Deb Parent has been an activist and feminist for more than 40 years, but it was the women's march in January that made her realize why she does what she does.
"[It's] probably what every feminist and organizer dreams of," she tells The Huffington Post Canada, as a reported 60,000 people came out to the Toronto's Women's March last month.
Co-organizers Deb Parent and Kavita Dogra at the end of the rally at Nathan Phillips Square.
The 60-year-old self-defence instructor and DJ, originally from Ottawa, was part of a small group of organizers who witnessed one of the city's biggest protests.
"In 40 years of marching and protesting, it's the first time I ever used the word love at a rally," she says. "I was so moved that my community met me there... 60,000 people showed [us] this is what love looks like, this is what love sounds like."
Deb Parent and organizers at the Toronto women's march in Toronto on Jan. 21.
Parent's activism is widespread. From working in provincial politics to a Toronto rape crisis centre to protesting for women's and gay rights over the years, she's been the face of social change in her local community.
But her true passion for activism started when she was 19. After coming out at the age of 12 in 1969, the same year of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, she joined the gay liberation movement in Ottawa with her lover.
"I was lucky enough to ride that wave of the gay liberation movement and one of my lovers in my late teens, Marie Robertson, was one of the first feminists that I have ever met."
Parent and Robertson protesting in 1977 after the CBC released a public policy on airing controversial content.
And with such a positive response following the march, Parent and her team are working on several events in March, including one for International Women's Day.
"I think this is what the revolution looks like. The revolution may not be televised but it's going to be digitized for sure."
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