Toronto
1 min

No heroes this year

This is a year without heroes.



The Metropolitan Community Church Of Toronto has put its annual Hero Awards on hiatus this Pride. The denomination is too busy planning for a huge international church conference it’s hosting in two weeks.



“We’re not doing them this year. It was too much to do three major events all at once,” says MCCT’s Rick Firth.



Traditionally, there’s a pricey gala dinner event and presentation the Thursday before Pride in a hotel conference room, then a free open-air Pride Day service officiated by the Rev Brent Hawkes (where the honourees are introduced).



Over the years, the famous (activist and philanthropist Nacy Ruth), the unassuming neighbour who took on the system, heterosexuals (AIDS doctor Philip Berger and Vancouver MP Hedy Fry) and groups have been honoured for their work in and for the community.



The international gathering of the Universal Fellowship Of Metropolitan Community Churches occurs every two years. Some 1,300 delegates are expected in Hogtown from 30 countries at the end of the month. “With the number of volunteers we had to put this together,” says Firth, something had to go.



It takes 140 volunteers just to organize the opening Sunday service (11am on Jul 1) at the Sheraton Centre, which can accommodate thousands. It will replace the two separate services held on Sunday at MCCT’s Simpson Ave church.



“We’ll be back on track with the gala next year,” promises Firth.



This year, the Pride service is on the south stage (on Church at Wood) at 11am on Sun, Jun 24.



The World Jubilee kicks off with a Wellness Weekend, a health summit for homos from Fri, Jun 29 to Jul 1. Registration is $99; check out www.ufmcc.com or call (310) 360-8640, ext 227.



BLACK PRIDE



Blackness Yes! hosts its annual – and popular – Pride Blockorama fest this year. But for the first time, there’s also an official, Pride-sanctioned secret black gay party.



Pride volunteers refuse to say where or when it is. It’s being advertised by word of mouth only, and is intended to provide a place to party and to celebrate Pride for those who aren’t publicly out.



Blockorama is located on Maitland just east of Yonge.