Queer and Muslim in Canada
Toronto’s vibrant Gay Pride Parade reveals how South Asian communities are no longer willing to remain confined to the closet
Jolie Asfareen Athar
On a hot, sunny afternoon near Yonge and Bloor streets, large numbers of young Canadians constituting members of the multi-racial community that make up the country’s population and tourists have been lining up for hours on the sidewalks waiting for the Gay Pride Parade to start. The crowd is three rows deep and late-comers have to stand on steps and peer over people’s heads to get a view.
A float comes into view; muscular men in bright colours pose, preen and gyrate to loud music. It is all very flamboyant and fun. The people clustered behind the barricades, men and women, young, old and older, are enthralled. It’s a party on wheels and people watching dance along. On another float, men who could pass for beautiful women dance sinuously. In its 32nd year, Toronto’s annual gay parade has clearly arrived, rivalling those held in other major cities and attracting thousands, including international visitors.
By arrangement with Newsline, Pakistan