Girls do Toronto proud
There are some places girls really come out on top during Pride. After last weekend, I can happily report that Toronto is up there with San Francisco, New York, and Sydney for girl Pride antics. With hot girl bands aplenty, a lesbian pie eating competition, and a staggering slew of women’s parties, Toronto gets my vote as the top pride for girls. This year saw the boisterous Dyke March take over the streets on Saturday afternoon. Thousands thronged Yonge Street as the march strutted south in the sun. The 519 beer gardens teemed with hundreds of women all afternoon and until 11 p.m.
While the cast responsible for producing practically my entire back catalogue of 45s (from ABC to Wang Chung to Cutting Crew) graced Sunday’s stages, The Cliks, Esthero, Ferron and local garage rockers Dance Yourself To Death entertained the masses on Dyke Day. Gorgeous playwright Catherine Hernandez took to the stage as part of the Proud Voices Readings and read from her Dora-nominated (the Canadian equivalent of New York’s Tony Awards) play, Singkil.
(Below: playwrights Mark Shyzer and Catherine Hernandez at the Proud Voices Readings)
Toronto’s is definitely not the Pride for indecisive Sapphic socialites. The list of girl parties on offer this weekend was incredible; Snatch, Apples, Lick-it, Libido, Girls with Grills, Cherry Bomb, The S-word, Concrete and Diamonds. On Saturday we hit Cherry Bomb – the official after party -- where 1200 queer women, gay boys, trans people, and friends milled, mingled, and cavorted to the sounds of DJs Denise Benson and Cozmic Cat, M.C. Benni E, and Philadelphia’s Fuse DJs Phoenix and Kit. The sounds were thrilling, the women stunning, and the atmosphere electric.
(Below: Hillary and Maggie at the 519 Beer Garden)
Sunday, my accomplices and I hit the the Beaver, a sliver of a bar in my neighborhood, West Queen West. A hot crowd of West End hipsters milled in the tiny bar and on the packed back patio, including local, queer indie names; singer Gentleman Reg, rapper/MC Nolan Natasha, Owen Pallett (of Final Fantasy), Katie Sketch and Jenny Smyth (formerly of the Organ), and writer Jennifer Code.