The Toronto-based group LoveisLoveisLove is taking LGBTQ advocacy to the front of the bus.
LoveisLoveisLove, founded by artist Adam Zivo in 2016 in response to the Orlando gay nightclub shooting that killed 49, has co-opted an entire TTC bus for an educational ad campaign during Pride month.
Dubbed the “Big Gay Bus,” it has a bright pink exterior overlaid with portraits of LGBTQ Torontonians taken from LoveisLoveisLove’s photo archives. People featured include Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, local drag queens and activists like Michael Went and Doug Kerr, although Zivo points out that most of the subjects are “just regular people.”
The inside of the bus is filled with educational material giving answers to questions like, “Why isn’t there a straight Pride?” and “What do people mean when they say there’s a difference between sex and gender?”
The bus was funded by a donation from Kathryn Langley Hope, a local philanthropist and former nurse.
The bus, which embarked on its run last week, will drive routes in Scarborough, North York and downtown. Zivo says he wanted the bus to specifically run through suburban areas in order to reach a particular type of person.
“The ideal audience for this is someone who is maybe moderately homophobic,” said Zivo, who says he hopes the bus will build bridges with people who don’t have ties to the LGBTQ community. “We want to make it easy for them to accidentally learn.”
The bus will be on the road for at least four more weeks, said Zivo.
Rhianna Jackson-Kelso is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @RhiannaJK