This week Toronto hosted World Pride 2014 and there were plenty of events for participants to be educated, share their ideas, make their voice heard, and simply enjoy themselves. The gay village in Toronto, and the neighbouring streets, were filled with people celebrating throughout the week. I must say, that I have always enjoyed covering Pride week in Toronto. It is a very joyous event that rarely has a downside.
|Two men walk over one of the Pride flag painted sidewalks in Toronto during World Pride celebrations on June 21, 2014. World Pride activities continue in Toronto, Ontario until the parade on Sunday, June 29th.
The only downside for me this year was the application process for getting accreditation. There was nothing unduly challenging about it in itself, but it was another reminder to me of the challenges of getting accreditation as an independent photojournalist. I am finding this process very difficult to accept on a regular basis, and I'm sure it will continue to be a regular issue in the coming years.
In any case, I was successful in getting a media credential for Pride events, and separately I was able to access the Grand Pride Wedding
that took place at Casa Loma, sponsored by the Liberty Entertainment Group and The City of Toronto. This was a free event to same-sex couples who wanted to be married, and on that beautiful sunny day 110 couples either renewed their vows or were married. The jury is still out but organizers say this was a record-setting event. Visually this wasn't all that photographers had hoped for thanks to the huge clear plastic tent that was erected in case of bad weather, but we all endured the intense heat, and puddles of sweat to make images of the proud newlyweds.
Today I am preparing to cover the last of the Pride events this week - the Pride Parade - which will shut down much of Toronto's core, and make the streets into a stage for hundreds of thousands of celebrants to express themselves and cap off their incredible week. It should prove to be interesting, especially if the organizers are successful in keeping journalists off the parade route. What a ridiculous idea! They are siting huge crowds and security concerns as a reason. Obviously they've never looked carefully at how the media covers other huge events around the Globe.