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Jamea Zuberi Pelau MasQUEERade, was created to celebrate the diversity of people of colour within the diversity of their sexuality. This community based group is a Caribbean queer diasporic group, comprised of Caribbean people their friends, lovers, family and allies. Pelau fashions itself after the Carnival bands found in the Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Carnival and the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade [Caribana]. Pelau members are encouraged to draw on T&T’s tradition of ‘Playing Mas’ (dressing up in costumes and parading/dancing together as a group in the street), to participate in the annual Toronto Pride Parade. The Toronto Pride Parade is part of a larger LGBTTI2QQ Pride week festival that usually takes place in the last weekend of June, and ends with a street parade on the Sunday of the Pride weekend.
    Pelau MasQUEERade’s first entry into the Toronto Pride Parade was in 2002, but it was initially conceived in 1997 by Jamea Zuberi, a black self-identified Trinidadian lesbian. Zuberi, currently an educator, has been a community activist and social organizer within black cultural communities in Toronto, as well as within black queer diasporic communities for several years. Zuberi and a group of her friends dreamed of bringing T&T’s tradition of ‘Playing Mas’ to Pride, as a way to address the lack of racial/ethnic diversity in the parade.

To contact Pelau MasQueerade, email us at