Monday • 2015.05.25
Pride Toronto to Provide Free Accessible Meeting Space to Grassroots Trans* Orgs, All Year-Round
In the latest of several announcements about improvements to Pride Toronto’s outreach to grassroots elements of the Trans* community, the organization responsible for Toronto’s Pride Festival has come up with a way to support Trans* communities not only during the Pride festival, but all year round.
Grassroots Trans* organizations, such as social groups, Trans Lobby Group, the Grassroots Trans Toronto, and others may now take advantage of free accessible meeting space from their friends at Pride Toronto, not just around the time of the Pride festival, but all through the year.
Since moving to their new headquarters at 55 Berkeley Street, Pride Toronto has enjoyed a new accessible headquarters complete with accessible and all-gender restrooms. Pride Toronto’s leadership, in cooperation with the Trans* Pride Team (made up entirely of unpaid volunteer members of Toronto’s Trans* community), have agreed to allow any Trans* organization that needs meeting space to find a safer haven at Pride Toronto’s headquarters.
After some promising improvements to Trans* inclusion launched at WorldPride 2014, giving hope for a brighter future for greater Trans* inclusion throughout Pride, 2015 has proven to be been a turning-point year for the organization with multiple Trans*-positive policy changes and expansions announced by the Trans* Pride Team. Most notably, free advertising and promotion for grassroots Trans* organizations, the implementation of an all-genders restroom policy across the board, and the all-new Trans* Community Fair set to take over Norman Jewison Park on Trans* Pride day, Friday June 26th 2015.
And now, free meeting space all year round for any anti-oppressive Trans* organization that wants it.
History of Grassroots Trans* Community Organizing in Toronto
The Trans* community (and the entire Trans* movement) has historically been powered by dedicated individual activists and volunteer organizers, most often with extremely limited funds and a complete lack of institutional support. Meeting space (especially accessible space) has always been at a premium, especially considering that popular community spaces (such as the 519 Community Center) are considered to be unsafe spaces by some marginalized members of the community.
As a non-profit organization with corporate sponsorship and municipal support, Pride Toronto is much better resourced than grassroots elements of the Trans* Community. A new and free accessible meeting space could be a great resource to boost community organizers, and it’s a resource Pride Toronto is pleased to provide, to help give back to the various communities whose existence and struggles made the Pride Festival possible.
Accessing the Space
Any community organization interested in using the accessible meeting space at 55 Berkeley Street will be provided free access, by appointment: The only requirement is that your organization be grassroots, and anti-oppressive. To arrange a meeting time, a representative of your group should email firstname.lastname@example.org and copy the Trans* Pride Team for confirmation at email@example.com.
Meetings can be during business hours (when staff are always on-site at the office), or on evenings and weekends (subject to availability of volunteer members of the Trans* Pride Team to facilitate access).
The space is booked solid leading up to this year’s Pride festival, but spaces are available starting in July and will be made available throughout the year.