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Gay Living’s One Year Anniversary 2017 Pride Guide Man Crush

Frank Carter | 1

Gay Living TORONTO ISSUE #6 June 2017 / July 2017 GUEST EDITOR Dean Eskich


Dean Eskich

Brian Lawrence Greg Rola Sarah Nesbitt David Hawe




Andrew McArthur Joey Viola Sarah Nesbitt Shawn Brown Andre Goh Howard Dubrovsky

Ty Best


Frank Carter by DíAndre Michael

Gay Living Magazine Toronto is published 6 times per year


Alex Roberts Moov Marketing Group Inc. 1 855-310-7388 @moovmktg @GayLivingMedia 2 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

All Right Reserved

"The only name you need to know in real estate." (647) 545-8787 @SoldByMark | 3

Andrew McArthur Writer

It’s hard to see your baby grown up. Especially one that you can’t count on to ditch you when it turns eighteen, or at least one that will never be around once it gets its license. No, this baby will be with us for the long haul. In spite of all the growing pains, the arguments, the countless nights with no sleep (it’s 3:09 am as I write this), we can’t help but love our baby, Gay Living magazine. The brainchild of Alex Roberts, Gay Living began as an online community-based magazine. I signed on day one as wine writer thinking this would be an easy, fun, and low-pressure side gig. How naive I was. The online version quickly progressed and a print edition came to fruition summer 2016, just in time for Pride. Now one year old, Alex asked me to reflect upon the first year of Gay Living magazine. I’m still the alcohol reviewer, so as you can imagine, my memory is spotty - the hazard of the job. But I do recall some great moments, like the launch party that kicked off the first print edition. A staggering number of people came out to support this new venture and solidified Gay Livings acceptance within the community. The response since has been phenomenal. On January 20th, Degrassi star Adam Ruggiero hosted the first annual Queer Choice Awards, celebrating the very best of our community. The after party at Fly 2.0 served a dual purpose as a wrap-up of Queer Choice and as an official pre-White Party with beats spun by DJ Hector Fonseca. Back in October, Brent Everett became the first ever cover-boy of Gay Livings spinoff, fck. Where Gay Living is the magazine you read on your lunch break or riding the TTC, fck is the fetish and sex mag you read under the covers with a flashlight. The success of both publications is astounding and it’s owed to the tireless efforts of everyone involved. From writers to editors, graphic designers, photographers, ad sales, and more, it takes a passionate crew to keep an enterprise this big afloat. 4 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Our commitment and promise are to continuously improve our product for you, the reader. With each issue, with each Queer Choice award, we merely seek to give back to the community we count ourselves so lucky to be apart of. Leading up to Pride, be sure to check out our lounge in the village (check us out on Facebook for dates, times, location), chill with us, and tell us how we can improve Gay Living for you. Thank you, Church and Wellesley Village, the businesses, the people. Thank you, Toronto for inspiring us to work hours we loathe for a job we love. Thank you for being with us for one year and we look forward to being with you for many more.

Gay Living by the Numbers: 142k: monthly consumer reach 40.5k: followers on Social Media 21.6k: photos taken for ‘Get Caught’ 1,477: dollar value of wines and spirits reviewed 1,250: faces featured in ‘Get Caught’ 746: dollar value of spirits used for cocktail recipes 115: total pages of all Gay Living issues 47: average number of emails sent and received

by employees daily 19: queer choice categories 5: meetings I was late for due to hangover 5: number of drag performers featured in ‘Queen on Fire’ 3: styles of Andrew Christian underwear in Gay Living launch party swag bags 2: number of hotels reviewed 1: dog featured in ‘Get Caught’ 1: number of lap dances received at fck launch party at Remington’s Men of Steel

monTréAl 2017

canada pride AUGUST 10 - 20

t augus


nelly o d a t Fur ow h free s

Montréal is proud. #fierteMTL In PartnershIP wIth | 5

6 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Our Community

At the End of the Rainbow

Joey Viola

Resident Community Columnist @joeypurple This is Gay Living’s 2017 Pride issue! An entire publication devoted to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and the love we have for one another. While we count our blessings, we cannot forget the trials and tribulations we all continue to face for merely existing. We are a large, strong and (for the most part) united group of human beings, above anything else, and it’s important to relay that Pride will always be a human’s rights protest for the very liberties we possess today. Our fight is not over. As the saying goes:

“We’re here, We’re Queer, Get used to it!” It’s a lot easier said than done, however. All across the globe, including right here in Canada, Queer people are being harassed, abused, and assaulted. Our brothers and sisters are being disowned by families and even murdered - some more than others as Trans women (predominantly of colour) face a literal epidemic of violence and brutality. Even within our own community, we have issues to overcome regarding racial and Trans integration. While we fight for our right to be proud, many feel the opposite - empty or unloved - and the reasonings are personal and complicated. Arguably, some may feel especially low during Pride since many LGBTQ+ persons are ashamed of their gender or sexuality. People struggle to accept it, let alone celebrate it. Seeing their rainbow lose vibrancy and fade away is painstakingly tragic.

depression and drug abuse, and I still don’t have the capacity to fully understand. Many of us don’t, but we don’t have to. An accomplished friend of mine recently weighed in on this same topic. She encouraged her friends to be conscious of their words and I’m urging the same. If someone you know is struggling with depression or addiction, do not belittle their emotions. If you don’t have the right things to say, impersonal remarks like “don’t be sad” could actually be doing a lot more harm than anything. Sincerely, let them feel you’re listening. Hear their heart and assure them they’re loved. I’d like to end with a very critical reminder. Earlier this year, many of us were shocked to learn that a young man leapt to his death just a few blocks from Church Street. His final words online asked that the bullying within Toronto’s LGBTQ+ community be addressed and that people think twice about how their words and actions affect others. By not having these conversations, free of guilt and judgement, we are making things worse for anyone suffering. We are all in this together and Pride reminds us of that.

Enjoy your Pride, Toronto! Somebody Loves YOU. If you or someone you know is considering suicide please contact: Suicide Crisis Line 1-800-784-2433 Trans Lifeline 1-877-330-6366 Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 Or visit Toronto Distress Centre at

The act of intentionally causing one’s own death has proven to plague our community. There have been cases of suicide and attempted suicide very close to home this year, like every year, yet the stigmatization remains. Often, we don’t know the first thing to do or say. There are so many different reasonings as to why people choose to end their lives and we cannot understand them unless we have been in their shoes. I’ve had two people very close to me lose their battle with

(416) 258-9646 | 7

8 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition | 9


A musical experience like no other Dean Eskich Writer

Watching Glee was most likely your only choir experience, but there’s still hope for cultural refinement on your part. Luckily, Forte isn’t your typical music group. Yes, it is Toronto’s only gay men’s chorus, but the real magic comes from how the songs are arranged. Artistic Director, Ed Connell, adds a different flavour to songs you already love. By highlighting the individual strengths of each member and vocal sections, Forte delivers a well-blended sound - from bassy lows to sparkling tenors. A male-female choir just can’t match it. Every show is themed. Forte hosts two biannual season concerts, one for the Holidays and one for Pride. They also perform two Cabaret Series at Buddies & Bad Times. The last one “Bad Romance,” celebrated the ups and downs of romance and life with breakup songs. Wowing the crowd is the goal. It’s a delicate balance between demonstrating musical excellence by performing challenging material while also being campy and having fun with the audience. They want you to laugh and cry at the same time. Forte is also committed to being a part of the community through their charity initiatives. The Greatest is their upcoming Pride-affiliated concert at Trinity State Hall, celebrating the greatest aspects of Canadian music, lining up with Canada’s 150th anniversary. What does greatest mean to you? The concert will explore different topics of what that means. Expect a blast from the past featuring some of the best divas in time, along with the best of contemporary Canadian musicians like Joni Mitchell. A special version of Melissa Etheridge’s “Pulse” will be performed in honour of the first anniversary of the Pulse incident. Melissa tweeted that Forte’s version was the greatest music that’s come out that recognizes the gay community. They’re also performing theme songs from the greatest TV shows, Game of Thrones among them. Don’t miss out on The Greatest happening on June 16th. For more information check out 10 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Drag on Fire

Clint Lyckher mikeyjosh Singing and tap dancing in a contemporary piece and was blown away by how much the crowd appreciated it. He was moved to tears, and so were his parents. He remembers most the generosity and love from the crowd, the performers, and Candice that night. It lives forever in his heart and his parents’.

Dean Eskich Writer

Michael DiFruscio got his start on the drag scene when he moved to Toronto and started frequenting bars on Church Street. He and a group of friends would go every weekend to Crews and Tangos, and he became good friends with a few of the queens. One fateful night he was asked if he would like to get a face on and dance out a few numbers. Being a dancer who loved hip hop it was an easy decision, so he got done up, and earned the name Clint Lyckher that night. He knew the second he hit the stage he was hooked. That was eight years ago. His most memorable performance he describes was five years ago after his father was diagnosed with cancer. Candice Kelly, forever fondly remembered held a surprise fundraiser to help the family with medical costs. Though Michael is a trained singer and dancer, he rarely sang live or danced contemporary, but that night he decided to do it all.

Marrying my wife on Canadian soil at a huge Irish/Italian wedding with 200 in attendance is his next plan. They had a small quiet ceremony back in December 2016 in the U.S. with their immediate family, but would forever be disowned if they didn’t do something to include the rest of the family. Any Italian will understand the struggle. He remembers plenty of good times in his career. Eight years of drag leaves you with so many crazy times and hilarious memories that you can’t even count them. Between audience members and him and his drag sisters, they all tend to get a little crazy sometimes. Anytime you put Katherine Hytes Dior, Ivory Towers, Juice Boxx, Scarlett BoBo, Daytona Bitch or Devine Darlin and Clint Lyckher together it is just asking for a hilariously good time. The amount of crap they’ve have done together will keep him laughing for the rest of my life. But the best times he says are the McDonalds and drunk Wii Mario Cart parties after the shows. Expect costumes, rhinestones, high energy dancing and a ton of sweating at a Clint Lyckher show.

Phography by David Hawe @thats_hawesome | | 11

Food & Drink

Pride Cocktail Guide

Andrew McArthur Writer

Pride is coming! The streets become walking promenades and parking lots serve as dance floors for DJ’s. But beyond the beer gardens, there are the mainstays, those bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that celebrate our pride year round. After a grueling 8.5 hours of boozing, and twice being caught in a thunderstorm, I’ve discovered what best to drink, and where. Gay Living proudly brings you the gaybourhoods best cocktails during your Pride celebrations. summer, and I’m sure a taste of Skip-N-Go-Naked will make you agree. A blend of Labatt Blue, Sloe gin, ginger ale, and fresh fruit, the flavour is light and fruity with aromas akin to a wheat beer. The spice of ginger ale nicely balances the sweetness of the drink.

My first stop is the Queer Choice Award winner for best café or restaurant, Garage (477 Church Street). With one of the most see-and-be-seen patios in the village, lineups for Garages coveted outdoor space are expected to be long during pride. For the lucky ones who score a table, the heat is the best beat with a Spiked Slushy ($8.00). This is likely the only slushy machine in the village and you should take advantage of it. You pick the booze, but I leave the professional in charge. The bartender combines a cherry and blue raspberry slushy with tequila. The effect is refreshingly icy with sweet flavours and a potent sting of tequila. Perfect to cool down with in the mid-afternoon heat. It’s just not a stroll through the village without a stop at Woody’s (467 Church Street). This visit caught me by surprise with the newly renovated back bar at Sailor. The redesigned space is sleeker and sexier with a backlit bar, Edison bulbs, and black leather banquettes; a perfect space to try their Pride cocktail. Best name for a pride cocktail goes to Woody’s with the Skip-N-Go-Naked ($7.00 - $9.00). Beer cocktails really should become a thing this 12 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Caught in a massive downpour with horizontal rain, I arrive dripping at our next bar. I had high expectations of Queer Choice Best Bar Award winner, Striker Sports Bar (31 St Joseph Street), and they did not disappoint. When making your rounds this pride be sure to stop into Striker for, among other reasons, their well crafted cocktails. Jersey-clad bartenders served me a Knockout Punch ($13.00), an aptly named cocktail considering its 5oz alcohol content. Bombay Gin, St Germaine, Creme de Cassis, and sparkling wine Combine in a highball glass to create a cocktail surprisingly elegant for a sports bar. At this point, I’m no longer pretending to just ‘taste’ the cocktails. I finish my knockout punch!

space is loud and colourful, clearly purposed as a dance club. Blyss Bar’s pride cocktail, Blyss Bomber ($6.50), is like its namesake venue, loud and colourful. Served on the rocks, this concoction is Vodka, Sourpuss, Blue Curaçao, with grenadine and cranberry. It’s a lot of ingredients that Harry tells me were inspired by the colours of the pride rainbow. There’s a lot of sweetness in this glass, but Sourpuss and cranberry neutralize the sweet and balance it with tartness. Harry says it will be available on the rocks or as a shot.

A quick and rainy uber ride later and I’m at Queer Choice Best LGBTQ Strip or Sex Club Award winner, Remmington’s Men of Steel (379 Yonge Street). Head bartender, Tristan Thornburn, awarded Queer Choice Best Bartender Award suggests pride goers at Remington’s take a classic approach to drinking with a Rye Manhattan ($13.25). Like you, watching the dancers working the pole, this drink is stiff. Underberg bitters, sweet vermouth, rye, and cherry are served ‘up,’ much as I’ve long argued a Manhattan should be. Bartenders flavour the ice with a splash of lemon juice that ultimately cuts the sweetness of the rye; a nice touch. In spite of the music, the lights, the abs, and the many inches of distraction on stage, Remington’s doesn’t treat their cocktails as an afterthought. The Manhattan is so good that I can’t resist the offer to stick around for another. However, at first mention of ‘Amateur Night,’ my ass is out of there. Sufficiently buzzed from Manhattans and drunk on exposed flesh, I arrive back in the village. At Pegasus On Church (489B Church Street), bartenders are showing solidarity with our queer allies in Russia with their cocktail, Gay Russian ($10.00). Rumchata, Kahlua, and Smirnoff Vanilla make for the dessert beverage of this lineup. Shaken over ice and strained into a martini glass with a cherry garnish, the Gay Russian is a nice balance of coffee and vanilla flavours weighted with creaminess. After the two (or three) Manhattans I had at Remmington’s, I welcome this sweet cocktail. In fact, it’s potent enough to make a delicious shot (hint-hint).

I don’t recommend you tackle all these cocktails in one day like I did. Remember, I’m a professional, and well-trained in marathonboozing. But do support your favourite bars, clubs, and restaurants. Visit them during Pride as you do year-round and indulge in these fantastic cocktails, lovingly prepared to celebrate you! And if you do sample them all in one day, be braver than me and give amateur night at Remmington’s a shot.

At this point, I probably don’t need another drink, but damn it, this is research and I promised not to let you down! With a bit of extra spring in my step, I head to Blyss Bar (504 Church Street). The latest venture of Harry Singh, who following the demolition of Zipperz, is now occupying the space that was once Church on Church. Upon entering, I realize Harry wants us to dance. The | 13

Food & Drink

Ingredients 2 cups warm water (approx. 100 degrees F) 2 packets of active dry yeast (16g) 3 tablespoons of sugar 5 cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoons of salt 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil Food colour as needed

5-6 cups of water for boiling

Directions 1 | Combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 5-7 min until it starts looking frothy.

2 | Add the wet mixture to the flour and salt and mix until fully combined.

3 | Turn the dough out and kneed for 5 min.. 4 | Rub the inside of a bowl with the oil and place the dough in it, covered, for 30 min at room temp.

5 | Cut the dough into 5 or 6 pieces and colour with food colouring to reach desired colour intensity.

6 | Roll each colour into a ball and let sit another 30 min covered.

7 | Roll the dough pieces flat then stack, pressing firmly. 8 | Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 9 | Cut slices of the dough stack, roll out, then attach the ends to make a bagel shape.

10 | Boil the bagels for 1-2 min then bake for 15-20 min. 14 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Rainbow Bagels Howard Dubrovsky

Chef/Owner, Bar Sybanne

Ingredients Graham Cracker Crust

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs 1/2 c up of butter or margarine or combination of both (more butter = firmer crust)

Cheesecake Mix 3 cups (24oz) of cream cheese (soften) 1 & 1/2 tbsp or packet unflavoured gelatin (Knox) 1/2 cup of cold water 1 cup of white sugar 2/3 cup of evaporated milk 3/4 cup of 35% whipping cream 6 t ypes of concentrated flavours (cherry, grape, blue raspberry, orange, lemon, lime)

6 t ypes of concentrated food colouring (red, purple, blue, orange, yellow, green)

1/3 cup of jam or coffee cream or amaretto or cold coffee (optional if not doing flavours above)

Directions 1 | Melt butter and or margarine in a microwave safe dish. 2 | Add melted butter or margarine to graham cracker crumbs.

Taste The Rainbow Cheesecake Shawn Brown

11 | Add the whipped cream to the mix and fold in until incorporated. Do not over mix.

12 | Separate the mix into 6 smaller bowls. 13 | Add colour and flavour of choice to each bowl. 14 | Bring back the crust from the freezer and pour in your

first colour in the centre of the pan. Then poor the second colour into the centre of the first. Then the third into the centre of the second, and so on until you have poured all 6 colours. As you pour into the centre it should theoretically spread itself out evenly, if not do a light spread ensuring you can still see all colour rings.

15 | Cover the dish tight with plastic wrap without touching the mixture and chill overnight to allow the gelatin to

3 | Press firmly into a greased 9” springform cake pan. set and firm. 4 | Put in freezer until ready to fill to harden the butter mix. 16 | Once chilled and firm, remove from springform pan 5 | Sprinkle the gelatin over the ½ cup of water in a small sauce pan.

6 | Heat the water until gelatin is dissolved. 7 | Whip the 35% cream until stiff peaks form whipped cream, set aside for later.

8 | In a large bowl or mixing machine, cream the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.

9 | Add the evaporated milk to creamed mixer. 10 | If making one flavour dessert add the ⅓ cup of flavour, otherwise skip and use concentrated flavour squirts later on.

and slice with a clean knife, be sure to use clean knife to prevent running the colour into another.

17 | Taste The Rainbow pride.

Notes This recipe works great with any flavour cheesecake you desire. Just eliminate the colours and 6 flavours and use the ⅓ cup of your choice flavour (jam, Sauce, etc). Also instead of using water with gelatin, feel free to use another cold liquid (juice, coffee, etc) You can also substitute the unflavoured gelatin with a JELLO flavour and add some fresh berries to the cake instead. This recipe is very VERSATILE ;) | 15

16 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Celebrating Diversity in our community for 200 years

HAPPY PRIDE From your local BMO teams! | 17

Man Crush

18 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Go with the flow and have fun.

MAN CRUSH Frank Carter @frankcarter69 ZODIAC SIGN Scorpio CELEBRITY DATE Craig Golias, Antoine Vaillant, Jlo, John Cena, Kevin Wolter, Mike Ergas. IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY I’d get myself a pet pig and buy my parents everything. GUILTY PLEASURES Glaze donuts, fresh bread, Nutela, Deserts, Cheesecake factory, sleep and sexxx. DREAM BOYFRIEND Lots of affection cuddles and hugs, amazing chemistry, mutual atraction. I’m turned on by white muscle man bottom. FEELING SEXY IN My house naked or Kick underwear or my man and in Gay Living magazine. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM VACATION? Relax and do nothing on a hot sunny private beach with a pool in Miami, Ibiza, Rio, Sydney or California with my man. ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW Thanks you Alex and DíAndre Micheal for your time to take those amazing photos.

Wanna be the next Man Crush? Use hashtag #SquirtManCrush on your sexy Instagram and Twitter Photos and you could be Toronto’s Next heartthrob!

Phography by DíAndre Michael @dandremichael | | 19


Pride 2017 plus diversity, plus conversation, plus politics, plus art, plus history, and plus future. It’s all about adding everyone’s personal flavour together to make something bigger and better.

Dean Eskich Writer

What used to be a single parade has grown into an entire month full of parading, demonstrating, and partying. There’s something for everyone, no matter who you are or what you like to do. The city is welcoming queer artists, musicians, and performers and we’re excited about everything that’s planned. Toronto Pride 2017 will be the festival’s 37th year and second Pride Month celebrating the life, liberty, and identity of our city’s LGBTQ community. This year’s theme is plus: plus community,

20 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Everyone adds their own unique and special something to pride. This year’s itinerary reflects that the community isn’t one single thing; it’s made up of unique individuals with different interests, identities, and preferences, and is strengthened by the differences of the individuals inside. So let’s get together and celebrate what we each bring to the table. Inside this issue, you’ll find highlights for this year’s Pride Month. There’s plenty of concerts, art shows, protests and community building events to go to. For a detailed guide check out Pride Toronto’s website

Pride Parade Starts | June 25 ・ 2PM Trans’ Pride March | June 23 ・ 7PM


Dyke March Starts | June 24 ・ 2PM










Budlight Wellesley Stage

Pride Budlight Living Room











Church St. Garage GOULD

Boutique Bar Woody’s/Sailor DUNDAS



Buddies in Bad Times Theatre


BMO Bank of Montreal

Pitbull Party Locations

14 | Follow @GayLivingMedia | 21


22 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition



HOUSE | 23

Pride See map on page 21 for locations corrresponding to seslect events listed here.

Friday, June 16 A Night At The Aqueerium

Ripley’s Aquarium 9:00pm - 1:00am

Wiggle at Nuit Rose Barbara Hall Park 7:00pm - 11:00pm

Let’z Pre-Pride Party Striker Sports Bar 7:30pm - 1am

Sunday, June 18 Sugar Beach Party Sugar Beach 12:00pm - 8:00pm

Tuesday, June 20 AIDS Vigil & Memorial

Barbara Hall Park 9:00pm - 11:00pm

Wednesday, June 21 Awaken: Youth Showcase Yonge-Dundas Square 3:00pm - 9:00pm

Cabana Pool Party 11 Polson St 6:00pm - 11:00pm

Starry Night


Giggles - Comedy Night

SWEAT: Yes Yes Y’all Block Party

Barbara Hall Park 5:00pm - 12:00am

945 Bloor St W 7:30pm


794 Bathurst St 10:00pm - 5:00am

Friday, June 23 Trans Community Fair Allan Gardens 3:00pm - 10:00pm


Cabana Pool Bar 3:00pm - 11:00pm

TD Village Stage 6:00pm - 11:00pm

OLG Central Stage 6:00pm - 2:00am

Trans March

Friday, June 23, 2017 6:30pm Rally | 7:00pm March Church and Hayden St.

Clean, Sober and Proud Friday/Sataturday/Sunday Paul Kane Parkette 7:00pm - 12:00am


Friday/Sataturday/Sunday Church and Wellesley Village 7:00pm - 2:00am

Harbourfront Centre Concert Stage 9:00pm - 11:00pm

One World

Friday Night Live: Colour ROM Proud

Barbara Hall Park 5:00pm - 12:00am

Royal Ontario Museum 7:00pm - 11:00pm

Fresh Burgers Church Sataturday/Sunday 11:00am - 11:00pm


Classic Disco

Friday Night Lights

Yonge-Dundas Stage 5:30pm - 11:00pm

Striker Sports Bar 9:30pm - 2am

Village Fest

Thursday, June 22

Yalla Barra

Pitbull - #LeatherLove Pride!

Saturday, June 17 Gay Living Lounge Sponsored by Bud Light

Church St Sataturday/Sunday 11:00am - 11:00pm

Nuit Rose Light Parade Church St 9:00pm - 11:00pm


Smith - 553 Church St 10:00pm - 2:00am


Yonge-Dundas Square 12:00pm - 11:00pm

Hawaii Five-O

Striker Sports Bar 4pm - 1am

24 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Wellesley Stage 6:00pm - 2:00am

In Deep

Pride Bud Light Living Room 6:00pm - 2:00am

The Opera House 735 Queen St. E 10:00pm - 4:00am


Fly 2.0 10:00pm - 6:00am


Drag Ball


Pan Dulce

Blyss Bar 10:00pm - 2:00am

11 Polson St 10:00pm - 2:00am

Saturday, June 24 Family Pride

Church St. Public School Sataturday/Sunday 10:00am - 5:00pm

The 22nd annual Pride and Remembrance Run! Church and Wellesley 10:00am

Trans* Space

Sataturday/Sunday Church and Isabella St. 12:00pm - 10:00pm

Lipstick Jungle

Barbara Hall Park 1:00pm to 12:00am

#RESIST Dyke March

1pm March Rally & Staging 2pm The march steps off Church St at Hayden St

Dirty Disco

Pride Bud Light Living Room 2:00pm - 2:00am

South Asian Express TD Village Stage 2:00pm - 11:00pm Big Love OLG Central Stage 2:00pm - 2:00am

Yonge-Dundas Stage 2:00pm - 11:00pm

Wellesley Stage 2:00pm - 2:00am

Fruit Loopz

Alexander Parkette 7:00pm - 11:00pm


Striker Sports Bar 8pm - 2am


423 College St 9:00pm - 6:00am

Disco Disco


Tree House

Monday, June 26

Barbara Hall Park 1:00 pm to 12:oo am

Ryerson Quad 1:00 pm to 12:00 am $ 20.00 - $25.00

Pride Parade 2pm SEE MAP

The Final Play

Yonge-Dundas Stage

232 Queen St W 10:00pm - 2:30am


9th Annual T-Dance

The Phoenix Concert Theatre 10:30pm - 4:00am

Sunday, June 25 Ninjichaag: The Spirit Within 16 Alexander St. 12:00pm - 9:00pm


Wellesley Stage 12:00pm - 11:00pm

Fly 2.0 6:00am - 12:00pm FML MONDAYS Pride Hangover Flash on Church 11:00pm - 2:00am

Last Dance


Pitbull - Unleashed!


2:00pm - 11:00pm OLG Central Stage 2:00pm - 11:00pm Flex n’ Fluid TD Village Stage 2:00pm - 11:00pm

739 Queen St W 10:00pm - 2:00am

Nest Nightclub 11:00pm - 5:00am

580 Church St 1:00 pm - 11:00 pm $20


Striker Sports Bar 8pm - 2am

Pitbull - Pride Hot Mess Velvet Underground 508 Queen St W 10:00pm - 2:00


REBEL 11 Polson St. 10:00pm - 6:00am | 25

26 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Lesbian Living

Cotton Candy and Combat Boots: Our Belleville GSA

Sarah Nesbitt Writer

I recently was chosen by the Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity to attend a GSA Forum as a Youth Mentor. Growing up I didn’t have support systems like Gay-Straight Alliance clubs. The closest we had in high school was our local drama club which was full of kids of all shapes, sizes, and sexualities, even if we were all too scared to admit it. It wasn’t until I moved far away from my small town to attend Loyalist College and get my Journalism degree, I got to explore who I was. I made out with my share of girls, danced, photographed and drank entirely too much cheap beer at Moviola’s. Instead of fleeing after graduation, I stayed in Belleville, Ontario and with the newspaper industry iffy, I started taking any gig in town at the local bars. One of the venues hosted Toronto drag queens like Robin Loren, Chris Edwards, Miss Conception, Donnarama and Robyn DeCradle and I fell in love with the art form. My friends and I started throwing all-ages club parties giving the local LGBT community a place to let loose and be themselves, as at the time PUMP was the only party and gay space outside of the GTA. While we served mocktails and giant pixie stix, we fueled a local drag scene and invited these kids to learn how to become DJs, drag queens, club photographers and to dance and be themselves without reprisal. 10 years ago I broke up with my college boyfriend, I came out to my parents as a lesbian, went to my first Pride and helped create a space for these kids to be themselves and just be teenagers. Sure, as a 20-something who never wanted kids, it was stressful as hell being responsible for 200+ of them ranging in age from 15-20 (The youngest kid at our first party was 10!!! We sent him home.)

I helped raise a generation of kids during a time that my youngest sister was becoming a teenager and I was fortunate to be able to include her in more than one club event during a time where her blue hair, combat boots, and outfits weren’t exactly welcome in our small town high school. I invited her to stay and party amongst my kids, during events that included hand inflating a bar full of balloons and manning a cotton candy machine. If she was going to party, she was going to learn a trade dammit! Throwing underage events meant talking with a lot of parents, assuring them we’d keep their kids safe and some I even gave my cell phone number to. What do you say when you’re partying out of town, to a hysterical mother demanding to know where her child is? This happened more than once, and I assure you the answer is still the same: I’m a party photographer and not your child’s babysitter. Try checking under the bed? Since our venue was in Belleville and we were the only LGBT safe party for miles (kilometers?) kids came from everywhere! Kingston, Trenton, Napanee, Picton and beyond and some of our more entrepreneurial patrons started a taxi service to drive their friends. Those who couldn’t catch rides crashed on the floor of our apartment. I’d gone to the local Walmart and bought blankets, sleeping bags and extra pillows as once summer rolled around we started doing parties every weekend. Trust me when I say that’s a lot of frozen pizzas and bottles of Gatorade. So when people ask when I’m having kids, I look them in the eye and said, “I already raised 200 teenagers, what have you done lately?”

542 Church St (416) 519-9302

I yelled a lot more than I should’ve, and wasn’t as firm during other times, confiscated a lot of drugs and alcohol (who brings full bar rail in water bottles? 15-year-olds, that’s who…) and instead of calling the cops, we threatened to call their parents. Nothing’s scarier than an angry sleep deprived mother! But nobody died and my kids are now amazing productive adults. Some are drag queens, some are DJs, mothers and fathers, circus performers and creatives and I’m proud to know every one of them. | 27


Gay Living in Midtown Manhattan’s Nomad Hotel Header Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger

Andrew McArthur Writer

It was a fair bit of time ago when we at Gay Living decided to include hotel reviews. At the time I was rewatching Mad Men and so I insisted that no business be conducted without shameless afternoon drinking. With the office cleaned out of hooch, I and the top execs headed back to my apartment for libations and brainstorming. Where to go for our first travel feature? Inspired by our second round of bourbon Manhattans we agreed unanimously that New York City would be the locale of our first hotel review. But in a city with nearly 300 hotels, where does one stay? I scouted out the NYC hotel market much the way I do a shelf at the liquor store, which is to say, thoroughly. I started with a sizeable short list and whittled it down to only those which best represent their purpose and place within this mega-city. On your next venture to New York, Gay Living proudly suggests, Nomad. There’s been a midtown Manhattan hotel boom. Gansevoort, credited with reviving the Meatpacking district opened a Park Avenue location but not before Ace Hotel, now with a Michelin starred April Bloomfield restaurant first drew crowds. While strolling the neighbourhood I spotted a future opening of an SLS hotel which further solidifies the neighbourhood as a trendy destination. The Nomad occupies maybe the best location just a quick stroll to Madison Square park. Have you been to this park?

Photo Credit: Benoit Linero

28 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

Photo Credit: Benoit Linero

The Empire State Building rises to the north, the south is flanked by the flat iron building and East and West are bordered by Eataly (coming to Toronto) and Eleven Madison Park respectively. At Nomad you are only a few blocks from Penn Station, convenient if you are flying Porter to Newark airport. There is a subway station immediately in front of the hotel easing the burden of getting around, although in midtown when the weather is nice you can certainly walk just about anywhere you need to go.The area is dominated by French Renaissance and Second Empire Baroque architecture. Indeed the hotel itself, formerly the Johnston Building (c.1900) is limestone clad and topped with a Beaux-Arts cupola. Reviving itself for the past 10 years, Nomad, the neighbourhood, still retains its original character, even amidst gentrification. New York is estimated to have over 115,000 hotel rooms, and I’m pretty sure I can accurately describe most of them. In a city where every neighbourhood exudes its own individualistic character, should a hotel room not do the same? The ‘Classic Room’ at Nomad, with hardwood floors and antique-styled furnishings, is less a hotel room and more the kitchenless apartment you want in New York. It lacks some of the appointments you’ll have staying at a five star but its individuality makes up for this including wall art, supple leather club chairs, and a classically designed mahogany desk. The bathroom was well appointed with a large shower and separate wood paneled water closet with Argan soaps and lotions by Côté Bastide. Whether home or hotel, I like to be clad as slight as possible and much to my delight, the towels and bathrobes were Frette, among the finest of bath and bed linen brands. A huge plus in this room was the two large windows overlooking the atrium skylight. Views into other rooms tantalize both the voyeur and the exhibitionist.... I was both. Dimmer switches on lights are too

often overlooked in hotel rooms but at Nomad, I had full control of the brightness of my room. Turn down service was pleasant to return to, although I wish it included bottled water. Nomads rooms defy conformity and in doing so are easily amongst the most individualized and comfortable in New York at any price range.

Photo Credit: Benoit Linero

The entire food and beverage program is helmed by chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara. You may know them as the team behind the 3 Michelin starred Eleven Madison Park, currently San Pellegrino’s 3rd best restaurant in the world, and just a five-minute walk from the hotel. Talk about bragging rights! For those who can’t manage the more than $400.00 price tag of a meal for one (drinks not included) at EMP, Nomad restaurant offers a more approachable (affordable) dining experience. Nomad restaurants skylit central courtyard showcases Daniel Humm’s elegant comfort foods and the well-dressed Manhattanites, many of whom have travelled to midtown just dine at Nomad. The central courtyard is for seeing and being seen, while four unique rooms surround the space providing an escape for privacy seekers. A parlour with dark oak walls and red fabric furnishings is classically elegant and formal, while the elephant bar with a 24-foot long mahogany bar is bustling from cocktail hour till the early hours of the morning. As you might guess, the fireplace room is punctuated by a large hearth recovered from a French chateau and transplanted into midtown. Your status as a hotel guest bumps you to the top of the list for seating and nowhere is that more necessary than for the library. A two story library with a dramatic spiral staircase is one of the neighbourhoods most sought after spots for evening drinks and dimly lit indiscretions. Nomad restaurant received a Michelin star this year, well deserved for its unfussy approach to elegant comfort food and a stellar compilation of wines and cocktails. Service is formal, but like it’s three Michelin starred counterpart, it is friendly and genuine.

Absent from the hotel’s amenities list are a spa and swimming pool. No one loves a lavish hotel spa more than this guy, but I never felt wanting for more at Nomad. The fitness room is adequate with all the essentials one needs to combat New York dinning indulgences, and it seems that when repurposing the building as a hotel, their priority was devoting as much public space as possible to the bar and restaurant. With Chef Humm in the kitchen, this was a no-brainer. The foie gras black truffle chicken for two more than makes up for the lack of spa and swimming pool. Where the building reaches the corner of 28th and Broadway is a Maison Kitsuné, the first in New York. Kitsuné showcases fine clothing and travel accessories from one of my absolute favourite brands, Wants Les Essentiels. The timeless and sophisticated wares of this Montreal-based luxury purveyor beautifully complements the overall aesthetic and ethos of Nomad. No stay should go without a shopping spree. I heart New York, there is no city like it, and with Porter’s service to Newark from Billy Bishop airport, the Big Apple is hardly more than a streetcar away. When you next stay in New York, treat yourself to a hotel that doesn’t feel like a hotel. Make this vibrant neighbourhood your home in NYC and stay at Nomad Hotel. Your friends back in Toronto will be envious, and the Midtown locals will admire how chic you are.

Still hungry? In the evening drop your name and room number to get on the wait list (there will be a wait list!) for Nomad Bar, a Gastropub with its own entrance from west 28th street and accessible through the Elephant bar. The design reflects an earlier aesthetic for bars, the cocktails suggest a modern speakeasy, and the burger by a three Michelin starred chef is reason enough to make the journey. Be prepared to fight the crowds, Nomad restaurant and Nomad Bar seem to still be the epicenter of midtown chic. Photo Credit: Benoit Linero | 29

Diversity & Inclusion

Growing Up Older and Gay relationship (7 years) a couple of years ago and was ready for the next great adventure. I told I was also coming out of a long relationship and was now ready for another journey in my life.

Andre Goh Writer

One of the pleasures of growing older is the luxury of having experienced so much. This is true in so many different ways. Whether it has to do with travel and seeing the world, foods, and drinks of all kinds, people and places that don’t exist, and of course, watching our communities grow, change, adapt and evolve, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing much of these. As an older gay man in my 50’s, I’ve acquired knowledge and experience that has made me the person I am today. I also have qualities and quantities I wish I had when I was in my 20’s or even in my 30’s. It would have made me a gentler soul. Alas, I can’t change the past. But maybe I can impart some of my lessons learned. Before I get into my lessons learned, there is one unfortunate side to our community. Being single and in my 50’s in North America has made me invisible. I simply exist. Apparently, I don’t have desires or need either. My opinions don’t matter and I certainly don’t understand what it’s like to be gay in today’s world. And worse of all, I am not seen as a potential sexual partner or long term lover. My opportunity for restarting another long term relationship has diminished. Let me share a recent experience. I was at a community event where everyone looked so good and gorgeous. Everyone was having a ‘gay’ time. My friends thought this was a perfect opportunity for me to meet the next man of my dreams. After all, I gave almost 20 years of my life to one man, it was time for me to share the next 20 with another. As the alcohol flowed freely and the music seductive, most of the men were in a happy place. Happy enough to engage in conversations with strangers. And so the evening turned to meeting beautiful men, many single and many a couple of decades younger than me. One man, in particular, caught my attention. He was in his late 30’s, not necessarily handsome, not necessarily an Adonis, and not necessarily anything. He was average and single, with a great wit and a smile that can be described as sincere. We talked about many things - travels, foods, places, people and even politics. He told me how he had come out of a long-term 30 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

A week later, we met and went out for dinner. I thought we had a great time. I liked him. I liked listening to his opinions, his perspectives, and his funny wit. We laughed and drank too many a Queens. And at the end of the night, I suggested that we meet up again later that week. He paused, gave a silent smile and the said, “I enjoyed our dinner tonight. But I want to be clear that this was not a date. I’m 39 and in my prime. You’re not. Thank you for having dinner with me.” I tell you this not because I want your pity, but because I want you to understand how challenging it not to be taken seriously, to feel invisible, and to be treated like an outcast or worse like a pariah of society. And this is not the first time this has happened to me. Unfortunately, it seems to be a pattern. Good enough for a friend, not good enough to be considered desirable or potential husband material. Gay men can be so cruel. We are harshest to ourselves. And so here’s my lessons learned - have patience. Be open to everyone. Be kind and sincere to others. Be grateful for all you have in life. And most of all, judge not, lest ye be judged!

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32 | Gay Living Magazine | Pride Edition

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Gay Living Magazine - Toronto June / July 2017  
Gay Living Magazine - Toronto June / July 2017