My First Pride

From the third world where I come from, I never had a Pride Parade. Though we have one back in my country, my village / town / city is just too small to celebrate Pride. In the Philippines, Steves who like Steves are well-accepted in the society—we can walk like a beauty there on the streets. But acceptance doesn’t always equal to tolerance. Or he other way around. It’s still common that gays are discriminated and ridiculed just because they are what they are—showing their true colors. Right, Cyndi Lauper?

My first Pride Parade is more than everything I expected it to be. I know it’s gonna be crazy but I didn’t really have any clue how crazy it would be. And what made the experience very memorable was that, I was in there inside the parade taking photos and up-close and personal to the parade participants. It was surreal and my heart was filled with gladness the whole time. I didn’t let the searing heat of the sun spoil me. I enjoyed every moment of it—sans a sunblock.
Every cheer I heard from the crowd was like a high-pitched musical note of harmony and acceptance. Every clap was like a humming sound of birds flying free. Every toonie they dropped in the hat was like saying, “It’s just a toonie but I’m with you.” Every open arms I saw was an openness like no other. Every smile was an assurance of kinship that we are diverse but we can live as one.

For me, the Pride Parade may just happen once a year but the message is clear: We are different but we’re just like you, too.

Parade participants were absolutely diverse. From the naked boys to the politicians, the parade was never short of something new, something old, something odd, something fun and something very gay. Creativity was everywhere.

More than ONE MILLION people showed up at the event and I can say that Toronto’s crowd / visitors were very, very awesome. They cheered to their lungs out and despite the heat, they were very patient and was in upbeat mood everytime. Gay policemen holding hands with their partners were cheered and gay football and rugby players were adored. When the fire truck passed by and showered water to everyone, the crowd gone mad and welcomed the relief from the heat. Some of them have water guns. Major sponsors had their own float with orgasmically delicious, dancing boys and girls sexily clad in trunks and bikinis that made the crowd pumping to the music. And it was nice to see young children waved their rainbow flags like it’s the best Sunday they ever had.   

 If I were to describe the Pride parade in three words, they have to be: Fabulous. Sexy. Political. 

I took 899 photos in total. There are so many of them that I can’t put them here at once. Go back to this blog everyday as I will photo blog / show you the Fabulous, Sexy and Political side the Pride Parade.

In the meantime, here’s the video from the event. It’s just 1/10 of what happened. Enjoy!

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3 Responses to “My First Pride”

  1. Jimmy
    July 5, 2010 at 2:59 PM #

    Wow! Awesome colors and photos. You gotta really nice weather there yesterday! Looking forward to more of your photos in the coming days.

  2. Merlyn
    July 5, 2010 at 3:29 PM #

    The last photo is fantastic. And your caption is heartfelt.

  3. alainsojourner
    July 6, 2010 at 11:02 AM #

    Yes, Ateh….. Looking forward to Spain in 2012! :))

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