What does Pride mean to you?

What does Pride mean to you? What do you get most excited about during this month? Is it the parade? The comradery and connections? It can be whatever you need it to be. As it has taken many years and battles for us to be able to be who we are today, we must remember that every journey is different. 

This year we are quite publicly celebrating 50 years since what is known as the Biggest step towards Queer Liberation; the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969. There were many important moments before and after this date that have led to the freedoms we have today, being able to celebrate Pride in 2019. 

Image result for stonewall riots pic

I was lucky to partake in planning Toronto Pride last year, as well as an international parade while travelling. The freedom to travel as a queer person without fear is a blessing I get to experience, as a “less visible” queer woman. Every year since the history of the Riots, our ability to live as we are becomes easier. With every movement, activist, and Pride parade, our community will be more accepted.  

Let us remember the strong people who came before and after Marsha P Johnson. Who created the thoughts and opportunities who made it possible.  

Continue reading “What does Pride mean to you?”

Local Flow

Are you ever looking for a little special something to add to your outfit? Maybe pins, or a leather harness, or a vegan one! Does your cute and tiny apartment needs some more art to liven up the space? 

What to do, oh what to do. 

Watch Trigger Warning with Killer Mike Episode 1.  
Then come back here and read the rest of this blog. 

Continue reading “Local Flow”

Weekly Queer Event Listings

Looking for something to do this week? These events are always a hit each week, try them out!

The following events take place weekly unless otherwise specified. Please refer directly to the organizers hosting the events.

Selena Vyle takes over The Beaver every Tuesday!

Bringing you her unique brand of exciting dance and lip-sync performances, hilarious comedy, powerful social message, and so-so looks in this all new one-woman drag show.
Now every Saturday 11:30-1:30 
at Glad Day
Start off February with DRAG KING BRUNCH hosted by the dapper, dashing and dazzling 
ZacKey Lime
. Zackey and his Kings will leave you wanting more, more and more!
There is NO COVER for this event – the show is free with your meal (though you should bring some $5s to tip your performers). 
The space and washroom are wheelchair accessible.
FREE Drop-In Heels Dance classes with a focus on fun, health and well-being. Classes explore sexy dance moves in an affirming environment for LGBTQ2S folks, Black, Indigenous, folks of colour, & folks of various body types. This series breaks down and shares sexy moves and the art of dancing in heels while creating space for participants to discover what feels good to them on their individual journeys to empowerment and feeling sexy!

No experience necessary. Dialogue is encouraged. Movement variations with lower impact are discussed and can be provided to create greater accessibility. Heels are encouraged but are not mandatory to attend, wedges, sneakers, socks and barefoot are also possibilities. you can dance like you are in heels without wearing heels.

AFFIRM is an 8-week mental health “coping and skills training” group for LGBTQ2S folks that combines approaches from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with an anti-oppression framework. 

Winter sessions at The 519 will be held on Thursdays, from January 31 to March 21. Find more information or register at:http://www.the519.org/events/affirm

Sunday’s are for brunch!
Every third Saturday of the month, join our drag performers and bingo caller Nyree MacPherson for a night of music, food, performances, prizes and fun at GLAD DAY DRAG BINGO!

We spin the bingo cage on a rotating line-up of kings, queens, and performers for a queer-positive, inclusive, and affirming evening, with all proceeds from bingo card sales going to charity! Doors at 6:30pm for pre-show, drinks, and food – performances and games begin at 7pm!

In addition to being the world’s longest surviving LGBTQ bookstore, Glad Day is also a full-service bar stocked with a range of craft beers on tap and with a complete range of dinner options – so join us for comfort food, a pint or cocktail (or three!) and a night of queer joy!

Tickets available here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/glad-day-drag-bingo-january-edition-tickets-53986619432
A drop-in group for current and former LGBTQ2S youth in care and/or with experiences of incarceration*. Each session will include community building, support space, and access to information and community resources.

Thursdays January 10th – March 14th 6:00pm-8:00pm
Sherbourne Health Centre (333 Sherbourne Street), rm 1077

Tokens and food provided.

*This includes youth in foster care, group homes, and adoptive families, and youth who have been incarcerated, including involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. In order to keep the space as open and inclusive as possible, we ask that current foster/adoptive parents and group home staff do not attend.

Week by week schedule:
February 14: Resistance as Self Love
February 21: Cooking Night. Youth in care may or may not have access to comfort foods or family recipes. We’ll be sharing comfort foods and making something together (recipes to be decided the week prior).
February 28: Forced Incarceration/Psychiatric Care. \
March 7: Closed space for Black and Indigenous youth to discuss their experiences of care/incarceration.
March 14: Blanket Fort/Movie Night.

Queer(in) Care is a program of the LGBTQ Youth Initiative, a collaboration between Planned Parenthood Toronto, Central Toronto Youth Services, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, Griffin Centre, Sherbourne Health Centre, LGBT Youthline, The 519, and the Toronto District School Board’s Gender Based Violence Prevention Office that aims to create a stronger support system for LGBTQ youth in Toronto. We’re grateful to the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada for their financial contribution to this program.

The LGBTQ Youth Initiative has been made possible through the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Love Rupaul’s Drag Race? Fridays @ Glad Day Bookshop!
In this 4-week group, LGBTQ+ newcomers will learn about trauma and its impact, relaxation and stress management techniques and much more.

When: Sundays, 1:00 – 3:30 pm, February 24 – March 17, 2019
Where: The 519 [519 Church St]

Participation Criteria:
• LGBTQ+ newcomers over the age of 16 (including refugee claimants, convention refugees, permanent residents, live-in caregivers, international students, and folks with work visas).
• Have experienced sexual violence/abuse/trauma in their life.
• Commitment to attend all 4 sessions.

Register by February 10, 2019:
To register, visit bit.ly/copingtogether
For more information, email RNozari@The519.org

TTC tokens and snacks will be provided to participants, and they will be awarded a $50 gift-card for completion.

On a bear hunt? Friday @ The Lodge 9PM
Tiki Disco!

Every Saturday – TIKI DISCO – Saturday Nights after Dinner @ Miss Thing’s! 
Saturday Nights after dinner in the Coconut Room! Special Guest DJ’s to make you MOVE! No Cover before Midnight Miss Thing’s & Wrongbar same location a Pan Asian restaurant, cocktail bar and huge dance space 1279 Queen St W Queer West Village, Toronto ON at Brock Parkdale.416.516.8677 http://www.missthings.com/ Miss Thing’s is our new restaurant in the front, while Wrongbar remains in the rear. It’s much better than it used to be. Much more interesting of a space with spots for conversation and smaller intimate hang outs. 10 PM

Started back in 1993, Crag Crux Climbers is a club for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gendered people and their friends.
Our mission is to promote climbing in the LGBT community in an inclusive, fun, and social environment. We do so by organizing climbing nights at local gyms, outdoor climbing trips, social events, beginners nights, and through outreach into the larger LGBT and climbing communities. 

Every Tuesday – Crag Crux Climbers @ Joe Rockheads. Providing queer fun, rock-climbing with 22,000 square of indoor walls. Meets every Tuesday 7:30 pm at Joe Rockhead’s at 29 Fraser Avenue (south of King just east of Dufferin). The group also meets outdoors at Milton area, the Collingwood area, and at Lion’s Head on the Bruce Peninsula. At Easter and Thanksgiving, there’s generally a trip down to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. All levels welcome; all you need to know is how to belay using a gri-gri and how to tie a figure-eight knot. No club fees: see www.joerockheads.com for gym fees. Queer West Village, Toronto ON

Toronto Rainbowlers!

Every Wednesday in the Summer – Toronto LGBT Lawn Bowling @Cosburn Park Lawn Bowling Club. Looking for a fun way to spend your Wednesday evenings this summer? Try lawn bowling, in Toronto’s LGBT-friendly lawn bowling league, one of only a few of its kind in the world! The Rainbowlers Club will have coaches on hand to teach the game, you’ll get to play, and, if you like, you can even register for the entire year for the low price of $100! Can’t come to the open house, but interested in playing? Toronto Rainbowlers 525 Cosburn Avenue, Toronto, CA http://torontorainbowlers.ca/

Every Thursday – Perfectly Queer Scope Radio a division of Ryerson University Radio, A collection of amazing music, old and new, by members of the LGBTQ community! Hosted by Daryl Nicholas. Plays every Thursday 8-9 EST, and replays 8-9 EST on Saturdays. You can also listen to on your smart phone via the App TuneIn or You can listen to it on the internet.http://www.thescopeatryerson.ca/

Mark Tara’s Rainbow Country CIUT 89.5 FM every Wednesday from Midnight to 1 am. a show that offers a blend of music & interviews giving voice to the LGBT community.! rainbowcountry@ciut.fm or visit /www.ciut.fm/shows-2/spoken-word/rainbow-country/

Inviting trans people of colour to cook with us, share a meal, and talk about sexual health in an affirming environment.

Drop-in Program – Winter Schedule
January 8 to April 30, 2019
Every Tuesday
2 – 5pm

No registration required.
All cooking tools and ingredients will be provided.

The Trans People of Colour Project
The objective of the project is to increase employability, provide opportunities for TPOC to take up community leadership, and to develop a cookbook around safer sex and healthy eating.

For more information, contact Yasmeen:

Let’s get beamed up!

Every Friday – Beam Me Up! Disco @ Piston. 10 PM Beam Me Up Discohttps://soundcloud.com/beammeupdisco jam that celebrates the underrated and the obscure of funk, jazz, soul, boogie, rare groove, reggae, gospel & proto-house! It’s an evening of tuneful transcendence in the best sounding bar in town, supplied by residents the DJs Patchouli Brothers https://soundcloud.com/thepatchoulibrothers(f.k.a. A Digital Needle) & DJ Cyclist (Mark in Toronto) https://soundcloud.com/cyclist who go back to back all night! The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W. (West of Ossington Beside the Long & McQuade) Close to the Ossington Subway Station, Queer West Village, Toronto ON 416 532 3989 http://thepiston.ca/

The phenomenal Dainty Smith & Ravyn Wings return to The 519 with Body Love. Designed to empower Queer and Trans exercise, performance development and increase performance opportunities, Body Love is a series of movement workshops that begin with self-love meditation exercise then move into movement and choreographic mentorship. The group focuses on the love of our bodies – all shapes, sizes and abilities. The program is centered around empowering community choices and encouraging a deep sense of self and confidence.

To register or for more information please contact Cressida CFrey@The519.org