Every June, here in our city and across the country, we celebrate Pride Month. Pride Month is an annual commemoration that holds immense importance in recognizing and advocating for the rights, visibility and acceptance of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. While it is a time full of so much love, joy and celebration, it is much more than that. It is a powerful statement about equality and inclusion. It is a time to reflect on the struggles faced, the progress made, and the ongoing work that needs to be done.
At The Clover School, we strive to create a safe and inclusive space where everyone is not just welcomed, respected and accepted, but also valued and celebrated. We embrace the beautiful tapestry of our community, understanding that diversity enriches our lives and strengthens our bonds.
We will be celebrating Pride all month at our campuses, but we want to provide different ways members of our community can also embrace the spirit of Pride. Pride festivities and celebration provide a platform for education, and empowerment, promoting understanding and acceptance of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. From vibrant parades to arts and culture events to street parties and more, let us explore what is happening in our city for Pride Month this June. The next few weeks are all about celebrating love, diversity, inclusion and acceptance! Let’s paint the town rainbow as we kick off the start of Toronto Pride!
FIVE WAYS TO CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH WITH YOUR FAMILY
1. Attend the Pride Parade or a Pride Festival Event as a Family
There are so many exciting and fun events happening this June in our amazing city to celebrate Pride Month. Join in on the celebrations with your family and show your allyship to the 2SLGTBQI+ community. Here are just some examples of what is happening this month:
- Family Pride: June 24th at 10:00 am - June 25th at 5:00 pm
Celebrate the strength and uniqueness of 2SLGBTQI+ families and children at Family Pride! Now in its 24th year, Family Pride is a fun-filled oasis on the grounds of Church Street School, filled with face painting, a magic show, storytelling, and so much more!
- Toronto Zoo Celebrates Pride: June 17th
The Toronto Zoo is celebrating Pride with the help of some of Toronto’s best Drag Queens! Stop by in the morning for a kid-friendly Drag Storytime!
- Enjoy a great story at Drag Queen Storytime with The Toronto Public Library
This interactive program features professional drag queen Gila Munster reading age-appropriate 2SLGBTQI+ themed picture books and performing a few musical numbers, too. Upcoming dates include June 16, 2023 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm (Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre - 341 Oakwood Avenue) and June 24, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm (High Park Branch - 228 Roncesvalles Avenue).
- Pride Parade - June 25th, 2023 beginning at 2:00 pm
The main parade takes place from the corner of Church St and Bloor St all the way down Yonge St to Yonge-Dundas Square.
These are just some of the celebrations that you and your family can take part in. There are many more events that are happening throughout this month in honour of Pride. Toronto Pride has a calendar on their website with all the events planned in the Greater Toronto Area for Pride 2023. There is the ability to filter on the calendar for “family friendly” events and activities. We hope that you are able to join in on the fun and festivities.
It is important for children to be exposed to a wide range of identities and experiences, including those within the 2SLGTBQI+ community. Books that feature 2SLGTBQI+ characters and explore different aspects of the 2SLGTBQI+ experience play a vital role in normalizing diversity. Exploring different perspectives is one way that children are able to broaden their understanding of the world. Pride Month offers the opportunity for families to read these inclusive stories and create an environment where they are able to have open and honest discussions about individuality. By sharing these stories and having these conversations, we can foster empathy, promote acceptance and raise the next generation to celebrate diversity - both within the 2SLGTBQI+ community and beyond.
Below is a list of curated books, across all of our program levels, for your family to read this Pride Month. If you are looking for more options that capture the 2SLGTBQI+ experience, go to your local library and speak with your librarian who will be able to assist you in choosing more stories.
- Families Can - Dan Saks
- Love Makes a Family - Sophie Beer
- Love Is Love - Michael Genhart
- Heather Has Two Mommies - Leslea Newman
- And Tango Makes Three - Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
- I Am Jazz - Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
- Worm Loves Worm - J.J. Austrian
- Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship - Jessica Walton
- It Feels Good To Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity - Theresa Thorn
- Jack (Not Jackie) - Erica Silverman
- My Shadow Is Pink - Scott Stuart
- Call Me Max - Kyle Lukoff
- Melissa (Previously Published As George) - Alex Gino
- Rick - Alex Gino
3. Learn about Pride Month History Together
As a family, you can commit to educating yourself more about Pride Month, its importance and its history. There are a ton of sources available online that share more about this movement.
4. Amplify 2SLGBTQI+ Voices
Below are a couple of family-friendly options happening right here in our city through the month of June. As always, the Toronto Pride website is a great resource for more information on these events and others.
- Toronto Jazz Festival - Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood between June 23 - July 2
Each year, the Festival is proud to present 2SLGTBQ+ artists on stage - one of the highlights this year is Begonia, who is headlining the TD Main Stage on July 1st, but many other 2SLGBTQI+ artists and allies will be performing on the outdoor stages.
- Uptown Pride Art Exhibition - June 21 - 27 from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Dignam Gallery (23 Prince Arthur Ave)
Visit the Dignam Gallery, in a historical building in Yorkville to see “Uptown Pride '' a contemporary juried art exhibition by outstanding artists from the 2SLGBTQI+ community. This exhibit showcases diverse artists from the 2SLGBTQI+ community and features different approaches to contemporary art.
Being an ally and advocated for the 2SLGBTQI+ community is an ongoing commitment that goes well beyond Pride Month. To create an inclusive and accepting world year-round, start by educating yourself and your family about 2SLGBTQI+ history, experiences, and struggles. Engage in open and honest conversations and actively listen to 2SLGBTQ+ individuals, allowing their stories to be heard and shared. Challenge harmful and hurtful stereotypes and prejudices, stand up against discrimination and speak out against injustices when you witness it. Support 2SLGBTQI+-owned businesses, organizations, and artists. Most of all though, remember that allyship requires the willingness to continuously learn, grow and reflect. By working together, we can create a world that will achieve the vision of Toronto Pride - “no matter who you love or how you identify, you will be safe, valued, equal and proud.”