MAD PRIDE in Toronto newspaper


MindFreedom International News
Peaceful revolution in mental health - 19 July 2010


   "Show Your Madness!"

Mad Pride is featured today in a Toronto Metro newspaper.

Columnist Carolyn Morris spotlights theater leader and psychiatric 
survivor Ruth Stackhouse, who chairs the MindFreedom International Mad 
Pride Committee. Way to go "Ruth Ruth"!

METRO TORONTO - 19 July 2010
or use:

        Madness brought to life in the city

        Urban Compass by Carolyn Morris

A woman in a white nightgown stands in front of a crowd of 50 or so on  the grassy grounds of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on  Queen Street West. Reading lines from a script, she's telling the  story of a psychiatric patient who lived here when it was still the  Toronto Hospital for the Insane.

After the performance, Ruth Stackhouse, clad in a black negligee and brown newsboy cap, leads the group out of the park and west along the  Queen Street sidewalk. A colourfully decorated hospital bed is wheeled in front, followed by a stream of people, banners and drums.

"Ruth Ruth," as she's known here, wanders through the Mad Pride parade, smiling and dancing. One of the original organizers of the  event, Ruth tells me about the nightgowns and the hospital bed - symbols of life in the asylum, brought out in the open. Madness  brought to light.

To her, Mad Pride, which dates back to 1993, is a celebration of the good side of psychiatric conditions. Growing up with dyslexia, Ruth  thought she was dumb, but not anymore. She sees her dyslexia as a gift.

"I'm a theatre director," says Ruth, who works at the Friendly Spike community theatre. "I wouldn't be able to do what I do if it weren't for my dyslexia."

As we walk the parade route, Ruth smiles at an unassuming man with light brown hair, who's holding a banner. Geoffrey Reaume is another longtime Mad Pride organizer. He was put in a psychiatric ward when he tried to kill himself at 14, and again at 16. Diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, he wasn't thrilled about meeting other patients. But to his surprise a girl labelled "retarded" became his good friend. He would later focus his PhD on sifting through patient records, researching the people who lived and died in the Toronto Hospital for 
the Insane. He's now a professor at York.

As we pass, a boisterous black man shouts, "Show your madness!" in the tone of a gospel preacher as a man in an electric wheelchair honks his horn.

Ruth and others want Parkdale, home to the largest number of psychiatric patients and survivors in the city, to become the city's Mad Village -- like Chinatown or the Gay Village.

"It would be a safe place," she says. "If I have angels on my shoulders, I can say so. And it's OK."

- end -


   ** COMMENT on the Metro site at the end of above article here:


Here is a published comment on the article by David Oaks, Director, of  MindFreedom International:

Mad Pride = Human Pride (the craziest pride)

Congratulations to Mad Pride folks in Toronto, and thank you Ruth Ruth for all you do.

Folks don't know it, but Ruth Ruth also graciously agreed to chair our MAD PRIDE COMMITTEE for MindFreedom International!

For more than a decade there have been all kinds of mad pride activities going on in a bunch of countries. I hope people get involved.

Did you know Martin Luther King said he was proud to be psychologically "maladjusted," and the salvation of the world lies in the hands of the "creatively maladjusted"?

In a way Mad Pride is really HUMAN PRIDE, and when you think of our human history -- isn't that one of the craziest and most difficult prides?

I'm not talking about human arrogance, I'm talking about being proud of being the strange, unique, weird, unstoppable, beings that we are - and doing what we can to save the planet from human's mental and emotional 'challenges.' Thank you!



GET INSPIRED by a list of other known Mad Pride 2010 events all over  the world. See first photo just in from MindFreedom Ghana of their Mad Pride 2010 Street March in Accra -- go here:

TO WATCH other Mad Pride activity, including past Mad Pride Toronto events, go to and search for MAD PRIDE.

MAD PRIDE IRELAND has videos and photos of their recent events involving thousands, and they have changed their web site to:

MINDFREEDOM maintains two *free* e-mail lists as a public service to support news and discussion about Mad Pride:

* For Mad Pride news:

* For Mad Pride discussion -- including with Ruth Ruth:

TO LEARN about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s theme of embracing his "psychological maladjustment" to oppression, and his repeated calls for an International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment, use Google to search for these words:

martin luther king creative maladjustment

REALIZE you are a global leader of MLK's IAACM.