Pride Toronto Announces Parade and March Honoured Positions

TORONTO, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - WorldPride 2014 Toronto today announced the honourees for the annual Pride Parade, Dyke March, and Trans* Pride March.

These individuals and groups will be recognized for their contributions to the local LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities by leading the parade and marches, all of which take place on Yonge Street this year. The Trans Pride* March takes place on June 27 8 p.m., the Dyke March on June 28 2 p.m., and the WorldPride Parade on June 29 at 1 p.m.

"Pride Toronto is proud to recognize the contributions of these community leaders, who have been building community in this city for decades. The recognition is well-deserved and serves as an inspiration to others," said Sean Hillier, Pride Toronto Co-Chair.

The honourees are:

Parade Grand Marshal: Brent Hawkes
The Grand Marshal for the 2014 Pride Parade is well-known for decades of commitment to LGBTTIQQ2SA rights and equality. Reverend Doctor Brent Hawkes has championed several human rights initiatives, and in 2001, officiated at the first legal marriage of a gay or lesbian couple in the history of the world.

Parade Honoured Group
The 2014 Honoured Group for the parade is 2 Spirits Toronto. This group has been at the forefront of raising awareness of the impact that HIV and AIDS has on the 2 Spirit and Indigenous peoples from across Canada. They are the only Aboriginal non-profit organization in Canada that offers services and support to Two Spirit People and to all Aboriginal people living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Dyke March Honoured Dyke
This year's Honoured Dyke is Connie Bonnello. Connie has been an active leader in the LGBT community for over 25 years, and was also responsible for the national launch of IBM Canada's Teaching Respect in Schools program.

Dyke March Honoured Group
Toronto Fierce Femme Organizers will lead this year's Dyke March as the Honoured Group, including Kim Milan (Crosby), Catherine Hernandez, Gein Wong, Chanelle Gallant, Sedina Fiati, Leah Lakshmi, Dainty Smith, Monica Forrester, Belle Jumelles, Anna Camilleri, Alyson Mitchell, and Vee Stun. Toronto's queer community is filled with amazing diversity and activism that can only survive and be relevant with the strength and persistence of organizers like these.

Trans* Pride Honoured Individuals
This year, the Trans* Pride March will be led by two honoured trans* individuals: Monica Forrester and Dr. Alex Abramovitch.

Since 1999, Monica Forrester has worked in various agencies to educate and make services accessible for trans* folks. She produces a bi-monthly zine called "Trans Pride Toronto," and co-produced a short video on the lives of 2-spirit Indigenous sex workers.

Dr. Alex Abramovich is a nationally recognized leader in the area of LGBTQ2S youth homelessness. His work is having an impact on policy as he is collaborating with Toronto City Council to help improve the ways LGBTQ2S youth homelessness is addressed, as well as the state of the shelter system.

Trans* Pride Honoured Trans* Group
This year's Honoured Trans* Group is Trans Pulse, a community-based research project investigating the impact of social exclusion and discrimination on the health of trans people in Ontario. Its goal is to engage and provide the information necessary to change policies and practices and improve the health and well-being of trans* communities in Ontario and beyond.

About WorldPride 2014 Toronto and Pride Toronto

WorldPride 2014 Toronto is an international celebration taking place from June 20 – 29, 2014 that incorporates activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities.  WorldPride 2014 Toronto is presented by Pride Toronto, producer of Canada's largest annual festival of LGBTTIQQ2SA culture and human rights, under license from InterPride.

Pride Toronto is the not-for-profit organization that hosts the city's Pride Festival, an annual event in downtown Toronto during the last week of June and one of the premier arts and cultural festivals in Canada. It is also one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world with an estimated attendance of over one million people. It celebrates the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto's LGBTTIQQ2SA communities.

*LGBTTIQQ2SA is an abbreviation used to represent a broad array of identities such as, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, two-spirited, and allies.

                            

SOURCE Pride Toronto

For further information: For more information visit www.worldpridetoronto.com; Please contact: Trevor Hampden, Trevor@pridetoronto.com, Head of Marketing Communications, WorldPride 2014 Toronto, (647) 465-6718