Dyke March takes to streets with cheers, defiance - and rain
Umbrellas, rainbow flags greet spirited parade as it winds through downtown Toronto streets
An afternoon of rain failed to dampen spirits at Saturday's Dyke March in downtown Toronto, as many of those cheered the U.S. ruling on gay marriage but cautioned that the fight for LGBT rights continues.
Tens of thousands lined the downtown parade route as a sea of umbrellas and dripping rainbow flags greeted all those marching.
"I'm loving the community, I'm loving the diversity, and I'm loving the connectivity of everybody," a smiling Anneke Chambers from Toronto told CBC News.
The Dyke March comes one day before the even larger Pride Parade on Sunday. It will include Russian punk collective Pussy Riot, pop singer Cyndi Lauper, comical cult legend John Waters and gay rights activist Chaz Bono, with Canadian producer David Furnish as grand marshall.
The mood on Saturday was up despite the dark skies and cooler weather.
"This is the first dyke march that I haven't taken my shirt off because it's just too cold," said a laughing Charmaine Iding from Toronto.
Landmark U.S. ruling
While people were cheering the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Friday giving gay people the right to marry in all 50 states, they were also reacting with caution.
"It's great to make a decision like that in the courts, however, we did that 12 years ago in Canada and the States are kind of just catching up," Iding said.
Not everything will change overnight, she said.
"You can't legislate away intolerance, hatred, impatience. These things will come over time."
Parade attendees also said the fight for LGBT rights was also not over in Canada.
"We don't want to be forgotten after getting this in the States. The fight's not over," said an attendee called Sena.
Everyone on Saturday was feeling "all of the excitement despite the rain," Chambers said.
And the weather was proving to be a challenge for the 35th installment of the annual pride festival.
"This is a fall-like storm," Kim MacDonald of the Weather Network told CBC News. "These storms happen every seven or eight years."
MacDonald said Toronto could expect to get more than 30 millimetres of rain, and by the time it's over some areas in southwestern Ontario could get more than 60 millimetres.