Pride Toronto saw a major turnover in board members and staff since June 2005, resulting in lots of changes in how the event was run this year. Xtra focussed its microscope on the results.
THUMBS UP. The big video screen outside the South Stage brought the parade and the stage show to the throngs on Church St, creating a sense of connection for people who were stuck in the lineups.
THUMBS DOWN. It sounds like a kid’s complaint, but the absence of big sprays of balloons on Church St made us a little sad.
THUMBS UP. This publication has complained repeatedly about church groups, unions and politicians who think that merely walking unadorned in parade is enough. But we must give credit where credit is due; the Anglicans, the Uniteds and the Metropolitan Community Church all jazzed it up this year. Sometimes a tambourine and a few ribbons make all the difference, though the bouncing Anglican bishop character on top of the truck was a stroke of genius.
THUMBS DOWN. Disorganization at some of the stages led to delays, skipped acts and the expectation that performers change out in the open. Purposeful public nudity, yes; forced public nudity, no.
THUMBS UP. The parade started on time and took exactly two hours, nine minutes and 23 seconds to pass Yonge and Alexander. And it had far fewer gaps than usual. Compare that to three-plus hours running time of previous years. Keep this up and queers might again join the straights watching it.
THUMBS UP. Beer gardens that accept debit and credit cards. Now mwat’s a shfantistic ideera, eh (burp).
THUMBS DOWN. Though we agree that businesses should pay to be associated with Pride, we propose one compromise for 2007. Gay bars that want to put buff boys on flatbeds need to be accommodated. Yes, we’re saying it, if only to make the tourists happy: Pride needs more bikinied buff boys. And we trust gay bars more than cell phone companies who like to paint straight boys with logos.
THUMBS DOWN. The assholes who stole CKLN’s computer at the AlternaQueer stage. And the cops who treated a drinker of nonsanctioned beer like a terrorist.