Yes, there's one big queer party going on in Toronto right now. But that's not to say it's all just fun and games.
WorldPride is hosted by different cities around the world every five years. (Previous host cities of WorldPride include Rome and Jerusalem.) WorldPride Toronto kicked off in Canada's biggest city on June 20 with a rainbow flag–raising ceremony at Toronto City Hall. In attendance was Ontario's first openly gay premier, Kathleen Wynne.
The extensive WorldPride Human Rights Conference will bring together attendees from across the globe to discuss and address the international state of LGBT rights. Antigay legislation in countries such as Russia, India, Uganda, and Nigeria, plus the ongoing same-sex marriage debate in the U.S., have made headlines over the past few years.
The conference, which runs from June 25 to 27, will be attended by activists, artists, educators, journalists, policymakers, students, and more.
Topics to be addressed will include health, workplace issues, two-spirited research, sports, LGBT refugees, schools, media representation, trans and intersex issues, and more.
Scheduled speakers will come from countries as diverse as Jamaica, South Korea, Fiji, Thailand, Uganda, Turkey, Albania, Uruguay, India, Indonesia, and many more.
Meanwhile, the International Asexuality Conference takes place on June 28. Asexual visibility and research is steadily increasing (Vancouver is among the cities leading the way) but it still remains something that is not well or widely understood. The conference will help to raise awareness about asexuality while discussing the latest research and social developments.
To cap it all off, WorldPride Toronto festivities culminate with the city's 34th annual Pride parade on Sunday (June 29).