For Immediate Release
January 25, 2010
High profile International Grand Marshals selected for Toronto’s 2010 Pride
Pride Toronto today announced the selection of two high profile queer activists as International Grand Marshals (IGMs) for its 30th anniversary. The appointment of the IGM annually is part of the organization’s efforts to highlight the incidence of queer human rights abuses that still occur on a global scale.
Gloria Careaga-Perez, a feminist, social psychologist and activist who was elected Co-Secretary General of the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA) for Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean in November 2008 at the 30th ILGA Conference in Vienna; and Renato Sabbadini, ILGA Co-Secretary for Italy and Europe.
ILGA is a network of more than 600 groups from 111 countries fighting for equal human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersexual and transgendered people.
Careaga-Perez, who is also a co-coordinator of the long-standing lesbian group El Closet de Sor Juana in Mexico, has been a psychology professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico since 1979. A co-founder of the university’s gender studies program, Careaga-Perez introduced a sexual diversity studies area in 1998. She has coordinated six anthologies and authored numerous articles, and has served as an advisor to national and international agencies.
Sabbadini, who is Bergamo, Italy’s first openly gay city councillor, has been a part of the LBGT movement since 1992. He has worked as treasurer and foreign affairs officer of Arcigay, Italy’s foremost gay rights organization, and as spokesperson for the WorldPride Rome 2000 Coordination Committee. A linguist, he speaks Italian, English, German, Spanish, French and Russian, and lives in Brussels.
Tracey Sandilands, Executive Director of Pride Toronto, says this is the fifth year that Pride Toronto will support the efforts of LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities around the world with its ‘Global Human Rights for Queers: What is OUT About’ campaign. The purpose of the ongoing campaign is to help raise awareness about queer rights abuses, which range from anti-sodomy laws to the death penalty.
“We chose the ILGA secretaries because they represent the global community,” says Sandilands. “We want to highlight this year how many countries in the world still perpetrate human rights abuses against queer people.”
In 2009, Pride Toronto focused on Uganda and the African region. Last year’s IGM was Victor Juliet Mukasa, a trans man from Uganda, where an anti-homosexuality bill, if passed, would impose the death sentence on anyone repeatedly convicted of having gay sex.
In December 2008, Careaga-Perez and Sabbadini, on behalf of the ILGA, protested UN Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki’s failure to consider the protection of LBGT people a human rights issue. They appealed to representatives of the 66 United Nations member states that had signed a statement supporting the decriminalization of homosexuality to demand an explanation for Treki’s position on the issue.
The 2010 IGMs will, in addition to leading the parade, present the human rights award at the 6th annual Pride Gala and Awards ceremony, serve as guest speakers at the gala and other events, and officiate at human rights events during the festival.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the process for electing the 2010 Grand Marshal, Honoured Dyke and Honoured Groups.
For more information:
*(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Two-Spirited, and
About Pride Toronto:
Pride Toronto is the not-for-profit organization that hosts Pride Week, an annual festival held during the
last week of June in downtown Toronto. Pride Toronto exists to celebrate the history, courage, diversity
and future of Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA communities and is one of the leading cultural events of its kind in
the world. Toronto’s Pride Week has been named the Best Festival in Canada by the Canadian Special
Events Industry, is recognized as one of only Eight Signature Events in the city of Toronto, and is ranked
as one of the TOP 50 festivals in Ontario by Festivals and Events Ontario.