By Nabeela Damji
This was my second year at Toronto’s Pride Parade. For the last year, I have been volunteering with the Aids Committee of Toronto, and have marched with them for two years now.
I mean, it is cool to turn Yonge Street into your own personal club and scream “woohoo” at random people, but there is so much more to this parade than just walking, cheering, and looking at some insanely cool outfits (or lack thereof.) Often people come naked).
To me, Pride symbolizes the acceptance of everyone. It represents the love we have for everyone, and the expression of love we should be showing to everyone not just on this day.
I love seeing people, young and old, celebrating the love that everyone shares on that day. From the sweet old couple who said they were having “so much fun”, to the older ladies giving hugs and kisses, to the parents of Transgender kids wearing shirts and making songs to show how much they love and support their kids and everyone in the LGBTQ community. For me, Pride isn’t just about celebrating the LGBTQ community; it’s about being proud to be human.
To accept our fellow neighbours for whom they are regardless of sexuality. It’s about celebrating the LGBTQ community and celebrating how far we have come as a community with loving and accepting one another. We are thanking those who have paved the way for us to be accepted for who we are regardless of sexuality, but to keep in mind how much farther we still have to go as a community.
It’s about making sure our LGBTQ brothers and sisters know that no matter what, we are there to fight for their rights. Pride highlights the importance of being an ally and standing with those who might not have had a voice or a platform in the recent past. I know I’m saying love and accept a lot, but that’s what Pride is.
Pride got me to thinking. Why can’t we all be this happy all the time? Why can’t I randomly hug little old ladies and why shouldn’t we laud those proud parents that publicly support their transgender children every single day of the year? If we could all love and care about each other every day like we do on this one day, the world would be a much better place. And yes, that includes an occasional random “woohoo.”