News (World)

Toronto unveils the world’s longest rainbow in celebration of Pride

Rainbow cookies with LGBT flag. Place for text. Freedom in love. Pride cookies.
Photo: Shutterstock

Toronto just unveiled what is being dubbed the longest rainbow in the world, stretching out at just under 2,000 feet, or 600 meters.

The rainbow is an art installation by renowned queer artist Travis Myers called “The Long Walk to Equality” and was unveiled by many notable figures in the LGBTQ+ community – including Canada’s Drag Race star Jada Shada Hudson.

The installation is featured on a path at Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands.

The unveiling was supported by numerous sponsors, including Skittles, Gilead Health, The Waterfront BIA, Billy Bishop Airport, and Freddie Pharmacy.

Waterfront BIA celebrated the unveiling of the road on Twitter.

The road is designed for pedestrians and cyclists, with no cars allowed.

The location is of particular significance, as Hanlan’s Point is where the first-ever Toronto Pride event was celebrated. This makes it Canada’s oldest surviving queer space.

Queer rights continue to advance in Toronto, as earlier this year Toronto Pride contributed a $200,000 donation to the General Manager of Parks, Forestry, and Recreation for the refurbishment of the historic Beach Road.

Myers said in a statement regarding the art piece, “Over the last couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the hidden history of this place and work to share it with others. I’ve also connected with so, so many people in Toronto’s queer community to learn what makes this space special for them.”

“But through that process, I’ve also heard from queer people who have been made to feel unsafe or unsupported. People who have been hurt mentally, physically, and emotionally. Stories that have broken my heart into a thousand pieces.”

“I know how that feels. Their pain is my pain.”

Myers continues, stating that the installation is there “to help people feel bolder in their sense of belonging. A way that geography can reflect back community. Something to empower them with every step to feel like they deserve to be here. That they deserve to be themselves.”

“This pathway is where people walked for the first Pride in Canada back in 1971. This is where people walked in the 1930s at the start of the modern queer community as we know it. And this is where we walk now.”

“As much as I wish it could be, this isn’t a force field that can protect people against violence, or the history books where queer history should be written. But it’s a start.”

Myers hopes that those who walk down the road “feel like there are people walking with you. The forebears who fought for our rights. The ones who fought so we could be free. The ones who weren’t as lucky. And the ones yet to come, in search of community.”

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