Pride Month: How LGBTQ+ Creators Are Celebrating Pride This Year

Similar to last year, Pride Toronto will again take place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, allowing for an alternative celebration to occur. Despite these obstacles, the festivities will continue to honour the adversity overcome by the LGBTQ+ community, while also highlighting the community’s ongoing fight for equality. We have spoken with Canadian LGBTQ+ creators about how they advocate for greater representation and equality while exemplifying queer excellence. First up is designer Andrew Coimbra, singer/songwriter Desiire, and Peau Du Loup founder Adelle Renaud.

Andrew Coimbra, Fashion Designer

Photography by Patrick Lacsina 

“Last year I decided to set up a Birthday fundraiser via Facebook for The 519 in Toronto’s Gay Village and was able to raise over $500. My birthday is June 1st, which (coincidentally) kicks off Pride Month, so aside from my being gay, it’s just great timing. I did this because with Covid-19 limiting the possibility of IRL events, The 519 loses out on one of their biggest public fundraising opportunities, which are a series of public tea dances/events in the parking area surrounding the building, which hosted during Pride. For 2020 I ran a promotion through my label where 50% of the proceeds from online sales also went toward The 519, so the overall contribution was substantial.

“This year I’ve decided to repeat both fundraising initiatives. I launched the birthday one for my friends and family to contribute to via Facebook yesterday, and we’re already just over halfway toward the goal!  For my brand, I will be contributing 50% of the sale of the earring collection to The 519, for the entire month of June (June 1-30, 2021)!

“To me, Pride Month is a sobering reminder of how far the Queer community has come, and how much further we have to go both at home in Canada and abroad. Like with all marginalized communities, our privileges should not wash away the real oppression that others still face in other regions. On a lighter note, it’s also just a really great way to feel like a community, collectively! It’s something that can’t quite be captured via Zoom, unfortunately, although I know organizers do their best.”

Desiire, Musician

“Pride to me means being yourself to the fullest. Black queerness hasn’t always been fully celebrated during Pride, so it is important for us to show that we are and always have been present in the conversation. Pride means loving and embracing every part of yourself just as you are, flaws and all. Pride means doing the work here and now, so the future generation can continue to build on the legacy of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

“This year I am honouring my community by living my purpose. Growing up as a Queer African boy, I didn’t see myself being represented in music, TV, film and in mainstream media. Being able to have a career in music while being my true authentic self was something I never thought I’d be able to do. Understanding the work that we do as Black Queer entertainers is more than songs or videos and performances. It’s the groundwork that will open doors and allow young Queer black kids all around the world to be able to dream and have the opportunity to become whatever they wish to be while still being true to themselves.” 

Adelle Renaud, Creative Director at Peau De Loup

“Pride has always brought on a feeling of acceptance. Growing up, I always had this sense that I was different from everyone else and that I didn’t belong. The first Pride celebration I went to was when I was 20 years old. At the time, I was not out to myself or to anyone around me. But I can distinctly remember the energy I felt—it was euphoric. It was like for once I was seen, and I was going to be okay. Today pride to me is so much more than a celebration for the LGBTQ community, Pride is about love, acceptance and honouring Inclusion and diversity for all. It is a stark reminder that even though we have come so far, we still have so much farther to go as a society. I am going to continue to honour myself and my community by pushing the boundaries of the status quo in genderless fashion.” 

Here are resources and organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community: