My Gay Toronto - Ray's Anatomy

Equity March for Unity and Pride:
Why we marched


"We woke up with the news that children in our community had fallen. The latest victims off senseless gun violence and xenophobia. Today, we gather in body and spirit with people all over the world to remember the forty nine cherubs that lost their lives and ask ourselves what we can do to ensure that such an episode of destruction never happens again." -Xemiyulu Manibusan

For many of us, there is no closet to go back into, so the only way out of this mess is to march right through it. This past weekend Washington held is annual Pride parade as well as the The Equality March for Unity and Pride with particular focus on those who have been actively silenced and neglected. The march was simultaneously held in sister cities throughout the United States, a powerful display of our strength. Speakers included actors Star Ramirez and Asia Kete Dillon, the cofounder of the National Black Justice Coalition, Mandy Carte, and Sarah McBride the Human Rights Campaign National Press Secretary. Even with all these powerful speakers, there was a palpable sadness in the air as this was also the anniversary of the Orlando Pulse shooting. Forty-nine dead and 58 injured in what was a targeted attack on the Latino LGBT community. 

Immediately after the shooting the media created more damage by trying to position the killer as either insane or a terrorist. People tried to make the situation about some extraordinary circumstances, like how he was a product of ISIS, his father brainwashed him, he was mentally ill, and so on. This is a problematic way to view a mass murder because now there is nothing we can learn if we dismiss their actions as highly unusual. Take a look at Omar Mateen's face, he is not crazy. I was bullied, picked on, tormented and harassed all the way through grade school by guys just like Omar. He's not ill, he's a product of this culture and he represents one of many that make up the majority. Look at him. I'm serious, take a hard look at his picture and let's not pretend that we are seeing something other then what it is. An arrogant boy who is as homophobic as he is a misogynist, just like all the other bad-boys our culture is supports. Sure he made himself a connection through ISIS but I'm pretty sure he was an asshole before he aligned with them, we gave him permission to be this way. This is not the face of a killer, he is the boy next door. This is the real tragedy.

Before we joined the thousands outside for a candle light vigil, there was a theatrical presentation by DiCción Queer, a local Latinx arts organization. The program began with spoken word, music and then the shots rang out. The sounds of gun shots rang through the air and although it was only an audio reenactment, tears poured from my face but my upset was immediately followed by extreme gratitude because I am alive, and these bullet sounds are not. The least I can do is stand here, but instead I get on my knees to try and quiet my trembling knees. 

They read the last text exchange between a terrified child and his mother. They read the names of every victim. They gave a room full of strangers, hope. Hope that what happened at Pulse, The UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans, Ramrod and Charlie's in New York City, La Madame in Mexico and in Be Bar right here in America's capitol will never happen again. This moment, while shrouded in tears, was also overflowing with pride. Despite being threatened, we still gathered together to show our strength, in public.



- Come Together: LGBT+ Philanthropy Summit - Mar '18
- Let the GAY GAMES begin! - Mar '18
- Gay Men's Mental Health Summit - Mar '18
- LGBT Programming At The Myseum Intersections festival - Mar '18
- Valley of the Dolls: FADO's Performance Club with Keith Cole: - Mar '18
- Split over Bananarama - Feb '18
- El-Husseini At Yuk Yuk's - Feb '18
- Mel Malarkey's Odes & Acts is Lewd, Crude & Shrewd - Feb '18
- REVERY: #ShareTheLove for The Trevor Project - Feb '18
- Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees - Feb '18
- Masked on the Eve of St. George - Jan '18
- Cuarenta y Nueve book launch: Community Healing Through Art - Jan '18
- A Walk On The Wildside - Jan '18
- Annie Leibovitz: How To Give Good Picture - Jan '18
- Cineforum: Reg Hartt Talks Back - Jan '18
- Update On Chechnya: The Good, The Bad & The Banned - Dec '17
- One Giant Step for Government, One Small Step for HIV Criminalization - Dec '17
- Two Sopranos, a Mezzo and One Bitch Diva - Nov '17
- The Rainbow Lining In Pride's Deficit - Nov '17
- Gays Against Guns: Time For A Toronto Chapter? - Nov '17
- Veronica's Latest Single is on the Money - Nov '17
- Trans Artist Epiphany Mattel's New Single: #FIXYOFACE - Oct '17
- Irene Gandy: Love and Show Business - Oct '17
- SIZE DOES MATTER: New York's NewFest versus Toronto's Inside Out - Oct '17
- 7th Cousins: Truth, Love and the Search For Family - Sep '17
- BACK2SCHOOL: Gender, Sexuality and Support - Sep '17
- Nuit Blanche: Resistance, Revolution & Drag! - Sep '17
- YOUTH: How To Make An Allies From Your Straight and Cisgender Peers - Sep '17
- Werking Toronto's Halloween: Detox, Kim Chi and Alyssa - Sep '17
- Andre Gardens: Recipes From Your Favourite Drag Queens - Sep '17
- WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival - Sep '17
- AMANDA (Glen Paulin): Celebration of Life - Aug '17
- Black, Blue & gay All Over - Aug '17
- Daniel James - Aug '17
- Charlie Hides - Aug '17
- In A Heartbeat - Aug '17
- Quanah Style's New Single: Gives Me Life - Jul '17
- Make Mine A Virgin - Jul '17
- The Boy Who Brought Down a Bathhouse - Jul '17
- Toronto's silence surrounding Valery Gergiev - Jun '17
- Wild Women - Jun '17
- Cazwell Brings Femme back - Jun '17
- What Washington Gays Know About TO Gays - Jun '17
- Remington's Men of Steel - Jun '17
- Hot Wet And Full Of Pride - Jun '17
- In Your Pocket - Jun '17
- The Queen of Musical Theatre: ALLAN CARR - May '17
- In Your Pocket - May '17
- Scumbag - May '17
- To Be Gay and Asian - May '17
- The Bitch Is Back! - May '17
- Dishpan Hands and Heart, The Fab Columns - May '17
- Acoustic Boys & Funny Girls - May '17
- T.O. Chechnya with Love: WE EXSIST! - Apr '17
- Alaska Thunderfuck and Bianca Del Rio werq... - Apr '17
- Mixing it up at the Mocktail Mixer - Apr '17
- To Chechen, With Love - Apr '17
- Bringing Blyss To Church Street - Apr '17
- Double ginger beef - Mar '17
- Fak Yaass - Mar '17
- Ganja Queens: Get Your Drag On! - Mar '17
- Queer Things At Honest Ed's Farewell Art Party - Feb '17
- Headspace - Feb '17
- Tpronto Light Festival 2017 - Feb '17
- The End Of Please Like Me? Say It Isn't So! - Feb '17
- Bruno Billio - Feb '17
- Look Who's Running For Pride? - Jan '17
- The Sassy Side Of Siri - Jan '17
- 2016 Ups and Downs - Dec '16
- What NYC Gays Know About TO Gays - Dec '16