Arts Entertainments

Toronto Posters for Pride and Identity

Toronto Posters for Pride

For many LGBTQ2S+ people, the month of June brings joy and pride. Neighbourhoods erupt in colourful rainbow flags, and events honouring the community fill calendars. Pride Month is a time for communities to amplify their voices of inclusivity and to showcase the diversity of their community.

Pride parades have a long history in Canada. The inaugural celebrations followed the decriminalization of same-sex sexual acts in 1969. The Toronto Pride Parade, which takes place every year in the heart of downtown, marks the anniversary of this historic event and a chance for 2SLGBTQIA+ folks and straight allies to celebrate diversity and affirm their support for friends and family members.

The march also serves as a rallying point for 2SLGBTQIA+ people who have faced harassment and discrimination. The AIDS crisis, which reached its peak during the parade’s first decade, brought awareness to the issue of stigma and the need for a supportive environment from poster website.

Toronto Posters for Pride and Identity

This year’s Pride festival branding by Design Agency BMD features an intersex-inclusive version of the Progress Pride Flag, which recognizes the existence of multiple identities within the queer community. The addition of black and brown stripes to the rainbow symbolizes non-white members of the community, while the yellow triangle and purple ring acknowledge members who identify as intersex. The poster’s jagged rips and vibrant colour palette reflect the handmade signs of early activism.

As a part of the campaign, BMD also commissioned Toronto-based illustrators and designers to create posters featuring individuals from various intersecting identities to highlight the diversity of the queer community. The posters are available as downloadable PDFs.

One poster features Mitch Duncan (he/him). The graphic designer is well known for making gig posters and fliers for music, drag, and comedy shows around town. He is a student at OCAD University studying illustration. He draws inspiration from the city’s burgeoning art scene and is passionate about using his skills as an artist to promote inclusivity in the arts.

Artistically, Toronto posters span a wide spectrum of styles and designs. From sleek and modern graphics to hand-drawn illustrations, each poster tells its own story and captures the attention of passersby in its unique way. Street artists and graphic designers alike use posters as a medium for self-expression, infusing the city with creativity and innovation.

Another poster highlights the work of Vivian Rosas, a Toronto-based Mestizx/Latinx multidisciplinary illustrator, dancer, and muralist. Rosas’ works are influenced by feminist, empowerment, and queer theories of identity. She was commissioned to illustrate the 2021 Pride guide, and chose to depict the complexities of inclusion and privilege in her illustrations.

Rosas’ portraits of the historical figures that are featured on the Pride guide cover highlights how some forms of diversity remain excluded from Toronto’s cosmopolitan image. She points out that the organization of the city’s gay district as an entertainment hub operates as a marketing tool for the tourism industry and commodifies cultural difference, while marginalizing those who do not fit the homogenous, white, male demographic of commercial establishments.

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