International Grand Marshal
Pride Toronto annually selects an International Grand Marshall (IGM) who acts as an ambassador to represent global LGBTTIQQ2SA communities during the Pride festival. Through its "Global Human Rights for Queers: What OUT is About" program, the honour is bestowed in recognition of the IGM's leadership and achievement in international human rights issues, such as discrimination and equality; violence, torture and abuse; and criminalization of LGBTTIQQ2SA people, identities and activities.
Pride Toronto’s 2015 International Grand Marshall: Celina Jaitly (India)
Bollywood star and United Nations Equality Champion Celina Jaitly will be honoured as the 2015 International Grand Marshall, and will lead the annual Pride Toronto Parade, Sunday June 28, 2015.
About Celina Jaitly:
Internationally-recognized film and beauty icon, Celina Jaitly first rose to prominence as the winner of the prestigious Miss India beauty pageant and Miss Universe runner-up. Celina made her acting debut with legendary director/actor Feroz khans "Janasheen" established her self as a comedy queen in such hit films as "No-Entry", "Golmaal Returns", "Apna Sapna Money-Money" and many more. Celina is a committed animal welfare advocate and was honoured by People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA) with their Humaniarian Award. She is a Tourism Ambassador for Egypt, promoting Egyptian culture and tourism in India and around the world, and became one of the youngest actors to become a jury member for the esteemed Cairo international film festival. She has also been the darling face of many beautiful advertising campaigns. Celina recently launched her own production house and is looking forward to making more films after a sabbatical of two years following the birth of her twin boys, Winston & Viraaj.
Besides acting, Celina has devoted most of her time to supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in India. She has spoken out publicly and repeatedly against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes same sex relationships in India, and has worked to raise public awareness of the challenges facing LGBT people in India -- in spite of the fierce criticism and death threats directed at her. In 2013, her activism attracted the attention and endorsement of the United Nation Human Rights Office, which named her among a small number of UN Equality Champions supporting the UN Free & Equal LGBT equality campaign. Other Equality Champions include the singer Ricky Martin, hip-hop duo Maklemore & Ryan Lewis and South African musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka. A Bollywood-style music video that Celina helped create for the campaign launched in May 2014 has become the most watched video ever produced by the United Nations.
Celina's activism is guided by a passionate belief in the equal worth and dignity of all people and a commitment to support those marginalized in society because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. "For a society to be truly progressive," she has said "we need to embrace everyone as ‘one’, not categorize people into first and second class citizens based on their sex, caste, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity." Celina's activism is marked by a an understanding of cultural diversity, and acumen for communicating across cultural divides.
Please click on these links for more information:
- ILGA World Map of LGBTI Rights
- Declaration of Montreal Petition
- Yogyakarta Principles
- InterPride-Pride Radar