Day 2 – Queering the Streets in style

Today was the themed day of resistance on gender justice. I attended the queering the streets rally and march, which began at Queen and Yonge, just outside the Eaton’s Centre. It rained today, so it was humid, but not having hot sun beaming down on us definitely helped. It was good times.

There were police out of course, waiting on the corners, many “undercover” again. The undercover cops are so easy to spot, with their fun attempts at trying to either look like regular civilians or look like activists. Lots of plaid and khaki. Today one was wearing a new and stiff marijuana leaf bandana. The fact that most of them are bulky, middle aged white men with nice shoes and earpieces really makes me wonder why they try at all. But I guess for bystanders, the police presence does look not as menacing when there are some not in uniform.

Today’s vibe was different than yesterday. Way more fun. The Rhythms of Resistance percussion band was out and they bring the insta-party. Today they had a bass drum, a snare, a couple of two-tone cowbells, some small hand held snares and whistles. I think they are super cool. Maybe we can hook up with them and have them give us a lesson on how to start one in KW..

People were dressed up in lots of hot pink capes, rainbows, and general gender-bending. Happily, there was a rainbow flower lei that I guess my sister got at a birthday party, so I brought that to wear. I realized that I only really brought practical clothes and nothing fun to dress up in. Oh well. So I wore my most vibrant shirt, my purple Making Noise one that says on the back “The opposite of war isn’t peace; it’s creation!” Also, my sunglasses are hot pink so those helped me represent.

We marched from Yonge and Queen down Queen past Nathan Philips Square to University accompanied by the bike cops. We took over the statue thingy there where the fountain had been drained. The Radical Cheerleaders were out with their black pom poms with fun cheers I’m sad I can’t remember. Some cheers from today included “We’re Queer, we’re fabulous, we’re against the G20!” , “Harper stop telling your lies, you don’t care if women die!” and “Whose streets? Our streets! Whose pride? Our pride!” I liked them. I should really just write them down.

One person who dressed up in a wicked dress, blinged out sunglasses and holding a plastic martini glass, had some fun signs including “Fashion Forward Fences!” and “Oh come on, chainlink was soooo last summit”. I enjoyed those greatly.

Best part. Bobble head Steven Harper, with grey suit jacket, black fishnet stockings and high heels. AMAZING. At one point about 8 people did a bit of street theatre, with the Harper mascot all up in it. And at the end, Harper undid the suit jacket and flashed the cameras an electric pink bra with shiny black short shorts. The press went nuts.

I felt good today. Checked out the convergence space which is comfy. Helped paint a banner, tried to get a new poem down, and ate delicious free food at the space. I am very satisfied with my TTC weekly pass I bought. It was $36 but I don’t need to worry about bus fare.

The rain was refreshing and didn’t rain out the celebratory vibe. My sweet new rainjacket is very handy and light. Oh, one cheer was “We’re queer we’re straight whatever, we will march in any weather!” Some people decided that a better cheer was “We’re queer we’re straight whatever, we will fuck in any weather!” People were akin to that as well!

Personally, I would have liked to see a more visible and audible feminist voice. That’s ok. I think the more party-like feel of today was more effective, especially for bystanders. Before the march began shoppers just waited on the corners with their cameras to see what would go down. We were a colourful bunch that’s for sure.  Someone handed me a hot pink sign that said “Safer streets for LGBTTQQIA folk” (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirited, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual), and with my hot pink glasses and rainbow lay I guess I was quite photographable because my picture kept getting taken. I had mixed feelings. I shouldn’t fear having my picture taken by the press since I am there in solidarity, but it was just weird to be a camera target. Today I didn’t hear any “Fuck the police”, though at one point someone was being detained and there was a chant of “Let them go!” I think they did. Couldn’t really see past the media folk.

Came home with lots of extra water and having not needed to use my first aid stuff again. Which is good! But, I kinda want stuff to happen so I’m not lugging around all this unused gear..but no! Safe demos are good! Out early tomorrow for the Toxic Tour of Toronto. Will lug around equipment faithfully.

Lastly, I thought there was supposed to be a kiss-in in the financial district? Maybe that was another event altogether? I missed it. Or maybe I left too early. In any case, more kisses!