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Pride Toronto looking for more women

Pride Toronto looking for more women

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Board will keep positions open until candidates come forward
Worried its board is too “male-dominated,” Pride Toronto (PT) has decided to postpone electing three new board members because not enough women were interested, the board chair says.

The vacant seats were left open following the board election at the AGM in October 2011 in hopes they could be used to bring more diversity to the board, especially women or trans candidates, says Francisco Alvarez.

Unfortunately, there was very little interest from women, he says. "We didn't get enough candidates to proceed with the election. So we are just going to have the election at the next AGM in October."

"We were ideally looking for women this time around,” he says. “We have had no women candidates. So we have decided to wait.”

There are currently two women on the PT board, Susan Gapka and Paola Solorzano.


“They are three-year positions, and rather than lock the board into a male-dominated majority, we will spend the next few months talking to people in person to generate more interest with women," Alvarez says.

He notes that the board has the power to appoint members to vacant seats. "But we didn't figure people would want us to do that."

The general meeting is Thursday, March 1 at 6:30pm at the Metro Central YMCA at 20 Grosvenor St.

The board will also present its audited financial statements. "That's a chance for people to ask us questions," Alvarez says. The statements, representing July 31, 2010, to July 31, 2011, were released to Xtra Jan 28.

PT entered the 2010 fiscal year with a deficit of $431,000, which left the organization $109,000 in debt. The financial statements for 2011 show that PT ended the year with a $110,000 surplus -- completely eliminating all debt remaining from the 2010 shortfall. Pride had originally planned to pay down the debt over three years.

The meeting will also include an update on WorldPride 2014 and PT's plans to send a delegation to London, England, this summer for WorldPride.

Members will also help decide on the PT theme for 2012. Four themes have been shortlisted: Celebrate and Demonstrate; Together, Strong and Proud; Here to Stay; and It Takes a Community.

Past Pride themes include Dream Big, in 2011; Pride 30th Anniversary, in 2010; Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, in 2009; Unified! in 2008; Unstoppable! in 2007; and Fearless in 2006.

Alvarez says that although the deadline has passed, the search continues for artists and performers for 2012. “We generally don’t have the list of performers finalized until [publishing] the Pride Guide,” he says. 
 
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Comments

Nitwits running PT Public Relations
Pride Toronto is confused organization, run by a bunch of nitwits. March 2nd, 2012 web site today(Which they will probably change) states: At Pride Toronto’s 1-Mar-12 General Meeting, Members will have the opportunity to vote on a new Membership Program for the organization and help decide the theme for the 2012 Festival! On March 2nd released a PR statement saying a Theme had been chosen. March 12th or should have read 2012? since when is MARCH 12 March 1st? I also see more phoney attendance figures on their site --- the Pride Toronto website (which averages 23.8 million hits in the four weeks leading up to the festival), HITS are NOT web site visitors, do your HTML research. I am a qualified Profession web content editor, I would be happy to work on your web site for free.
Maybe the Dyke March is the reason
I've always wondered if part of the reason that female organizers are underrepresented in Pride "proper" is that the Dyke March is where the action is for activist-oriented women. In effect, the population of activist women is split over two organizations, or three, if you could the break-away dyke march, whatever it's called. Of course they're under-represented, but they have to take responsibility for this themselves. It's not a male plot to keep the power. It is spreading themselves too thin, when it's apparent to everyone I know that there are simply fewer lesbians than gay men anyway.
Is there a Theme to all of this?
Together, Strong and Proud; Here to Stay; It Takes a Community; Great titles for a search for women candidates for Pride Toronto. Add Celebrate and Demonstrate, and you have the reason no women applied for the Board Position. Unimaginative, boring, outdated and absolutely no fun. Is that the best you can do?
Put-out...or Shut-up!
I was at a large local union meeting of several hundred people, where 5 Union Stewarts were needed to be elected. Seven men were standing at the front of the room; each one hoping to be voted in by the members. Some were nominated; others volunteered. At one point an angry woman stood up and demanded to know why there weren't any women candidates. The moderator said that no women volunteered for the position. He then asked her is she wants to come and be a candidate; he would also love to have some female Union Stewarts. She said: “Me!? Oh...No...I can't..." and sat down red-faced. This is a common theme... SO! For all the critics out there...It's easier to complain than to do the work. Put-out...or Shut-up!
No need to be condescending queer women
I find Christopher King's comment very condescending towards queer women in our community and is sexist, if not racist in tone.
Why are women not interest in PT good question
Looking at at Pride Toronto Bylaws (Jan 27/11) it doesn't appear women are welcome and treated as equals, rather than terms like He/She. The Queer West By laws state: Gender parity will be strongly encouraged to aid in
maintaining equal representation. More women have served on Queer Arts Centre Board than men, many in key positions. Forum commentator Gary said - There are certainly no shortage of vocal women that criticize Pride Toronto. Xtra should publish a news story and get these women to speak publicly on their concerns about Pride Toronto, rather than hearsay from Gary. There are lot lesbians in Power in Toronto, why couldn't PT simply ask three women if they would like to serve the community and appoint them to the Board?
I was taught that women are to be treated as equal
Then why is it that it requires them more time to apply for these positions. There are certainly no shortage of vocal women that criticize Pride Toronto. Yet they have not stepped up to the plate. Ladies If you think there should be more women on the PT board then put your money where your mouth is and sign up and stop complaining that you are underrepresented.
why is that hetero ass still thereÉ
And what about trying to recruit non-heterosexuals? Short memories or deliberate erasure have made us forget the outrageous calumny of self-proclaimed heterosexual Pride Board member Evan Dean when he decided to speak on behalf of Toronto's gay and lesbian community in public and got it all wrong. Why was this twit not thrown out? Why is he still on the Pride Board? Oh I forgot running for council -- of course the Pride Board is a career stepping stone for heterosexual males. Pathetic! Maybe now you know why women are not jumping to join -- but heterosexual self-aggrandizing gay-contemptuous careerist assholes are always welcome.
Fill the positions
The positions have been open for over year, and they need filling, regardless of the type of candidates. You are doing a disservice to the community and Pride Toronto by not doing so.
If they are all filled by men for the nonce, then so be it. It will give women something to complain about and actually will spark renewed interest in the jobs because of the alleged controversy
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