Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime —
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight…
Lovers… in a dangerous time…
-Bruce Cockburn, “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”
It was dark and raining at the beginning of the scheduled time for the rally, but the weather cleared for most of the Toronto “Trans March” on June 28, 2013. It was the beginning of the Pride weekend in the city: the complex and crowded bevy of queer-related cultural experiences that take over the downtown. Lays were distributes in lavender colours: the official gender-neutral colour of the event. The event IS probably my favourite of the weekend: it’s significantly smaller than the main Parade on Sunday, and draws a crowd that is a little edgier and less concerned about going with the flow. “Since it began in 2009, the Trans March has sought to provide a place for trans identified people to rally, stand up and come together in solidarity. It is now one of the largest events of the trans communities in the GTA.” (BlogTO, 2013)
I was a bit bummed that the Toronto police had “decided” not to march; although they had initially wanted to participate in uniform, along with the rest of us, that request had met with opposition in the trans community. But I do understand why: many trans people have had negative experiences with authority and the law (MetroNews, 2013), and to pretend that such things haven’t happened is a denial of history. I’m glad to hear that the trans community is being recognized, but it will take some time to iron out difficulties that have been born from past mistakes.
The evening began with a series of speakers in the rally, then a bit of time to organize and we started the march. There had been no request to sign up for a place in the parade, so things took a bit of time to get in order: especially considering that hundreds of people had shown up to march (trans, trans-supporters and trans-allies). There were Super Queers (SQ) and supporters and an array of others, all under their individual banners. I walked (mostly) with the Pride Network, representing the Ontario Public Service. Eventually we marched, one of the longer routes in the short history of the event, ending at Wood Street (although for some reason we continued to Allen Gardens: which is where the Dyke March is supposed to end). All in all it was a very positive experience. My full collection of 150 public photos from the event are on my Flickr page.