By Katia Ostapets
Photography by FAJO’s photo team
On June 29, Toronto officially kicked off the annual Pride festival with The FCKH8 Purple Party, an event to support marriage equality. The party was hosted by Mike Chalut – president of Mancrunch.com and Toronto’s TV and radio personality. Alongside his friend and VIP host, Marty Fortier, Chalut oversaw the event with the eyes of a hawk, ensuring the evening was a success.
Mancrunch.com is no stranger to advocating for gay couples. For example, last year they brought gay American couples to the Toronto Pride Parade, so that they could get married. This year, this online dating service that strives to put the “man back in romance,” partnered with Industry Hair Salon to raise money and awareness for the FCKH8 charity, which fights for gay rights and against intolerance.
The idea for the event stemmed from Chalut’s friendship with the LA-based FCKH8 creator, Luke Montgomery. Chalut decided that “it [would be] the perfect marriage between Mancrunch and FCKH8” since both organizations stand for lifelong gay relationships.
The event was held at Now Magazine’s award-winning lounge, Boutique Bar on Church Street. The street-view patio was filled with the crème de la crème of the Toronto party scene, who relaxed in the VIP area. Spinning groovy tracks was DJ grüvhunter, who was dubbed one of Toronto’s best DJs by the attendees.
Upon arrival, guests were escorted up the purple carpet for a photo opp with two scantily clad models whose bodies were adorned with sparkles and FCKH8 body paint tattoos. For those brave enough, similar tattoos were being provided by the onsite artist.
All guests were either fully or partially clad in FCKH8’s signature colour, showing off their purple shirts, shoes, toenails and even hair.
The most popular garment of the night, however, was the “Some Dudes Marry Dudes. Get Over It.” limited edition T-shirt, with proceeds from sales going towards FCKH8. These T-shirts and several other styles are also available on the charity’s website.
Chalut later told FAJO Magazine that the Purple Party will be going on tour throughout the United States to promote gay pride and continue their mandate of “ending homophobic bullying and legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states and across Canada,” and eventually around the world.
The Purple Party was “one of the best parties in Pride,” according to Dani Matte from MOI Artist Management, because it fights for such great causes.
Chalut decided to keep us in suspense about next year’s festivities only saying that “Every year is different. We never do the same thing twice!”