From senators to supermodels, ministers to students, a delightfully mixed crowd of people gathered at the swanky Boulevard Club Sept 17 to celebrate Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo's work
. The sampling of supporters revealed just how broad a coalition of allies DiNovo has managed to amass.
Naturally, DiNovo has had a wide circle of friends and collaborators throughout her career. Indeed, as she told the crowd during her brief remarks, "Nobody does anything alone in this field."
Thus, her colleagues from Parliament and the United Church of Canada, of which she is an ordained minister, celebrated alongside teachers, councillors, students and others. But possibly the most notable presence in the room was a large group of trans activists and community members, many of whom worked with DiNovo on Toby's Law.
"Bringing people together is a strength we as trans people rely on. There's really not a lot of us, so we have to work with partners," explained Susan Gapka of the Trans Lobby Group. "Cheri's done remarkable work in the background, working with other MPPs."
"Am I an activist?" Talackova mused after hearing these comments. "No. Did I do something very activist? Yes. So take it how you want."
Despite the celebrations, DiNovo said she is focusing on fights not yet won.
"Anybody who sat through deputations for the GSA bill, though we had the winning amendment, knows that homophobia is alive and well in this country," she says. "I was at a feminist Take Back the Night event just on Saturday, and one of the women, who was a survivor of child abuse, came up and said, 'Are you the woman who brought in Toby's Law so men are allowed to use women's washrooms now?’
"That says to me we have work to do."