The most insane party ever
Yes, you read the title correctly. This post is about a party…but not just any party – it’s the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, which rejoices Mad Pride in Hamilton
The event will occur this upcoming Saturday, July 19th from 1-5 pm (tea is at 1, open mic starts at 1:15) and it will be at The Perkins Centre on 1429 Main Street East (Main and Kenilworth). All Mad people, consumer/survivors of the mental health system, people labeled with mental illness, and supportive friends are invited. Guests are encouraged to wear the wackiest of hats and showcase their artistic talents.
What is Mad Pride? It is an annual madness arts, culture, and heritage celebration that has existed around the world for over 20 years and in Hamilton since July of last year. It is a movement that differs from traditional mental health events that focus on raising awareness of “mental illness”. Mad Pride recognizes and celebrates the differences of a group that is frequently discriminated against – people who are negatively labeled as mad, crazy, insane, or mentally ill; human-beings with diverse identities and countless strengths. Mad culture aims to reclaim some of those negative descriptors and use them instead to represent the positive strengths of people with lived experience. Instead of allowing society to choose labels for us, Mad culture provides space for people to choose the words they identify with – whether that be mad, crazy, neuroatypical or something entirely different. The movement also recognizes that there is an issue with our exclusionary society that defines “normal” in a very narrow way – a perspective that removes blame from individuals who identify differently than the norm. And that is well articulated in Alise deBie’s recent Spec article, when she plainly states “I don’t need to ‘get better.’ I need a better world.”
Mad Pride has been celebrated internationally in multiple locations, with Toronto’s Mad Pride week happening from July 7-13 of this year. Canada’s first Mad Pride celebration occurred in Toronto in 1993.