‘We should have the right to party here’: Toronto to host first LGBT Black Pride weekend during Carnival

A lot has changed since Mykel Hall hosted his first Caribana weekend party in 1995.

Just a few years earlier, Hall became the first DJ to regularly host urban music events — think dancehall, soca, and hip hop — in Toronto’s Gay Village. Still, as a DJ plying his trade in Toronto’s LGBT community, he remembered Caribana as an uncharted and potentially tricky event to break into, due to the Caribbean community’s reputation for homophobic attitudes.

“I felt fear when it came to promoting it,” said Hall, more commonly known as DJ Blackcat. “I didn’t really go to the Caribana festival. I didn’t go to those places.”

This weekend, 23 years after his first under-the-radar Caribana party, Hall will take part in the Toronto’s first official Black Pride weekend, coinciding with what is now called Peeks…

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