Jade Sambrook: My experience with Public Nudity at the 2014 Toronto World Pride Parade

Every year a group called TNT Men (Totally Naked Toronto Men) walk in the Toronto Pride Parade wearing nothing but their birthday suits. This is permitted by Toronto Pride, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Police itself.

As you may know, there is a historical context to this public nudity being allowed at the Pride Parade that relates to the 1981 bath house raids. I must admit, however, that my personal knowledge of the facts surrounding the raids do not allow me to write more profoundly on that subject.

In 2014 Toronto was the host city for World Pride, and I jumped at the opportunity to be nude in public by joining TNT Men in the parade. Interestingly this was my first time attending a Pride Parade as I had never even attended one as a spectator, let alone as an actual participant.

First of all, it is important to note that I am not gay. Nevertheless, I was more than happy to support the LGBT community in their fight for equal rights. For Jade Sambrook, Pride is about shunning all forms of intolerance and showcasing diversity. Being naked in public accomplishes both of those endeavours. It is also important to understand that for Jade Sambrook being naked in public is extremely liberating; It’s about freedom; It’s about not conforming to social norms or to the tyranny of clothing that is imposed on us. Finally, it’s about doing away with body shame and being proud of who we are and what we are.

Now of course the big question is how did the day unfold? Our group was scheduled to arrive at the parade marshalling point for 1PM so that we could begin walking the parade route an hour later. I arrived on time and quickly stripped down to my birthday suit. I did however wear a cool pair of black and gold 3 stripe Adidas shoes, a classic black bowtie, sunglasses and a wide brim hat to keep my face shaded from the sun.

Jade Sambrook nude in public at the Toronto World Pride Parade with black & gold 3 stripe Adidas and a classic black bowtie
Take Pride in everything you are! Jade Sambrook nude in public at the Toronto World Pride Parade with black & gold 3 stripe Adidas and a classic black bowtie

Since this was World Pride and there were an estimated 1.2 million people in attendance as well as many more parade floats than in previous years, it actually took an inordinate amount of time before we were able to begin walking the parade route. In the meantime, I was happy to publically soak in the sun while enjoying the warm summer breeze on my naked body.

One of the many requests from women for a photo with Jade Sambrook at Toronto World Pride 2014.
One of the many requests from women for a photo with Jade Sambrook at Toronto World Pride 2014

During this time dozens of people – mostly women – asked if they could have their photo taken with me. I was more than pleased to oblige. As usual when I have been naked in public, I received many positive comments, winks, smiles and thumbs-up.

Jade Sambrook and a friend posing naked with a woman who requested a photo at the 2014 Toronto Pride Parade
Jade Sambrook and a friend posing naked with a woman who requested a photo at the 2014 Toronto Pride Parade

Finally around 4PM we entered the parade route and slowly made our way in procession to the cheers of the joyful crowds lined along the streets. It took roughly two hours to finish the parade route, and again, during this whole time we were well received, cheered and applauded. There was also the occasional surprise water gun attack from folks in the crowd, and this was both hilarious and refreshing.

Jade Sambrook doing the 'slide-glide' while walking naked in the Toronto World Pride Parade.
Jade Sambrook doing the ‘slide-glide’ while walking naked in the Toronto World Pride Parade

Once we finished the parade route, which ran along Yonge Street from Bloor to Dundas Street, we headed over to the post-parade Pride festivities on Church Street, which also ran from Dundas to Bloor Street (the same distance as the parade route).

Jade Sambrook naked in public and heading to Pride festivities on Church Street after the Parade
Jade Sambrook naked in public and heading to Pride festivities on Church Street after the Parade

Once on Church Street I spent some time with the group before folks simply started going their own way. Eventually I was on my own and still only wearing my birthday suit. I stayed naked in public until the festival closed at 2AM. During this time I was asked non-stop – again mostly from women – if they could have their photo taken with me, and again I was happy to oblige.

Five naked men at the Toronto Pride Parade, including Jade Sambrook, pose with a woman who requested a photo
Five naked men! Part of our group fulfilling a request for a photo from a woman on Church Street at the 2014 Toronto World Pride festivities

Most average people such as myself say that we would like to be famous and have people running after us for our autograph, whereas many superstars say the opposite and complain about being harassed for autographs. To put it simply, I now know what it feels like to be a superstar! Although I was happy to oblige on the constant photo requests, at one point I joked that I was going to start charging a fee. And had I actually done so I would have become rich due to the sheer amount of these requests.

Another request from women for a photo with Jade Sambrook, nude in public, at the 2014 World Pride festivities on Church Street
Another request for a photo with Jade Sambrook, nude in public, at the 2014 World Pride festivities on Church Street

In the end I had a great experience and a very enjoyable day. I met many people. I felt totally free and proud to be me. More importantly though, I felt accepted and did not witness any forms of intolerance.

Some people may argue that they do not want to see a naked human body when they are out and about, or that they don’t want to see somebodies ”penis”, ”junk” or ”schlong”. Some may make the ”what about the children” argument while others may argue that nudity has nothing to do with Pride festivities. I understand that there is a wide range of opinions on the issue of public nudity. I am certain however that nobody that day – adult or child – was traumatized or injured by seeing a naked human body. I also know that we see and accept things on a daily basis that are far worse than a simple naked human body. For example, we see and accept environmental pollution, mass social inequality, mass media violence and mass world-wide poverty just to name a few. For Jade Sambrook these are much worse than seeing a harmless penis or harmless nudity. Clearly the manner in which simple nudity is perceived is a learned behaviour that can be changed. Just like the way society taught us to accept certain things, it can equally teach us that a simple naked human body is not something to which we should take offense.

Going forward, I’ll certainly be participating naked in the Toronto Pride Parade every single year until I no longer can. Until then, the only thing I need to worry about is what cool shoes I will choose to wear for the next parade. And of course any suggestions that you may have to help me with that choice would be kindly appreciated.

14 thoughts on “Jade Sambrook: My experience with Public Nudity at the 2014 Toronto World Pride Parade

  1. naturalian March 6, 2015 / 03:53

    Brilliant! Just goes to prove that simple nudity is neither harmful,shameful or indecent,just natural,normal and fun! Take care and stay bare!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aguywithoutboxers March 6, 2015 / 05:01

    Great job, my nude buddy! Good representation of our clothes-free community and our same gender loving brotherhood. Nice photos and it looks as though people were glad to have you around! Much love and naked hugs! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sassycoupleok March 6, 2015 / 07:44

    Nicely written and the supporting photos are an excellent example that public nudity is more acceptable than most would have us believe. Despite what we often hear most women don’t mind a nude man and his penis as long as he’s acting appropriately. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nudemarc March 6, 2015 / 22:12

    Reblogged this on Nu et heureux – Naked and Happy and commented:
    Nudity is a liberating feeling. Being naked in public is just awesome. The story of Jade is wonderful and shows that actually nudity should be allowed everywhere and anywhere. Nudity is natural and beautiful. Wonderful story and picks. Keep it up, stay naked !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim July 17, 2015 / 12:16

    Us five naked guys surely became an instant highlight for this gal, wouldn’t you agree? It’s getting love all over blogspot too

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Robin Gorsline December 15, 2015 / 11:57

    Really appreciate your natural attitude, as well as attire, your ease with your own body and your openness to other views. That is the way that over time we will see the change you advocate, the view I share that nudity is natural and appropriate. I also appreciate, as a gay man, your willingness, as a non-gay man, to share in LGBT Pride. That speaks well of your sense of self and community. Keep your clothes off and keep writing!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Jade Sambrook December 17, 2015 / 23:34

      Thank you so much for your kind words of support Robin. Apologies for the delay of my reply. It is very encouraging to know that others – great people like you – share a view that change is possible over time. Change may be slow, but it is possible! Please know that your words have helped strengthen my resolve towards that goal. Again, thank you so much for your positive comment.

      Like

  7. george1094 January 4, 2016 / 09:10

    Good job. How long you can stay naked after parade ends> Can you be naked anywhere in Toronto that day?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jade Sambrook January 4, 2016 / 17:51

      Thank you George for your comment and for the question. You can stay naked after the parade, but only on the ”Pride Festival” site which is on Church Street between College and Bloor Streets. In other words you cannot be naked anywhere in Toronto. Of course you can also be naked at the parade marshaling area about an hour before the parade.

      Like

      • george January 17, 2016 / 23:30

        An hour before the parade? Wow! Just walk bare naked anywhere Between College and Bloor Street. Sound cool and I want to try in 2016. Just afraid I’ll get erection… What to do then?

        Like

      • Jade Sambrook January 18, 2016 / 15:57

        You can only be naked after the parade between College and Bloor Streets on Church Street (The Gay Village). Not anywhere. Church Street only.

        In terms of getting an erection – and I shouldn’t be answering this question because it’s common sense – it’s like going to a nude beach or a nudist resort. The same rules and etiquette apply.

        First of all it is extremely rare to get an erection when you are publicly naked. Its something about how the brain works.

        Secondly, if you do get an erection then it’s important to cover it up as per nudist etiquette just like you’d do at the nude beach. Not covering up would get you arrested rather quickly because there are police all over the place. The last thing we need is somebody ruining it for everybody and us not being allowed naked at Pride anymore because somebody was walking around with a visible erection in public and around the children that are also in attendance. So just like at the nude beach, if you get an erection then you cover it up. Simple as that.

        TNTMen and the fight for nudist rights is about nudity and getting public nudity to be accepted by society. It’s not lewd and it’s not sexual. Nor is it about exhibitionism. It’s about fighting for the hard earned rights of the LGBT community against discrimination – and in this case – the hard fought battles of TNTMen against discrimination.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Michael June 25, 2016 / 00:45

    Great Story! I’ll be visiting from Germany on Parade Weekend and will join you naked guys… Looking forward to that!!

    Liked by 1 person

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