Pride Toronto unveiled today its 2016 Pride Month theme, announcing to the world that this June, “YOU CAN SIT WITH US.” The campaign for Canada’s first-ever Pride Month, kicking off in 100 days, features Canada’s top political leaders: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and partner Jane Rounthewaite and Toronto Mayor John Tory who will all participate in this year’s festivities.

This year’s Parade will make Canadian history, with Justin Trudeau participating as the first ever sitting Prime Minister to march.

To celebrate the power and beauty of its diverse community, Pride Toronto held an open photo shoot for community members, artists and city leaders to show their Pride. The event was met with an overwhelming response, enabling the campaign to showcase over 300 community members of all ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and ethnicities.

“If a picture is worth 1,000 words, maybe 1,000 pictures has the potential to give a true face to our community. And what a truly diverse and beautiful community we have,’” said Mathieu Chantelois, Pride Toronto Executive Director. “By striking a pose for our camera crew, hundreds took a stand for Pride Toronto, they are telling the world that it’s ok to sit with us, but also to rally, march, celebrate, love and change the world with us.”

Noted personalities in the campaign include:

  • Pride Toronto’s 2016 Honoured Group, Black Lives Matter – Toronto
  • Ministers of Parliament, Hon. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Indigenous and

Northern Affairs), Julie Dabrusin and Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance)

  • Toronto City Councillors, Jon Burnside, Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Sarah

Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Norm Kelly, Mike Layton, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks and

Kristyn Wong-Tam

  • Toronto Police Service Chief of Police, Mark Saunders
  • Trans activists, Alex Abramovich and Susan Gapka
  • President Cineplex Media, Salah Bachir
  • Guinness World Record Holder for Oldest Performing Drag Queen, Michelle

DuBarry

  • DJs, Deko-ze, Jeremy Khamkeo and Ticky Ty, and Burlesque and Drag performers,

Belle Jumelles, Sofonda Cox and Judy Virago

This year’s theme is a play on, and response to, the infamous line from the 2004 cult-classic film Mean Girls. ‘YOU CAN SIT WITH US’ conveys a strong message of belonging and inclusion – a sentiment that was heard in consultations with community members.

Canada’s first-ever Pride Month will launch on June 1, featuring extended programming and provocative events throughout the city, culminating in the much-anticipated Pride Parade on July 3.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.