Christin Milloy:

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Never Been Done Before: Pride Toronto Announces First Annual Trans* Community Fair


Pride Toronto is creating a brand-new safer space for Trans* community members to find each other during the Pride Festival, and to access groups, services, and organizations that are “by trans, for trans.” The first annual Trans* Community Fair will operate in Norman Jewison Park, on the Friday of Pride Week, June 26th 2015. The Fair is open from 2pm and closes at 7pm, to coincide with the start of the nearby Trans* Pride Rally (North Stage at Church and Isabella), leading into the Trans* Pride March at 8pm.

A photograph of Norman Jewison Park, taken from the south side facing northwest. The park sign is visible, as are concrete pathways through the park, around grass and some shrubs. Some people are in the park, sitting on benches. No person is recognizable in the photo.

Norman Jewison Park, shown here, will be the site of the first annual Trans* Community Fair by Trans* Pride at Pride Toronto 2015.

This is the first time in Canada that a Pride organization has operated a community fair event specific to Trans* communities: Possibly the first time in North America.

Trans* Community Fair is entirely a project of the Trans* Pride Team, so every aspect of its management will be handled by members of the Trans* community. Registration for grassroots organizations will be completely free of charge: The fair is designed to benefit groups for whom entry into the standard Pride Streetfair (which charges a fee) would be cost prohibitive.

Interested groups can apply on the Trans* Community Fair registration page. There will be fifteen booths available for community organizations: If more applications are received than space available, priority will be given by the Trans* Pride Team on the basis of grassroots organizing principles.

For five years, the Trans* Pride Team has operated Trans* Space, a tent staffed by volunteers to provide information and resources to members of the Trans* community. Trans* Community Fair is not replacing Trans* Space, in fact the latter is being expanded and relocated next to Volunteer HQ across from the 519 Community Center, so it’s easier to find.

The addition of Trans* Community Fair represents Pride Toronto embracing the fantastic expansion seen in the Trans* Community over the years, and matching it with expansion of the Trans* Pride Team in order to accommodate the growing demand for Trans* participation in the Pride Festival. Earlier this year, after feedback from three community town hall meetings, Pride offered cost-free advertising to grassroots community organizations, and also announced a clearer policy in support of gender neutral restrooms.

Trans* Community Fair and the improvements to Trans* Space are made possible by the addition of a new Trans* Pride Team Member. Lauren Hetherington answered the call at one of Trans* Pride Team’s Community Town Hall meetings, and generously volunteered her skills. She joins Trans* Pride as TM in the newly created position of Trans* Pride Officer in charge of Trans* Space and Community Fair.

Trans* Pride is always looking for new volunteers: A call for volunteers on the Trans* Pride Facebook page states “Our goal is to build a highly intersectional team with all variety of skills and life experiences.”

Trans* Pride Team’s mandate is to work to make Pride safer and more inclusive for persons of all Trans* identities, including non-binary. For more information, please visit the Pride Toronto website’s Trans* Pride page, the Trans* Pride Facebook Page, and follow @TransPrideTO on Twitter. For questions or sending suggestions, please contact the team at transpride@pridetoronto.com.

To volunteer for Trans* Pride, please visit makepridehappen.com and mention “Trans* Pride” in your application. Pride Toronto provides letters recording volunteer hours upon request.

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Christin Milloy