Page 1

FASHION Smooth runway moves by The Fashion Collective

Gay & Lesbian Cit y Living

|

A U G U ST 2 0 1 1

ANALYSIS

LGBT cancer risk Rob Ford’s anti-gay agenda?

WE CAN FIGHT

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THIS ISSUE CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS

Paul Aguirre-Livingston, David Bateman, Nicola Betts, Mary Dickie, Dino Dilio, Derek Dotto, Jeremy Foreshew, Glen Hanson, Michael K Lavers, Alice Lawlor, Keith Loukes, Corey Pierce, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Abi Slone, Michael Thorner, Chris Tyrell, Jenna Marie Wakani, John Webster ON the cover

Illustration by Glen Hanson. glenhanson.com


Contents

issue 15

views | living & health | insight | listings | Art & design | sex

12

20

30

12

Eureka The well-curated apartment of Paul Dotey & Ashley Denton by Abi Slone

30

Under attack Does Mayor Rob Ford have an anti-gay agenda? by Krishna Rau & Gordon Bowness

38

Cheeky devil The playful sexiness of photographer Matt Barnes by Derek Dotto

8

38

Janet Jackson on AIDS research

9 Church-Wellesley development 11 How Tweet It Is by Michael Thorner 16 The Fashion Collective by Paul Aguirre-Livingston 18 Stylin’ with Chris Tyrell 20 Opulent Budapest by Michael K Lavers 25 MMA’s mind/body workout by Jeremy Foreshew 26 Sunny skin care by Dino Dilio 27 Dating & self-esteem with Adam Segal 28 LGBT cancer risks by Krishna Rau 37 Oliver Spencer’s manly looks by Derek Dotto 42 Michel Tremblay at Stratford by David Bateman 44

Butch/femme remixed by Alice Lawlor

46 Summer music reviews by Mary Dickie 49 The spotted dick with Dr Keith 50 Caught in the act by Spencer Xiong & Michael Pihach


toronto talk exchange

VIEW FINDER → Black holes, glittering stars Legendary filmmaker and art provocateur John Waters is coming to Fan Expo (running Thu, Aug 25 to 28 at the Metro Convention Centre; fanexpocanada.com), along with Will Shatner, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Landau, Lee Majors and Barbara Eden. While he’s in town, Waters will perform his one-man show, This Filthy World, a down-and-dirty romp through his early artistic influences, presented by Rue Morgue and Daniloff Productions (the folks who brought Karen Black to the Gladstone Hotel a couple of years ago). Tix cost $35 at the door, $30 in advance, with a $125 VIP option that includes a meet-and-greet reception post-performance. 7pm. Sat, Aug 27. Toronto Underground Cinema. 186 Spadina Ave. rue-morgue.com.

In their own words Janet Jackson

→ “We’ll

find a cure. For sure.”

In May, pop singer Janet Jackson was in Vienna, Austria to represent the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) at the Life Ball, Europe’s largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser. “I’ve been working with amFAR since the mid-’90s,” Jackson told In Toronto. “I wrote the song ‘Together Again’ about my friends that had passed away from this dreadful pandemic. You know, there were people who did not want me to address the subject. They thought it would turn the world off from myself, from my music. At that point I decided that if people are turned off by it that’s their problem. This is something I felt I had to do in my art because of the friends I had lost to AIDS.”

Janet Jackson Her Number Ones Up Close and Personal tour stops in Hamilton, at Hamilton Place Theatre, on Wed, Aug 3 at 8:30pm. For tickets, go to ticketmaster.ca.

8

August 2011


toronto talk exchange Sound off Towering over the Village

Letters

Sock it to me → This might be the cover of the year (Respect: A Master Class in Community, In Toronto, July 2011). Good on you. Awesome. Mary Zondanos, Toronto

PUMP IT UP

Condo towers are springing up everywhere in the ChurchWellesley Village. Proposals include two 58-storey glass towers spanning the block from Maitland to Alexander streets and a 29-storey condo at 8 Gloucester St (pictured), home to popular gay establishments Fire on the East Side and Fly. Are developments like these good for the Village? We asked three urban thinkers to weigh in.

→ Vomit. The Pride Pump video does nothing but perpetuate stereotypes (Sound Off: “Bangin’ Booty Butt Clenches,” In Toronto, July 2011). It’s not funny or clever; it’s sad. Ian Macdonald, Toronto

Hariri Pontarini Architects

3.

“We encourage development in and around the area so it draws traffic into the Village, but we’re concerned that developers aren’t seeing what we already have here. There’s an aesthetic in the Village that needs to be followed through. New buildings should allow for pedestrian traffic and provide opportunity for retailers to move in. Not necessarily big box retailers, but the small mom-andpop shops that make up the eclectic aesthetic of the Village. What we don’t want is another Bay Street — one tower after the other with a strip mall below.”

“Church-Wellesley Village is quite special. It embraces all kinds, types and flavours. Maitland and Alexander streets are natural, inviting gateway entries into the neighbourhood. If you build a glass wall filling the whole block, you block a formally attractive gateway. It becomes a plug, a stopper. Whereas previously there was an inviting, tree-shaded restaurant patio at both ends of the block, it becomes formal entries into two 58-storey towers. The walkable, approachable world we live in would disappear.”

David Wootton, manager, Church-Wellesley BIA

Robert Fabian, 25 Maitland St resident, creator of 501yonge.ca

→ Find your sense of humour, why don’t you? Considering the amount of Facebook statuses I have read since New Year’s from many in the queer community, which were all about getting in shape for Pride, it is definitely dead on. Plus it was funny. Rozz Kidd, Toronto

chain letter → What you have summed

“When you bring more people into a neighbourhood, it in turn fuels a kind of urban vitality that spurs commercial vitality — the development of local retail which, in turn, fuels an improvement in streetscapes. It re-focuses the need for community centres and schools back into downtown. There are also safety issues. With more ownership and more people living in a neighbourhood, there are more eyes on the street. A lot of community consulting goes into a project. That’s happening more and more.”

Robert Cadeau, associate, Architects Alliance (Radio City, Murano)

up is not Pride in its entirety (Comment by “Derek V” to Mayor Ford Skips 2011 Toronto Pride Parade, intorontomag.com, July 4 2011). Mayor Ford needs to know this is not a queer issue but a community issue. Ryan McCann, Toronto → To Derek V: Nope, you’re not a homophobe. You’re a narrow-minded bigot. You believe everyone should think and behave the way you do. Being pro-prostitution or pro-nudity is not exclusive to a segment of the gay population. Prostitution is an issue supported by roughly two-thirds of Canadians. Continued on page 11

intorontomag.com

9


COMING SOON

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GAY OASIS

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OUTLOOKS’ RELAUNCH FALL 2011


toronto talk exchange How Tweet It Is The web is alive with the sound of Google by Michael Thorner

F

or the past four years,

→ HANGOU T S Google+ offers a multi-user forum for audio, visual and text all at the same time.

Facebook and Twitter have dominated my personal

home entertainment time, when not reading a good book or comic or watching a movie, of course.

letters Continued from page 9

Contrary to your ill-informed suggestion, sex-for-money is legal in Canada. It’s auxiliary issues that need legal support. I don’t know statistical figures on pro-nudity, but the same question is important to both: Who is being harmed? The answer is nobody!

TV no longer works for me. I preTRAVEL FIRE ISLAND’S GLAMOROUS HISTORY, CRAZY PARTIES AND PRISTINE BEACHES

fer the level of engagement I enjoy interacting

Paraphrasing

outs provides multi-user video chat

ing about changes and adaptations

journalist Chris Hedges, I have cho-

online.

via cloud networking, without the

to the interface almost daily, right

sen to explore and hermetically

need to download add-ons or plug-

on her profile page which you can

seal myself into the many “online

ins. Hangouts provide a robust

freely follow by including Ellis in

intellectual ghetto” bubbles which

and real time interactive forum for

one of your circles.

can be found on social networks.

audio, visual and text concurrently.

Even retired MySpace co-founder

We’ve witnessed Facebook evolve

These kind of “alive web” environ-

Tom Anderson is now on Google+

into a gated community of shar-

ments, as some are now calling

as a “voice” to follow, with an

ing it has become, with its exces-

them, offer the immersive engage-

sively circuitous and continually

ment people will come to expect

interesting, experienced perspec3.

changing security and privacy set-

online. Hangouts is a huge, inno-

tion, decline and death of a major

tings. Twitter has grown to become

vative leap forward, perhaps even a

social network. Five years ago, you

the grand leveller of information

game-changer.

would have seen great trepidation

Similar to Twiiter, you can fol-

from a company on whether or

ing accessible to all, but perhaps

low anyone on Google+ by adding

not to engage. How the world has

without it having been fully able to

them into your “circle,” regardless

changed. Now we see media com-

shake its undeserved reputation as

of whether or not they choose to

panies like the Huffington Post

a nerd hangout.

follow you back. This removes the

post a staff list of who is already on

Now there is Google+ which

awkwardness of having to mutu-

Google+.

draws the best from both networks

ally friend someone to see their

Toronto-based gay activist, #can-

while housing some features exclu-

content (although there are secu-

queer hashtag creator and tweet

sive to this fresh, new environ-

rity features already available on

machine Justin Stayshyn points out

ment. One of these new features —

Google+ if you choose to restrict

that, as part of the registration pro-

already considered the new killer

access to your shared content).

cess, Google+ is providing a third

app — is the “hangout.” I recently

The migration over to Google+

“other” gender option, in addition

enjoyed my first hangout with a

has been fast and furious, even in

to male and female, something

bunch of artists, techies, and even a

its infancy, with a staggering 20

Facebook has refused to do. This is

Google employee friend of a friend.

million users already registered.

another step forward.

We were all able to chat via web-

Google+ is still limiting member-

cam in real time, distribute links

ship, but not for long. I am assum-

Google+ feature that lists subjects

and share YouTube videos simulta-

ing they are building excitement

of interest by specific groupings,

neously. The developers at Google

and curiosity while they prepare to

are movies and comics. Illusory

must have learned a thing or two

scale up. Users have not only assim-

entertainment bubbles die hard I

from the immediacy that webcam

ilated into the new interface, but

find. Bam! Pow! Zap!

environments like Chat Roulette

they are actually posting sugges-

brought internet users at the begin-

tions and feedback on their profile

ning of 2010. But where Skype and

pages for everyone to see. Google

Chat Roulette are peer-to-peer,

staff is listening. Google+ software

one-on-one

engineers like Kelly Ellis are post-

hang-

&

LESBIAN

CITY

LIVING

|

JULY

2011

Y PP HA IDE PR

RESPECT

A MASTER CLASS IN COMMUNITY

tive on the birth, growth, matura-

networks, with unfiltered shar-

experiences,

GAY

MUSIC HIGH-HEELED, HIGH-OCTANE, HIGHFASHION UKRAINIAN BOY BAND KAZAKY

Lastly,

my

“sparks,”

MICHAEL THORNER Tweets at twitter.com/michaelthorner

another

01.INTO.JULY.Cover.indd 1

24/06/2011 5:13:27 PM

Grow up and accept that diversity in views, values, choices, and beliefs will always exist — even within your own community. One of the things that makes Canada the greatest nation on earth is that we are a diverse, open, and accepting society with the underlying foundation that as long as you are not harming another you have unrestricted rights and freedoms. Your rights stop short of trying to be a dictator to others. Evan Teed, Vancouver → Rob Ford didn’t have to go to the parade. He did need to do his job and raise the flag at the opening ceremonies at City Hall. He shirked his duty. You may not like gay Pride but for a million people who came, and for that weekend had sexual freedom, it was magnificent. And not one semi-nude person attacked anyone without first being asked to. What is wrong with that? Roz Kidd, Toronto

intorontomag.com

11


L I V I N G & H EA LT H

O PE N H O U S E

An oasis of discovery Only two years in, Paul Dotey, a book designer at Random House, and Ashley Denton, a food stylist, feel like their Eureka apartment in Cabbagetown has everything they need to make a long-term commitment. Art, artifacts, mid-century modern furniture and concrete reminders of their lives together bring their love, and their home, to life →

Story Abi Slone | Photography Nicola Betts

12

August 2011


LIVING & HEALTH

Coming from the west end, Dundas and Shaw near Trinity Bellwoods, how did you land up in Cabbagetown? AD: Well it really was luck of the draw. We know someone who lives in the building, he’s been here for over 10 years, and it happened to be perfect timing. This one came available when we were ready to move and since there are only four apartments in this building it really was luck. The building is called Eureka Apartments. Seems fortuitous. PD: I know! Apparently it was near the Eureka factory and this is where some of the employees lived. Why did you decide to move from the west end? AD: We were both working at home. Paul was a freelance designer and illustrator and I’m a food stylist, and we just needed more space and this place came up. We now have a dedicated study as well as bedroom, dining room, living space... the usual. Now that we’re here, we love the east end. In fact we’re happier. Parliament is a great street with some edge and some nice shops — you know, there’s the gourmet food shop, and of course the No Frills. PD: In terms of people, there are some snobs, like if we mention that we’re renters the tone of a conversation may change, but generally the neighbourhood here is great. And for us, it’s nice that there is an established community. We’re happy that some of the elder gay statesmen on our street have invited us over for dinner. Since there are so few of you in the building, do you spend time with the other tenants? PD: Definitely. All of the apartments have their own balconies, but in fact the backyard is a shared space that is really quiet, almost country-like and is a great place to relax. There are tons of cardinals and blue jays in the yard and at one end of our street there’s a park. We’re really close

to Riverdale Farm and, of course, the best tobogganing hill in the city. Even though we’re close to Parliament, it feels like an oasis. Your home is full of art and well -designed furnishings giving it a real sense of curation. How did your styles mesh when you first made a home together? PD: It was perfect actually. Ashley came with most of the furniture and I came with most of the art. It was a great match of decor elements and our aesthetic is so similar it was pretty seamless. AD: Some things came with you, though, like the coffee table which he [Paul] grew up with. We’ve made an effort to cull out the Ikea. Of course there are some pieces that we have acquired together. Our kitchen table for example was a wedding gift from my brother and all the guests signed the underside of the table. Needless to say it’s pretty much our favourite piece. The art collection is quite diverse but clearly was collected with a particular aesthetic. The small birch branch cast in gold that hangs on the wall for example, where did that come from? PD: We went to Iceland for our honeymoon and we picked it up there. The tree actually grows out of lava rock and symbolizes something natural and beautiful that grows out of nothing. And the print in the living room of a mid-century home? PD: It was a gift I bought myself when I got my first freelance cheque as an illustrator. Ashley encouraged me to purchase it and it was really satisfying. He bought himself a watch with his first cheque and in keeping with my art collection, I bought this.

→ personal t ouch Crawford, Ashley Denton and Paul Dotey enjoy the backyard balcony (top right). The kitchen table (middle) was a wedding gift and the couple’s favourite piece of furniture. That’s Monroe waiting for snacks. The living room (opposite page), dining area and kitchen occupy one large, light-filled space.

All of the spaces in your home have unique personal touches, from the handmade cardboard architectural models in the study to the canoe paddle that Ashley proposed to you with Christmas morning to, well, to the collecContinued on page 14

intorontomag.com

13


L I V I N G & H EA LT H

Continued from page 13

tion of action figures (everyone from the Green Lantern to Aquaman) in the bathroom. What’s the story behind those? AD: Well, it’s true that there is a substantial collection there. Some are new and some are from when I was a kid. I believe that Aquaman is probably the oldest. When we have dinner parties, if a guest has been “missing” for a while, inevitably they’re in here creating some very interesting tableaus with the figures. •

→ work & play Denton and Dotey share an office (top left) that showcases their playful appreciation of art, design and architecture. The print in the living room (top right) was bought with Dotey’s first cheque as a freelance illustrator. The action figures (left) liven up the bathroom.

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L I V I N G & H EA LT H

fa s hi o n

Storming the runway → Meet The

Fashion Collective, the most exciting thing to happen to Toronto’s style scene in more than a decade. Their mission: To propel young Canadian designers up from the underground to the top tier Story Paul Aguirre-Livingston | Photography Jenna Marie Wakani

L

16

ast spring, three fashion

or otherwise, and garner them seri-

there’s also the strict Council guide-

kids were separately con-

ous attention.

lines that are unappealing to those

→ sky’s the limit The Fashion Collective, Kate Mullin, Brian Richards and Dwayne Kennedy (location Thompson Toronto Rooftop), represents labels like Krane (opposite page; left) and Amanda Lew Kee (middle and right).

templating their careers in

After a chance encounter in a

who don’t want a traditional show.

Toronto’s seemingly stagnant style

park one night between Mullin and

That’s why the style set has flocked

scene. Kate Mullin, a bombshell-

Fashion Design Council of Canada

to see new collections outside of LG

about-town, was busy freelancing

(FDCC) president Robin Kay — both

Fashion Week, on rooftops, in the

as a publicist after working as a gig

cruising for ideas — the Collective

back of Ryder moving trucks and

booker for creative artists. Dwayne

was offered the chance to bring

abandoned warehouses in North

Kennedy and Brian Richards, styl-

their clients to LG Fashion Week —

York — all in the name of being

The three have assumed distinct

ists and a real-life twosome, were

the bi-annual designer showcase

original and doing something the

roles within the agency: Mullin

consulting and creatively collabo-

that attracts all media outlets and

FDCC wasn’t.

handles public relations, Kennedy

rating with new designers with little

buyers, yielding countrywide expo-

That’s why the Collective partner-

oversees the styling of each label

money and big ambitions. The three

sure. In October 2010, seven new

ship was so appealing and neces-

and Richards works his magic to

found similarities in what they

designers showed up on the sched-

sary. “The biggest thing missing in

put the productions together. The

were trying to do: shine a light on

ule, a mix of virtual unknowns and

Toronto was — and is — a unity of

group, however, has faced some

fresh talents without the resources

buzz-worthy talents like Ryerson

the designers,” says the Collective’s

hesitation from various quarters.

to do it on their own. A friendship

grad Amanda Lew Kee and Klaxon

leather-clad Kennedy, who real-

Given that the Collective are pur-

blossomed into business, and The

Howl, a menswear line that had

ized early on that they needed to

veyors of a new runway show aes-

Fashion Collective was born. In

previously opted out of showing.

streamline designer efforts to show

thetic and advocate for hot, young

international

what’s

designers who typically oppose that

Fashion Week.”

short, the group is a creative agency

It’s important to note why some

designed to completely support —

designers choose to pass on LG

coming out of Canada. “The only

status quo, their FDCC partnership

from retail to runway — Canadian

Fashion Week. A lot has to do with

way we can do that is if we all come

confused insiders and made the trio

fashion designers, up-and-coming

the expense of participating, but

together and make this a legitimate

seem full of it.

August 2011

audiences


LIVING & HEALTH

In an email, Kay affirms her belief

around. Anita Clarke, the city’s

this fall. But another important

the next generation of not only

in the Collective’s vision from day

arbiter of style and mega-blog-

focus is travelling with their design-

new designers — spring-boarding

one; she now fulfills a mentor role

ger with her website I Want —

ers to meet buyers at major fashion

unknowns into real names — but,

for the group. “The Collective, to

I Got, has come to regard the group

tradeshows across North America.

and this is the essence, played the

me, is a real force,” she writes. “It

as a real industry asset. “They’ve

And

the

hat trick to parlay their own tal-

takes tremendous insight to rally a

brought

into

Collective a force unlike any other

ents amidst the endorsement of the

great heralding of fashion design-

Fashion Week and made it a little

in Toronto: They won’t thrive as

runways.”

ers in Canada while securing an

more exciting for us. They’re bring-

It’s clear that the Collective is part

immersion in prime real estate —

ing in designers that have a future,

of a palpable shift in Canadian fash-

Fashion Week.”

designers that want to go far and

The praise is mutual, and their

some

new

blood

that they also feel strongly about.”

that’s

what

makes

“You can’t sell something you don’t believe in.”

ion. It’s no longer about money, politics or pedigree for a designer to be

relationship with Toronto’s fashion

The Collective turns down jobs

monarchy makes a lot more sense

that don’t fit with their creative

two seasons later. Mullin, who now

visions. “It’s usually the ones who

an agency with clients who aren’t

started as a simple dream between

works fulltime with the FDCC in a

have money that you don’t agree

selling, so by directly connecting

fast friends is now one of the most

new designer relations role, also

with,” Mullin says, laughing. “We’d

these designers to business out-

exciting things to happen to our

sees Kay as a great resource. “[Kay]

rather just suffer and wait for the

side Toronto, they’re also securing

city’s fashion industry in more than

is teaching us how to conduct busi-

right moment than do something

a future for themselves. No other PR

a decade. And the group is barely a

ness, and how this industry works.

we don’t believe in. You can’t sell

firm currently offers sales agency

year old.

We’re not looking at one another

something you don’t believe in.”

services like that.

as

work-

The group is busy preparing appli-

Queen Kay sums it up best: “With

ing together. It’s an amazing cli-

competitors;

we

are

cations to get their six core design-

their purely honest talent, Dwayne,

ent [relationship] both ways, and a

ers into New York Fashion Week

Kate and Brian have manifested

able to show on Toronto’s main runway — it’s about talent. What

THE FASHION COLLECTIVE fashioncollective.ca.

wonderful collaboration.” Ken Chow, designer of the rugged menswear line Krane, showed at LG Fashion Week for the first time in March, in the new Studio space reserved mainly for Collective talent. “The Collective have a good understanding of the Canadian scene and where all the designers are in their business cycles,” Chow says. The intimate Studio allowed him to experiment with a performance-based presentation, where models grabbed garments from hooks and dressed in real-time and a martial arts display gave audiences something no Toronto runway has ever seen. Industry

insiders

have

come

SRX is Seeking:

Designer jeans that fit my seat.

royfoss.com


L I V I N G & H EA LT H

stylin' with chris tyrell Choreographer and dancer Michael Caldwell keeps his cool by maintaining a comfortable and stylish casual look. The key is breathable, lightweight natural fabrics and pale colours. The essence of summer fashion is feeling cool but looking hot.

Q&A

What are you wearing?

Trilby cotton hat from H&M, embroidered handkerchief linen shirt bought in Vietnam, sunglasses bought under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, cotton seersucker pants from Club Monaco and sandals by Bass.

Who had the most influence on your sense of style? My parents. My mother’s outrageous style — the most creative woman I have ever known. She could take any random piece of fabric and incorporate it into a sweater or pant or, just as seamlessly, into a set of curtains. My father’s everyday plain white T-shirt and brown work pants. Bottom line: Everyday comfort with eccentric splashes.

Whose style do you admire? Lady Gaga, for her fiercely brash and unapologetic style. Anne Hathaway,

for keeping old Hollywood alive in the new generation of ingénues. David Beckham, for letting Posh dress him up daily (plus he is blazing hot).

Why is fashion important to you? As a professional contemporary choreographer/dancer, I craft movement into a visceral expression of humanity. A fashion designer crafts his or her materials in the same way. Anyone can “shake a tail” on the dancefloor, or sew a shirt together, but it takes a true artist to create a piece of art that reflects the world around us. The world needs art.

Fave designers? Internationally, Alexander McQueen, rest in peace, a visionary genius. Locally, Jade Sakamoto at Harlow, creating one-of-a kind fantastical headpieces for everyday.

Describe your style When I’m not slogging away in the dance studio with pajama pants, and tight-fitted shirts from Value Village, my wardrobe consists of a comfortable blend of fitted long sleeve shirts and straight-cut jeans. A mix of blues, greens, grays, and browns. But underneath it all, the brightest colours imaginable for my square cut briefs and anklet socks. It’s all about “what lies beneath.” Michael Caldwell Choreographs/performs in Ash Unravel at Dance: Made in Canada, Thu Aug 11 to 14. See page 35.

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1


Hungarian National Tourist Office Photo Archives

L I V I N G & H EA LT H

t r avel

Hope springs eternal → The

Hungarian capital is famed for its opulent cityscapes and therapeutic baths. And despite opposition in many quarters, LGBT Budapestis are proud of their beautiful, cultured city Story Michael K Lavers

W

ith its ornate architec-

Austrian composer Johann Strauss’

ture,

night-

famous waltz suggests. Budapest

Located on Castle Hill, Buda Castle

effervescent

was actually three cities — Buda

remains one of the Hungarian cap-

bath culture, Budapest continues to

and Óbuda on the West Bank and

ital’s most iconic landmarks. King

At least half a dozen armies have

prove itself the pearl of the Danube.

Pest on the East Bank — until they

Béla IV built the first royal resi-

besieged Buda Castle over the cen-

Located at the crossroads of

and

Architectural Gems

bol of Habsburg power and opulence until the Austro-Hungarian empire’s downfall in 1918.

became one in 1873. Buda and

dence on the prominent plateau

turies — the Germans reduced the

capi-

Pest maintain their distinct identi-

in the 11th century, while Prince

complex to rubble during the Siege

tal straddles both sides of the

ties. And a rivalry of sorts remains

Stephen constructed portions of

of Budapest at the end of World

famed Danube River — it actually

among Budapestis who live on

the present-day palace in the 14th

War II. UNESCO declared Buda

flows brown as opposed to blue as

either side of the river.

century. Buda Castle was a sym-

Castle a World Heritage Site in

Europe,

20

life

bustling

the

August 2011

Hungarian


LIVING & HEALTH

1987. More prosaically, Katy Perry

2003. The hotel’s baroque ballroom

The smell of sulfur chloride and

filmed portions of her video for her

is an all-too-fitting place to hold a

other minerals permeate several

The Kempinski Hotel Corvinus’

song “Firework” at the complex.

party or other event for those with

of Széchenyi’s interior rooms, but

(kempinski.com/en/budapest/

Habsburgian tastes.

Across the river in Pest, the sprawl-

live on more than dobos alone.

our guide Balázs Gyemant is among

Pages/Welcome.aspx)

ing Hungarian Parliament build-

Other notable Budapesti build-

those Budapestis who swear that

buffet is a virtual smorgasbord

ing is the third largest legislative

ings include the neo-Renaissance

these spas provide tangible health

that includes freshly baked breads,

building in the world after the US

Hungarian State Opera House on

benefits. They also prove partic-

several varieties of jams and pre-

Capitol in Washington, DC and the

Andrássy út that opened in 1884.

ularly effective to those suffering

serves,

British Parliament in London. The

The Great Synagogue, which con-

from jet lag or hangovers from the

sages, an omelet bar, granolas

neo-Gothic, neo-Romanesque and

tains both Moorish Revival and

night before.

and fruits. A typical breakfast in

neo-Baroque building opened in

Romantic elements, is the largest

1902. It contains both the Hungarian

Jewish house of worship outside of

Parliament’s

New York City. It can accommodate

chambers

and

the

country’s crown jewels. A changing

up to 3,000 people.

of the guards takes place each hour.

British engineer William Tierney

The building remains in a nearly

Clark designed the Széchenyi Chain

constant

restoration

Bridge that spans the Danube. It

because the porous limestone from

state

of

opened in 1849, and it is the first

which it was constructed has not

permanent bridge that linked Buda

withstood Budapesti air pollution

and Pest. Located at the base of the

particularly well. Budapestis are

Lágymányosi Bridge in Pest, the

even known to toast the beloved

Palace of Arts (mupa.hu/en/) opened

building on the rare occasion it is

in 2005. The venue contains Bartók

not encased in unsightly scaffold-

National Concert Hall, the Ludwig

ing. Large portions of the struc-

Museum and the Festival Theatre.

ture were scaffolding-free during

The rooftop terrace is the perfect

my trip to the Hungarian capital

place to enjoy a glass of wine or sip

in April, and the glimmering struc-

an espresso while overlooking the

ture was an impressive sight from

Danube and the distant Buda Hills.

dried

meats

breakfast

and

sau-

Budapest includes sour cherries, Budapesti Cuisine Hungary’s

meat-heavy

smoked salmon with dill, kefir with cuisine

European muesli and dried apri-

was not particularly easy for this

cots. A couple of cups of strong

pescetarian, but one can certainly

Continued on page 22

the amphibious sightseeing boat that cruised the Danube on a

Taking the Waters

cloudy Friday afternoon. (American

Budapestis are absolutely enam-

Airlines and the Hungarian National

ored with their city’s famous baths,

Tourist Office sponsored my trip.)

and a visit to one of the Hungarian

Some of Budapest’s hotels are architectural gems in their own

capital’s spa complexes is an absolute must.

right. The opulent neo-Renaissance

The Gellért Baths in Pest are argu-

Boscolo New York Palace (Erzsébet

ably Budapest’s most famous baths,

körút

boscolohotels.com/

taking advantage of the 123 hot

eng/hotels/new_york_palace/lux-

springs that emanate from a geolog-

ury-hotel-budapest.htm)

origi-

ical fault that runs underneath the

nally opened in 1894. Intellectuals

city, but the sprawling Széchenyi

mingled among journalists, art-

spa (szechenyibath.com/) complex

ists and other literati during the

in City Park in Pest is an enchanting

city’s Gilded Age at the hotel’s aptly

option. Széchenyi, which opened in

named New York Café. The hotel

1913, features a dozen baths, three

recently underwent a five-year ren-

outdoor and two indoor swimming

ovation project and reopened in

pools. The outdoor swimming pools’

2006. Sipping a strong coffee over

temperature ranges from 29°C to

dobos or other Hungarian pastries

33°C. A Russian-style cold water

in the ornate café is simply a must

bath is 20°C, while some of the sau-

for anyone who visits Budapest.

nas and steam rooms exceed 60°C.

The

43-49;

five-star

Corinthia

Hotel

(Erzsébet körút 43-49; corinthia.com/en/Budapest/home/)

opened

in the former Grand Hotel Royal in

→ Jewels The Hungarian Parliament (opposite page), a Takaji winery (top) and the Széchenyi spa (bottom). intorontomag.com

21


L I V I N G & H EA LT H

Continued from page 21

stash. Freshly baked bread with

the back of CoXx Men’s Bar (Dohány

körözött, a sheep’s cheese and

u 38; coxx.hu) proves this hot spot

paprika spread, and Hungarian

is quite possibly the country’s “big-

wine pair well with this meal.

gest cruising bar.”

LGBT Budapest

largely

Even though Budapest itself is

meal quite nicely.

→ cas tle hill Buda Castle, looking east toward Pest.

Budapest’s Central Market is a

the

vast

majority of Hungary remains soc-

Mystery Bar (mysterybar.hu) near

ially conservative. Parliamentarians

St

described

in April approved a new consti-

Budapest as a “paradise” of sorts

tution that bans same-sex mar-

for LGBT Hungarians, but the city

riage. Nationalists and even neo-

is certainly not London, New York

Nazis have successfully disrupted

or Berlin in terms of nightlife and

Budapest Pride in recent years.

Stephen’s

Basilica

acceptance. That said, however, Hungarian coffee complement the

LGBT-friendly,

One activist I met at Le Café

An

estimated

1,500

people

Budapest’s many bars, clubs and

marched in this year’s parade on

saunas offer a variety of options for

June 24. Several hundred anti-gay

gay travellers.

protestors with signs waited for the

great place to observe Budapestis

hu) while the Essencia Cooking

Lady Dömper and her gender-

marchers near one of Budapest’s

shop for locally grown fruits and

School (Szentkirályi u 1/B; essencia.

bending Hungarian friends are reg-

major intersections, but parade

vegetables, meat and other items.

hu/english) allows visitors to pre-

ulars at AlterEgo (Dessewffy u 33;

organizers changed the route at

Two bags of Hungarian paprika

pare traditional Hungarian dishes

alteregoclub.hu/alteregoclub_eng.-

the last minute. “The general atmo-

quickly found their way into my

such as spring soup with parsnip

html). Those looking for something

sphere of the march was more

man purse.

root, carrots, zucchini and celery,

decidedly less campy should truck

relaxed and festive,” says Tamás

Goulash and a rich garlic cream

and Rakott krumpli, a dish that fea-

over to Action Bar (Magyar u 42;

Dombos of the LGBT advocacy

soup with fried bread topped with

tures potato gratin with eggs and

action.gay.hu), a popular cruising

group Háttér (hatter.hu).

sour cream and cheese are among sausages, a dollop of sour cream RCM_INTo_1/2page_4c_ad__V AMa Page 1 the offerings at the retro11-06-21 Menza 9:47 and sprinkle of director Eszter

bar featuring Hungarian porn stars

(Liszt Ferenc tér 2; menzaetterem.-

“Toronto’s

Newest and Finest Concert Space”

Värady’s mother’s secret paprika

MAX RAABE AND PALAST ORCHESTER

Fri. Mar. 9, 2012 8pm Koerner Hall The Berlin cabaret circa 1920, with authentic arrangements of Kurt Weill, Cole Porter, and Franz Lehár. “Irresistible.” (Los Angeles Times) Presented in association with the Goethe Institut Toronto.

every Friday night. Not to be outdone, the East German Trabant in

ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO

Sat. Mar. 10, 2012 8pm Koerner Hall “Africa's premier diva” (TIME) performs rhythmic Afro-funk fusion with “irresistible energy and joie de vivre” (Los Angeles Times)

Hungarian National Tourist Office hungary.com.

UTE LEMPER AND THE VOGLER QUARTET

Wed. Apr. 4, 2012 8pm Koerner Hall From Weill to Piazzolla and from Schulhoff to Piaf, this is an extraordinary portrait of the cultural melting pot of 1920s Europe.

TORONTO STAR

ADI BRAUN AND TRIO PRESENT “NOIR”

Sun. Apr. 15, 2012 7:30pm Conservatory Theatre “Cabarazz” vocalist Adi Braun presents a concert of delicious and dangerous music from the era of film noir.

MEOW MEOW

Fri. May 11, 2012 8pm Koerner Hall Comedic kamikaze cabaret! “Meow Meow blends performance art, cabaret, and pop culture into a style that defies labeling.” (Preview Magazine)

TICKETS FROM $20 22

August 2011

rcmusic.ca 416.408.0208

PHILIPPE JAROUSSKY WITH APOLLO'S FIRE: HÄNDEL AND VIVALDI FIREWORKS

Tue. Nov. 1, 2011 8pm Koerner Hall French countertenor star Philippe Jaroussky and Apollo's Fire set sparks flying with Vivaldi’s Concerto in B Minor for Four Violins and La Folia (Madness).

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LIVING & HEALTH

F itne s s

Push outside your comfort zone → Most

mixed martial arts gyms offer welcoming environments and shredded bodies… the good kind Story Jeremy Foreshew | Photography Jodi Pudge

I

f you find yourself bored at the gym and in a bit of a fitness funk, you are not alone. After all, there are really only so many squats, curls and presses that you can do before things start to get a little stale. Be careful. Once your motivation starts to slip, so will your commitment to your program. Fight back against performance plateaus by forcing yourself outside your comfort zone. To challenge your body and mind, try mixed martial arts (MMA). Brought to North America in the 1990s, MMA was illegal in Ontario until just this year. Since then, its popularity has exploded in Toronto. With more than 500 mixed martial arts gyms in the area, droves of people have turned to MMA to get an incredible workout. It makes sense. MMA is an extremely tough full-body workout requiring many muscle groups, rather than isolated exercises such as a bench press or bicep curl. This approach burns more calories than a regular weights-based workout and the

continuous challenges to your balance and coordination delivers an amazingly strong core. Look at any of the professional league fighters and their shredded bodies and you’ll agree. So why aren’t more gay men and lesbians turning to MMA? Looking at what’s presented to us on television, it’s easy to chalk up MMA as a heterocentric testosterone-fuelled party where aggressive guys and gals beat their chests

“You learn that you are capable of anything. It’s natural to be nervous, but the rewards are well worth the risk.” and then each other. With a little research, it turns out the MMA world is actually an accepting and inclusive environment. In fact, UFC president Dana White publicly welcomed the idea of a gay fighter a couple of

years ago on a blog for UFC88. “The guys in the UFC, everybody’s so cool, there’s great sportsmanship, everybody’s so respectful,” said White in the video. “It wouldn’t be a big deal to me, and most of the guys I know in this sport, it wouldn’t be a big deal to them either.” Just three years later comes Liz Caramouche, a US exMarine and the professional MMA world’s first openly lesbian fighter (and title contender). I signed up for some classes at OpenMat, an MMA gym in downtown Toronto, where I met with head instructor Elliot Bayev. “It’s always intimidating to start something new and people often assume that martial arts gyms are going to be full of intimidating ‘tough guys,’” he says. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Elliot, who holds a black belt in tae kwon doe and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu says the OpenMat philosophy provides an open and inclusive environment for new learners. “We specialize in helping people who’ve never done martial arts take their first step

→ OPEN MINDED Elliot Bayev, head instructor at Toronto’s OpenMat, says MMA fighters are wrongly characterized as macho “tough men.”

with a comprehensive beginners program in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai kickboxing and wrestling.” In his opinion, the largest benefit to anyone in MMA is the boost of confidence. “You learn that you are capable of anything. It’s natural to be nervous, but the rewards are well worth the risk.” After my first 60 minute class, I agree. The mixed martial arts world isn’t about who you are, but about what you can do. No one here cares about your partner in bed. All they ask is that you’re a great partner on the mat. OpenMat Offers a free 30-day trial on classes for new students. 593 Yonge St, third floor (647) 269-8466. openmat.ca. FIGHTER’S BODY For mixed martial arts-like workout, go to intorontomag.com. Jeremy Foreshew jeremyforeshew.com. intorontomag.com

25


L I V I N G & H EA LT H

IT’S HERE!

the grooming

The Evolution in Male Grooming

— with Dino Dilio

A spa oasis for men with expert staff to match the million dollar environment.

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→ For some people using sunscreen is like using condoms. Some never go without, while others take their chances. Today daily sun protection is just as important as using a condom and as natural as brushing your teeth.

No matter how wonderful it

The major reason why many peo-

is detrimental, damaging and dis-

ple don’t use sunscreen is because

couraging for sun worshippers.

of the heavy, thick, greasy feel-

I asked beauty associate and friend

Dave

Lackie,

Bay’s

of the past have been greatly

share

some

improved thanks to new lighter

important and recent facts about

textures that are easy to use, quick

the importance of using sun-

to apply and feel good. Clear sprays

screen daily.

and gels are the most comfortable.

editor,

to

What has happened to the envi-

Sport sprays and mists are ideal for

ronment over the last 50 years

oilier skins and won’t cause break-

to make sun protection so vital?

outs. You have to try a few and find

“A couple of things,” says Lackie.

one you like.”

“The thinning of the ozone layer has

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the

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So

the

manly

old-fashioned

the

“shit, shower and shave” ritual of

strength of UVA and UVB rays.

yesterday has been updated and

Secondly, scientific knowledge of

replaced by the “poop, prep and

just how damaging UV exposure

protect” program. The prep stage

is to skin cells has increased. We

encompasses shower and shave.

now know that over 80 percent of

The protect part is the “anti-aging

the signs of aging such as wrin-

answer.” Adding a few basic sun

kles, lines, age spots and skin can-

protection items to your grooming

cers are directly caused by unpro-

arsenal starts with a suitable full

tected sun damage.”

spectrum SPF 15 daily moisturizer

There’s also new info on sun-

for daily low sun exposure. Switch

screen. What new and relevant

to a SPF 30 to 50 for outdoor high

information and tips can you share

sun exposure. Reapply liberally

with our readers? “Using a suitable

every two to three hours and after

moisturizer with a broad spectrum

swimming. Always run for shade,

SPF 15 sunscreen is a start and the

wear a hat and light covering

most important grooming prod-

clothes when outdoors. Cleanse

uct you can use,” says Lackie. “Not

your face properly to remove sun

only will it prevent skin cancer

screen and everything attached to

but it will keep your skin looking

it. Repeat the process every day

younger, longer. Only buy broad

and reap the rewards.

spectrum sunscreens that clearly state UVA and UVB protection. Roll-up sun-sticks are ideal for instant nose, tops of ears and lip protection. If you get into the habit of using sunscreen daily, you’ll thank yourself 20 years from now

Dino Dilio The freelance makeup artist and writer is resident beauty expert on CityLine. dinodilio.com.


L I V I N G & H EA LT H

SEX IS EASY TO FIND. LOVE ISN’T.

relationship advice

— with Adam Segal The sun is shining but I’m a mess: I’ve fallen for a wonderful guy and we’ve been seeing each other for about eight months. Things with him are incredible but I’m a ball of nerves. I’m plagued by anxiety and fear that this is just a dream that is going to end as soon as I begin to relax into it. He makes me feel like a prince and has done nothing to confirm my fears of rejection, yet I can’t shake the feeling that I’m going to be left broken-hearted for someone sexier or more successful. Help! Andre

Let’s start with the hard truth:

stay grounded, focus on the experi-

There is a chance that your night-

ence of your actual time together as

mare of being left will actually come

a way of curbing obsessive thoughts

true. What isn’t true, despite what

about what might happen.

your anxious mind would like to

Getting

into

a

relationship

have you believe, is that a break-up

requires a certain level of esteem:

is something you need to fear like

You have to feel you’re worth being

Madonna’s next movie.

in a relationship with. I’m going to

There’s no question that it would

guess that esteem has been a chal-

hurt like hell to let this dream guy

lenge for you predating this new

into your soul and then have it all

relationship. Growing up with criti-

fall apart. But know what? You’d

cal parents or living in this incredi-

survive it.

bly judgmental world is likely feed-

Anxiety is a tricky bugger. Anxious

ing an internal voice saying that you

thinking can offer us an illusion of

don’t measure up. As queers, this

having control, that is, “If I think

sense of “not enough-ness” doesn’t

of all that could go terribly, horri-

just go away once we come out of

bly wrong before it happens, I will

the closet. Childhood wounds can

at least be prepared or even pre-

have us navigating the world with a

vent it from happening at all.” In the

shield in hopes of preventing any re-

field of psychology, this is known

injury. Seeing a therapist might help

as “magical thinking” whereby we

you learn about where this sense of

can attribute magical powers to our

worthlessness comes from and help

thoughts. The unfortunate irony is

you heal from those injuries.

that this coping strategy is actually

Stop comparing yourself to some

making you miserable and making

imaginary Andre Version 2.0 who

it very hard to enjoy the beauty that

is “better” than you. Your task here

is your budding relationship.

is to be able to comfort your fears

To be blunt, beginning a new rela-

of rejection without buying into the

tionship stirs up all of our crap: Am

idea that there is an actual apoca-

I smart enough…? What if he finds

lyptic-style threat awaiting you. In

out that I watch Everybody Loves

other terms, befriend that freaked-

Raymond reruns…? To fully invest

out boy inside of you but don’t let

emotionally

him run the show.

in

another

person

means feeling a good deal of vulnerability. Feeling some fear is a healthy part of getting involved. However, it sounds like your fear has swept in and eclipsed your good sense. To

Adam Segal The writer and therapist works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at relationship@intorontomag.com.

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L I V I N G & H EA LT H

m e d i c ine

The other disease →A

new study raises troubling questions about cancer and how it affects gay men and lesbians Story Krishna Rau | Illustration Corey Pierce

A

US study suggesting that gay men may be more vulnerable to cancer has shone a spotlight on how the disease affects the LGBT community. The study from the Boston University School of Public Health, based on data from a California survey of cancer survivors, showed that gay men were twice as likely as straight men to report a diagnosis of cancer. It also showed that 28

August 2011

while the incidence of cancer diagnosis among lesbians was on a par with straight women, lesbians were twice as likely to report only fair or poor health after surviving cancer. But Professor Ulrike Boehmer, the lead investigator on the study, says the limited data may actually raise more questions than it answers. The study cannot conclude, for example, whether gay men are more vulnerable to cancer, whether

they’re simply more likely to be diagnosed, or whether they’re more likely to have better results. “It could be that gay men are more likely to survive cancer,” says Boehmer. Boehmer also says that her own previous studies on women and cancer did not support the data from this latest study. “In my own study, I did not find differences in terms of wellbeing. I’m very much

interested in studying this. It might be we picked women who are very health-conscious versus the sample in California. We sort of don’t know where any of these populations are.” The current study, Boehmer adds, was also unable to collect data on types of cancer among respondents. “Gay men have more anal cancers, but we could not break it down by cancer,” she says.


LIVING & HEALTH

Boehmer says she wants to study

MacLachlan says that the nor-

of testing when it comes to sexual

HIV-negative. We can’t say whether

the relationship between gay men

mal rate for anal cancer in the gen-

health, and anal cancer is a sexually

it’s the meds, the virus, or the ongo-

and lesbians and cancer more

eral population is 1 to 5 per 100,000,

transmitted disease. The 25 percent

ing challenge of having to con-

closely, but is handicapped by a lack

while the rate for gay men in gen-

of gay men who are HIV-positive

stantly manage the disease. Plus

of data. “Cancer registry collections

eral is 35 to 40 per 100,000.

are integrated into the health care

there’s environmental and genetic

system.”

factors and everything else.”

in the US are based on patient’s

“And the rates for gay men who

medical data. There have been no

are HIV-positive are significantly

But he adds that a significant num-

But HIV is not the only risk factor

concrete steps taken for incorpora-

higher,” says MacLachlan, “and by

ber of gay men and lesbians, espe-

for homosexuals, says Gillis. “There

tion of sexual orientation. There’s a

that I mean at least two or three

cially outside of major cities, are

is certainly data showing that lesbi-

very complicated legal situation in

times higher. Having an immune

still unwilling to talk about sexually

ans have higher rates of smoking,

many states. They have these very

system under stress is a risk fac-

transmitted diseases. “You can get

drinking, drug use, obesity, lower

homophobic laws. It’s not likely

tor for cancer. It’s a significant fac-

people would feel very comfortable

tor for women who are HIV-positive

with that sort of data collection.”

as well.”

rates of conception and breastfeed-

“Gay men were twice as likely as straight men to report a diagnosis of cancer.”

ing. We also know that lesbians have lower rates of pap smears.

But Boehmer says she hopes the

Offering anal pap smears to men

study will lead to greater attention

— to test for the human papilloma-

being paid to the needs of gay men

virus, which can cause anal can-

and lesbians when it comes to can-

cer — would be a huge step, says

cer. “Knowing there is this greater

MacLachlan. “The rates [for gay

proportion of gay men should lead

men] are very, very close to cervi-

to greater planning. What’s the

cal cancer for women before regu-

anonymous testing at places like the

their healthcare providers often

impact of HIV/AIDS and cancers

lar screenings were introduced. The

Hassle Free Clinic, but that’s not the

think they don’t need it.”

that are related to HIV populations,

rates for women now with screen-

norm outside of Toronto.”

for example? Oncologists really

ings are eight per 100,000. The mes-

And government unwillingness to

Gillis says stigma often plays a role

might want to think about this need

sage is: Always get screened. The

make tests such as anal pap smears

in perpetuating that ignorance.

for services for gay men.”

irony for the issue of anal cancer is

readily available is due in part pre-

“Because our community has been

we don’t have screenings for anal

cisely to the fact that anal cancer is

pathologized for so long, it’s hard to

cancer in Ontario.”

usually a sexually transmitted dis-

talk about health issues. We’ve had

ease, says MacLachlan. “We’re still

small studies, where we get sto-

E

xperts in Ontario agree that there is a pressing need for

Loralee Gillis, the research and

“Lesbians, bisexual women, trans men, anyone with a cervix should be getting a pap smear. That’s a very clear and identifiable step. Lesbians and bi women often don’t think they need pap smears and

As with HIV and anal cancer,

cancer services focused on the gay

policy

Rainbow

uptight when it comes to asses,” he

ries of homophobia from health-

community. Duncan MacLachlan,

Health Ontario, agrees that lack of

says. “One of the stigmas around

care providers, but also people who

the manager of community health

testing is a major problem in com-

anal cancer is that it is sexually

say, ‘Of course I didn’t come out to

programs at the AIDS Committee of

bating cancer. “With gay men, hav-

transmitted. Other cancers don’t

my healthcare provider. They don’t

Toronto, says there is a tremendous

ing to ask for an anal pap is impos-

have that kind of stigma.”

need to know that.’

need for screenings for anal cancer.

sible. It’s obscene that OHIP does

He agrees with Boehmer that gay

not cover anal pap.”

coordinator

for

But MacLachlan says that HIV

“But even where providers are

may also make people more vulner-

willing, they don’t necessarily know

men, especially those with HIV or

Such testing could be particu-

able to those other kinds of cancer

what our health risks are, that it

AIDS, have a greatly increased risk

larly effective for a large num-

as well, especially those who have

can be tied to systemic oppres-

of anal cancer.

ber of gay men, says MacLachlan,

been living with the virus for many

sion. There’s also a real invisibility

because of a greater awareness of

years.

of our community in public health

→ WHAT NOW? Researchers agree that much more work needs to be done to understand a recent study showing a higher prevalence of cancer diagnoses among LGBT people.

sexually transmitted diseases. “I do

“We now have the emergence of

messaging. Because policy makers

think that when we look at testing

higher rates of cancer among older

aren’t aware that our community

for STIs, rates of testing are higher.

— meaning over 50 — HIV-positive

is at risk, it doesn’t get included.” •

Gay men are certainly more aware

people than among those who are intorontomag.com

29


glenhanson.com

insight

A n a ly s i s

Under attack → Is

City Hall about to destroy everything we hold dear about Toronto? And is the LGBT community at particular risk? Story Krishna Rau | Illustration Glen Hanson

30

August 2011


insight

W

hen it comes to muni-

So the question many, includ-

estimates at about $450,000 a year

cipal politics, September

ing city councillors, are asking is:

— and other AIDS organizations

could be the bloodiest

Is there a homophobic element at

is safe for the next year, but wor-

month Toronto has seen in years.

work? Or is the LGBT community

ries that future cuts could lead to a

That’s when Mayor Rob Ford and his

just being caught up in a right-

health catastrophe.

executive committee will announce

wing rush to cut every publicly-

the budget cuts they want to see

funded service available?

“Our mayor was quoted some years ago as saying if you’re not

for 2012. And if they pass, the

Kyle Rae — who, until he retired

gay or a drug user, you don’t get

result could be a city unrecogniz-

before the last election, was the

AIDS. For some councillors, they

able to many of its citizens.

long-serving

the

may not say it, but it does feed into

table.

ward encompassing the gay vil-

their attitudes around ‘the other,’

Possible cuts run from Christmas

lage and a long-time nemesis of

why are we giving money to ‘these

presents for needy children and

Ford — has no doubt that Ford and

people?’

snowplowing to fluoride in the

his supporters take homophobic

“Cutting funding could easily

water, daycare and old-age homes.

glee in going after things like AIDS

double the number of infections

funding.

in the city. Right now, we have

Everything

is

on

the

And while gay men, lesbians and trans folk use all of those services,

“Last

year

councillor

grants

two new infections every day in

there will likely be cuts to services

came before council, then-Coun-

Toronto, and 70 percent of those

and institutions near and dear to

cillor

are gay men.”

Toronto’s queer community: most

$46-million, it didn’t matter what,

notably Pride, AIDS organizations,

money to kids, to the homeless,

expense

community centres, including The

to new Canadians, to recreation,

increased numbers would cost the

519 in the heart of the Church-

to equity,” says Rae. “He voted

city far more than it would save by

Wellesley Village, and the arts (see

against them all, but he decided

cutting AIDS funding.

sidebar).

to speak only about AIDS educa-

Ford

when [voted

city

for

against]

all

For the next year, that funding is safe. Pride will get its money for 2011, despite Ford skipping the event to go to his family cottage and Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti stalking the Dyke March to find any evidence of “political messages.” Community centres, including The 519, will keep their funding for

“The mayor’s staff has said to me the cuts will be apocalyptic, and the person who said that was almost gleeful.”

Maxwell

says of

the

caring

additional for

those

Rae, though, isn’t convinced that logic will persuade Ford and his supporters. “Ford is a crude, vulgar, empty-headed buffoon. He just says the same thing over and over and over. And he can barely look you in the eye when he’s talking to you. He counts amongst his supporters a number of homophobic and unpleasant people who didn’t

this year. And Toronto AIDS ser-

tion and clean needles. I found his

feel comfortable before, but who

vice organizations will maintain

comments offensive and in my

now see him as their champion.”

their funding, despite the mayor

reply I called him homophobic and

Ford and a number of his allies

being the only member of council

AIDS-phobic. When he responded,

on council, including Mammoliti

who voted to abolish their grants.

he didn’t ask me to withdraw my

and Michael Thompson, did not

Ford also voted against every other

comments, which is what one usu-

respond to requests for an inter-

grant to any community organiza-

ally does if a councillor crosses the

view. But several councillors who

tion or program in the city.

line.”

oppose many of Ford’s plans agree

But for next year’s budget, every-

John Maxwell, the director of pro-

that the LGBT community is vul-

thing could change. The mayor

grams and services for the AIDS

nerable, though they’re less def-

could bring out the heavy artillery

Committee of Toronto, says that

inite about attributing that to

and many things important to the

sort of long-held attitude on Ford’s

homophobia.

LGBT community could be mowed

part is worrying. He’s happy that

down.

city funding to ACT — which he

“It

would

surprise

me

pro-

Continued on page 33

The show must go on Artists and arts administrators are running scared. Wholesale cuts could be coming to the city’s Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP) which funnels $19 million to the Toronto Arts Council, four local arts service organizations and major institutions like the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto International Film Festival, Pride and Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana). “The arts council has been very fortunate over the past 20 years or so,” says former city councillor Kyle Rae. “Back in the early ’90s, when we went through the last fiscal crisis, city council flatlined it but didn’t cut its budget. The majors, however, were cut heavily.” “Pride funding might be the smallest potato in the bag,” says video artist Roy Mitchell, executive director of Trinity Square Video, an artist-run video production house and gallery; he also sits on the board of Pride. “Every artist and arts organization in town is worried about cuts. For the film and video sector, a cut to the Toronto Arts Council would be disastrous.” Tim Jones, CEO of Artscape, the not-for-profit arts-hub and urban development group, isn’t ready to give into doom and gloom just yet. “We have to remember that just two months ago, council, including the mayor, unanimously approved a new culture plan that called for increased spending on the arts. So it’s really unclear at this point and we won’t know until September where council’s priorities are. “In our experience at Artscape we have met with councillors on all sides of the political spectrum and what we’ve found is Continued on page 33

intorontomag.com

31


insight

Under Attack, continued from page 31

The Show, continued from page 31

foundly if Ford didn’t come after

ment out of arts and culture fund-

the gay and lesbian community

ing. Unless there’s a hockey scene

again,” says downtown councillor

on it, they’re not going to see it as

Adam Vaughan. “He considers it

art.”

gravy, pink gravy maybe, rainbowcoloured gravy.

Scarborough councillor Glenn de Baeremaeker agrees, saying that

“But Mammoliti’s creepy behav-

while there may be one or two

iour notwithstanding, most of it

homophobes on council, the LGBT

is

anti-down-

community is more likely to suf-

town. Whether it’s motivated by

fer because it didn’t vote the right

homophobia gets muddy in that

way.

anti-progressive,

regard. It’s not The 519 they dis-

“I do think the mayor is segregat-

like, it’s all community centres. It’s

ing some communities. He’s say-

not Buddies in Bad Times they dis-

ing this is the gay community, they

like, but they point to it whenever

didn’t vote for me, I don’t care if I

they use examples [of city-owned

offend them. And cyclists… all of

theatres]. They don’t like pub-

them are gay anyway.”

lic health as a division and when

As we roll inexorably towards a

they criticize it, they go after AIDS.

September showdown, Ford has

If it were up to them, they would

remained silent about what cuts

remove funding from all parades,

he wants to see. But those look-

not just Pride.”

ing to maintain services in the city

But Vaughan also thinks Ford and

his

supporters

are

quite

say the LGBT community has to be prepared to fight back.

happy to make those cuts that

“It’s a question of who’ll blink

will directly affect the LGBT com-

first,” says Vaughan, “and the

munity. “They’re either casting a

mayor right now is hiding in a dark

wide net and scooping up the gay

room where you can’t see his eyes.

and lesbian community or they’re

When the executive council makes

afraid to go after the gay and les-

these

bian community directly.”

there’ll only be a week or two to

Kristyn Wong-Tam, Rae’s successor on council, says the LGBT community and other minority groups also make a convenient target to garner support for cuts. “I think some councillors don’t fully understand what the LGBT

decisions

in

September,

rally the troops.” So Wong-Tam says the LGBT troops will have to be ready. “The mayor’s staff has said to me the cuts will be apocalyptic, and the person who said that was almost gleeful.

community is about and how we

“But we have always been very

integrate in society. There’s a

resilient and we may have to look

sense we are ‘the other,’ and we

inward again for that sort of lead-

are on the margins, and that’s not

ership. We have an administration

true. What I see happening is this

that has proven it doesn’t want

polarization of the other. There’s

to support us. We’re on high alert

a manufactured split between ‘us’

and the community was one of the

and ‘them.’”

first to start fighting back against

Wong-Tam points to Pride as

this administration.”

an example. “Pride is a very convenient excuse. Ultimately, what they want to do is get govern-

with files from Gordon Bowness

broad support for what we’re doing and for the arts in general.” “I was pleasantly surprised that the new cultural action plan was adopted unanimously at council recently,” writes Scott Miller Berry, executive director of Images, Toronto’s huge media arts festival, in an email. “But I also have no faith or trust that the current leadership at the city has any love for culture at the community-based levels that Images and so many others operate: artist-run, independent, and ‘non-commercial.’” Some types of art are more palatable than others. Cuts are one thing; targetted cuts, motivated by politics, are another. Last year, the Toronto Sun made burning hay over Homegrown, Catherine Frid’s play at Summerworks, by whipping up hysteria over tax dollars supporting what was depicted, sight unseen, as a pro-terrorist play. Even the prime minister and the PMO weighed in. Then this year, about a month before Summerworks kicked off, Heritage Canada announced that it was not renewing the festival’s long-term funding, leading many to accuse the feds of punishing Canada’s largest juried theatre festival. Councillor Mammoliti’s attacks on Pride stemming from what he considers undesirable politics at the event show that a similar funding/censorship chill is at work at the city level. “Arts funding should always be determined at an arm’s length,” says Michael Rubenfeld, artistic producer of Summerworks (running Thu, Aug 4 to 14; see page 35). “Politicians are qualified to make political decisions. They have no qualifications to determine what art has value, and so their decisions become filtered through a political lens. It’s like asking somebody who has no experience fixing cars to decide who the best mechanics are.” “What’s happening around Pride and Summerworks shows the dan-

ger of when politicians get involved in funding the arts, when there’s no arm’s-length jury,” says Mitchell. “Our life is politics, though maybe not overtly,” says Christopher Alexander, the CFO of Caribbean Carnival, considered the largest cultural festival in the city. “Our lives are entwined; we don’t live in silos; our lives encompass so many different things. I don’t know where you could draw a line to separate life and politics.” Many arts leaders caution not to write off the mayor and his supporters on council, calling for engagement and new ways of framing the partnership between the city and its artists. Some focus on the economics of culture, how it contributes $9.4

“The cultural and creative sector is a fragile ecology. If you screw it up, it will take decades to build it back up.” billion to the city’s GDP and the cost effectiveness of arts grants that yield multiple returns. Others focus on the intrinsic value of art and its crucial role in our public — and private — life. Debates over tactics aside, there’s a palpable sense of urgency. “The cultural and creative sector is a fragile ecology,” says Jones. “If you screw it up, it will take decades to build it back up.” “We should be organizing now,” writes Miller. “We usually react to a cut or crackdown or censorship after it happens — which is important. But we should be organizing now to keep strong city funding for the arts and culture, to ensure arm’s-length funding and to let the mayor and council know that there is no Toronto without the arts.” Gordon Bowness

intorontomag.com

33


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MANULIFE CENTRE, B AY S T. S O U T H O F B L O O R 416-967-1122

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l i s t i n gs & e v e n ts

Continued from page 35

in spot

MetroSexual spa Story Michael Pihach

All Daniel Rodrigues wanted was a place to get his back waxed. The 34-year-old businessman, who describes himself as “pretty hairy,” used to visit co-ed spas to fulfill his manscaping needs, until his embarrassment for visiting typically female-dominated facilities sunk in. “I got tired of it,” says Rodrigues, who says he often felt judged by other female spa patrons for wanting his back waxed. “I ended up in the basement of someone’s home where they did waxing part-time.” That experience is what led Rodrigues to create MetroSexual, a men-only spa on the Scollard beauty block in Yorkville. “If you take care of yourself, you’re a metro,” says Rodrigues, who believes the term is more accepted now, compared to 10 years ago. The services at MetroSexual include hair removal, massages, hair styling, body scrubs, manicures, pedicures, oxygen-infused facials, teeth whitening, mist tanning, i-LIPO (a painless, fat zapping, body sculpting laser procedure) and the ancient practice of ear wax removal known as ear candling. No sex, boys. This isn’t a bathhouse. Rather, MetroSexual caters to everything else men want in a spa. The skin care products? No 36

August 2011

→ FOR MEN Cool ambience, sleek design and estheticians with the right mix of professionalism and sass.

floral scents here. The hair waxing techniques? Man-powered. (“A man’s hair structure is thicker, more rooted than women,” notes Rodrigues. “We make it less painful.”) The waiting room is a comfort zone for GQ Style and Cigar Aficionado magazines. And there’s only one washroom — a housecoat-and-key change room with military-style lockers. Thankfully, this particular men’s facility skips the oily garage or hunting lodge motifs. “It’s got a more tame, cut-edge to it,” says Rodrigues describing the spa’s cool ambience and design. The only thing non-manly at MetroSexual are the female estheticians, all of whom exude the right dose of professionalism to make a straight guy feel dope about getting his nails buffed and the right amount of sass to make a gay guy feel adored.

MetroSexual 91 Scollard St. (647) 342-8525. thespaformen.com.

Thu, Aug 4 to 14 (summerworks.ca). This year’s festival has the added urgency of being defunded by the federal government, purportedly a punishment for having the audacity to present a politically sensitive play last year. Highlights this year include Hannah Moscovitch’s The Russian Play and Volcano Theatre’s production of Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. On the LGBT side is the play Freda and Jem’s Best of the Week, Lois Fine’s drama about lesbian moms and their kids featuring Diane Flacks, Kathryn Haggis, Sadie Epstein-Fine and Nick Eddie; directed by Judith Thompson. Opening. 8pm. Aug 5. Various times until Aug 12. Factory Theatre Studio. 125 Bathurst St. Still Life from LemonTree Theatre Creations explores the joys and struggles of queers in a postmodern world in the wake of a homophobic attack. Created by and starring Jonathan Seinen, Indrit Kasapi, Cole J Alvis, Alisha Stranges and Andrew Aquino. Opening. 4:30pm. Aug 5. Until Aug 14. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. 16 Ryerson Ave. Writer and director Evan Tsitsias presents Strange Mary Strange, a piece of physical theatre that journeys inside the mind of a woman in her elusive search for normal. Starring Catherine Rainville, Sarah McVie, Emma MacKenzie Hillier. Opening 7pm. Aug 4. Until Aug 14. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. The allfemale cast of Nika Mistruzzi, Cara Gee, Donna Maloney, Meghan Swaby, Lauren Bride, Jessica Salgueiro and Sheelagh Darling Pletsch remounts Mistruzzi and Aurora Stewart de Peña’s The Physical Ramifications of Attempted Global Domination, about the medical ailments of demagogues. Opening. 5:30pm. Aug 5. Until Aug 14. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. The fest also present a remount of Susanna Hood’s Shudder, a provocative dance piece inspired by the paintings

of Francis Bacon, performed by Hood, Danny Wild and Alanna Kraaijeveld. Opening. 2pm. Aug 6. Until Aug 14. Lower Ossington Theatre.100A Ossington Ave. $15; various passes. (416) 504-7529. artsboxoffice.ca. bitch salad: big business Queer comedy

stalwarts Andrew Johnston and Sara Hennessey perform extended sets in this live taping for future DVD release. $10. 8pm doors; 8:30pm show. Sat, Aug 6. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. femaledogsalad@gmail.com. Hansel and Gretel: A Case Study Shadowland

Theatre returns to Toronto Island with an outdoor, all-ages, processional cabaret combining live music from Brecht and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera and contributions from Sigmund Freud. Written by Anne Barber and Brad Harley in collaboration with performers Marion Lewis, Angela Loft, Lorraine Pelletier and Arber Makri. $15; $10 children; $40 family. Show begins at the ferry docks on Ward’s Island. Take the Ward’s Island ferry at 7:45pm from city docks at Bay and Queens Quay W. Tue, Aug 9-14. (416) 203-0946. shadowlandtheatre.ca. Totem Cirque du Soleil’s visually resplendent and acrobatic telling of humanity’s evolution and our ever-present dreams of

flight. Written and directed by Robert Lepage. $65$265. Wed, Aug 10-Oct 2. Grand Chapiteau. Port Lands, off Cherry St. 1 (800) 450-1480. cirquedusoleil.com/totem. ’da Kink in My Hair The funny, heartfelt story of eight women who come together in a Caribbean hair salon in Toronto. Lesbian playwright and producer Trey Anthony’s hit play has gone through many reincarnations over the last five years. It now returns with a new cast, new music and a new character. Starring Thais Francis, Teryl Brouillette, Jennifer Neales, Victoria Myrthil, Naja S Selby, Janelle Renee Pearson, Oyin Oladejo, Tika Simone, Alana Barrett-Adkins and Maegan Sacco. Score by Michael McElroy and Carol Maillard (Sweet Honey in the Rock); Michele Shay directs. $37-$77. Sat, Aug 13-21. Enwave Theatre. 235 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. treyanthonystudios.com. Come Fly Away Dancap presents the second stop of the national Broadway touring production of the dance musical conceived, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp featuring the vocals of Frank Sinatra. Four couples fall in and out of love during one song-anddance-filled evening at a crowded nightclub. Starring Matthew Stockwell Dibble, Cody Green, Laurie Kanyok, Marielys Molina,


li s ting s & event s tokens). 4pm-10pm. Thu, Aug 4. Bandshell Park. Exhibition Place. queerbeerfestival.ca. Mr Leatherman Toronto Four days of

seminars and bar events culminating on Sat, Aug 13 with the Mr Leatherman Toronto and Bootblack Toronto contests (beginning at 7pm), followed by Leather Ball 17 with DJ Blackcat (10pm doors). $35 adv. Phoenix Concert Theatre. 410 Sherbourne St. torontoleatherpride.ca.

in spot Oliver Spencer Story Derek Dotto Photography Dan Annett

Church Street Village Fair Leather to Lace.

John Selya, Ron Todorowski, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Martin Harvey, Ramona Kelley and Christopher Vo. $42-$135. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Thu, Aug 18-28. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 644.3665. dancaptickets.com.

Jazz & Classical What’s Classical

Harbourfront presents an eclectic celebration of classical music across cultures (Fri, Aug 5 to 7) with free concerts, lectures and family activities. One highlight is Sarah Slean backed by a 21-piece orchestra performing selections from her forthcoming album Land and Sea produced by singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett and featuring works by Jonathan Goldsmith. 9:30pm. Aug 6. WestJet Stage. Earlier on Saturday, Maryem Tollar and Roula Said perform ancient Andalusian Arabic music called Muwashah. 4pm. Aug 6. Redpath Stage. 235 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. harbourfontcentre.com.

Rock & Pop Cherry Bomb Live DJs

Cozmic Cat, Denise Benson and Secret Agent spice up their popular dance nights with queer and queer-friendly bands. The third installment features the raunchy,

→ fire down below Flame Oz, one of 100 local and international acts at Buskerfest beginning Thu, Aug 25.

bass heavy anthems of Angel Hair and Unicorn Spit, the analogue synths and big beats of Lovely Killbots and the rhythmic rock of People You Know. $10. 9pm doors. Sat, Aug 6. The Garrison. 1197 Dundas St W. cherrybombtoronto.com. Britney Spears The Femme Fatale Tour. With Nicki Minaj, Jessie and the Toy Boys and Nervo opening. $193-$368. 7pm. Sat, Aug 13 & 14. Air Canada Centre. 40 Bay St. ticketmaster.ca. Barry Manilow In concert with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. Presented by the Black Creek Summer Music Festival. $56.50$141.25. 8pm. Wed, Aug 24. Rexall Centre. York University. 1 Shoreham Dr. 1 (888) 860-7888. blackcreekfestival.com.

Causes & Events Queer Beer Festival

Sounds like a same-sex marriage made in heaven. The 17-year-old Toronto Festival of Beer launches a queer night featuring Swedish pop band Ace of Base, local rockers Hunter Valentine, singer Lucas Silveira and host Maggie Cassella. Vendors, food, DJs and more. $38.50 (includes five sample

Formerly known as the Fetish Fair, this new incarnation celebrates leather, fetish, fantasy, sexuality and freedom of expression. With a small midway, carnival games, market vendors, DJs, food and drink on Church Street between Alexander and Gloucester. Noon10pm. Sun, Aug 14. churchstreetfetishfair.com. Canadian National Exhibition Midway,

music and mini donuts. Performers include The Spinners (Aug 24), Neil Sedaka (Aug 26), Loverboy (Aug 27) and K-os (Sep 2). $16; $5 after 5pm, Mon-Thu (except Labour Day). Fri, Aug 19-Sep 5. theex.com. BuskerFest North American’s largest street performer festival. Noonish to 11pm (to 10pm Thu, 8pm Sun). Thu, Aug 25-28. St Lawrence Market area. Front St E between Jarvis and Yonge. Admission by donation to Epilepsy Toronto. Torontobuskerfest.com.

Out of Town Melissa Etheridge

Rocking out following the release of her 10th studio ablum, Fearless Love. $56-$67. 9pm. Fri, Aug 19. Casino Rama. RR 6 Rama Rd. Orillia. ticketmaster.ca.

Television Canada Sings Twelve

workplace glee clubs compete in front of judges Jann Arden, Vanilla Ice (aka Rob van Winkle) and Pierre Bouvier. Cabaret queen Sharon Matthews is the vocal coach; Matte Babel is host. 9pm. Wednesdays. Beginning Aug 10. Global.•

Rugged. Unassuming. Nostalgic. The clothing at Oliver Spencer, Queen West’s newest menswear hotspot, is as easy to wear as it is to

→ Bully for wooly Rugged, unassuming fall looks from the UK’s Oliver Spencer.

the body in the future.”

describe. The British label’s decon-

With stores in London and New

structed suiting, sturdy outerwear,

York City, why did Spencer choose

and sartorial plaid shirts have been

Toronto for his third stand-alone

a hit with discerning brutes since

store? “I think guys in Canada are

the shop opened its doors last

better dressed than your cousins

December.

across the road,” he says. “I think

The label was created in 2002,

individuality is the thing in Canada,

when designer Oliver Spencer saw

compared to America. You’re more

a need for clothing that bridged

eclectic in the way you dress.”

the gap between business and

For fall/winter 2011, look for-

casual. “We’re not for a super tradi-

ward to pieces that look as though

tional guy and we’re not for a super

they were plucked from the clos-

trendy guy either,” he says on the

ets of an Ivy League prepster or an

phone from London, UK. “We’re

English fisherman, complete with

for the guy that wants design. He

tweed waist coats and thick-knit-

wants quality and he wants to have

ted cardigans. “The cloth has to be

an opinion.”

true and luxurious, but in a rugged

The majority of his line is pro-

type of way. It has to have an Oliver

duced in a factory in the UK. “It’s

Spencer feeling about it. A feeling of

done in the old-fashioned way. We

design and purpose.” Spencer says

build the garment from start to fin-

the hot tickets from the upcoming

ish within this one factory,” says

collection, available at the end of

Spencer, admitting some new tech-

August, will be his sheepskin gilet

nology is used in the production

(or sleeveless jacket) and the light-

of his clothes. “Instead of cutting

house coat (a plaid pea coat with a

1,000 jackets with a pair of scis-

removable hood). “It’s very relaxed

sors, it’s easier to cut it with an

and very easy to wear.”

electronic knife. Like I say with the clothing we make, we like to have one foot in the past and the rest of

Oliver Spencer 962 Queen St W. (647) 348-7673. oliverspencer.co.uk. intorontomag.com

37


A RT & D E S I G N

Ph o t o graph y

Peep show →A

voyeuristic boy from Port Dover is now a successful fashion and commercial photographer. Matt Barnes’ career shows the merits of nurturing your inner horny kid Story Derek Dotto | Photography Matt Barnes

P

38

hotographer Matt Barnes

super horny my whole life. I know

tography. Whether he’s shooting

for Virgin Mobile allied him with the

is as suave as a Hollywood

that’s a weird thing to say, but it’s

a sumo wrestler washing a Subaru

gay community. The shot features a

leading man, but with the

true,” says Barnes. “My dad had a

or

with

male angel passionately kissing a

social graces of a 13-year-old boy.

photography book when I was a

corseted vixens, Barnes’ cheeky

man in an office. It appeared on bill-

And like both sides of his person-

kid, and it had a section on nudes.

personality is hard to miss.

boards and bus stops, not to men-

ality, his mind seems to be on one

I loved stealing it and looking at it.”

thing: Sex. And photography, of

It’s not surprising that the voy-

course, too. But for him, the two go hand in hand. “I’ve always been August 2011

muscle-bound

sailors

Some of his major ad campaigns include

work

for

Air

tion headlines, across the country.

Canada,

Barnes says he had no reservations

euristic kid would grow up to have

Dentyne Ice, Molson Canadian, and

about shooting the ad. “That was

a talent for sexually-charged pho-

Ikea. A controversial photo taken

one ad the Virgin team was nervous


ART & DESIGN

→ saturated Matt Barnes’ personal work ranges from high-gloss spectacle (opposite page) to laid-back shots of folks he meets on the street (top left). All his work, including celebrity portraits like Will.i.am for Harry Rosen (top right), displays a playful sexiness.

about doing,” he says. “They asked

younger, I was obsessed with him,”

if I thought they should do it and I

Barnes says. “I remember seeing

rites when it comes to male and

said, ‘If you do it, I’ll do it for free.’

his book. I was just like, ‘This is so

female

It wasn’t a business move, I just

crazy.’ I didn’t know how he did

tion for both the female and male

wanted to do it because I thought

it, how it was so colourful, how it

forms is apparent in his work. “I’ve

it would be cool.” For the record:

was so sharp. Not really knowing

fooled around with boys in my

Barnes was paid for the shoot and

a lot about photography, it seemed

life. I’ve fooled around with girls,”

initial reports claiming that Calgary

magical.” Barnes, now 29, started

says Barnes, who’s been mar-

Transit had pulled the ad were

making his own magic at 15, find-

ried to his wife, musician Shelley

largely inspired by clothing. “I

eventually

ing his place behind the lens while

Hayes, for three years. “I think a

like dressing people up and giving

on a trip to England. He studied

lot of arty kids from a small town

them a role or a scenario to play

The Virgin ad is tame compared to

photography at Sheridan College

go through times where you like to

around with. I love going to ward-

Barnes’ personal work. His creative

and developed a signature style

experiment. I love shooting guys

robe houses and costume shops

projects are bursting with nudity,

that has earned him gigs in the

and girls. I have to be attracted to

and vintage stores. That’s where

more raunchy than romantic, and

everyone that I’m photographing.”

an idea will start,” he says.

less glossy than his advertising

Barnes will often put himself or

Vintage pieces serve as jump-

other photogs into a shot in an

ing-off point for many of Barnes’

effort to show the sexual tension

fashion creatives. “I like refer-

shared between photographer and

encing old stuff. I do my research

model. “That’s as intimate as I can

to make sure it makes sense,” he

be with one person,” says Barnes.

says. Recent collaborations with

“Photographing

Toronto-based

proven

false

(Virgin

hadn’t run the ad in Calgary).

images. With an unapologetic rawness reminiscent of snapshot heavyweights Juergen Teller and Terry Richardson, Barnes’ nudes are made all the more real by the fact that he rarely uses professional models, opting for everyday people instead. “I shoot anyone I want to shoot, or anyone who shows interest. I could be walking down Queen Street and say ‘Wow, that’s a really interesting person, I want to shoot them.’” One of Barnes’ early influences

“Photographing someone nude, especially when it’s a one-on-one thing, is sort of like having sex. It’s exciting because I’m nervous and they’re nervous. It honestly feels like you’re trying to get laid.”

Barnes

doesn’t subjects.

play His

favou-

apprecia-

someone

nude,

menswear

label

especially when it’s a one-on-one

Klaxon Howl have resulted in two

thing, is sort of like having sex. It’s

stunning, World War II-inspired

exciting because I’m nervous and

series. One is a Technicolor tale of

they’re nervous. It honestly feels

a desert plane crash and rescue;

like you’re trying to get laid.

the other, a haunting narrative of

“Sometimes it doesn’t work, or sometimes it works too well and

was David LaChapelle, known for

worlds of fashion and advertising.

people think you’re hitting on them.”

his over-the-top, often raunchy,

Crisp images with highly saturated

Ironically, when Barnes decides

celebrity portraits. “When I was

colours bring playful scenes to life.

to keep things PG, his work is

a life at sea. Both as historically accurate as possible. Barnes doesn’t just delve into Continued on page 40

intorontomag.com

39


A RT & D E S I G N Continued from page 39

other people’s pasts for inspiration; he also pulls from his own smalltown upbringing in Port Dover, Ontario, for heartfelt narratives. “I think for the first few years of moving to a big city from a small town, you want to be urban. You’re like, ‘I want to dress like I’m from the city. I’m going to drink Starbucks. I’m going to be like a city person.’ After a few years of that you kind of miss some things. Last year, a lot of the creatives I did took it back to that. We went and shot people playing in tree houses and stuff like that.” Creatives aside, it’s Barnes’ celebrity portfolio that proves the biggest bait for commercial clients. He’s worked with an impressive list of stars including Drake, Will.i.am, Sam Roberts and Bradley Cooper. “Shooting celebrities is a lot of fun because of the power they have in your portfolio,” he says. “One of the coolest things I got to do was photograph Snoop Dogg. I love hip hop music and I love his music. He was so cool. He was just like his rap, so laid back. I was too scared to have a puff of the joint he was smoking but I wish I did.” Celebrity, model, or guy off the street… whomever Barnes’ subject is, the image they’re part of serves not only as a piece of art or an image to sell, it’s also a reflection of the cheeky redhead with the devilish smile behind the lens.

Matt Barnes thatsthespot.com.

→ cheeky Matt Barnes, that’s his self-portrait (top left), doesn’t play favourites when it comes to his commercial work, like the Virgin Mobile ad (top right), or his personal work (bottom), nor when it comes to male or female subjects.


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Robert A Barnett

A RT & D E S I G N

T h eatre

Dress for success? → As

Michel Tremblay’s revolutionary piece of Canadian theatre, Hosanna, returns to the stage, we explore what cross-dressing can teach us and the true value of a green chiffon dress Story David Bateman

D

uring a visit to the Stratford Festival two years ago, between a matinee and an evening performance, I was taken aback by the luminescent glow of a fabulous gown. Competing wildly with the inconstant brilliance of late afternoon sunlight, it hung, shameless and self-assured, in the window of a little dress shop across the street from the Avon Theatre. 42

August 2011

The shop has since moved to another part of town and forsaken its femme clothing line, settling for trinkets endowed with less habilitating capabilities. Despite the tragedy of the shop’s demise, I am able to find great comfort in the fact that I did buy the gorgeous green chiffon item. I have put it to good use. The frock came in handy while presenting two pre-show lectures

at Canadian Stage this past winter during the run of the National Arts Centre/CanStage co-production of Michel Tremblay’s St Carmen of the Main, a drag-oriented script of outrageous Shakespearean proportions. Later this summer I may have the opportunity to slip into what some consider to be my gloriously gauche green gown once again as Tremblay’s 1973 smash hit Hosanna

(a dramaturgical near relation to his 1976 work, St Carmen of the Main), will grace the stage of Stratford’s Studio Theatre from mid-August until late September. Although this year’s Tony Awards may suggest that cross-dressing is alive and well and thriving on Broadway, one could argue that La Cage aux Folles and Priscilla Queen of the Desert — utterly fabulous


ART & DESIGN

ter and her lover Cuirette, a decid-

ing Quebec’s sovereignty rights as a

edly masculine hunk who takes on

distinct society” but also feels that

the role of hard-edged, butch biker.

the play is about “identity and find-

But appearances, of course, can be

ing our place, and not knowing who

deceiving, and by the end of the

you are.”

play audiences may begin to won-

Hosanna needs a double-edge,

der whether Hosanna and Cuirette

both catty and kind, as she rumi-

do know precisely what they want,

nates

in or out of bed. The text con-

about the fierce competitive spirit

tains frequent interrogations into

that

the identities of these queer, star-

queens. Her homemade approach

crossed lovers.

to clothing reveals her class posi-

Andrew Eccles

Potter,

though they may be — do tend to dwell on the trials and tribulations of transvestite experience. All’s well that ends well, I guess. Still, the gradual proliferation of plays, musical or

→ REFLECTIONS FROM WITHIN Richard Monette starred in the legendary 1974 production of Hosanna at the Tarragon (opposite page). The Stratford Festival’s new production stars Gareth Potter (above) in the title role.

otherwise, about or employing drag,

an

avowed

heterosex-

wildly sustains

and a

romantically

community

of

tion as a struggling urban art-

ual (“I’ve been a straight man my

ist

whole life”), feels the character of

est desires and ambitions. In her

Hosanna desperately wants to be

hands, through Tremblay’s decep-

a woman. Potter’s 2008 Stratford

tively simple script, drag becomes

turn as Romeo in the classic

a complex form of autobiograph-

Shakespearean tragic love story has

ical performance that illustrates

prepared him for the machinations

the intricate, multi-layered galaxy

of true love gone verily wrong. As

of gender experience. Monette’s

Hosanna he will be putting the shoe

take on the role engaged sympa-

on the other foot, a high-heeled one

thetic audiences over a quarter of

this time. A six-foot-tall 32-year-

a century ago because he was able

old, he has been thinning his eye-

to brilliantly invest this class strug-

brows and trimming down at the

gle with genuine humanity and an

gym, trying “to lean out,” he says,

immense need to be accepted both in and out of his feminine skin.

reflecting

upon

her

deep-

can begin to enlighten us regarding

Tarragon Theatre. During his ten-

“to lose some of the definition of the

the multiple identities, both mascu-

ure as a popular actor and festival

muscles,” as he approaches the role

line and feminine, that often reside

director, Monette was credited with

of a very feminine man.

within a single gendered body. This

lifting Stratford out of dire finan-

“It’s a huge challenge,” says Potter,

great French Canadian playwright.

is certainly the case with the upcom-

cial straits with a more populist

“and a great honour.” Potter likes to

And if the spirits move me, mid-

ing offering at Stratford.

view of classic theatre fare, bring-

tackle a diverse range of characters.

August, I will be elegantly seques-

Festival director Des McAnuff con-

ing Broadway musicals to the fore-

“I love going into the skins of char-

tered in a matching chiffon heads-

siders Tremblay “one of the giants of

front and impressing audiences

acters I know nothing about,” he

carf, wearing what might be called

the contemporary stage.” Tremblay

with modernized productions of

says, “worlds I know nothing about.

a cross between Forest Green and

is no stranger to Stratford: For the

Shakespeare, including the 1988

Pleasure of Seeing Her Again ran

Fellini-esque version of Taming of

last year, Forever Yours Marie-Lou

the Shrew. Monette passed away

ran back in 1990, and there’s prom-

in 2008, and in his memoir cited

ise of more to come. (Plus Steve

Hosanna as “a great role, perhaps

Cumyn starrred in the first install-

the best I have ever played, outside

ment of Tremblay’s early drag tril-

of Shakespeare.”

As for me, I am destined to find dresses that link Shakespeare to a

Hookers Green. This dubious shade

Michel Tremblay is “one of the giants of the contemporary stage.”

will reflect my lifelong struggle with

summer’s

I’m only touching the tip of the ice-

Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, I will

production of Hosanna is a way

berg regarding lesbian/gay history

sit, demure and self-assured, con-

Among the playwright’s more

to “honour Michel and to hon-

and politics.”

sidering myself an unsung Titania

than 20 scripts, Hosanna holds a

our Richard’s… legendary perfor-

Tremblay’s play examines the

as she watches yet another queen

very special place within Canadian

mance.” Directed by Stratford new-

sexual dynamics of a gay male cou-

make her precarious way through

theatre history in general and

comer Weyni Mengesha, the play

ple, but also throws a scathing light

the circuitous annals of theatre his-

Stratford’s history in particular.

stars Gareth Potter as Hosanna

on the timeworn struggles between

tory. As McAnuff exclaims, Hosanna

Richard Monette, Stratford’s artistic

and Oliver Becker as Cuirette.

French and English Canada. Potter

promises to “be an exciting night in

director from 1994 to 2007, joined

Mengehsa’s recent credits include

feels that, as an actor, the poli-

the theatre.” And, assuredly, it will,

the company in 1973. In ’74 he took

the Toronto productions of da’ Kink

tics are important but can only

and it won’t be a drag.

on what would become one of his

in My Hair and A Raisin in the Sun.

play a part in the rehearsal pro-

ogy, La Duchesse de Langeais, at the Toronto Fringe in July.)

McAnuff

says

this

most acclaimed, formative roles as

The pivotal struggle in Tremblay’s

cess for a limited time before the

the title character in the English

gender-bending treatise focuses on

actors “get bogged down.” He feels

premiere of Hosanna at Toronto’s

the femme-identified title charac-

that Tremblay is “openly defend-

the prim shades of arboreal innocence and the more garish tones of urban experience. As Hosanna bemoans her blighted attempt to become the perfect incarnation of

Hosanna Opens at Stratford’s Studio Theatre on Wed, Aug 10. Until Sep 24. $30$88. 1 (800) 567-1600. stratfordfestival.ca. intorontomag.com

43


A RT & D E S I G N

b o o ks

Butch/femme remixed → The

publication of Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme gets women talking about how we use labels Story Alice Lawlor | Illustration John Webster

I

44

n the 1950s, butch and femme

munity, it’s almost guaranteed

identities were a cause for cel-

to incite a table-stabbing, finger-

High time, then, to reconsider

and Femme, a collection of 40 sto-

ebration — a rallying cry for

wagging debate in the pub. From

how we feel about butch/femme.

ries and essays from an ethnically

women brave enough to challenge

the younger generation of “bois”

Vancouver-based

diverse group of writers in Canada,

the system. Since then, butch/

reinventing butch to the recent

Ivan E Coyote and her “femme

femme has been battered and

uproar over label-defying “post-

dynamo” partner, Zena Sharman,

As well as contributions from

bruised by feminism and pop cul-

mos” in The Grid, what we call

a gender researcher, have done

the two editors, there are pieces

ture alike. In today’s lesbian com-

ourselves, and why, has never

just that in their recent anthol-

from

August 2011

been more contentious.

butch

ogy, Persistence: All Ways Butch

writer

the US and the UK.

such

queer-lit

luminar-


ART & DESIGN

ies as Zoe Whittall (fêted author of Bottle Rocket Hearts), Jewelle Gomez

(author

of

the

double

Lambda Literary Award-winning Gilda Stories), prominent activist/ filmmaker/author

Amber

Dawn

and trans indie-folk musician Rae Spoon. What do they all have in common? As Coyote and Sharman write in the introduction, their “hearts also pounded for some

“I love... our capacity to take and reinvent and borrow and create identities and language and ways of living and loving all our own.”

reason the first time they read or heard the word butch or femme.” The guiding principle behind the

trum of butch and femme,” says

book, says Sharman, was “to cre-

Sharman, “but what we did try to

ate space for a very contemporary

do was create a book in which a

discussion of what those identi-

broad swath of people could see

ties can mean today.” The range

reflections of themselves.”

of experiences is indeed wonder-

If there’s one common thread

fully diverse, from butches who

running through the book, it’s that

love butches to a dad called “Mum”

there’s no single way to define

and a “femme shark” manifesto

either butch or femme. “One of the

— there’s (probably) something

things that I love about the queer

for everyone. “Instead of gate-

community,” says Sharman, “is

keeping those identities or draw-

our capacity to take and reinvent

ing rigid boundaries around what

and borrow and create identities

they mean, we really wanted to

and language and ways of living

blow that discussion apart,” says

and loving all our own.”

Coyote. “Just like any identity, it’s

Love it or hate it, the language of

morphed and changed, and we

butch/femme belongs to the les-

wanted re-examine those words in

bian community and speaks to the

the new gender landscape of this

history that got us here. That’s a

century.”

pretty powerful thing. If you think

The result is a book that’s not

these identities are limiting and

always easy to read, but makes a

outdated — if you suspect they’re

significant contribution to con-

boring and, well, unsexy — then

temporary queer theory. Because

read Persistence. It might make

each writer takes such a different

you think again.

approach to the subject, the collection ends up feeling a little disjointed. An inevitable side-effect, perhaps, of an admirably fluid approach to the debate. “We’re not saying that each and every person out there should situate themselves somewhere on the spec-

Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme Edited by Ivan E Coyote and Zena Sharman. Arsenal Pulp Press. $16.

Toronto lesbians on what butch/femme means to them “I sometimes jokingly refer to my partner as being femme, but I am reluctant to seriously use it because I know people in the community truly own these terms. I recognize their existence but see them as two extremes so I feel as though we as a couple fall more into the neutral zone.” Pia Schmidt-Hansen, 34 “I think there’s always going to be some people who want to use the labels, but most of the people in my demographic tend to avoid them. But do we need them? I think our identities are becoming more fluid; we no longer box ourselves into just one. We might use multiple identities to describe ourselves over time.” Deborah Berwick, 33 “To me, being femme is essential to my identity and just something I have no control over. It doesn’t depend on what I’m wearing on a particular day or how I style myself. I think that it’s important to have words that describe and celebrate our culture and lives. While there is still homophobia in our society, it’s important to define ourselves as different to the heteronormative world.” Roberta Wiseman, 39 “I believe both terms are extremes of an identity-continuum in queer women. I am gender queer and so my identity sometimes goes even further than ‘butch.’ I am also transgendered-identified. This is why I try as much as possible to avoid these terms. One of my favourite ways to be as inclusive as possible is to say: ‘I admire women who are masculine looking. The more manly they are, the better.’” Julian A Perez, 25 “I came out at a time when it really wasn’t all right in a lot of circles to be femme or butch. Identifying as femme was a process for me, and along with it a gradual understanding that it was okay to use a term for myself, and not feel boxed in by a particular identity. It was also important for me to take the power in a name that hadn’t always been treated with respect in the circles around me.” Nia Herlihy, 39 “As I came out I received a fair bit of explicit and implicit messaging to not be butch. As someone with a natural propensity towards masculinity, it took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to express it, and to feel comfortable with the notion that I was indeed a butch. Stepping into the identity and occupying it in totality has been a beautiful coming home. Almost like a second coming out.” Lisa Forman, 41

intorontomag.com

45


A RT & D E S I G N

m u si c

Azure skies → Three

albums for dusty country roads Reviews Mary Dickie

K

ris Abbott and Dee McNeil, who formerly rocked the house in The Pursuit of Happiness and The Strap-Ons, respectively, have switched gears for their understated, folkier new album, Still Here Inside. The couple, who have been married for six years and are now officially known as Kris and Dee, moved to Kingston, Ontario, Abbott’s home town, and made an album of low-key, thoughtful and introspective songs about relationships, spacecraft and polar bears. Abbott, who also produced, sometimes surrounds McNeil’s wistful voice with delicate acoustic guitar and sometimes with almost Crazy Horse-style guitar interplay, backed

by drummer Anna Rees and bassist Wi McGonegal, but it’s always subtle, and perfectly suited to the song. Toronto’s Lindi Ortega leaves subtlety in the dust and puts the sass right up front on Little Red Boots, her high-spirited, self-assured debut full-length album. There’s nothing earth-shatteringly original about Ortega’s brand of alt-country, but she makes the well-worn genre sound surprisingly fresh and vital. “I didn’t want to tell you anything you didn’t want to hear,” she explains cheekily on “Little Lie,” while on “I’m No Elvis Presley” she retorts, “I know I’m not legendary, I’m nothing extraordinary/ Maybe you’re just ordinary too.” She sings “Jimmy

engaging

Help us continue to support people living with HIV/AIDS by volunteering or making a secure online donation at www.pwatoronto.org Toronto People With AIDS Foundation 200 Gerrard Street East, 2nd floor Toronto, Ontario M5A 2E6 416-506-1400

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Dean” from the pov of the late star’s ghost. Perhaps it’s Ortega’s MexicanIrish heritage that gives a fresh spin to the country clichés, or perhaps it’s her quavering, whiskey-toned voice recalling country royalty like Carlene Carter and Emmylou Harris, but this album seems to fly by all too quickly. Catherine MacLellan’s pure, sweet voice is a deceptively simple instrument that packs a major emotional punch. On her fourth album, Silhouette, the Prince Edward Island singer/songwriter brings her beautiful, melancholy songs about loss, regret and longing to vivid, almost painful life. MacLellan is the daughter of famed songwriter Gene MacLellan, and her cover of

his iconic “Snowbird” adds multiple layers of sadness, making Anne Murray’s classic version seem positively tepid. MacLellan got Jadea Kelly and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy to help her out on backing vocals, and her talented band, led by producer/ guitarist David Baxter, adds a gentle swing to “Old Tin Can” and gorgeous guitar and pedal steel backdrops to “Trickle Down Rain,” “Sparrows” and “Same Way Again,” but ultimately she doesn’t need any added star power to shine.

Still Here Inside Kris and Dee. Kris Abbott. $12. Little Red Boots Lindi Ortega. Universal. $10. Silhouette Catherine MacLellan. Universal. $15.


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This is probably one of the most

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times a day for a week to see if this

revisit.

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We men highly value our “mem-

Painful red spots that ulcerate

bers” and therefore are usually very

(cause a hole in) the skin are usu-

well acquainted with what should

ally an infected scratch or cut. Put

or shouldn’t be present on them. It

polysporin on it frequently, abstain

is good health practice to become

from sex, and watch it to make sure

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it resolves. If not, it could be a more

— as is understanding that the skin

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Painless

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Spots with pigment in them are

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harm-

If your spot is red it’s probably not

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tle friend is. Seek a medical opinion

will go away by itself. Red bumps

to confirm, especially if you think

where you shaved recently are also

it’s a sexually transmitted infection

likely simple razor burn and also go

and it’s not going away.

away with time. Red splotchy spotty rashes on uncircumcised guys (but sometimes on cut guys as well) may be your run-of-the-mill yeast infection (yes, guys get them too). In guys with dark skin this may look pink as the skin loses pigment. Try a topical

Dr Keith Loukes works in emergency in a Toronto hospital. Send him your sexual health question at sexhealth@intorontomag.com. This column should not be viewed as medical advice; always consult your physician.

intorontomag.com

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August 2011 - In Toronto Magazine  

Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

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