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March 2010 ISSUE 77 The Only Magazine Dedicated to Alberta’s LGBT Community



Hollywood’s Hot Mess

ORphans of Evil Nate Phelps on Escaping Westboro Baptist Church

Interviews with:

Miss J. Alexander Miles Faber Laurell

Community Directory • Map and Events • Tourism Info >> Starting on Page 17

LGBT Resource • Calgary • Edmonton • Alberta

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Table of Contents

March 2010 5 Ambassadors of Open-mindedness?


Steve Polyak, Rob Diaz-Marino, B&J, Craig Taylor, Tiffany Thomas


Steve Polyak, Rob Diaz-Marino


North Hill News/Central Web


Calgary: Gallant Distribution GayCalgary Staff Edmonton: Clark’s Distribution Other: Canada Post

Legal Council

Courtney Aarbo, Barristers and Solicitors

Sales & General Inquiries

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine 2136 17th Avenue SW Calgary, AB, Canada T2T 0G3

Office Hours: By appointment ONLY Phone: 403-543-6960 Toll Free: 1-888-543-6960 Fax: 403-703-0685 E-Mail: This Month's Cover Ke$sha Photographed by Shelby Duncan

Proud Members of:

Beef Dip 2010 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

9 If These Walls Could Talk Interior Design Tips from the Pro

11 Miles Goes the Distance

Faber on Life, the Future, and Dancing for the King of Pop



12 Laurell

Musical Vancouverite Can’t Stop Falling for Success

13 Chelsea Boys 14 Gay Travel


17 Directory and Events 24 A Church Divided

The Anglican Communion’s Struggle with Sexism and Homophobia

26 Adult Film Review


Writers and Contributors

Chris Azzopardi, Dallas Barnes, Dave Brousseau, Jason Clevett, Andrew Collins, Rob Diaz-Marino, Jack Fertig, Glen Hanson, Joan Hilty, Stephen Lock, Allan Neuwirth, Steve Polyak, Pam Rocker, Ara Shimoon, Romeo San Vicente, Kyle Taylor of Jerome Voltero, Dan Woog, Jackson Photografix, Liz Nandee, and the GLBT Community of Calgary, Edmonton, and Alberta.

Publisher’s Column

Dickin’ Around, Eye Contact

27 Coming Out Monologues Local Thespians Tell Real Stories

27 Q Scopes

“Be careful, Gemini!”

28 Deep Inside Hollywood


Publisher: Steve Polyak Editor: Rob Diaz-Marino Sales: Steve Polyak Design & Layout: Rob Diaz-Marino, Ara Shimoon

Eliza Dushku’s road to Mapplethorpe

29 Attack in Black 30 Out of Town

Hawaii’s Garden Isle: Kauai

Edmonton Rainbow Business Association

32 The Quest for Biological Legitimacy 33 Sexy Talk!

International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association

National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association

34 Fundraising Photos 35 Outrage and the Outing of Politicians 36 Exploring Leather Relationships Part 3 of 3: “Sirs” and “Boys”


Ground Zero / Hit & Myth tackle My First Time

Continued on Next Page  GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Table of Contents  Continued From Previous Page

37 Gloriously Good

Stage West’s Delusional Diva Tale a Real Treat

38 Queeries


Asking Lesbians Out, Cougars or Daddies, and Gay Homes

39 The OutField Out in the NFL?

40 28th Annual Western Cup

Continuing the Canadian Olympic Sporting Spirit

41 Bitter Girl 42 A Couple of Guys

43 The Orphans of Evil

Nate Phelps on Escaping Westboro Baptist Church


45 From Top Model to Top Author Miss J. Alexander on Top Model and Follow the Model

46 Music Review Little Boots, k.d. lang

47 Gentlemen Prefer BMW’s Toby: A Man

48 Classified Ads

51 Hollywood’s Hot Mess PAGE XXX 51

Ke$ha talks about being bisexual (for real!), the infamous sign defacing and doing makeup with ‘gay boyfriend’ Adam Lambert

54 Ronnie Burkett

Canadian Puppet Icon on Life, Loss, and Billy Twinkle

58 Queer Eye—Community Events

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History Originally established in January 1992 as Men for Men BBS by MFM Communications. Name changed to in 1998. Independent company as of January 2004. First edition of Magazine published November 2003. Name adjusted in November 2006 to GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine.

Disclaimer and Copyright Opinions expressed in this magazine are specific to the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of GayCalgary staff and contributors. Those involved in the making of this publication, whether advertisers, contributors, or the subjects of articles or photographs, are not necessarily gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans. This magazine also includes straight allies and those who are gay friendly. No part of this publication may be reprinted or modified without the expressed written permission of the editor or publisher.

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

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Ambassadors of Open-mindedness? Publisher’s Column

By Rob Diaz-Marino It seems that LGBT people are often looked to as, or selfproclaimed to be, ambassadors of open mindedness. What we go through supposedly makes us more empathetic to other minorities who suffer the same injustices. While in some cases this may be true, I have to admit that I have become quite sceptical of this in the broader sense. I’ve met, or at least heard the opinions of LGBT people who are just as racist or sexist, even transphobic, as the straight people they condemn for being homophobic. When our community has been patting itself on the back for battling on the forefront for human rights, acceptance, and equality, this sounds like a contradiction in terms—shameful, even hypocritical. While circumstances have forced many to (sometimes reluctantly) accept homosexuality for their own sake, it seems to be a constant that people are only as open minded as they need to be – and that stems from how open minded they are taught to be from observing their parents. For instance, this month we have an interview with Nate Phelps, a son of the man behind the “God Hates Fags” campaign (pg. 43). He is certainly not gay, but offers some insight into the mindset of one of the most hated families in North America. While Nate has escaped from his father’s teachings, and acknowledges that he understands how warped they are from what is acceptable in greater society, he discusses how difficult it was to squash these preset thoughts and behaviours in order to integrate with the outside world. There is something to be said for the powerful influence family has over shaping children, and the instinctive force that pushes a child to replicate those behaviours – like a social genetics of sorts. While finding out that you are gay may make you question what your relatives have taught you, it certainly doesn’t require you to re-form all of your opinions anew. One has to realise that there can be no sudden, revolutionary leaps of reasoning beyond what you currently understand. A reflection of the beliefs of the people around you while growing up, is the necessary starting point, for lack of any other one. The only thing that can change this imprint is any life experience you may have that leads you compellingly to other conclusions. This is of course, assuming your upbringing has adequately equipped you to assimilate new experiences (to be open minded), and not brainwashed you to discard them on principle, or accept only the ones that are self-serving (closed minded). In this dichotomy, I have to say, I think LGBT people are wrong to assume they are any better than other demographics. I don’t say this to put us down, only to try and call attention to what may be a false sense of security about our open mindedness. We’ll never undergo the journey to earn a badge of universal tolerance until we lose this idea that our gay card somehow replaces the need for one. All of that being said, I realized recently that my knowledge and involvement within the LGBT community had lulled me into a somewhat narrow mindset of my own. It all started unravelling back in November at the Taboo Sex Show, when we were pleasantly surprised to have some in depth dialogue with a number of people that identified themselves to us as being Bisexual. While they were very appreciative and supportive of what we do with the magazine, through nothing in particular that they said, I began getting this nagging feeling at the back of my mind. I began to think that as LGBT organizations, we often make the assumption that by serving gay men and women, we by extension cater to, and profess to understand the lives of bisexuals—or their “gay

side” anyway. But therein lies the flaw in our logic. People who are Bisexual are not just the sum of a gay half and a straight half – they are a single, whole person, and a seamless union of both camps. This is a difficult concept for many of us, myself included, to wrap our heads around – and not for lack of trying. It shows me that my sum of knowledge from the straight world and from the gay world has not been enough to understand what it really means to be Bi. And for me, this points out how this LGBT utopia is really just a pink-tinted mirror image of the straight camp, with more parallels that we’d care to admit, and subsequently a reinvention of many of the same problems. Sure, it is better for us, but is it really better? So deep philosophical questions aside, it was here we found out that Calgary has swingers clubs outside of the LGBT fact, quite a number of them. And it blew my mind to think there was this whole other underground bar community based on sexuality that we didn’t even know existed. A lot of what we have done with this magazine has been focused on bringing segments of our LGBT community out of obscurity – to bring isolated groups into public knowledge, and to give a clear view of the big picture. But this new discovery is completely unexplored territory (for us anyway), and in a way, it’s really exciting. We arranged a meeting with one such club, to come down one night and see what the place is like. This one is a lot better hidden than our gay bars—tucked away in a little known corner of the suburbs, only active at night, long after the businesses around them are closed (and shockingly only a few blocks from the Fabricland where my mom works during the day). Admission is not open to anyone who walks in – the club only lets in members, and people can only become members on recommendation from friends who are members. So the clientele is regulated a lot more strictly, and this is only possible through the fact that they are not an alcohol-serving establishment – it is strictly BYOB...and other things. What I witnessed, as the owners took us on a tour of the place and we settled down for an in depth chat, was something very new to me: an openness about sexuality like I had never seen before in our province. Unlike a bathhouse where people often choose to have exploratory sex behind closed doors, here everything occurs out in the open – anyone can watch, anyone can participate (if they respectfully gain permission). So LGBT people thinking we’re at the forefront of sexual enlightenment may be another false sense of achievement. Once again I say, we have some lessons to learn.

February 2010 The exhibit of Kent Monkman, the artist featured on last month’s cover, had its launch party at the Glenbow Museum. Attendance was through the roof, and we finally got the chance to see the original pieces. In some paintings, Monkman does vast, breathtaking landscapes, but it’s the subtle details that give them their queer slant. It’s hard to appreciate this difference in scale until you see the paintings for yourself. There is still time – the exhibit runs until April 25th. The Calgary Eagle celebrated their 8th anniversary by doing something a little different. They closed down the bar for the week leading up to this date, in order to do some renovations and launch a fresh new look and attitude. While it will always be a leather bar at heart, part of what the renovations have accomplished is to make the venue cater better to the needs of the community. With a brighter atmosphere, comfier seating, nicer bathrooms, and a fresh set of ideas for working

Continued  GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

 Editorial - Cont’d in partnership with the city’s non-profit groups, the bar has secured a place for itself for many years to come.

This Month • The ARGRA Dance in Calgary is on March 13th, and they’re kicking it off with an hour of Karaoke from 8-9pm. See their ad for details. • The annual St. Patrick’s Day Irish Auction in is happening March 14th at the Texas Lounge in Calgary. See their ad for details. • The Coming Out Monologues makes its debut on March 19th. See their ad, or the article on page 27 for details. • Woody’s in Edmonton is celebrating their 8th Anniversary on March 20th. • The next bi-monthly BEEF Bearbash is happening on March 27th at Boots Bar in Edmonton. See their ad for details. • The Calgary Eagle is hosting a Mac & Cheese Competition benefitting the SHARP Foundation on March 28th. • Apollo Western Cup happens April 1st to 3rd. Go down to the sports venues to watch the tournaments for free, and keep your schedule open for the annual Western Cup Dance on the 3rd. See their ads for details.

View Bonus Pics/Videos • Share with a Friend • Post Comments

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Beef Dip 2010 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Photos by Jackson Photografix

The Beef Dip is a week-long holiday outing to share company with bears and admirers in a climate conducive to wearing as little clothing as possible. This year’s 7th annual Beef Dip happened the last week of January in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with many in attendance from Canada and indeed numerous familiar faces from Alberta.


If These Walls Could Talk

Having trouble finding the right metallic paint to help upgrade wall paneling? Try adding aluminum foil to help make that staircase more attractive.

Interior Design Tips from the Pro By Liz Nandee

It is often said in order to change the look of a room, do it with a simple can of paint, hide imperfections with a few strips of wallpaper or even create a focal point with a basic faux finish. As the new decade evolves with trends becoming more elaborate and also embracing an emphasis on becoming eco friendly, some may wonder what would be the next step in producing that “wow factor” in wall coverings. Here is a sneak peek into a few new trend setters that are the talk of the design town:

Tissue paper comes in many different styles and can be quite eclectic; here is a twist on “paper mâché walls.”

Taking old or collected news papers to create a subtle backdrop in any monotone space. If your space doesn’t allow much room for an elaborate wall treatment, consider using the ceiling to become the main attraction in your space.

Interiors are becoming very high impact and various creative and artistic visions are going places unimaginable. While still creating spaces that are both functional and esthetically pleasing, be aware of the bold statements that reflect the characteristics of the space.

Basic Black Designs Inc.

403-590-3942 • Still like the idea of wall paper? The up-and-coming trend is fabric paper. It’s available in many gorgeous modern and traditional styles and adds interest in any space with its eye catching texture.

View Bonus Pics/Videos • Share with a Friend • Post Comments GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Miles Goes the Distance Faber on Life, the Future, and Dancing for the King of Pop By Jason Clevett When a reality series involves a talent competition, it can at times be difficult to imagine the lives of the contestants after the show is over. In the case of American Idol there is a tangible outcome: a CD, songs on the radio, etc. But what happens in the case of shows like So You Think You Can Dance Canada? For Calgary’s Miles Faber, it has meant he gets to fulfill his dream of dancing for a living. Whether performing in movies, at events like the Calgary Stampede, teaching at seminars or trying out for auditions, the season 1 runner up is a busy man. “It has been crazy I have probably had a total of two months off since the show,” Faber told GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine over the phone from Toronto. “We went on tour right away and then I started travelling around the country teaching and doing shows like the Calgary Stampede and shows in Toronto. I am also on my third movie now, it has been non-stop. That show has flipped me around 180, not only for everything I learned about dancing but to learn what I was capable of. It changed my whole outlook on what I can do with my life, goals and my dance. It changed everything for me.” A big part of his career is teaching, such as at a recent workshop in Calgary – he has come a long way from his early teaching days. “The teaching I was doing was local studio, show up every week and do my thing. It isn’t bad but once you can breach the market and travel and do workshops as opposed to an every week class it is much better.” While travelling across the country, he doesn’t often get time to actually see the cities he visits. “A lot of times it is in and out. When I have friends [in a particular city] I try and stay an extra day or so, so I can hang out with them and explore the city. One place I didn’t get to explore was St. Johns, Newfoundland. That was a real in and out procedure and I really wanted to see more because I had never been that far east out there. But I got to spend a couple of days in Halifax which was good.” He has moved to Toronto, another life and career altering decision. “Toronto living is great. I just got a new apartment, and there is everlasting inspiration here that you can’t find in a lot of cities in the world, let alone Canada. I met my girlfriend here and am still with her and love being around her, so that is nice. One of my main teachers for my style of dance lives here and he is one of the best in the world, and I am very thankful to have that. There are auditions, movies, it is a great place to learn and experience things. I do want to travel abroad and go to different places and experience different things. I love it here but I do want to extend.” When he is not travelling he has been busy working on movies. He acted and danced in Turn The Beat Around currently playing on MTV, danced in the upcoming Disney film Harry The Spy, and is currently dancing and doing the choreography for Hockey: The Musical starring Olivia Newton-John. In fact, getting to work with iconic figures like Newton-John still blows Miles away. “It hits you like a wall, and you don’t believe it until that moment. Then you talk to them and it is overwhelming, but you remember you are both working there, you have to keep yourself in control and under check when you meet people like that. I’ve met people like Tom Cruise, and at the Michael Jackson audition he was right there

“I was right there in his face, it was an energy like I have never felt before. Everyone was freaking out because the king was there, there was no room for egos because Michael [Jackson] was there.”  Miles Faber,

so that was the toughest one. It is sometimes difficult to hold it in but you do what you can.” Many don’t know that Faber auditioned for Michael Jackson’s This Is It tour— what he hails as one of his most amazing experiences. “It was insane. I hadn’t been on many auditions in my life, Michael was my fifth audition. There were about 170 guys from all over the world, from people who had danced with Michael before, danced with Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake—you name it, they were there. I made it to the top 40 guys before I was cut. We did the 1995 MTV Smooth Criminal routine and it was crazy. I was right there in his face, it was an energy like I have never felt before. Everyone was freaking out because the king was there, there was no room for egos because Michael was there.” To say Jackson’s death affected the dance world would be the biggest understatement ever. In watching the documentary/concert film on the tour, one couldn’t help but feel for the dancers that did make the cut, watching their dream of performing with Jackson die with their idol. “I know a couple of them that were on the show. They became very close to him, they would hang out with him, go to his house for rehearsals, they had a really strong connection. When something like his death happens, everyone in the world feels it. It is still hard to believe that someone like that is gone. He is the reason why 99% of the people in the world dance, he was a huge factor. I know everyone is very upset, but you have to hold onto that experience that you had with him. They were lucky enough to spend those last months with him and that is beautiful. ...Being in his presence is something I will never forget. I will always be driven and it will

Continued on Page 57  GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



 Photo’s by Jamie Delaine


Musical Vancouverite Can’t Stop Falling for Success By Jason Clevett Vancouver based Laurell has been slowly making a name for herself as an independent Canadian artist. Now, with her new album Can’t Stop Falling, she is ready to take her career to the next level. “For me life has been pretty interesting over the past few years. I have been making music for quite awhile and my approach has been to start with a grassroots following. I totally believe that in order to have longevity in the music industry you have to start by connecting with people at a small intimate level. Over the last few years I have been touring and putting out albums completely independently. I decided I needed to expand a bit and spread my wings and started getting other people involved in this project,” she explained to GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine. “What is so amazing is that all of this hard work I have put into it has completely come back. I’ve been chosen as Virgin Radio’s best of BC artist and featured on Virgin Radio last year to the single Can’t Stop Falling having just won CHUM radio’s emerging artist initiative and have added my song to their radio stations all across Canada—and other stations have followed suit. It is thrilling to see Canadian radio responding to this song from someone completely independent. With that, Warner Music has decided they want to distribute my new album and due to popular demand they pushed up the release from March 2nd to February 23rd. So it is now in stores and iTunes. It is pretty thrilling to see all this craziness that behind the scenes has taken so long to get to. I can’t even describe what it is like to see it finally come to fruition” With the new album comes stepping back for Laurell. Things like having a manager and a publicist can be an uncomfortable change for someone who is used to doing everything themselves. “Everything about this experience is like the album itself, the biggest risk I have taken in my music. Every aspect of this whole process—cowriting for the first time, a new producer, recording in a city I don’t live in, having a publicist, I have had the chance to open myself up and let more people into the process. It has somehow managed to still stay personal to me at the same time. I don’t know how that happened! I expected to lose a certain amount of personal investment by letting other people into it but it is almost that I feel strengthened and encouraged. Letting go is a lot easier than I thought it would be.” That grassroots effort is paying off with the excitement and support of her fans. “They are freaking out and so excited! I keep in touch with people a lot on Facebook and Twitter. People are beside themselves, they are so happy and think it is long overdue. I keep getting messages from people who have heard me on the radio. They are so encouraging. I wouldn’t have even gotten this far without them and feel it is their success too. Often I was asked why I wasn’t on the radio or had a music video and


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

it was hard to explain that I want to have a slow burn rather than be a blip on the screen. The longer I have been doing that, the more the fans understand it and taking part in doing what they need to do to make it successful like requesting songs on radio stations. That is what helps you stay on the air longer. They are into it and I am floored, I actually have their support and wouldn’t be there without them.” While there are many successful Canadian male artists and bands, females seem to struggle in the Canadian music industry. You can count on your hands the amount of huge female starts from Canada in the last decade. It seems that trend is changing with talented artists like Serena Ryder, Jully Black, and now Laurell making waves, to just name a few. “In my experience it is a man’s business for sure. I have felt very intimidated at times in different situations. In some ways it is easier because there just aren’t that many women in the industry. As far as touring and connecting with audiences, as a woman I can walk into a venue and be more impressive because less is expected from a woman than a man, so if you are good you get a lot of respect from your venue and other musicians. I am trying to follow the example of people like Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne and Celine Dion—they have done amazing things in their career and are good musicians/singers/writers. I am trying to keep that reputation that Canada has for great female artists that do make it.” What makes many of these artists successful is the amount of heart they put into their music. In listening to Laurell’s album, it stands out is how personal the songs are. “I feel that it covers such a spectrum of subjects and emotions and touches on so many different parts of my life: grandparents who lived through the depression in Liverpool; seeing my friend watch her dad suffer from a mental illness; my pursuit of living life to the fullest; women in the workplace; summertime romance; the nothingness that is left when a relationship dies. It is a window to parts of my life that has inspired me in the last couple of years. What is different and makes me so proud is its honesty. That is why it is a risk but one I am proud of. Something that is genuine stands the test of time. While I am experiencing success out of it and made certain decisions based on business, I can’t go against the grain of who I am. If I don’t have a true story behind a song I won’t believe it and neither will anybody else. That is important and a standard in the way I make music.” Another advantage is living in the internet age, which allows your music to be easily accessed worldwide. “It has enhanced my reach globally. What people connect with is the personal videos on YouTube, they want to feel like they are in my living room or at a venue with me. It shows there is still a need for a physical connection in a room to happen and it is neat to me that it can happen over the internet. People take my concert listings and post them on their webpages, or get their friends to call into radio stations and request my song. It is amazing to me that people can be that proactive in this day and age because of the internet.” Indeed, she is amazed by how far that reach can go. “There is a TV show in Korea called Go Dream Team that featured my music when they were here filming to lead up to the Olympics. Because they featured me, so many new fans have come out of the woodwork from that part of the world and are all over my YouTube channel and saying things like come to Korea. Maybe there is a market there, I would love to go to other places

Continued on Page 57 

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



Gay Travel


THE CITY St. Petersburg was built as Russia’s “window to the west” and it remains perhaps the most “European” part of this enormous nation. Tree-lined avenues, charming bridges, elegant architecture and a network of canals that rivals both Amsterdam and Venice make this the perfect walking city. Even under Soviet oppression St. Petersburg managed to keep a lightness and an air about it that other parts of the country simply could not manage. St. Petersburg is to Moscow what San Francisco is to New York. Culture and nightlife are explosive yet there’s a sense that people aren’t in nearly as big a hurry. As such, this remains Russia’s most gay-friendly city, with venues situated right on the street and not hidden down a back alley. While still not as accepting as the rest of Europe, in St. Petersburg it appears okay to be gay. Cruise down the river Neva to Peterhof—Russia’s Versailles. Wander room after room of the Hermitage—the world’s largest art collection. Sip champagne in a waterside cafe. Whatever you do, don’t rush. This is St. Petersburg—where life will never pass you by.

THE LAY OF THE LAND St. Petersburg is situated along the River Neva. Nevskiy Prospect—the city’s main avenue—extends from the river to the train station and is lined with shops, churches, monuments and people. The Winter Palace, which houses the Hermitage, is just east of Nevskiy Prospect, squeezed gently between the river and Palace Square, where the Bolshevik Revolution came to fruition over ninety years ago. The canals spiral outward from the river and most canal-side streets intersect Nevskiy Prospect. 14

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Over the river is Peter and Paul Fortress as well as several other museums. Make Palace Square your point of reference and explore from there. Note—clubs, bars, restaurants and even sites are opening and closing constantly. In addition, due to high inflation prices increase without notice. Be advised—use the following information as a general guide only and verify prices online closer to your departure.

THE GAY Perhaps the topic area where Russia is most different from its European counterparts is gay rights. While homosexuality was removed from the official list of mental illnesses in 1999, there is currently no legal recognition of gay marriage and public support stood at just 14% for such legislation as of 2005. In an odd split of opinion, 43% of Russians support re-criminalizing homosexual acts while 43% of Russians support a legal ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation. Hate crimes are less common but still do occur, though they are rare in larger cities. In short, this is a tough place to be gay, though Russian gays are pretty darn tough, too. A sizeable gay scene does exist in both Moscow and St. Petersburg, though what happens inside stays inside. No cameras or recording equipment are allowed for fear of blackmailing clients. This is pretty full-on. THE GAY(BORHOOD) There isn’t really a gayborhood per se. No doubt Central Station has become the hub as it is St. Petersburg’s largest and most popular gay venue. While the gay scene is growing, it is still intimate enough that everyone sort-of knows each other. Make friends with a local and take their advice on what’s happening.

THE MUST-SEES AND MUST-DOS 1. The Hermitage (36 Nab Dvortsovaya, Metro Nevskiy) The world’s largest art collection at three million pieces. Clearly not all of them are on display at once. Beyond the art (which is exceptional) the architecture inside is absolutely mindblowing. There is a room made entirely of gold. Admission is free for all students and about $8 for adults. Plan to spend an entire day here. 2. St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Metro Nevskiy or Sennaya Ploschad) Capped by a dome made of 550 pounds of solid gold, St. Isaac’s Cathedral is monumental to say the least. Make sure to climb the 270 steps for spectacular views over the city. Entry $6 3. Church of Our Saviour On Spilled Blood (Metro Nevskiy) Very similar to St. Basil’s in Moscow, this gem is home to the world’s largest tile mosaic. Its canal-side location is also rather charming. Entry $5. 4. Peter & Paul Fortress (Metro Gorkovskaya) Where the city all began, the fortress is now the final resting place of Russia’s last Tsar and his family. One ticket allows admission to all sites inside. Don’t miss the Chapel of St. Catherine The Martyr, the Peter and Paul Cathedral and Trubetskoy Bastion (prison) where both Trotsky and Dostoevsky were held at one time. Entry $6 5. The Museum of Political History of Russia (Kuybysheva 2, Metro Gorkovskaya) Another exceptionally curated collection of artifacts tracing Russia’s darkest days, the museum visit includes a 120-page guide in English that gives descriptions of every item in the museum. Don’t miss Gorbachev’s letter of resignation, among other incredible relics. Entry $3 6. Dostoevsky House (5/2 Kuznechnyy, Metro Vladimirskaya) Where the man himself lived and wrote The Brother’s Karamozov. For anyone who has ever survived a Russian literature class, a visit here somehow makes it feel all worthwhile. Entry $3 7. Along Nevskiy (Metro Nevskiy) St. Petersburg’s major thoroughfare, the avenue is dotted with churches, monuments and history. Don’t miss the Admiralty and the Bronze Horseman of Peter the Great at end near the river, the Kazansky Cathedral and the statue of Catherine the Great. 8. The Ballet (Book tickets at Nevsky Souvenir, 3 Nevsky Prospect (on the corner where Nevsky Prospect ends at Admiralty), +7 (812) 312-68-02, St. Petersburg is home to the world’s greatest ballet and you should absolutely indulge in a performance. The Mariinskiy Theater (1 Teatralnaya) is the nation’s most famous. As such, prices are a bit steep, ranging from $75 to over $200. Alternatively, the Palace Theater (13 Italyanska, Metro Gostiny Dvor) offers a regular season of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. While this is supposedly “the tourist show,” watching the St. Petersburg Ballet Company and listening to the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra felt pretty perfect. Tickets range from $30 to about $100.


Like all of Russia, dining out is expensive, even at fast food kiosks on the street. Fortunately, the concept restaurant is alive and well in St. Petersburg, which means you’re not only getting food but an entire “experience.” Cafe culture is huge here, as is American-style country cookin’. Russian •Teremok (60 Nevsky pr, Metro Nevsky) A “fast food” chain in St. Petersburg that’s not all that fast in a good way. Made to order blinis filled with pretty much anything you like, delicious soups and delectable deserts make this a great option. Meal for one around $8. •Yolki-Palki (88 Nevsky pr, Metro Mayakovskaya) Quite possibly “too Russian,” this “authentic eating experience” comes complete with stuffed roosters, staff in “authentic costumes” and buffet-style Russian grub. Not bad at all. Meal for one around $12. •Pyshki (25 Bolshaya Konyushennaya, Metro Nevsky) Stop in with the Russians for a quick hot, fresh donut...or maybe a dozen? At 25 cents each there is nothing more affordable. The 50-cent cup of coffee was also top-notch.

Continued  GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


 Gay Travel - Cont'd. Not Russian •Khachapurnaya (154 Ligovsky pr, Metro Ligovsky) Quite possibly the most delicious meal this writer has ever eaten. Serving traditional Georgian food, this 5-table wonder will blow your mind with the hot, fresh, and overwhelmingly delicious meals on offer. There is no English menu but try khachipuri, kebab & the spicy soup. You won’t regret it. Meal for one around $15. •Trans-Force (88 Nevsky pr, Metro Mayakovskaya) Not just dinner, but an intergalactic voyage through time and space. Sit down behind your control panel, order food from a digital screen and take in the 270-degree 3D virtual space voyage. You’ll have to see it to fully understand. Meals for one around $10. •Cafe Zoom (22 Gorokhovaya, Metro Sennaya Ploschad) The coolest-looking menus this writer has ever seen. This place is almost always packed, so arrive before the dinner rush or be prepared to wait. Don’t worry, it’s worth it. Meal for one around $10. •Teplo (45 Bolsaya Morskaya, Metro Sennaya Ploschad, www. From the adorable wallpaper to freshly baked breads and deserts, Teplo’s soul food will be much appreciated on a cold Russian afternoon. Come for dinner and stay for coffee, cocktails and dessert. You really won’t want to leave. Dinner for one around $15.

THE NIGHTLIFE Despite its more relaxed vibe, the nightlife in St. Petersburg is absolutely on fire. Whether gay or straight, you’re guaranteed to be out dancing, drinking and jiving until the sun comes up. Gay •Cafe Dali (11 Spasskii per, Metro Sennaya) Drag shows on Tuesday and Sunday night bring in the regulars, as does the all-day food and drinks on offer. A very mixed scene. •Cabaret (181 Obvodny canal embankment, Metro Baltiyskaya, in the building of the House of Culture) Once the top spot in St. Petersburg, the smaller Cabaret still pulls in big crowds on the weekends. The space itself is worth the visit. Cover prices vary from $5 on up to $15. •Central Station (1/28 ulitsa Lomonosova, Metro Nevskiy Prospect) The place to be in St. Petersburg—especially on Friday and Saturday night. Multiple dance floors, go-go boys,

3am drag shows and the most bizarre bathroom ever seen in a nightclub make Central Station a must on any visit to St. Petersburg. Free entry for students all night long. Cover ranges but is usually $10. Still Okay •Liverpool (16 Mayakovskogo, Metro Pl. Vosstaniya) Easily the best pub in St. Petersburg. Just come to relax and drink a beer. •JFC Jazz Club (33 Ul. Shpalernaya, Metro Chernyshevskaya) The best jazz in Russia and an excellent lounge scene to go with it. •Marstall (5 Nab. kan. Griboedova, Metro Nevsky) St. Petersburg’s current reigning champion in the nightlife scene. The party doesn’t really get going until 3am and it rages on into the wee hours of the morning. Cover can be steep. Expect to pay at least $10.

THE ESCAPE No trip to St. Petersburg would be complete without a visit to Peterhof. (Take the train from Baltiyskiy train station at Baltiyskaya Metro. From there, take almost any bus to Peterhof. Look for signs in the bus window. On the way back, take bus number 103 to the metro) Built by the Peters and expanded by Catherine as Russia’s very own Versailles, the scale, scope and majesty of this inspired Summer Palace make it a must-see. The palace is split into upper and lower gardens. While the upper gardens are free to wander and beautiful, the lower gardens are home to nearly 100 gold fountains shooting brilliantly into a canal that empties into the Gulf of Finland. Don’t miss the rock fountains. Supposedly, there is just one that makes the water shoot. Can you find it?

THE TIPS AND TRICKS •It’s difficult to get to The Hermitage and other main sites using the metro, as there are no stops nearby. Alternatively, catch almost any bus heading down Nevskiy Prospect and hop off near the river. •Lines at the Hermitage can often be hours long. Arrive before opening to ensure that you have a full day to explore. Also, note that a ticket is good only once. You cannot come in and out! •There is a hydrofoil that leaves from near The Hermitage to Peterhof in high season. While prices are steep compared to the train, it’s a great way to see the incredible buildings that line the waterfront. For more information on gay friendly destinations throughout the world, please visit

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Directory & Events 24


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1 2 3 4 5 6

Calgary Outlink---------- Community Groups Aids Calgary------------- Community Groups Backlot------------------------ Bars and Clubs Calgary Eagle Inc.------------ Bars and Clubs Texas Lounge----------------- Bars and Clubs Goliath’s-------------------------- Bathhouses

9 MPs (Money Pennies)-------- Bars and Clubs 13 Westways Guest House---- Accommodations 16 Priape Calgary------------------ Retail Stores 24 Courtney Aarbo----------------------- Services 33 Twisted Element-------------- Bars and Clubs 34 Vertigo Mystery Theatre------------- Theatre

Find Out!

One Yellow Rabbit-------------------- Theatre ATP, Alberta Theatre Projects-------- Theatre Pumphouse Theatre----------------- Theatre La Fleur-------------------------- Retail Stores Lisa Heinricks----------Theatre and Fine Arts Barbies Shop-------------------- Retail Stores


LGBT Community Directory GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine is the go-to source for information about Alberta LGBT businesses and community groups—the most extensive and accurate resource of its kind! This print supplement contains a subset of active community groups and venues, with premium business listings of paid advertisers.

✰. ..... Find our Magazine Here

35 36 37 41 43 48

......... Wheelchair Accessible

Spot something inaccurate or outdated? Want your business or organization listed? We welcome you to contact us!

 403-543-6960  1-888-543-6960 

Local Bars, Restaurants, and Accommodations info on the go!

Browse our complete directory of over 540 gay-frieindly listings!

Sandra G. Sebree-------------------- Services Marquee Room--------------- Bars and Clubs Sacred Balance Piercing-------- Retail Stores Theatre Junction--------------------- Theatre

of Sinatra” on Fri. and varied entertainment on Thurs. Please call for details.

Accommodations 13 Westways Guest House--------------------✰  216 - 25th Avenue SW  403-229-1758  1-866-846-7038  

Wingate by Wyndham  400 Midpark Way SE 

52 55 56 58

 403-514-0099

55 Marquee Room-----------------------------✰  612 - 8th Avenue SW 

Alternative night every Wednesday. 9 Money Pennies (MPs)------------------- ✰  1742 - 10th Ave SW  403-263-7411   Closed Mondays.

Bar and restaurant.

 209 - 10th Ave SW

5 Texas Lounge-------------------------------✰  308 - 17 Ave SW  403-229-0911   Open 7 days a week, 11am-close

4 Calgary Eagle Inc.----------------------- ✰  424a - 8th Ave SE  403-263-5847

33 Twisted Element  1006 - 11th Ave SW  403-802-0230 

Bars & Clubs 3 Backlot----------------------------------- ✰  403-265-5211  Open 7 days a week, 4pm-close

  Open Wed-Sun, 5pm-close Leather/Denim/Fetish bar. Club Paradiso  1413 - 9th Ave SE, upstairs  403-265-5739 

Dance Club and Lounge.

Bathhouses/Saunas 6 Goliaths-------------------------------------✰  308 - 17 Ave SW  403-229-0911   Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day

Carly’s Angels on Sat. Billy Schmidt’s “Sounds

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Directory & Events CALGARY EVENTS Mondays

ASK Meet and Greet----------------  7-9:30pm See Alberta Society for Kink Inside Out Youth Group----------------  7-9pm See 1 Calgary Outlink Yoga-----------------------------  7:45-9:15pm See Apollo Calgary Jan11Apr5 Radio Show-------------------------  8:30-9pm See “Yeah...What She Said!” Tuesdays

Steak Night-----------------------------  All Day At 9 Money Pennies Calgary Networking Club--------------  5-7pm See 1 Calgary Outlink  1st Tues Between Men---------------------------  7-9pm See 1 Calgary Outlink  2nd, 4th Rehearsals--------------------------  7-9:30pm See Calgary Men’s Chorus Jun Karaoke------------------------------  8pm-1am At 5 Texas Lounge Wednesdays

Communion Service------------------  12:10pm See Knox United Church Women’s Healing Circle---------------  1:30pm See AIDS Calgary Wing Night------------------------------  All Day At 9 Money Pennies Free Pool-------------------------------  All Day At 4 Calgary Eagle With Prime Timers Calgary Badminton------------------------------  7-9pm See Apollo Calgary Jan6Mar31 Bowling------------------------------------ 7pm See Apollo Calgary Mar3 Radio Show----------------------------  9-10pm See Urban Sex Radio Thursdays

Country Night-------------------------- Evening At 4 Calgary Eagle Swim Practice---------------------------  6-7pm See Different Strokes Fake Mustache Show---------------  7-9:45pm See Miscellaneous Youth Network  1st


Sunday, March 7th

Leather Night-------------------------- Evening At 4 Calgary Eagle

Sing for the Cure-------------------------- 3pm See Calgary Men’s Chorus  Jack Singer Concert Hall

Illusions--------------------------------  7-10pm See 1 Calgary Outlink  1st Womynspace----------------------------  7-9pm See 1 Calgary Outlink  2nd New Directions--------------------------  7-9pm See 1 Calgary Outlink  3rd Heading Out-----------------------  8pm-10pm See 1 Calgary Outlink  4th Saturdays

Coffee------------------------------------  10am See Prime Timers Calgary 25¢ Wings-------------------------------  All Day At 9 Money Pennies Curling------------------------------------- 7pm See Apollo Calgary Feb13 Karaoke------------------------------  8pm-1am At 5 Texas Lounge Tuned Out Music Trivia----------------  Evening At 9 Money Pennies  1st, 3rd Sundays

Worship Time----------------------------  10am See Deer Park United Church Worship------------------------------  10:30am See Scarboro United Church Worship Services-------------------------  11am See Knox United Church Church Service----------------------------- 4pm See Rainbow Community Church Swim Practice---------------------------  5-6pm See Different Strokes Free Pool-------------------------------  All Day At 4 Calgary Eagle Thursday, March 4th

Drag Show----------------------------- Evening At 5 Texas Lounge, by ISCCA Friday, March 5th

Bears Coat Check----------------------  9:30pm At 4 Calgary Eagle With Rocky Mountain Bears Saturday, March 6th

Name That Tune----------------------- Evening At 9 Money Pennies

2 AIDS Calgary---------------------------- ✰  110, 1603 10th Avenue SW  403-508-2500  

Alberta Society for Kink  403-398-9968  

Apollo Calgary Friends in Sports 

A volunteer-operated, non-profit organization serving primarily members of the LGBT communities but open to members of all communities. Currently have more than 400 members! Primary focus is to provide members with well organized and fun sporting events and other activities. • Western Cup Largest LGBT Sporting Competition in North America



GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Saturday, March 20th

Oscar Du---------------------------- 5-10pm Supporting 2 AIDS Calgary  Uptown Stage and Screen

From Sirs With Lust II----------------- Evening At 4 Calgary Eagle Mar20

Thursday, March 11th

Drag Show----------------------------- Evening At 5 Texas Lounge, by ISCCA

Sex Toy Party------------------------------- 8pm At A Little More Interesting With Queers on Campus Friday, March 12th

Firemen Drill Night------------------- Evening At 4 Calgary Eagle Saturday, March 13th

Monthly Dance------------------------- 8pm See ARGRA Mar13 Mardi Gras Dance Party---------------  12-8am At 6 Goliaths Mar13

Thursday, March 25th

Discussing GLBT Violence------  6:30-8:30pm  Eau Claire Market - Community Room Saturday, March 27th

Bear Night----------------------------- Evening At 4 Calgary Eagle With Rocky Mountain Bears Sunday, March 28th

Mac & Cheese Contest--------------- Supper At 4 Calgary Eagle, with SHARP Foundation Wednesday, March 31st

Potluck Dinner------------------------- Evening See Rocky Mountain Bears

Primetimers Theatre Night-----------  7:30pm At 37 Pumphouse Theatre

Sunday, March 14th

Bingo Volunteer Night-----------------  5-9pm See SHARP Foundation

Nate Phelps Speaks----------------- 2-4:30pm  U of C, ICT 102

April 2010

St. Patricks Day Irish Auction---------- 6pm At 6 Texas Lounge

Western Cup------------------------  All Day See Apollo Calgary Apr1-3

Primetimers Theatre Night----------- Evening At 34 Vertigo Theatre

Fun Money Casino Night-------  9pm-12am See Apollo Calgary Apr 2

Monday, March 15th

Western Cup Dance--------------  9pm-2am See Apollo Calgary Apr 3

Curvalicious-------------------------  5:30pm See 2 Urban Curvz  2140 Pumphouse Ave SW Wednesday, March 17th

St Patrick’s Day Specials--------------  All Day At 9 Money Pennies St Patrick’s Day Party-----------------  All Day At 3 Backlot Thursday, March 18th

Drag Show----------------------------- Evening At 5 Texas Lounge, by ISCCA Cabin Fever---------------------------- Evening At The Soda Friday, March 19th

Alberta Weekend of Leather--------- Evenings At 4 Calgary Eagle Mar19-21

Legend:  = Monthly Reoccurrance,  = Date (Range/Future),  = Sponsored Event

Community Groups

Coming Out Monologues--------------  7:30pm See Queers on Campus  U of C, Craigie Hall C 119

• Badminton (Absolutely Smashing)  St. Martha School (6020 4th Avenue NE)  Fees Per session: $4 for Apollo member, $5 for nonmembers. Season’s pass $75. • Boot Camp  Stone steps, SE corner of Crescent Park Crescent Road & 2nd Street NW  Dress in layers and running shoes, bring plenty of water, bring payment in cash to first session. Registration has closed.

Hottub Party------------------------------- 8pm See Rocky Mountain Bears Apr10 Coronation--------------------------------- 6pm See ISCCA Apr17 A Taste for Life------------------------ Evening See SHARP Foundation Apr28 Annual General Meeting----------------- 7pm See Rocky Mountain Bears Apr29 May 2010

Monthly Dance------------------------- 8pm See ARGRA May29 September 2010

Pride Dance-----------------------------  TBA Sep4 Pride Parade/Street Festival----------  TBA Sep5

• Bowling (Rainbow Riders League)  Let’s 10 Pin Bowlerama, 2916 - 5 Ave NE  • Curling  North Hill Curling Club (1201 - 2 Street NW)  • Golf  • Lawn Bowling  Inglewood Lawn Bowling Club 1235 - 8th Avenue SE 

Directory & Events • Outdoor Pursuits  • Running (Calgary Frontrunners)  Hillhurst United Church, 1227 Kensington Close  Tim 403-660-6125   Tues, Thurs, Sat at 8am Calgary Alcoholics Anonymous Group For Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgendered People. A safe place to find help for problems with alcohol. • Slow Pitch • Tennis • Volleyball (Intermediate/Competitive)  YWCA, 320 - 5th Avenue SE   This is for seasoned players. You can sign up for the season or drop-in. • Volleyball (Recreational)  Langevin School, 107 - 6A Street NE   Volleyball League, Co-Ed, Recreational, Drop-in. Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo Association (ARGRA) 

 403-541-8140

• Monthly Dances-----------------------------  Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association 1320 - 5th Avenue NW Artists for the Quality of Life  403-890-1261


Cabin Fever  The Soda

Women’s dance and social night. Calgary Gay Fathers  

Peer support group for gay, bisexual and questioning fathers. Meeting twice a month. Calgary Men’s Chorus  • Rehearsals  Temple B’Nai Tikvah, 900 - 47 Avenue SW Calgary Sexual Health Centre---------- ✰  304, 301 14th Street NW 403-283-5580   A pro-choice organization that believes all people have the right and ability to make their own choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health. 1 Calgary Outlink-----------------------------✰  #4, 1230A 17th Avenue SW  403-234-8973 

Formerly know as the Gay And Lesbian Community Services Association (GLCSA).

• Drop-In Center A safe and supportive environment for one-to-one peer counseling for many issues surrounding family, coming out, homosexuality, loneliness and other issues. • Between Men and Between Men Online Peer support, sexual health education for gay or bisexual men, as well as those who may be uncertain or questioning their sexuality. • Calgary Networking Club  Ming, 520 - 17th Ave SW The networking meetings are open to all individuals who would like to promote their businesses or who would like to meet new people - no business affiliation is necessary. • Heading Out Peer group for men who are looking for an alternative social activity to the bar. Activities vary and are fun and entertaining. • Illusions Calgary Social group for Calgary and area transgender community members (cross dressers, transvestites, drag kings and queens). A safe, discrete and welcoming atmosphere, in which transgendered people can meet others of like mind. • Inside Out Peer-facilitated youth group for GLBTQ ages 15-25. Aims to let youth know they are not alone, and to connect them with their peers. Safe environment with a variety of resources and activities. • New Directions Drop in peer-support group to provide support and resources for individuals who identify as transsexual or inter-sexed. • SHEQ Soulful Healing Ego Quest  Trudy or Krista, 403-585-7437 Workshop for women—a chance to grow and share their experiences related to women’s sexuality. To participate, please call or leave your name and a contact time/number with Calgary Outlink. • Womynspace Peer social/support group for women providing an evening of fun, bonding, discussion and activities. Calgary Queer Book Club  Weeds Cafe (1903 20 Ave NW) Deer Park United Church/Wholeness Centre  77 Deerpoint Road SE  403-278-8263  Different Strokes  • Swim Practice  SAIT Pool, 1301 - 16th Ave NW  No practices on long weekends Don’t Buy In Project 

• Peer Support and Crisis Line  1-877-OUT-IS-OK (1-877-688-4765) Front-line help service for GLBT individuals and their family and friends, or anyone questioning their sexuality.

This Calgary Police Service Initiative aims to encourage youth to working towards an inclusive environment in which diversity is embraced in their schools and community.

• Library A great selection of resource books, fiction, nonfiction, videos and everything in between, all with a queer perspective.

 #4 - 1230A 17th Avenue SW  403-244-1956 

FairyTales Presentation Society

Alberta Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

• DVD Resource Library Over a hundred titles to choose from. Annual membership is $10. Gay Singles in Calgary 

Girl Friends 

Girlsgroove 

GLBT Housing 

HIV Peer Support Group  403-230-5832  ISCCA Social Association 

Imperial Sovereign Court of the Chinook Arch. Charity fundraising group.. Knox United Church  506 - 4th Street SW  403-269-8382  Knox United Church is an all-inclusive church located in downtown Calgary. A variety of facility rentals are also available for meetings, events and concerts. • Worship Services  10:30am in July and August. Miscellaneous Youth Network 

• Fake Mustache------------------------------  The Soda, 211 - 12th Ave SW Calgary’s ONLY Drag King Show. $5 cover. $2 cover under 18. Advance tickets available at Barbies Shop.

Pride Rainbow Project  

Youth run project designed to show support for same-sex marriage in Canada and elsewhere. A fabric rainbow banner approximately 5 feet wide - goal is to make it 3.2km (2 miles) long, in order to break the world record. Primetimers Calgary  

Designed to foster social interaction for its members through a variety of social, educational and recreational activities. Open to all gay and bisexual men of any age, respects whatever degree of anonymity that each member desires. • Free Pool  4 Calgary Eagle • Saturday Coffee  Midtown Co-op, 1130 - 11th Ave SW Queers on Campus---------------------- ✰  279R Student Union Club Spaces, U of C  403-220-6394 

Formerly GLASS - Gay/Lesbian Association of Students and Staff. • Coffee Night  2nd Cup, Kensington Rainbow Community Church  Hillhurst United, 1227 Kensington Close NW  

The Rainbow Community Church is an all-inclusive church; everyone is welcome. Rocky Mountain Bears

Mystique  Mystique is primarily a Lesbian group for women 30 and up but all are welcome.

 

• Coffee Night  Second Cup (2312 - 4th Street SW)

Mission: To raise awareness and understanding of same-sex domestic violence and homophobic youth bullying.

NETWORKS  403-293-3356 

A social, cultural, and service organization for the mature minded and “Plus 40” LGBT individuals seeking to meet others at age-appropriate activities within a positive, safe environment. Parents for Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)  Sean: 403-695-5791  A registered charitable organization that provides support, education and resources to parents, families and individuals who have questions or concerns about sexual orientation or gender identity. Positive Space Committee  4825 Mount Royal Gate SW  403-440-6383  Works to raise awareness and challenge the patterns of silence that continue to marginalize LGBTTQ individuals. Pride Calgary Planning Committee 

 403-797-6564

Safety Under the Rainbow 

Scarboro United Church  134 Scarboro Avenue SW  403-244-1161 

An affirming congregation—the full inclusion of LGBT people is essential to our mission and purpose. Sharp Foundation  403-272-2912  

Unity Bowling  Let’s Bowl (2916 - 5th Ave NE) 

Urban Sex Radio Show  CJSW 90.9 FM  Focus on sexuality; gay bisexual lesbian trans gendered and straight issues here in Calgary and around the web. Western Canada Bigmen and Admirers 

WesternCanadaBigmenGroup/ 

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Directory & Events DOWNTOWN EDMONTON




7 11 6 12

1 Pride Centre------------- Community Groups 3 HIV Network------------- Community Groups 4 Edmonton STD---------- Community Groups

Vigor Calgary  403-255-7004

“Yeah...What She Said!” Radio Show  CJSW 90.9 FM 

4 Calgary Eagle Inc.----------------------

Halo Steak, Seafood & Wine Bar  Canyon Meadows Plaza 13226 Macleod Trail SE  403-271-4111  9 MPs (Money Pennies)------------------

Retail Stores Adult Depot----------------------------- ✰  403-258-2777 Gay, bi, straight video rentals and sex toys. 41 La Fleur------------------------------------  103 - 100 7th Avenue SW  403-266-1707

Organic teas and tea ware. 16 Priape Calgary------------------------- ✰  1322 - 17 Ave SW  403-215-1800 

 888 Meridian Road NE  403-291-1444  

• Kelvin Hur  403-990-9080 New Vehicle Sales Manager

See Calgary - Bars and Clubs.

 140, 58th Ave SW

 305 10th Street NW  403-283-3555 

T&T Honda

See Calgary - Bars and Clubs.


5 Boots Bar and Lounge------- Bars and Clubs 6 Buddy’s Nite Club------------ Bars and Clubs 7 Down Under Baths--------------- Bathhouses

Clothing and accessories. Adult toys, leather wear, movies and magazines. Gifts.


• Lawrence Wong  403-870-5001 Sales Consultant Wares & Wear Ventures Inc. See Canada - Retail Stores.

Services & Products Bad Romance Entertainment  Calgary Civil Marriage Centre  403-246-4134  Marriage Commissioner for Alberta (aka Justice of

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



The Naked Leaf---------------------------

Violence in Gay Male Relationships (VIGOR) is a committee of professionals dedicated to increasing the awareness of gay men’s domestic violence and the services available to them.

Florist and Flower Shop.



8 Prism Bar & Grill------------- Bars and Clubs 11 Steamworks---------------------- Bathhouses 12 Woody’s----------------------- Bars and Clubs

the Peace - JP), Marriage Officiant, Commissioner for Oaths. 24 Courtney Aarbo (Barristers & Solicitors)  1138 Kensington Road NW  403-571-5120 

GLBT legal services. Cruiseline  403-777-9494 trial code 3500  Telephone classifieds and chat - 18+ ONLY. DevaDave Salon & Boutique  810 Edmonton Trail NE  403-290-1973 Cuts, Colour, Hilights. Duncan’s Residential Cleaning  Jim Duncan: 403-978-6600

Residential cleaning. Free estimates. Interactive Male  403-261-2112 trial code 8873  1-800-777-8000 

Keith Hill, North Hill Mazda  1211 Centre Street NW  Cell: 403-614-7359  Phone: 403-276-5962  Fax: 403-276-7361  

13 PLAY Nightclub--------------- Bars and Clubs

Lorne Doucette (CIR Realtors)  403-461-9195 

Marnie Campbell (Maxwell Realtors)  403-479-8619 

MFM Communications  403-543-6970  1-877-543-6970 

Web site hosting and development. Computer hardware and software. Rick Grenier (Invis)  403-862-1162


Mortgage solutions. 56 Sacred Balance Piercing  1528 - 17th Avenue SW  403-277-4449 

Tattos and body piercing. SafeWorks Free and confidential HIV/AIDS and STI testing. • Calgary Drop-in Centre  Room 117, 423 - 4th Ave SE  403-699-8216  Mon-Fri: 9am-12pm, Sat: 12:15pm-3:15pm • Centre of Hope  Room 201, 420 - 9th Ave SE  403-410-1180  Mon-Fri: 1pm-5pm

Directory & Events • Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre  1213 - 4th Str SW  403-955-6014  Sat-Thu: 4:15pm-7:45pm, Fri: Closed

8 Prism Bar & Grill----------------------- ✰  10524 101st St  780-990-0038 

• Safeworks Van  403-850-3755  Sat-Thu: 8pm-12am, Fri: 4pm-12am

12 Woody’s-------------------------------------✰  11725 Jasper Ave  780-488-6557


52 Sandra G. Sebree, Lawyer  1610 - 17th Ave SW  403-228-8108 

TherapyWorks  403-561-6873  

Take back your life from stress, sadness, and worry.

36 ATP, Alberta Theatre Projects  403-294-7402 

AXIS Contemporary Art------------------- 403-262-3356 

 107, 100 - 7 Ave SW 

Fairytales See Calgary - Community Groups.

1 Pride Centre of Edmonton-------------- ✰  95A Street, 111 Ave  780-488-3234 

11 Steamworks--------------------------------✰  11745 Jasper Ave  780-451-5554 

• Community Potluck  Main Space – Upstairs  A potluck open to all members of the LGBTQ community. A time to get together, share a meal and meet people from the community.

Community Groups 

Altview-Strathcona County LGBTQ Group  #44, 48 Brentwood Blvd, Sherwood Park, AB 

Book Worm’s Book Club  Second Cup, 11210 Jasper Ave  Buck Naked Boys Club  780-471-6993  Naturism club for men—being social while everyone is naked, and it does not include sexual activity. Participants do not need to be gay, only male.

Jubilations Dinner Theatre  Bow Trail and 37th St. SW  403-249-7799  43 Lisa Heinricks (Artist)---------------------  Art Central, 100 7th Ave SW, lower level 

Camp fYrefly  7-104 Dept. of Educational Policy Studies

35 One Yellow Rabbit-------------------------  Big Secret Theatre - EPCOR CENTRE  403-299-8888 

Faculty of Education, University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G5 

37 Pumphouse Theatre------------------  2140 Pumphouse Avenue SW  403-263-0079 

Edmonton Pride Week Society 


Edmonton Prime Timers   Group of older gay men and their admirers who come from diverse backgrounds but have common social interests. Affiliated with Prime Timers World Wide.

 727 - 42 Avenue SE  403-243-6642  58 Theatre Junction----------------------  Theatre Junction GRAND, 608 1st St. SW  403-205-2922  

34 Vertigo Mystery Theatre------------------  161, 115 - 9 Ave SE  403-221-3708 

Edmonton Bars & Clubs

Edmonton Rainbow Business Association  3379, 11215 Jasper Ave  780-429-5014 

Primary focus is the provision of networking opportunities for LGBT owned or operated and LGBTfriendly businesses in the Edmonton region. Edmonton Illusions Social Club  5 Boots Bar & Grill  780-387-3343  4 Edmonton STD  11111 Jasper Ave

5 Boots Bar and Lounge----------------- ✰  10242 106th St  780-423-5014 

Edmonton Vocal Minority  780-479-2038  

6 Buddy’s Nite Club--------------------------✰  11725 Jasper Ave  780-488-6636


13 PLAY Nightclub-----------------------------✰  10220 103 Street  780-497-7529  

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender/transsexual, Queer, Questioning and Straight-but-not-Narrow student group.

7 Down Under Baths-------------------------✰  12224 Jasper Ave  780-482-7960 

Alberta Bears

Theatre & Fine Arts

OUTreach  University of Alberta, basement of SUB  

TTIQ is mixed gender open support group addressing the needs of transsexual and transgendered individuals. • Womonspace Board Meeting  Main Space – Upstairs  Womonspace is a Social and Recreational Society in Edmonton run by volunteers. They provide opportunities for lesbians to interact and support each other in a safe environment, and to contribute to the broader community. • Youth Movie  Main Space – Upstairs  Movie chosen by youth (aged 14 – 25), usually with LGBT themes. Popcorn is served.

• Free School  Main Space – Upstairs  Free School provides workshops on a variety of topics related to local activism.

• YouthSpace  A safe and supportive space for GLBTQ youth aged 13–25. Video games, computers with internet, clothing bank, and more.

• Get Tested for STIs Free STD testing for anyone interested. For more information please contact the Pride Centre.

• Youth Understanding Youth See separate listing.

• GLBT Seniors Drop-In  Main Space – Upstairs  A social and support group for seniors of all genders and sexualities to talk, have tea and offer each other support.

 

• Men Talking with Pride  Main Space – Upstairs  A social discussion group for gay, bisexual and transgendered men to discuss current issues and to offer support to each other.

• Badminton (Mixed)  St. Thomas Moore School, 9610 165 Street  New group seeking male & female players.

• Men’s HIV Support Group  Green Room – Upstairs  Support group for people living with HIV/AIDS. • PFLAG  Red room - Downstairs  780-436-1998  Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: A support group for family members and friends of GLBT people. An excellent resource for people whose family members and friends have just come out. • Prime Timers See Edmonton Primetimers. • Suit Up and Show Up: AA Big Book Study  Downstairs Couch Area Discussion and support group for those struggling with an alcohol addiction or seeking support in staying sober. • TTIQ  Green Room – Upstairs 

Team Edmonton Members are invited to attend and help determine the board for the next term. If you are interested in running for the board or getting involved in some of the committees, please contact us.

• Badminton (Women’s)  Oliver School, 10227 - 118 Street  780-465-3620  Women’s Drop-In Recreational Badminton. $40.00 season or $5.00 per drop in. •Ballroom Dancing  Foot Notes Dance Studio, 9708-45 Avenue NW  Cynthia: 780-469-3281 • Blazin’ Bootcamp  Lynnwood School  • Bowling (Northern Titans)  Gateway Lanes, 100 - 3414 Gateway Blvd  $15.00 per person. • Cross Country Skiing  • Curling with Pride  Granite Curling Club, 8620 107 Street NW  780-463-5942 

Exposure 2010 3 HIV Network Of Edmonton Society---- ✰  11456 Jasper Ave 

Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose 

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Directory & Events EDMONTON EVENTS Mondays

Boot Camp------------------------------  7-8pm See Team Edmonton Men’s HIV Support Group-------------  7-9pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton  2nd Curling---------------------------------  7:15pm See Team Edmonton Mar Tuesdays

GLBT Seniors Drop-in------------------  1-4pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton TTIQ-------------------------------------  2-4pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton  2nd Youthspace------------------------------  3-7pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton Community Potluck---------------------  7-9pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton  Last Swimming------------------------------ Evening See Team Edmonton Wednesdays

PFLAG---------------------------------  12:10pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton  1st Youthspace------------------------------  3-7pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton Youth Sports/Recreation------------------ 4pm See Youth Understanding Youth Women’s Badminton---------------  6-7:30pm See Team Edmonton Mar Youth Understanding Youth------------  7-9pm See Youth Understanding Youth

Mixed Badminton---------------------  8-10pm See Team Edmonton Jan13End of May

AA Big Book Study--------------------  12-1pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton


GLBT Seniors Drop-in------------------  1-4pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton

Monthly Meeting-----------------------  2:30pm By Edmonton Primetimers  2nd  Unitarian Church, 10804 - 119th Street

Get Tested for STIs----------------------  3-6pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton  Last

Youthspace--------------------------  3-6:30pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton

Youthspace------------------------------  3-7pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton

Bowling------------------------------------ 5pm See Team Edmonton

Youth Sports/Recreation------------------ 4pm See Youth Understanding Youth Youth Understanding Youth------------  7-9pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton

• Dragon Boat (Flaming Dragons)  • Golf  • Gymnastics, Drop-in  Ortona Gymnastics Club, 8755 - 50 Avenue  Have the whole gym to yourselves and an instructor to help you achieve your individual goals. Cost is $5.00 per session. • Hockey  • Outdoor Pursuits  • Running (Arctic Frontrunners)  Kinsmen Sports Centre, front entrance  All genders and levels of runners and walkers are invited to join this free activity. • Samsara Yoga  Korezone Fitness, #203, 10575 -115 Street 


Womonspace Dance----------------  9pm-1am  Bellevue Comm. Hall (7308 - 112 Ave) By Womonspace Friday, March 19th

Dining Out----------------------------- 6:30pm  Sabzy See Edmonton Primetimers Saturday, March 20th

Turnabout--------------------------- 10pm-2am At 5 Boots, by ISCWR Saturday, March 27th

Free School----------------------------  11-5pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton  2nd, 4th

Theatre Outing---------------------------- 2pm See Edmonton Primetimers

Womonspace Meeting---------  12:30-1:30pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton  1st

Bear Party---------------------------------- 8pm At 5 Boots, by Alberta Bears Saturday, March 29th


Samsara Yoga----------------------  2-3:30pm See Team Edmonton

Edmonton Illusions-------------------------- ??? See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton  2nd

Men Talking with Pride----------------  7-9pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton

Youthspace--------------------------  3-6:30pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton

Ballroom Dancing--------------  7:30-8:30pm See Team Edmonton

Youth Sports/Recreation------------------ 4pm See Youth Understanding Youth

Monthly Meetings---------------------- 2:30pm  Unitarian Church (10804 119th Street) See Edmonton Primetimers  2nd

Intermediate Volleyball--------  7:30-9:30pm See Team Edmonton Swimming------------------------------ Evening See Team Edmonton

Youth Movie Night------------------  6:30-8:30 See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton Youth Understanding Youth------------  7-9pm See Pride Centre of Edmonton Saturdays

Naturalist Gettogether---------------------- ??? See Buck Naked Boys Club  2nd

Legend:  = Monthly Reoccurrance,  = Date (Range),  = Sponsored Event • Cycling (Edmonton Prideriders)  Various locations in Edmonton   Every Wednesday, 6:30pm


Running------------------------------  10-11am See Team Edmonton

Saturday, March 14th

Sunday, March 7th

Oscar Party!-------------------------- 6pm-2am At 12 Woody’s Pub, by ISCWR Tuesday, March 9th

ERBA Business Mixer-----------  5:30-7:30pm  Suede Lounge (11806 Jasper Ave) See Edmonton Rainbow Business Association

• Slo Pitch  Parkallen Field, 111 st and 68 ave  Season fee is $30.00 per person. $10 discount for players from the 2008 season.

 E-mail if interested.

• Snowballs III  February 5-7th, 2010  Skiing and Snowboarding Weekend.

• Volleyball, Free To Be Recreational  Mother Teresa School (9008 - 105 Ave)   Outdoor season, Sundays, 3-5pm

• Soccer 

• Women’s Lacrosse  Sharon: 780-461-0017  Pam: 780-436-7374 Open to women 21+, experienced or not, all are welcome. Call for info.

• Spin  MacEwan Centre for Sport and Wellness 109 St. and 104 Ave  Wednesdays, 5:45-6:45pm Season has ended.  7 classes, $28.00 per registrant. • Swimming (Making Waves)  NAIT Pool  • Tennis  Kinsmen Sports Centre  Sundays, 12pm-3pm  • Ultimate Frisbee  Sundays Summer Season starts July 12th

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

• Volleyball, Free To Be Intermediate  Amiskiwacy Academy (101 Airport Road) 

Womonspace  780-482-1794  

Women’s social group, but all welcome at events. Youth Understanding Youth  Edmonton Pride Centre, Main Space Upstairs  

A place where LGBTQ youth under 25 can gather to have fun and learn about themselves and others in a safe, supportive, and caring environment.

Lunch---------------------------------- 11:30am  Joey Tomatoes (Jasper Ave, 112th Street) See Edmonton Primetimers June 2010

Pride---------------------------------------  TBA Jun 11Jun20 July 2010

Camp fYrefly---------------------------  All Day See Camp fYrefly Jul22Jul25 August 2010

Coronation----------------------------- Evening  Coast Plaza (10155 105 Street NW) See ISCWR

• Sports and Recreation  Pride Centre, 9540 - 111 Ave  Brendan: 780-488-3234 

Restaurants 5 Garage Burger Bar & Grill---------------  10242 106th St  780-423-5014 8 Prism Bar & Grill---------------------- See Edmonton - Bars and Clubs.

Retail Stores Rodéo Drive  11528 - 89th Street  780-474-0413  

His and hers fetish wear, toys, jewelry, etc. Wares & Wear Ventures Inc. See Canada - Retail Stores.

Products & Services Cruiseline  780-413-7122 trial code 3500 

Telephone classifieds and chat - 18+ ONLY.

Directory & Events LETHBRIDGE EVENTS Fridays

Friday Mixer-----------------------------  10pm See GALA/LA

Tuesday, March 9th

Friday, March 12th

Tuesday, April 20th

Board Meeting----------------------------- 7pm At Lethbridge HIV Connection By GALA/LA

Monthly Dance----------------------------- 9pm  Henotic (402 - 2 Ave S) By GALA/LA

Annual General Meeting------------------ 7pm At Lethbridge HIV Connection By GALA/LA

Wednesday, March 10th

OUTspoken Workshop-----------------  All Day By GALIA Mar10-12 Interactive Male  780-409-3333 trial code 8871  1-800-777-8000 

Robertson-Wesley United Church  10209 - 123 St. NW  780-482-1587    Worship: Sunday mornings at 10:30am

People of all sexual orientations welcome. Other LGBT events include a monthly book club and a bi-monthly film night. As a caring spiritual community, we’d love to have you join us! • Soul OUTing  Second Sunday every month, 7pm An LGBT-focused alternative worship. • Film Night  Bi-monthly, contact us for exact dates. • Book Club  Monthly, contact us for exact dates. Same Gender Speed Dating Ltd.  780-221-8535 

An LGBT-focused alternative worship. • Gay Male Speed Dating  Boston Pizza Private Party Room, Whyte Ave  TBA Must pre-register to attend - please contact us. • Lesbian Speed Dating  Boston Pizza Private Party Room, Whyte Ave  TBA Must pre-register to attend - please contact us.

Theatre & Fine Arts Exposure Festival 

Edmonton’s Queer Arts and Culture Festival. The Roxy Theatre  10708 124th Street, Edmonton AB  780-453-2440 

Banff/Canmore Community Groups Mountain Pride  BOX 4892, BANFF, AB, T1L 1G1  Brian, 403-431-2569  1-800-958-9632   Serving the GLBTQS community in Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and Area.



Community Groups

Community Groups


Central Alberta AIDS Network Society

 403-308-2893 

 4611-50 Avenue, Red Deer, AB 

Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Lethbridge and Area.

The Central Alberta AIDS Network Society is the local charity responsible for HIV prevention and support in Central Alberta.

• Monthly Dances  Henotic (402 - 2 Ave S) Bring your membership card and photo ID. • Monthly Potluck Dinners  McKillop United Church, 2329 - 15 Ave S GALA/LA will provide the bring the rest. Please bring a dish to share that will serve 4-6 people, and your own beverage. • Support Line  403-308-2893  Monday OR Wednesday, 7pm-11pm Leave a message any other time. • Friday Mixer  The Mix (green water tower) 103 Mayor Magrath Dr S  Every Friday at 10pm Gay & Lesbian Integrity Assoc. (GALIA)  University of Lethbridge  GBLTTQQ club on campus. • Movie Night  Room C610, University of Lethbridge Gay Youth Alliance Group  Betty, 403-381-5260   Every second Wednesday, 3:30pm-5pm

Lethbridge HIV Connection  1206 - 6 Ave S PFLAG Canada  

Western Canadian Pride Campout  YouthSafe 

Alberta’s website for youth with sex-and-gender differences. lists the resources, information and services to help youth find safe and caring spaces in Alberta.

Theatre & Fine Arts Alberta Ballet  Frequent productions in Calgary and Edmonton.

Canada Community Groups Alberta Trans Support/Activities Group 

Egale Canada  8 Wellington St E, Third Floor

Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1C5  1-888-204-7777  Egale Canada is the national advocacy and lobby organization for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans-identified people and our families. Membership fees are pay-what-you-can, although pre-authorized monthly donors are encouraged (and get a free Egale Canada t-shirt). Egale has several committees that meet by teleconference on a regular basis; membership on these is national with members from every region of Canada.

Retail Stores Wares & Wear Ventures Inc.  Fetish wear and toys.  780-980-1977

Products & Services Squirt 

Website for dating and hook-ups. 18+ ONLY!

Theatre & Fine Arts Broadway Across Canada 

OUTtv 

GLBT Television Station.

A nexus for transgendered persons, regardless of where they may be on the continuum. Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition  P.O. Box 3043, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 3S9  (306) 955-5135  1-800-955-5129 

Pride Lethbridge 

Red Deer Community Groups Affirm  Sunnybrook United Church  403-347-6073  2nd Tuesday of the month, 7pm

Composed of LGBTQ people, their friends, family and allies. No religious affiliation necessary. Activities include support, faith and social justice discussions, film nights, and potlucks!

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



A Church Divided

The Anglican Communion’s Struggle with Sexism and Homophobia By Stephen Lock As traditional, liturgical churches go, the Anglican Church has long enjoyed a reputation of being a fairly liberal denomination, despite having orthodox factions within it. However, in recent years the disparity between the relatively liberal theologies of Canterbury, the seat of ecclesiastical authority within the Anglican Communion, and some of the African and Asian provinces has widened considerably. The Anglican Communion has a complex, even complicated, structure. While the Church of England—centred at Canterbury under the Archbishop of Canterbury—is generally seen as “Mother Church” with the Archbishop functioning as the spiritual head of not only the Church of England but also of the worldwide Anglican Communion, there is no central authority. The Anglican Communion is comprised of thirty-eight “provinces”, each headed by a Primate (either a bishop or an archbishop) and each province has its own governance. As such, the Archbishop of Canterbury is really nothing more than ‘first amongst equals’ when it comes to other archbishops within the Communion with no actual authority over them, such as the Pope has over his cardinals and archbishops The very structure that has allowed the Communion to be democratic and adaptive is now the structure that may well tear the church apart. The Communion functions by consultation and consensus under the symbolic and unifying influence of the Archbishop of Canterbury and three consultative and collaborative international bodies (namely, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meeting). The Anglican Communion has no international juridical organization. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s role is strictly symbolic and unifying and the Communion’s three international bodies’ resolutions have no legal effect on the independent provinces of the Communion. Taken together, however, the four components function as “instruments of communion”, since all churches of the communion participate in them. In recent years the tone of discussion within these entities has tipped over into heated, and often divisive, debates over conformity in areas of doctrine, discipline, worship, and ethics. The most notable example has been the objection of many Provinces, particularly in Africa and Asia, to the changing role of homosexuals in the North American churches. The more conservative Provinces (one might even say reactionary) have long been uncomfortable with the general acceptance of lesbians and gay men within the Western churches. However the debate kicked into overdrive with the blessing of same-sex unions by Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster, the ordination and consecration of openly gay men and lesbians involved in same-sex relationships—and therefore clearly not celibate—as priests and, most controversially, the elevation of the openly gay Gene Robinson to Archbishop of New Hampshire. Several African and Asian Primates have threatened to leave the Communion and/or form a rival series of churches that would be, in their view, “truly Anglican.” Those who objected to these affirmative actions condemned them as unscriptural, unilateral, and without the prior agreement of the Communion. In response, the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada—the two Provinces responsible for the broader acceptance of lesbians and gay men within the hierarchy— argued the actions had, in fact, been undertaken following lengthy scriptural and theological reflection and in accordance with their own canons and constitutions as permitted and encouraged by the Anglican Communion’s structure. Both Provinces also claimed that extensive consultation with other Provinces of the Communion had occurred and, based on those discussions, they felt the decisions reached were permissible and valid. Another area of controversy has been around the ordination of women as bishops. Within the Anglican Church, as in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, bishops are viewed as the successors of the Twelve Apostles and possess the same authority in matters of faith and morals, the administration of sacraments, power, and responsibility


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

as those chosen by Christ to preach His message. While women have held pastoral and ministerial positions in Anglican churches for some time with little controversy, the idea of female bishops appears to be too much for the African and Asian Primates to handle. The paradox here is that the Anglican Church in Africa and Asia is a vestige of a colonial past. Given that the African and Asian archbishops are now presenting themselves as “more Anglican than Anglican” is, it strikes me, the epitome of irony. Cultural influences are also at work. While women’s and GLBTQ rights have made huge strides forward in the last 30-odd years in Western Europe and North America, such is not the case in many Asian and most African nations. Uganda, for instance, is currently trying to bring in legislation that would impose the death penalty on “practicing homosexuals” (see my January 2010 column) and there remains a general, and false, perception throughout much of the Third World that homosexuality is a perversion introduced to the locals by their colonial masters. It would appear, then, that Third World Anglican bishops are being highly selective when it comes to what they will condemn as “neo-colonialism” and what they will accept. Clearly, being an Anglican has worked out very well for these individuals and given them a far higher standard of living than their average countryman (or woman). That many of them have been involved in good works in their own countries is not in doubt; I am sure they have, being good Christians and all. However, involving themselves with the Church has allowed them access to levels of education unreachable for the average person, a secure professional position, housing (and often quite comfortable housing, even by Western standards and certainly by local ones), opportunity for advancement, and a degree of influence on a local, regional, national and often international scale. I agree that a candidate for the priesthood and certainly a candidate for the bishopric should be vetted in order to ensure he, or she, is worthy and meets the requirements, both tangible and intangible, of the vocation. And I have no doubt whatsoever taking holy orders, as it used to be called, is a vocation; not everyone is cut out to serve in such a capacity. It takes a particular personality type to deal with not only the spiritual issues but the practical day-to-day struggles of one’s parishioners. As bishop there is even more responsibility and struggle; it’s not an enviable job, I shouldn’t think. However, I do not agree that one’s gender or one’s orientation needs to be part of the process. Many heterosexual men are not “priest material” and many heterosexual male Anglican priests are perhaps quite satisfactory ministers but are simply not the stuff bishops are made of. On the other hand, many gay men and lesbians would make excellent priests, not in spite of their orientation but because of it. Back when I was still churched, I encountered a few religious who were gay, some of who were, relatively speaking, openly gay. When I say that an individual would make an excellent priest because of their homosexual orientation what I mean is, such individuals were often more aware of what it was like to be ‘the other’, to be outside what is considered mainstream and “normal” and, as such, often had a more defined empathy, a deeper sensitivity, for those they ministered to. This is not to say those who are heterosexually oriented do not have empathy. Of course they do. But it operates on a different level. I suppose the closest analogy I can come up with (and it’s a tricky one, I know) is if one is a member of an ethnic or racial minority one has a more profound (if that is the word) empathy occurring than one who is part of the dominant culture. One has firsthand knowledge and an understanding of the struggles many people deal with and can apply their experience to other experiences. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is facing a difficult situation and has warned that if the Anglican Communion cannot resolve the conflicts over these issues the Communion will descend into “chaos.” In an address to the General Synod in February, Williams urged the clergy to listen to one another rather than continuing to pursue a “zero-sum, self-congratulating” position. “Certain decisions made by some provinces impact so heavily on the conscience and mission of others that fellowship is strained or shattered and trust destroyed,” he said. The General Synod is the Church of England’s national assembly. The synod committee responsible for drafting new rules on the

issue of ordination announced it had rejected some proposals from ‘traditionalists.’ Amongst those were proposals to create a special class of bishops, and therefore special dioceses, to minister to those within the church opposed to having women and openly gay and lesbian individuals within the hierarchy. While long seen as an advocate for gay and lesbian rights, Williams criticized the American Episcopal Church for “pre-empting the will of the wider Church” over its policy on the consecration of openly gay bishops. I think that is bit of a red herring as there is currently only one openly gay bishop within the American Church; Bishop Robinson of New Hampshire. He has also had public disagreements with Bishop Ingham over his allowing the blessing of same-sex unions within the New Westminster diocese following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada. As bishop, Ingham was well within his rights to do so, but it has generally been viewed as a slap in the face to the wider Communion. One of the reactions to Ingham has been for eight of his parishes to reject him as bishop and to seek membership with what is known as The Anglican Network, a conservative and traditionalist communion of disaffected Anglicans. The African and Asian Primates have attempted to sever ties with New Westminster and to interfere in diocesan matters, and wealthy conservative Episcopalians are reportedly “pumping millions” into a campaign to undermine Ingham and his bishopric. Such carryings-on are destructive. Anglican bishops are autonomous and do not answer to Canterbury in the manner Catholic bishops would answer to Rome. While it is feasible the Archbishop of Canterbury, as spiritual head of the Church, might step in and censure a bishop whose actions were so egregious as to do real harm, it would have to be quite an extreme situation before he would do so. And it would not be the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury that would do so; rather, he would bring the matter before one of the international bodies, such as the Consultative Council or perhaps the Primates’ Meeting and it would be one of those bodies that would bring a wayward bishop to heel. Even at that, it is very difficult and a laborious process to enact. If a bishop was so rebellious, so out of line as to deserve censure, it would be up to his parishioners to petition for his removal or to take steps, such as the eight churches in New Westminster have done, to reject the particular bishop’s authority over them. Such a move is not to be taken lightly and it isn’t. So, to have the bishops from other dioceses and other Provinces interfere in the internal workings of a given Anglican diocese is... well...simply not done. Here the English roots of the Church are very evident because it is considered ‘bad form’. Yet, we have the African and Asian Primates doing exactly that, issuing all sorts of preposterous and damaging comments, issuing ultimatums, threatening to tear apart the very Communion they swore to uphold, simply because they disagree (however vehemently) with the decisions of other bishops. If a Province takes issue with the blessing of same-sex unions, the recognition of same-sex marriage, or the installation of women as bishops, then that particular Province is free to not do so. It is not free, however, to presume to tell another Province it cannot recognize or bless same-sex unions, or consecrate female bishops. If the Provincial Primate believes another Province or bishop doing so goes against the spirit of Anglicanism or somehow threatens the theology of the Communion, there are mechanisms in place to address that. The Lambeth Conference, which is held every ten years, would likely be the place to raise concerns as it expresses ‘the mind of the communion’ on various issues. Resolutions coming out of a Conference have no legal effect, but they are nonetheless influential and generally are viewed as expressing the will of the Communion and therefore adhered to by the various Provinces. An awkward process, I grant you, but it has worked fairly well for over a hundred years and allows for cooler heads to prevail. The current situation, rife as it is with accusation and counteraccusation and ultimatums, is destructive. The traditionalists need to back off and follow the appropriate procedures so that not only they, but all involved can be heard; the arguments, both pro and con, understood; a consensus reached. It’s a long process, but a necessary one, and one that should be undertaken in the true spirit of Anglicanism: that of respect and accommodation.

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Adult Film Review Dickin’ Around, Eye Contact

a helpful stranger who seems to be ogling over you, or that approval-seeking upward gaze from the person servicing you.

By Jerome Voltero

Dickin’ Around By: From: Genre: Cast: Story: Visual: Faves:

Hot House Video Priape Variety    Johnny Gunn, Ty LeBeouf, Vinnie D’Angelo Bruno Bond

This film has no story of note, no real theme, no “type” of guy, like so many pornos out there. And with a generic title like Dickin Around, the makers of the film seem like the first ones to admit how generic the film really is. So it all boils down to the actors, and let me tell you, they did choose some good ones. The advantage of a variety porno is that you’re bound to find something you like. But the drawback is that you’re not going to get a lot of it. Ethan Wolfe is definitely not my type, but in the second scene when Johnny Gunn unwraps his package, my jaw sure dropped! The man is not just above average in length but also ridiculously thick. I imagine it was somewhat of a challenge even for a seasoned porn star like Gunn to get that thing down his gullet. “Just wait till I sit on it,” Gunn says, lucky to still have his jaw intact. Some may find their favorite scene in the aquatic twinkie threesome to follow, but personally the one that made the film for me was the final locker room scene with Ty LeBeouf and Bruno Bond. While changing, LeBeouf gets a little frisky, tossing his jock strap and other articles of clothing at Bruno Bond. “Stop dicking around,” objects Bond, but defiantly LeBeouf continues until he goads the man into some playful wrestling. This leads to some action that will get you growling, interrupted only by LeBeouf’s silly little outburst, “tastes like some good-ass sausage!” Oi vey!

Eye Contact By: From: Genre: Cast: Story: Visual: Faves: Adult Depot Variety, Theme    Gio Forte, Tony Buff

The theme that unites this film is that of making eye contact; whether it be the guy intensely staring you down in the woods, 26

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Tony Buff is facing the daunting challenge of carrying a big stack of boxes into a building, but this task is made a great deal easier by the kindness of a stranger off the street. Like a puppy dog, that stranger is hoping for some further attention, which Buff is able to afford. Later on, Gio Forte is up on a ladder trimming the trees when he notices Jay Roberts sunbathing on the porch. Forte’s attempt at being a gardener is hilarious – for such a big strong guy, it looks like he’s never picked up a pair of hedge trimmers in his life, fumbling and missing just about every cut he makes. Probably frustrated by his own uselessness, Forte decides to move on to another task…technically the twink is in the yard too, and thus needs tending to. Roberts gives Forte a luke-warm reception, though for the look of surprise, the man might as well have appeared out of thin air. Roberts daintily puts down a blanket to kneel on, like he’s having a picnic, and takes a few moments to mentally prepare himself before going down on the dirty groundskeeper (at least he was respectful enough to take his fancy ear buds out). Forte may be off target with the clippers, but when it comes to cock and mouth he never misses a thrust. Furthermore, Forte has quite a range on him when he shoots his load, and most of it misses Robert’s chest, going right over the edge of the porch. There’s another task he can cross off his list…fertilizing the lawn. A good film over all, but with the exception of Gio, it is geared more toward those who like their guys smoother and thinner.

While You’re At It... Hung Ladz XXL By: Simon Booth From: Adult Depot Genre: Twink/Big Dick Cast:  Story:  Visual: 

Paris Playboys By: Lucas Entertainment From: Priape Genre: Foreign/Twink Cast:  Story:  Visual: 

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Coming Out Monologues Local Thespians Tell Real Stories By Dallas Barnes We probably all know what it means, but to ensure we are on the same page, Wikipedia defines coming out as “the term used to describe the process by which an individual reveals that s/he is lesbian, gay, or bisexual.” They go on to define two general steps: “The beginning of this process is acceptance of oneself. Following this, openness may occur with family, friends, co-workers, etc.” But as many of us have personally experienced, coming out is not just a single act of defining oneself publicly. It is a pivotal point in one’s life. The Campaign for Positive Space and Queers on Campus, centred out of the University of Calgary, would like to celebrate this rite of passage by presenting its first annual The Coming Out Monologues on March 19th at Craigie Hall, on the U of C campus. Nina Anana, Peer Supporter for The Positive Campaign Space Campaign is looking forward “to opening up a discourse for people to discuss their coming out process, and for others that have yet to.” The production is similar at heart to the Eve Ensler’s award winning production, The Vagina Monologues. Individuals have been asked to discuss their coming out stories with the production team and perform their story in front of an audience. Many students and community members have stepped up to the challenge. “The participants are coming to talk and tell their stories. Some stories will be funny and others will be sad. Most of the stories generate a discussion on how to cope,” Anana adds. The Campaign for Positive Space is a volunteer run community organization made up of students of the University of Calgary. Its mandate is to create a more welcoming place for all those who study, work and live at the University of Calgary. The Campaign aims to raise awareness of, and addresses, discrimination and harassment based on sexual and gender diversity, which they believe challenges the patterns of silence that continue to marginalize bisexuals, gays, lesbians and transgendered individuals. Similarly, Queers on Campus is a volunteer run, student based organization—“queer people and allies working together to encourage and promote understanding and acceptance of queer people within the greater student, faculty, and staff community at the University of Calgary.” Although the organizations that are putting on The Coming Out Monologues are comprised mostly of students, the stories vary generationally. “We want to reach out to the entire community with stories for everybody,” Anana says. Tickets for this event are only $5.00, and all proceeds go to Calgary Outlink, the charity chosen for this project. “This is the first of we hope, many more years of The Coming Out Monologues. We can only continue if you can come out and support us.”

Positive Space Queers on Campus The Coming Out Monologues Friday, March 19, 7:30pm Craigie Hall C119, University of Calgary

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Q Scopes

“Be careful, Gemini!” Entering Aries, Venus opposes Saturn then squares Pluto, challenging us to greater integrity. That requires some risks. This aspect also highlights values and benefits that can arise from current global crises. Observe and prosper. When spring starts, the Sun will make the same aspects, giving you a second chance to take notice! ARIES (March 20 – April 19): You can shine in a crisis – just understand that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Others have valuable experience that you can utilize. Asking them can affirm your confidence to yourself and others. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): Worries can seriously undermine your health. A meditative walk through a museum or an elegant garden will help soothe your nerves. To honestly face an intellectual challenge you have to be willing to change your mind on important issues. GEMINI (May 21- June 20): Be careful accepting challenges or dares. Push yourself in creative efforts; be a little more careful in sports. Real friends won’t pressure you into things that don’t feel right. Maybe you need to lose some of your “friends.” CANCER (June 21- July 22): A career opening may exact some cost at home. Keep communications open so your partner can support you better in what may be longterm changes. Be mature, responsible and ready to make concessions on domestic issues. LEO (July 23 – August 22): Your feistiness can be a blessing – with proper focus and application – or a curse. Consider the risks and value of controversy before you roar. Artistic adventures – a new film or art show – can draw your attention to happier conversations. VIRGO (August 23 – September 22): Wear red to highlight your sexiness, though you don’t need the help. You might prefer to slow down, reexamine your erotic values and pleasures. You need depth and challenge. Physically? Easy. Spiritually? There’s the real challenge! LIBRA (September 23 – October 22): Be open to new ideas – or, more importantly, new values regarding your home, your family and community, and even yourself. You are going through big challenges, and some fresh input could really help you find answers! SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21): There can be a simple, meditative beauty in exercise and mundane tasks. Find that and you can unlock the problems that have been vexing you. Ironically, with radical new ideas, your challenges really begin! And they’ll be more satisfying challenges. SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 20): Fun and games aren’t the answer to everything, but they can open inspirations that, with hard work and application, will solve some big problems. Even a worst-case scenario is just a creative challenge for you. CAPRICORN (December 21 – January 19): You’re at the top of your game these days. Simple lessons you learned at home, based in traditional values, can help you consolidate your gains and help you rise to the challenges you’ve taken on. AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18): Jump into any arguments you like, but remember the trick is to learn what you can. Speak up to provoke new ideas from others, not to hammer out your own. The greater your own mind, the greater the challenges it can handle. PISCES (February 19 – March 19): Set aside a little money for impulse spending. Not only is the release necessary, but whatever you do buy on a mad little spree can tell you a lot your current crises and how you want to solve them.

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Jack Fertig, a professional astrologer since 1977, is available for personal and business consultations in person in San Francisco, or online everywhere. He can be reached at 415-864-8302, through his Web site at

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Gossip whom no one creates sexuality rumors because her early career choices (The Hunger and The Rocky Horror Picture Show) more or less cemented her position as a queer screen icon, may be stepping into Stanwyck’s ladylike boots. Poised to re-enter popculture consciousness as a feature film, The Big Valley is just the right sort of remake candidate: one that’s had time to exit public consciousness first. It has no other cast yet, but Romeo would love to see a gay cowboy subplot somewhere in the mix. Nothing major, just something where the quiet “special friends” get to live happily ever after. Whorehouse to reopen for business

 Susan Sarandon, still fabulous

Deep Inside Hollywood Eliza Dushku’s road to Mapplethorpe Romeo San Vicente Actors with ambition to produce and direct know that to make their dream projects come true there are dues to be paid. So when Dollhouse star Eliza Dushku announced her intentions to make The Perfect Moment, a biopic about the late gay artist Robert Mapplethorpe, she probably knew there’d be clout-and cash-collecting detours along the way. And here they are: the horror film Zoe, slated for 2011 and co-starring James Van Der Beek and Freddie Prinze, Jr. (is it set in the ’90s too?) in which Dushku plays a small-town waitress terrorized by… well… something; you’ll see when it opens. And then there’s the future mega-event known as Ghostbusters III, a project she’s been circling, one that would pretty much catapult her to the A-list, with all the production shingle perks that status tends to dole out. Hope so. And really, what’re a few slimed ghosts on the road to making art? Susan Sarandon entering The Big Valley Back in the 1960s, Barbara Stanwyck (who may or may not have been bisexual – as was rumored during her career – but who was a favorite of lesbian and gay audiences all the same) played Victoria Barkley, sturdy matriarch of the wild west TV drama The Big Valley. So it’s fitting, in a way, that Susan Sarandon, about


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

So Nine tanked at the box office. Oh well. We’re now back at a point in the movie-making landscape where one failed big-budget musical doesn’t derail the genre’s viability, which is great news for fans of that heightened reality where breaking into song and choreographed dance moves is commonplace. Here come two more: The Song Is You, from Dreamgirls director Bill Condon, is about a man who turns to music as a refuge, connecting it to key moments in his life (or as Condon has described it, “(falling) into his iPod Shuffle”). In turn, the man also falls into a romance with a singer he hasn’t even met. At the same time, the remake of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is on the horizon. No cast yet, no release date yet, no nothing yet, just a teasing promise. So, message to people responsible: obviously she’s not going to play the lead, but there must be a liberal infusion of Dolly Parton into this movie all the same. Anything less will be blasphemy. Now go make it work. Kevin Smith produces Bear Nation Anyone who follows the man recently ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight for taking up too much seat space knows that Kevin Smith is a bear. A heterosexual one, but still a bear. And his gay bear colleague, documentary filmmaker Malcolm Ingram (Small Town Gay Bar, which Smith produced), has enlisted the help of Silent Bob to get his next project off the ground. Smith has executive-produced and also makes an appearance in Bear Nation, a doc from Ingram about the bear subculture (for the still-uninitiated, they are that niche market of gay men who refuse to shave, wax, or say no to seconds at the buffet) and all the ways they’ve begun to make their presence known in the larger gay world. The film premieres any minute now at Austin’s South By Southwest Film Festival. Non-Austinites will have to wait for a local fest or cable airing, all of which are highly likely to follow. Prep now by growing that facial hair. Romeo San Vicente’s favorite thing about bears is their proximity to fried chicken and waffles. He can be reached care of this publication.

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Attack in Black By Jason Clevett

Making it in the music industry in Canada is a struggle. While as fans we see the glory of the live band onstage performing, the hours spent practicing, writing, and especially driving around in Canada takes its toll. So it is promising for a band to even see a glimpse of triumph. Such is the case with Welland, Ontario’s Attack in Black. From playing around Niagara Falls and Welland to opening for bands like Thrice and The Tragically Hip, they are making a name and creating their own success. “I don’t know what you consider successful but we get to tour around and play music and don’t have to work that hard on crappy jobs when we are home. It doesn’t pay the bills or anything but at least our families think we are doing something important,” said guitarist Spencer Burton. We caught up with Burton before a recent show at Broken City with Julie Doiron. The name doesn’t quite fit the initial perception of the band, who are neither attacking nor particularly black. “We were young when we named the band and some of the first music we wrote was aggressive punk music. It is still punk music but aggressive in a different way. The name comes from a lyric from a band called Seven Seconds, a song about spray paint and they sing about attacking in black. We were younger and more aggressive and liked our tattoos then. Now we regret everything.” Canadians are known for their often quirky sense of humor, and Burton was no exception, making witty and sarcastic comments about how the band got their tattoos. “I saw this cover of Men’s Health the other day and 50 Cent was on the cover without any tattoos. I thought it had been photo-shopped but I guess he got them all removed so he can do more acting and stuff like that. There are no scars or anything, he is like the perfect man, perfect body, no scars, flawless. If I could get my hands on a billion dollars I too could have all my tattoos removed without scarring. If 50 Cent can do it anyone can. It wasn’t airbrushed or anything, it was just beautiful naked 50 Cent. I need that. Maybe I should just start working out and maybe all of my tattoos would fall off.” He is certainly amongst the people who look at their body art and say, “what the hell was I thinking?” “I wonder if there is anybody out there that doesn’t regret their tattoos. There is that moment where you are standing in front of a mirror and realize I am never going to be naked ever again, I am always going to have something on me. I’ve got an x-girlfriend’s name tattooed on me, but I actually like that one, it is so sketchy.

I have one that is a flaming vampire chick staking herself through her heart—that is just stupid. The ex-girlfriend tattoo is kind of funny in a weird ironic embarrassing kind of way.” The band and their producer Dan Weston were recording the tour stops, although Burton admits he is not quite sure what they will do with it. “We have songs for our new record for this year and we might do like, an album release and have some live songs as a bonus, or hold onto them and use them down the line. We are filming the shows as well so maybe we will match the music to the live performance. I have no idea, it is just good to have it. We are doing that with every show on the tour. It is being recorded onto a hard disk recorder and has to be mixed down.” He is looking forward to recording the next album, but acknowledged this makes it harder to decide what to play live. “Every time someone asks me what to expect they say, because you know every album is so different than your other ones. I don’t view that, it is the same as all the other ones. We put the same amount of effort and love into every song that has been written. It is just another record that I like better than the other ones because it is new and different. I am sick of the old stuff and want to hear something new. It is tough to make a set list because I know there are people that want to hear old songs. There are nights that it is all new stuff and one old song and we forget about that. If you start thinking about it too much, it gets difficult. In the meantime Spencer wants to keep playing music for as long as he can. “I just want to keep doing what we are doing. Just from playing music we have met so many different people and opened for people like the Tragically Hip; headlined shows I never thought we would headline. We can do so many different things as long as we keep meeting new people and playing shows and having fun, making enough money to keep doing it. The money is nice because you can’t live off of nothing but I like the meeting people and the playing music part above it. It would just be nice to have enough money to make it to the next show.” While most artists move to a major city, the band has remained in Welland. “A few [band members] moved to Montreal but they have moved back to Welland and we are together again. I don’t think any of us really want to be there, hanging around the canal gets old. We want to be together and be able to make music. It would be nice if we could all get a place together, I think that is what we would like to do. Maybe not. It seems like a good idea but living together, touring together and always being together may be a bad thing. I would probably be the one who would be stabbed and that would suck.” However, from a marketing perspective, being a short drive from major centres like Buffalo and Toronto could be part of the appeal, but Burton has other reasons for staying: at heart he is a small town guy. “There are so many places around to go hiking or swimming under a waterfall in the summertime. It is nice to be able to get away and go for nature walks and play with the dog in the woods. I like the area and that is why I didn’t go to Montreal, with cars everywhere and people yelling, I couldn’t handle that. I want to be even more of a small town guy, and live in a house surrounded by 1000 acres of nothing. I like the peace and quiet—I find peace on the road, that is why I like it so much.” “I love my music, so the shows are awesome, but you get that day off that you can go for a hike, or just stop on the side of the highway at nighttime and you just stand and stare at the sky. I like that kind of stuff.”

Attack in Black

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Out of Town Hawaii’s Garden Isle: Kauai

Kauai’s Famed Na Pali Coast, with its 4000-foot cliffs rising high above the sea By Andrew Collins In terms of scenery, the one Hawaiian island that comes closest to living up to the expectations of many first-time visitors is Kauai, a comparatively small but magnificently lush isle of rain forests, towering seaside cliffs and secluded beaches. Hikers flock to the Na Pali Coast, which is on the remote northwestern tip of the island, just beyond the picturesque village of Hanalei (which has been the setting for such films as South Pacific, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park). The eastern side is dominated by the waterfalls of the Wailua River Valley, southern side by Poipu’s stunning beaches and upscale resorts, and the western side by gargantuan Waimea Canyon—there’s unparalleled beauty wherever you look. Kauai remains largely unspoiled and slow-paced, an ideal spot for devotees of the outdoors—loyal admirers often vacation here exclusively and skip the other islands. There’s just an incredible amount to do on this island (although nobody will look oddly at you if you choose simply to laze around the beach all day). More energetic types will want to drive the main highway encircling much of the island, from south to north, and hop out at various points of interest to hike and explore. The one section you can’t reach by car, the famed Na Pali Coast with its sheer 4,000-foot cliffs, you can access in other interesting ways. Perhaps take a catamaran cruise up the west coast of Kauai—the five-hour tours offered by Capt Andy’s Sailing Adventures are great fun and include an opportunity to snorkel right off the boat. Outfitters Kauai offers rigorous but highly rewarding kayak tours around the Na Pali Coast as well as a wide range of both extreme and easygoing adventures—easy kayak trips up the 30

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

placid Hule’ia River, bike rides into spectacular Waimea Canyon and Ziplining treks in several different areas. If you’re in good shape and game for an independent adventure, you can always hike into the Na Pali highlands via the famed 11-mile Kalalau Trail—access the trail from Ha’ena State Park (itself home to a lovely beach), at the end of Kuhio Hawaii on the north shore. Easier options for sightseeing include driving the viewpoints at Waimea Canyon State Park—they don’t call this the “Grand Canyon of Hawaii” for nothing. The 10-mile-long canyon is 3,000 feet deep and is one of Hawaii’s best photo ops. You’ll find beautiful beaches all around the island, including a few with gay followings. The easiest to reach is Lydgate State Park, just south of Kapaa off the Kuhio Highway—walk south from the parking area for the gay-popular section. Donkey Beach, off Kuhio HIghway a bit north of Kapaa, is enjoyable both for sunbathing or swimming and it draws a mix of gays and straights. Just keep in mind that the surf can be intense, so exercise caution. You’ll see the parked cars on the side of the road as you head north out of Kapaa, between mileposts 11 and 12. From here just follow the trail down to the water. Nudity is permitted at this beach. Kauai has always excelled when it comes to super-fresh produce and seafood, but in recent years many more sophisticated, urbane restaurants have opened, making the island a genuine hotspot among gourmands. One of the best examples of this transformation is the Beach House, which serves exceptional contemporary Hawaiian-Asian fare (wasabi-crusted snapper with lilikoi-lemongrass beurre blanc) from a dining room with stunning view of the ocean—it’s one of the top special occasion restaurants on the island. The Grand Hyatt Kauai has several good restaurants onsite, including romantic Tidepools steak and seafood eatery, the most elegant of the bunch. This resort is also a good option

Travel for experiencing a traditional luau—these feasts are held on Sundays evenings and are open to nonguests (reservations are recommended). In the early evening, the Hyatt’s Seaview Terrace is a breezy and relaxing spot to sip wine or cocktails and sample some terrific pupu (appetizers), and clubby Stevenson’s Library—thought known primarily as a cocktail bar—also serves a full menu of super-fresh sushi from Friday through Monday evenings. Other Poipu culinary notables include the Kauai outposts of two restaurant brands that have become legendary among foodies in Hawaii: Merriman’s, which opened recently and features farmfresh, healthful regional cuisine and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, a longtime favorite in the area. Up on the north shore, charmingly laid-back Hanalei is a cluster of restaurants, some of them quite good. For lunch, Hanalei Gourmet is hard to beat for fresh salads, coconutshrimp and sandwiches from the gourmet deli. A few doors down, Javakai serves some of the best coffee on the island. And romantic Postcards Cafe is a good bet for sophisticated seafood and modern Hawaiian fare. Kauai has no shortage spots specializing in tasty short-order fare and tempting snacks, including the rich yet relatively lowcal gelato and sorbetto served at Papalani Gelato, the first-rate premium ice cream served at the statewide chain Lappert’s (there are three branches on Kauai), and the decadently sweet and uniquely Hawaiian frozen treats doled out at Jo Jo’s Anuenue Original Shave Ice in Waimea. On the savory side, and also in Waimea, do not miss Shrimp Station, which serves super-fresh, deliciously seasoned shrimp platters—a favorite being the spicy Thai shrimp. Poipu’s Puka Dog has been featured on television’s with Anthony Bourdain and is renowned for piquant-sweet hot dogs topped with tropical mustards and sauces. Just north of Poipu, the Koloa Fish Market prepares super-fresh plate lunches and bento boxes to go (try the ahi poke bento)—they’re perfect for a picnic. And if you’re headed north of Kapaa toward the north shore and craving a snack, be sure to check out Duane’s OnoChar Burger in Anahola. Kauai has no gay nightlife per se, although the entire island is so welcoming that you’re liable to bump into “family” at just about any bar on the island. One spot that many local gays and lesbian do frequent, especially during the “gay nights” held the first Saturday of each month, is Nawiliwili Tavern, near the Kauai Marriott and the airport in Lihue. Kauai has a nice range of accommodations in all prices ranges, from posh resorts to gay-friendly B&Bs. Poipu, on the south shore, has the greatest concentration of distinguished lodgings, including the fairly new Koa Kea Hotel, a hip and stylish boutique property whose rooms surround a pool that overlooks the ocean. The hotel’s Red Salt restaurant is stellar. The aforementioned Grand Hyatt Kauai ranks among Hawaii’s most sumptuous full-service resorts—rooms have smart, contemporary furnishings and such cushy amenities as iHome stereos and beverage chillers. The Hyatt is also home to the

superb Anara Spa—set amid lush gardens and waterfalls—as well as a top-notch golf course. With an enviable perch overlooking the ocean, Whaler’s Cove has developed a loyal following over the years for providing upscale suites and amenities at fair prices— the one- and two-bedroom units are beautifully appointed, quite huge, and directly facing the ocean. Gay-owned Poipu Plantation Resort comprises an atmospheric 1938 B&B as well as nine individual rentals—it’s steps from the beaches, is run by friendly and helpful innkeepers, and has warmly furnished, reasonably prices rooms (with full breakfast included in the B&B rooms). It’s steps from the beach and several restaurants. Other nice lodgings around the island include Outrigger at Lae Nani, which is run by one of Hawaii’s most gay-friendly hotel brands, and the similarly GLBT-welcoming Aston Islander and Aston Kauai Beach hotels. On the north shore, both the elegant Hanalei Colony Resort and ultra-swanky St. Regis Princeville are well recommended. Another option, especially worth considering if you’re staying for more than a few days or traveling with a group of buddies, is renting a vacation house or condo. With properties all around the island, the Parrish Collection is a reliable, reputable and gayfriendly vacation rental agency, and it manages a wide variety of lodging options, from simple one-bedroom condos starting around $115 per night to over-the-top-luxurious homes with multiple bedrooms and designer kitchens. Andrew Collins covers gay travel for the New York Times-owned website and is the author of Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA. He can be reached care of this publication

The Little Black Book Aston Islander and Aston Kauai Beach ( Beach House ( Capt Andy’s Sailing Adventures (www. Grand Hyatt Kauai ( Hanalei Colony Resort ( Hanalei Gourmet ( Javakai ( Kalalau Trail ( Kauai Visitors Bureau ( Koa Kea Hotel ( Lappert’s ( Merriman’s (www.merrimanshawaii. com). Nawiliwili Tavern ( Outfitters Kauai (www. Outrigger at Lae Nani ( Papalani Gelato ( Parrish Collection (www.parrishkauai. com). Poipu Beach Resort Association ( Postcards Cafe ( Puka Dog ( Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine ( St. Regis Princeville ( Shrimp Station (www.shrimpstation. com). Whaler’s Cove (

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



The Quest for Biological Legitimacy By Mercedes Allen Last month, I wrote a rough assessment of the kinds of medical studies developing since the mid 1990s that are increasingly showing a probable biological origin or at least a biological connection to transsexuality (unfortunately, other trans identities such as crossdressers or genderqueer people haven’t been included in these studies, yet). This may sound great, but we have to keep it all in perspective. Now, I have to admit, I’ve been as interested as anyone in the ongoing studies in brain sex, genetics, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and other biological factors that have been increasingly linked to transsexualism. I’ve pointed to them to demonstrate publicly that our identities are not just “all in our heads,” although I also have to admit I’m a bit more of a barstool scientist (which is to say, not a scientist at all), and don’t always grok the nuances of the research myself. I’ve followed them with some fascination at the intricacies of how 3-variable combinations of biology + socialization + choice produce seemingly infinite numbers of perspectives, and ridiculed the far right for asserting that we “choose our lifestyles.” Yet something that bothers me (and isn’t mentioned much in the quest for biological legitimacy) is that clear proof of a biological origin would not only fail to convince our detractors, it is also not the Holy Grail it’s sometimes made out to be.

Legal Outcome of Great Taste vs. Less Filling I’ve alluded to a balance between biology, socialization and choice. Ultimately, this is what the point of contention becomes regarding the validity of identity. As humans, our right to exist boils down to a narrative that our behaviour must derive from an accepted form of any of the three, and to fall afoul of any one would sabotage the respect we have as a community in the eyes of various ideologies. The far right Christianist (a term meant to distinguish from progressive and affirming forms of Christianity, although there are more complexities to that designation) version of this narrative claims that we are trans (and gay / lesbian / bisexual if applicable) purely by choice – although sometimes with a limited acknowledgement and understanding of socialization as helping to shape identity, when formulating “curative” solutions like ex-gay aversion therapies. Underscoring this is the implication that said choice falls (in their perspective) on the bad side of a good / evil binary and therefore undeserving of respect. We know that we didn’t choose to be trans, but then, it shouldn’t matter if we did. Societal traditions (largely unspoken, but reinforced throughout childhood) surrounding masculinity reject socialization altogether, and see any kind of femininity, whether considered to be biological or chosen in nature, to be weakness. While this has improved in some areas—and at the same time still has a long way to go—regarding cisgender (non-transgender) women, it can still mean a negative disposition by default toward men who were born female (FTM transsexuals), male-bodied people who transitioned away from masculinity (MTF transsexuals), crossdressers, genderqueer people and just about any other gender-transgressive identity. Our existence as trans people questions the greater or lesser value ascribed to any particular gender and muddies that by daring to blur those borders. Feminist narratives vary along with some core modes of feminist thought, but there tends to be stronger credence given socialization. In some second wave feminist thought, in fact, the idea that biology has a hand in identity is almost counter to the very foundations, where gender is seen as almost completely socially constructed, and where some writers like Julie Bindel contend that if we simply blur and erase the characteristics that we associate with “male” and “female,” then transsexuality – like gender disparity in society – would cease to exist. Again, our experiences show us that while socialization does unmistakably design some of our lives, it is not the whole picture. The question of accepting trans identities is really about where a person accepts that balance to exist between biology, social conditioning and choice. Merely by existing, we undermine the very foundations of many


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

belief systems, which could explain why many groups in society react so negatively toward us. The flip side of that is that if we stake trans existence too heavily on one aspect – in this case biology – we also risk limiting the scope of what we acknowledge in our own community and beyond. We’ve been learning that socialization only accounts for a part of peoples’ essence (a crucial part, but a part nonetheless), so the power of biology should not be underestimated. But biological causation only proves that we exist — it does not impart anything positive or negative on us, certainly not beyond the stigmas or empathies that society chooses to surrender to any condition. The drive to find validity based on biology is most often a result of the conflict with Christianist groups, faiths and far-right conservatism, and contention that trans anything (and GLBT anything) is a choice which can be overcome by changing one’s mind. We know from our own experiences and sometimes lifetimes of trying to change our minds that we haven’t chosen our identities and orientations, and that there is something more intrinsic that we cannot put our fingers on that makes us who we are. Farright religion in particular has to push this belief, because if a god created homosexuals and trans people, then that completely undermines the ability to create villains of us — and Machiavellian religious leaders (again, from the Christianist side, not the more progressive churches) see an effective way to consolidate people, power and financing by creating villains for them to abhor and oppose. So we play the opposite response: “it’s genetic.” Well, maybe it is to an extent, but both arguments completely overlook the fact that neither chosen lifestyles nor biologically-driven identities of themselves validate or disqualify value in a human being. Biological “programming” is never a sure thing either, with genetic influences only providing predispositions in the first place – it certainly doesn’t give enough credit to free will or individual experience. (And anyway, isn’t it a bit ironic to be fighting allegations that our existence is a choice, from a group whose existence is a choice of faith?) Moreover, we might not exactly be comfortable with the implication of imparting legitimacy on all things biologically-connected. Imagine if there were a finding in which pedophilia is shown have some genetic trigger. Certainly many predators of this sort find behavioural change to be difficult or impossible, and describe a compulsion they feel is beyond their control, so it’s not unthinkable that there could be an intrinsic component. But such a discovery should never be used to legitimize the molestation of children. So biological causation only proves that we exist. We cannot depend on it for rights or to change hearts and minds. We cannot rely on it to find pride in our lives. It’s fascinating, marginally validating, but it does not provide a sole standard against which we measure ourselves as humans. Sometimes, we must choose our pride, in the face of all contrary opinion.

Mercedes Allen is a writer who blogs at http://dentedbluemercedes.wordpress. com/, has been featured on, PageOneQ and others, and has also developed the website at as a resource for transgender information and support.

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Sexy Talk!

Ground Zero / Hit & Myth tackle My First Time By Jason Clevett In researching to prepare for this article, I of course went to the website, which in this case is the basis for this latest Ground Zero Theatre/Hit and Myth Productions play. My first impression was of some spelling and grammar so terrible it was funny, and some downright shocking honesty. ”Hi My story started right after my dear husband died at the young age of 50 years. I had no kids I was alone except for our big wonder full german sheppered dog...” ”My job involves working in peoples homes and some years ago I was doing a job for a blind lady of about sixty years of age, you could tell she had been very attractive when she was younger and, was still quite tasty now.” ”I read a lot of fantasy stories about fucking your mothers. I believe that some of you have experienced it as i have.” ”We rolled over. ’Go with it’ I said as I put my mowth on his dick. He came in my mowth. I took my mowth off is dick. ’Not bad for your frist cum James.’ ’Think you Gary for letting me loss my virginity.’ ’Me too. Lets sleep naked tonight’ He agreed and we slept togather naked in his bed. When we woke up and got dreesed affter we eat.” The first page alone contained two dog sex stories, three mom-sex stories, and poorly written attempts at porn. My first reaction was “they made a play out of this?” “I don’t want to give too much away but there are some fantastic stories—some shocking, some heartbreaking, and no animals,” explained Karen Johnson-Diamond, one of the four actors in the show. “It is what everyone is afraid to talk about but desperately wants to. It is so exciting to think about what these people were feeling when they were first typing it into the computer. It is a great feeling of anonymity when you are talking about it for the first time because rarely do any of us do that.” The obvious comparison that people will make, on first impression, is to The Vagina Monologues. A better comparison she says is to Ground Zero’s hit show CockTales. “We are taking on these people’s stories and telling them. There is a little scene work. It is in the same vein as CockTales, which was a huge hit over the past few years—that cabaret style storytelling with audience involvement. The audience is going to be asked anonymously some questions they can choose to answer. We will learn about the audience’s feelings about their first time, average age, etc. It is this communal orgy of shared information, but it is all anonymous. So we have some freedom to explore within the audience how they are feeling with the stories we are telling. It is funny and heartbreaking and tear-jerking, everybody wants to hear it and talk about it but no one will admit it and they will all be there. Hopefully somebody in that audience has the same story that we are telling. They are the cream of the crop these stories, but not one in a million. They belong to more than one person.” There are homosexual experiences represented in the show, in much better fidelity than the “frist cum” of Gary and James above. “I don’t have a lesbian scene but there are a number of them. We were talking about the script and going, it wouldn’t make any difference if we took all of woman one’s monologues and gave them to man number one, or vice versa. They are so universal and about the event, it makes no difference one way or another. Every form of sex is represented except for animals, and they are so genuine and heartfelt and end with a feeling of I’m just telling you, I am not looking for approval. There are stories that make us feel great, uncomfortable, shocked, jealous, and within those stories some are heterosexual, some are homosexual and it doesn’t make any difference. It is all just about the event and the emotions of the event.” Diamond-Johnson relates with several of the stories, but has a different outlook as a parent as well. “There are a couple of stories where I have said been there, done that. Where I am sitting right now is listening to these stories from the point of view of a mother of a thirteen year old boy. There is a whole section about how old were you when…? I am going, oh my god my kid still sleeps with the hall light on but this could be him in a year and a half! It is certainly not a show I would bring my kid to—I want to for so many reasons but I can’t and won’t. It is heartwarming to hear the stories that I have been through because I don’t have any tragic stories, and hope that as a mother my son’s first time is equally as pain free and non-dramatic.”

GZT can be accused of a bit of deceptive marketing, as the poster for the show features the four actors (Diamond-Johnson, David Trimble, Tyrell Crews and Jamie Konchak) naked behind laptops. Yes, despite teasing a naked Tyrell Crews, he and the rest of the cast remain fully clothed. “There is no nudity, that is the sad part. My neighbours are saying ‘Karen I saw the poster, is that what you are going to look like on stage?’ No. Ty is not shirtless either. I wish. They are putting him in a tight tshirt! Maybe we could do like the splatter zone (such as in Evil Dead: The Musical) and you pay extra for the backstage glance with the shirt off? Oh my god I have to stop talking like that! He is practically half my age.” It is understandable that she may get a little worked up, she is after all talking about sex all day. While the show often rattles off percentages like how many people hated their first time, 100% will want to go home and have sex after. “That is true. You walk out of rehearsal going, ohh I have to go home fast. My husband is enjoying the rehearsal process. He will be like, ‘You need to work for ground zero more often,’ although coming home soaked in blood is not as sexy.” So sit back with some friends, grab a drink, and enjoy an evening talking about everyone’s favorite subject they don’t admit to loving—sex! “What Ground Zero has always done, especially with things like Full Monty, Urinetown, Cocktales and Evil Dead is just entertain [so you can] go out and have a night of in your face entertainment. It is a girl’s night out, a guy’s night out, a date night... I would love to see someone on a first date see this show. It is a safe bet for theatre because it is everybody’s story and will take you on an emotional roller-coaster. Virgins are going to get just as much out of this show as non-virgins. I can’t say that there is anybody perhaps other than my 13 year old son that wouldn’t see themselves in this show and glean something from it.” “It is opening up about what the hell are we being so prudish about? Let’s just talk about it and not act like it is a dirty business. Maybe sex is a taboo subject because talking about it in detail rarely happens. This is an anonymous way to hear your and other people’s details while you are sitting at a cabaret table with your best friends, having a drink. It’s just great.” “Come to our opening,” she concludes, pun intended.

Ground Zero Theatre My First Time March 19-April 10, 2010 Vertigo Studio Theatre

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Photography ISCWR at the Alberta Legislature, Edmonton, Photos by B&J

Pride Calgary Lasagna Contest Fundraiser at the Eagle, Calgary

ISCWR Leather, Feathers, and Fur at Boots, Edmonton

Winterfest ISCWR Fundraiser - Edmonton, Photos by B&J


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Outrage and the Outing of Politicians By Evan Kayne In our community, the issue of “outing” someone’s sexuality against their express wishes is a topic that sparks much heated debate with no middle ground: you either condone or condemn the practice. The discussion has been going on since at least 1990, when writer/activist/radio host Michelangelo Signorile outed American millionaire Malcolm Forbes. Then most people were against outing. Now it seems opinion is split down the middle. However, Outrage, a new documentary just released on DVD, makes the case that we should be outing closeted gay politicians who promote anti-gay legislation. The film focuses on several American political figures who have supported legislation harmful to the LGLT community, while they themselves led closeted lives. Juxtaposing the hypocritical politicians, director Kirby Dick (This Film is Not Yet Rated, Derrida, and Twist of Faith) interviews several men and women combating discriminatory legislation flowing from governments. There are compelling segments featuring Sirius radio host Michelangelo Signorile along with figures like U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and Jim McGreevey, the former governor of New Jersey. Outrage puts together a compelling case against a political system which prefers hypocrisy to honesty. With interviews from various LGBT political figures and writers, the film also transposes their thoughts up against the actions of these closeted homophobic politicians. While it has its moments of titillation and frustration (e.g. Larry Craig’s fervent denial he is gay), the documentary moves best when it takes a deeper look at why these people do what they do, why the system may even force them into this pigeonhole. Mike Rogers, a D.C. blogger devoted to revealing closeted politicians, was among the more compelling figures profiled in the film. His site blogactive. com concentrates on outing closeted gay politicians who actively oppose gay rights. Some of his targets have included Representative David Dreier, Larry Craig, and Mark Buse—John McCain’s Chief of Staff. In a phone interview, we discussed how both the film and many members of the LGBT community notice the unspoken double standard regarding evidence of a politician’s hypocrisy. A straight politician can have only the fewest whispered rumours of a mistress to cause the media to investigate. A gay politician has to either be “sexting” teenage pages, doing drugs with an escort, or getting caught in a washroom sting by the police before people start to think “hey...maybe he is gay”. Mike’s opinion is that there should be no difference in treatment of the politician when the media investigates. “The only difference is that there’s two dicks involved,” said Rogers. Mike’s well aware of the double standard; as someone who works in the Washington D.C. political scene he’s seen how the media goes into a feeding frenzy investigating the sexual adventures of straight politicians—“...just one guy speaking about a woman or [a woman speaking about] a guy and next thing you know it’s on every tabloid and every newspaper.” Michael Phair, former Edmonton City Councillor, isn’t as convinced there is a double standard when it comes to the media discussing the sexuality of a politician. He does believe what we are seeing develop in the past 20 years is that the party in power wields an inordinate amount of power over the media. The media feels threatened by them in terms of not getting their stories and not getting their contacts, so they may start self-censoring. He thinks it’s an unfortunate collusion between the media and the government. It’s certainly endemic in Alberta, and federally, this silent conspiracy between government and media has gotten worse under the Conservatives. This means that the large media chains can mock small bloggers like Mike Rogers when he does cover stories they wish to remain under cover. “The mainstream media tries not to take me seriously.” They downplay his work as that of a mere blogger with no-one doing any fact-checking. Mike then pushes back, citing major errors in papers like the New York Times and how his accuracy is 100%. He feels the mainstream media certainly tries to stand in the way, but with newer technologies and ways of disseminating information, that is no longer as effective as it once was. As for those claims of “inaccuracy”, realistically as one individual, Mike can’t afford to make mistakes. He has a greater danger of being shut down by litigation than a large media corporation (with a team of lawyers). Mike is brash on this one, as his confidence in his information compels him to challenge people who would be likely to threaten litigation. But as he puts it, “No one ever sues me.”

Additionally, he has the right to report on this issue, as it is a free society. “Unfortunately for them, politicians do not get to decide what stories are written about them...My work is to expose the hypocrisy – and what I always say to people is that I don’t really out people, I merely report on the hypocrites.” One of the main drawbacks of Outrage is that the focus is limited to American politics. Canadian viewers would have to research information on some of the politicians the film names, to fully understand the context. In our political system, we rarely have anything similar happen. However, in early February, Conservative politician John Baird (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities) was inadvertently outed by Ontario provincial Conservative candidate Pamela Taylor on a CBC radio show. The show’s host had challenged Taylor to name one openly gay Conservative politician. Taylor named John Baird. The only problem was that Baird hadn’t publicly stated his sexuality. Weeks later, he still remains mum on the issue. And while he hasn’t denied it, it seems like the “Cone of Silence” has descended upon him and the mainstream media, in regards to this issue. The following is a list of the media sources that have picked up the story: Xtra, Bay Windows (“New England’s largest GLBT Newspaper”) and now this magazine. That’s it. CBC didn’t even do any follow-up. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say whether this is the old media double standard in play or whether the mainstream media thought they’d shut up about this, lest a government which is already hostile towards them withdraw even more – thus shutting down any contacts for future stories. John Baird’s sexuality wasn’t a major secret – he was well known in Ottawa’s gay social scene and has in the past attended Ottawa’s Pride parties, along with being a “walker” for Lauren Harper at social events when Stephen Harper was otherwise occupied. Additionally, John Baird has avoided voting against our community and has spoken out against anti-gay legislation in Uganda. While it’s a shame he doesn’t have the courage to openly admit his sexuality, his outing does illustrate an interesting possibility for future gay politicians – not voting against the LGBT community, but don’t confirming or denying their sexuality either. This could mean in the future we will see politicians working for a party that is homophobic while they themselves abstain or vote against homophobic legislation. If this were the case, should their sexuality still be revealed in the media? Mike Roger thinks that, regardless of their sexuality, a person in public office gives away that right to privacy when they sign up for the job. That being said, Mike may choose not to further out said politician. He does know of several gay Republicans who don’t vote against the interests of the LGBT community (are not hypocrites in essence) so he has not outed them. He does admit party-specific politics does play into this – if a closeted Democrat votes in favour of pro-gay legislation 75% of the time versus a closeted Republican rated also at 75%, Mike would be more prone to asking the Democrat “what the hell” for the missing 25%. Which is exactly what former Councillor Michael Phair would likely say to John Baird regarding his silence on his sexuality. “I think it’s reprehensible for him to not have disclosed that and talked about that much earlier, particularly from the party he is a member of which has a history of trying to find ways to exclude persons like myself.” Phair believes someone like Baird whose sexuality is “suspected and known for years”, who may not vote against the gay community, yet who remains silent about their personal life is still a hypocrite. “Every other member of that party represents that party and their beliefs... clearly some of the policy and legislation was very offensive...and directly opposed to gays and lesbians”. Michael puts forth the opinion that Baird had an opportunity to tell the party some of their policies could be offensive to him as a gay man. He feels it might have opened a window of discussion and changed some opinions (not all, obviously) about legislation impacting the LGBT community. In the end, whatever your feelings on politicians and their sexuality, Outrage will continue the debate that the LGBT community has had on outing. Who knows what we may think twenty years from now, but let’s hope we have seen the last of the Larry Craigs and the other male and female politicians who, in denying their true nature, become traitors to their own people.

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Exploring Leather Relationships Part 3 of 3: “Sirs” and “Boys” By David Stewart In the past two months, we have taken a look at Master/slave and Daddy/boy relationships in an effort to explore leather culture and possibly clear up common misconceptions. To review, Master/slave relationships are all about the service and comfort of the Master, while Daddy/boy relationships are all about the guidance of the boy. On the spectrum of dominance versus submission, Master/slave relationships occupy one end and Daddy/boy relationships the other. While Master/slave dynamic focuses on one participant and Daddy/boy focuses on the other, the Sir/boy dynamic is a combination of the two, and can move freely along the spectrum as the situation calls. It has been argued in the past that the Sir/boy dynamic is simply a catch-all term for a dynamic of dominance and submission between two men. While there are definitely men who use it as such, in the context of many Sir/boy relationships there are specific attitudes that set a Sir and boy apart from the Dom and sub. These traits are not universal, but they provide the basis for how the Sir/boy dynamic is implemented in the participants’ lives, which is what puts this dynamic above and beyond that of a generic dominance/submission. The differences between the boy and a submissive arise from intent. A leather boy’s mentality is still one of submission, and he rarely enters leather culture thinking with more than the head between his legs. That said, under the guidance of a leather Sir, the boy begins to observe his Sir and other experienced leathermen as something to aspire toward. As this happens, the boy adopts an attitude of self-reflection, which inevitably leads to selfimprovement. The Sir’s role in all of this is that of a steady hand, guiding the boy in the right direction. Reflection and improvement can come about in many ways, so Sir adapts to each situation uniquely. He may provide the boy with learning experiences or he may only offer the boy with guidance when needed. However, it is atypical for a Sir to take on a boy for any extended period of time if the boy isn’t ready for the depth of this relationship style. For a boy to start his journey, he needs to be a man first. Boys are a reflection of their Sir, so it’s not right for a leatherman to take on a boy who is without a job, a car, a place to live, etc. To put it bluntly, the boy can’t be a loser. When a boy starts his journey under the direction of his Sir, the Sir passes down the attitudes that he has learned since his own journey started. A boy who is new to leather culture earns his own leather as he demonstrates his learning, and the bond between Sir and boy grows. There are no concrete ways to go about earning leather, nor is there a definitive set of leather that needs to be earned; it is unique to the individual. In my case, my boots, belt, vest, and jacket were presented as earned leather, and each of those items have their own set of experiences behind them. Regardless of how this tradition is integrated into a relationship, earned pieces of leather represent learning and experience. As the boy learns and grows further, he takes on more attitudes that are indicative of a leatherman. Self-reflection and self-improvement are omnipresent, but over time the Sir passes on additional qualities that will ultimately aid the boy in transitioning to a Sir (or Daddy, or Master) someday, at which time he will be ready to take on a boy of his own. Namely, these qualities are as follows: Leadership: This may be fairly intuitive, since any dominant top is charged with the task of leading his bottom in one way or another.


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

However, a leather Sir is expected to be a personification of the traits of a good leader: charismatic, authentic, ethical, mindful, etc. A leatherman should be capable of leading his community when called to task, and the quality of his leadership ultimately affects the quality of his community. Balance: This attitude manifests in many forms. Sadism is balanced with compassion, confidence is balanced with humility, dominance is balanced with understanding. A solid leather Sir also balances his time in and out of his leathers, growing in the vanilla world and as a sexual renegade. Honor: The term has been used so much in writing and in speech at leather contests that its original meaning is sometimes lost. Leather honor is a concept that best describes the value system of a leatherman. Integrity, accountability, and brotherhood are some of the ‘buzzwords’ that are used to describe this concept, but language can’t really do it justice. This is an attribute of leathermen that is best observed, rather than described. Experience: Above all else, experience is valued in leather culture. It is through experience that personal growth manifests, and with the state of gay culture in the past 30 years—after AIDS killed off a huge part of our population— experience is even more important. Experience is what drives the learning process in leather, and the importance of experience extends to the way that leathermen play, as well. Many BDSM organizations provide how-to workshops, which results in a mechanical style of play that hampers creativity. On the other hand, learning the same techniques through experience creates a positive memory behind them, and results in creative play that surpasses the “insert hand A into restraint B” level of play. Of course, not all boys “grow up” to become tops. Plenty of boys are quite happy fulfilling the bottom role of a relationship, but they are not exempt from these growing experiences or from passing on their knowledge to others. The dynamic between them and their top may eventually evolve into roles where teaching and learning are not a focal point of the relationship, but as previously mentioned, the dynamics of the Sir/boy relationship can shift freely as the situation calls. This dynamic may seem very much like the Daddy/boy dynamic, however, the difference lies in the intensity. Typically, the Sir/boy dynamic requires the boy to be much more disciplined and focused than the Daddy/boy or even Master/slave dynamic. Daddy/boy and Master/ slave dynamics allow for short term idle play, but the Sir/boy dynamic is really all about a long term goal. When observed from an anthropological perspective, it is simply cultural propagation. There aren’t readily available resources that address the Sir/boy dynamic independent from the Daddy/boy dynamic (so we’re breaking new ground here!), but the best way to learn about this dynamic is to observe it and interact with leathermen. That said, I’m going to be expanding on the topics discussed in this article at the upcoming Alberta Weekend of Leather.

Alberta Weekend of Leather (AWOL) March 19-21, 2010 at The Calgary Eagle More info at: under “AWoL”

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Gloriously Good

Stage West’s Delusional Diva Tale a Real Treat By Jason Clevett There is a scene in Glorious, playing at Stage West Calgary until April 4th, in which a character refers to a dog as being “a friend of Dorothy, as we all are.” I burst out laughing, but quickly shut my mouth when I realized I was the only one who got the joke ¬- a slang term for gay that was used as far back as World War 2. “That joke goes over like a lead balloon, nobody gets that. I didn’t realize the ‘Friend of Dorothy’ reference was as obscure as it is,” gay actor Adam White told GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine. “There are some definite in-jokes in the piece. It was written by an English writer that I understand is also gay, so he has a sensibility that may not be understood by all audiences. I find I have to point up the humor in some of the jokes, do something physically in order to highlight the fact that we just made a double entendre, or that this is a joke about Cole Porter’s sexuality.” Glorious is the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the worst opera singer in the world who went on to sell out New York’s Carnegie Hall in October 1944. It is seen through the eyes of Cosme McMoon, played by White. While technically the story of Jenkins, it is the McMoon character that carries the show and adds the depth and heart to the script that would otherwise simply be about a delusional diva. “I agree that the story is crafted that it is his story. Cosme is the one who undergoes the most amount of change and it is through his eyes that the audience needs to experience Florence. It is definitely an interesting journey and fun to play. For me he is really familiar, I don’t have to work that hard to find him because I get the sarcastic, witty accompanist. I enjoy playing him a lot.” The gay character is played as intelligent and charming, a far cry from the usual stereotype. “Playing a gay character who is not mincing and is well rounded, is great. I hope that I don’t have to play it up to much, and I find nothing more offensive than watching someone play flamboyantly gay. I don’t ever want to do anything like that in the portrayal. I have a couple of little physical cues that I use to highlight it. As an actor I have had more opportunities to play smart gay men than to play heterosexual romantic leads. In my career I want to make sure I don’t end up in a category that limits what I can play, but I do enjoy playing a good representation of a good man. He is smart and not stereotyped.” The irony is in him playing the comedic “straight man” to Jenkins, played by Elizabeth Stepowski, and her equally delusional friends St. Clair (Bernard Cuffling) and Dorothy (Heather Lea MacCallum). The cast is rounded out by Ruth Brown, pulling double roles as the angry Mexican maid Maria and the outraged music fan Mrs. Verrinder-Gedge. Watching Florence make statements like “I thought it was so smart of you and that waiter to share cab fare [with that other man]” with no clue as to what Cosme was really doing is entertaining and hits home with many members of the LGBT community. “That is one of the things I find most hilarious in that I really am in comedic terms the straight man in the show, but the nonstraight character. I find it funny how that is constructed. It is a blast to play off of that. Florence is oblivious in a lot of ways but is also considerably older. That is something I recognize in people. I sing in a church choir and the congregation and choir is mostly older. Because it is a church I keep my sexuality under the radar but I do find that there are women of a certain age and experience that just assume things like roomates or ‘your friend.’ They don’t quite put two and two together. Florence’s

 Florence Foster Jenkins - The Worst Singer in the World

consideration of Cosme’s lifestyle is a send up, it lives in real life.” An interesting challenge for the cast was in acting alongside Bernard Cuffling, who also directed the show. “To some degree it is a great thing. We have the luxury of a really long run in a Stage West show and actors can get bored and lazy and start changing or doing things to keep themselves interested. Our show is going to maintain a little bit more of its original blocking, setting and integrity because our director is there on a daily basis. There are challenges with someone who isn’t watching what’s happening trying to provide feedback. I came into it with more apprehension than I am leaving with, I would do it again.” In short, Glorious is very much a gay show. In its presentation, innuendo, and strong, likeable gay character it will leave LGBT patrons smiling as they leave. “The show is smart and sophisticated. A larger gay audience often do understand more. Some of the arias that are.... butchered in the performance are going to be more recognizable to the gay audiences than some other audiences. I do hope that we get some more educated and potentially gay leaning audiences that get the punch lines better. There is the aspect of ‘Diva worship’ that many gay men experience, and you can’t help but fall in love with this character of Florence who is larger than life and not afraid to step outside of the boundaries that other people want to set up for her. She is an icon and we get to live in her glory.“

Stage West Theatre Restaurants 403-243-6642 • Glorious Until April 4, 2010

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010




Asking Lesbians Out, Cougars or Daddies, and Gay Homes By Steven Petrow

When a straight guy asks a lesbian out? Q: I could use some help in understanding proper etiquette when a heterosexual fellow asks me out thinking that I’m a straight woman. What can I say? A: If you missed the wonderful cartoon on this subject in the New Yorker recently, let me repeat the caption, since it’s brilliant. Straight guy asks lesbian out, and she replies: “Thanks, but I’m in the middle of a lesbian phase that started the day I was born.” If you’re prepared to be out, a dollop of humor will take you far. A line of that kind delivered with warmth (as opposed to snottiness) definitely counts as “proper.”

Are older gay men “cougars” or “daddies?”

Q: I’m in my mid-40s and have started dating a guy who is about 20 years younger than me. While it’s practically trendy these days for cougars (older women) to be pursuing younger straight men, I’m getting a lot of flack from my friends that my boyfriend’s not “age-appropriate” for me. What is most insulting is how my friends dismiss him in social situations as a “kid” (even though he’s a Fulbright Scholar) and me as a “daddy,” which he doesn’t need or want and which is a role I would never play. They also just assume that I’ve pursued him and that I’m “robbing the cradle.” That’s actually not the case. He came after me. I’m frustrated and need to know how to handle all these raised eyebrows and sharp words.

A: Did you know that the general rule of thumb for so-called age-appropriate relationships is half your age plus seven? So, given what you’ve told me, you’re very close to a mathematically correct relationship. But, really, so what? The most important thing is that you’ve found someone you care for and that those feelings are reciprocated. As for your friends mouthing off about your age difference, I can only guess that it’s some combination of envy (“he’s got a young, hot one”), caring (“as soon as he grows up, he’ll leave you with a broken heart”) or the slimy cultural residue from Donald Trump’s numerous age-inappropriate marriages. But don’t forget the many happy “age inappropriate” gay couples: writer Christopher Isherwood and painter Don Bachardy (30 years between them) and playwright Terrence McNally and lawyer Tom Kirdahy (25 years). In any case, it sounds like you need to speak up, though not in front of your boyfriend. Be clear with your friends that you expect them to treat him with respect and that their jokes about you being a “daddy” have worn themselves thin. Good friends will follow your lead. Bad friends can be asked to make for the door. Of course, “daddy/boy” relationships have a long and not necessarily sordid history in gay culture, but whether or not there is that dynamic, it’s nobody’s business to make a judgment. Honestly, it’s hard enough to find a compatible boyfriend or girlfriend, so congratulations to you both. And don’t forget Julie Andrews’ memorable lyrics from the Sound of Music: “Love is where you find it.”

Can kids grow up “normal” in a gay home?

Q: My sister is a born-again Christian and the mother of five. She constantly tells me that my partner and I are going to have really messed up kids because we’re lesbians. We definitely do want children. And last week my sister said to us: “How could a child grow up to be normal in a gay household?” What in the world do I say to her? A: Well, it depends how available your sister is to having her mind changed. You could explain to her that all the research shows that children of lesbians and gays turn out just as well as other kids and that there’s no evidence to suggest that lesbians and gay men are unfit to be parents. It’s also true that one’s sexuality does not make for a good or bad parent; what matters most is your ability to create a loving and caring environment. But the truth is that you may not actually resolve this issue until you have a chance to show her by example. I’m going to guess that the day your sister sees that your kids are pretty much like any other kids is the day she’ll understand. Knowing gay people—and in cases such as this one, knowing the children of gays and lesbians—seems to be the number one factor when folks who started out homophobic decide to finally accept LGBT folks. Still, it sounds like your kids are still some way off, and not available for such a “demonstration.” So, if she won’t do some reading on her own or listen to your protestations, tell her politely that the topic is off bounds. It’s called setting boundaries. Then, once you’ve decided to get pregnant or adopt, let her know the good news in person and suggest she attend a meeting with PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: check out their site at And don’t forget to make sure she’s invited to your baby shower! Steven Petrow writes for The Huffington Post and Daily Beast. If you have a LGBT manners question, send it to him at And check him out on the web at

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


The OutField Out in the NFL?

By Dan Woog Did you hear all that buzz last month about National Football League player Ovie Mughelli? Probably not. What started as a post on an Atlanta black entertainment blog, MissJia. com – about the Atlanta Falcons fullback having a sexual relationship with another man – soon blossomed into a he said/he said story. The site published a video of Francois Sloan, 36, a New Jersey hair stylist who described a six-year relationship with Mughelli. Sloan said the men met in 2001, when the football star was at Wake Forest University. (The Web site said the relationship began when Mughelli was “heartbroken” after breaking up with a girlfriend.) Sloan said he provided “financial stability” to Mughelli in college, but the relationship ended suddenly in 2007 after Mughelli signed a six-year, $18-million contract with the Falcons. Before that time, while Mughelli was playing with another NFL team, Sloan said the financial aspect of the relationship changed. The football star paid for Sloan’s hotel rooms and car rentals to drive to games; he left tickets for Sloan at stadium will-call windows. Sloan claimed that Mughelli said he wanted a monogamous relationship with him. However, Sloan also said that he believed the football player was seeing women at the same time. published photos allegedly taken by Sloan, of Mughelli showing off his well-developed body in a hotel room, and car rental receipts. Queerty said that Mughelli’s attorney offered Sloan “an envelope” to keep quiet about the relationship – which Sloan said he never opened – when the football player worried about the impact on his career.

singers, professional athletes, politicians, comedians, rappers and actors who have been sleeping with men for years, and not a word.” One man claimed, “a real man doesn’t care what other people have to say about him.” That was followed by “deep down inside we all care about some of the things people say about us. Rumors can destroy careers and people.” There was also this: “I think what’s important is how the NFL and the mainstream media react to the outing of a bisexual man. Let’s follow this closely – we have a lot to gain from a mature and accepting approach to Mughelli.” But, getting back to the first line of this column, the mainstream reaction was what? Ignoring it, because it’s grubby and gay? Or for fear of a lawsuit? Perhaps a huge yawn, because a possibly gay NFL athlete is now a non-story? One thing is for sure: Despite the lawyer’s demands, the posts stayed up on every Web site.

Dan Woog is a journalist, educator, soccer coach, gay activist, and author of the “Jocks” series of books on gay male athletes. Visit his Web site at He can be reached care of this publication.

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Mughelli reacted like­—well, like his manhood was being attacked. His attorney, Phaedra Parks, fired off cease-and-desist letters to Web sites that published Sloan’s story. Calling the statements “defamatory,” she threatened to sue for “false light.” Parks demanded that the Web sites remove “each and every reference, posting, comment and statement related to any allegation(s) that Mr. Mughelli is a homosexual or has or was involved in a homosexual relationship.” Parks also asked for retractions on blogs, “emphasizing the removal of this information from your site.” Mughelli’s publicist called the allegations “a malicious attack on my client.” Sloan noted on that he never called Mughelli “gay, bisexual or on the DL.” However, a professional football player is a public figure. The threshold for defamation is higher than for private citizens. Furthermore, calling someone “gay” is not defamatory, said Cynthia Counts – an Atlanta First Amendment lawyer who represents Outsports. com, a gay sports Web site that reported on the controversy. “Today, the law and society are changing, and I do not believe that the mere label that someone is a ‘homosexual’ continues to be presumptively defamatory,” she explained. “Although it would be naïve to suggest that no prejudice exists against gays, Georgia courts have made clear that ‘it is not libelous to charge a person with the doing of a thing which he may legally and properly do.’ Because the Supreme Court has definitely held that homosexuality is not illegal, an assertion that someone is gay should not be defamatory.” Reaction on the blogosphere ranged widely. The incident involved an interesting intersection of social issues: sexuality, race, celebrity, outing and the law among them. “Being gay may not be a crime, but no straight person wants that tag,” wrote a poster on Outsports. “It’s offensive to the majority – like it or not – and damaging to someone who gets endorsement deals.” One writer compared Mughelli to President Obama, who is sometimes called a Muslim. “That’s not a crime either, but no one with sense running for office wants that stigma.” One poster decried the “black gay agenda.” Another countered, “If there is any black gay agenda, it’s silence, invisibility and shame. I know

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



28th Annual Western Cup

Continuing the Canadian Olympic Sporting Spirit By Dallas Barnes The last two weeks of February 2010 defined who we are as Canadians. As Shane Koyczan, the most brilliant poet of the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies stated in his prose, We Are More, “we are the surprise the world has in store for you.” TJ Fedyk, the Western Cup Director is hoping that this spirit will continue at the Calgary LGBT community’s answer to the Olympics. “The Western Cup demonstrates who we are as a community, a fun competition in a friendly atmosphere.” The Western Cup is Apollo’s annual multi-sport tournament that is “the longest running annual LGBT multisport tournament in North America.” For those unfamiliar with Apollo, it is Calgary’s LGBT sports network, which runs a number of athletic social groups ranging from volleyball to Yoga. It was formed in 1981 by a group of like-minded individuals who wanted to create a friendly, athletic social group for the LGBT community of Calgary. An idea came to mind that year, to invite similar organizations from Edmonton to participate in a Volleyball Tournament. This proved to be successful, and the Western Cup was born. Now boasting around 500 athletes from all over Canada, it has grown to its current form. Fedyk, who is in his first year as Event Director, attributes many things to its 28 year achievement. “The success comes from the fun that everyone has at the games. It is all about getting to know each other and celebrating both sport and our community. The things people take back from the event are the social aspects included in the dance and casino night.” The event runs from April 1st to 3rd this year, and promises to keep you entertained whether you are a participant or a spectator. Sporting tournaments include curling, volleyball, bowling, badminton, hockey and its newest entry Dodgeball. There is also an opportunity to join the Fun Run downtown. Calgary will also play host to the Canadian Gay National 40

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Curling Championships that are running in correlation with the Western Cup. The Social Events are a major hit during the weekend’s festivities as well. On Friday, April 2nd, try your luck at the Casino Night and dance the evening away at the Western Cup Dance on Saturday April 3rd. With attendance ranging from 800 to 1000 people, this is the largest LGBT dance event in the city! Both events will take place at The Westin Hotel in downtown Calgary—one of the Western Cup’s Sponsors. In fact, Fedyk could not be more grateful for the generous sponsors this year including GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine, Barefoot Wine and Bubbly,, Manhunt Cares,, Cruiseline, and The Westin Hotel and Resorts. He adds, “Our sponsors have been so generous. Manhunt in particular, advertised our event across the nation. We have had the most hits on our website of all time.” The Western Cup could not make it without its tireless volunteers. There are still volunteering positions available for this year, at both the sporting and the social events. This is a perfect opportunity to get involved in such a great happening . If you are interested, make sure to fill out a Volunteer Form on the Western Cup’s website. Registration for the Western Cup ends on March 15th. Make sure you visit their website to register yourself and your team for an event. Dance tickets can be purchased now at Priape for $20.00 or at the door for $25.00. The Vegas Casino Night tickets can be purchased at the door for $10.00. There is also an opportunity to purchase both Dance and Casino tickets in a Party Pak for $30.00, and these are available on the website. No sporting event is as fun without the encouragement of an audience, and in fact, there is no charge for attending sporting events as a spectator. “There is nothing better than being cheered on. I was in the volleyball tournament last year, and the energy generated from this was fabulous.”

Apollo Western Cup April 1-3, 2010 •

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


The Orphans of Evil

Nate Phelps on Escaping Westboro Baptist Church By Evan Kayne If you are a child of a celebrity in North America, you exist in the shadow of your parents. If you are a child of one of the most hated families in America, it is a long and sinister shadow cast over you and your siblings. This is a shadow Nathan “Nate” Phelps has struggled with in the 30 years since he left Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) and severed ties with his father, Pastor Fred Phelps. Nate’s life has had its ups and downs – he has been married, had children, divorced, and is now living with his fiancée in Cranbrook, BC. He is also an atheist. Pastor Fred Phelps is well known among our community for his protests – telling everyone within listening range that “God hates fags”, indeed, “God hates the world”. To promote his message that we are all doomed, he has picketed at the funerals of Matthew Shepard, Coretta Scott King, Jerry Falwell, and recently at funerals for soldiers killed in Iraq. He and WBC assert every tragedy in the world is linked to homosexuality; therefore, everyone who is not a member of their church is supporting the homosexual agenda and will burn in hell. Nate has already spoken publically of his past history and is working on a book based on his experiences. This includes growing up with a father who was physically and emotionally abusive; a father who survived on amphetamines and barbiturates to achieve his law degree. Nate will be in Calgary speaking about his experiences March 14, but GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine spoke to him briefly about his past. As I researched his history, I was struck by a parallel between Nate’s escape from WBC, and how many out LGBT individuals are ostracized from their families—a threat that causes many others to stay in the closet. The parallel was not lost on Nate. “I’ve been going through the loss of my family over 30 years... I’ve talked to a lot of people about their experience of coming out and being atheist or agnostic to their religious family, and a lot of gay people who talk specifically about those same things. They’re literally mourning the loss of a loved one as though they died.” This “mourning” can cause depression and anxiety, something that is also familiar to Nate. Certainly, many people in a similar situation have gone on to build a new family of their own where there previously was none. Nate spent 25 years in Southern California doing just this. Like many of us, he realizes, “family does not have to be blood...often it would be better off if it wasn’t blood.” Such rejection leaves a permanent scar, a feeling of something being wrong with you when really, the problem sits in those who are supposed to love you unconditionally. In fact, Nate can’t attest that his father ever loved him at all. He describes a family where, although his father was always present, the man never displays anything of what one could consider love or fondness toward his children. “He certainly—behind the pulpit or in the midst of one of his beatings – would express that he was doing this because he loved us. But that has no relationship to any notion of love I have in my mind...there isn’t anything I can remember growing up where he showed physical or any other form of affection.” We asked how people respond when he reveals the fact of his lineage. “I get everything from people who say [Fred Phelps] is a nut job to Well, you know, I can’t really fault him for his beliefs.” For Nate, the latter response is the most difficult to deal with because it illustrates how difficult it is to struggle against or

reason with a person’s belief system—especially if it’s one as hateful as Fred Phelps’. Often Nate will challenge these people and their overt or tacit support of WBC, but he admits there are times when he stays silent. “I go back and forth on it...I have such emotion attached to it.” Hey says there are times when he doesn’t have the energy to dredge those emotions up all over again, and so in some cases he tries to keep his identity hidden out of shame. Even during this interview, after being free of WestBoro Baptist for 30 years, these emotions are so strong that we needed to take a break mid-interview for Nate (and myself) to regain our composure. For Nate, examining his past also means examining his present actions, which leads to another anxiety. “I had a visceral reaction in anger when my (ex) wife would say to me, you’re so much like your father. The point is, on an emotional level I’m terrified of an expression of rage or anger because it’s too much like my old man, and I don’t want to have anything to do with him.” Like many victims of parental abuse, Nate worries his behaviour (especially on anger issues) mirrors his father’s, but he is learning to deal with it productively. “You also have to realize those are the moments people grow.” What he means is that when he confronts those moments where his parents teaching takes over—when he realizes he is acting by rote—he can then change, grow and embrace other options. This includes how he views people his father demonized. For instance, Nate spoke about confronting the attitude towards homosexuality that pegs them as synonymous to child molesters. He had to re-evaluate his reaction towards the homosexual community. “That’s been an evolution...I was very much my father’s son on that issue when I first left because I hadn’t really thought about it.” He had grown up in an environment that hammered home the belief homosexuals were evil and satanic. When his family started to actively protest against the gay community, he realized he had to examine his beliefs in this area. He came to understand his attitude towards LGBT people was a knee jerk reaction from what he was taught. Nate has been asked the question that follows logically from the white hot hatred Fred has towards the LGBT community— is it possible his father or other members of the Phelps clan are deeply closeted? Certainly, given the large size of the “family”, it is statistically possible someone in the family could be homosexual. Nate can’t say for sure, but he imagines if so, it is very unlikely such a person would be self-aware. Followers gain no real understanding of homosexuality that they could equate to themselves; all they really “know” is something inhuman and evil. Nevertheless, Nate says, “There’s enough evidence out there that says if a person lives contrary to their nature long enough, it’s going to start spilling over, something’s going to come out, and it’s going to be eventually discovered.” As poetic as this might be, there could not be a worse hell than being a closeted gay in that environment. The toxic environment of WBC drove not just Nate leave to the church, but several other siblings and now a second generation. Where possible, Nate tries to maintain contact with these orphans of WBC. Of this family, he’s probably closest to his older brother Mark, yet they haven’t talked in 2 years. Nate conceded there were some personal issues, but overall they do have a friendly relationship. One sibling – Dorotha

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Continued  43

Interview – is still in Topeka and will communicate with Nate via email occasionally. “Katherine...I don’t what to make of her. She left but then she has come back, but they won’t take her back as a member of the church. So she kind of hangs around the fringe and has her own version of madness.” Also, thanks to Facebook, Nate has made contact with a number of his nephews who he has never met in person. This second generation has left WBC and, like Nate, has been ostracized by the rest of the family. Talking to these family members, he sees them struggling with the same problem he encountered when he left – breaking free of Fred Phelps’ teachings, and the deeply engrained beliefs about depravity in the world. This attitude makes it difficult to reach out to other people. “It’s an isolating dynamic – we can’t accept [certain people] because we haven’t yet learned how to think for ourselves and think beyond what we were taught, so we don’t embrace anybody else because that would make us evil.” Regarding the children and grandchildren of Fred Phelps, I asked Nate to speculate on the future of Westboro Baptist Church after Fred dies (he turned 80 in November). According to Pastor Phelps’ belief system, women are secondary to men. Therefore, his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper would be discounted – despite her prominent appearance as a spokesperson second to Fred. Nate doesn’t think anyone – be it a son or grandson – will be able to continue and maintain the strength of WBC. “There’s such a wellspring of cruelty and hatred in my father and that drives it, that’s the engine of this continued onslaught. The latest outrage flows from him. I just don’t know that there’s enough of that in any of them. I just can’t imagine it being transferred successfully.” As promising as that sounds, Nate still fears that Fred might somehow succeed in duplicating himself in one of the male descendants. We are constantly hearing about the WBC popping up across the country at various protests, and fending off legal challenges. Assuming Fred or one of his children manage to maintain WBC well into the future, one may wonder who is paying for all of that. Nate explains that admittedly, there was income from the law firm Phelps chartered in the past – and having a family of lawyers certainly reduced monies spent fighting lawsuits. Nate knows the law practise was busy in the past, yet given their infamy, one wonders if they are scraping the bottom of their client base. One fiscal solution, Nate explained, was maintaining resources through tithing of church members. Growing up, a 10% tithe on income was a requirement as a member of WBC. This wasn’t a suggestion – withholding was treasonous and reason for expulsion from the family and church. From a family member, Nate discovered Fred has commanded an increase in tithing to 30% of income. Doing some rough arithmetic of the children, the spouses and Fred’s grandchildren who are grown and working, Nate guessed about 50 people earning an average

$40,000—a total income of $2 million a year. Even without this tithe, the group receives a total annual donation of $600,000 from its members – certainly enough to continue running the organization. So hoping WBC goes broke soon is probably a long shot. The 600 grand figure above does not include any financial help they get from outside sources. During his last run at public office in 1998, Fred received over 15,000 votes in the Democratic primary for Governor of Kansas. Despite Fred’s actions, some agree with what he’s saying – either openly or privately. “I think there are some who say Fred Phelps is a saint, he’s a messenger of God, [and then donate money],” says Nate, adding that this is alongside others who publicly denounce WBC but privately donate. And yet, Nate says WBC makes a point of explicitly stating that they don’t accept donations on the principle that “God will provide.” Part of “God providing” would also seem to be quietly accepting donations from past church members. As proof, Nate told us how at one point after he left the church, as he was still sorting through his beliefs, he thought his road to salvation might be assisted with tithing. So for a time he sent 10% of his income to them. “They never sent those cheques back.” Thus he thinks it’s possible they are getting outside support, but he can’t say for sure. Regardless of how they maintain their financial resources, WBC is adept at always getting outside attention. In the age of obnoxious attitudes selling reality TV shows, WBC is the epitome of attention-whoredom when it comes to their protests. A number of Phelps’ critics have suggested WBC’s actions are a ploy to turn the public eye upon them above all else. People have suggested ignoring them as a tactic – thereby reducing the reward WBC gets at their protests. Nate doesn’t think that would work entirely. “...They are convinced more or less that they are doing God’s work, and that any way to get more media attention is a good way to get more people to hear their message because that’s [WBC’s] job to get the message out.” Nate concedes they also are probably enjoying what they do in their protests because of the attention they get. So even if we ignored them, they would continue to protest. The only thing we can do is wait for the “old man” (as Nate calls him) to pass on and hope Westboro Baptist Church crumbles without him. Their eventual demise is one thing of which Nate is certain. Years will pass, his parents will die, and his siblings will die— despite their zealous belief that they and WBC members will ascend to the clouds when Christ returns. “They live with the certainty in their hearts that none of them will die...but the reality that they will all die and in the end there will be this sordid footnote legacy of this cruel group of people who thought it was appropriate to treat people the way they did...what kind of legacy is that?” To anyone who admires Fred Phelps and points at what he has accomplished, Nate says “Yeah, look what he’s done. Anybody could do that. It doesn’t take talent. It doesn’t take years of effort and study. All it really takes is a commitment to being evil.”

Nate Phelps The Grayness of Life March 14 •

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


From Top Model to Top Author Miss J. Alexander on Top Model and Follow the Model By Jason Clevett You love him as the sarcastic, creative, guiding light on America’s Next Top Model. What you don’t know is how he got to be the #1 catwalk trainer in the world, and part of the Top Model show. The story of J. Alexander’s rise to fame is chronicled in the book Follow The Model. “I thought, as much as I can talk I can probably write just as much if not more! By writing a book I get to share my thoughts not only with people who I know or stop me on the street, but to everyone who likes to read.” We caught up with Miss J. at his home in Paris. Something that stands out about the book is its ability to draw in the reader with his life story. Even if someone has never watched the TV show they can enjoy the book and learn a few things. “It was a conscientious decision,” he said of making the book accessible to anyone. “The models were already getting the help, so I thought the average non-fashion person can learn a tip or two or three. My life is not about Top Model. It is a journey from the South Bronx to Paris, and all the stops along the way.” The story of the book is interspersed with advice, from a simple “stay in school” to “don’t throw it away, re-create it.” There are certainly some important messages to be gleaned. “People stop me all the time wherever they can, asking me for tips, usually fashion tips. Everyone, male and female, straight or gay, and I mean they ask everywhere: in airports, shops, restaurants, walking down the street... even public restrooms! Yes, when necessary I do go public!” Fans have been getting tips and meeting their fashion hero at book signings. “It has all been good so far! A few Queenagers (gay teens) have said that it was good to have someone on TV living his life that has become successful not only doing what he loves but being his crazy ass gay self! I’ve also had people come up to me and say they learned from watching me on TV, which I never would have imagined.” With the next cycle of ANTM on the horizon we of course had to ask Miss J. about some of her experiences on the show. “I have been involved since Cycle One and became a judge in Cycle Five. I have known Tyra for about 21 years. Her mom Carolyn called me and said I had to do it and asked what I thought. I thought, hmmmm...street walking downtown on the stroll would be the next best thing, but then maybe TV would be better than street walking? Everything has gotten bigger and flashier with extra colour, flair, and a bit of fashion knowledge! The viewers get ‘Miss J’ as camp at Christmas!” The show has had diverse competitors including plus sized, short, and transgender contestants. It’s in many ways changed viewers perceptions of the modeling industry. “All of the above have been part of the industry for awhile in one way or another so for me it was no big deal. What it did do was open the eyes of the public who have no fashion or modeling knowledge of how diverse the industry is and can be.” So will we ever see an all-male cycle? “Unless they are a room full of screaming queens girrrrrl, it won’t be the same! We have that already with RuPaul’s Drag Race! A room full of hetero male models would be boring TV. Although now that I think about it, they may fight over a protein bar or two, and the weight machine, all of course in front of mirrors.” He certainly gets frustrated with the drama that occurs during makeovers and photo shoots. “I do get annoyed with the girls who come to the casting screaming that they will do whatever it takes to be on the show and become America’s Next Top Model and then cry over three inches of hair, or blonde vs. brunette.” While initially not looked on positively in the industry, the show has changed that perception as well. “In the beginning the industry turned its nose down on the show, claiming Top Model didn’t know what it was talking about, that the girls are not in any fashion shows, you don’t see them on magazine covers, that it is not real. Once it was successful and the big picture came into focus, they saw Tyra’s vision and results many cycles

“I stand out! All 6’4” of me in all my gay glory! What is more memorable than that”  Miss J. Alexander later. They all started to become closet watchers and then later wanted to be involved or on the show in some way, shape, or fashion form. The show is all over the world and most countries have their own version as well.” One country that has its own is of course, Canada, hosted by Jay Manuel. Miss J. has appeared on the Canadian version, as well as versions in Finland, Britain, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I asked about the differences between the Canadian and American shows. “Are you trying to start some shit?!” she laughed. “The obvious for sure is Mr. Jay Manuel, or is he really Tyra in ’Mrag’ (Male Drag). The production team is smaller and has a smaller budget but they have huge results. I would not expect anything less from Jay than perfection!” On a show that has had a lot of memorable moments, one thing stands out to Miss. J. “Me of course!! I stand out! All 6’4” of me in all my gay glory! What is more memorable than that? Tyra’s screaming at Tiffany in Cycle 4? Jay’s blonde hair? Darling I say Me! Me! Me!” Fashion designer, TV personality, Catwalk Consultant and now author, Miss J. is an amazing success story for a gay black kid born in the Bronx. “I feel wonderful and blessed. It all comes from a good place in spite of what others may say or think. I think others can take from my success that it is important to be yourself and love yourself. As for her Canadian LGBT fans, she had a few words just for you. “Thanks for watching and reading! Just do you before you do others, meaning love yourself, all the good and bad parts and all the little things in between. You have all my support as I’m sure I have yours. Love OXOX, Miss ‘Gay Alexander’. Oops, I mean…Miss J.”

Follow the Model In Stores Now! America’s Next Top Model - Cycle 14 March 10th on CTV

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Music Review Little Boots, k.d. lang

By Chris Azzopardi

Also Out Patty Larkin, 25


By: k.d. lang Genre: Rock My Rating: ½ Not even Evian water can rival the purity of k.d. lang’s voice. So drink up, because the 22 songs on this double-disc collection (also available in a deluxe version) – from the music legend’s multidecade, cross-genre career – mark some major milestones. And not just with hits like “Constant Craving,” her defining moment that’s included early on here. The mellowness of her warm, supple voice sweeps through the breadth of songs – interpreting covers with immeasurable astuteness, like on the intensely moving Hollies’ tune “The Air that I Breathe” and the longing of Neil Young’s achy “Helpless.” Duets that were once only available via soundtracks appear on Recollection: “Crying” with Roy Orbison, which has the power to completely stop the world from moving, and “Calling All Angels,” a quiet plea, sung with Jane Siberry, that somehow became even more splendid after its Six Feet Under spot. If 2006’s Reintarnation chronicled her twangy genesis, this set encompasses the stylish elegance now oft-associated with her timeless tunes – whether she’s melting us with the Beatles “Golden Slumbers/The End” hybrid or moving us on two immaculate, understated versions of “Hallelujah.” When Tony Bennett gushes during an intro to his Grammy-winning duet with her on “Moonglow,” he says, “Every once in a while there are certain performers who come along – they’re just blessed with a destiny.” No kidding.


By: Little Boots Genre: Pop My Rating: ½ Good pop doesn’t work too hard. So luckily, few beads of sweat trickle from the electro shimmer of Victoria “Little Boots” Hesketh’s much-anticipated stateside landing. Odds are, however, that you already knew the darling musician, who dropped an EP last year, when she was still a self-made YouTube sensation performing covers in her pajamas. But on her full-length debut, featuring a plethora of producers, the British pixie’s stimulating a discoball glow, glittering the robotic lost-in-space sounds with a Kylie Minogue kinship that won’t go unnoticed by any gay boys. “New in Town” put her on the ’mo map, using simple Spice Girls singalong lyrics (“I’m gonna take you out tonight/I’m gonna make you feel alright”) over buzzing synths that makes for one bubbly little nugget of neon-strobed sweetness. By comparison, “Earthquake” sounds bigger (and, with that name, shouldn’t it?), ruminating on relationship woes – a running theme – in a dizzying display of laser sounds and drum machines. Not making much of a rumble, though, is the forgettable breeziness of the closing ballads: the throwaway “No Brakes” and “Hearts Collide,” a major Minogue mimic. The allure of Hesketh, though, is that she’s familiar enough to get us hooked – dressing her music in ’80s influences and doing disco-leaned danceables. Imagine how big Little Boots will be when she finds a sound that’s all her own. 46

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

How genius: The revered sorta-folkie re-records songs for each year of her 25-year career over two discs with some of her BFFs. All of it, like most of the New Englander’s material, is lo-fi and chill, turning some wicked guitar licks (no wonder she’s been compared to Bonnie Raitt) and impassioned testimonials, like “Cupid’s Knee,” one of her first recordings. Even lesbian icon Janis Ian pops in, harmonizing with Larkin on “Italian Shoes.” With a guest list this good, don’t forget to RSVP. Brandi Carlile, XOBC Her booming pipes usually threaten everything in their path, but the Seattle singer-songwriter goes for cute-andcuddly over loud-and-lifting on this iTunes download. Three new cuts, the best being the piano-building conundrum “Love Songs,” are cornered between two remakes: the Beatles staple “All You Need Is Love” and Bryan Adams’ pop hit “Heaven.” Sounding blissful, restrained and tender on the latter, there’s no better way to describe it than by its own title.

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Gentlemen Prefer BMW’s Toby: A Man

By Pam Rocker “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” – Oscar Wilde I flunked out of charm school. Actually, since they were so polite, I didn’t really fail. I simply got a weak handshake and a cold, glassy stare. Maybe it was because I didn’t listen when they were telling me how to properly contour my eye shadow or fold a dinner napkin. In my defense, I was too busy looking at a red head applying her lip liner. Though I abide by my own unconventional code of conduct, other’s rules of etiquette intrigue me. Mostly because one person’s unbreakable tenet is another person’s casually overlooked suggestion. For example, my Dad was, and still is, always paranoid about having plenty of napkins at the ready for every meal. You would think he was expecting a spaghetti fight, when we were usually munching on a conservative pot roast or our morning cheerios. Compare this to friends of mine, who never have napkins or any sort of mouth-wiping materials in sight. After experiencing a night of hot wings sans napkins, and the awkward salivation and finger licking that followed, I began bringing my own stash. Unlike me, Toby Ménard, the protagonist of Todd Babiak’s latest novel, Toby: A Man, knows how to fold a pocket-handkerchief so it looks perfectly imperfect. He prides himself on being a true gentleman and will accept nothing less from every other man on the planet. The star of his own television show on etiquette, Toby takes on the unscrubbed, huddled masses, and teaches

them the appropriate wait time between taking off their gloves and shaking hands (“the hand must not be bare until precisely before the shake”). A BMW 335i in his driveway, a gorgeous news anchor at his side and his Blackberry buzzing constantly inside the pocket of his custom made Hugo Boss suit, Toby seems to have it all. That is, until he discovers his Dad in a burning car and saves him from what seems like a suicide attempt. After a harrowing night in the hospital, he seeks solace at his girlfriend’s mansion, only to find evidence that confirms his suspicions that she’s cheating on him. The next morning, drunk on NyQuil and grief, Toby majorly screws up an interview with a conservative political candidate and consequently gets canned from his TV show. Broke, unemployed and single, he’s forced to trade in his BMW for a cobweb filled Chevette, and moves into his parent’s basement. Then, in a one-night stand gone awry, he ends up in custody of an impressionable 2-year-old boy. Set in Montreal, Toby: A Man is full of interesting and complex relational dynamics and peppered with Babiak’s signature humour, which some have compared to Woody Allen. Babiak, an award-winning author, journalist, and screenwriter, says that Toby’s journey is really about a gentleman becoming a man, and in the process, redefining for himself what being a ‘real’ man is. “Toby had given up on family, he thought he didn’t need it,” says Babiak. “He’s tried to leave his background behind, but then he’s forced to come back home. The people he admires are rich, dress perfectly, speak perfect English, perfect French, and know how to fold a pocket square at birth. His parents live in a small house and own three hot dog shops.” Parts of the book were inspired by real events in Babiak’s life. Growing up in Leduc, Alberta, Babiak was asked why he couldn’t be more like his brother, who was more of a typical “guy’s guy”. His measure as a man was often judged because he was interested in theatre and the arts. “This idea that our legitimacy is caught up in whether or not we measure up to a certain standard of masculinity is absurd. I hope it’s the last generation of that kind of thinking.” Babiak has been through his own journey on discovering what being a man means for him personally. After the life-changing events of both losing his father to brain tumours and the arrival of his first daughter, he found a different way to measure success. “Before my Dad died, I would’ve said that success for me would be about the novels I’m writing, the screenplays that I’m doing, how I feel about them and how the readers feel about them, a sort of selfishness,” says Babiak. “But being a man is really about dignity and moral purpose which is always about the way you treat other people. When you understand that, the way you act around people makes you either a deeply flawed or a deeply honourable person. If I can fall asleep knowing that I’ve been good to my family, my community, then I am successful.” A common theme in Babiak’s writing is his exploration of our sense of connectedness or lack of it in society—the good and bad things about the times we’re living in. “How often do we make eye contact with the person we’re with and have that human connection? There’s something in these moments that we’re missing when we’re staring into our Blackberry.” As far as Toby: A Man, goes, Babiak opens up an fresh, interesting look at a reverse rags to riches story. If I ever meet him in person, I’ll be sure to look him right in the eye and remove my glove precisely before I shake his hand. Take that, charm school.

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Hollywood’s Hot Mess

Ke$ha talks about being bisexual (for real!), the infamous sign defacing and doing makeup with ‘gay boyfriend’ Adam Lambert By Chris Azzopardi Ke$ha’s so crazy she pees in wine bottles and pukes in closets. Because of that frat-boy behavior, she’s just as easy to love as she is to hate. But try denying the power of her bratty brand of bust-a-move pop, so manipulated that it’s almost inhuman. The apropos name of her unruly debut, after all, is Animal – the album that knocked Susan Boyle out of the top spot and spurred the chart-hijacking club-catch “TiK ToK.” The sassy troublemaker spoke to us about naysayers calling her a one-hit wonder, the Hollywood sign she allegedly defaced and being legitimately bisexual. GayCalgary: So you like to drink. Ke$ha: I’ve never had alcohol in my life! (Laughs) GayCalgary: What was your first drinking experience like? Ke$ha: I told my mom I wanted to try alcohol, and she’s like, “OK, you and your friends can just sleep in the basement and I’ll buy you some alcohol and you can see what it’s like.” We drank this bottle of coconut rum, and me and my girlfriend ran around in circles and then passed out, and I was puking for two days. I didn’t drink for at least two years after that. GayCalgary: How old were you? Ke$ha: That’s when I was, like, 17. GayCalgary: You seem to have some sort of puking problem. Ke$ha: No, it was just the Malibu rum and eating bad sushi and drinking champagne and dancing too hard. GayCalgary: Is that the same mix that caused you to throw up in Paris Hilton’s closet? Ke$ha: You could say that.

GayCalgary: This album, as you’ve said, is pretty autobiographical. Ke$ha: It is. It’s something that either I or a close friend has gone through, so it’s all personal experience – whether it’s my personal experience or a close friend or a good story I heard. GayCalgary: A lot of it, though, isn’t that deep – intentionally so, right? Ke$ha: If you went through my iTunes and listened to all the music that I’ve ever written, I’ve got some deep ones, I’ve got some political songs, some country, some blues. But this record, I’m young and I’m irreverent, and the world can be a very pretentious place and I’m frankly just sick of it, so why not put out a record that’s kind of just ridiculous – unapologetically so? GayCalgary: In 20 years, when you’re in your 40s, what kind of music will you be recording? Ke$ha: Hopefully when I’m 40 I’ll be recording a sick punkrock album – and have, like, purple hair. GayCalgary: Some people are quick to call you a one-hit wonder. How do you feel about that? Ke$ha: Honestly, I think that’s hilarious. I’d rather be a onehit wonder than a no-hit wonder (laughs). GayCalgary: Now the whole Hollywood sign hoopla, where you wrote your name over it so it’d read “Ke$hawood.” What’s the real story? Ke$ha: Legally, I’m not allowed to tell. GayCalgary: Seriously? Says who? Ke$ha: Uh-huh. Says my attorney (laughs). All I can say is just watch the video. Um, OK, I’m getting a look (from my manager).

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


GayCalgary: You ambiguously acknowledged your sexuality in an Out interview, saying you like “people.” What does that mean? Ke$ha: I just appreciate people – just good, sexy people with great energy. I’m not saying I haven’t made out with a girl, because that would be a lie. But I definitely like dudes, too. So I’m not even confused. I just like what I like when I like it. GayCalgary: Were you drunk when you made out with a woman? Were you in a relationship with one? Ke$ha: I’ve never actually been in a real long-term relationship with a woman, but I’m not opposed to it. I’m totally open to falling in love with a man, woman, or anything in between. I just think it’s all about how people make me feel and what my instincts about someone are. That’s really why I named the record Animal, because I am an animal and I’m not scared of anything. GayCalgary: So you’ll act on those animal instincts if you have to. Ke$ha: Absolutely! I would be doing my life experience an injustice if I didn’t act upon things I think I should. GayCalgary: A lot of people, though, are reacting to your bisexuality as if it’s part of a Hollywood fad, that you’re just using this as a publicity ploy like Katy Perry. How do you feel about that? Ke$ha: That’s ridiculous, because I wasn’t using this as a marketing tool in the song. I’m not singing about it, and I’m not doing it for attention. Have you ever seen a picture of me kissing a girl? I mean, there might be one out there, but I’ve never seen one (laughs). So I’m not shoving it in people’s faces – and if you talk to me, it’s my philosophy on life. If you listen to the last song on the record, I’m in love with what we are and not what we should be. Some people don’t think I should make out with women. I think that’s fucking ridiculous. All people should be treated exactly equal on every level. People can say what they want, but I’m definitely not using it for any sort of marketing. GayCalgary: Good. We don’t want another one of those. Ke$ha: If I did, I’d be making out with somebody in a video, being more public about it. I’m just saying if I want to, I’ll do it and nobody can stop me – and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. GayCalgary: You did say you’d kiss Susan Boyle after dethroning her from the No. 1 spot on the albums chart. Ke$ha: Hell yeah I would! She looks like she needs a makeout session. I’m not saying I’m going to get Susan Boyle off, but I’ll make out with her. GayCalgary: You were raised in Nashville and listened to Dolly Parton and other country greats. How did your country upbringing rub off on you? Did you ever consider going in that direction musically? Ke$ha: I love country music because it’s all stories, and it’s honest and to the point and very blatant. I took that and twisted it to be in the words of a rambunctious, crazy party animal. I really like punk rock, and I love the Beastie Boys and I love early Madonna, so I really think my record is a reflection of all my influences growing up. GayCalgary: You’re close to your mom, who even co-wrote several songs on the album. How has she influenced you? Ke$ha: One of my first memories is when we were really broke growing up and she’s like, “If you want something, you gotta take it. It’s up to you to get what you want.” And I feel like that’s really good advice for anyone. You can’t depend on anybody else


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

to provide you with what you want. You have to go out there and put your balls on the table and take that shit. GayCalgary: You’re performing for gay audiences in April at Dinah Shore Weekend and the White Party in Palm Springs. What do you have in store for partiers? Ke$ha: It’s going to be amazing. When I play a show, I want to be the commander-in-chief of the dance floor, and I go crazy on stage. I just hope I inspire people to go nuts and lose their minds. Again, going along with this whole Animal vibe, if you want to dance, or if you want to make out with the person next to you, or if you want to jump on stage, or if you just want to go nuts, go nuts! When you’re at my shows, that’s your safe place to give in to the rawness of your instincts. GayCalgary: What’s different about performing for gay audiences versus straight ones? Ke$ha: Um, gay audiences are the best audiences in the entire world! (Laughs) GayCalgary: Uh-oh. You’re going to offend all the straight fans. Ke$ha: (Laughs) Sorry! Maybe they should come to a gay show; they would agree. I just played a gay dance party in Paris. It was so insane. All these gay French men – it was so hot and amazing. I just feel more at home around people that aren’t pretentious, and I feel like gay men and I really have an understanding that we’re here to have fun. It’s all about having a really good time and dancing and being happy as opposed to being jealous or putting me down for any reason. GayCalgary: Why are gay men drawn to you? Ke$ha: It’s the irreverence. We share a kindred spirit of caring about the right things, but of really not being uptight about our sexuality. GayCalgary: Adam Lambert is a friend of yours – maybe more, based on some flirty tweeting that’s gone on lately. Ke$ha: (Laughs) I know. He’s my gay boyfriend. GayCalgary: Has he given you any makeup tips? Ke$ha: Yes! We’re the king and queen of glitter. GayCalgary: Who’s the queen?

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



 Ronnie Burkett as Billy Twinkle with Rusty

Ronnie Burkett

Canadian Puppet Icon on Life, Loss, and Billy Twinkle By Jason Clevett I love Ronnie Burkett. I am left in awe each and every time I see one of his marionette shows. It’s remarkable to note that he writes the scripts himself, and in fact has his fingers in every aspect of his shows (pardon the pun). In January 2007, I went to see Ronnie do a reading of a script he was working on in Calgary. Just shy of two years later, that script came to life and Billy Twinkle: Requium For A Golden Boy debuted at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. It was well worth the trip I made up to see the show. I still remember the story of Billy Twinkle, a middle aged gay puppeteer who was standing on the bow of a cruise ship preparing to jump off before his mentor Sid Diamond appears in the form of a hand puppet and makes him relive his life. It was funny, brilliant, and simply put, must-see theatre. After a small jaunt around the world, Billy returns to Burkett’s home province, playing at Alberta Theatre Projects from March 18th to April 11th this year. “It has been an interesting year and a half. After we saw you guys in Edmonton we went to Ottawa, Vancouver, and then four cities in six weeks in England, and then Australia which was great,” said Burkett over the phone from Toronto, where he now lives. “Ottawa and Vancouver’s audience reactions was through the roof, it was always full and had a positive reaction and laughed a lot. I found England kind of didn’t get it, I think they thought Billy was me which was a great compliment. They were sort of like why is he doing variety acts? Then in Australia we had a great reaction. At the end of the day I don’t know if Billy fits into the cannon of my other stuff, it seems to be singular in that there is a lot of me on stage and the puppet design is different—it is just a different beast. It has been a really interesting challenge to perform this show.” The first half of Billy’s journey wasn’t easy as Burkett received word that his Mother was ill while he was in Australia. “The second last week in Sydney at the Opera House, my Mom had a stroke in Medicine Hat. I canceled my second week, flew back to Alberta, got her in palliative care, stayed up for four days, flew back to Sidney to finish my final week and she passed away. It is literally the other side of the world. The [people of the] Sidney Opera House were great, they and my agent came to me and said go home now. I did the whole thing, my parents would want me to stay and I knew I should go. It came down to them saying here’s your flight, you are booked and going. You hear horror stories about producers and presenters in the arts but I was at one of the greatest places in the world and they also acted great. I’ve spent a lot of time in Medicine Hat this fall just sorting out my Mom’s stuff, which was unexpected.”


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

On top of that, Burkett and his partner, jazz singer John Alcorn, moved prior to going to Australia. “I had a pretty large studio close to downtown Toronto and the rent just kept getting higher and higher. We had sold our house and were living in an apartment until we decided what we wanted to do. I sat down one day and realized if I bought a building and combined it all, I could cut my monthly costs in half. I built three shows in that studio and that seems to be my max, I needed a new environment to kick start myself. We bought a funky storefront and live in the apartment above it. The plan was to come back from Australia, do some renovations on the new studio, set up shop and get to work. With all the stuff in Alberta we really didn’t start renovating until the middle of December. The studio renovations will be done tomorrow and then I can finally unpack.” There is some irony in how his life has unfolded during this time period. “When I originally wrote Billy I was pretty adamant and clear that it was not my life story and then suddenly the minute Billy premiered, life started slapping me around like I was its little bitch. I kind of understand Billy on a whole bunch of other levels now. I won’t be standing on the edge of a ship waiting to jump” Now that the shop is set up, Burkett is making plans for his next show. “It is going to be a doozy! I was just chomping to get the studio setup so I could start drawing and playing again. There is some other Billy touring after Toronto but in terms of how my brain works during the spring and summer I will start actively getting going on the next one, pick a premier date and hustle up some money to get it built. 2011 is Theatre of Marionette’s 25th anniversary so I have always been keen to have a new show premier in 2011. We are already in 2010 so that isn’t very far away.” It will be the first time in years that Burkett has planned to have two shows rotating in the same time period. “That is what we will do. When there was the trilogy of Tinka’s New Dress, Street of Blood and Happy they were in rep for several years. Tinka might go to Germany and Street of Blood would be in England and Scotland. We were shipping stuff to various places and off we would go and do them. The downside of that was, I always had seven and a half hours of text in my head. After Provenance I just decided to do one show, tour it and put it to bed. With Billy I think we are going to keep it open while we are building and premiering the new show.” As for Billy Twinkle itself, it truly is a work of art in many ways. I was privileged in Edmonton to get a rare behind the scenes look at his marionettes. They feature incredible detail, down to tiny hairs on puppets legs and little Nike logos. These minute details aren’t something the audience in a large theatre usually gets to see, which prompts the question, why put so much detail into them? “I think I just ingrained in everybody that’s worked for me over the years that if I look down on something and see a blob of glue or unfinished joint or a stitch coming out of a costume, in the moment of performance I get derailed. I will think, you know what, I should have sanded that again, or I wish we would have made that out of something else. So that obsessive detail has a two-fold purpose. The first, so that the guy on stage never gets sidetracked and can actually stay in the show; the other point is sometimes the puppets are seen on a poster, or billboard and that detail does get seen in other media if not onstage. What is sad these days, and it is mostly because of cutbacks and the economy, is a lot of theatre craftspeople

are not encouraged to be obsessive and do their best. Everything is on a tight budget and time-line. I am lucky enough to have some really great craftspeople working for me. I am quite happy to have things that are beautifully crafted just for the sake of it.” Puppets are almost harder to work with than human actors. At times he has had to improvise if there is a caught string or costume issue. “I do the hardest part at the start of the show, that stripper still fills me with terror. The preset and rigging of those strings for the stripper to work every night I take very seriously. Some nights one of those strings will just catch on a pin or I will pull it the wrong way. It is a puppet show and there are hundreds of strings up there so just when you get in the zone, you walk someone on and their string gets caught on the set.” This being Burkett’s “big gay show”, it opens up dialogue with the audience who has in the past been primarily mixed gay and straight. It is also an opportunity to broach the topic with your own friends and family. “A show like Billy, where he is gay, and the boy he meets at the end is new gay, a teenage kid who is so obviously out that he doesn’t have to come out. I think it would be a good way to open up some discussion. I have had a couple of puppeteers see the show who have actually worked on cruise ships: One from Australia and one from California who flew to Australia to see the show. They were both quite unnerved and unsettled by it. They both loved the show and appreciated each element of it but it was a bit too close to home. It wasn’t just the cruise ship aspect, one of them said all that early gay stuff brought up a lot of memories. People bring their frame of reference to the theatre. Some gay people will find Billy’s home life to be funny, but others will find it a little telling: Billy’s relationship with Bryan, coming out to your boss or mentor, any of that stuff.” What interests him is the journey the audience takes with him, from a lighthearted whirlwind opening, slowly progressing to a tale with more elements of tragedy. “I hear the reaction and gauge it by that. I have perfected a great technique where it looks like you are looking directly into their eyes and acknowledging them all but I don’t look at anyone. If I was to lock eyes with somebody in the audience I would be like a deer in the headlights. The start of the show is a variety show so people applaud and laugh. Then there is little Billy and his audacity as a child which is charming and funny. We are going along that route and then all of a sudden you see 15 year old Billy with his piano teacher and are really getting that this is a gay kid, and people start getting either worried about that, or open up a little more. By the time we see Billy in the nightclub being approached by the businessman to come to his room, that for me is the defining moment for the audience in the show. There will be people who will want to laugh really loudly at that because they are so uncomfortable, but other nights people get really quiet and go oh my goodness, this is a 15 year old boy being invited back to a motor lodge room by a probably a married businessman. That for me is where the show twists, that it is not all light and breezy but has some reality to it.” While this description may seem like a downer, in truth Billy Twinkle is a very warm story that is far happier than Burkett’s past work. “I was aware of when Billy was coming together that I needed to be a bit brighter overall. The design of the puppets is completely outside of what any of the past puppets looked like. The set is bright, the lighting, music is all brighter and fresher, and do not give in to Billy’s tragedy. At the end of the day it is an ambiguous ending, as I usually end things. You kind of expect that Billy is being bullied into going on, and sometimes that is what it is, you just go on.” To experience a Ronnie Burkett piece is to truly experience the artistry of live theatre. This is the only time you will get to see Billy Twinkle: Reqium For A Golden Boy on stage in Calgary, so don’t miss out. “If you are going to go to the theatre, this is home made, homegrown theatre that will be a really good night out. It is not a franchise musical on tour for the 12th time. It is about showing up and being part of an experience that comes and then will disappear forever. It really is live theatre I think. There are moments of great humor and joy and entertainment in this show so you get a little bit of everything for your buck.

Alberta Theatre Projects Billy Twinkle: Requiem For A Golden Boy March 18 - April 11, 2010

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GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

 Interview - From Page 11 help fuel my desire to get better, always. To know that I had that opportunity and what is possible.” Faber is not the only SYTYCDC participant who has performed for a Jackson. Winner Nico Archambault and finalist Natalli Reznik danced in Janet Jackson’s Make Me video, and at the 2009 American Music Awards. Faber’s style doesn’t quite fit with the likes of Madonna or Britney Spears, but there is one artist that is tops on his list. “There are a couple of artists that I would [dance for] but [backup dancing] is not my ultimate goal. One artist I respect not only for his music but his talent and presence is Justin Timberlake. I would love to be in his show. I respect him a lot as a person and an artist. He is probably the top show that I would want to be in. I would love to dance for someone like Janet, that would be amazing but different types and genres and types of dancing go along with different artists and the one I feel I would fit best for is Justin’s show.” The future is bright for the 23 year old. “I love acting in movies and am taking classes because I would like to do more. I am doing more choreographing and getting heavier and heavier into my own dance, and training harder. Sometimes I will wake up and I am in whatever city doing a show or rehearsal, and I put on music and can’t believe I am doing what I am doing. I am very fortunate and feel like I am living the life.”

Miles Faber

View Bonus Pics/Videos • Share with a Friend • Post Comments  Interview - From Page 12 in the world and tour. I can definitely say that is the farthest my music has gone.” Before she targets worldwide domination however, she has a lengthy cross-Canada trek that kicked off March 2nd in Vancouver and takes her to several smaller cities across the country. “Even though I have a fully produced CD, I really enjoy playing acoustically. I am doing a week of touring in BC with my full band and then when I set out across Canada it is a fairly minimal setup. It is just me in a duo. Smaller towns so often get overlooked and missed—when you do tour there, people are so appreciative to have live music in their city and the response is amazing. Quite often I end up in a very intimate venue and those are my favorite gigs because they are magical. People are right there looking at you in the face, hearing your lyrics—connecting to the songs and feeling the honesty in your lyrics. I am really glad I am still hitting up those places.” The tour brings Laurell to The Blind Beggar Pub in Calgary on April 14th and the Haven Social Club April 21st in Edmonton. “Make sure you go to the Blind Begger ahead of time and pick up your free drink ticket. People can expect to see me in raw form. These songs are being played how they were written. They will get the true spirit of my songs because it is so broken down as far as instrumentation. They can expect to hear Can’t Stop Falling the single airing all over the place. I hope that they will connect with my music and experience something new in my sound and the way I connect with them and making it a night to remember.”

Laurell - Can’t Stop Falling In stores and on iTunes now. On Tour April 14 - The Blind Beggar, Calgary April 21 - Haven Social Club, Edmonton

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Bad Romance Dance - Calgary

Kent Monkman Exhibit at the Glenbow Museum - Calgary

MRU Gender Bender - Calgary

ManHunt Road Trip at Play Nightclub - Edmonton

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

Photography Country Music Celebration at Prism, Edmonton

Queen of Hearts Show at Boots - Edmonton, Photos by B&J

Mr. and Ms. Polar Ice 2010 at Buddies - Edmonton

Team Edmonton Mixer - Edmonton

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


Photography Calgary Eagle 8th Anniversary - Calgary


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010



GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010

GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine #77, March 2010


GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine - March 2010  

In this edition. Interviews with Miles Faber, Laurell, Attack in Black, Nate Phelps, Miss J. Alexander, Ronnie Burkett, and Ke$ha. Also incl...

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