Saturday, July 12, 2014

bye bye Toronto, nos vemos en Madrid!

Yes, the WorldPride saga is almost over!   I didn't think I'd end up posting this much.  But I didn't think I'd be experiencing this much either!

So, after the Parade, we rushed to Dundas Square for the closing ceremony.  The place was - how unsurprising - packed!  The weather - gorgeous.  The mood - friendly, ecstatic, loving...  One funny thing?  I'm a lover of dark beer, you know, porters, stouts...  But my friend who was visiting loves cider.  So I ended up trying Canadian cider... it was perfect for the weather! Still discovering things right before I leave, eh?

As for entertainment, it was fun non stop.  I have no idea who Ce Ce Peniston and Robin S were. But, to begin with, they had everybody up and dancing.  And, additionally, Robin S is the Robin S from "Show me love"!  If you don't know what song I'm talking about, just google it and listen to it.  Within 5 seconds you'll recognize it!  Also, we welcomed Madrid as the next host of WorldPride in 2017!  Spain will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of its first Pride Parade, and given Madrid's lively scene, that should be a WorldPride to remember too!  ¡Felicidades Madrid!  

But you know what one of the best things was?  We knew there was a chance of some light showers - it was in the forecast.  But the clouds loomed darker than expected.  And what at first felt like tiny drops soon became bucketfuls of water pouring on us!   Why was that great? Because there's nothing better than to stand there, not giving a damn about getting soaking wet, while enjoying a performance by an artist - Rich Aucoin - giving it his all because his public is right there with him jumping up and down and celebrating diversity and enjoying the moment despite anything and everything.  So liberating!  And they even let people use a gigantic rainbow flag - that had been used as a backdrop for some parts of the event - as an improvised massive umbrella! Seeing that enormous multicoloured cloth unfold from hand to hand was fabulous! Loved it!  And wait, because it gets better!  What comes after the rain in the late afternoon?  Afternoon sunshine. And with it?  Not one, but TWO rainbows!  Yes!  A double rainbow!  Effing amazing, people.  EF-FING aMAZEing. 

And the show was far from over.  With both rainbows still above, though beginning to fade as night fell on us, we still had "Hedwig" (a fictional character from a glam rock musical called "Hedwig and the angry inch"), a stunning performance by Circus Orange with women clad in metal corsets putting electric saws to their bosoms and genitals to generate tongues of fiery sparks radiating from them, and the cherry on top the Pride cake:  Canadian sisters Tegan and Sara (ok, I admit, I had no idea who they were, but the vast majority of people around me did, and they certainly were crazy excited!).

And since no ceremony could be complete without them, WorldPride said farewell to Toronto with a show of fireworks.  Yay!

Now, just in case for those extremely few of you who actually enjoy video, here's a short one with clips from the whole thing, from Ce Ce Peniston to the fireworks!  If I may say so, it's pretty neat.

Now, we were not just going to go home because someone had said WorldPride was over, right? A quick walk back at the Church - Wellesley Village proved that the party, despite it being very late and a Sunday, was still pretty much still going on!  Granted, the stages were closing down. But the crowds still filled the streets, the music from the clubs still spilled unto the pedestrianized Village, and everybody was having the time of their life with what energy countless days of non-stop partying had left.  Which in our case wasn't very much, I'll concede! 

But we had a mission.  My friend was leaving the next morning and she had one more thing to try before leaving Canada - poutine!   If you're not Canadian or haven't been here, chances are you have no idea what this is strange thing that Canadians couldn't do without at their hockey games, for example.  No hot dogs? Probably.  No poutine?  War!   Here a photo of the delicacy, composed of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds.  Yes, cheese curds:

We headed back home.  And we caught a glimpse of the last few minutes the CN Tower was lit with the colours of the rainbow running up its length.  Until it stopped, reset, and began showing red and white patterns for Canada Day.  WorldPride was indeed officially over.  My best Pride ever, by far, unquestionably so.  A very fitting farewell to this city I've come to appreciate so much.  Respect.

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