'It feels so nice to walk up the street and feel accepted': Dyke March takes over downtown
Thousands take part in annual Dyke March down Yonge Street
They shouted, drummed and biked their way down Yonge Street to Carlton Street on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, many rocking the Pride colours.
Led by the Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition, the annual Dyke March wrapped up at Allan Gardens where marchers were entertained by local queer artists, performers, poets, and activists.
"I came out at the beginning of this year so it's important for me to get out there and meet everyone and see what it's like," one woman told CBC News. "It's amazing, it's so diverse. You look everywhere and there are so many different people from every culture. It feels so nice to walk up the street and feel accepted. It's awesome!"
One woman said the march "helps me celebrate my sexuality."
"I also run a gay-straight alliance at a high school and I want to show [the students] there are places to go that are safe and comfortable where they can celebrate themselves."
Another marcher told CBC News that "after what happened in Orlando, it made us aware that we still need to be a presence.
"I thought about the security briefly but then decided not to think about it because I don't want to live in fear," she said. "We just want to be here and celebrate who we are."
Drag ON! event also a hit
Also on Saturday, 73 drag queens and kings strutted their stuff at Yonge and Dundas Square and performed song and dance numbers for the Drag ON! event.
They made history, setting a Guinness World Record for the largest drag artist stage show ever. The show started a 2 p.m. and is scheduled to run until 11 p.m.
Several of the performers were from RuPaul's Drag Race television show, including Derrick Barry, a 'Britney Spears impersonator extraordinaire,' according to the Pride Toronto website.
The record was previously set in 2014 at the Axis Nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, when 55 performers took the stage.
"Pride Toronto brings everything to the next level — if we're going to present a drag show, then we're going to do the biggest in the world," said Pride Toronto executive director Mathieu Chantelois.
"I'm thrilled that this show is going down in the record books. This is a massive moment for drag performance, and we've taken the stakes and the heels to a higher level than ever before," added Chantelois.
Pride Month 2016 wraps up tomorrow after a day of music, performances, and the Pride parade.