Behind The Cast: Toronto Pride 2013 – The Pride That Never Ended

Yes, I’m aware what date it is. Yes I know when TO Pride was. But after waking up in a wheelbarrow in Tijuana it took me a while to find my way home. But actually Toronto Pride was a little like that this year.

I was thinking of calling this “Toronto Pride 2013: Sea of Tears” after Willam didn’t show for the weekend, but then it really did feel like the Pride that “Never Ended” because he did in fact show up the weekend after. Okay, let’s back track.

Pride Thursday I didn’t get a chance to go to the Green Space at the 519 and see Jinkx Monsoon perform. The crowd apparently was unreal, the show great, but being a little disappointed I bucked up and moved on because it was Pride, and this was the Pride when everything just worked out for me as you’ll see. I had a great time at Fly later that Thursday for Prism’s College party, and if you’re not a circuit queen, this is the Prism party to go to next year. Every age and shape shows and has a great time, the music is dece, it’s a Thursday and there’s still a great party, so there’s that. And the great thing is Shangela killed it on stage. Went to meet a friend for a cocktail upstairs though, and lo-and-behold there was Jinkx sittin’ pretty anyways, so got to have a bevvy with her after missing the show and she was an absolute dream and a truly lovely person. Nic – 1. Highlight of the night was having Shangela throw, literally throw me her phone in a panic and yell the password at me, and then tell me to bolt for the balcony to film her on stage because no one had been assigned to. I’ve never been so panicked! She may be 4 feet tall, but she gets what she wants with that voice! The footage was gotten.

Friday, we made the decision to go to the Willam show at MOJO, where Willam didn’t show. She was stuck in New Jersey (I think) with bad weather, BUT, the night still went on. I witnessed an amazing conversation backstage, where I came in shouting to ask where Willam was and after beings shushed with a nail by Cassandra Moore, I hear, “Jiggly…Where are you girl?…Are you in bed?…Put on a face girl you have a show”. The phone went down and it was announced that Jiggly Caliente would be there in an hour. Now THAT is a professional. And Jiggly arrived, and Jiggly killed it. The bonus of being at MOJO that night was the very fact that we weren’t at Big Primpin’, which I’ve only heard horror stories about. Apparently the crowd was way too large, the lines turned into masses of people pushing, and no one walked away happy. Venue change next year? More staff? Don’t know, but keep it in mind. Nic – 2.

Saturday we took in the Hot Nuts show at The Garrison, where we did some two steppin’ to Hard Ton for a couple hours, and then hiked it over to Phoenix for the biggest Pitbull party of the year. And this really was the highlight of Pride for me. Having never been in Phoenix before I didn’t realize what a great, although old space it was. And although I have fun every time at Pitbull, the party was just so much bigger, and so much larger than life, with all of the diversity that I love to see at Pride. Also a win. Nic – 3.

Finally Pride Sunday was all about outdoor parties, and although I was tempted to meet friends at Ryerson Quad for Treehouse, we all made a decision to 519 it instead and were grateful. Although reception EVERYWHERE that day was insanity, what few texts I did get were telling me that the lineups for drinks at Treehouse were close to an hour, and that after moving to a bigger space, they didn’t adequately supply staff. The Green Space however was stacked with people, the lineups for drinks were minimal, we had some great live performances, some great disco music, and had a blasty. Nic – 4. We hightailed it shortly after to Blockorama to take in some En Vogue action, and after booze and sun, I almost made it, but made the executive decision to watch it further away from a friends balcony so there could also be some sitting action. Did En Vogue kill it? Yeeeeeeah I guess? After two of their songs we had to listen to a 15 minute medley of disco hits that weren’t theirs before finally ending with Don’t Let Go. They were good, they were, but good enough to watch from a balcony half a block further back. Nic – 5.

That Sunday night was the big Revival party at Guvernment, my once a year annual quest into circuitdom. The Sky Bar at Guvernment is absolutely stunning though, having never been up there. The canopies, the space, the industrial view from the top of the roof, and dancing in the open air on the rooftop all night under the stars until we saw a crack of light hit the sky, it was such a great way to end a great weekend. We did venture downstairs to the hot sweaty masses, but I lasted a good 15 minutes before I tapped out and toodaloo’d myself home. The weekend had come to a natural close. Nic – 6.

Well just this last Friday, Willam showed at MOJO, and it was Pride all over. MOJO was so great for honoring everyone’s tickets for last weekend still, and also providing refunds to out of towners that wouldn’t be making it, so big round of applause to them. I love the venue, I love the management and staff, and I like supporting great spaces out of the village, so definitely check them out. The Diva that is Willam Belli was truly hysterical on and off the stage, but interviewers be warned, after observing one, you better be as sharp as a samurai sword and bring your A-Game, because she sure does every time. And Willam fans are just absolute fanatics, so get ready to fight off those crazy, drooling, cheering masses for any chance to touch, smell, or look at her, because they really are committed.

That wraps up TO. Next for Homorazzi will be some Vancouver action on the west coast before I slip over to Montreal for Divercite at the end of the month. Wishing everyone a HAPPY PRIDE SEASON and hope you’re all having as much of a blast as I did.

  • bettlebum

    mojo lounge and want tickets were not gracious with refunds from the cancelled willam show, many of my friends never got them and were told they were too late. the owners of mojo also failed to let patrons know that willam wasn’t coming even though many of us had chatted with willam on social media as his travel plans were trumped by weather delays.
    mojo was shady as fuck as was want tickets.