SAFE GUIDE TO PRIDE:
Toronto Festival Weekend
This Pride, as you leave isolation behind and find togetherness with your chosen families, join Friends of Ruby to celebrate and build your community!
We will be marching at Pride on Sunday June 26! Come join the staff, volunteers, friends and supporters of Friends of Ruby! Want to march with us? We’ll give you the details and even hook you up with a tee!
If this is your first ever Pride, here are a few notes to keep in mind. First off, there are different events on different days of the month! It can be a confusing schedule to grasp, but find information about the city’s events here. For Friends of Ruby programming, find our Pride schedule on our website and Instagram.
Regarding the festival weekend, come as you feel comfortable! Note that Toronto will be loud, crowded, and there will be naked people.
Whether you’re a Pride newcomer or a Pride veteran, here is a helpful checklist to review before the festivities begin:
- Bring a water bottle and snacks
Safely prepare for hot weather and a long day. Bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated, and snacks to refuel as you walk around the city.
- Follow the Buddy system – or you can join Friends of Ruby
Make a group chat to organize and finalize plans. Pride is more fun with your community! If you do not have friends who can attend events with you, join us!
- Set up a meeting spot
There will be a lot of people attending Pride festivities in the city, so be sure to set a meeting point with your friends in case you end up separating from each other. Consider sharing your location and keep in mind it may drain your battery, which takes us to our next point.
- Fully charged phone and portable charger
From snapping pictures and videos to overheating, be prepared for your phone to die. Bisexuals with their phone at 2% buried in the bottom of a tote bag, this advice especially applies to you.
- Cash (to buy fun stuff from vendors)
There will be many awesome vendors to support! Not all vendors have debit machines, so be sure to have some cash on your person if you’re looking to buy anything. From art, jewellery, snacks, and more, there’s a lot to see at the Youth Market.
- Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen
It might seem obvious, but also quite easy to forget. Remember these three items and thank yourself later. You will need to re-apply SPF if you are out all day too!
- Sensory regulation tools – and check out Pride’s accessibility resources
Calling all neurodiverse folks! Feel encouraged to bring any sensory regulation tools that will better your experience at pride. Consider an anxiety ring, ear plugs, soundproof headphones, or checking out the accessibility hub. Closed captioning will be available for all events!
- Film camera or disposable camera if it’s your aesthetic
It would also save your phone some battery to have a camera alternative. You can also simply edit your phone pictures to look like a 90’s film pic – no shame!
- Pride swag: your flag, accessories, glitter, however you would like to present
Put together your flashiest fit or arrive in your everyday clothing. It does not matter what you wear, just that you feel like you in it. For Queer youth ages 16-29, you are invited to get ready at the Youth Centre! On June 16, makeup artists from MAC will be at the drop-in to share a follow-along makeup tutorial (makeup will be available for you to use!), and June 21 is our Runway Extravaganza. Consider Friends of Ruby’s Drop-in Youth Centre a safe-space and a potential meet-up point, at 489 Queen St. E LL01. Surrounded by a welcoming and diverse 2SLGBTQIA+community, you will shine no matter what.
- Name and pronouns tag if you’re looking to make friends
What better time to socialize with new folks than at an event filled with other Queer people! After two years of virtual Pride and isolation, we are finally back to building community together. Pride Toronto ensures that Pride Month and Festival Weekend will be organized safely, in alignment with the City’s Public Health recommendations.
To all 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, however you show your pride, this year is the time to leave isolation behind and find togetherness. Whether virtually, at home, or together in-person, Friends of Ruby creates safe spaces for you to build and celebrate your community.
For those unable to attend Pride events, join us virtually! We’ll be live streaming the march in Toronto, so you can celebrate with us from anywhere. Follow us for more details @friendsofruby.ca.
Wishing you all a fun and safe celebration!