Sweet holy Mary in heaven, it’s over! We’re alive! And wasn’t it great?
The entire event went off without any major hitches, which, considering that it involves thousands of gays and hundreds of drag queens, artists and dancers, is a miracle.
A few things really stood out for me and made Pride 2012 something special.
First off, the music. It was a festival filled with Rihanna, Whitney, Donna and that damn Gotye song, but so much more. Dance music is bigger and better than ever, and wandering the streets, the bars and the beaches, I was wholly impressed with the variety and joie de vivre of it all. There were, of course, many hours of pounding tribal beats, but it was easy to escape and find a stage with Crackpuppy belting out acoustic versions of their heavy metal hits or “Call Me Maybe” bouncing out of some beer garden. The 519 alone hosted nights that featured jazz, hip hop, house and Arabic music.
And there was something extra in the air. Maybe it was the perfect weather, but I found everyone gave it their all. Any drag show I witnessed was topnotch. The variety of boys, with all their amazing looks, was astounding. Gym bunnies, indie cuties and goth guys oozed a carefree confidence I haven’t seen at previous Prides. Volunteers and city workers all seemed to be in great moods and took pride in making sure everyone was safe and everything was clean (as I stumbled in to work holiday Monday, I couldn’t tell the city’s largest and loudest festival had just ended). This feeling of “extra effort” comes also from the amazingly dedicated fab people I’m surrounded by: photographers, writers, interns and a copy and design team that, without blinking a glittery eye, gave it everything they had.
Finally — and I know I preach this a lot — the variety of gay Toronto blows me away. The span of things one could busy oneself with over Pride was truly astounding. If I could have split into three people, I still wouldn’t have made it to everything. On Saturday, I wandered Church St, danced shoeless at a beach party, boogied down at a backyard block-party jam, ate a rainbow roll and then headed to the nastiest freak show I’ve ever witnessed, on Dundas West.
If gay Toronto was a peacock over Pride Week, it had its feathers on full display.
Later, I’m going to recover at one of the places featured in this issue’s super-cute patio guide, but first, I’m going to take a very big nap . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
PS: Don't forget to check out our Pride 2012 online photo album here.