Monday is Mad Pride Day!
According to the Toronto’s Mad Pride Organizing Committee – yes, we have one – July 14th has been officially proclaimed Mad Pride Day in the city of Toronto and in cities that celebrate Mad Pride in North America, Europe and Africa.
In Toronto, all next week is Mad Pride Week from Monday, July 14 to Sunday, July 20.
To be honest with you? I’ve never, ever attended a Pride event in my life. Any kind of Pride. Parades are not my thing. I’m not a crowd lover. I didn’t even like the CNE when I was a kid, except for the Food Building.
With two exceptions – in 2006, for The Toronto Sun, I covered Caribana and The Elvis Presley Festival in Collingwood. They were assignments. No choice.
Right now, I’m looking at the Toronto 2008 Mad Pride Week schedule and considering joining the festivities.
Mad Pride Week offers much more than a parade.
It’s a week of arts and edification. An entertaining way to learn about “Madness” through literature, poetry, film, theatre, music and lots more. Even an event to raise awareness about our Human Rights.
On Monday – Mad Pride Day – at 6 p.m. at the Ossington Street Entrance, historian Geoffrey Reaume is leading a tour of the Patient Built Wall and Memorial at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at 1001 Queen Street W.
This is significant Toronto history, not only mad Toronto history.
I’m planning to be there. It’ll be worth it.
Reaume knows his stuff. He’s given this tour before.
He’s also associate professor in the Critical Disability Studies Graduate Program and School of Health Policy and Management at York University, where he designed and teaches a course in “Mad People’s History.”
Reaume is the author of Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870-1940. Toronto: Oxford University Press Canada, 2000. A riveting yet tragic book.
Geoffrey’s a lovely man. I’ve met him and interviewed him. He’s charming and passionate about this subject.
Mad Pride is a celebration of our history. By “our” I mean people, like me, who consider themselves “psychiatric travellers” as I do.
So Happy Mad Pride Week, Toronto! It’s high time we all celebrated “madness.”
I often say, "We can all be a little crazy, sometimes, can't we?"
Heartfelt thanks go to the unflagging work of the Mad Pride Organizing Committee, The Friendly Spike Theatre Band, the Parkdale Community Legal Services, Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre and Soundtimes Support Services.