As Pride merriments start off across the city, the Boss and Toronto Police Administrations Board (TPSB) facilitated their yearly Pride Gathering.
The event, which took place at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, was held outside of a police facility for the first time in a decade.
Reverend Deana Dudley, the church’s acting senior pastor, stated about the event, “We want to continue to build a good, working relationship between the 2SLGBTQ+ community and the Toronto Police.”
Dudley, who is a member of the Toronto Police 2SLGBTQ+ Community Consultative Committee, stated, “We thought it would be great if the Chief’s Pride Reception could be back out in the community, and we have this fabulous social hall that’s a great place for events.”
Pride, in the words of TPSB Chair Ann Morgan, is a celebration of love and our shared values.
Pride Month is a significant, celebratory, and significant occasion. It is a love celebration. It is a celebration of cooperation, unity, and harmony, as well as our fundamental Canadian values of democracy, equality, inclusion, and kindness.
The gathering is committed to addressing the developing endeavors to reinforce ties between the 2SLGBTQ+ and policing networks.
“Bringing our celebration back into the community, where it belongs, was extremely important for us.” “By creating a safe space for our members and our communities, it gave us an opportunity to be more inclusive,” Chief Demkiw stated.
The brand-new Progress Pride Flag-wrapped Scout Car, which will be a permanent fixture, was also showcased at this year’s event.
The Progress Pride Flag on a police vehicle conveys a powerful message to all of our communities. The Chief stated, “It tells them that the Toronto Police Service supports 2SLGBTQ+ communities.”
Two youth from the 2SLGBTQ+ community are selected each year to receive bursaries for post-secondary education. These youth developed strategies to advocate for change by utilizing their education and life experience to strengthen the community.
Gabriella, a 25-year-old nursing student at George Brown College, intends to champion change throughout her nursing education by educating healthcare workers about 2SLGBTQ+ issues such as gender identity, name changes, and the unique needs of queer and trans people and advocating for the use of pronouns in healthcare.
She stated, “I was a little bit shy, this is the first time I’ve been around so many police officers,” but “it’s nice to see the connection and I love the fact they are supporting and showing up.” That demonstrates that we are definitely moving in the right direction, which means a lot to me.
Brianna, the other recipient, is completing a bachelor’s degree in interaction design at Sheridan College. She intends to use graphic design and media to demonstrate that queer and trans people, as well as all of their intersections and identities, should be represented at all times, not just during Pride Month.
After dance performances by members of the Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance, the event came to a close with food and an invitation to connect with one another and have a safe and happy Pride weekend.