#TBT: June 29, 2015
In June 2015, Sam wrote about how much fun she had Walking and Running with Pride.
She was a busy person this week 8 years ago, and despite some admitted hardships (including the harbinger of a sore knee) she decided to focus on “the good stuff”: children graduating from a program for LGBTIQ2S youth; a Pride run with her daughter in Toronto, Canada; and FIFI bloggers running together with her.
According to Sam, the 2015 Pride and Remembrance Run event included some great fundraising, colourful confetti, a glitter canon, Muppets music, bright costumes, closed roads, and the presence of the province’s Premier. The descriptions and pictures make a #TBT re-visit to Sam’s post worthwhile!
This year, on Saturday, June 24, FIFI bloggers were mostly out doing other fun things during the day of the Pride and Remembrance Run. I was in the backyard of Marnie and Sheila, two awesome people who were celebrating their recent marriage with 35 other friends and loved ones. (They had a food truck!) So while I was nowhere near the Pride Run, I was still out in the world celebrating queer love, inclusion, and community spirit. However, I did sneak a peek at the Run’s photo gallery, and it seemed like an amazing day for participants, even with the periodic rain.
But 2015 and 2023 has its differences. This year, increased concerns about safety due to homophobia and transphobia were reported by the CBC to have led to potential programming cuts for the Run. Commercial “ally ship” (in the form of sponsorship) was also threatened to wane, according to Opinion writer Rob Csernyik in the Globe and Mail, following backlash/boycott responses to transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier that year.
As well, Ontario has had a different provincial leader since Sam’s post in 2015. Doug Ford, since his first Premiership in 2018 (and re-election in 2020), has been critiqued often for failing to support 2SLGBTQIA+ education, health and wellness, and visibility.
So, the Toronto Pride and Remembrance Run remains a popular a day-long event that incorporates physical activity to celebrate people for who they are. But, by comparing then and now, I am reminded that such events have an important, grounding message: equal rights and equitable treatment for all people must be supported actively, and all year round as well. Because things can change (and not always for the better).