3 with the legendary Pride Parade.

(Yes, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be there – the first sitting PM to attend.)

The event has always been political and this year, Pride Toronto is explicitly expanding their scope. From members of Black Lives Matter leading the parade, to a focus on trans rights and Egypt’s Arab Winter, Pride is focusing on groups beyond their core.

“Building on the legacy of Pride Toronto’s first human rights conference during WorldPride 2014, we continue to put human rights at the heart of our celebration,” Pride Toronto executive director Mathieu Chantelois said in a statement.

“This is essential to combating discrimination and protecting the rights of our communities.”


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Actor George Takei, who has continued his social activism on social media, and Margaret Atwood, who is being honoured for her work during the 1981 bathhouse raids, will speak on separate panels. Young trans activists will speak about their experiences, given the spotlight on transgender children, and there will also be discussions about women’s activism as well as blackness and queer politics.

“The largest Pride celebration in North America truly has something for everyone this year,” Chantelois said.

“With the talent and creativity of our partners, volunteers and artists of our community, we’re inspiring the city and the world to embrace the power and beauty of diversity through inclusion and belonging.”

There will be free movies at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Harbourfront Centre, and yes, there will be parties.

Television show ‘Queer as Folk’ will be back for one night with a party at Club Babylon (Fly 2.0), with actors Randy Harrison (Justin), Harris Allan (James ‘Hunter’ Montgomery), and Toronto’s own Sofanda Cox. Ripley’s Aquarium will be turned into the Aqueerium for one night, and the massive launch party will take place at the AGO.

Click here for the full schedule.