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The Voice of Alberta’s LGBT Community

Cory Lee

shows her Hot Pink Heart


Misha Collins

The Origin of Love

at the Edmonton Expo


Stripping Down to the Stud Dustin Lance Black Martha Wash ...and more!

Business Directory

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Community Map

Calgary • Alberta • Canada

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Gurrrl talk with

Kathy Griffin


Table of Contents


Photography Steve Polyak, Photography Rob Diaz-Marino,

Steve Polyak, Rob B&J Diaz-Marino and B&J


Steve Polyak, Rob Diaz-Marino


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Calgary: Calgary:Gallant GayCalgary Distribution Staff Edmonton: GayCalgary Clark’sStaff Distribution Edmonton: Other:Clark’s CanadaDistribution Post Other: Post LegalCanada Council Courtney Aarbo, Barristers and Solicitors

Phone: 403-543-6960 Office Hours: appointment ONLY Toll Free:By 1-888-543-6960 Phone: 403-543-6960 Fax: 403-703-0685 Free: 1-888-543-6960 E-Mail: Fax: 403-703-0685 This Month's Cover E-Mail: Main: Mika, photo by Alex de Mora This Month's Top Right: CoryCover Lee Cher andRight: Christina Sony Middle MishaAguilera Collins, courtesy photo byofCWTV Pictures; courtesy of Mike Owen; BottomAnnie Right:Lennox Kathy Griffin, photo by Bravo Rex Goudie.

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Publisher’s Column

8 Miss Oh’s Hot Pink Heart 9

The Briefing Room Unveiled

10 Fighting Forward

Dustin Lance Black on why he’s voting for Obama and his gay brother’s legacy

12 Be a wo/man

Gender-bending, multi-media fusion challenges biases

13 Letter to the Editor

14 Entertainment Expo Explodes in Edmonton Inagural pop culture festival a success

15 Mr. Gay Canada 16 Red Lodge

It’s a Wonderful Gay Christmas Film

17 Holiday Hampers

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AIDS Calgary boosts holiday spirit in Calgary and Medicine Hat

18 Jason McCoy Offers The Perfect Gift

a g 20 Martha Wash Isa Something Good m 22 Lord of the Dancefloor 19 Naughty but Nice

GayCalgary Magazine celebrates 10 years at Calgary’s sex expo

23 24 25 26 28

The Real Girl When Silence Is Not Golden #Faggot – Twittered Millions of Times Trans Depathologization Deep Inside Hollywood Sacha Baron Cohen is not The Lesbian

29 Cocktail Chatter


Dill-Vodka Martini

30 Out of Town National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association


Degrassi star releases her third album

Legal Council

Courtney BarristersInquiries and Solicitors SalesAarbo, & General GayCalgary Magazine Sales2136 & General Inquiries 17th Avenue SW GayCalgary EdmontonT2TMagazine Calgary, and AB, Canada 0G3 2136 17th Avenue SW Calgary, AB, Canada T2T appointment 0G3 Office Hours: By ONLY

Family Holidays – Part 1


Writers and Contributors

Aids Mercedes Calgary, Allen, Mercedes Chris Azzopardi, Allen, JoeyDallas Amato, Barnes, Chris Dave Azzopardi, Brousseau, Dave Sam Brousseau, Casselman, Jason Jason Clevett, Clevett, Andrew AndrewCollins, Collins,Emily Rob Diaz-Marino, Collins, Rob Diaz-Marino, Janine Eva Janine Trotta, EvaDustin Trotta,Fitzharris, Jack Fertig,Shane Glen Gallagher, Hanson, Joan Joseph Hilty, Evan Gerbino, Kayne,Glen Stephen Hanson, Lock,Joan NeilHilty, McMullen, Evan Allan Kayne, Neuwirth, Stephen Steve Lock, Polyak, Lisa Lunney, Carey Rutherford, Rodney McMann, Romeo San AllanVicente, Neuwirth, Ed Sikov, JosephNick Norman, Vivian and Steve thePolyak, GLBT Community Romeo San ofVicente, Calgary, EdEdmonton, Sikov, Krista and Sylvester and the LGBT Alberta. Community of Calgary, Edmonton, and Alberta.



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

Columbus, Ohio

Continued on Next Page 

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Table of Contents  Continued From Previous Page

32 Magic Mika

Pop star talks new album, coming out and stripping down to his underwear

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35 Crocker Bares All

37 Gurrrl Talk With Kathy Griffin Comedy queen dishes on her favorite divas, a naked Anderson Cooper and what she’d do if she were president

40 Out Destination Las Vegas

43 Stripping Down to the Stud 46 Flying Solo



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Family Holidays – Part 1 Publisher’s Column

By Rob Diaz-Marino, MSc. My dad is the only person in the entire world who can make me go from completely calm to fuming mad with a single sentence. Normally I’m a tranquil person with a great deal of patience, so I hate that he can cut right through my temper and provoke me to behave this way. In small doses I can usually endure him without losing my composure. But when we spend more than a few hours together, it’s practically a guarantee that we will lapse into a shouting match, perhaps more than once. It’s not something I particularly enjoy. Still I’m his only child and whether we get along or not, time is ticking. I get the impression that he wants to share with me some of the things in life that he loves while he still can. Travel is a big part of that. My dad was born in Spain, my mom in Germany, however she grew up in South Africa. They met in South Africa because of my dad’s travels, and travelled together throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and South America before eventually settling down in Canada. That’s where I was born. I grew up in a household where our walls were decorated with African tribal masks, Masai spears and shaman staffs, hand-made baskets and tapestries, and photos of amazing sights both natural and manmade from around the world. In my parent’s basement is a large map of

the world with the routes that they travelled plotted out, and I’m no stranger to the many photo albums and slide shows from these trips. Guests to our home found this all very fascinating. A few friends of the family were even lured into travelling with him once or twice. Aside from family holidays, I myself didn’t feel the urge to go out and see the world on my own. Perhaps this was because I already have a decent idea of what’s out there thanks to them…or perhaps it’s the fact that travelling with my dad is never as fun as the photos make it seem. Most of those friends of the family that travelled with him don’t talk to us any more, probably for the same reason. My mom already knows what to expect, and so doesn’t bother going anywhere with him anymore; she takes her holidays separately, to spend time with family in Germany. Despite knowing this full well, this past January my dad somehow convinced me in a moment of weakness to go on a trip with him to Cuba. Cuba is one of his favorite places to visit, and he spends at least a month there every year. While he is cynical about the stubbornness of the Cuban government in the face of the hardships of the Cuban people, he confesses that he loves going there for the simplicity of the Cuban lifestyle, and the friendliness and generosity of the Cuban people despite having very little to work with. Though he described this to me many times, my dad wanted me to see this with my own eyes. On one hand I was glad to escape the bitter cold in Calgary, however, I felt depressed being there without Steve. You see, I’m not “out” to my

Continued on Next Page 

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


 Continued from Previous Page dad, so try as he might, he just can’t provide the sort of experience I need to truly enjoy myself, nor can I even ask for it. Having promised to cover my flight and expenses for the trip (I had to pass everything by him and get him to pay for it) meant that I had to depend on him heavily - I didn’t have the sort of independence I needed to forge out on my own. So really, I was like a bird with clipped wings. The language barrier was also a hindrance to my freedom. While I’ve studied Spanish on and off all of my life, and can understand it quite well, I still can’t speak it fluently enough to hold my own in a social setting. Having trouble finding the right words to begin with, I couldn’t verbalize the sort of nuanced and witty expressions that I use in English to hint at my mood and character, nor could I read people the same way as I can in English by how they choose their words. I felt like I had the social maneuverability of a 2-tonne boulder. While my dad was happy to introduce me to his many friends and acquaintances his age, it was little motivation for me to practice my Spanish. Honestly, I wouldn’t know what to talk about with these people, even in English. A few nights my dad would leave me watching a DVD on the laptop while he went out drinking with his friends, like I was a little kid or something. I was starving for contact with other guys my own age, even just to hang out with. Instead, my dad put me through the humiliating experience of trying to introduce me to a local girl my age, whose mother was an acquaintance of his. Instead I sympathized with her male cousin who lived with them - he seemed to do an awful lot for the family and yet they treated him as if he were invisible. I wanted to reach out to him but my rusty Spanish and weakened confidence made it difficult for me to work up the courage when opportunities presented themselves. I suppose my dad interpreted me being amenable to visiting them as a sign of interest in the girl, when really I was hoping for more opportunity to make friends with the cousin. As a result, we spent a good deal of time with them. She seemed perfectly nice so I remained polite with her, even through the awkwardness of having to dance with her one evening. If there was any doubt in my mind that I’m not attracted to women, this reaffirmed my preference for men. My dad must have noticed me rejecting her advances because he later told me not to discount her as a potential girlfriend just because she lives in Cuba. My response was brief but hostile, shutting the topic down from any further discussion.

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In the town that we were staying, we rented the small basement suite of a house for a measly $10 a day. We had transported a bike with us from Calgary, and my dad retrieved a second one that he was storing with a local resident, so that we each had our own. I really enjoyed some of the excursions we made by bike down abandoned roads along the beach, or up into the hills to some of the little towns. I even went on a few bike rides on my own. We made a few excursions to the capital city Havana, where my dad informed me my grandmother on his side of the family had lived part of her life. We also visited some of the tourist beaches nearby.

Aside from that I quickly got bored of lying about on the beach, and wondered what happened to the promises my dad had made of renting a vehicle and seeing other parts of Cuba; or even, the promise that he would stay in the upstairs suite of the house so that I could have the downstairs suite to myself. I realized there were many promises he had made to get me there, and to try to keep me happy, that simply evaporated the moment that money – even just a tiny bit – became an object.

James Franco’s Cruising is a thing that’s really happening

This is the big problem with going on holiday with my dad. He seems to enjoy subjecting himself and others to adverse conditions any time he travels somewhere, so that he comes across as a hero for the little compromises that he makes. It’s basically “boot camp” as my mom describes it. Hotels and restaurant are a resentful last resort, and things like tours and museums aren’t even on his radar. Surprisingly he does go for souvenirs, but no matter how little they cost he will still haggle the store merchants out of as much profit as they will grudgingly allow. He maintains this silly belief that merchants are insulted if you pay the ticket price for their wares – they like to barter. He’s told me this several times, but I’m pretty sure in a country like Cuba where nearly everyone is fighting to survive, they’d like to make the money they need to feed their families. So this seeming taking advantage of already disadvantaged people really upset me, and made me dread going souvenir shopping with my dad around.


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

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I wasn’t too sorry to leave at the end of the 2 weeks. As he was staying for a while longer, my dad saw me onto the bus that took me back to the airport, where I then caught my flight home. Cuba is a country of great natural beauty, and its people stay resilient and manage to keep going despite the multitude of obstacles put in their way by their own government. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for the experience – my dad did succeed in instilling an appreciation for the country in me. I hope to return one of these days to visit, but next time it will be on my own terms. When my dad announced his plans for a trip to Baja California later in the year, I was ready to pass. But the information that two of my cousins from Spain would be flying out to Mexico to join him made the trip a lot more tempting - I haven’t had contact with my cousins in over a decade. I said “maybe”. I may as well have said yes. But I’ll save this story for next month.

October 2012 As mentioned in our article last month, Cowboys Casino went forward with hosting a gay night last month, which included the first drag show to ever be performed at any incarnation of the well known venue. April Storm, Farah Moan, Argentina and Selma Body performed to a strong turnout of the LGBT community, mixed with some very excited straight women, and a handful of straight men who seemed confused but still respectful. From what we saw, the staff of the establishment was very gracious and seemed to be having just as much good clean fun with members of the same sex as they might have with members of the opposite sex on an average night. We saw a lot of positive buzz about it on Facebook and Twitter, including a post from someone in the LGBT community overhearing people talking excitedly about it on the C-train. It gave me hope that the straight bar scene isn’t necessarily as scary as some gays make it out to be, so long as we’re willing to claim a part of it for ourselves. Halloween wasn’t as crazy for us as it has been in past years. There was a time when we had to make the rounds to 11 bars and several other ancillary events in Calgary, or split ourselves up between Calgary and Edmonton. With only two media-friendly LGBT bars left to cover in Calgary, and three in Edmonton, we decided both of us would just stay put here in Calgary. I got to wear my sexy security guard uniform out in public for the first time, and Steve even dressed up for once, as a monk. We still took photos, but on the most part it was a fun and stress-free night out at the Backlot and the Texas Lounge.

This Month November is our anniversary month, and this year GayCalgary Magazine is turning 9! I suppose it’s fair to say the more anniversaries we have, the less of a big deal it seems. Perhaps I will feel differently next year for our milestone 10th anniversary, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. It’s a tradition for us to print the letters of congratulation we receive from politicians, community groups, and businesses on our anniversary, which you will see placed in quarter page ad spots throughout this edition. We continue to appreciate the support and encouragement that we receive in the form of these letters, and verbally from people in the community throughout the year. Another longstanding tradition is our presence at the Calgary Taboo show, where we had launched the very first edition of our magazine – it will be our 10th year there. So if you make it out to the show, stop by to say hi and get your photo taken with a Drag Queen for charity. Likewise at the Edmonton Taboo show this year, where we’re giving the Edmonton Court full control of their fundraising efforts, and Steve and I will mostly be playing a support role. Unfortunately we have some bad news for fans of our monthly Bitter Girl cartoon. The strip has been discontinued, and this month is the last installment. At this time we aren’t planning to look for a replacement comic strip.

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Miss Oh’s Hot Pink Heart

Degrassi star releases her third album

 Cory Lee

By Krista Sylvester Pouring every ounce of her soul into her latest album, Canadian singer/songwriter/actress Cory Lee is mastering the art of being a triple threat. Lesbians will recognize her aptly titled single “The Naughty Song” from the popular and now defunct The L Word series, while teens will recognize her from her role as Miss Oh on the seemingly never-ending hit series Degrassi: The Next Generation. But fans of Lee will remember her voice and genuine songwriting from her first two albums, including 2005’s What a Difference a Day Makes (which garnered her Juno Award nominations and music awards). But it has been five years since her last album and now Lee is back in the lyrical saddle with her third album Hot Pink Heart: Part One. Her first single may be called “Cruel Intentions” but really Lee’s intentions are pure at heart. “I’m feeling a lot of emotions, and it’s exciting and scary,” Lee says of her latest album. “It’s kind of like a baby and I’ve been working on it for the past two years and now it’s out in the world for people to love or hate. And everyone wants to tell you their opinion.” This is even scarier because Lee writes her own songs – an effort that she says is what people want to hear these days – songs that “aren’t fabricated” and show “real emotion”. Much Like Adele, Lee pours her heart and soul into her lyrics. Taking her cue from singer Robyn, who she says is her favourite artist at the moment, Lee writes about her life experiences and from the heart. “I really want everyone to enjoy them. Everyone will be drawn to different songs for different reasons but it’s hard not to take it personally when someone really doesn’t like something.”


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

Which is partially why Lee spent five years between albums. Although she’s been busy with acting and many other projects, Lee says her last album took a toll on her. “I think you just have to learn to tune out the people who aren’t really on your side,” she says. “And I didn’t want to come back until I knew what I really wanted to do. But I thought about music every day, I mean it pumps in my veins.” But she also loves acting, and after finishing wrapping up the latest Degrassi season, she’s also appeared in numerous feature films and television series including Being Erica, The Listener and The Chris Isaak Show. “The biggest difference to me is when you’re acting, you’re diving into a character that is not necessarily yourself and it’s kind of cool and challenging, especially depending on the character,” Lee explains. “And singing is a reflection of myself and I’m putting myself out there and who I want to be.” But she loves both, and hopes to continue performing on a bigger stage one day. “I just love performing and singing and dancing and doing all of it,” she adds. And for fans of the singer, she is working on a tour that would most likely include a Calgary date on her list of stops. Those interested in Lee’s career can follow her on Twitter at coryleemusic, buy her new album, or of course, tune in to the latest Degrassi episode. But either way, Lee isn’t going away anytime soon.

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The Briefing Room Unveiled By Lisa Luney After so many years of settling for boring department store bought undergarments, there is now a shop in Edmonton specifically devoted to providing a huge range of interesting men’s underwear. Edmonton’s popular shopping strip, Whyte Ave, recently became home to this unique store. The Briefing Room opened on September 22nd after a year of vigorous planning. Steven Townsend, one of the owners of the store, always wondered, “if women can buy funky coloured panties, why shouldn’t men be able?” With this thought in mind, The Briefing Room was born. The shop carries an extensive selection of undergarments, socks and skin care products. It‘s like a Beauty Junkie and Victoria’s Secret store for men only – and for once, the men’s undies look cuter! Who can resist skivvies in neon colours, or patterned with superhero logos, skulls or iconic pin-up girls? Furthermore, the assortment of socks is simply fabulous and women shouldn’t shy away from hitting up the store to shop for themselves! From prints with mustaches (perfect for Movember), burgers, even birds, there is something for every taste. It’s easy to express yourself with a loud and bold design.

Products are ordered from all around the world to ensure a wide selection. Customers can purchase items that have traveled to the shop from Brazil, France and even Sweden! Like many shops on Whyte Ave, this one is locally owned. So, when customers bring their business to shps like these instead of bigger retailers, they are often giving back to the community they live in. It is up to customers to make these unique boutiques thrive. The Briefing Room was created for men, to bring something new to the table. The store environment is comfortable and carefree; customers needn’t have second thoughts about asking questions of the staff, who are happy to help. Next time you’re wandering the strip of Whyte Ave, be sure to step inside The Briefing Room. The huge selection of colours and designs can hold your attention for hours. Holiday shoppers only have to make one stop to get all the under-goodies for the men on their list!

The Briefing Room 10151 82 Ave, Edmonton • 587-521-0384

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



 Photo by

Fighting Forward

Dustin Lance Black on why he’s voting for Obama and his gay brother’s legacy By Chris Azzopardi Dustin Lance Black has been on the frontlines of LGBT equality since his Oscar-winning screenplay for Milk presented him a platform to be one of the most prominent activists of this generation. We got Black, 38, on the phone to talk about the dangers of having Romney in office, his film career – from his critical disappointment Virginia to the upcoming Earthquake – and how his late brother, who died this year, lives on in the fight for equal rights.

GC: With the presidential election just around the corner, are you having election jitters? DB: Absolutely. Yes. I am having some election jitters. And I think for good reason. There’s a lot at stake in this election. I’m not a partisan guy; I’ve supported both Republicans and Democrats in their races for elected office. But in this case, there is no question which president will look out for the lives of gay and lesbian people and which president doesn’t think that we deserve equal respect and protection. They’ve said it loud and clear. And so I threw my support behind Barack Obama wholeheartedly a couple of months ago, and I’ve been doing all I can – speaking across the country, even writing checks – to make sure that he does win. After he came out for marriage equality publicly, I think we need to make sure we give him our full support to get back into office with the mandate of making that a reality.

GC: What would a Romney presidency mean for the gay community? DB: A Romney win is not just dangerous for the gay community

but for anyone interested in equality. This is a president who seems to have trouble seeing outside of his own experiences. I don’t think this is a man who has demonstrated any kind of empathy or understanding for people who are very, very different. The danger is not that he will get a lot of legislation passed that will hurt gay and lesbian people; the danger is he is likely going to appoint two Supreme Court justices, making this the most conservative court in history. That’s what is at stake. And that doesn’t just go for gay and lesbian people; that’s gay and lesbian people, women, workers – they all are about to see their protections stripped away. He explicitly said he believes these sorts of protections should be allowed to be put up for a vote. I find it absurd


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

 Photos courtesy of Dustin Lance Black and criminal that he would say that minorities should have their rights put up to votes.

GC: Who is in your binder of women? DB: (Laughs) I don’t have a binder of women, because there are so

many women in my life, running my life, protecting me daily – they could not fit in any binder. There’s no binder big enough for the women who make sure I am productive every single day.

GC: 8, a play that portrays the courtroom proceedings that led to the overturn of California’s Prop 8, has been making its rounds in cities across the U.S. since it premiered in New York and L.A. earlier this year. What’s it been like seeing your work performed in so many theaters nationally? DB: 8 has become something that I don’t think any of us involved ever imagined it could be; it’s what we had hoped it would be. It’s now in over 300 theaters across the country – mostly in theaters in states right now that have ballot initiatives regarding marriage equality – and it’s being used for outreach and education. GC: As the writer of 8, how does it feel to you personally to see your work reach so many people? DB: I was in the courtroom almost every single day, and I found it incredibly moving that for the very first time the opposition of equality had to come in, raise their right hand and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And when put under that scrutiny, their arguments completely fell apart. None of the folks who go on television and bash gay people and bash gay families were willing to come to courtrooms to say the same things; some of this “science” that the opposition has had for so long, they weren’t willing to present because they know it would fall apart under such scrutiny, under penalty of perjury. It was also so moving to see the testimony of those who were fighting for equality and how open and honest we could be and how our testimony stood up to any criticism, because we’re literally just telling our truth. It was as moving as it was equally painful to know that the opposition had, in a very strategic move, made sure that there were no cameras in this courtroom – that the world was denied access to this truth-telling moment. For me, I wanted to find a way to honor what happened in that courtroom and bring it to America. This moment of truth in the gay and lesbian movement is now making its way to every corner of the country, so that every community has the opportunity to know the details of the case that is sitting in front of the U.S. Supreme Court right now. I’ve always said the truth will always find the light – and the truth, when it comes to LGBT equality, is on our side. Our job is to make it find the light quicker so that we don’t lose more young lives and so that we get to enjoy our lives and our families during our lifetime.

GC: You nabbed big Hollywood names to bring the production even greater visibility, which was remarkable and had to feel quite rewarding. Are you now besties with George Clooney and Brad Pitt?

DB: I wouldn’t say we’re besties. (Laughs) They have their lives and I have my life, but it was remarkable how quickly all of the people who were in the L.A. and N.Y. cast signed on to do this. I mean, these are incredibly busy people; they have a lot of things they could be doing. It said to me that these guys understand what’s at stake for gay and lesbian people and how important it is that we have our lives, our love, our relationships and our families recognized and protected in the same way that theirs could and should be. GC: What can you tell me about your collaboration with J.J. Abram’s on the upcoming film Earthquake? DB: Well, I can tell you that the ground will shake. I can tell you there will be an earthquake. (Laughs) I can tell you the reasons I wanted to do this: J.J. has actually been a big supporter of my foundation, American Foundation for Equal Rights, and I wanted to meet him to at least thank him. In that meeting he let me know that he’d been wanting to develop an earthquake movie at Universal, which had done one in 1972. I wasn’t interested in remaking that movie. I wanted to do it because I was in both the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco and the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles. I said, “Earthquake movies and miniseries I’ve seen completely missed the point. You can learn a lot about society if you pay close attention to what happened in the hours and days after an earthquake.” So I’m looking at that, but that’s probably all I can say without getting into some sort of trouble. But I’m excited because I think it’s a creative collaboration; it’s very exciting, and I’m sure tonally it’ll be different than anything I’ve done.

GC: Your last film, Virginia, received harsh criticism and never got a proper release.

community – because he’s sort of into the hunting community and the NASCAR community. He had every reason to be afraid. So I bring him with me as an example of why we can’t work on a solely state-by-state basis for equality. We have to be working right now at the federal level so we don’t have a checkerboard country. That’s all I talk about lately: me and my brother and how we had the same kind of love in our hearts but couldn’t express it the same because of geography. When I give my speeches now, I usually have something of my brother’s in my pocket and I just think about how he’s holding me as I get up there in front of all those people.

GC: What of his do you put in your pocket? DB: I hope it doesn’t sound macabre, but I’ve been holding onto the

gloves that I wore as a pallbearer at his funeral. I always hold them and say to myself – and to him – “I held you, and I need you to hold me now,” because I get very nervous in front of thousands of people.

GC: As someone who’s inspired many young people, like your brother and Harvey Milk inspired you, how do you feel about these youth looking up to you now? DB: We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and so Milk will always be one of my compasses. I do my best every day, to the point of exhaustion. I take it very seriously, and boy, it would be the greatest compliment in the world to hear that some young person is looking up to me in any way at all that mirrors the way that I felt about my Harvey Milks and the people who have inspired me to do what I do. .

DB: Yeah, I got beat up. GC: How did that feel coming off the success of Milk and J. Edgar? DB: You know, it happens. I’ve never taken the safe road. Not yet.

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And so, when you do that you’re not gonna bat a thousand. There are certainly things I’d do differently with Virginia if I had a chance to do that, but I also love Virginia. I know critics were tough on it, but for the first film I wrote, I learned a lot. What you might not know is I’ve gotten bad reviews before. (Laughs) Not every one of my episodes of Big Love were the critics’ favorites, and I’ve made some TV movies and things that I wish could be different, but if you ask me, “Hey, is Virginia a film you’re proud of?” Then I’d say yes. “Is it a film that is personal and truthful to you?” I’d say yes.

GC: That was made post-Oscar. Is there this innate pressure of having every project live up to that award? DB: Well, that’s sort of the strange thing with Virginia. We were in the process of making it before Milk and before Oscar; we actually shot it within just a few months after the Oscar. There were years of development and the script was, like, eight years old. I think I was meeting producers and cast while we were shooting Milk and then, all of a sudden, everybody was looking at me. Not everybody, but people were looking at me. I always thought I’d make Virginia in sort of a vacuum and it would come out and no one would know or care who I was. GC: But they did. DB: (Laughs) In retrospect, to do a film that experimental and that

personal – and I was taking a lot of risks and exploring a lot of tones and things – it’s probably not one you would make if you’re looking to please the same audiences that loved Milk. That’s just true. There’s a totally ethereal, metaphorical world in it, so I think for a lot of people they saw it and were like, “Are you sure this is the same guy who did Milk?” (Laughs)

GC: Your gay brother, Marcus Raul Black, lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. In a blog post you wrote after he passed, you called him “my protector.” How do you look back on your relationship with Marcus? DB: (Sighs) Boy, I still am looking forward with my relationship with my brother. I have started to tell the story of me and my brother; I’m bringing him with me on this equality ride. Like I say in all the speeches these days, the difference between the feeling that I had coming out in California – that feeling of hope and liberation that I felt when I came out – wasn’t one that he could have because he grew up in Texas and Virginia, where you can still lose your job and your home if people find out that you’re gay. So people are not coming out, especially in his

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Be a wo/man

Gender-bending, multi-media fusion challenges biases By Krista Sylvester When Jasmine Whenham took on the precarious role of playing a woman living as a man, she knew it would be challenging and eye-opening but she didn’t realize how life changing it would become. Even as a lesbian woman, Whenham always found the topic of transgender uncomfortable and confusing. So when Be a Man writer and producer Rita Bozi asked her to play the role of Tommy, a woman living as a man, Whenham was hesitant, but decided to challenge her views and dive head-first into the role - something she now credits with changing her life. “When Rita first contacted me, my first emotion that I felt was extreme discomfort,” she explains. “I’ve always felt uncomfortable about transgendered individuals and issues. I’ve also always felt uncomfortable about being uncomfortable about it because I’m a gay woman and I shouldn’t be judging anyone else.” She completely realizes the irony of the situation now. “It’s funny you know, when you are gay everyone says why are you making that choice and you explain it’s not a choice


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

but as a gay person, I was looking at transgendered people and asking the same thing.” But the role has changed her life. “Now I realize it’s not a choice at all,” she explains. “The compassion I now feel for anyone in that situation is immense. There are no questions about it; it’s not a choice, end of story. I feel bad for anyone trapped in the wrong body or forced to have to use the wrong restroom.” But it wasn’t without its fears and scars. Whenham already had short hair but cut her hair even shorter for the performance, ditched her earrings and let her eyebrows grow. In the past month alone she’s been mistaken for a man several times and even forcibly removed from the woman’s washroom at a movie theatre. “I was surprised because I didn’t change that much,” she explains. “But it was humiliating. I was devastated. It certainly did a lot for my sense of compassion, especially having to prove my gender, but that was my goal coming into the project. I will be a huge advocate from now on. ”

And that’s exactly what Rita Bozi wanted for the people involved in her performance adventure as it’s called. “I wanted someone who would be brave and willing to expose themselves to uncomfortable situations,” Bozi says of Whenham, who she says did an amazing job as Tommy. Bozi wrote her short fiction piece titled Be a Man for a Stampede noire anthology and felt it was the perfect piece to fuse a story with film and live music. “I wanted to bring people into the world of fiction as not just something we read in bed or have someone read to us,” Bozi says of her work. “Tommy is an eccentric, Blue Grass musician who lands at the height of the Calgary Stampede trying to live as a man. The story lent itself to fusing music, choreography and stage.” But telling the story with compassion was important for Bozi, who has always felt drawn to gender-bending and androgyny; as a dancer, she has spent most of her life feeling discomfort in her own body. “I’ve always been a dancer but I’d look at my brother and I had his legs. As a dancer I was not the perfect woman and always battled within myself. The only way I could resolve it was [by] accepting both halves, the masculine and feminine energies within myself.” In a way, her short fiction is parallel to her life and the masculine-feminine struggle can be seen artistically through her piece, with a twist. She has always been intrigued by two-spiritualism, and that realization led to research and eventual play an acting role as Brandon Teena, the 21-year-old Nebraska woman living as a man who was raped and murdered in 1993; also the subject of the award-winning film Boys Don’t Cry. “I was fascinated by Brandon Teena. And I think having a lot of fascination and compassion is the first place to write a character from,” she adds. In Be a Man, Tommy’s desire leads him into dangerous circumstances such as meeting a drug dealer and being romantically interested in a woman. “And Tommy does get beat up, but I want to emphasize that Tommy doesn’t get beat up because he is a female to male transgendered person, but because Rich (the drug dealer) accepts Tommy as a man and beats him up for being a male,” Bozi explains. “And that’s the twist I wanted to create. It’s not because of gender politics.” Not to be lost in the mix of the storyline and music, is the technical aspect of the performance adventure. Film and projection coordinator Sandi Somers is the cohesive glue that ensure the piece runs smoothly. “I get to add to the performances in a way that integrates the film so it’s a cohesive and seamless aspect of everything else going on,” Somers explains. “I was trying to find the right pace, the right images and the right themes. And they become a character, a part of the piece, much like the music and performers are.” Be a Man, made possible by a 2012 project grant and Banff residency, will be performed at the Green Fools Studio on Friday November 16 and Saturday November 17 at 9 PM for what you can pay at the door.

Letter to the Editor Dear GayCalgary Magazine, I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with CalgaryWest Conservative MP Rob Anders. I am a straight man living as a woman until I can get gender reassignment surgery. I have commented here before about how I have spent 50 thousand plus dollars of borrowed money on drugs and God bless Premier Redford, my name has come up in the rotation, so I will be able to achieve feminity of gender soon. However, that being said, I totally agree with MP Anders that bathrooms for women with working female genitalia should be for women only. So until I actually become a woman and have my male genitalia turned into female genitalia, I will continue to use men’s bathrooms only. MP Anders is actually quite an idiot, as are a lot of the extreme nutbars in Stephen Harper’s caucus. People like Monsignor Jason Kenney, Anders, and Tom Lukiwski ought to be retired out so good MP’s can take their place. They frankly are only kept on because they keep getting reelected. I say this and I am a Conservative Party member. In this situation, MP Anders is saying the right things and should be applauded for his efforts. My daughter is fourteen and has accepted dad wants to be a girl like her and her mother (my ex-wife). I have told her that until I actually become a female that it would not be appropriate for me to enter bathrooms with her. She agrees with me and states to me that it will be fun to have time to put makeup on in bathrooms with you dad, but not until we are both girls. I mean what a wonderfully accepting child! Yes MP Rob Anders, standing up for whats right, standing up for his transgendered constituents! Regards, Walter Dean Aka “Juanita Diane” Blake

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



 Misha Collins (Castiel) with Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) on the CWTV show Supernatural

Entertainment Expo Explodes in Edmonton Inagural pop culture festival a success By Jason Clevett Over 14,000 people filled the aisles of Hall E of the Edmonton Expo Centre on October 20th & 21st for the first Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo. The teams behind the Calgary Expo and the Edmonton Toy & Collectible Show combined their energies with great success. Although the 2012 Calgary expo had some growing pains, this weekend ran very smoothly. That isn’t to say there weren’t glitches beyond the organizers control. October edition coverboy Sean Maher had to drop out due to a film, replaced by fellow Firefly alumni Jewel Staite. Headliner Adam “Batman” West injured his back just days before the show and was replaced by the original Catwoman Julie Newmar and 6 Million Dollar Man Lee Majors. A photo op with Newmar and Burt “Robin” Ward brought the two TV rivals together. The love was evident for Newmar, who gushed about being so well recieved. “I am Adam West’s replacement. He hurt his back chasing his dog. The people here are incredible. It has been an all day long lovefest and I am getting all the love. This is the sweetest thing that can ever happen to you to have an event like this,” she told GayCalgary Magazine. “I love you and meeting you, thank you so much and don’t be shy. We’ll purr together.” Other guests included Charisma Carpenter of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, and Star Wars Billy Dee Williams. Some of the longest lines for photos and autographs were reserved for Misha Collins, who plays the character of Castiel on Supernatural. As a last minute add, he was floored by the response.

“It is shocking. I was expecting a small crowd. On a map of the world Edmonton is very small. I had no idea there were this many people here. Calgary is a substantial city but Edmonton? Who would expect that?” he joked dryly. “For me the fact that people actually show up here to meet me specifically means there are a lot of psychotic people in Edmonton.” Collins charmed the crowds attending his panel with his quirky sense of humor, which is also displayed in a video on While having a “lap interview” Collins talks about the fan fiction movement on the relationship between Castiel and Dean among other topics. It is one of the most bizarre dialogues we’ve ever conducted, but a must see nevertheless. Nichelle Nicholls has already wowed us with her incredible interview in the October edition. We caught up with Nichelle again for a follow up video interview at the Expo. “The weekend has been great!” she said excitedly. “All they have to do is say a city in Canada and I am on my way.” She looked amazing and fans repeatedly commented on how sweet she was. “It’s the hair, I have nothing to do with it,” she quipped. After a successful first year, the Edmonton Expo returns September 28th & 29th, 2013. Those wanting a dose of “full frontal nerdity” before then, can check out the Calgary Expo April 26th to 28th, which has already announced horror film icon John Carpenter, Stargate SG-1’s Michael Shanks and the return of Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee.

Edmonton Entertainment Expo

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Mr. Gay Canada By Lisa Luney Canadians are no strangers to the frigid temperatures the winter months bring. As the cold air begins to creep in, we are reminded that it is almost officially winter. This means WinterPRIDE is getting closer, and in just a few short months Mr. Gay Canada will be named! WinterPRIDE will host the Mr. Gay Canada (MGC) competition in Whistler, BC from February 5th to 8th, 2013. The competition will find an ambassador to represent Canada in the annual Mr. Gay World competition held in Antwerp, Belgium in August of 2013. The ideal candidate will be able to comfortably speak publicly on issues pertaining to gay rights and equality around the world. MGC must be charismatic, confident and articulate. The competition will be vigorous, fun and intense, including things such as: photo challenges, sports challenges, fashion show/runway challenges, swimsuit challenges and public speaking. One activity that is most boast-worthy and exciting is that MGC candidates will be able to work with a local charity to give back to the community that is hosting the competition. The candidates will definitely need all their energy to get through these three days! The MGC competition is a great way for men aged 21 or older, to expand their knowledge, and their experience. The passionate group of candidates will likely be future leaders, and role models within their own communities, and the world as a whole. The ideal candidate is someone who lives to have fun, to inform, to nurture others and to spark positive change within their communities. Young men need to be proud of their identity, to feel empowered as individuals, and to learn how to cope in the face of adversity with issues such as bullying, selfacceptance and spreading safe sex awareness. Candidates for MGC hope to spread this message of empowerment, and to create a positive image for young gay Canadians. The Canadian LGBT community is filled with so many shining stars. It will be exciting to see the MGC competition underway, and find out which candidate outshines the rest.

Mr. Gay Canada Competition February 5th to 8th, 2013 Whistler, BC

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



Red Lodge

It’s a Wonderful Gay Christmas Film By Evan Kayne Red Lodge, like many films set at Christmas, starts with the main characters travelling to their holiday destination – in this case, the mountain resort town of Red Lodge, Montana. Dave and Jordan, a gay couple, stop off at a train station. While there, a marriage proposal is given... with a silver cockring as the engagement ring. The story of how they met is then told in flashbacks while they deal with family, Christmas, and the question of marriage. It’s a small, intimate film as the couple discuss their relationship and just what they want out of it. I asked writer/director Dan Steadman where the idea for this story came from. “I always wanted there to be a Christmas film with gay themed characters at the forefront.” Dan loves films like Home for the Holidays and The Family Stone. These films had gay supporting characters; he felt there was a story waiting to be told where the gay couple take center stage during Christmas. This inspiration came to him when he was in living Billings, Montana. It’s a small city, so therefore his social life was curtailed and he started watching a lot of films online. “I was disappointed in the state of Gay cinema. I looked at it as, I have this beautiful location...I love movies set at Christmas time, I love movies that are shot in real snow...I just thought What would I want to see every year? I thought I would like to see a Christmas film that I can pull out once a year...I love the holidays and I wanted a tale that I would want to watch.” Montana is a little more conservative and Caucasian than what you would expect in places like Los Angeles or New York City, yet there are pockets of openness and acceptance in some cities like Red Lodge. To a certain degree Dan admits he created a Montana which was slightly idealized in that there was no reaction to there being a gay bi-racial couple. Much like the couple’s sexuality, it is not the huge issue in this film, Red Lodge doesn’t discuss race. 16

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

“I don’t think...we live in a post-racial world, but I think for me that’s not of interest in my film.” He doesn’t think every characteristic of each role has to be drawn out and pointed at, especially since this is just a film about a couple. “This movie is just about passive aggressive tension that happens at a difficult time – the holidays, the one time you don’t want to be fighting.” The reason why the “big issues” are not covered in this film is because Dan is influenced by shows like Friday Night Lights, movies like Parenthood, and the films of Woody Allen; tales illustrating everyday life. “The minutiae of life is the drama that I’m interested in telling. So some big blowup about gay marriage, some big blowup about interracial dating – that wouldn’t be interesting to me because I’ve seen it a million times.” Also a lot of these “big issue” gay films are tragedies – often with death hovering over the movie. While this big film drama has its place, Dan is just as touched by movies examining everyday conflicts – by way of example he mentioned The Kids are Alright. He was thrilled this film showed a relationship where the focus wasn’t about the sexual orientation of the characters. It was just about an affair and how it forced the couple to talk to each other. Red Lodge is really just about asking the question: Is person you love the person you really want to marry? The film makes a quieter argument for the realities of marriage. “Dating is all about the performance. Putting your best foot forward and trying to be everything you think the other person wants you to be. That’s what makes dating so terrifying...I think the people who are happiest in their relationship have just found a comfort level with each other.” And for once, seeing it portrayed by a gay couple makes it the perfect Christmas film for our family.

Red Lodge Available through, or you can buy it direct:

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Holiday Hampers

AIDS Calgary boosts holiday spirit in Calgary and Medicine Hat By AIDS Calgary Staff “The Holiday Hamper program provides clients with a grocery card and a gift. The gift card allows clients to choose grocery items that fit their cultural, religious, and dietary needs. Around the holidays, there are often extra expenses such as gifts, insulated winter items, higher utility bills, transportation costs, etc,” explains Catharine van der Linden, Team Lead of Support Services at AIDS Calgary Awareness Association (ACAA). “The Holiday Hamper program provides additional support to many of the individuals and families we serve who are living on low incomes.” “Food is so central to our culture, especially during the festive season. For many, it is a time to bring people together for conversation, love, and support,” says Susan Cress, Executive Director of ACAA, “and for our clients, a lot of them would just like to be noticed and have a nutritious meal. So you can imagine how dispirited one may feel if they have nothing to eat over the holiday season, much less someone to spend the holidays with.” The program is aimed at supporting clients of ACAA by providing them with a grocery gift card and a small gift over

the holiday season, as well as providing toys for clients who have children. On December 14th the Hampers will be distributed to ACAA clients in Calgary and Medicine Hat. According to van der Linden, about 140 Hampers are expected to be given out this year. One ACAA client remarked, “Holiday Hampers help me tremendously! What I get, I use to a great extent and [it] lasts me a long time! Keep up the great work [in] helping a lot of others during the joyous Christmas Season.” Those who are interested in donating or volunteering can visit the ACAA website, or contact the E-mail listed at the end of this article.

AIDS Calgary Awareness Association

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



Jason McCoy Offers The Perfect Gift By Janine Eva Trotta This jolly season country singer Jason McCoy, formerly front man of the esteemed country band The Road Hammers, has vowed to give audiences across Canada a night of feel good Christmas tunes. The Perfect Gift tour kicks off November 21st in Campbell River, British Columbia and wraps up the night before Christmas Eve in Clarksburg, Ontario. This unique and interactive concert revolves around one man – McCoy – backed by a five-person crew. But careful – should you be in the right area in the right time and known in your community you could find yourself on the big screen at the next performance. The crew is looking for cool clips and interviews to include locally as the tour travels. “I didn’t realize that there’d be that much demand for a Christmas tour,” McCoy says of his full roster of upcoming shows. Once the tour begins McCoy will only get roughly three days off. Alberta stops entail November 29th in Grande Prairie, November 30th at Festival Place in Sherwood Park, December 1st in Airdrie, and December 3rd in Bassano. Not a stranger to Christmas music, McCoy has written and recorded numerous holiday tracks. However it was only when CMT invited him to perform a second Christmas season special, Christmas at the Grand recorded at Calgary’s Theatre Grand, was a full-length recording posited. “And with that came an album,” he says. The track list on The Perfect Gift boasts a happy combination of season classics and McCoy originals – “all the good ones,” the singer jests. The Christmas tour offers audiences both Christmas tracks and old Road Hammer favourites before a high tech big screen that will light the stage up, as well as special guests, quirky interviews, and warm family videos. Such an intimate tour inspired producers to select tour venues equally as cozy. That is why you will not see McCoy performing in any major cities this winter – but you will find him in neighbouring towns a short drive away. “It seems to fit better,” McCoy says. “We’ve also done well in rural communities.” The tour brings to these roughly 500-seat venues special guests such as Belle Starr (three lovely musicians named for the notorious American outlaw), as well as Colin James, Pro Trio and George Canyon. McCoy enjoys getting his audience involved, which is why he opted to make this interactive screen part of the Christmas tour. Through it he gains the opportunity to inject a bit of personal material as well as a lot of humour into the performance. “It’s a very fun show,” he says. “We explore the true meaning of Christmas as opposed to dancing around the issue; we really just drive it.” As well as being an accomplished singer and entertainer, McCoy is a devoted dad and husband. McCoy’s family will be joining him in Winnipeg through to Ontario. After the tour wraps up he will be spending Christmas at his farm in Barrie. “We’ve got a place in Nashville too but it’s not the same,” he says. “You’ve got to have the snow and the bone chilling, freezing temperatures to make you feel warm inside.” Asked whether or not The Road Hammers will be recording again McCoy was optimistic. “We’ve been talking about maybe doing another record,” he says. The band went on hiatus after their record label in Nashville went bankrupt. 18

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

 Jason McCoy

“Broke everybody’s hearts,” McCoy says, “But we’re almost at that point where we’re all there for [an album] again.” McCoy has been playing music for 25 years. He was nominated this year for the 2012 JUNO Award in the category of Country Recording of the Year for his 2011 release, Everything. He says another CMT special is in the works – a sort of travel show, though nothing has been cemented. This special could compliment a new solo album or EP. “The way music is released right now is just so different,” he says. In any case, more than two decades in country music has taught the seasoned country singer what audiences are really looking for. “I’ve been in the industry long enough to know when you’re doing something really cool,” he says. “We tested [The Perfect Gift tour] last year and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. “We make sure everyone leaves there going, that was awesome!” McCoy’s CMT special Christmas At The Grand airs across the country on December 7th, 8th, 16th and 24th.

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Naughty but Nice

GayCalgary Magazine celebrates 10 years at Calgary’s sex expo By Krista Sylvester Who doesn’t want stronger and better orgasms? And cock rings, bondage and leather, oh my! Oh, and you can never have too many strap-ons and vibrators, ladies. Nudge, nudge. The 12th annual Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex show is back this month and is sexier and naughtier than ever. With over 20,000 Calgarians pillaging through the doors over the four day event, the show has to stay fresh each year. This year’s Taboo is featuring a different type of performer and you may know her from such scandals as the Jesse James cheating on Sandra Bullock fiasco. Yes, the heavily-tattooed Michelle “Bombshell” McGee is making an appearance at this year’s event and she’s bringing along a few half naked friends. The self-professed “world’s most notorious mistress” is bringing along some sex advice for the ladies and gentleman as well, and take it from her because if there is one thing McGee knows, it’s sex. “Learn how to please yourself first,” she says. “If you don’t know what feels good, how will your partner know?” Not only is it the best advice she can give but, this seemingly simple lesson is the best sex tip she’s ever received, too. Besides appearing in every major tattoo and entertainment publication in North America – not just for her tattoos but the Bullock scandal too – the ‘bombshell’ is a featured guest headlining Australia’s massively explosive ‘Sexpo’’. Now she’s bringing her tantalizing “softcore” erotic act to Calgary. “The scandal really turned my life upside down. I will always be known as the tattooed girl who broke up Sandra Bullock’s marriage,” she explains. “Being so recognizable has its challenges as well as its benefits. I can’t really go anywhere without being talked about and because of my tattoos. I don’t blend into society too well.” But before you feel too sorry for McGee, she adds that she’s really enjoying the turn her life has taken. “I get to travel the world and do what I love most; perform. ...Our show combines sex, latex and power tools to stimulate your libido and it’s arousing for guys, girls, straight, gay, alone or with your partner,” she says. “It’s fun for every adult.” Show producer Kevin Blackburn agrees, saying the show is tailored to anyone who is sexual. “We have anyone and everyone from 18 years old to people in their 60s and 70s,” Blackburn says. “Couples, young, old, straight, gay, experienced or inexperienced. The show is truly for any sexuality, we just want people to come and be themselves, whoever they want to be.” Besides McGee and her lady friends, the show will also feature burlesque performers, a pole dancing competition, a tattoo competition, a male revue, various seminars and of course, plenty of sex toys and other fun goodies for purchase. “Bring your friends, make lots of time because there is a lot to see,” Blackburn advises. “A lot of people make the show a starting point for their night. It’s a lot of fun.” Blackburn says the exhibition attracts about 70 per cent women and there will be plenty of things for the ladies to see. GayCalgary Magazine will have a booth at the Calgary Taboo Calgary show now for the 10th year in a row, where the ISCCA November 8th-11th will be fundraising for their Big Four, Stampede Park charities by offering visitors to get their photo taken with Taboo Edmonton a Drag Queen or “Fetish Dude”, among other things. November 16th-18th You can look forward to Expo Centre, Northlands Park seeing many more booths, some familiar from previous years, and some brand new.

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Martha Wash Is Something Good By Dustin Fitzharris Thirty years after singing “It’s Raining Men,” Martha Wash is still going strong. In a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Wash has sung some of the biggest hits in dance music, including the chart-topping “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” and the inspirational “Carry On.” However, as Wash once put it, “Unless you are a die-hard fan, you wouldn’t know who I was.” Now, The Queen of Club Land is ready to claim her legacy. After earning eight #1 hits and an additional eight Top 10s on various Billboard Charts, Wash is releasing Something Good. It will be her first project of all new material in almost twenty years. “I’m trying to move my career forward,” Wash says about why she returned to the studio. “I’ve been working all along, but people weren’t really seeing me unless they were coming to my shows. People know the music, but they need to see me.” But don’t call Something Good a comeback because Wash says she’s never gone away. “Where have I been?” she laughs. “I’ve been right here—working!” Wash continues to headline concerts world wide, and just recently returned from Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, where she performed a tribute to dance music at the request of Nile Rogers, Quincy Jones, and founder Claude Nobs. In an age where artists come and go, Wash has proven she is a survivor. Along with Izora Armstead, she began singing background for Sylvester under the name Two Tons O’ Fun. Together, their dynamic, soulful voices can be heard on his signature 20

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

song, “You Make Me Feel Mighty Real.” Eventually Wash and Armstead released their own recordings, including three Top 5 Billboard dance singles, “I Got the Feeling”, “Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven” and “Just Us.” In 1982 the duo announced, “Hi, we’re your weather girls and have we got news for you!” Within the blink of an eye, Two Tons O’ Fun became The Weather Girls and “It’s Raining Men” went on to receive a Grammy nomination, an achievement Wash considers the most memorable moment in her career. In 1984 The Weather Girls lent their voices to Rebbie Jackson’s hit, “Centipede.” By the late ‘80s they went their separate ways, and Wash forged ahead as a solo artist. In spite of the ballads she has recorded, including her #1 R&B duet with Luther Vandross, “I Who Have Nothing,” Wash has been labeled a dance artist. Proving she is much more, Something Good finds the songstress taking chances and singing skillfully crafted pop/adult contemporary songs. The first single is a beautiful ballad, “I’ve Got You.” It’s a song Wash says speaks to everyone. Initially she had reservations about doing material audiences wouldn’t expect from her, but

realized that as an artist, she couldn’t play it safe. “I’m just spreading my wings more and moving in another direction. As long as you live you’re going to get a little older,” Wash says. “Are you going to keep doing the same things you were doing in your twenties when you get into your fifties? It’s about advancing and moving on.” “You may stumble and fall, but you’ve got to get up,” confirms Wash. “You can’t stop moving. Finding your path is the journey. Along the journey you have the highs and the lows, but you can’t stop because time will keep on going with or without you.” In 1991 Wash proved her strength and became a pioneer for artists when she sang the lead vocals on C&C Music Factory’s #1 hit, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now.)” However, in the accompanying music video, her vocals came  Martha Wash by Gor Meqaera out of the group’s lead singer’s mouth because her image had been deemed unmarketable due to her size. Furthermore, she also failed to receive proper credit and compensation on vocals she did for Black Box’s album, including their Top 10 songs, “Everybody Everybody” and “Strike It Up”, and Seduction’s “You’re My One and Only (True Love)”. While others may have backed down, Wash filed a lawsuit and won. Her efforts now make it mandatory for artists to receive rightful credits on albums and music videos. In spite of the difficulties, Wash always maintained a positive outlook. Her new song “Destiny,” which she co-wrote, tells the story of her path. “Letting go was never easy for me. I was holding so tight, but it never felt right. Couldn’t see the person I could be through all this pain.” Wash hopes the eight songs from Something Good, an album she calls  Martha Wash by Sean Black empowering, will inspire others to find their strength inside and follow their destiny. “Whatever song they listen to, I hope they get something positive out it,” she says.

Something Good comes on the heels of the thirtieth anniversary of “It’s Raining Men.” It seems impossible to comprehend today, but Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Cher, and Diana Ross all passed on the iconic song. In fact, Wash and Armstead weren’t too keen on recording the tune either. “Paul [Jabara] played the song for us and said, ‘I want you to record this.’ Izora and I just laughed and laughed and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ He said, ‘No, I just know this song is going to be a hit.’ Then we laughed some more! We went into the studio the next day and recorded the song in about ninety minutes and walked out of the studio and went about our business. Now it’s an official classic.” Wash says people still love the song because it is fun. She doesn’t deny that it’s campy, but when she sees that older people know it, their children know it and sometimes their grandchildren know it, she proclaims, “I can’t be mad about that!” Martha Wash still loves every minute of performing. While her dance and disco fans revere her, the time has come for Wash to receive the accolades she’s earned from all audiences. The truth is told in the haunting new ballad “Proud”: “I’ll make you proud of loving me. You won’t regret that you believed. How did you see what no one else could see in me?” If you don’t know who Martha Wash is by now, you’re missing out on something good. Martha Wash’s new album, “Something Good”, will be available on iTunes this month. For more on Martha Wash, visit

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Lord of the Dancefloor  Traci Lords photo by Meeno

By Shane Gallagher Before Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes and even Shannon Doherty, there was Traci Lords, Hollywood’s original bad girl. Since her sin-sational beginnings in the 1980’s as the first pop princess of porn, Traci Lords has starred on the big and small screens (who can forget her as Lanford Lunch Box busgirl Stacy on TV’s Roseanne?) and has even written a bestselling autobiography on her life. “I don’t run from my demons anymore,” she famously told Oprah Winfrey. “I invite them in for a martini.” This month, the notorious vixen returns to both film and music. She stars in John Water’s next film Excision and she’s unveiling her own club mix compilation album, Traci Lords Presents M2F2. Featuring twelve kinetically charged electronic dance tracks –including the first release, “He’s My Bitch” - the album is sure to turn on the party this fall.

GC: How does one go about making a man his bitch? TL: With equal parts sugar and spice. GC: When do you know that you have a man under your control? TL: When he can’t tell me no. GC: Has there ever been a man even you couldn’t conquer? TL: No! GC: What kind of tools do you use to lure a man into your clutches? TL: A saucy attitude. GC: What makes the music on M2F2 music to f**k to? TL: M2F2 has a great build. You can put it on and just groove to it. GC: How would you describe the sound? TL: Silly, fluffy, fun. GC: Do you really feel people are too uptight about sex these days? TL: Depends on who you’re hanging with.


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

GC: How do you feel about the bathhouse apps that gay men are using to find sex with other gay men? TL: They’re hilarious! When people want sex, they search for it. Apps like Manhunt and Grindr just make it easier. GC: Is it a dangerous thing for sex to be too accessible? TL: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with consensual sex between


GC: Tell that to Paris Hilton. TL: Paris Hilton, please. Is she really a moral compass? GC: Why is it important that we take control of our sex lives? TL: Why wouldn’t we? We have a choice. GC: You’ve certainly taken control of your life. Can you tell us about

your latest film project with John Waters?

TL: It’s called Excision and will be out this October. It’s a very disturbing ride! GC: Are you writing a screenplay too? TL: Yes, I’m writing the screenplay to Underneath It All, my


GC: Is there a common theme that runs through all of your work? TL: I never repeat myself. GC: If you could give one piece of advice to the teenage girl you were

when you first started out in the biz, what would it be?

TL: Enjoy the simple times. You’ll grow up fast enough. Visit

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The Real Girl By Joseph Norman “Real Girl,” a new documentary short film by director Aaron Snow, captures a day-in-the-life of gay nightlife’s most glittering gender-bender, Marti Gould Cummings. The film (which borrows the name from Cummings’ music single, with new dance remixes being re-released this Fall) reveals the double life led by Cummings and performers like him who juggle remaining elusive during the day with being ubiquitous at night; and the inevitable toll it takes on them. Viewers get a peek into what lay beneath the sparkly fabulousness presented on stage as they witness Cummings relishing in the red carpet spotlight while simultaneously tackling the everyday life problems of the common man. “There was a time in my life when I was heavy into drugs and alcohol,” reflects Real Girl’s Marti Gould Cummings. “I have been clean and sober for two years now. I owe a lot of that to going back to my roots and remembering the love and support I have had from my family and close friends.” Growing up on a farm in Maryland, Cummings says he was the flamboyant boy on the playground, running around, belting show tunes at the top of his lungs. “I flew from my mother’s vagina on a broomstick with sequins exploding out my ass,” he laughs. But the sad truth is he didn’t have any real friends until the eighth grade. Instead, he would perform skits for an imaginary audience, pretending to be making his Broadway debut in Cats and Annie. He loved the fantasy of dress up. Heels and costumes made him feel glamorous. The rejection from peers hurt his young feelings, but it also made him want to work harder to find his authentic self: a persona that would eventually gain him notoriety for its masterful teetering between male and female. “Although I may be dressed in women’s clothing, I do not consider myself a drag queen,” he says. “I am a performer who simply bends the rules a little. “I am androgynous or, if I must give an exact name, I would call myself a drodge-queen. I like to be me with a little sequin and stiletto.” His uniqueness has won Cummings legions of fans throughout the world. Since making his cabaret debut in 2005 at The Duplex in New York’s Greenwich Village, he has performed many of the cities most popular hotspots including current shows at The Ritz, XL Nightclub, New World Stages, Barracuda and Industry Bar. Headlining these nightly bar performances is how Cummings came to the attention of Aaron Snow, a film student at NYU, who approached him to be the subject of a documentary short he was making for school. Never one to shy away from the camera, Cummings promptly agreed. After viewing the film’s rough edits, Snow and Cummings began to contemplate making it more than a school project and submitting the documentary to festivals. “The film brilliantly captures both my personal and performance sides, which can often times be in conflict with one another,” admits Cummings. Still, he sees the documentary as an opportunity to mainstream drag comedy. “I love RuPaul’s Drag Race but all those girls are so pretty,” he says. “I think ladies like Dina Martini and Miss Richfield are great examples of putting the funny face of gender bending into the mainstream. We have so many TV programs with gay and

 Marti Gould Cummings

lesbian characters now. Maybe it’s time to throw someone like me into the mix. “Now that would redefine the new normal,” he laughs. “But then again, I don’t know that I could ever get used to being normal.” For more information, visit

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



When Silence Is Not Golden By Stephen Lock Being fortunate enough to live in a liberal democracy such as Canada, we tend to take democratic freedoms such as freedom of speech for granted. Sure, we think we understand what that right means; in Canada we are free to say what we want about what we want. However, there is a caveat to that - we are free to say what we want within reason. And that is where it gets a bit complicated and a little tricky. Whenever someone writes or says something we find offensive, prejudiced or hateful, reactions (as opposed to reasoned response) kick in. In a liberal democracy which holds up freedom of speech as a beacon, what is supposed to happen when a hateful piece of crap is put out into the public sphere is, those who disagree or take exception to it, respond with arguments that will show it to be the crap it actually is. However, we are all human and humans get emotional and instead of “responding” we have a tendency to “react” and seek ways to shut the person up instead. Such was the case a few years ago when a Red Deer pastor and youth advocate wrote a particularly nasty letter to the editor, decrying ‘gay affirmative action’ in the public school system. Stephen Boissoin’s June 17, 2002 letter went beyond simply arguing against such initiatives and veered into some pretty fetid waters. Boissoin was then the chairperson of the Concerned Christian Coalition, a rightwing group vehemently opposed to GLBTQ rights and which viewed homosexuality as an abomination and evil. The rhetoric used by the CCC was, shall we say, often inflammatory as was the rhetoric used by Boissoin in his letter to the editor. I happen to believe any reasonable individual would have found the letter offensive, even if that person wasn’t GLBTQ themselves. A University of Calgary professor, Darren Lund, was such a person. Professor Lund launched a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission. This is where it gets interesting. While Lund launched a counter attack against what he saw as ‘hate’ and sought out the support of the GLBTQ community, and specifically Egale Canada’s, what he found instead was Egale Canada opposing his complaint to the AHRCC. I was the co-chair of the Prairies, NWT and Nunavut Region with Egale at that time. I, too, experienced a visceral reaction to Boissoin’s letter and immediately brought it to the attention of the Board. Others on the Board of Egale believed the way to go with this was to come down on the side of freedom of speech and to, in fact, allow Boissoin to express his views without the threat of someone launching a human rights complaint against him for doing so. It was not an easy position for the national queer advocacy group to take, I can assure you, and was met with a firestorm of condemnation and shock by many within the membership of Egale and the community in general. Certainly, I suspect, by Professor Lund. Despite the lack of support from Egale, Lund continued his fight against what he saw as hate speech and did so for 11 years. Lund won at the Commission level back then and Boissoin was substantially fined and slapped with a lifelong ban on publicly stating anything derogatory or critical of the GLBTQ community. As outraged as I personally was over Boissoin’s views, and as much as I argued in favour of some sort of accountability, I also believe a human rights commission issuing a lifelong ban against someone expressing his or her views, however repugnant I happen to find them, to be draconian and actually scarier than the expression of those views were to begin with. What if - and there was a time, not so long ago, when this was the case - it had been one of us who had been silenced? What if while arguing for equality and fairness and criticizing those who opposed us, we had a human rights complaint made against us for our criticism of, for instance, conservative Christian values, forced to make a ‘donation’ to those we opposed, and then on top of all that, forbidden to ever express our views for the rest of our lives? The... rest...of...our...lives.... That, right there, is outrageous and something almost Orwellian.


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

I make no excuses for individuals like Boissoin or his cohorts in the Concerned Christian Coalition. I find their views and tactics reprehensible and spent many years of my own life fighting against them. But even at that, I find what came out of the whole Boissoin situation to be wrong. Yes, he should have been called to account. Yes, he should have been challenged. I didn’t, and still don’t, have an issue with a complaint being laid with the Commission - that’s what it’s there for. I do, however, have an issue with the degree to which it was carried. It borders on persecution of an individual whose views we disagree with, and that is wrong. Lund’s case against Boissoin moved out of the realm of the Commission and into the courts. Perhaps that was where it belonged in the first place, I don’t know. Lund has now lost at the Alberta Court of Appeals level, where his complaint against Boissoin was dismissed in October. In 2009, Justice Earl Wilson of the Court of Queen’s Bench ruled the letter may have been “bewildering, puerile, nonsensical and insulting”, but did not in his view violate Alberta’s human rights legislation and did not expose lesbians and gay men to hatred or contempt as Lund contended. Lund had the right to appeal that ruling, and did so. Such appeals are always a gamble and he lost. Lund is now contemplating, along with his legal team, taking the case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which is the only legal option left following the Court of Appeals ruling. Lund believes the ruling “allows free reign to hate-mongers” and marks “a terrible day for the protection of basic rights” in Alberta. I believe he has a point. It’s a lot more honest a point than Boissoin’s apologists on the right who have couched this in terms of Boissoin being silenced by a ‘kangaroo court’ with no judicial power but, who then only quote the more innocuous elements of his vitriolic letter. Though I think the point has been made. The name ‘Stephen Boissoin’ is now synonymous, as was Keegstra’s in an earlier era, with bigotry and pure unadulterated willful ignorance. Lund, and us for that matter, have our pound of flesh. The Court of Appeals ruling may appear to vindicate Boissoin but if it does so, it does so only on a fine legal point; a point lost on most people. No matter what the judge’s decision was in this latest installment of the saga, Boissoin’s reputation is forever linked to being an anti-gay hatemonger with wacky views. As Laurie Aaron, a long-time Egale Board member, said at the time and I paraphrase - better to expose such views to the cleansing light of day, and have them heard and argued against, than silenced and sent underground. Even at the time when all I wanted to do as an individual and as a director of Egale was to shut Boissoin the hell up and make him go away, I had to agree with Aaron. Obscenities such as the Boissoin letter do need to be seen and to be seen for what they truly are; not opinion, and certainly not informed albeit unpopular opinion, but as the rants of a fringe element - and the way to combat such rants is by reasoned and thoughtful counterargument, not censorship. The risk in that, it can of course be argued, is it perpetuates the lies and misrepresentations and gives them a life they do not deserve. Fair enough. But at the end of the day, what has 11 years of litigation done? Kept the issue - and the lies - alive when they would have otherwise faded into the fetid darkness from whence they came years ago. Voltaire once wrote that he may disagree with what another says, but he would defend to the death that individual’s right to say it. And that was in the 18th Century during the French Revolution, a very dangerous time to speak one’s mind. You could literally lose your head for doing so. In the West, we no longer cut off people’s heads for expressing unwelcome views. Nor should we silence them, tempting as that may be, for there lies the way to anarchy.

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#Faggot – Twittered Millions of Times By Evan Kayne Since early July, “Dyke” has been used on Twitter almost half a million times, while “No Homo”, “So Gay” and “Faggot” have a combined total of almost 6 million occurrences. This according to a mirror website set up by the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS). Aside from shock value, why do we need to know these numbers? Kristopher Wells from the iSMSS explains they set up the site because they needed to build off research done from the University of Winnipeg and EGALE on the National School Climate Survey. Along with work done from American and British LGBT organizations, it was discovered how pervasive homophobic language is in our schools and that toxic school climates are created because of the use of said language. “So for example, the EGALE study showed that 70% of LGBTQ Youth are hearing phrases like That’s so gay everyday in their schools. 10% of the time they’re coming from the teachers themselves.” Therefore, iSMSS “... wanted to design a project that would call attention to the issue of casual homophobia.” That project – www.nohomophobes. com – is a social mirror tracking (in real time) casual homophobia used in the Twittersphere. When the results first started coming in, Kristopher was shocked. “I thought we might get a couple hundred a day...not in the tens of thousands. It also puts a face to this casual homophobia and quantifies it. “Having over 3 million tweets of the word Faggot since we started testing the website on July 5 is pretty clear evidence this is a pervasive and serious issue in our society. I think that’s what really shocked people; the sheer magnitude and volume of this kind of language.” As for why Twitter, this form of social media was chosen because the iSMSS knows that in Canada the majority of perpetrators of hate crimes are youth. Who uses social media a lot? Youth. “When we look at the demographic of who’s online and especially who’s using Twitter it is largely composed of young people.” Admittedly, the website does not qualify how the word is being used. The Tweets are reposted as they appear with no review. This could mean some instances are positive tweets of the words used (“Dykes on Bikes are awesome!”) or are instances of people reclaiming the words in a positive way (“I am so gay and so sexy”). Unfortunately, as you watch the real time tweets scroll past you, those types of comments are few and far between. “We really let the website speak for itself...we don’t do any sort of analysis... this is just real people in real time and it’s up to the viewer to make a determination of the language that we’re seeing.” As you watch the comments, Kristopher says the vast majority is not reclaimed language – it’s not coming from the LGBT community. However, many of these people tweeting, if confronted with their words, would say they don’t mean it in a hurtful way (and in some cases they would add that they have gay friends).

This isn’t how it’s perceived by our community; this language, Kristopher says, creates a negative, toxic culture for LGBT folk as it prevents people from coming out and being themselves. “Words have the power to hurt...we’re asking people through this website to think before they speak, think before they tweet and take responsibility for the language that you use and don’t use these words as shorthand for something that is stupid, or is wrong, or is bad.” The study is limited to those four words – it doesn’t cover other slurs or profane words. The study had to be limited, Kristopher says, and even then they had to use exact words - “fag” was not included because in some parts of the world it’s slang for cigarette. “I’ve had dozens of emails from individuals/ groups/ organizations from all over the world who’ve asked us about adding other slurs. Things like retard, bitch, rape and tranny and all of these other kinds of derogatory language that’s in widespread use. But that wasn’t the intent of our project. It is narrow in focus. There’s always a challenge of, are you too narrow in your (project) scope or are you too broad?” However, based on the global reaction to this website – they’ve had over 430,000 unique visitors from all over the world, they’re getting media coverage nationally, internationally and of course in LGBT media – the folks at the iSMSS hit a nerve. On a positive note, the team behind the site recognized this has inspired people to use social media in innovative ways for public education, which is what happened here. This project wasn’t meant as a solution to everything – it was meant to start the conversation and get people thinking of how they use this type of derogatory language. Putting aside those who are being deliberately malicious, many of the people twittering these words may not know the history and the power they carry. It’s just a “taboo” word used for attention or used to strongly punctuate language. Yet it comes at the cost of someone else’s self-esteem. will continue tracking the use of these words, and in the Edmonton area they are promoting the site with transit ads, posters, and a commercial (which will be out the end of November). The posters themselves are very stark and simple – one of the four words on a black background with a QR code/ smart tag (which, when scanned takes you to the website). If anyone from Calgary or other places wishe to help promote the site with the downloadable posters, they should contact the iSMSS.

No Homophobes Project

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



Trans Depathologization By Mercedes Allen There is a rejuvenated movement to have trans diagnoses removed from mental health classification, under the belief that if transsexuality were no longer considered a mental illness (in the way that happened with homosexuality was in 1973), that it will lead to the level of acceptance that gay men and lesbians have attained. This is something that has to happen. But if not done with care and consideration, it could become more chaotic than it needs to be, and burn more people than necessary in the process. Here’s why, and what can minimize this. There is no doubt that there is a need for change. Some of this is optics: as long as the public thinks of transsexuality as mental illness, it provides seeming justification for creating roadblocks, denying employment, denying housing, blocking access to services, blocking access to health care funding, and more. Throw a rock in the air, and you’re sure to hit any of thousands of right-wing commentaries that use mental health classification as reason to oppose even basic human rights inclusion for trans people. But it’s not just optics. Pathologizing diagnoses are sometimes used to adversely affect custody of children, employment, access to support services, participation in the (US) military and more. There are many tangible instances where this classification becomes a roadblock. Unlike when homosexuality was declassified from mental health arenas, transsexed people do have very specific medical needs (such as genital reassignment surgery, mastectomies and hysterectomies for trans men, tracheal shave, facial hair removal and breast augmentation for trans women). And if depathologization isn’t addressed with the greatest of care, the result on access to trans health care could be disastrous. Before declassification can be done, an alternate medical model that does not depend on a mental health diagnosis needs to be developed and established, so that existing medical access for people in transition would not be compromised or lost. Here are some things that are risked in simply removing classification: • Funding. In most public and private health insurance structures, a medical code is required to justify the paying out of money for surgical and non-surgical health procedures and services. So public and private health funding of sex reassignment surgery (GRS/SRS) are vulnerable. Insurers


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

see them as “cosmetic” procedures, and switching to an elective medical model will only reinforce that perception. Other trans-related procedures and treatments could conceivably be affected as well. Not all of these are funded in all areas, and in fact, some regions go to great lengths to deny funding for any or all of these things. But some do, and they could be compromised if GID / GD is simply declassified, with no contingency plan. Moreover, delisting would significantly hamper the potential to gain funding from insurers that don’t currently cover trans health. • Access. Simply put, if there’s no categorization, a doctor doesn’t have any obligation to care. If there is a medical classification in some form, there is an obligation to provide care, or at least not stand in the way of it. The existing situation provides us some recourse when access issues occur. Further, many surgeons and doctors may not be willing to take on trans patients under a personal elective system, because of fears that we’d change our minds and sue. The existing 1-to-indefinite year of therapy process has provided a comfortable barrier against legal liability. How many medical professionals would simply walk away rather than accept that new risk to help trans people - especially with any obligation to treat removed from the equation? • Identification correction and citizenship. Given that many regions also require a change of physical sex in order to change major identity documents, financial and access barriers to trans-related procedures also extends the time before legal and social enfranchisement is attained. It shouldn’t be that way (and has been fixed in a couple fortunate jurisdictions), but it is. • Counseling. There’s also some need for caution about taking psychiatry entirely out of the equation. Transition does bring with it some emotional upheavals, particularly related to associated stigmas (which won’t simply be gone when transsexuality is no longer considered mental illness) and challenges (unaccepting families, depression from things like job loss, etc). • As twisted as it has been, the existence of a medical classification has provided a form of validation, even if the specific application also invalidates. It has forced people to acknowledge that we exist. The problem is that validation has focused on what’s in our heads

rather than on what we’re actually bringing into alignment, which is our body. But regardless of the mistaken focus, this validation has helped to push for legal support. Just as easy as it is to find right-wingers pointing to the mental health classification as a reason to disparage, you can also throw a rock and randomly hit a reference used to justify and defend. Having a classification grounded in physical health treatment would help avert these risks, but doing so is a greater challenge than many believe. Before a reclassification outside mental health can occur, a cause needs to be ascertained, and diagnosable criteria defined. Is transsexuality congenital? Would classification as “Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities” (Q50-Q56) be just as stigmatizing and warrant yet another future change? Recategorization is not yet feasible, although there have been many intriguing research avenues found in biological sciences which call for more study. Convincing the medical profession to move a categorization when they believe that the current model is workable in their eyes (even if not perfect) is difficult, especially if the alternatives are not yet conclusively proven or causes defined tangibly. Something that helps but complicates the question at the same time is the fact that diagnosis is not treatment. While the two are connected, and affect each other, addressing a diagnosis does not necessarily change the existing treatment processes, other than to sometimes inject confusion into the equation. If GID were listed tomorrow, there would still be people who seek counselling to deal with their sense of feeling out of place, and believing that changing their mind is easier than changing the body. There would also still be people coerced or forced into treatment, especially youth, who are often not given any personal agency of their own. And it would take time for medical professionals to become aware of this change, let alone warm to it. One such concern is that if GID were dropped from medical classification while Transvestic Fetish (TF) remained, this would open up the possibility that for anyone who crosses paths with the mental health system (and possibly the health system overall), TF could become a diagnosis of choice. This classification puts an emphasis on the clothes one wears, and implies a sexual motivation (which are besides the point and inaccurate, respectively), but it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how those who are adverse to transitioning people would take advantage of the existence of a TF-style classification and its exclusive status... and weaponize it. Rather than depathologize, the result could be a far more damaging pathology. The discussion also says a lot about the way we think about mental health, and the idea that “mental illness” is anathema. The movement to depathologize is based on a shallow understanding of what a diagnosis means, let alone a mental health one. The assumption, of course, is that a mental health condition either automatically means insanity or else is a figment of a person’s imagination. The stigma trans people face is more rooted in the public belief about what constitutes “normal” than anything that’s actually in the diagnosis itself, and that societal obsession with normativity won’t change just by reclassifying or declassifying anything. In a way, the underlying motive is an injustice to the many people who are diagnosed with depression, autism, bipolar or social anxiety conditions, addictions, ADD / ADHD and more, some of whom travel in trans communities as well. And it can easily translate to horizontal violence, if people choose to ignore this fact. Change never comes easy. There appears to always be some turmoil, at which point, society has to adjust, and figure out how to deal with it. The question, then, is this: is society at a place where it’s ready to do so? Are we at a place

yet where the benefits outweigh the price that will be paid? And have we adequately thought about ways to minimize the harm between points A and B? I’m not satisfied that this is the case, especially when one looks at the question globally. In some parts of the world, even what we have now is a hard sell. Problems are easy to point out. Solutions, usually not so much. There is a possible solution, here, albeit one that doesn’t neatly solve everything. Most of the risks outlined above hinge upon the existence of a medical category. There is an apparent need for one, but that categorization does not have to be a mental health diagnosis. If the focus were on asking the World Health Organization to actively and urgently investigate the development of an alternate category in a way that would make transition not dependent on a mental health diagnosis, this would be a very different article. This solution doesn’t address the point about the way we think about mental health. That would take a changing of hearts and minds, starting with our own. But it is a solution. And it could be do-able, in a way that is compatible with requests to delist while keeping medical services available in the same way as other medical procedures - pregnancy is the example mentioned in one petition. Pregnancy is covered at length in Chapter XV of the ICD, in classifications O00-O99: “Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium.” Just in case anyone was wondering.

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Gossip he thinks a monster dowry is going to derail his daughter’s sexual orientation. And if Cohen’s got all of his own screws locked down tightly, this comedy might perform better at the box office than The Dictator. The negotiations begin here. Ezra Miller joins the cast of Madame Bovary It’s been a decade or so since the last of the umpteen adaptations of Madame Bovary, which means, clearly, that it was time for a fresh one. And come on, you know you can’t get enough of this stuff, especially when the production values and creative care taken are as impeccable as period films have been delivering lately. This one’s coming from French-born (and raised everywhere else) filmmaker Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls) and stars Mia Wasikoswka (already an old hand at the corset thing from all that time she spent blowing you away in the excellent Jane Eyre) and Paul Giamatti. The project also features new queer heartthrob Ezra Miller, the 20-year-old star of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and We Need To Talk About Kevin. If you don’t know him yet, you will; the young actor recently chose the pages of Out magazine to get all that annoying future speculation out of the way by announcing his sexual orientation before it turned into an elephant in the room, which is pretty much the new standard of How To Do It Right. Cut to the chase and get back to work! Hannibal wants to eat your spare TV-viewing time Remember that Munsters reboot called Mockingbird Lane from cool queer creator Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies)? Well, it might not be happening now. Hollywood is weird that way. Why put something interesting on the air when another bland family sitcom will do just as well in the ratings and offend practically nobody? But don’t cry for Fuller. He’s got Hannibal and it’s a done deal. The new show, detailing the serial gourmet cannibal’s early years, stars hot Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale), Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Kids in The Hall alum Scott Thompson and Caroline Dhavernas (who starred on Fuller’s earlier oddity Wonderfalls). The plan is for Hannibal to arrive on NBC’s midseason schedule, eating up the time slot left by the fresh corpse of a something cancelled. Bring on the fava beans. Anglophilia is the new black

 Sacha Baron Cohen photo by Paramount Pictures

Deep Inside Hollywood Sacha Baron Cohen is not The Lesbian By Romeo San Vicente It’s not just Law & Order episodes; movie plots are ripped from the headlines, too. For example, remember the recent Internet buzz about Cecil Chao, the Hong Kong billionaire who offered $65 million to any man who could woo his perfectly happy and partnered adult lesbian daughter away from that partner and that happiness? Well Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen thinks it’s got the makings of comedy. And he’s right, of course; it does. Tentatively tiled The Lesbian, the project will most likely star Cohen as the entitled Big Daddy and, in better news, not in a simultaneous dual role as the lesbian. Obviously, satirizing the “good intentions” of a man who thinks money can buy anything will offend a small segment of the population for whom homosexuality is a character flaw to be eradicated, but who cares? Mr. Chao must have a screw loose if 28

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

You know who you are: the queer person addicted to everything that comes from that tiny country across the channel from France. Well, you’re in luck, because a bumper crop of culture is coming your way sooner than you can say AbFab. Here’s the rundown: Julian Fellowes has a Downton Abbey prequel in the works, a series that would detail the early years of the title-rich and cash-poor Earl of Grantham and his convenient romance with new-money-having American heiress Cora, one that bloomed into affectionate lifelong marriage (with occasional lapses in judgment re: outside sex). Meanwhile, the original queens of What Not To Wear, charismatic presenters Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, are re-teaming for Trinny and Susanna: Inside Out. It’s another style makeover show, obviously, but what else do you want from these two, cooking tips? And finally, perhaps best of all, Stephen Fry, who should be considered a gay cultural treasure no matter which side of the Atlantic you’re on, is the subject of a documentary titled Wagner & Me. Coming later this fall from director Patrick McGrady, it’s the story of Fry – who is Jewish – and his life-long enthusiasm for composer Richard Wagner. That’s right, the Wagner Hitler loved so much. How does that work? Well, you’ll just have to watch it, won’t you? Romeo San Vicente would marry Lord Grantham even if he were a coal miner.

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Cocktail Chatter Dill-Vodka Martini

By Ed Sikov When we left our hero, he had just ruined yet another dinner party with a rare but deadly combination of bad memory and gracious seasonal taste. I had made dill-infused vodka and served it to a good friend who, I’d forgotten, had auditioned for the role of Dill in the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird and, having not gotten the part, has spent the rest of his life in mortal dread of the very word dill, let alone the herb it signifies. I mentioned that the dilled vodka was delicious, and I gave instructions on how to make it, but the following weekend’s (shall we say) full-throated reception of the cocktails I made from it was so overwhelmingly positive I’ve actually decided to expand on the recipe and offer one particular suggestion for a cocktail to make with it. I acknowledge that I’m not the world’s most humble human being; I can be quite a blowhard sometimes. But I must say plainly and simply that dill-infused vodka is by far the best drink I’ve ever made, and it was greeted as such by our housemates last weekend. They polished off practically the whole fifth in less than an hour. I barely had enough to experiment with, and I wanted to create a martini-like cocktail using the infusion as the base. I snatched the bottle right out of Craig’s pudgy fist to get the last ounce before he gulped it down. “Heyyyyyy!” he whined. “Hay is for horses, dear,” I clucked. “How many times must I tell you? What would Princess Grace say if you were at the palace and said ‘hey’ at the dinner table?” “Outa my way, Letitia!” Craig side-butted me and sent me flying into the refrigerator. He attempted to grab the vodka bottle but I held firm. “Oh, why are you such a douchebag?” “Douchebag?” I said it as though I was a Harvard anthropologist quoting another anthropologist’s study of self-reporting users of vulgarities in Appalachia. “I simply want enough to try a recipe….” “Which you naturally will drink yourself,” Craig batted back. ‘OK, fine. Have it your way. You always do. What’s Dr. Mengele’s experiment this weekend?” “A variation on the martini….” “A Dill-Tini! Wait, no. A Dill-a-Tini! Or for you a Dill-aTante-Tini!” I was putting my concentration toward measuring a tiny amount of dry vermouth, not Craig’s chatter, so I didn’t hear Dan and Paolo and Chipper come into the room. Their sudden barks of laughter caught me off guard and I nearly dropped the shot glass. “You know that I hate those stupid ‘tini’ suffixes,” I said huffily. “I’m not inventing the best cocktail of my career only to ruin it with a dumbass name.” “So what are you calling this masterpiece, Dr. Goebbels?” “The 57.” “I live with this,” Dan said to no one in particular.

The 57 1 fifth Absolut premium vodka 1 bunch dill, washed and dried dry vermouth to taste cornichon for garnish Make the infusion: stick the dill in the vodka, leave it alone for two days, then remove it; this is easy to do if you leave the stems sticking out the top of the bottle and cover it all with plastic wrap. Put the cap back on and stick the bottle in the freezer. Make the 57s: Just make a vodka martini according to your own taste using the dill infusion and dry vermouth; I like a 4-1 ratio. Rinse a few cornichons under water and dry them on paper towels; drop a few into your finished drinks and serve. “I’ll bite,” said Chipper. “Why?” “It’s an homage to the Heinz pickle. The garni is a cornichon or two. Dill? Pickle? Dill? Pickle? Get it? Heinz 57?” “We’re so lucky to have you in our lives,” I wish somebody had said. But they all turned and went their separate ways. I downed the tiny 57 and felt just fine.

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Out of Town Columbus, Ohio

By Andrew Collins As a gay destination, Columbus has increasingly earned cred as one of the coolest and most welcoming cities in the Midwest. Progressive and prosperous, it’s home to several outstanding art galleries, a handful hip and historic neighborhoods with visible LGBT populations, and one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the country, Ohio State University. More recently, it’s become a hot culinary destination, with a seemingly endless parade of young, creative chefs and restaurateurs - and even some artisan brewers and distillers - generating plenty of buzz. Columbus ( for tourism information) lies within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population and has a major airport minutes from downtown. The metro region covers a large area, most of it encircled by I-270. But most key points of interest fall within a rectangle that extends from just south of downtown, where you’ll find charming German Village, to several miles north of downtown, past the trendy and quite gay Short North neighborhood to the campus of Ohio State University. The most prominent exception is the world-famous Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, about a 20-minute drive north of the city center, and well-worth the detour - it’s a pretty incredible place. Downtown is home to the handsome Ohio Statehouse, which is surrounded by a burgeoning theater district. From Capitol Square,


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

Broad Street leads west to Ohio’s Center of Science & Industry, which overlooks the Scioto River, a picturesque waterway fringed by attractively landscaped parks. Head east on Broad to reach the superb Columbus Museum, known for its modern American and German expressionism collections, and beyond that the gentrified neighborhood of Bexley, where you can explore one of the most impressive botanical gardens in the country, the Franklin Park Conservatory. Extending just beyond downtown’s upper edge is the Short North, whose century-old redbrick architecture supports a dynamic arts community, dozens of cool indie shops, a bounty of notable eateries and cafés, and a number of gay-owned businesses. In these parts you’ll also find evidence of the city’s fervent embrace of artisan beverages, including Middle West Spirits (, a partly gay-owned producer of exceptional whiskey and flavored vodkas, and Brothers Drake Meadery (, which turns out distinctive mead wines made from honey. Continue north of the Short North along High Street, and you’ll reach Ohio State University, a virtual city in itself. Tours are available of this immense campus. One must-see is the respected Wexner Center for the Arts, a frequent host of provocative (sometimes GLBTrelevant) exhibits and events. German Village, just south of downtown, fell into disrepair in the middle of the 20th century. In the face of plans to demolish much of the neighborhood, concerned residents created the largest privately funded historical foundation in the nation and preserved this 233acre haven of cobbled lanes, wrought-iron fences, flower gardens, redbrick cottages, and stately homes. Providing some greenery, the Huntington Gardens in beautifully landscaped Schiller Park blooms with perennials from spring through fall. The city’s superb restaurant scene has become known among adventurous eaters as one of the best in the Midwest. Right in German Village, there are several great options, such as Barcelona (, a snazzy and fun Mediterranean restaurant with a queer-trendy following. Whether for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or dessert, do not miss Pistacia Vera (pistaciavera. com), a gorgeous bakery and coffeehouse serving stunningly colorful yuzu-pink guava, black raspberry, and other French-style macarons, plus delicious quiches and croque monsieurs. Also try Katzinger’s Deli (, which has long been renowned for its massive sandwiches and wonderful soups and cheesecakes, and the dapper pizzeria, Harvest ( - try the delicious pie topped with chevre, sopressata, basil, and cherry tomatoes.

122 (, a romantic and modern spot that fuses Latin American and Mediterranean cuisine; de Novo Bistro (denovobistro. com), an elegant venue that’s ideal for dining before or after a show at one of the nearby theaters; and hipster-favored Double Happiness (, a late-night favorite in the Brewery District known for swish cocktails, fun people-watching, and tantalizingly tasty yakitori. Columbus has always had plenty of fun gay bars, including a number of friendly neighborhood spots, although quite a few establishments have come and gone over the years. In the heart of the Short North, Axis ( is the city’s hottest and hippest gay disco, with a nice-size dance floor, an intimate (though often packed) upstairs lounge, and some of the best drag shows around. The same owners run nearby Union Station (, a handsome and festive gay bar and restaurant, caters to a smart-dressed bunch of lesbians and gay men. Other Short North bar options include the relatively new and tony Level Dining Lounge (, a lively and colorful space known both for eating and drinking, and Exile Columbus (exilebar. com), a dark and steamy place that caters to leather dudes, bears, fetish fans, and guys on the make - rather randy and hot dancers perform here, too. Downtown’s Wall Street ( is a spacious women’s club that’s especially appreciated for its theme nights, which feature everything from drag to stand-up comedy. And in the Brewery District, Club Diversity ( is a welcoming martini bar, cabaret, and theater with a steady lineup of engaging entertainment. Among the mellower locals’ hangouts, military-inspired AWOL Bar ( has memorable drag shows, friendly Cavan Irish Pub ( serves Guinness and Harp and is a favorite for karaoke on Tuesdays, and Club 20 pulls in mixed LGBT crowd up in Clintonville. If you’re looking for a hip and intimate hotel, try The Lofts (55lofts. com), a sophisticated boutique property that’s adjacent to and run by the much larger Crowne Plaza ( It’s on the edge of the Arena District and occupies a historic 1882 warehouse. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick, sleek customdesigned beds and furnishings, and bathroom walls decorated with actual New York City subway tiles. Downtown’s Westin Columbus ( is a National Historic Landmark that’s been fully restored to its 19th-century splendor - it’s arguably the cushiest lodging option in town.

In the Short North, a romantic gay-popular eatery that excels in contemporary and classic French cooking, L’Antibes ( employs a polished yet friendly staff. Loosen your belt to sample rich and exquisitely prepared fare like beef short ribs with black truffle potatoes and shiitake mushroom ragout. Check out campy and fun Betty’s ( for contemporary renditions of traditional comfort food (with Asian and Latin influences) and excellent microbrew beers and fun cocktails. Casual, affordable Tasi ( doles out fresh and creative breakfast and lunch fare, and airy and light-filled Northstar Cafe ( serves food all day, but is especially renowned for breakfast and brunch.

Rooms are large and comfy at the Hyatt Regency (columbusregency., and just around the corner, the moderately priced Hampton Inn & Suites ( sits right in the southern end of the Short North and is also an excellent option. And by the Ohio Statehouse, the stylish and upscale Renaissance Columbus ( is a favorite of business travelers.

Bodega ( is a diverting, lively restaurant specializing in tapas (the garlic fries with spicy tomato aioli are hard to resist). For exceptional coffee, stop by Impero (imperocoffee. com), a first-rate artisan café. A bit farther north in up-and-coming Clintonville, Sage American Bistro ( serves innovative mod-American cuisine and has a fun happy hour; and Alana’s Food & Wine ( has become well-regarded for some of the most interesting, globally inspired fare in the city.

There are also a few charming B&Bs close to the Short North and popular with gay and lesbian visitors. Occupying a lavishly restored redbrick Victorian house, 50 Lincoln-Short North B&B ( has seven warmly furnished rooms. Also quite charming, Harrison House B&B ( is nearby in the historic Victorian Village area. This stunning 1890 Queen Anne mansion contains four high-ceilinged rooms with fine antiques. Either property offers guests an introduction to Columbus’s rich history, charming architecture, and warm hospitality, all of which combine to make this one of the country’s most inviting gay destinations.

Browse the wonderful stalls at North Market (northmarket. com), which is usually swarming with foodies, including plenty of attractive lesbians and gay guys. It’s the original home of the beloved ice cream shop, Jeni’s (, which has developed a roster of truly unusual flavors (consider goat cheese with sour cherries, or sweet corn-black raspberry) and now has several shops around the city.

The gay-owned German Village Guesthouse ( is one of the most elegant accommodations in the city, offering smartly decorated rooms and suites in two historic buildings steps from great restaurants and bars. It’s an ideal option if you’re seeking the intimacy of a small inn but the privacy and independence of a private apartment.

From here, you can continue south into downtown to find plenty of other intriguing dining options, including gay-favorite Sidebar

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Magic Mika

Pop star talks new album, coming out and stripping down to his underwear  Mika by Alex de Mora

By Chris Azzopardi After years of speculation, Mika has finally confirmed it: He’s gay. Totally queer. One-hundred percent into men. Now, moving on: The British performer’s third album, The Origin of Love, is Mika’s most self-reflective work, from opening up about his sexuality to the ebb and flow of love and the bullies that he fended off as a child. He even looks more GQ than Toys R Us kid these days. Mika caught up with us to chat about whether he’s over talking about being gay (he’s not), his female alter egos and how tight jeans help with the high notes. GC: So, you’re gay. Are you sick of talking about that yet? M: (Laughs) The question before was, “Are you gay?” Now the question everywhere I go is, “What’s it like being a 29-year-old who’s gay?” It never irritated me, and it’s never something that has bothered me, so I’m not sick of it. It’s not essential to understanding my music, but I guess if you want to understand me as a real person – as a person with facets and different angles – then it is important. So no, I’m all right with it, and I’m still answering those questions. It certainly didn’t make them go away. If anything it’s becoming even more a theme for conversation in interviews. GC: How do you respond to people when they ask you what it’s like to be gay? M: I’m like, “What do you want me to say to that?” There are so many inappropriate things I could answer back. (Laughs) I’m like, “It’s not a color of a jacket that I chose that day.” It’s how I’ve always been programmed. It’s my brain. It’s part of 32

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

who I am. I don’t really know how to answer that. I’m like, “Well, what’s it like for you to have brown hair?” GC: Do you think the public is too concerned about celebrities’ personal lives? M: I don’t know if the public is too concerned. I think that at the end of the day, let’s face it, it’s a choice; anyone who says that every celebrity or public person doesn’t have a choice is insane. For many years I always said I’m not hiding my sexuality; it’s innately a part of what I do and what I’ve always done in my music, but whether I label myself or not, that is my personal choice and I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I did frustrate people and have to deal with the consequences of those choices, just like I have to deal with the consequences of labeling myself at this point in time. But the reason I was comfortable to label myself is because it was a decision I made on my own. I did it from a position of joy and confidence, and I felt like it was the right time. There was nothing negative, or no pressure, associated with the process or act of labeling myself as gay. GC: For years, you were considered bisexual after you were misquoted, as you’ve said, in a Netherlands magazine. Why didn’t you ever come forward and clear that up? M: What am I supposed to say: “No, I’m not bisexual”? If I’m gonna talk about, I’ll leave it until I talk about my sexuality in an open, confident and unpressured way. Again, I made that decision, that right to take time and do things at my own pace. And I was like, “When I deal with this, I’ll deal with this properly. There’s no point dealing with something in a small way; when I do it, I have to do it in a positive way.”

It’s not a negative thing. Whatever it is, it’s not negative. If you zoom out and look at it with perspective, there’s no part of this that’s negative, because it’s a developing story. I’m 29 and I’m probably going to be a different person when I’m 33, so maybe we’ll be having a conversation then about sexuality or the politics of sexuality, and I may have completely different things to say about it. But all I know is that I’m happy and totally comfortable with my sexuality, and I can talk about it and say I’m not the 13-year-old who was looking at himself in the mirror and thinking, “How the hell am I gonna shake this sense of fear or pressure that I feel? Is there a way out?” So when I did the interview with Instinct recently, quite honestly I was a little nervous – but I wasn’t fearful. That’s why I knew it was the right thing to do. I said to myself, “Talk as if you’re talking to this 13-year-old who doesn’t know how to get out of how he’s feeling right now.” GC: You’re 29? You seem so much younger. M: There is a naive childishness to my music. Even with this new record, which is definitely an evolution, it is more mature, but it’s still got this sense of mischief. There is that sense of youth. It’s essential to always be able to look at stuff in life in awe; if you know you can be in awe, or be awed by something, you know that you’re alive. I guess people can sometimes misunderstand that for childishness, because often it’s children who stand there with their mouth open, but I guess I’m very comfortable standing there looking at things with my mouth open … being in awe. (Laughs) If an extremely beautiful person is walking down the street, I’ll just stand there and stare and they’ll think I’m the biggest psycho in the world.

I also can’t say I know many adults who dance around their bedroom in just underwear. (Laughs) And on the one hand, I’m fully aware that in that video (for “We Are Golden”), there are moments of it where I look ridiculous, like in a bad way, and there are moments where I look great. It’s the combination of those two things that I’m fine with. I quite like it. GC: You don’t mind looking a little ridiculous? M: Sometimes. As long as you can look hot a minute later. (Laughs) GC: You sampled a Wicked tune for your song “Popular” off the new album – a song that’s directed toward bullies. Can you explain the process of writing that? M: I wrote it with a friend of mine called Priscilla Renea; she’s becoming really well known for writing a lot of urban and hip-hop stuff. She’s actually the one singing on it with me. We were sitting there and I was like, “Do you know that melody from the Wicked song ‘Popular’?” And she completely geeked out and I burst out laughing. I was like, “Listen to you. You walk around in your three-inchlong fake nails and you write raps and hooks on hardcore rap songs. Does anyone know you like Wicked?” And we laughed about it. She was tortured in school. She was made to feel like shit every day. And we were laughing how the people who write pop songs are often the least popular growing up. It’s that bizarre thing: You end up writing something that is innately popular or designed to be popular. So it started off like that. We wrote it as a conversation. I would say some things and she would answer back. I guess we were both thinking of that horrible feeling you get when you walk across the schoolyard. Bizarrely, I still feel that sometimes when I’m put in certain situations – that schoolyard mentality comes right back. Isn’t it weird? I can feel threatened sometimes, but when I’m onstage – no matter who I’m singing in front of – I

 Mika by Mark Cant

Continued on Next Page 

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


 From Previous Page feel like that’s my boxing ring and I have nothing to fear, and everything to say. I guess that’s where I found my outlet. GC: So, Elphaba or Glinda? M: Elphaba is too soppy. I don’t feel sorry for her and her greenness. Like, she’s green – tough shit, get over it. (Laughs) I actually do find her really irritating. Gotta be honest. And when she sings “Defying Gravity,” I’m like, OK, big deal. GC: What’s the highest note you can sing? M: It depends on the day and other various factors: altitude and whether I drank the night before. And it depends on the tightness of my jeans. GC: The tighter the better, right? M: The tighter the better. Always. GC: Is the namesake on the song “Emily” an alter ego of yours? M: It actually kind of is. I have various pen names, because I write for other people and sometimes it’s easier when no one knows who’s written or co-written the song. So I have this little fleet of girls’ first names that I write under. One of them got discovered and it’s out, but I’ve got a few others that are still nice and safe. GC: How does your boyfriend play into The Origin of Love? M: On the record you can hear a horrific breakup, you can hear me questioning myself and going on dates with other people, and then you can hear me finally finding love in the person who I was originally with – you see this transition through the record. I think for him, it’s a record with a happy ending – well, for both of us – but it’s definitely something that I think he sees a lot of truth in. As funny as it may seem, and as flippant and ironic as it may come across, “Love You When I’m Drunk” was written completely from truth.


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

GC: There’s no question that a lot of your songs have radio potential, but they’re often overlooked by American radio. Do you think that has anything to do with you being gay or your songs being flamboyant? M: I was accidentally copied on an email a couple of years ago, and it was from a person at radio saying that they wouldn’t play “Love Today” because it sounded like a guy who was singing in the range of a girl. I immediately assumed this had to do with sexuality or identity and I got really angry, and then I just was like, “You know what, it’s not; that’s just an excuse. It cannot be a reason.” I may just be naive, but I don’t know – it cannot be the reason. Maybe I’m just being a dick and I should take a reality pill, but if I took that reality pill then maybe I wouldn’t have made this last record, and I think that would’ve been a shame. With that said, I wanted to tour America again and (the label) was like, “Let’s do three shows and see how it goes.” So we put the three shows on sale and they sold out in 52 seconds – all three shows sold out in 52 seconds! I can sell shows in America when I haven’t been there in four years and I haven’t had a single played on radio. I can keep on building my niche and my fans are faithful and I don’t have to compromise any part of myself or my writing. If that’s the case, then I’ll keep going.

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 Chris Crocker photos by Charles Quiles

Crocker Bares All

GC: How does one go from pleading for everyone to Leave Britney Alone! to launching his own porn company? CC: I was 19 when that video came out. I’m 24, turning 25 now. As my HBO documentary (Me At The Zoo) pointed out, I’ve used film as an emotional outlet for years. I’ve filmed myself being crazy, having fun, crying… Filming myself having sex is just an extension of what I already do. GC: Why was the video such a phenomenon?

CC: I think the video was just straight from the heart and it made people uncomfortable. They didn’t know whether to laugh at it or to take it seriously. They just knew to watch. I also think me being an effeminate male crying over a woman added to the interest. GC: How have you grown in the last five years? CC: I’ve shifted my interests quite a bit. I went from crying over pop stars to becoming one. I’ve sold nearly 100,000 songs on iTunes. GC: You also butched up. CC: It was a natural evolution. I felt the change coming on inside of me and wanted to act on it. It wasn’t a calculated decision to distance myself from my old persona. I simply felt new inside. GC: How does porn titan fit in with your new image? CC: I probably would have done porn even if my look never changed. Now that I’m sexy, I’m more socially acceptable. GC: How will your website stand out from all the others? CC: It will star me! I’m going to be filming real life sex with people in a very true-to-life way. I don’t jerk off to porn that seems contrived. Guys want real porn and that’s what they’ll get from me. No glossiness, just real sex.

By Joseph Norman Chris Crocker, best known for his tearful Youtube plead to “Leave Britney Alone!”, is the newest gay-lebrity to dive into the murky waters of gay porn. He recently announced a deal with OLB Media (the porn company behind,, Straightmen. com,, and to create, develop, and manage his own adult site, – premiering later this winter. His first film, a hardcore bareback sex scene Chris filmed with ex-boyfriend Justin Goble, is available for download now at

Continued on Next Page  GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


 From Previous Page

 Chris Crocker by Charles Quiles

GC: The porn business isn’t only about porn. Business is important too. CC: If there’s anything I’m good at, it’s business. People don’t realize how much it takes to stay afloat in the entertainment industry. I run my Youtube channel, manage my music, my films, and now my porn. The number one thing for me is to be interesting while also being 100% true to myself. GC: Are there any CEOs of porn that you look up to? CC: I admire everyone in the porn industry who’s managed to take a controversial career choice, run with it and lead happy, successful lives. It takes a lot of self awareness to push past the social stigmas and everyday eye rolls. GC: How do you envision expanding on your brand? CC: The great thing about my brand is that it isn’t one thing. I dabble in YouTube videos, music, porn and even a new indie film I’m starring in next year. There will always be new ventures for me. I think expansion is limitless. GC: You’re being criticized already for promoting bareback sex in your films. What’s your response? CC: I see the complaints. I don’t necessarily disagree with them but at the same time, I represent myself; not the community. I’m not a role model because I don’t play a role. GC: But as a public persona, do you not feel a responsibility to promote safe sex among your audience – many of whom are young gay men? CC: As I said, I answer to myself. Lots of people are public figures. The public shouldn’t assume that just because someone receives attention, they’re fit to be a moral compass. I do promote safety to youth. I was in a relationship with the guy in the video so I didn’t wear a condom. GC: What about the other guys in the video? CC: I’ve known them for years. GC: How do today’s young gay men feel about AIDS/HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases? CC: I can’t speak for all young gay men. It is obviously a huge fear and I can’t say everyone always uses protection. I just know I do with any hook-ups I have off-camera. GC: Why not on camera? CC: Again, I knew the people and the situation. GC: You just announced that you broke up with your boyfriend. Are you currently looking for love? CC: I think the worst way to find love is by looking. I’m still going through a lot emotionally with the break-up, so my eyes aren’t on anyone right now. Though I am a sucker for pretty eyes. GC: Where are you in your life right now? CC: I am in the process of moving back to Los Angeles with my best friend. School is on the agenda at some point. GC: Where do you see yourself in five years? CC: I have no clue. I only hope I’m happy. GC: You came to Britney’s support. Do you think she would support your decision to do porn? CC: Probably not. Judging from her X Factor audition clips, she seems easily weirded out by people. But I don’t need her approval or anyone else’s. I’m my own idol now. Chris Crocker’s first adult film is available for download now at

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

Gurrrl Talk With Kathy Griffin Comedy queen dishes on her favorite divas, a naked Anderson Cooper and what she’d do if she were president

 Photos by Bravo

By Chris Azzopardi For a good chunk of Kathy Griffin’s run, the spitfire comedian’s touted herself as a washed-up celebrity who nobody really cares about. Her career says otherwise. Griffin’s rips on the Hollywood elite – and Snooki – have opened up a world of opportunities: My Life on the D-List, her Bravo talk show, a book deal, sold-out concerts and a relationship with Anderson Cooper that we could only dream of. The woman who likes to take on everyone else takes on herself in our completely ridiculous interview. Griffin gives tips on making fun of her, presents her plan for running this country if she were president and admits that she sometimes forgets how funny she is. GC: Who’s your favorite person to make fun of at the moment? KG: I’m gonna go with Demi Lovato because she seems to have no sense of humor about herself and she has a rather checkered past, and that is a great combination. And she changes the color of her ponytail almost daily. Sometimes it’s blue, sometimes it’s pink – I like that stuff. GC: Who’s in your ideal threesome? KG: I’m like that straight girl that wants my gay friends to experiment with heterosexuality for the first time with me, so my threesome is gonna be two gay guys I know I could never have: Jonathan Knight from “New Kids” and Lance Bass. GC: No Anderson Cooper? Would that be weird?

KG: Not for me! GC: Which women are in your binder? KG: My binder is chock-full of women. It’s overflowing with women. My binder is filled with Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Suze Orman, Marlo Thomas and lots of young, smart, aspiring chicks: Olivia Munn, Scarlett Johansson, Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington – the girls that seem to have a few brain cells working. You know what’s weird? Somehow I also found room for Oprah. She was in the final flap. GC: Go-to karaoke song? KG: “No Scrubs” by TLC. It’s always a crowd-pleaser. And “Waterfalls” can be so pensive. GC: Say you have a magical power, what would it be and how would you use it? KG: That’s easy. It would be to make people more openminded, because of course, this being election year, I feel like we’re somehow turning back the clock. As far as LGBT rights are concerned, we’re sort of going forward, but as far as women’s rights and a lot of issues that are on the ticket, we’re kind of living out a bad episode of Mad Men. So, it would just be the power to say to the United States of America, “Calm down, girl.” And I would spell it g-u-r-r-r-l. Because I feel like when people get upset about whether gay people should be able to get married or women should make equal wages, they have these nonsensical and illogical reasons for why they are opposed to

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 From Previous Page these things, so I would just like to collectively say, “Calm down, gurrrl. We’re all gonna be fine. It’s OK to have a little progress.” GC: We already know everyone in Hollywood is scared of you. KG: Good. GC: How could someone be successful at making fun of you? KG: Oh god. It’s so easy. I mean, obviously things have rolled off my tongue and fallen out of my mouth that are cringe-worthy, so things I’ve said. You could make fun of me for – god, a myriad of things. I’m, like, neurotic. You can always make fun of my mom – that’s throwing her under the bus a bit, but I never get tired of it. You could make fun of my Catholic upbringing and how it went so horribly wrong. My love life is usually in shambles, too. It’s open season on my life. GC: What’s your favorite cuss word?


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

KG: Fuck, for sure. I love fuck. I love everything about it. I love that it can be a noun or a verb. I love that you can be getting fucked and it can be a bad thing or a good thing. I love that “what the fuck?” is now a part of the lexicon, even on a news channel. I love everything about fucking, unless it leads to any physical discomfort or any chaffing. GC: Or a baby? KG: No thanks. I’m not in favor of that. GC: How does your mother, Maggie, feel about your use of that word? KG: My mother says this thing. This is so ridiculous. She says “feck,” and that’s an Irish thing. It’s an old Irish-Catholic thing where they think if you say “feck” it’s like a clean way of saying fuck. My mother also says “whoo-re” because she thinks she’s fooling you, so if she’s going to call one of the Kardashians a whore, which she might if she has enough wine in her, she will

say, “Look at those whoores,” and think she’s fooling you. And maybe if you’re from a suburb of Dublin you’ll get that reference; my mom is not afraid to make a reference from the turn of the century – the last one. GC: If you were president, what would you promise the people of the United States? KG: I would promise – well, actually, I don’t know how I would promise it because, good luck with Congress. But I would fire them. I would fire Congress and hire all Lady Gaga backup dancers; if they can get through that show, they can run a country. I would run the country in a way that makes sense. I feel like we’re all waiting for that politician to say something that makes sense and they’re all so scared to say something like, “Yes, we should all have equal civil rights. Yes, men and women are equal. Yes, LGBT people are equal. We shouldn’t practice tolerance; we should practice actual kindness.” How about that, fuckers? That would be my campaign slogan: How about that, fuckers? It would be the Hey Gurrrl campaign of 2016. I would actually resign and I would appoint Suze Orman as president, which has never happened before. You’ve never actually had someone say, “Well, thank you for electing me,” but the more I think about it there is someone a little better for the job and her name is Suze Orman. GC: Please describe, in detail, Anderson Cooper naked. KG: He’s creamy and dreamy. He’s as pale as I am, muscular and his eyes are just as blue naked as they are with clothes on. GC: What makes you cry? KG: Honestly, I can cry at a fucking commercial. It takes almost nothing to make me cry. Like, if I see those frickin’ ASPCA PSA commercials for the dog shelters, I don’t even need to hear the Sarah McLachlan song; even if I just see the images, I will start sobbing and I will then grab my own rescue dogs, who, by the way, have zero appreciation for the fact that they are fucking rich. I’ll cry at Olympic commercials, too. And I love a slow clap. I don’t even like sports, but I will cry if there’s a sports movie and the guy with one leg gets a touchdown or a basket. GC: If you could turn back time like Cher, what experience would you want to relive all over again? KG: You know what’s funny, I was actually thinking of turning back time and going back to the ship with Cher and putting her back in the outfit from the “Turn Back Time” video. There’s so many I would relive again. My great times with the divas: time I actually got to spend with Bette Midler, Joan Rivers, Cher, Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem and Gloria Vanderbilt (Anderson Cooper’s mom). I just love those gals, and I know you guys do too, and you get them and you love them and you support them. It’s something that’s the most important thing to me. GC: Big spoon, little spoon? KG: Little spoon. GC: Author, TV host, singer, public pap smearing – what’s left?

KG: Look, I am so excited about the Kathy talk show on Bravo. We’re coming back on Jan. 10. I hope we stay on; I think we’ll stay on. I am so looking forward to the guests. Last year I did a show with Jimmy Kimmel and two gays; I did a show with Jane Fonda, Lisa Ling and Sharon Osbourne. I love the combinations of people and mixing them with the topics that we’re talking about around the water cooler – that is really what I’m looking forward to most. I’m still kind of working on the Kathy show, seeing what works about it and what you respond to, so that’s still a work in progress that I’m really excited about. GC: Who do you most want on your talk show when it returns for a second season? KG: You know, it’s not about most; it’s more about who’s going to have fun doing it. We’re talking to everybody on the planet and all these unusual combos of people and seeing who’s going to be in Los Angeles. I joke that I am bored with anybody under 80, because my dream talk show would be my mom, Gloria Vanderbilt and, you know, Jackie Collins. (Laughs) I guess there are some people under 75 who are interesting; I’m just looking for them. Of course I’d love to have Cher on the show. I’d love to have Anderson on again; he’s so much fun. I’ve also been talking to (Kristin) Chenoweth and Megan Mullally and her husband Nick Offerman (who plays Ron Swanson on the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation). All these people are just great. The type of person who’s just game for anything is my dream guest. GC: Who should play you in your biopic? KG: The vain part of me wants Christina Hendricks, but it could end up being Andy Dick. GC: Song you love most on Taylor Swift’s new album? KG: Well, obviously the break-up song (“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”) because there’s something so hilarious to me that she’s writing a really silly, fun, insipid song about Jake Gyllenhaal while he’s promoting his shaved-head, gritty, South-Central L.A. crime movie. There’s something funny about a split screen of a clip from that movie and then a split screen of Taylor singing, “Never, ever, ever, like I am never going out with you, like never. Don’t even call Jake Gyllenhaal. I’m serious this time. It’s me, Taylor.” Look, if she didn’t get crabs from John Mayer, then she’s gonna live a long, safe life. GC: Finish this: When I see myself on TV, I… KG: I watch myself saying a joke that I forgot I said. There’s so much material that sometimes when I watch the special later I’ll say something and I’ll think, “Oh, I forgot I said this. That’s kind of a funny joke.” So there: When I watch myself on TV, I think, “She’s funny!”

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Out Destination Las Vegas

 Mandalay Bay - miX Restaurant

By Joey Amato What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…unless you’re a journalist and have to write about it! My first trip back to Sin City in over 12 years proved to be a memorable one. Not only was I surprised by its enormity, but I was also shocked to see how upscale and chic the city has become. 40-story glass towers line the strip from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere. New hotels are everywhere, from the gigantic City Center compound to my residence for the stay, THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. Guests entering THEhotel are greeted by a modern, minimalistic lobby, quite uncommon when compared to the


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

opulent Chihuly-lined ceiling of the Bellagio. The all-suite property boasts large guest rooms with separate living spaces, relaxing soaking baths, walk-in showers and luxury linens throughout, not to mention sweeping views of the Las Vegas skyline. One of the most majestic parts of THEhotel is miX. The rooftop restaurant and ultra-lounge decorated with hundreds of Murano glass spheres is quite a site. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide the best view of the strip and a 15-foot glass cellar holds approximately 7,000 bottles of wine from around the world.

Diners can taste a variety of dishes including miX specialties: Spicy Crab Salad with guacamole, heart of palm & cilantro; Pepper Crusted Bison tenderloin with glazed vegetable and black pepper sauce; and Roasted Maine lobster “Au Curry” with coconut basmati rice. miX was one of Michael Jackson’s favorite places to visit in the city and you will see why. For a more ethnic meal, head to Border Grill, a delightful Mexican restaurant operated by Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of the Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales.” The twostory cantina offers some of the best Mexicaninspired flavors in Vegas. I recommend sipping a few margaritas while enjoying Quinoa Fritters, Peruvian Ceviche and fresh Border Guacamole, which was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. THEhotel is located within walking distance to Crystals at City Center, the magnificent indoor shopping mall where you will find everything from Bulgari and Christian Dior to Paul Smith and Versace.

Make sure you bring your American Express! Directly across the street from City Center is the Cosmopolitan, one of the newest hotels to open in Vegas. One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to The Chandelier, a breathtaking bar that is almost too majestic to describe in words. The three-story venue, located in the center of the casino is one of the most beautifully designed spaces I have ever seen. Las Vegas is all about entertainment and what better way to start the Vegas experience than with a visit to Le Rêve – The Dream at Wynn Las Vegas. The Franco Dragone production is an aquatic spectacle featuring synchronized swimmers, aerialists and a multi-million dollar stage design. Every seat in Le Rêve’s circular theatre is 40 feet or less from the stage as to provide guests with a wonderful visual experience. Begin the next day with a hearty breakfast at Serendipity 3, located at Caesar’s Palace. The New York-based restaurant offers supersized portions ranging from Crab Cakes

 Le Rêve - The Dream at Wynn Las Vegas (Photo by Tomasz Rossa)

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 From Previous Page Benedict, to The Hangover Omelet and Egg White Shrimp Frittata. Try one of Serendipity’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolates or their popular Lookie Lookie Gimme Cookie Sundae, both are customer favorites. Walk off breakfast inside The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, a shopping, dining and entertainment mecca featuring over 160 boutiques, 13 restaurants and a menagerie of Roman fountains, sculptures and art. Or if relaxation is desired, head to Qua Baths & Spa where guests can enjoy Roman baths, an herbal steam room and even an Arctic Ice room, where the 55˚ temperatures provide instant stress relief. Massage treatments range from traditional Thai to Hot Stone with Aromatherapy and Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi, an experience based on Hawaiian concepts of working with the body, mind and spirit. Those looking to catch some rays while gazing at the hottest eye candy on the strip should visit Temptation Sundays. The weekly LGBT pool party at the Luxor is the place to see and be seen. For a unique experience, rent a private cabana, located just steps away from the pool, where servers will be at your beck and call to provide you with delicious piña coladas, strawberry daiquiris or signature mixed cocktails. For dinner, head to Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. One of the most unique items on the menu is the Kurobuta Pork Belly served with braised swiss chard, candied kumquat

and cauliflower puree. For a lighter starter, begin with the Shellfish Platter complete with tiger prawns, king crab, oysters, clams, and lobster served with champagne mignonette, citrus soy and cocktail sauces. Of course the highlight of Steak is the prime beef, dry aged for a minimum of 28 days in a Himalayan salt room. A Gordon Ramsey staple is Roasted Beef Wellington, a delicious selection accompanied by glazed root vegetables, potato puree, and red wine demi-glace. For sides, try the Mushroom Tart with pearl onions, green beans and mushroom cream or the savory Mac & Cheese made with blue, cheddar and parmesan cheeses. Finally, no visit to Las Vegas would be complete without experiencing Frank Marino’s Diva’s Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace. Frank, who recently celebrated his 1,000th Diva’s show, is the city’s longest running headliner. Dressed as the wonderful and glamorous Joan Rivers, Frank leads the crowd through a divalicious performance by some of the world’s greatest female impersonators, not to mention about a dozen wardrobe changes. Highlights of the show include the wonderful Tina Turner, Cher, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and of course, Madonna. Frank and the ladies leave the crowd wanting more as the show draws to a close. In true Las Vegas fashion, Frank generously takes the time to meet every audience member who attended the performance and donates a portion of merchandise proceeds to local charities. As my fabulous Vegas vacation draws to a close, I am already planning my next visit as there is something about the glitz and glamour of the city that always draws me back.

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

Stripping Down to the Stud By Rodney McMann Out designers Voon Lai and Jonathan Cheng met through friends six years ago. They became fast friends when they discovered a mutual interest in fashion design. In 2009, they founded Stud as a lifestyle sports brand that would fill a niche between the bland big brands and the overtly sexual smaller labels. “We saw potential in offering exuberant and energetic gear with a commercial appeal,” explains Voon Lai. From the start, Stud enjoyed a successful run in Asia. Then, in 2011, the brand hit the world stage with its Winner Takes All line. The collection was heralded for its spirited interpretation of the modern athlete. It was quickly followed with this summer’s “Of Uth and Brothers”. Produced in a striking color palette of blues, reds, purple and yellow and featuring bold messages such as “Wear It Proud” and “Made with Pride”, the summer collection struck a chord with young athletes and wanna-be jocks who aimed to add a bit of flair beneath their sports uniforms. This winter, Lai and Cheng are up at bat again with a brand new Stud line they’re calling We/Are/Stud. The theme for the latest collection is masculinity, available now at Are you man enough? GC: Why celebrate masculinity? VL: We believe masculinity is a big part of what the modern man is about. GC: Yet these are designer briefs. Wouldn’t you agree that anything ‘designer’ leans toward a feminine sensibility? VL: Even burly guys will wear designer briefs if they’re made to look masculine.

 Voon Lai (left) and Jonathan Cheng (right)

GC: The winter collection features a new version of Stud’s popular Wear It Proud brief. What does Wear It Proud mean to you? VL: It’s a declaration to be comfortable with who you are. Even more than that - be proud of who you are. Whether it’s your sexuality, background, ethnicity, belief, or principle: own it and love it. GC: Isn’t pride a bad thing? It’s among the seven deadly sins. VL: On the contrary, we regard pride as highly noble! Before you can learn to love others and the world around you, you have to love yourself. How can that be a bad thing?

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


GC: What are you most proud of? VL: Without a doubt, we are most proud of what we have achieved with Stud. The road was not an easy one. Two seasons ago, Stud was a tiny, unknown Malaysian brand. We tried so hard to break into North America and Europe. We are happy and grateful that Stud can now be found in stores all around the world and online at It would not have been possible without some amazing people; in particular, Nir Zilberman of the Man Trends Agency. GC: Does living in a Muslim country inspire your creations or stifle them? VL: It certainly cuts both ways. The conditions can be stifling to creativity and ambition. But we find that we thrive with challenge. It fuels us to work harder. GC: How are conditions in Malaysia today? VL: Much like all of Asia, Malaysia is very cosmopolitan and advanced with beautiful, shiny buildings. But in terms of societal openness, we still lag behind other Asian countries. GC: Are you optimistic that times are changing for the better? VL: It is important to always be optimistic and hopeful. GC: Which briefs in Stud’s winter 2013 collection are getting the most attention? VL: There has been a great response to the strong military influence in the collection. Metal buckles, buttons and pocket details have been worked into our signature denim collection. GC: The City Degrees line has also been heralded. VL: It is our take on the nations trend in briefs. The country flag thing has been done to death. We thought printing latitude and longitude coordinates would be more original and fun. GC: What cities are represented in the line? VL: New York, Los Angeles, Rio, Mykonos, Tokyo… GC: Do you have a favorite city degree? VL: We have two. 3’ 15 North, 101’ 71 East points to Kuala Lumpur, where Stud was born. Despite everything, we have to be proud of our roots and not forget where we come from. The


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

other would be 34’ 3 North, 118’ 14 West. It is the coordinates of Los Angeles where Stud has its second home. Our showroom is right in the center of West Hollywood. GC: Who is the model featured in the campaign? VL: His name is Felipe Otto Izing. He’s from Brazil. GC: You mean 43° 21’ West? VL: (Laughing) Exactly. GC: How does Felipe represent Stud? VL: Besides the fact that he has a great look and a hot body? He has a terrific attitude! Felipe loves sports. He surfs, plays basketball, and skateboards. He embodies what STUD is about; he’s athletic with a sunny disposition. He’s fresh and loves life! We enjoy working with Felipe so much that we have booked him for two seasons now. GC: What is the significance of the ‘S Flash’ on some of the waistbands in the new collection? VL: The ‘S’ stands for Stud. GC: They have a superhero look. VL: Jonathan and I have loved Marvel and DC comics since we were boys. I think every boy wanted to be a superhero at some point. Whether it was Batman, Spiderman, or Wolverine. We wanted to reflect that boyhood fascination in some of the briefs. GC: How do you want guys to regard Stud? VL: We want Stud to be a brand guys can relate to. It doesn’t matter if you are straight, gay, white, black, Latino or Asian, Stud is about celebrating diversity, individuality and having pride in yourself. GC: What’s next? VL: We are launching our complete sportswear line this Spring– finally! We are very excited about it as the sports collection will be an extension of our ideology and it will bring Stud to an even wider audience, completing the vision that we have had from the beginning.

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GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



He followed the reparative steps, first abstaining from sex for six months, then forcing himself to engage in intimacy with women. Of course, it didn’t work. But it’s a road Solo says he had to travel and if nothing else, it eventually led him to discover his true self. He sings about it in his new single, Brand New Dime, out this month.

GC: One would think a man who obviously won the looks lottery would love being gay. RS: There is too much emphasis on physical aesthetics in our community. While I admit that I, too, am a great admirer of it, I think our community would be stronger if we appreciated more than what meets the eye. GC: Why did a break-up make you want to give up on men? RS: I freaked out. I’m monogamous by nature and I guess I couldn’t

understand why a guy who was willing to put so much into making his relationships work was being dumped all the time. I started to think maybe I was being punished.

GC: What made you think reparative therapy was the solution? RS: I stumbled across reparative therapy online. I read about ex-

gays who were in long-term relationships with women. I thought I should try it.

GC: Why did reparative therapy not work for you? RS: Because Roberto and Roberta are not the same. It was about my

sixth month into abstinence when I ran into a guy I had been with in the past and I became all flushed with fever. Even after all the mental programming exercises I had done, I never felt this way with a girl.

 Photos by Michele Martinoli

Flying Solo

Raph Solo Shines By Revealing Past Struggles By Joseph Gerbino On paper – and in the pages of the many European magazines he frequently appears in – Raph Solo seems to have it all: good looks, a successful recording career, and oh yes, his killer body. However, as an artist whose music often reflects his life’s journey, Solo has been open about his many struggles. He recently revealed how he underwent reparative therapy in an attempt to cure his homosexuality. It was after he lost the man of his dreams. Solo says he felt hopeless and questioned if it was even possible for a man to find love with another man. He wondered if maybe it might be easier to find it with a woman.


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

GC: Do you think reparative therapy can work for anyone? RS: I can only speak for myself. It didn’t work for me. GC: What would you say to a gay man who wishes to try turning

himself straight?

RS: If you need to find out for yourself who you really are, follow your heart. Just don’t forget that God loves you the way you are and you don’t have to do anything that doesn’t feel right for you. GC: What’s next? RS: I am recording my next album in the studio later this year. There

is also a book in the pipeline, my memoirs, where I will talk about my relationships openly and candidly.

GC: You are someone who likes to share and bare all. RS: It’s important to share your experiences. It might make someone

else’s life – someone dealing with similar issues - a little easier. You never know who you might help along the way.

Raph Solo’s album FINALLY featuring “Brand New Dime” is available on iTunes. Follow Raph Solo on Twitter at

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

Photography ISCWR - Hocus Poke-Us at the Mercury Room, Edmonton AB courtesy of B&J

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Photography Kinky Night at Quincy’s, Calgary

ISCCA - Howling with the Highnesses at the Texas Lounge

ISCCA - BS at The Backlot, Calgary


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

Photography ARGRA’s Pirate and Princess Party

Halloweem 2012 at the Backlot and Texas Lounge, Calgary

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Photography Cowboys Nightclub First Drag Show, Calgary AB


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

Directory & Events 24


43 41 37

59 34

2 33





5 6




1 2 3 5 6

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

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


GayCalgary 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. ......... 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!

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

Bars & Clubs 3 Backlot---------------------------------- ✰  209 - 10th Ave SW  403-265-5211  Open 7 days a week, 2pm-close

Calgary Eagle Inc. (CLOSED)

 424a - 8th Ave SE

Club Sapien (CLOSED)

 1140 10th Ave SW


 1742 - 10th Ave SW 5 Texas Lounge------------------------------ ✰  308 - 17 Ave SW  403-229-0911   Open 7 days a week, 11am-close 33 Twisted Element--------------------------- ✰  1006 - 11th Ave SW  403-802-0230  Dance Club and Lounge.

58 Theatre Junction--------------------- Theatre 59 East Village Bistro------------Bars and Clubs

59 East Village Bistro  2nd floor, 610 - 8 Avenue SE Restaurant and lounge.

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

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

Alberta Society for Kink

 403-398-9968   group.albertasocietyforkink

Apollo Calgary - Friends in Sports

  A volunteer operated, non-profit organization serving primarily members of the LGBT communities but open to all members of all communities. Primary focus is to provide members with well-organized and fun sporting events and other activities.

• Western Cup 31


Browse our complete directory of over 650 gay-frieindly listings!

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


LGBT Community Directory

✰....... Find our Magazine Here

35 36 37 41 43

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Directory & Events Calgary Events

Curling-------------------------  2:20 & 4:30pm


Lesbian Seniors---------------------------  2pm


Buddy Night-------------------------  6pm-6am At 6 Goliaths

 Kerby Center, Sunshine Room 1133 7th Ave SW

 3rd

Uniform Night-----------------------  6pm-6am

ASK Meet and Greet----------------  7-9:30pm  Bonasera (1204 Edmonton Tr. NE)

Yoga-----------------------------  7:40-9:15pm Tuesdays

Lesbian Meetup Group-------------  7:30-9pm  1st

Student Night------------------------  6pm-6am At 6 Goliaths

Between Men--------------------------- 7-9pm See 1 Calgary Outlink

 2nd, 4th

Bootcamp---------------------------  7-8:30pm See

Apollo Calgary

Karaoke------------------------------  8pm-1am At 5 Texas Lounge

Fetish Slosh----------------------------  Evening At 3 Backlot

 2nd

Alcoholics Anonymous--------------------  8pm  Hillhurst United Church (Gym Entrance) 1227 Kensington Close NW

Apollo Calgary

At 1 Calgary Outlink

 1st

Alcoholics Anonymous--------------------  8pm  Hillhurst United Church (Gym Entrance) 1227 Kensington Close NW

Karaoke--------------------------------  Evening At 3 Backlot

Communion Service-----------------  12:10pm Knox United Church

Pool Night-----------------------------  Evening At 59 Village Bistro with

Prime Timers Calgary

Student Night------------------------  6pm-6am At 6 Goliaths

Mosaic Youth Group--------------------  7-9pm  Old Y Centre (223 12th Ave SW)



Deer Park United Church Scarboro United Church

Sunday Services---------------------  10:45am See

Hillhurst United Church

Worship Services------------------------- 11am See

Knox United Church

New Directions-------------------------- 7-9pm See 1 Calgary Outlink

 3rd

Heading Out----------------------- 8pm-10pm See 1 Calgary Outlink

 4th


Apollo Calgary

Alcoholics Anonymous--------------------  8pm  Hillhurst United Church (Gym Entrance) 1227 Kensington Close NW Saturdays

Running-----------------------------------  9am By


Coffee------------------------------------ 10am By Prime Timers Calgary  Midtown Co-op (1130 - 11th Ave SW)

Swim Practice (June)-------------------  5-6pm

East Doors (directly off the Bow river pathway). Distances vary from 8 km - 15 km. Runners from 6 minutes/mile to 9+ minute miles.

• Boot Camp

• Slow Pitch


• Squash

• Bowling (Rainbow Riders League)  Let’s Bowl (2916 5th Avenue NE) 

 Mount Royal University Recreation  All skill levels welcome.

• Curling

• Tennis

 North Hill Curling Club (1201 - 2 Street NW) 

• Golf


• Lawn Bowling


• Outdoor Pursuits

 If it’s done outdoors, we do it. Volunteer led events all summer and winter. Hiking, camping, biking, skiing, snow shoeing, etc. Sign up at to get updates on the sport you like. We’re always looking for people to lead events.

• Running (Calgary Frontrunners)  YMCA Eau Claire (4th St, 1st Ave SW) 


Saturday, November 24th

Women Only Upstairs-----------------  All Day At 3 Backlot

Sunday, November 25th

25th Anniversary----------------------  All Day At 5 Texas Lounge and 6 Goliaths Saturday, December 1st

Women’s Volleyball----------------  7-8:30pm See

At 3 Backlot At 3 Backlot

Sunday, December 2nd

Toys 4 Tots------------------------------- 2-6pm

Apollo Calgary

Saturday, December 8th

Christmas Celebration--------------  6pm-2am By

ARGRA at 59 East Village Cafe

Xmas Silent Auction-------------------- 6-9pm By

Saturday, November 10th

Blue Nose Party-------------------------------9pm At 3 Backlot

ISCCA at 3 Backlot

Women Only Upstairs-----------------  All Day At 3 Backlot

Saturday, November 17th

Saturday, December 15th

Under the Sea---------------------  8pm-Close

Drag Show----------------------------  Evening

By ARGRA Arrata Opera Centre (1315 7 Str. SW)

Men Only Upstairs---------------------  All Day At 3 Backlot


ISCCA at 3 Backlot

Saturday, December 22nd

Men Only Upstairs---------------------  All Day At 3 Backlot

Sunday, November 18th

Transgender Day of Remembrance------  2pm  The Old Y (223 12 Ave SW)

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

 6020 - 4 Avenue NE 

 Platoon FX, 1351 Aviation Park NE 

ISCCA at 5 Texas Lounge

At 59 East Village Cafe

At 6 Goliaths

 Calgary Contd. • Badminton (Absolutely Smashing)


Men Only Upstairs---------------------  All Day

Rainbow Community Church

Flashlight Night---------------------  6pm-6am

 2nd


Church Service----------------------------  4pm

Apollo Calgary

Womynspace---------------------------- 7-9pm See 1 Calgary Outlink

Alberta Theatre Projects

World Aids Day Show--------------------  7pm


By Different Strokes  SAIT Pool (1301 - 16 Ave NW)

 1st


Int/Comp Volleyball----------- 12:15-1:45pm

Illusions-------------------------------  7-10pm See 1 Calgary Outlink

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Back in History Drag Show----------  9:15pm

Worship------------------------------  10:30am


Rec Volleyball--------------------------- 7-9pm

Wednesdays See



Thursday, November 22nd

Friday, November 23rd

Worship Time---------------------------- 10am

Bootcamp------------------------------- 7-8pm

See 1 Calgary Outlink

 Hillhurst United Church (Gym Entrance) 1227 Kensington Close NW

Swim Practice (June)------------  7:30-8:30pm

By Different Strokes  SAIT Pool (1301 - 16 Ave NW)

Calgary Networking Club-------------- 5-7pm

Alcoholics Anonymous--------------------  8pm Sundays

See 1 Calgary Outlink Apollo Calgary

Apollo Calgary

At 6 Goliaths

Inside Out Youth Group---------------- 7-9pm See



• Volleyball (Beach)


• Volleyball (Competitive) 

• Volleyball (Recreational) 

• Yoga

 Robin: 403-618-9642 

Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo Association (ARGRA)


• Monthly Dances------------------------------

• Calgary Lesbian Ladies Meet up Group • Between Men and Between Men Online • Heading Out • Illusions Calgary • Inside Out • New Directions • Womynspace

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---------------------------- ✰  Old Y Centre (303 – 223, 12 Ave SW)  403-234-8973  

• 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.

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


FairyTales Presentation Society

 403-244-1956  Alberta Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

• DVD Resource Library

Over a hundred titles to choose from. Annual membership is $10.

 Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association 1320 - 5th Avenue NW

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

Directory & Events  Calgary Contd. Gay Friends in Calgary

 Organizes and hosts social activities catered to the LGBT people and friends.

Girl Friends

 


Hillhurst United Church

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.

Lesbian Meetup Group

 Monthly events planned for Queer women over 18+ such as book clubs, games nights, movie nights, dinners out, and volunteering events.

Miscellaneous Youth Network


• Fake Mustache • Mosaic Youth Group

 A collaborative effort dedicated to building capacity and acting as a voice for the LGBTQ community, service providers, organizations and the community at large to address violence. For same-sex domestic violence information, resources and a link to our survey please see our website.

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  


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

• Coffee Night

 Good Earth Cafe (1502 - 11th Street SW)


 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


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.

 810 Edmonton Trail NE  403-290-1973 Cuts, Colour, Hilights.

14 FLASH-------------------------------------- ✰  10018 105 Street  780-938-2941 

Duncan’s Residential Cleaning

The Junction (CLOSED)

 Jim Duncan: 403-978-6600 Residential cleaning. Free estimates.

 10242 106th St

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

Lorne Doucette (CIR Realtors)

 403-461-9195 


MFM Communications

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

 403-543-6970  1-877-543-6970  Web site hosting and development. Computer hardware and software.

Community Groups Alberta Bears



Free and confidential HIV/AIDS and STI testing.

Unity Bowling

AltView Foundation

• Calgary Drop-in Centre

 Let’s Bowl (2916 - 5th Ave NE) 

 Room 117, 423 - 4th Ave SE  403-699-8216  Mon-Fri: 9am-12pm, Sat: 12:15pm-3:15pm

Wild Rose United Church

 1317-1st Street NW

• Centre of Hope

 Room 201, 420 - 9th Ave SE  403-410-1180  Mon-Fri: 1pm-5pm

“Yeah...What She Said!” Radio Show

 CJSW 90.9 FM 

• Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre

 1213 - 4th Str SW  403-955-6014  Sat-Thu: 4:15pm-7:45pm, Fri: Closed


• Safeworks Van

Calgary Eagle Inc. (CLOSED)

 The Old Y Centre (223 12th Ave SW) For queer and trans youth and their allies.

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

DevaDave Salon & Boutique

Safety Under the Rainbow

 1227 Kensington Close NW  (403) 283-1539  

Bars & Clubs

 403-777-9494 trial code 3500  Telephone classifieds and chat - 18+ ONLY.

 2nd Cup, Kensington



 GLBT legal services.

• Coffee Night


 403-797-6564

Queers on Campus---------------------

 279R Student Union Club Spaces, U of C  403-220-6394  Formerly GLASS - Gay/Lesbian Association of Students and Staff.

Club Sapien (CLOSED)

Theatre & Fine Arts

See Calgary - Bars and Clubs.


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

See Calgary - Bars and Clubs. 59 East Village Bistro  2nd floor, 610 - 8 Avenue SE Restaurant and lounge.

Adult Depot-----------------------------

 140, 58th Ave SW  403-258-2777 Gay, bi, straight video rentals and sex toys. 41 La Fleur------------------------------------  103 - 100 7th Avenue SW  403-266-1707 Florist and Flower Shop.

Buck Naked Boys Club

Camp fYrefly

AXIS Contemporary Art--------------------

 7-104 Dept. of Educational Policy Studies Faculty of Education, University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G5 



Jubilations Dinner Theatre

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

 107, 100 - 7 Ave SW 

Retail Stores

Book Worm’s Book Club

 Howard McBride Chapel of Chimes 10179 - 108 Street   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.

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

See Calgary - Bars and Clubs.

 #44, 48 Brentwood Blvd, Sherwood Park, AB  403-398-9968   For gender variant and sexual minorities.

 403-262-3356 

See Calgary - Community Groups.

Edmonton Pride Festival Society (EPFS) Edmonton Prime Timers

 Bow Trail and 37th St. SW  403-249-7799 

43 Lisa Heinricks (Artist)---------------------  Art Central, 100 7th Ave SW, lower level 

Edmonton Rainbow Business Association

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

 3379, 11215 Jasper Ave  780-429-5014  Primary focus is the provision of networking opportunities for LGBT owned or operated and LGBT-friendly businesses in the Edmonton region.

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

 5 The Junction  780-387-3343 


4 Edmonton STD  11111 Jasper Ave

 403-246-4134 (Rork Hilford)  Marriage Commissioner for Alberta (aka Justice of the Peace - JP), Marriage Officiant, Commissioner for Oaths.

58 Theatre Junction----------------------  Theatre Junction GRAND, 608 1st St. SW  403-205-2922  

 780-479-2038 

24 Courtney Aarbo (Barristers & Solicitors)  1138 Kensington Road NW  403-571-5120

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

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

 305 10th Street NW  Organic teas and tea ware.

 403-283-3555

16 Priape Calgary------------------------- ✰  1322 - 17 Ave SW  403-215-1800  Clothing and accessories. Adult toys, leather wear, movies and magazines. Gifts.

Services & Products Calgary Civil Marriage Centre

 727 - 42 Avenue SE  403-243-6642 

Edmonton Illusions Social Club

Edmonton Vocal Minority


GLBTQ Sage Bowling Club

 780-474-8240


HIV Network Of Edmonton Society----

 9702 111 Ave NW 


GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Directory & Events DOWNTOWN EDMONTON

11 6 12


4 14

4 Edmonton STD---------- Community Groups 6 Buddy’s Nite Club------------Bars and Clubs

Edmonton Events Boot Camp------------------------------ 7-8pm Team Edmonton

TTIQ------------------------------------- 7-9pm See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

 1st, 3rd

HIV Support Group--------------------- 7-9pm See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

 2nd

QH Youth Drop-in---------------------- 3-8pm See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

Martial Arts---------------------  7:30-8:30pm Team Edmonton

Swim Practice-------------------  7:30-8:30pm See

Team Edmonton

Martial Arts---------------------  7:30-8:30pm

Bowling-----------------------------------  5pm

Knotty Knitters-------------------------- 6-8pm

Intermediate Volleyball--------  7:30-9:30pm


QH Craft Night-------------------------- 6-8pm


See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

GLBTQ Bowling------------------  1:30-3:30pm GLBTQ Sage Bowling Club

QH Youth Drop-in---------------------- 3-8pm See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

Youth Sports/Recreation-----------------  4pm See 1 Youth Understanding Youth

See See

Team Edmonton Team Edmonton

Running------------------------------  10-11am See

Team Edmonton

QH Anime Night------------------------ 6-8pm

Men Talking with Pride---------------- 7-9pm

Movie Night----------------------------- 6-9pm

Ballroom Dancing--------------  7:30-8:30pm

QH Youth Drop-in---------------------- 3-8pm

Men’s Games Nights--------------  7-10:30pm

Monthly Meetings---------------------  2:30pm

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

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

QH Game Night------------------------ 6-8pm


Cycling---------------------------  6:30-7:30pm See

Team Edmonton

Yoga---------------------------------  7:30-8pm Team Edmonton

See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

Youth Understanding Youth

Swim Practice--------------------------- 7-8pm See

Team Edmonton

Women’s Social Circle------------------ 6-9pm See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

 2nd, 4th

Book Club-----------------------------  7:30pm See

See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton



See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

BookWorm’s Book Club

 3rd

See See

Men’s Games Nights

 2nd, Last

Youth Understanding Youth

Team Edmonton

See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton See

Team Edmonton

 Unitarian Church (10804 119th Street) See Edmonton Primetimers

 2nd

Friday, November 9th

Womospace Dance----------------------------8pm

Naturalist Gettogether See


Buck Naked Boys Club

 2nd

QH Youth Drop-in------------------  2-6:30pm See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

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

 2nd

By Womonspace  Bellevue Community Hall (7308 112 Ave NW) Friday, November 23rd

Crowns For Kids------------------------------9pm By

ISCWR at 14 Flash

Friday, December 14th

Miss Mary Christmas Pageant----------------9pm By

ISCWR at 14 Flash

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

 Tue-Fri 12pm-9pm, Sat 2pm-6:30pm We provide a safe, welcoming, and non-judgemental drop-in space, and offer support programs and resources for members of the GLBTQ community and for their families and friends.

• Queer HangOUT: Craft Night

• Counselling


Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose

 780.488.3234 Free, short-term counselling provided by registered counsellors.

Living Positive Society of Alberta

• HIV Support Group

• Women’s Social Circle

Provides healthy sexuality education for Edmonton’s LGBT community and support for those infected or affected by HIV.


 Student-run GLBTQ Alliance at MacEwan University. 

 #50, 9912 - 106 Street 780-423-3737  Living Positive through Positive Living.

Men’s Games Nights

 Unitarian Church (10804 119th Street)  780-474-8240 


 University of Alberta, basement of SUB   Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender/transsexual, Queer, Questioning and Straight-but-not-Narrow student group.

 10608 - 105 Ave  780-488-3234  


Team Edmonton

Yoga---------------------------------  2-3:30pm

 Edmonton Contd.

Pride Centre of Edmonton-------------


QH Youth Drop-in---------------------- 3-8pm

See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

Wednesdays See

Counseling----------------------  5:30-8:30pm




14 FLASH-------------------------Bars and Clubs

See 1 Pride Centre of Edmonton

Mondays See

11 Steamworks----------------------Bathhouses 12 Woody’s-----------------------Bars and Clubs

 Support and discussion group for gay men.

• Knotty Knitters

Come knit and socialize in a safe and accepting environment - all skill levels are welcome.

• Men Talking with Pride

 Support & social group for gay & bisexual men to discuss current issues.

• Movie Night

Movie Night is open to everyone! Come over and sit back, relax, and watch a movie with us.

• Queer HangOUT: Game Night

Come OUT and embrace your creative side in a safe space.

• Queer HangOUT: Anime Night

Come and watch ALL the anime until your heart is content. A support and information group for all those who fall under the transgender umbrella and their family or supporters.  Women’s Social Circle: A social support group for all female-identified persons over 18 years of age in the GLBT community - new members are always welcome.

Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton

 780-474-8240 

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 (Mixed)

 St. Thomas Moore School, 9610 165 Street  New group seeking male & female players.

• 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

 Garneau Elementary School 10925 - 87 Ave 

• Bowling (Northern Titans)

 Ed’s Rec Room (West Edmonton Mall)  $15.00 per person.

• Cross Country Skiing


Come OUT with your game face on and meet some awesome people through board game fun.

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

Directory & Events Red Deer Events Wednesdays

LGBT Coffee Night------------------------  7pm See


 1st

 Edmonton Contd. • Curling with Pride

• Volleyball, Intermediate

• Cycling (Edmonton Prideriders)

• Volleyball, Recreational

 Edmonton’s Queer Arts and Culture Festival.

• Dragon Boat (Flaming Dragons)

• Women’s Lacrosse

 10708 124th Street, Edmonton AB  780-453-2440 

 Granite Curling Club, 8620 107 Street NW   Dawson Park, picnic shelter 


 Mother Teresa School (9008 - 105 Ave) 

• Golf


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

• Gymnastics, Drop-in

• Yoga

 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


• Martial Arts

 15450 - 105 Ave (daycare entrance)  780-328-6414   Drop-ins welcome.

• Outdoor Pursuits


• Running (Arctic Frontrunners)

 Kinsmen Sports Centre  All genders and levels of runners and walkers are invited to join this free activity.

• Slo Pitch

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

• Snowballs V

 January 27-29, 2012  Skiing and Snowboarding Weekend.

• Soccer


• 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 (11762 - 106 Street)  

• Tennis

 Kinsmen Sports Centre  Sundays, 12pm-3pm 

• Ultimate Frisbee

 Sundays Summer Season starts July 12th  E-mail if interested.

Theatre & Fine Arts

 Amiskiwacy Academy (101 Airport Road) 

 Lion's Breath Yoga Studio (10350-124 Street) 

Exposure Festival

The Roxy Theatre

LETHBRIDGE Community Groups


 780-482-1794   Women’s social group, but all welcome at events.

Youth Understanding Youth

 780-248-1971  A support and social group for queer youth 12-25.

• Sports and Recreation

 Brendan: 780-488-3234 

Restaurants The Junction (Closed)----------------------

 10242 106th St

 780-756-5667

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

Retail Stores Passion Vault

 15239 - 111 Ave  780-930-1169  “Edmonton’s Classiest Adult Store”

Products & Services Cruiseline

 780-413-7122 trial code 3500  Telephone classifieds and chat - 18+ ONLY.

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.


 403-308-2893  Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Lethbridge and Area.

• 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

 1-888-530-6777  

Pride Lethbridge



• Film Night

Community Groups

 Bi-monthly, contact us for exact dates.

• Book Club

 Monthly, contact us for exact dates.



 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!

Central Alberta AIDS Network Society

 4611-50 Avenue, Red Deer, AB  The Central Alberta AIDS Network Society is the local charity responsible for HIV prevention and support in Central Alberta.

LGBTQ Education

  Red Deer (and area) now has a website designed to bring various LGBTQ friendly groups/individuals together for fun, and to promote acceptance in our communities.

Pride on Campus

 A group of LGBTQ persons and Allies at Red Deer College.

ALBERTA Community Groups Alberta Trans Support/Activities Group

 A nexus for transgendered persons, regardless of where they may be on the continuum.

Theatre & Fine Arts Alberta Ballet

 Frequent productions in Calgary and Edmonton.

CANADA Community Groups Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition

 P..O. Box 3043, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 3S9  (306) 955-5135  1-800-955-5129 

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, transidentified people and our families.

Products & Services Squirt

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

Theatre & Fine Arts Broadway Across Canada



 GLBT Television Station.

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Classifieds Event





Gay Talent Wanted

The Monthly Fetish Event is back! It began at Detour, moved to Boystown, and now it happens the 2nd Saturday of every month, Nov 10th & Dec 8th, at Quincy’s (607 7 Ave SW). Advance tickets $20 at Priape. Dress up and impress! Door prizes and more entertainment than you can shake a whip at! http://www.

Beauty & Mayhem Production Agency is are looking for Gay Talent to perform in Adult entertainment Productions. Call Pj @ 403 826 2670 E-mail:

The Fetish Slosh at the Backlot!

Saints N Sinners Adult DVD Toy Store is Open!!!

Come on down to the Backlot the 2nd Tuesday of every month for a no-cover Fetish party. Upcoming dates are November 13, December 11th, etc. You can dress up in Leather, Latex, cuffs, collars, or just your skivvies. Have the conversation you like without offending a vanilla in sight. The Backlot supports and promotes the alternative lifestyles of Calgary so feel free to express your KINK!



Welcoming the Gay Community to WILD BILLS DJ SERVICES

We supply music up to a total of 7 hours. • Music From 6pm to 1am. • Corded Microphone or Cordless • No embarrassment, private and very discreet • Lights included • 23 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS A DJ

Adult Oriented


Cowboys is seeking part-time staff, including: bartenders, bussers, bouncers, DJs, door staff, drag queens/kings, and other entertainment. Please contact Scarlet at 403-264-7111 ext. 288 for more info.


CJSW 90.9 FM Volunteer!!!


Saints N Sinners would like to welcome all of our friends in the Gay/Lesbian/TS community to come visit Calgary’s largest Adult Video, Toy and Lingerie store. We have the largest selection of Gay Adult DVDs in the city. We also carry the largest Lesbian and TS DVDs titles in stock. And check out the largest Toy selection for all your needs including poppers, creams and the best male enhancement pills. 1715 Centre Street NW • 403-460-8545

CJSW 90.9 FM is Calgary’s Campus and Community radio station, spinning only the best in underground music, showcasing stories and perspectives you won’t hear anywhere else, and connecting you to the Calgary Community. The best part? All of it is done by volunteers folks just like you. At CJSW, we’re proud of our commitment to diversity in our programming, and also in our volunteer base. CJSW is a welcoming environment that celebrates all kinds of people. If you’ve ever wanted to get started in radio, learn more about music, find out how to edit audio, and get experience that looks great on a resume, drop us a line. You’ll be signed up to attend an orientation, and from there you can help us keep CJSW awesome. E-mail Geneviève, our Office and Volunteer Coordinator at, or call (403) 220-3902 to find out more!

Sales / Rentals


Puerto Vallarta CONDO for Rent in Old Town (Romantic Zone) The Producer of The Great Canadian Male will be in Calgary to recruit models for our website. We are looking for Gay, Bi, Straight but Curious and First Timers between the ages of 19 - 50. Models will be selected to appear in future episodes on our website. Compensation is $300 per shoot. Obtain an application by email to applications@thegreatcanadianmale. com. You can call for further information Monday to Friday after 5 PM and any time on the weekends 403-536-6990. Interview slots will fill up quickly!

One bedroom, fully equipped condo in Old Town. Private balcony. A/C. Rooftop pool. Stunning views. Block from beach. Sacrifice 1400.00 mth. 400.00/wk rebuildingrome@ or 403-258-0131

Erotic Massage




Alberta Escort Listings

Check out for the Hot Escorts in Calgary, Edmonton, and the rest of Alberta. New Improved Features. Free to Post and Browse. Videos, Pics, and Reviews. Join Now! Code: GCEE

Products/Services 500 Drink Container Recycling I presently provide bottle pickup services for many local businesses. People with active lives have little time to do this. I am willing to help, I ask 50% for the service. I am hopeing to proqure 3 to 6 more local businesses. Home pickup can also be arranged. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Glen at 4038046471

CHURCH OF TECHNO – E-book Collection Esoteric/Fringe and Occult Library $50 for 1700 Ebooks – Easy Download Process- PDF format. Email: for info.

Marriage Ceremonies

Help Wanted Employment


Rork Hilford MC, Commissioner for Oaths. | 403246-4134


Sales Rep Wanted GayCalgary Magazine is looking for a part time sales rep. Income by commission, sales experience required. Duties include contacting new advertisers and maintaining existing customers. Contact Steve at

Best Erotic Male Massage In Calgary • Studio with free parking• Deep Tissue and Relaxation • Licensed, Professional • Video on website 403-680-0533

Do You Need a Computer Hero? On-site home and business computer service. 15yrs experience. Certified, insured, BBB member. GLBT Owned. Friendly & respectful service. Call 403-444-0700, Calgary & Area.

Ads starting at $10/mo. for the first 20 words. Submit yours at 60

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


Adult Depot Large selection of gay DVDs from $9.95, aromas and toys. Open Mon-Fri 12-11pm, Sat 12-6pm, closed Sundays and holidays.




Want to attract the LGBT local or traveler to your business?



Massage in Edmonton





Does your home or business need a professional cleaner? Steve is bonded/Insured. Flexible prices and brings all his own supplies. Steve is apart of the LGBT Community and has been cleaning for over 5 years in Calgary. http://www. (403)200-7384 www.

Premium organic medical marihuana shipped quickly, discreetly to your door. It’s not about special treatment. You can’t assume the LGBT person, or the straight person will follow the pack anymore. The LGBT market is becoming more and more aware of what organizations support them, and which ones don’t, ultimately sending them away from businesses and communities that do not recognize them or their lifestyle. Does your staff need LGBT sensitivity training? Want to attract the market but unsure how to proceed? Local, Domestic, International, We can assist. Check us out at, Email us at, Call us at 604-369-1472. Based in Alberta.

Registered Massage Therapist in downtown Edmonton. Relaxation and therapeutic massage. For appointment phone Dwayne at 780-483-3190 or 780-918-5856

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012



GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012

GayCalgary Magazine #109, November 2012


GayCalgary Magazine - November 2012  

In this edition. Interviews with Cory Lee, Dustin Lance Black, Jasmine Whenham, Misha Collins, Jason McCoy, Martha Wash, Traci Lords, Marti...

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