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 their ongoing fight for tolerance and acceptance. In continuation of our Pride series, we spoke with Canadian LGBTQ+ creators including musician James Baley, photographer Laurence Philomene and makeup artist Rahnell Branton, about how they advocate for greater representation and equality while exemplifying queer excellence.

James Baley, Singer/Songwriter

Photography by Joshua Rille and Jorian Charlton 

“Pride month is a time of celebration, honour and remembrance – Celebrating ourselves as nuanced individuals; Honouring our sisters and brothers who are currently fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ+community;  Remembering the lives and efforts of those who made it possible for us to be seen and heard in our society. I am honouring myself and my community this year by continuing to live my authentic life without shame and share my #blackqueerjoy.

I am a performer. I am black. I am queer. I am proud of who I am! #PERIOD.”

Laurence Philomene, Artist

“I celebrate Pride year-round through my art. My practice celebrates trans existence and studies identity as a space in constant flux via high-saturated, cinematic, vulnerable images. Through a process of mutual and self-care, my photographs humanize identities that have been historically marginalized, and act as a love letter to my community. Having dedicated my practice to documenting queer lives over the last several years, making autobiographical work now allows me to dig deeper into what it means to reclaim autonomy over our stories as marginalized individuals.”

Rahnell Branton, Makeup Artist

Photography by Brianna Roye.

“Pride month means a celebration of a part of myself. I’m honouring myself & others by allowing space for wholeness of self around me.”

Here are resources and organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community: