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celebrating canada’s lgbt LIFESTYLE | february 2015

HIV UPDATE: “UNDETECTABLE”

THE NEW NEGATIVE?

EXPLORING

THE CITY WHERE

GAY GOT ITS FAME

travel

WALTZING IN VIENNA

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MAGAZINE inmagazine.ca PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Jim Brosseau Art director Nicolás Tallarico FASHION DIRECTOR Adam Webster ASSOCIATE EDITOR David Wright CONTRIBUTORs Dr. Malcolm Hedgcock, Becca Hensley, Tracy Howard, Scott Kearnan, Michael Pihach, Alejandro Santiago, Adam Segal, Riley Stewart, Casey Williams ON the cover Photography by Adam Webster; Model, Sascha Hass; Styling, Andrew Dickenson; Grooming, Jem Lopez; Sweater, Holt Renfrew Senior Account Director Woodrow Monteiro Marketing/sponsorship co-ordinator Patrick Forestell

Introducing

BEAUTY that lasts for years instead of months.

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza Controller Miki Ogiri OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Celebrate Canada. Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment.

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ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES 416-800-4449, ext. 100 info@intorontomag.com

Feel free to share your comments on IN or articles in the magazine by emailing us at editor@inmagazine.ca. IN Magazine is published 12 times per year by The Mint Media Group. All rights reserved. 182 Davenport Rd., Suite 300, Toronto, ON, M5R 1J2

21/01/2015 10:38:59 AM


Contents INFRONT

issue 57

february 2015

TRAVEL

06 | EDITOR’S NOTE A diversity expert joins the IN team

15 | LIFE’S A BALL More than the waltz on Vienna’s dance card

07 | LOOKING GOOD What’s in your gym bag?

FEATURES

18 | SCULPTOR, PAINTER, AUTHOR A visual artist’s impressive first novel

09 | WHEELS The retooled Cadillac’s ATS

28 | THE BERLIN EFFECT Gay culture a century in the making

10 | THE DOCTOR IS IN New take on HIV negative

fashion

11 | ON THE TOWN Scenes from the party circuit

22 | SWEATER EQUITY Pullovers with sex appeal

12 | FITNESS PROFILE Keeping the mind in shape, too

ART & CULTURE

14 | ON RELATIONSHIPS When love is just out of reach

32 | CULTURAL CALENDAR Events of LGBT interest across Canada 34 | FLASHBACK Whistling a different tune at the Olympics

Coady Gallant

Behind the Lens

“People will always complain about the gay party scene. To them I say ‘pick your own scene’ because there isn’t just one!” — Michael Pihach, page 11

“I have one of the best jobs in the world working with some of the most talented individuals in the Canadian fashion scene. It keeps me on my toes and in touch with emerging talent.” — Adam Webster, page 22

“I find working out to be a challenge. So, for me at least, taking photographs is easy.” — Riley Stewart, page 12

inmagazine.ca

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21/01/2015 10:40:25 AM


Editor’s Note

Taking Diversity to the Bank → LGBT community leader, TD’s Al Ramsay, to write IN finance column

Havana tourism

W

ith the new year has come a new arrival to IN Magazine’s roster of contributors. Beginning next month, the Money$tyle column will be penned by a longtime friend of Canada’s LGBT community, Al Ramsay of TD Bank. Ramsay’s title, in fact, captures a lot about how a culture has changed and how a bank has kept pace with those changes: regional manager, LGBT business development, TD Bank Group—GTA. Ramsay and his team of senior advisors are responsible for growing LGBT personal, wealth and business portfolios by providing expert financial advice and delivering a client experience that has distinguished TD in the banking community. Put simply, Ramsay and his colleagues are devoted to making dreams a reality. “We’re here to support you in achieving your life’s goal,” he says, “whether it is to buy a home, start a family, start a business, save for retirement…or any

→ Al Ramsay of TD Bank

Bank” to serve the full range of financial needs among members of the LGBT community. That means, “providing a first-

One of Ramsay’s proudest career moments was spearheading the 2005 launch of TD’s first LGBTA Employee Resource Group. other personal or professional goal that’s meaningful to you.” As a measure of TD’s commitment to diversity, Ramsay says, “we are proactively bringing The Entire

class customer experience and financial advice in an inclusive environment.” For readers of IN, that financial advice will be found regularly in the print and online versions of

the magazine. Ramsay will bring to bear an impressive store of experience. For the past 10 years, he has held increasingly senior positions supporting TD’s Diversity and Inclusion mandate from a customer, employee and community standpoint. He is considered an expert in the LGBT community and has been instrumental in helping TD become a leader in this community. Ramsay’s résumé also includes such positions as national manager, community relations—diversity; senior manager, corporate diversity; senior manager, marketing diversity; and more recently, branch manager. By his own description, one of Ramsay’s proudest career moments was spearheading the 2005 launch of TD’s first LGBTA Employee Resource Group

(ERG) in Toronto. It has since expanded to include 21 ERGs with more than 3,000 employees across North America. And it continues to grow, as they say, even as we speak. Friends and colleagues point out an old adage aptly applies to “Al,” that if you want to get something done, just turn to the busiest person in the room. Ramsay has had a 24/7 passion for advancing inclusiveness both in the workplace and the communities he serves. He has held positions on numerous work committees and grassroots community-organization boards, including TD’s LGBTA Executive Committee, Community One Foundation and the Urban Financial Services Coalition. In his spare time— don’t ask me when he might possibly find any—Ramsay enjoys mentoring young people from diverse backgrounds. In the hands of this skilled TD Bank standout, the Money$tyle column will cover saving for college, funding your retirement, home loans and a host of other financial topics with the LGBT community in mind. Ramsay’s knowledge, professionalism, experience and devotion to diversity are an invaluable addition to IN Magazine’s bench strength. My colleagues and I extend a welcoming hand to Al.

Jim Brosseau, Editor IN Magazine

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20/01/2015 2:46:33 PM


INfront collective wisdom for living well

Looking Good

In the (Gym) Bag → Locker-room essentials to help fitness feel as good as it looks By Tracy Howard

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unning shorts? Check. Cycling shoes for spin class? Check.

Bringing your own supply is smart, since gym toiletries are usually basic

Mat for power pilates? Check. Sure, you’ve got all the gear

and industrial strength. Look for those products that do double duty—

you could need for a great workout, but what about for the

without weighing down your bag (but leaving the razor at home may be

cleanup afterward? Besides the deodorant and towel, does your gym

wise, as sweat can irritate freshly shaved skin). Read on for other tools

bag hold a toothbrush, toothpaste and a face cleanser to get the oil off?

to awaken the inner fitness god or goddess in any gym rat. →

inmagazine.ca

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20/01/2015 2:46:59 PM


Looking Good

Body lotion You’ve worked your body, now it’s time to give it a little TLC. Applying body lotion after showering helps moisturize skin that can become dehydrated from sweating. Saje Tingle Mint Invigorating Foot & Body Lotion helps relieve dryness and itching while also soothing tired legs and feet. This all-natural lotion from B.C.-based Saje Natural Wellness features nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, shea and mango butters, plus energizing essential oils of peppermint, rosemary, spearmint and tea tree ($12.95 for 100 ml, at Saje Natural Wellness stores and saje.ca).

Dry shampoo No time to shower after pumping iron? Don’t sweat it, reach for a dry shampoo. These sprays are go-to groomers for extending women’s blowouts and work equally well on men’s oily tresses. One of the most popular products in the category, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle mops up excess sebum, leaving hair fresher ($15.50 for 150 ml, at drugstores across Canada).

Face wipes De-oil your face fast with a towelette. Despite the name, Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover Wipes work well as overall facial cleansers, plus they’re paraben-free and biodegradable ($11, at most drugstores across Canada).

Two-in-one body wash Besides getting the sweat off, showering post workout helps prevent breakouts caused when bacteria and oil clog pores. And multitasking toiletries get the job done without having to lug around a drugstore aisle. OURS by Cheryl Hickey Head to Toe Wash gently cleans both hair and body. The OURS line, a collaboration between the ET Canada host and Swisspharme, is cruelty-free and formulated without parabens or phthalates ($11.99, at Rexall Pharma Plus stores).

Shower slides Of all the things you’d like to pick up at the gym, athlete’s foot probably isn’t one of them. Protect your feet from anything unpleasant lurking on the lockerroom floor by wearing slides. Adidas Adizero SC Slide Sandals feature an adjustable strap and a water-resistant cushioned foot bed to carry you stylishly in and out of the shower ($37.99, at Sport Chek and sportchek.ca).

Tracy Howard, who specializes in lifestyle topics, is the creator of beautyinthemiddle.com, a blog that takes an inside-out approach to looking and feeling good at any age. 8 I N M a g a z in e f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 5

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20/01/2015 2:47:23 PM


INFRONT Wh e e l s

Nice Work! → A nose job and turbo implant make the Cadillac ATS come alive By Casey Williams

2015 Cadillac ATS 2.0T Five-passenger, RWD sedan Powertrain 201kW/270hp 2.0-litre Turbo-4, 6-spd manual trans Suspension f/r Elect. ind/ind Wheels 18”/18” alloy f/r Brakes disc/disc fr/rr Must-have features Performance, style Fuel economy 12.2/7.9 litres/ 100km city/hwy Assembly Lansing, Mich. Base/as-tested price $38,010/$49,465

N

ever underestimate the benefits of a good facelift and implants to put life back into your years. While the Cadillac ATS is no senior citizen, it is facing younger and prettier competitors. To keep pace, the ATS sedan has gone in for a midlife makeover. The ATS has always been a handsome car with its sweptback vertical headlamps, eggcrate grille, crisp lines and “tailfins.” But, next to the bold CTS, it looked nerdy. For 2015, the ATS adopts the more faceted hood, grille, 18-inch alloys and updated crest from the new ATS Coupe. It’s dramatic. Interiors are mostly unchanged, but they’re dominated by stitched dash coverings, authentic wood and quality leather. The ATS does not feel quite as sumptuous as its larger siblings, although admittedly it comes with a less sumptuous price. Omitting heated seats and a sunroof

is unfortunate (hey, it’s cold outside). If austere from a bottomwarming standpoint, the car is at least flush with technology— starting with Cadillac’s CUE system, which uses voice and touch controls for the infotainment system. You can scroll through screens with the swipe of a hand or use redundant

touch areas below. I’m also a big fan of the heads-up display, Bose speakers and Text Messaging Alerts. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot and wireless phone-charging pad are great. Moving down road, the turbocharged 2.0-litre fourcylinder engine delivers 201kW/270 horsepower and 12.2/7.9 litres/100km city/

hwy. A six-speed automatic transmission is available, but we went for the sporty six-speed manual—a perfect companion to the real-time adjusting Magnetic Ride Control. The baby Caddy is packed with safety equipment. Our car came with full-speed range adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic braking, side blindzone alert, rear cross-traffic alert and a helpful head-up display. GM’s safety-alert seat, forwardcollision alert, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning systems help ensure the ATS’s fenders and bumpers remain dent free. A chiselled car like the updated 2015 ATS isn’t cheap. The $38,010 base price rises to $49,465 as-tested, making the ATS formidable competition for the BMW 2/3 series, Mercedes CLA and the Audi A3/A4.

A contributing writer for Gaywheels.com, Casey Williams is a frequent business traveller to Montreal. He contributes to the New York-based LGBT magazine Metrosource and the Chicago Tribune. He and his husband live in Indianapolis, where Williams is a columnist for that city’s newspaper, the Star. in m a g a z in e . c a

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IN front

the doctor is in

Proof Positive? → What a groundbreaking study reveals about staying HIV negative By Dr. Malcolm Hedgcock

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ith modern antiretroviral medications, nearly every HIVpositive man and woman can be successfully treated today. This doesn’t mean that the infection has been eliminated from the body—there will always be stored copies of the virus hidden away—but we can essentially stop any new virus from being produced. This is what we call having an “undetectable viral load.” It means that there is so little virus in the blood that even our most sensitive tests can’t find any. We’ve known for a while now that once the viral load is undetectable, a weakened immune system can recover to near-normal levels. We’ve also seen evidence that successful control of viral replication with antiretroviral medication can decrease the risk of transmitting HIV from person to person. Quality evidence was limited to heterosexual couples, though— until now. The PARTNER study was designed to look specifically at the risk of transmission of HIV in men who have sex with men when one partner is HIVpositive and on treatment. This large European trial—begun in 2010 and completed last year—recruited serodiscordant couples (one HIV positive and one negative) who were already having condom-free sex. The HIV-positive partner must have been treated with an undetectable viral load in order to participate, and safer-sex counselling was given to both partners. Every six months, the participants completed a sexualhistory questionnaire.

On average, there were 43 condom-free sex acts per year for each couple. And here’s the interesting news: there have been zero cases of HIV transmission so far. That’s zero

transmissions after an estimated 16,400 condom-free sex acts between men who have sex with men in this study. These striking results support a strategy

recently pioneered in British Columbia called “treatment as prevention” or TAsP. This strategy aims to eliminate new HIV infections by treating everyone living with HIV at the

time of diagnosis, rather than waiting until a person is at risk of becoming sick. So can we use these data to recommend condom-free sex

for all serodiscordant couples? Not quite. This study won’t be complete until 2017, so we will have to wait and see if this trend persists over the next couple of years. As with any research study, the longer we observe this group, the more confidence we can have that the results are truly accurate. For now, even with zero transmissions, we still need more data and time. There is a potential that viral loads could transiently increase if medication doses are missed or if someone takes a course of an interacting medication or herbal remedy. This could place the HIV-negative partner at shortterm risk. Condom-free sex also introduces the risk of infection with other sexually transmitted infections, such as hepatitis C or syphilis. While we aren’t ready to recommend sex without condoms for all, the PARTNER study certainly provides confidence that the risk of transmission from someone with an undetectable load on treatment is exceptionally low. This can at least help to minimize some of the fear that many HIVpositive men have of passing on the virus to their partner. Time will tell if widespread treatment as prevention will put an end to unacceptably high rates of HIV infection in Canada.

Dr. Malcolm Hedgcock is a Torontotrained family doctor living and working in Vancouver. He has a special interest in gay men’s health issues, including the primary care of those living with HIV and AIDS. TALK BACK Share your thoughts on this column or anything else in IN Magazine by emailing editor@inmagazine.ca

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INFront

on the town by Michael Pihach

Alejandro Santiago

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POP New Year’s Eve at Buddies In Bad Times theatre

Big Primpin at WrongBar

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2

3

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FML Mondays at Flash

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→ 1. Matt Berriman, Mike Estes 2. Adam Filek, Adam Francis Proulx 3. Tara Stubensey 4. Scott Crocker, Dennis Tang 5. Keegan Burt, JD Muir, Matt Canning 6. Zachary Pearce 7. Gaelan Love, Matty Thompson 8. George Unsworth, Jonathan Cruz 9. Jefre Nicholls 10. Jamie Fox, Jeff Rustia 11. Andreas Singleterry, Philip Tetro 12. Aeryn Pfaff, Devine Darlin 13. Monty Tayara, Joey Viola 14. Brett Mills, Pierson Hayes 15. Miss Whimsy Thrift inmagazine.ca

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20/01/2015 2:53:47 PM


Fitness Profile

Jake Mossop PROFESSION Registered nurse. ROLE MODELS My mother, who continues to inspire me. Her recent commitment to master yoga has really influenced my notion of what fitness means and to think more about a “fit” and healthy mind, along with the physical components of fitness. And my younger brother. He is jacked—find him on Instagram, seriously! SPORTS ROLE MODELS A long-standing role model has been my water-polo coach, Christi. She’s taught me a lot about teamwork, knowing how to positively channel my competitive spirit and constantly strive for improvement. A more recent fitness role model is [football star] Michael Sam. It was an incredible act of bravery and strength to come out when he did and stand up for himself as a gay male. What a role model for LGBT athletes! HOW SEXUALITY AFFECTED SPORTS ACTIVITIES GROWING UP I always played competitive sports into my teenage years mainly as a swimmer. I didn’t come to terms with my sexuality until after leaving high school, so my sexuality never affected sports for me. That said, I also wasn’t playing team-based sports, so maybe being an individual as an athlete, I wasn’t exposed to what others are at a young age—playing on a team while trying to discover their sexuality. WAYS YOU OVERCAME ANY ANTI-GAY PREJUDICES When it comes to fitness and sports, I find that the effort you put in shows in your results. As an adult, and beginning to race triathlons and playing competitive water polo, oftentimes against non-LGBT athletes, I always think to myself that regardless of any prejudices, your athleticism will speak for itself—and when you do your best, nothing else matters. ADVICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE ON OVERCOMING BIASES IN SPORTS As suggested before, people will have all sorts of prejudices in sports, based on gender, race, cultural background and, of course, your sexuality. My advice is to continue to be passionate and play for yourself. Put in 110 percent. Don’t let someone else’s ignorance stop you from being healthy and playing a sport you love. PERSONAL FITNESS GOALS I had a sports-related injury last year, so I am just getting over that. My goals for 2015 are to get back to my baseline health and to make it to the Euro Gay Games in Stockholm this summer with my waterpolo team. YOUR FITNESS STRATEGY It’s pretty comprehensive with yoga, running, water polo and hitting the gym. I try to maintain a balance among stretching-flexibility, muscle training and cardiovascular exercise. HOBBIES In the winter I snowboard and in summer I cycle. I try to run outdoors year-round. Other hobbies include putting to use my recently acquired sewing skills and making jackets and other things in my partner’s studio. INSPIRATION SOURCE When it comes time to get inspired physically, I look to my family, friends and teammates’ fitness activities, and they inspires me to get up and get outside or go work out. BEST LIFE LESSON SO FAR I’m a firm believer in the mantra “never give up.” But I’ve learned it’s important to listen to your body—to know when it’s time to rest and all right to push yourself. SOCIAL-MEDIA CONTACT @thejakemossop

Photography: Riley Stewart

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TOP: DF SB ICON LOGO TEE PANTS: NIKE TECH FLEECE PANT-1MM SHOES: AIR JORDAN 1 RETRO HIGH JACKET: NIKE TECH WINDRUNNER SP

inmagazine.ca

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21/01/2015 4:42:36 PM


INFRONT

O n Re l at i o n s h i ps

OUT OF REACH → When the object of your affection is already taken By Adam Segal

I am having a problem with a good friend and a love interest, and I hope you can help me out. Basically, my closest friend is just starting to date a new woman, they are totally blissed out, and while I’m happy for her (she’s been solo for a while now), I’m really hurting inside. You see, the woman she’s dating is someone I’ve had a mad crush on for years. I feel really torn. I don’t want to get in their way, nor do I want to be a fickle friend. But I can’t help thinking about the other woman and how we would be together. It’s so painful and confusing. What can I do to maintain my dear friendship and not be so affected by their love? Should I be honest and talk to my friend? Adriana

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Dear Adriana, Yours is a dilemma for the ages: this is the stuff of Shakespeare plays and Woody Allen movies. Such a lovers’ triangle is explored in art so often because it can be so incredibly heartbreaking and dramatic—all the more reason I feel especially compassionate toward you and your plight. To witness a close friend fall in love with someone we fancy is a tall order, and your heartache makes perfect sense. That said, if your friendship (and sanity) mean enough to you, you’ll have to permit your feelings of disappointment and then find a way to seriously let this go. You make it sound as if the only impediment to being with your crush is your friend. The hard truth is that we will likely never know whether a relationship would even materialize between you two if the situation were different and she were actually available. Being blocked from pursuing this woman is likely inflating your longing. It is a trap whenever we find ourselves living in a constant

state of “if only.” If only I had that girl, if only I had more money, if only they had stopped after the first Sex and the City movie . . . and so on. There’s no quicker path to deep suffering than wanting what we don’t have. Your only real measure of control here is over your mind: obsessing and fantasizing will bring you more suffering than their blossoming romance ever could. As for whether you should tell your friend about your true feelings, I’m going to unconventionally advocate for withholding—at least for now. A honeymooning relationship is best left to its own delightful process and shouldn’t be invaded by a disgruntled friend. So if preserving your friendship is what you are after, find another outlet for your jumbled feelings, so you can witness the lovebirds without being pushed over the edge.

There’s no quicker path to deep suffering than wanting what we don’t have.

CREDIT: Alex Kisilevich, Paint Can

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LIVE AND SILENT AUCTI ON GALA Thursday, March 26, 2015 Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library 789 Yonge Street PUBLIC PREVIEW March 20 to 22, 2015 Arta Gallery Distillery District PRESENTED BY

Adam Segal, writer and therapist, works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mentalhealth question at relationship@inmagazine.ca.

22/01/2015 2:49:31 PM


Austrian National Tourist Office

Life’s a Ball

Waltzing your way through the seductions of Vienna By Becca Hensley

inmagazine.ca

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All Photos Austrian National Tourist Office

A

h, Vienna, the city of balls. (Okay,

While the event opens with a traditional parade

quit the snickering.) Maybe you’d

of dignitaries and debutantes down the main

dreamed of waltzing the night away

promenade—not to mention a tantalizing first

with your own Prince Charming or

waltz—the party continues in nearly 60 ceremonial

Cinderella during the Austrian capital’s annual ball

rooms. Many of them are distinctly themed and

season. My own experience of Vienna when the

offering alternatives to classical music and dancing,

whole city seems to be dancing wasn’t entirely a

including jazz lounges and even discos. A casino

Vienna, in fact, holds more than 300 balls

fairy tale. Yet it was almost all magic.

beckons the fox-trot weary, and the hungry can be

annually—most occur during ball season, which

→ HAVING A BALL Vienna’s formal Opera Ball (opening page); the Philharmoic Ball (above); festive Vienna at night (opposite above); pedestrian-friendly strollers along Kaerntner Strasse (opposite below).

And they do. All night long.

I remember dashing from Vienna’s Coffeehouse

satiated by any number of oyster bars and sausage

corresponds to Fasching, or the traditional Lenten

Proprietor’s Ball, bells tolling long past midnight. In

wagons. Just to wander through it all takes more

season. The ball tradition began with Emperor

fact, it’s closer to 4 a.m., but the ball I’ve left behind

than an hour.

Franz Josef in the early 19th century. He feared a

still bustles with finely dressed party guests. Not

Even the Spanish Riding School is open tonight—

revolt and engineered a plan to keep the common

unlike Cinderella, I trip down the steps of Vienna’s

but rather than burly Lipizzaner stallions, its

man off the streets. He invited citizens into

Hofburg Palace. She fled her ball minus one glass

denizens are rhythmically swaying partygoers,

the castle for merrymaking, thereby initiating a

slipper, and I hobble toward my horse-drawn

modern renditions of princes and princesses of

passion for dancing that cut across social classes.

carriage short a high-heeled shoe that I’ve flung off

yore. Particularly impressive as the stage setting

This handily coincided with Johann Strauss and

for hasty pain relief.

for dapper, enthusiastic revellers, the baroque

what was considered his sexy new form of music:

Whereas our fairy-tale heroine continued home

school boasts 46 columns, tumbles of stucco

the waltz. Not only did the relatively fast-paced

in her pumpkin to await a better life, I make like

ornamentation, chandeliers and profoundly regal

rhythm of his work induce heart racing, but it also

the Viennese and ride a fiacre to Café Landtmann

paintings.

required heretofore unthinkable close proximity

to indulge in an after-ball tradition: a spicy bowl of

My

goulash washed down with a local beer.

Austrian

friends

tell

me

that

the

Kaffeesiederball particularly delights the Viennese

and—gasp—touching while dancing. Naturally, the trend stuck.

The Kaffeesiederball, organized by the guild

because it celebrates their traditions. Like the

Nowadays, many Austrians learn to waltz as

of coffee-shop owners in Vienna, dominates the

Opera Ball, it follows protocol and allows for much

teenagers in popular weekly classes that teach

Austrian city’s celebrated ball season. Second only

pomp and circumstance, but it comes with a lower

them to whirl and twirl as one with their partners—

to the prestigious Opera Ball, the Coffee Proprietor’s

price tag (roughly 110 euros a ticket). While the

at 100 beats per minute. Daunted, the day before

Ball takes place in the immense Hofburg, once

Opera Ball takes place at the State Opera House

the ball I decide I’d better enroll in a crash course

the royal residence of the mighty Hapsburg clan.

(a public building), the Kaffeesiederball’s Hofburg

with one of the best dance teachers in town: Rudolf

A warren of ornate rooms, the interconnected

venue enables entrance to many rooms normally

Peschke, director of the prestigious Elmayer Dance

complex manages to house the nearly 6,000 guests

closed to the public. Both begin with various

School, a third-generation waltzing school located

who don the required tuxedos and ball gowns. Once

ceremonial proceedings, until at last comes the

adjacent to the Hofburg.

a year they arrive, ready to waltz the entire night

long-anticipated official directive from the regal

“Waltzing is just like walking,” Peschke tells me

away.

dance master: “Alles waltzer” (everyone dance).

confidently. But that’s before he tries to gambol

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Gay-friendly, and then some

Ball season or any other time, LGBT visitors to Vienna will find themselves comfortably at home in the Austrian capital. Here is a mini-guide to some of the charming city’s gay highlights. HAND HOLDING Although the locals pride themselves on an open attitude throughout the city, gay couples who feel the need for PDAs tend to gravitate toward the Ringstrasse Boulevard. Another similarly welcoming spot is the area around the open-air Naschmarkt, which is home to a gay-and-lesbian centre. CAFÉ SCENE Like other European capitals, Vienna is filled with cafés where watching the world go by seems almost an art form. Some of the most popular among LGBT locals and tourists is the semi-funky Café Willendorf. The regal-looking Café Savoy is something of an institution. Less formal gathering spots include the Mango Bar and Chameleon. Café Berg is located beside the popular Löwenherz gay bookstore.

across the well-worn floor with me stomping on

waltzing thing takes some time.

his toes. “Backward, between, left, right, together,

To get into regal character before the ball, I

turn,” he commands. And though I throw my heart

check into the Imperial Hotel. Built in the late 19th

into it, my feet don’t get the message. “Some

century for the Prince of Wurttemberg, this neo-

special people,” he later confides, “need a few extra

Renaissance mansion sits on the Ringstrasse just

lessons.”

minutes from the Hofburg. A glorious rendition of

Like Vienna’s 30 or so other schools, Elmayer

high stucco ceilings, carved embellishments and

teaches the requisite courses to teenagers—and

exquisite antiques, it exudes luxury. Just mounting

anyone wanting to brush up on their dancing skills.

the so-called royal staircase beneath glittery

Visitors who seek to delve into Vienna culturally

chandeliers makes me believe I can waltz. And that

can enroll in walk-in courses around the city or order

miracles can happen.

up private lessons at places like Elmayer. While the

But what I like best about the Imperial has to be

short courses do wonders in demystifying the art

its discreet service. When I trip home after goulash,

of Viennese waltzing, they aren’t likely to give birth

ball-bedraggled at 5 a.m., the doorman doesn’t bat

to the next Fred Astaire. In fact, when I do waltz at

an eye. He tips his hat and says, “Guten Abend

the Kaffeesiederball, amid a mad crowd of perfect

[good evening], madame,” as if it weren’t morning

hoofers, I feel more like I’m being carried by a mosh

at all. And as if I weren’t about to be transformed

pit—albeit an unusually elegant one. I sense the

into just another post-ball princess wannabe.

SPLURGING Besides it celebrated views, LeLoft, the restaurant atop the SofitelStephansdom hotel, features the cuisine of noted French chef Hervé Pronzato. The New York Times recently described LeLoft as “a favoured destination of the city’s stylish set.” LODGING LGBT travellers like La Prima Fashion Hotel for its stylishness and proximity to gay attractions. Visitors on a tight budget might consider the Motel One Wien Westbahnhof, with its easy access to the metro and train station. The Hotel-Pension Wild is a classic; shared baths for lower-priced rooms. ARTS Not to be missed in this city of small museums and galleries is the prestigious Kunsthistorisches Museum. Besides its unique coin and manuscript collections, there are stunning works by Rembrandt, Bruegel and Vermeer. ANNUAL EVENT Vienna’s late-June Rainbow Parade has become one of the world’s leading LGBT celebrations. INFORMATION www.vienna.info; travel@austria.info

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→ Annie Weatherwax 1 8 I N M a g a z in e f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 5

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Sculptor, Painter, Author A debut novel’s outsider character captures a Hollywood insider’s attention By Scott Kearnan

W

ith her very first novel, Annie Weatherwax is enjoying the kind of success that more seasoned authors envy. All We Had (Simon & Schuster) was released last year to strong reviews and was an editor’s pick for Oprah’s Book Club—a major coup in literary circles. The attention is only growing: All We Had has caught the eye of Katie

Holmes, who optioned the book for a movie the actress hopes will mark her directorial debut. Not too shabby for a literary newcomer. But to call Weatherwax a “writer” is only half right. “To me, writing is a visual art,” she says. “Mechanically, something similar happens in my brain.” That’s because before picking up a pen, Weatherwax had already built a successful career as a painter and sculptor. As a child, dyslexia made reading troublesome for Weatherwax, but writing has always been a different matter. Her artistic aptitude was developed early, and she instinctively approached a blank page as she might a mound of clay: she visualizes a story’s people and places from all angles—as a sculptor would. She writes in piecemeal passages, gradually smoothing them into a narrative, just as a painter might bounce between corners of a canvas, returning over and over to refine incomplete areas. She uses words as brushstrokes: adding, blending and massaging them until her wholly complete image finally snaps into view. In the case of All We Had, that image is a fully realized small town populated by a young girl, Ruthie, her

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mother, Rita, and a colourful cast of locals like Peter Pam, a wisdom-dispensing transgender waitress at the diner where cash-strapped Rita

→ All IN Works by the versatile Weatherwax include her expressive painted portraits (above left and right), animated sculptured characters (right) and her debut novel (below right).

lands a job. Weatherwax’s work can easily be enjoyed simply for its richly drawn, evocative characters. But at the soft heart of All We Had is

Ruthie. And the act of creating has been a form

a larger, thoughtful reflection on socioeconomic

of “salvation” that got her through some tough

disparities. The novel’s nomadic mother-daughter

times—including an “awful” coming-out process.

pair teeters on the edge of poverty, surrounded by

But, as if a poster child for the It Gets Better

a chosen family whose support may or may not be

campaign, the adult Weatherwax has enjoyed a

enough to help them through the hard times.

successful career sculpting superheroes and cartoon

“I can’t imagine writing without having some

characters for such impressive clients as DC Comics,

quiet commentary on social justice under the

Nickelodeon and Pixar. Amid her good fortune,

surface,” says Weatherwax, who lives in Boston

though, she learned that her brother had been

and, along with her partner, attorney Joyce

diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease— and he was only in his 30s. It powerfully

''There has been a limited representation of transgender characters in literature... Peter Pam [is] the novel's voice of warmth and reason.''

reminded the artist of life’s fickle turns. And it prompted her to revive a lingering dream. She put her lucrative sculpting

career

on

hold to tackle the challenge of writing. found

headline-grabbing film, Weatherwax hopes that

stimulation

one of its signal themes, gender identity, will find

favourite

a broader audience. After all, it’s not often that a

George

transgender character is offered up as a mainstream

Saunders and Flannery

novel’s moral compass. “There has been a limited

O’Connor, who was

representation

also

cartoonist.

literature,” notes Weatherwax, whose newfound

She gathered further

celebrity, like the art that has spawned it, could help

inspiration in fellow

open both hearts and minds. And, she says, if that

Kauffman, has been a supporter of various LGBT

visual artists—including painter Alice Neel, known

means more readers and moviegoers “fall in love

causes. “I’m a political person, and art is a powerful

for the psychological nuance of her portraits,

with Peter Pam, the novel’s voice of warmth and

way to express things.”

and photographer Diane Arbus, famous for her

reason, then I am very pleased.”

Weatherwax literary in

such

authors

a

as

It has also been a powerful way for Weatherwax

affectionate treatment of crossdressers, circus

to express herself. “Art has saved my life over

sideshow performers and others thought to be on

and over again,” she volunteers. Weatherwax sees

the fringe of mid-century society.

something of herself in her “tomboyish” character

With the prospect of All We Had becoming a

of

transgender

characters

in

TALK BACK Share your thoughts on this story or anything else in IN Magazine by emailing editor@inmagazine.ca.

2 0 I N M a g a z in e f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 5

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The Berlin Effect A revealing new book contends that much of today’s gay identity was shaped in the German capital a century ago By David Wright

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B

erlin has always held a special fascination for

following year. Auden called it “the buggers’ daydream,” a hotbed

bohemians of every stripe, but in the late 1920s,

of sexual freedom that seemed too good to be true. Isherwood, a

it was definitely the place to be gay. Rent boys

budding novelist and compulsive diarist, revelled in the decadence

and gay bars were open for business day and

and recorded every detail. They’d never seen anything like this

night. Drag shows and fresh beer flowed into

before—no one had.

the streets. Berlin became a magnet for LGBT

But the German capital was much more than just a sex-

pilgrims from around the world, including two impressionable

tourism destination for horny post-Victorian expats. Between the

young Englishmen who made the city their home during that

two world wars—as Robert Beachy documents in his thoroughly

tumultuous time. The poet W.H. Auden got there first, in 1928,

researched Gay Berlin, Birthplace of a Modern Identity (Knopf)—

and had no trouble luring his friend, Christopher Isherwood, the

it was the epicentre of an important new movement. For the first

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gay ssdressing and ev ious pages); cro Institute for rlin rent boy (pr Be ing of laz ts ilb sho tra g ent Mu ; Nazis raid the → arrest ed developm posite page). ove left and right) bert Beachy (op of the closet (ab y Berlin author Ro Ga press come out ; ht) rig low in 1933 (be Sexual Science

time in recent memory, the concept of same-sex

Ulrichs went on to publish pamphlets advocating

male or female . . . that they have an innocent,

love stepped out of the shadows and finally gained

not only decriminalization but also the hypothesis

in-born orientation, which is not a misfortune in

a measure of acceptance in the wider community.

for a biological source for homosexuality. His theory

and of itself.”

Homosexuality was nothing new, of course, but

took root in Berlin’s fertile imagination.

Berlin’s openness fostered a climate of

as Beachy puts it: “the emergence of an identity

By 1895, gay bars were already widespread in the

tolerance, allowing a homosexual subculture to

based on the notion of a fixed sexual orientation

fast-growing metropolis, but rather than raiding

peacefully coexist with its neighbours. By the

was initially a German and especially a Berlin

these establishments, the city’s enlightened police

late ’20s, the LGBT population was approaching

phenomenon.”

commissioner turned a blind eye and let them

100,000—in a city of four million—and gay and

The seeds for this idea were planted decades

flourish out in the open. In 1919, pioneer sexologist

lesbian venues numbered close to a hundred. Up to

earlier in Munich, in what Beachy calls “the first

Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld founded the Institute for

30 queer publications appeared from 1919 to 1933,

public coming-out in modern history” and “an act

Sexual Science in Berlin, where groundbreaking

with periodicals targeted exclusively to gay men,

of enormous courage.” In 1867, a middle-aged gay

clinical research and some of the world’s first

lesbians and crossdressers of both sexes; some

lawyer named Karl Heinrich Ulrichs petitioned the

sex-reassignment

performed.

included personal ads for people seeking same-

Association of German Jurists to repeal the nation’s

Hirschfeld also provided therapeutic counselling

sex companionship or illicit encounters. In 1930,

anti-sodomy laws but was drowned out by horrified

for his confused and troubled patients, hoping to

Berlin hosted roughly 280,000 tourists, many of

lawmakers before he could finish his speech. Still,

“reassure the homosexual personality, whether

them curious heterosexuals from across Europe

surgeries

were

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But not everyone agreed that Berliners were onto something good. The unprecedented social experiment came to an abrupt end when the Nazis seized power in 1933, suppressing anything they considered offensive to their version of Aryan supremacy. The Institute for Sexual Science was one of the Nazis’ first targets, stormed and trashed by a mob of fanatical students determined to restore Germany’s reputation for order and Photographs courtesy of

so-called decency. Isherwood had escaped Berlin ahead of the stormtroopers’ violent purges, his first-hand accounts carried along with him to America. These impressions became the basis of his semiautobiographical Goodbye to Berlin, which went on to become one of the most iconic gay

Alfred A. Knopf

novels of all time. Isherwood’s bestseller also provided the source material for Cabaret, both the Broadway musical and the Academy Award-winning film. I was just a teenager when I saw that movie the first time and couldn’t get enough of it. I never tired of watching Liza Minnelli in her career-defining role, or the young and handsome Michael York, well, just because. I later read Goodbye to Berlin and devoured everything Isherwood wrote, developing such a romantic fascination with the fabled city that I had to see it for myself. As fate would have it, my trip to what was then West Berlin coincided with the author’s death in Santa Monica, Calif., that same month. One snowy afternoon in January 1986, I wandered into the Shöneberg district—Berlin’s gay quarter—and found the apartment building on Nollendorfstrasse where Isherwood lived in the early ’30s. The entrance had become a makeshift Michael Lionstar

shrine, complete with candles on the sidewalk beneath a plaque commemorating him, but I didn’t understand the significance of the tributes until I heard news of his passing on BBC radio a couple of nights later. Back then, the postwar city was still divided among the Allies, and West Berlin was completely

and North America, seduced by the city’s hedonistic carnival atmosphere.

guest list included such celebrities as Rudolph

surrounded by a heavily guarded concrete barrier

Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo and

known as The Wall. Communist East Berlin felt more like the setting for a John le Carré spy novel than anything written by Isherwood: the difference

“By the late 1920s, the LGBT population was approaching 100,000 in a city of 4 million, and gay and lesbian venues numbered close to 100.”

was palpable—like switching from a Technicolor

“The Eldorado was Berlin’s most famous

Marlene Dietrich. Even Jack Dempsey—the world

Berlin I knew, but as Beachy makes clear in his

transvestite bar,” Beachy points out, “and the one

heavyweight boxing champion at the time—visited

remarkable book, this resilient city was, after so

visited most often by slumming straights.” The

the legendary Eldorado.

many historic upheavals, the place it all began.

musical to a silent black-and-white film—but even there, gay bars continued to operate. In many ways, prosperous, progressive West Berlin had simply picked up where the former capital city had left off before the war, and the gay scene was in full swing, bigger and better than ever. A universal gay identity had been firmly established and the global LGBT movement was well underway. Isherwood probably wouldn’t have recognized the

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Cultural Calendar

february 2015

Events of LGBT Interest Across Canada By David Wright

1

Festival

7

Concert

For an intimate glimpse of one of the 20th century’s most influential feminist authors, catch Regarding Susan Sontag at the 16th annual ReelOut LGBT film festival in Kingston, Ont. The blockbuster HBO documentary features candid interviews with the writer—as well as her closest friends, lovers and associates—along with excerpts of her work read in voiceover by Patricia Clarkson.

© Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

7

For one night only, the Calgary Philharmonic salutes the legendary Brothers Gibb with Stayin’ Alive: A Tribute to The Bee Gees at Jack Singer Concert Hall. Treat yourself to symphonic variations of Jive Talkin’, Night Fever, More Than a Woman and other greatest hits under the direction of resident conductor Adam Johnson (pictured).

11

Drama Festival Get ready for some major drama. For the 36th consecutive year, Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre hosts the annual Rhubarb Festival, showcasing boundarypushing experimental new works in contemporary theatre, performance art, dance and music. Not for the faint of heart— adventurous audiences only.

Art Exhibition

Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario this month to see why Jean-Michel Basquiat took the New York art world by storm in the early 1980s. Dozens of his electrifying neoexpressionist paintings and drawings will be on display at Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time—the first major retrospective of the late artist’s work to appear in Canada. The show runs until May.

7

14

Art Exhibition During the early 20th century, U.S. businessman Henry Pearlman amassed a trove of rare works by some of the world’s greatest artists, including Cézanne’s Portrait of Paul, the Artist’s Son, circa 1880 (pictured). Currently touring North America, the exhibition Cézanne and the Modern: Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection makes its only Canadian stop at the Vancouver Art Gallery, from Valentine’s Day until May.

Film Festival

Promising an eclectic roster of thought-provoking movies, the seventh annual Massimadi Afro-Caribbean LGBT film festival runs throughout February in Montreal. This year’s lineup includes Taboo Yardies—a critical look at homophobia in Jamaica—and the controversial documentary God Loves Uganda.

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longdation, on arlman Foun Art Museum and Rose Pe iversity Un n The Henry eto nc to the Pri term loan

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20

Documentary

24

Theatre

KEEP THE LOVE. LOSE THE HANDLES.

Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine takes a deeply personal look at the young man behind the tragic headlines. Directed by one of his closest friends, the documentary will be screened with Shepard’s parents and the director in attendance at the Carleton Cinema in downtown Toronto on Feb. 20. It will also be shown at Edmonton’s Princess Theatre on Feb. 22.

Critically acclaimed as “storytelling at its best,” Ludwig&Lohengrin is a one-man show featuring 17 parts, each played by Kyall Rakoz (pictured)— who also happens to be the playwright, director and designer. Presented by Calgary’s Third Street Theatre, the award-winning play examines the eccentric life of Bavaria’s infamous King Ludwig II from various perspectives of those who knew him.

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Drag Show

As part of its biggest-ever international tour, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Battle of the Seasons arrives at Olympia De Montréal for a night of stellar live performances hosted by the incomparable Michelle Visage. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll know anything can happen—so don’t miss out. (Bonus: VIP tickets get you backstage for an exclusive meet and greet.)

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FLASHBACK February 2010 in LGBT History

Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Olympian Pride

I

n the long history of the Olympics, gay athletes almost always performed and earned medals in silence about their sexuality. But with the opening of the Vancouver Winter Games on Feb. 12, 2010, that changed. Among the gathering venues for competitors in Whistler, B.C., was Pride House. LGBT contenders were welcome to socialize there, and, in doing so, many discovered they weren’t nearly as isolated as they might have thought.

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