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  • Home Blog Pride 2024: Spotlight on 2SLGBTQ+ Creators and Performers

    Happy Pride! This month is a time for the 2SLGBTQI+ communities and allies to come together and spotlight the resilience, celebrate the talent, and recognize the contributions of the 2SLGBTQI+ communities. This year’s theme for Toronto Pride is “Be______.” According to Toronto Pride, “Be is to proclaim our existence. To say, ‘we are here and always will be.’ Our call to Simply Be.”

    In honour of Pride 2024, we’re spotlighting prominent members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. Below, they share how they’re celebrating this year, what they want to “Be” and their everyday essentials available at STC.

    Aurora Matrix (she/they), Drag Performer

    aurora matrix

    Photo: Enzo Romero (@enzoromero)

    When Aurora Matrix (a.k.a. Anton Ling) was introduced to the Drag Race world on season 4 of Canada’s Drag Race, she quickly turned heads with her stunning runway looks that paid homage to her Chinese heritage through the art of drag. However, it was her vulnerability in sharing her story of coming out to as queer to her traditional and conservative Asian parents that really won over everyone’s hearts. With her platform as the runner-up of Canada’s Drag Race, Aurora wants to be a role model for queer Asian youth and be the representation she needed when she was younger.

    “[This Pride, I want to] BE EXCEPTIONAL! For me, it’s all about being my best self everywhere I go! Whether in drag or out of drag, putting my best foot forward and living my authentic self is what’s most important!”

    Aurora's Picks

    Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

    Urban Decay at Sephora

    NYX Professional Makeup Fat Oil Slick Click Shiny Lip Balm

    NYX at Shoppers Drug Mart

    1. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (Available at Sephora): “My go to setting spray for when I need my makeup to last all night long. This has been in my setting spray for years and somehow, I still go back to it. A tried and true for sure!”
    2. NYX Professional Makeup Fat Oil Slick Click Shiny Lip Balm (Available at Shoppers Drug Mart): “The NYX Fat Oils now come in a cute and easy stick click formula. It is such an easy 2 birds 1 stone product, a hydrating lip balm that also leaves my lips juicy and shimmery for the day.”

    Erika Casupanan (she/her), Media Personality and Podcast Host

    Erika Casupanan

    Photo Courtesy Erika Casupanan

    Last December, Survivor season 41 winner Erika Casupanan came out as queer on Instagram, ultimately making her the first lesbian to win the popular reality show (she’s also the first Canadian and Filipino to win the series’ million-dollar prize). Post-Survivor, Casupanan launched a podcast called “Happy to See Me,” which puts the spotlight on the overlooked and underestimated. In her inspirational interviews, she creates a safe space for guests from all walks of life to share the triumphs, trials and a-ha moments on their paths to today.

    “For Pride, I want to Be Authentic. This year is my first Pride as an out queer person. For years, I celebrated Pride alongside my queer friends as a proud ally. I’m a ball of excitement and nerves. I’m proud to be part of the community as a more fully realized version of me. At the same time, I’m nervous. Sometimes I feel that imposter syndrome where I wonder am I queer enough? I know a lot of people who come into their queerness in adulthood can feel this way. So I want to lean into all of it: the joy and the nerves. I know that all of it is a valid part of the journey. There’s no right way to be queer. If anyone else feels that way, you’re not alone!”

    Erika's Picks

    iUNIK Beta Glucan Power Moisture Serum

    iUNIK at Sukoshi Mart

    uniqlo ribbed cropped tank top


    Dr. Martens at Browns Shoes

    Dr. Martens at Browns Shoes

    1. iUNIK Beta Glucan Power Moisture Serum (Available at Sukoshi Mart): “Keeps my skin unbelievably soft!” 
    2. UNIQLO Ribbed Cropped Tank Top (Available at Uniqlo): “A comfy staple that works with any summer look.”
    3. Dr. Martens Voss Flower Women (Available at Little Burgundy): “A mix of edgy, adorable and easy to wear. Perfect for going from summer days to summer nights.”


    Miss Moço (she/her), Drag Performer

    miss moco

    Photo: Enzo Romero (@enzoromero)

    You may recognize Miss Moço (who goes by Adam Moco when not in drag) from Canada’s Drag Race season 3 and from her wildly popular Saturday Drag Brunch at The Drake Hotel in Toronto. On top of representing and championing the drag and queer community in Toronto, the Portuguese Canadian performer also created a drag movement in Lisbon, Portugal, by starting a drag pageant called Miss Drag Lisboa.

    “This Pride, I want to Be Seen. I celebrate Pride by living loud, proud and authentically me every single day.”

    Miss Moço's Picks

    Youth To the People Superfood Air-Whip Lightweight Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

    Youth to the People at Sephora

    Saie Glossybounce™ High-Shine Hydrating Lip Gloss Oil

    Saie at Sephora

    Anastasia Beverly Hills at Sephora

    Anastasia Beverly Hills at Sephora

    1. Youth To the People Superfood Air-Whip Lightweight Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid (Available at Sephora): “Keeps my face feeling hydrated after removing heavy longwear makeup.
    2. Saie Glossybounce™ High-Shine Hydrating Lip Gloss Oil (Available at Sephora): “I am just absolutely obsessed with it!”
    3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighting & Concealing Eyebrow Pro Pencil (Available at Sephora)

    Marissa Leon-John (she/her), Chef and Entrepreneur

    Marissa Leon-John

    (Photo: Emmett Rose, Creative Director)

    Marissa Leon-John is one of Canada’s top cooking stars. A two-time finalist on MasterChef Canada, the self-taught chef uses her voice and platform to provide more visibility for other young, Black, 2SLGBTQ+ members of the culinary community. Through her brand, ELLEJAY’s, Leon-John shares her love for food by curating unique menus that are built on the foundation of her Caribbean heritage.

    “This Pride I want to Be Vulnerable. Too often, many of us members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community hide our true selves in fear of causing discomfort in others. The thing is, by sharing our stories, hopes, dreams and fears, we reveal to the people around us that we are way more alike than we are different.”

    Marissa’s Picks:

    uniqlo airism


    muji pen


    1. UNIQLO AIRism (Available at Uniqlo): “My favourite apparel is literally everything AIRism at UNIQLO. I exclusively wear their gear under my shirts to keep me cool in the kitchen.”
    2. MUJI Pens (Available at MUJI): “I’m a bit of a stationary freak and MUJI makes, hands down, the best pens and markers out there for when I’m making prep lists, jotting down notes and just keeping things clean and organized. I’m lost without them *lol*.”

    Miss Fiercalicious (she/they/he), Drag Performer

    miss fiercalicious

    Photo: Enzo Romero (@enzoromero)

    Known for her sassy, loud personality and, well, fierce, looks, Miss Fiercalicious (a.k.a. Paulo Fortes) is truly a force to be reckoned with. A top four finalist on season 3 of Canada’s Drag Race and a contestant on Traitors Canada season 1, Fierce is always unapologetically herself and inspires others to embrace their authentic selves, no matter what anyone else thinks.

    “Pride is being proud of my authentic self without any shame or judgement. Growing up in a religious household I grew up with a lot of shame and I was always afraid to express my authentic queer self. Now, I celebrate my queerness and live everyday authentically and openly proud, in hopes of inspiring other people who may be going through the same struggle.”

    Miss Fiercalicious’ Pick:

    MAC Studio Tech Foundation

    MAC Cosmetics

    1. MAC Studio Tech Foundation (Available at MAC Cosmetics): “My go-to product for makeup. The application is creamy and smooth against my skin, but dries and leaves a powder finish. It’s very resistant during my drag performances. The coverage is medium and buildable, which makes it great for everyday wear or when I need full coverage when I’m in drag.”

    Celebrate Pride!

    Celebrate Pride by showing your support to the 2SLGBTQI+ with these picks that give back to the community.

    Whether you’re a member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community or an ally, we hope you celebrate who you are and everything you want to be this month and beyond. Happy Pride!

    Read More: History of Pride Flags

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