CASA LOMA HOSTS LARGEST NORTH AMERICAN SAME-SEX WEDDING – JUNE 26/2014

WEDDING5Here’s one for the record books. Yesterday TORONTO played host to a mass wedding of 115 same-sex couples at CASA LOMA, once Sir Henry Mill Pellatt’s palatial home, now a museum, overlooking the city. It was an international and inter-religious affair, presided over by a priest, a rabbi, a Sikh, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a secularist and a First Nations representative.

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GILBERT BAKER WAS THE DESIGNER (AND SEWER) OF THE ORIGINAL LGBTQ RAINBOW FLAG

RAINBOWFLAG1 Although the original has undergone several revisions, Kansas-born GILBERT BAKER’s design has endured for over thirty years as a symbol of the international LGBTQ community. You can see versions of it everywhere in TORONTO this week as our city kicks off WorldPride/2014. The first Rainbow Flag (with 8 colours) was raised at San Francisco Pride on June 25, 1978.

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Red stands for life; orange for healing; yellow for sunlight; green for nature; blue for serenity and harmony; violet for spirit.

TOM ROBINSON’S ANTHEM “GLAD TO BE GAY” OPENS WORLDPRIDE/2014

 At the grand opening of WorldPride/2014 on Friday night, TOM ROBINSON sang his much-revered anthem “Glad To Be Gay”.  It was written around the time of the violent Stonewall Riots and the birth of the Gay Rights Movement.

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The British Police are the best in the world
I don’t believe one of these stories I’ve heard
‘Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
Lining the customers up by the wall
Picking out people and knocking them down
Resisting arrest as they’re kicked on the ground
Searching their houses and calling them queer
I don’t believe that sort of thing happens here

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Pictures of naked young women are fun
In Titbits and Playboy, page three of The Sun
There’s no nudes in xxx News our one magazine
But they still find excuses to call it obscene
Read how disgusting we are in the press
Telegraphs, people and Sunday Express
Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
It’s there in the paper, it must be the truth

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Don’t try to kid us that if you’re discreet
You’re perfectly safe as you walk down the street
You don’t have to mince or make bitchy remarks
To get beaten unconscious and left in the dark
I had a friend who was gentle and short
He was lonely one evening and went for a walk
Queerbashers caught him and kicked in his teeth
He was only hospitalised for a week

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

So sit back and watch as they close all our clubs
Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs
Make sure your boyfriend’s at least 21
So only your friends and your brothers get done
Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
Put down the queens and tell anti-queer jokes
Gay Lib’s ridiculous, join their laughter
‘The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?’

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

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For a complete and up-to-date listing of WorldPride/2014 events go to http://www.worldpridetoronto.com

CAWTHRA SQ. PARK HAS HAD SOME WORK DONE; REOPENS FOR WORLD PRIDE/2014 – JUNE 20-29

Shedding its dark history of drug dealing and all that goes with it, CAWTHRA SQUARE PARK, is getting a shiny new face in time for WorldPride/2014. The park will play host to the annual AIDS candlelight vigil on June 24, and be transformed into the open-air Green Space nightclub from June 26-29. Cawthra Square Park has been host to Pride celebrations since 1978.The AIDS memorial, children’s playground and dog exercise area are all intact.  Mature trees have been planted, the 519’s mural has gone up, lighting’s been improved, there are new benches, and “Wellesley Beach” is back in business.HOK Architects – http://www.hok.comdid phase 1 design including the playground and landscaping to the east of the 519 Community Centre. Phase 2 was designed by http://www.thincdesign.ca and constructed by TBG Landscapes Landscapes Inc.  No doubt the Village community will adapt to the new park and make it their own.