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JULY / AUGUST 2017

NOTHING GETS BETWEEN

MELISSA ETHERIDGE

AND THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY ANDY COHEN IS UNDISPUTEDLY THE KING OF GAY TV

LET’S TAKE A CHANCE AND BE KINDER TO EACH OTHER 1


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JULY / AUGUST 2017

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IN MAGAZINE


STAGE

The world’s finest stage performances in cinema

A G A Y FA N TA S I A ON N AT I O N A L T H E M E S

by Tony Kushner Par t O ne: Millennium Approaches Ju l y 20 En core: August 5 Par t Two: Perestroik a Ju l y 27 En core: August 12 For tickets and participating theatres visit Cineplex.com/Stage ™ /®

Cineplex Entertainment LP or used under license.

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INMAGAZINE.CA PUBLISHER Patricia Salib GUEST EDITOR Christopher Turner ART DIRECTOR Prairie Koo FASHION DIRECTOR Danyl Geneciran SENIOR WRITER Paul Gallant CONTRIBUTORS Coco Bennett, Steven Bereznai, Nelson Branco, Ernesto Di Stefano, Colin Druhan, Adriana Ermter, Ruth Hanley, Carlton Jones, Karen Kwan, Orlando Lopez, Daniel Mitri, Michael Pihach, Al Ramsay, Jumol Royes, Adam Segal, Victoria Schwarzl, Doug Wallace, Sean P. Watters, Casey Williams DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Woodrow Monteiro MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS MANAGER Bradley Blaylock CONTROLLER Jackie Zhao

ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES (416) 800-4449 ext 100 info@inmagazine.ca

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CONTENTS

77 issue 77

July / August 2017

INFRONT

06 | GENDER-FREE BEAUTY Why lipstick, eyeshadow and blush are transcending stereotypes

08 | HOW SEXY CAN A WAGON BE? We’ve rounded up a handful of wagons with loads of attitude 09 | PUTTING GENDER-NEUTRAL LANGUAGE TO WORK Show respect for all employees by choosing words that speak to them 11 | CONSIDERATIONS FOR LGBT FAMILY PLANNING For some in the LGBT community, determining how to start or even grow their families can be financially challenging 12 | LEFT BEHIND Being the only single one in your group of friends sucks 13 | STEPHEN LEWIS FOUNDATION LAUNCHES LGBTQ INITIATIVE New enterprise will help combat the AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa 14 | WHY MEN NEED TO THINK ABOUT THE HPV VACCINE HPV infection can cause health problems for men, too

Taiwan leads the way in Asia with a landmark marriage equality ruling. The island’s highest court struck down anti–gay marriage laws as unconstitutional

15 | BURNING ISSUES Quit fooling yourself—ditch your tanning habit now 16 | REJUVENATING YOUR SKIN WITH LASERS Can new laser treatments really keep your skin looking fresh as it ages? 18 | I WANT SUPERPOWERS: CREATING A QUEER-FRIENDLY DYSTOPIAN FUTURE IN contributor Steven Bereznai shares the story behind his new book 19 | ON THE TOWN Scenes from the party circuit

28 | THE REAL BACHELOR OF NEW YORK Andy Cohen is undisputedly the king of Gay TV 30 | BACH TALK Inspirational influencer Jordan Bach on spirituality, sexuality, and being a demonstration 44 | COMMUNITY GENEROSITY Let’s take a chance and be kinder to each other

FEATURES

46 | HOT FOR ISRAEL Candid, complex and captivating, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv make for a character-building, eye-opening, mouth-watering holiday

20 | OUR GAYEST STRAIGHT ALLY Chelsea Handler wants us to know she has our backs

50 | FLASHBACK Looking back at Craig Russell and Outrageous!, Canada’s groundbreaking drag film

22 | CRITICS LOVE ROBIN CAMPILLO’S 120 BEATS PER MINUTE Add this deeply moving film about AIDS activism in France in the ’90s to the top of your must-see list 23 | CANADIAN POLE VAULT CHAMP COMES OUT World champion and 2016 Olympic pole vaulter Shawn Barber came out as gay in a Facebook post 24 | WEED WARRIOR Nothing gets between Melissa Etheridge and the fight for equality and freedom

FASHION 32 | SHOW YOUR PRIDE Wear it loud, wear it proud all summer long 34 | WAITING FOR NEVER Bold colours and loud clashes that dominate the season are pretty distinctive. They don’t always match the frame of mind, but they do always make a sartorial statement

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GENDER-FREE BEAUTY Why lipstick, eyeshadow and blush are transcending stereotypes By Adriana Ermter

Between women wearing boyfriend jeans and button-down shirts, and men using women’s face creams and salon-style shampoos, when haven’t we borrowed from one another? With androgyny firmly entrenched in the style conversation, men applying cosmetics is rapidly becoming the latest, albeit not new, gender-free trend to transcend stereotypes—flash back to Little Richard in the ’50s; Mick Jagger in the ‘60s; Kiss in the ’70s; David Bowie, Prince, Billy Idol, Nick Rhodes and anybody who could rock a beat in the ’80s; and Marilyn Manson in the ’90s. “Singers and actors have always influenced this,” affirms Veronica Chu, the CoverGirl Makeup Pro for Canada. “But more recently, because of social media and the younger generation, we are seeing [men wearing makeup] everywhere.”

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All it takes is a double tap on the iPad to watch the growing influx of male beauty vloggers guide their Instagram and YouTube followers in applying Kardashian-worthy false lashes, embracing sparkle and creating a contoured cheek. Predominantly driving consumption are Millennials and Generation Z’ers. Not only are they creating their own style-reality through video, their quadruple-digit ‘Likes’ have captured—and held—the attention of bigwig beauty labels.

Fearless from the start, M.A.C Cosmetics was one of the first beauty brands to break down makeup barriers. Launched in 1985 by Canadian co-founders Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan, the brand was initially created for professional makeup artists to use on both male and female models. But with a tagline boasting “all ages/all races/all sexes,” the label was too good of a beauty secret to remain backstage at fashion shows. By 1994, M.A.C had developed a cult following for its Twig lipstick and Spice lipliner, and for its six-foot-three supermodel and drag queen, RuPaul—the face of the original Viva Glam lipstick (complete with a comeback in 2013), supporting the company’s AIDS Fund. “They opened the door,” says Chu. “Now, other brands are acknowledging that the male audience is real and there is an appetite and need for makeup for men.” Evidence that large consumer goods companies like L’Oréal and Coty (which owns cosmetic brands Maybelline and CoverGirl) are absorbing the male makeup market as part of their DNA is the unlimited exposure they’re giving their products. It’s no longer just a “guyliner” industry: everything from mascara, lipstick and blush to foundation, concealer and eyeshadow is up for grabs and being touted by the once unknown web celebs, who are happily sharing the spotlight with pop culture icons Gigi Hadid, Rihanna and Katy Perry, to name a few.

Last year, 17-year-old makeup artist and YouTube star James Charles was named CoverGirl’s first male beauty spokesperson. This year, 26-year-old, California-born Manny Gutierrez became Maybelline’s premier male ambassador and 25-year-old Jake-Jamie According to the Financial Times, it’s all simply an extension of the (a.k.a. The Beauty Boy) was named as a spokesmodel for L’Oréal ever-growing male grooming industry, which, by the way, pulled Paris. Combined, the three have nearly 6.5 million followers on in $50 billion in sales last year alone. And having left its indelible Instagram and four million subscribers on YouTube—and all of mark, gender-free makeup is seemingly one transcendent trend them are empowering men and women with an equal and new sense that’s predicted to stay. of freedom and acceptance in exploring and wearing cosmetics. “Social media is giving everyone a platform to express themselves,” “It’s a very exciting time for the cosmetics industry,” adds Chu, explains Chu. “People are being more fearless in showing their true who believes that now more than ever, makeup is being seen as a selves and breaking conventional norms from the past.” form of self-expression and art. “Have fun with it and experiment!”

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IN MAGAZINE


LOOKING GOOD

Five expert tips to know Rule of thumb: before you apply your makeup, hydrate your skin to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. “This restores the balance of moisture in the skin barrier and helps to plump cells,” says Wan Lu, founder of Pretty Organic Cosmetics. “It delays the aging process by deeply hydrating and repairing the skin.” Try: Pretty Organic Cosmetics’ Love Affair Unscented Organic Virgin Coconut natural moisturizer, $30, available online at www.prettycosmetics.ca. Create a sheer and even palette of coverage on your face with a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. “They’re easy to use, have moisturizing benefits and don’t require you be a makeup artist to apply them,” says Chu. Try: Clé de Peau UV Protective Cream Tinted, SPF 50, $120, available at Nordstrom stores. Stick to universally appealing colours on your eyebrows and eyelashes. “Brown and black shades are more natural and neutral,” explains Chu, “so they’re easy for any gender or age to use.” Plus, they frame your face, allowing you to play up colour elsewhere. Try: CoverGirl Katy Kat Mascara in Very Black, and Easy Breezy Brow Fill + Shape +

Define Brow Powder in Soft Brown, $11 each, available at drugstores. Play with colour on your eyes, cheeks and lips. “Experiment with eyeshadow at home,” suggests Chu. “Try shades that contrast with your natural eye colour to complement it.” Then opt for a coral and/or pinkish hue for your lips and cheeks. The colour will be subtly present, enhancing your natural glow. Try: CoverGirl Trunaked Jewels eyeshadow palette, from $13, available at drugstores; Fresh Sugar Petal Tinted Lip Treatment, SPF 15, $24, available online at www.fresh.com; and NARS Orgasm Liquid Blush, $38, available at Holt Renfrew stores. What goes on must come off. “Removing your makeup is an essential part of a good skincare regimen,” advises Lu. “It is important to remove makeup at the end of the day, along with dead skin cells, environmental pollutants and other skin debris, to allow for the optimal repair of your skin.” Try: Pretty Organic Cosmetics Soothing Cream Cleanser, $24, available online at www.prettycosmetics.ca. 

ADRIANA ERMTER is a Toronto-based, lifestyle-magazine pro who has travelled the globe, writing about must-spritz fragrances, child poverty, beauty and grooming.

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WHEELS

HOW SEXY CAN A WAGON BE? We’ve rounded up a handful of wagons with loads of attitude By Casey Williams

Sexy wagon swagger was the hottest quality at the recent Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland, but you don’t have to wait for all of those fast rides to arrive in showrooms. These stylish and capable wagons should haul your gear and take you anywhere now.

2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premiere Subaru, a favourite of our community, has primped and preened its flexible Outback with a new Premiere edition that rides on 18-inch wheels and delights passengers with Java Brown heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and EyeSight crash avoidance system utilizing stereo cameras. A 3.6-litre flat-six engine delivers 256 horsepower through standard all-wheel-drive. Ground clearance and cargo capacity rival the Jeep Grand Cherokee, just in case trails are in your future. Base price: $41,595 2017 Volvo V90 Take Volvo’s box-square wagons and smooth edges, and apply a Scandinavian design ethos, and you’ll get the V90. Broad shoulders and vertical tail lights say Volvo, while the interior—swathed in soft leather and real wood—channels IKEA. Swipe screen infotainment, head-up display, panoramic roof, heated seats, four-zone climate control and stunning Bowers & Wilkins audio spoil everybody. Step smartly with the 316 horsepower turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine. Base price: $59,900 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 Wagon Continuing 40 years of E-Wagons, the latest ’Benz keeps its third-row seat but steps up with Bermester audio, eight available wood and metal trims, and twin information screens. LED head lights/tail lights and choice of classic or sport grilles add class. Under the hood is a 329 horsepower 3.0-litre Biturbo V6 engine that takes the car from 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and to 210 km/h. 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, configurable drive modes, and air suspension cap an arsenal of performance. Base price: $73,600

JULY / AUGUST 2017

2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Porsche debuted the 2018 Panamera Sport Turismo, a wagon version of its large sedan, in Geneva. Enthusiasts can tap into a 330 horsepower turbocharged V6, 440 horsepower twin-turbo V6, 550 horsepower twin-turbo V8, or 462 horsepower E-Hybrid. Muscular curves and big oval head lights accompany a divinely comfortable cabin. Revised styling is more large 911, less hunchback Cayman—nicely done. The top model runs 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and reaches 304 km/h! Base price: $109,700

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CASEY WILLIAMS is a contributing writer for Gaywheels.com. He contributes to the New York-based LGBT magazine Metrosource and the Chicago Tribune. He and his husband live in Indianapolis, where Williams contributes videos and reviews IN MAGAZINE to wfyi.org, the area’s PBS/NPR station.


Show respect for all employees by choosing words that speak to them By Colin Druhan

In 2015, the American Dialect Society voted the word they, used as a singular pronoun, as its Word of the Year. Over the last several years, many leading publications such as The Washington Post and The Economist have adopted the use of the singular they in their stylebooks. These developments reflect the growing need for publications, organizations and individuals to appropriately represent people who don’t feel comfortable being described as he or she. Here are a few things for employers to keep in mind: Trust that people know who they are When someone provides you with the language they need to feel respected, take it seriously and understand that you don’t get to decide someone else’s identity, or how they express their gender. Reflect the language they use back to them so they know you listened. If you make a mistake, be sure to apologize for your error and take steps to improve moving forward. Don’t make assumptions Avoid jumping to conclusions about which pronouns to use with someone simply because of their name or other characteristics. This goes hand in hand with not making assumptions about the gender identity of someone’s partner or spouse. If you don’t know if someone uses he, she, they or another pronoun, try rephrasing your messages to make sure you’re not mis-gendering someone. For example, “Taylor can bring her husband to the event next Friday” can become something like “Taylor can bring their spouse to the event next Friday.”

Take guesswork out of the equation Provide opportunities for people to share information about what language they need to feel respected. This could be as simple as allowing employees to place their chosen pronoun in their email signature or on their name tag. If everyone is introducing themselves at the outset of a meeting, ask attendees to include this information when they share their name and role. Update policies to make them more inclusive When making changes to policies, be mindful of the use of gendered pronouns. Avoid the use of he/she (instead employing they), or rephrase sentences to not use pronouns at all. For example, An employee is not to make personal phone calls on his/ her shift can become Employees are not to make personal calls while working. Make sure this extends to the content of policies such as dress codes, as well. These steps help everyone to feel represented in policies, including people who don’t identify as either a man or a woman. Put in the effort Understand that the way people articulate their gender identities is always changing. Take steps to become familiar with some pronouns that may seem less familiar such as ze or hir and gender-neutral honorifics such as Mx. Some people say making these changes can be difficult. However, as with anything, it gets easier with practice, so don’t use that as an excuse not to try.

COLIN DRUHAN is the executive director of Pride at Work Canada, a not-for-profit organization that empowers employees to foster workplace cultures that recognize LGBT employees. For more information, visit prideatwork.ca.

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PRIDE AT WORK

PUTTING GENDER-NEUTRAL LANGUAGE TO WORK


Money confidence starts with money conversations.

JULY / AUGUST 2017

We can help.

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Start by visiting financiallyfit.td.com

The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. 10 IN MAGAZINE


For some in the LGBT community, determining how to start or even grow their families can be financially challenging By Al Ramsay & Orlando Lopez

Starting a family is a goal for some in the LGBT community. No matter what their situation, people need to plan ahead and design However, the reality is that in most cases, we have to go about a financial strategy to ensure they have the money to create a family. this in non-traditional ways like adoption, surrogacy and IVF (in “You have to be crystal clear on what your desired outcome is, and vitro fertilization). The process can be fraught with obstacles and you have to put a plan in place to achieve it,” Richardson says. can be very costly (in some cases, in the six figures), which will require some thorough financial planning to ensure a smooth process. Good financial planning Just as with any other major life event, before starting a family, you In LGBT family planning, the conversations about finances are should get solid advice from your financial planner. And as with usually centred on pre- and post-baby costs. It is easy to find most large expenses, one option is to spread the cost over a few years articles and resources that discuss the post- costs, and how to save by financing with a loan, or a secured or unsecured line of credit. for and finance those expenses (for example, daycare expenses, post-secondary education planning, maximizing an RESP). But, for “Preparing yourself financially will take some of the stress and anxiety non-traditional families, there is very little information out there out of the process,” Richardson says. She adds that, unfortunately, about the financial and legal implications before a baby arrives, the final costs are not known until the baby arrives. such as fertility bills, adoption expenses and unexpected legal expenses—and some of these issues can be significant. “There are a lot of unknowns going into this,” she says. “It may be that an individual or a couple has set aside a significant amount A recent article in TD Money Talk Life by Kim Parlee, vice of savings, and they can go through that very quickly.” Planning president TD Wealth, tackles some of these issues. Read on for a budget, paying the fixed costs such as mortgages and credit some highlights from “The LGBT Road to Family-Building.” cards and then adjusting discretionary spending by changing your lifestyle expenses may help you reach your goal. And, if you are a Pre- and post-baby costs homeowner, you may be able to tap into the equity of your home. The range of costs for surrogacy—including egg donation, IVF But above all, Richardson says, those who are family-building procedures and legal costs—can be anywhere from $30,000 to must feel comfortable working together and sharing these aspects $150,000, with around $70,000 being typical, and “that’s a lot of of their lives with a financial planner. money,” says Andy Inkster, a health promoter at the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto, which serves the LGBT parent community. Starting a family is an exciting time for any family, and we’re “People ask, ‘How are we going to pay for this?’” fortunate to live in a country where it is a legal right for members of the LGBT community. If you do your research and take advantage That’s just one example of the extra costs involved. Heather Richardson, of all the resources available to you, hopefully you will be able vice president, TD Wealth, says family planning for the LGBT to choose the option that’s right for you and plan accordingly to community can have additional bills that most heterosexual couples ensure the process is as smooth as possible! may not have to worry about—but the strategies for meeting those costs are the same as meeting any other financial goal. (Of course, If you would like to read the full article of “The LGBT Road to everyone’s situation and road to parenthood is different, so costs Family-Building” from TD Money Talk Life, visit http://www. will vary accordingly. As well, provincial health coverage, clinic moneytalkgo.com/lgbt/. fees, insurance and drug coverage can vary widely.) AL RAMSAY is TD Bank Group’s regional manager, LGBTA Business Development, and leads a team of expert advisors dedicated to serving the LGBTA community. For more information or to book a meeting, he can be reached at al.ramsay@td.com or follow him on Twitter at @AlRamsay_TD. 11 ORLANDO LOPEZ, TD Wealth Financial Planner, is a member of Al’s team of expert advisors who support the LGBT community.

MONEY$TYLE

CONSIDERATIONS FOR LGBT FAMILY PLANNING


RELATIONSHIPS

LEFT BEHIND Being the only single one in your group of friends sucks By Adam Segal

I feel like I’m being left behind. Most of my friends, straight and queer alike, have settled into relationships and bought houses, and many are starting to have kids as well. There was a time where every weekend I just knew that I would see my circle of friends—brunches out, drinks at night, dancing. Now making plans is brutal: essentially we have to book for six Sundays from now, and often plans get cancelled anyway. I feel lonely and kind of like a loser. I’m 34 years old, and the longest relationship I’ve had lasted eight months and I haven’t met someone special in a long time. I’m starting to wonder what qualities my friends have that I don’t, and worry that all those big life moments will never happen for me. I also partly feel glad that I’m still free to live my life as I please, but then I wonder if I’m just scared to grow up. How do I cope with being in such a different universe from all of my closest friends without losing all my self-esteem or resenting them? —Shayne Dear Shayne: It’s hard not to buckle under the immense social pressure to fulfill the myriad goals we are told represent successful adulthood: long-term relationships, mortgages, car payments and overpriced living room furniture sets. The truth is that there are plenty of other 34-year-olds who haven’t checked these items off their life list yet (and may never want to), and there’s no shame in being exactly where you are. It’s going to be important to try to tease apart how much of you

actually longs to have a committed relationship, and how much of you simply wants to keep up with your friends to prove to yourself that you aren’t failing at some fixed notion of being a grown-up. If you do, in fact, want to seek out an LTR, it’s more likely to happen if you see dating as a way of truly connecting with new people and not as an anxious rush to keep up with your friends. There’s no doubt that you are at a sort of crossroads where a lot of us can find ourselves: seeing the landscape of your social life dramatically change as your peeps fragment off into their more insular worlds. You truly have experienced a loss that can be hard to reconcile—those years of easy and consistent time with your chosen family were really special. In no way do you need to toss these meaningful friendships aside, but you are likely going to have to diversify and intentionally seek out some new social connections. When all of your friends seem to be on the exact same path, it can be easy to think you are the last single person on earth. In reality, there are lots of folks (single or not) who are still enjoying elaborate kid-less brunches, and it will be your job to find some of them. When you widen your circle, you’ll feel less deprived and be less disappointed in your old pals. Besides, the day after a late night out when you’re in a semi-coma state, it could be nice to drop by one of your friends’ homes, eat a home-cooked meal and watch Netflix with their kids.

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ADAM SEGAL, writer and therapist, works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental-health questions at @relationship@inmagazine.ca.

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IN MAGAZINE


COMMUNITY

STEPHEN LEWIS FOUNDATION LAUNCHES LGBTQ INITIATIVE New enterprise will help combat the AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa By Daniel Mitri

The Stephen Lewis Foundation’s new LGBTQ Initiative was introduced at Dare To Wear Love, the annual Canadian fashion gala founded by Hoax Couture designers Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell

This May, the Stephen Lewis Foundation launched the LGBTQ Initiative, aimed to assist in the AIDS and HIV crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. Aside from providing medical support, the initiative strives to ensure that the human rights of those in the LGBTQ community are ensured, and offers vital anti-stigma campaigns.

treatment, and a substantial amount of healthcare support to combat the pandemic. Communities are supported by mobile HIV clinics, which use code numbers to identify clients to ensure their anonymity and safety. Workers must also store their documents offsite, as the threat of office raids could jeopardize the safety of clinic staff.

A significant number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have a long history of oppression towards LGBTQ communities, with 34 out of 54 countries criminalizing same-sex relationships between men, and 24 countries targeting relationships between women. Each day, members of the community face various levels of discrimination and harassment, with fears of imprisonment and even death plaguing the lives of many.

The Canadian foundation has vowed to provide $1 million over the next two years in support. This large donation will continue to support the struggle for human rights, and will also offer emergency resources for the organizations that are in need of assistance.

“Corrective rape” is also a common punishment in these countries, which is used to reinforce “societal norms.” Aside from the psychological and physical damage caused to victims, this atrocity is also a driving factor in the spread of HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Because of these conditions, the existing LGBTQ organizations are forced to spend a large portion of their funding on the battle for human rights and security. As a result, the financial support for HIV and AIDS services is being depleted, and many affected members of the community are left without necessary treatment. The Stephen Lewis Foundation’s new LGBTQ Initiative helps fund local HIV/AIDS prevention groups, counselling, testing and

Stephen Lewis began his foundation in 2003; it currently works with more than 300 community-level organizations to combat HIV and AIDS in Africa. Today, the not-for-profit organization continues to fund more than 1,400 initiatives in 15 African countries that are most affected by the AIDS pandemic. The foundation provides support for women, orphaned children, grandmothers and those directly affected by HIV and AIDS. With its support, communities are provided with education and counselling on HIV prevention, treatment and medication, food distribution, and education and support for orphaned children. While the injustices that occur in sub-Saharan Africa may seem distant to many, the LGBTQ Initiative does accept support from donations and organized fundraisers. For further questions about how to get involved, visit www.stephenlewisfoundation.org.

DANIEL MITRI is a Toronto-based writer with a strong interest in music, politics and cooking. If he’s not playing his bass guitar, you can find him poking through vintage record stores and frequenting 24-hour restaurants.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

WHY MEN NEED TO THINK ABOUT THE HPV VACCINE HPV infection can cause health problems for men, too By Karen Kwan

If you could protect yourself from cancer, would you? Well, last year, Ontario expanded the publicly funded HPV immunization program to include people who are 26 years of age or younger who identify as gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men, including some trans people. This means they can get a vaccine—free—that can prevent cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). That’s good news: immunization programs for girls were already in place (initial research uncovered an association between HPV and cervical cancer) and the initiative was expanded to reach boys in Grade 7, but the infection rates of HPV among men are increasing. HPV is a very common virus with many different strains, some of which can cause cancer. It can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, such as anal or oral sex with someone who has the virus. A person could be carrying the virus and never show symptoms, and yet still pass on the virus. These are all factors that make the virus dangerous.

JULY / AUGUST 2017

For men, the most common types of cancer caused by HPV include cancer of the penis, and anal and oropharyngeal cancers. Among men who have sex with men, HPV infection and genital warts are three times higher than for heterosexual males, and the rate of anal cancer is 20 times higher. And research shows that 75 per cent of sexually active adults will catch HPV at some point in their lifetime. Getting the immunization message out is important: if most people get vaccinated, that will lower the transmission of the viral infection, providing “herd immunity,” explains David Brennan, Ontario HIV Treatment Network Research Chair and an associate professor at the University of Toronto. “We know already that once we start vaccinating men, these rates will start to go down, like we have seen happen in places like Australia, where they’ve been vaccinating for HPV for a longer time.”

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IN MAGAZINE

So the expanded immunization program is a step in the right direction. But that cutoff at 26-year-olds, though? In Brennan’s opinion, it’s not enough. He explains that these are protocols set up in the US, which are partly based on the assumption that people have likely engaged in sexual activity by that age—but this is not true for all people, he notes. He adds that for a gay man to get the vaccine by age 26, he has to be willing to come out, which some may not yet be willing to do at that point in their life. Brennan paints the scenario of someone having to go to a public health unit to get the vaccine, which might be hard for someone who hasn’t come out yet. “Gay men have been so disadvantaged by previous policies that, in my opinion, we really need to allow gay men to have access to this vaccine at any point in their lives.” There are no tests for men for HPV (and keep in mind that you can be exposed with any sexual skin-to-skin contact with any new partner, and that anyone can be infected with HPV many times in their lifetime if they haven’t been vaccinated). Brennan believes that every sexually active person should discuss the vaccine with their healthcare provider to determine whether getting vaccinated makes sense given their own circumstances and sexual behaviours. “Anyone who has had sex with anybody has likely come into contact with HPV,” he says. While he recognizes it’s a bold statement, research does show how pervasive this virus is. In Brennan’s opinion, if you’re not covered by your provincial plan—if you’re gay and 27 or older in Ontario, for example—then speak to your doctor about your circumstances and any possible complications (although overall the vaccine is very safe and effective). And you’ll also have to consider the $400 to $700 cost.


BURNING ISSUES Quit fooling yourself—ditch your tanning habit now By Karen Kwan

You look over at some of the guys in your gym and you’re just as Dr. Carroll compares the dangers of a tan all summer to a burn: fit as they are, but their bronzed skin makes them look defined and “One tan versus one burn? A burn is worse,” she says. “But one more tone. So you find yourself popping into the tanning salon burn versus being tanned the whole summer—I think the tan can and lying out on your patio in the sunshine whenever you can. As be seen as worse, when you consider that you’re looking at it as long as you’re not burning, it’s fine, you tell yourself—and besides, summer-long tanning during which you are constantly damaging your body needs vitamin D. your skin and damaging DNA.” Stay sun-safe • Wear an SPF of at least 30 daily. •The SPF number refers to how long the product will protect you from UVB rays relative to how long it would take your skin to burn if unprotected. Say it normally takes 10 minutes for your skin to start to burn in the sun without SPF. An SPF 30 product would So why the continued pursuit of a tanned physique, and the foolish protect you 30 times longer, i.e., 300 minutes. belief that only a burn is harmful? “It’s probably our fault,” says •Reapply sunscreen every two hours (more often if you go swimming Toronto-based dermatologist Julia Carroll. “Back in the day, or sweat a lot, from your soccer game or landscaping work, for sunscreen only protected against UVB, the rays that cause burning, example). and so we focused on that aspect.” One bad burn can double the • Experiment with different brands and types of sunscreen. Dr. Carrisk of melanoma, she explains—but constant, low-level exposure roll compares finding the SPF that’s right for you to matchmaking. to the sun can lead to non-melanoma skin cancers, not to mention “The best sunscreen for a patient is one they will wear easily and sun-damaged skin in terms of fine lines, etc. often,” she says. • A higher SPF number doesn’t mean significantly higher protection Even when you wear sunscreen, UV rays do come through (a SPF 30 product doesn’t offer twice the level of protection of and affect your skin, she explains: “With SPF 15, six per cent a product with SPF 15, for example). “The higher numbers are comes through; with SPF 30, three per cent, and SPF 50, two usually due to increased UVA protection,” explains Dr. Carroll. per cent.” She compares sunscreen to a bucket with a hole. That She doesn’t typically recommend sunscreens with very high SPF hole will allow water (or UV rays) to stream through, leading to patients (“It’s the law of diminishing returns when you go eventually to a drenching of what’s underneath (or, in the case with a higher SPF number—many people don’t need that, plus of sun care, a tan). they tend to be more expensive and less cosmetically elegant,” she says). In theory, you could reapply these products less often, And that tan should not be seen as protecting your skin from a but she notes that getting into the habit of applying every two burn; a tan only provides about an SPF 2 of protection. Here’s how hours is ideal. Your thinking could not be more wrong. Your tanning habit could lead to skin cancer, and barring that, it will lead to sun spots and wrinkles, worsen your rosacea, and more—all things that you’re probably trying to minimize by using an arsenal of expensive skin care serums and lotions.

KAREN KWAN is a freelance health, travel and lifestyle writer based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter at @healthswellness and on Instagram at @healthandswellness.

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LOOKING YOUNGER

REJUVENATING YOUR SKIN WITH LASERS Can new laser treatments really keep your skin looking fresh as it ages? By Christopher Turner

A lot of us are uncomfortable in our aging skin—at least the appearance of it. Even if you’re not there yet, don’t get too comfortable: genetics, various life factors and environmental elements will inevitably cause those dreaded fine lines that etch into the face. That’s probably why, year over year, there’s an ever-increasing lineup of men and women seeking advice from cosmetic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists on how to improve their appearance. Is there hope? There’s no shortage of skin rejuvenation treatments, of course, and customized facials and microdermabrasion procedures, and products that promise to eliminate scarring and to help improve the appearance of your skin. And Botox and dermal fillers are nothing new: millions seek out the line-erasing options every year in an attempt to stop the hands of time. In fact, of the $15 billion that Americans spent on surgical and non-surgical procedures last year, 44 per cent went to non-surgical procedures like Botox, and laser- and light-based therapies, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. But now newer laser skin treatments seem to be delivering noticeable results, and with no real downtime.

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“Most men and women who are interested in anti-aging use Botox, and that’s about it. Botox is great for lines and wrinkles, but young-looking skin isn’t just wrinkle-free—it’s firm, evenly pigmented with unnoticeable pores and great texture,” says Dr. Stephen Mulholland of SpaMedica in Toronto. “That’s where Picofacials, the rejuvenating treatment we developed using the PicoSure laser, comes into play.” PicoSure is a laser technology (approved by both the US FDA and Health Canada) that originally gained fame as one of the safest, fastest and most affordable methods of removing unwanted tattoos. When it was first introduced, doctors and patients raved that tired tattoos could be lightened or removed entirely in less than half the time of past methods—and with minimal discomfort. Today, doctors are using the laser treatment to help improve general pigmentation on the faces of their patients. Dr. Mulholland says

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PicoSure has quickly proven itself as very efficient in reducing wrinkles, especially when used in combination with other services. “The PicoSure laser and its ultra-short pulse duration stimulate skin through a photo acoustic [sound wave] rather than the usual heating laser mechanism,” says Dr. Mulholland. “This non-thermal mechanical effect creates elastin, collagen and supportive skin elements.” Think of it as skin rejuvenation. The bursts of energy actually activate the body’s own collagen and elastin production mechanisms, which in turn helps with the disappearance of acne scars and age spots, and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face. The patient sees benefits almost immediately. In fact, most patients notice a considerable change in the appearance of their skin after three sessions. (Individual PicoSure sessions are generally spread two weeks apart to ensure proper healing of the skin.)   The treatments are relatively painless, with most patients comparing the quick laser pulses to the light snap of a thin rubber band on the skin. Those who are feeling nervous about the procedure can ask to have a numbing cream applied to the face before a treatment, but it’s not really necessary. Patients wear protective goggles and individual treatments generally take about 15 to 20 minutes. PicoSure laser treatments are also much less invasive and expensive than seeking out surgical options. Of course, as with most skin rejuvenation treatments, some patients may see temporary redness on the face or minor swelling, but the majority can typically resume their normal activities immediately following a treatment. In fact, most lunch-hour patients won’t show any signs of redness by the time they arrive back at the office. Dr. Mulholland does, however, advise patients to lay off the gym for the remainder of the day, and drink plenty of water. But you’re already drinking your recommended eight glasses of water a day… aren’t you?

CHRISTOPHER TURNER acted as guest editor for this issue of IN magazine. He is a Toronto-based writer, editor and lifelong fashionisto with a passion for pop culture and sneakers. Follow him on social media at @Turnstylin.

IN MAGAZINE


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BOOKS

I WANT SUPERPOWERS: CREATING A QUEER-FRIENDLY DYSTOPIAN FUTURE IN contributor Steven Bereznai shares the story behind his new book

“I include queer and racially diverse characters in the worlds I build, because that’s what I see in the actual world that I live in.” Those were the words of award-winning author JM Frey (best known for her celebrated novel Triptych) at a queer speculative fiction panel at Glad Day’s Naked Heart literary festival a few years ago. I sat next to her, there because of my gay teen superhero book, Queeroes. Her words turned my thoughts to my (then) work in progress, I Want Superpowers (now available at Glad Day and recently reaching the Top 10 in two of Amazon’s Kindle categories). Unlike Queeroes, I Want Superpowers features a straight protagonist, Caitlin Feral. It’s still rife with gay imagery—from her muscled younger brother (“what 12-year-old needs that kind of muscle tone?”) to a rave-like scene that would do Coachella proud. But Caitlin lives in a post-apocalyptic world, divided between those with superpowers (Supergenics) and those without (DNA regulars, or “dregs”). Supergenic children are sometimes born to dreg parents, and are sent to live with “their own kind.” Obsessed with comic books (which are basically propaganda to encourage dregs to Manifest powers), Caitlin dreams of being one of those lucky few.

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Caitlin is driven by the desire to be special. Add to that her OCD best friend Normand, her bratty (but oh-so-cute) love interest Bradie, and bitchy/stylish classmate Lilianne, and I was patting my characterization on the back. But building a queer-friendly dystopian society presented challenges—and it was important to me that it be queer-friendly. When I watch shows like Incorporated, Teen Wolf and The 100, where gay characters are introduced as a matter of course, and sexuality is not the main storyline, there’s a sense of: “yeah, cool.” I had to figure out how that might work in Caitlin’s world, where dregs live under rules akin to the Soviet Bloc, with overtones of 1984. Free expression of sexuality can lead to a transgressive sense of overall freedom. So wouldn’t sexuality be repressed and controlled? And, since the most important thing a dreg adult can do is have a child that Manifests, anything contrary to procreative sex would likely be discouraged or outlawed. But I wasn’t trying to write The Handmaid’s Tale (which Atwood already rocks). The solution came from the storyline itself. Those in power are looking for anything that will increase the likelihood of teens like Caitlin developing powers. Queer kids are given leeway because statistically they have a greater chance of Manifesting. This is hinted

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at in Caitlin’s younger brother, who loves his pink underwear. Is it just one of his quirks or a hint of something more? But back to JM Frey: when I heard her words during the fiction panel, I realized my language did not reflect the world I intended to create. When a handsome Testing Official comes to Caitlin’s classroom, all the girls—and only the girls—show their interest by sitting up straighter. That presupposes that all the girls are into boys, and all the boys are indifferent to their own gender. As a gay man, accustomed to writing queer works, I clutched my pearls, fearing my pink card was about to be revoked. So I rewrote it, only to realize my pronouns were heavily gendered, excluding even the possibility of trans kids. I rewrote it again, and as I included every permutation of gender and sexual attraction, that one sentence got longer and longer, to the point where the most die-hard gender-linguist would’ve thought, “Nope, I’m out.” I considered resorting to the all-inclusive “they,” but “they” neuters all of the above possibilities into a sterile and bland beige. It conceals, rather than reveals, the range of our rainbow. In my sci fi, I want to show diversity, not hide it. I found my solution by asking myself the basic question: “What am I trying to say here?” Answer: enter handsome guy, and everyone who’s into boys sits up straighter. Short. Elegant. Done. And the sentence was now better. It conveyed a lot about Caitlin’s world, without spelling it all out, and I was able to pepper variations of this throughout the book. It’s why I love science fiction: the opportunity to explore the present day through future scenarios, playing with language to do so. At first my brain struggled to incorporate descriptions and pronouns that included a range of sexualities and gender identities, but once I got it, it felt more and more natural and obvious, and gave a more accurate portrayal not only of Caitlin’s world, but more importantly, of our own.

STEVEN BEREZNAI is the author of I Want Superpowers, Queeroes, and Gay and Single…Forever? You can find him on Instagram at @stevenbereznai. I Want Superpowers is available at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto and all major online booksellers.

IN MAGAZINE


ON THE TOWN

SCENES FROM THE PARTY CIRCUIT By Michael Pihach

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Dare To Wear Love at The Ritz-Carlton 1: Andrea Bain, Simone Denny, 2: Chris Tyrell, Jim Searle, 3: Myles Sexton, 4: Vicki Lix, Joel MacMeekin, 5: Olivia Chow. Inside Out Opening Gala at Malaparte 6: Lukus Toane, 7: Jules Nyx, Rowan Eb, 8: Jason Dickson, Jamie Meeks, 9: Josh Layton, Neville Bhesania, Prad Paskaran. Mad Hot Ballet - Photos by Victoria Schwarzl and Ernesto Di Stefano for George Pimentel Photography 10: Frank Augustyn, Evelyn Hart, Rex Harrington, Veronica Tennant, 11: Brad Wilson, Ron White, 12: Karen Kain, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

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CHELSEA

OUR GAYEST STRAIGHT ALLY Chelsea Handler wants us to know she has our backs By Nelson Branco

She’s fearless. Opinionated. Sexy. Funny. Relentless. And a bitch. Just how we like our gay icons. But comedian, author, actor and talk show host Chelsea Handler is one of our greatest allies—and a friend. Now streaming Chelsea, her zeitgeisty show on Netflix, Handler is focusing on the biggest problem at hand: the international political discourse and meltdown thanks to the joke that is the US administration, a.k.a. Donald Trump and friends. IN magazine recently spoke to Lady Handler: here are some of that interview’s greatest quotes from one of our most loyal and staunchest supporters. [Warning: Children probably shouldn’t read the following.]

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Allied forces! Any liberal-thinking person is going to be understanding of the LGBT—or whatever we’re calling it now—community, and an ally to gay people. You’d have to be a real idiot not to have empathy for a community that is oppressed. I feel like I’m an ally to anyone who is marginalized. I totally get what that feels like— from a smaller perspective. Something as little as being left out in middle or high school from the cool gang: multiply that feeling by a thousand and you’ll definitely be supportive. Anyone with any real-life experience will be a natural ally to the LGBT community or anyone different than you. You can always sympathize with people struggling. Why Netflix? It was great for me because I was coming off something where I was completely autonomous [on E!’s Chelsea Lately] and I just wanted someone to be in charge of me. I wanted something completely out of my comfort zone, where I wasn’t in charge or calling the shots. I told them, ‘I’m up for anything. I want to learn everything I can about docs, so steer me in the right direction and make it worth watching.’ And they did. They were totally what I wanted them to be. More so, actually. It’s an amazing thing as a woman to walk in and say, ‘This is what I want to do,’ and it happens. It all came to fruition. I don’t want to be bogged down by interviewing just celebrities. It’s not interesting or compelling. If I am going to interview a celebrity, I would rather put Sean Penn at a dinner table with Joe Biden, Selena Gomez and an astronaut. I want to have a compelling conversation in a fun, entertaining way so my audience can get relevant news. Bitches, I’m aging! It’s not ideal. It’s too bad we can’t just get younger. It’s too bad we can’t start off old and ugly and then peak as we get wiser and younger looking. It should be the opposite. Since I turned 40, it’s been huge in every way. Every cliché you could name happened. I don’t even know what day it is. I went gambling with Will Arnett and got back to the hotel at 5:30 am and I had to be up at 20

7 am! [Laughs] I was like, ‘What am I doing!? I’m not 20 anymore; I’m 40!’ And then I said, ‘You know what? You are 40ish and you know what you’re doing, so stop bitching and do your thing!’ It’s a different attitude. But at the end of the day, who gives a shit? Do what you fucking want to do. Branding humour! Comedy and standup is so specific that if you don’t tell the audience the entire truth of what you’re thinking and feeling, the audience will know it’s not real because anyone can smell that a mile away. Standup needs to be personal. If a standup is not being authentic, it’s not funny. As you grow up, your material changes because you do. I don’t think I will ever do standup again because I peaked. I did as much as I could, I won that ring; I got it and I don’t want to go down that road again. I want to conquer something else. With time, you get interested in new things. Obviously I want everything I do [to be] filled with humour because everything is so fucking funny…if you sit back and look at it long enough. Feminism fuck-off! I’m so sick of people asking me what it’s like being a woman in late-night TV or comedy. Go fuck off. We’re not a new species! The Madonna feud? Madonna is trying to stay young. I am not. I’m 40ish and I’m not getting a facelift. I’m not trying to collect a paycheque because I can and coast. That’s no way to live. If I’m going to be doing something in this business—and I’m not saving lives or doing anything profound—I may as well make some interesting choices and keep myself interested. Any regrets? I don’t know what kind of big-scale regrets I have. I don’t think you should have regrets because [that means] you’re living in the past. Yes, I regret people I’ve dated, you know? Yes, I regret getting back together with my ex-boyfriend for a third time—that’s a regret. But do I regret any life decisions? No. I’m pretty pleased with myself. Politics lately? Politics is the basis of everything on our show. I mean, I can’t ignore what is happening right now in the world. First of all, the comedic value is excellent. On a more serious level, it’s not funny—it’s really fucking scary! I feel like a lot of people want digestible information in a non-scary way and that’s easy for me to do—and it’s what I like to do. I’m trying to make fun of it while it’s happening instead of being scared all the time. Hope for the future? I spoke with Gloria Steinman recenly and even she said she’s never seen anything like [this retaliation against US President Donald Trump] before—including the feminist movement! It’s going to be a bad couple of years, yes, but the end result is going to be really beautiful. But I will say I’m glad I don’t have children.

NELSON BRANCO is the editor of 24 Hours Toronto newspaper. As a contributing editor, he’s penned pieces for magazines like Hello

IN MAGAZINE Canada, People, TV Guide and online sites like Huffington Post. He’s also worked as a TV producer for Breakfast TV, The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News and Sun News Network. You can follow him at @nelliebranco.


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FILM

CRITICS LOVE ROBIN CAMPILLO’S 120 BEATS PER MINUTE Add this deeply moving film about AIDS activism in France in the ’90s to the top of your must-see list By Christopher Turner

Photo: Celine Nieszawer/Les films de Pierre

A new film about the AIDS epidemic in France during the early 1990s is topping critics’ lists after winning acclaim and four awards, including the Grand Prix at the annual Cannes Film Festival.

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Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute (120 Battements Par Minute) is a touching and passionate story that takes viewers back to the struggles of frontline protest organization Act Up, an AIDS awareness group in early 1990s Paris. It’s the third film from the Moroccan-born French screenwriter turned director. Film lovers may remember Campillo for 2013’s Eastern Boys, a film about a young male Ukrainian prostitute who robs an older man, and for writing Laurent Cantet’s film The Class, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes back in 2008. No doubt drawing inspiration from his own experience as a member of Act Up, Campillo brings unquestionable conviction to his screenplay (which was co-written with fellow Act Up alum Philippe Mangeot), which chronicles the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS in the French capital and shows the lack of response of Francois Mitterand’s government at the time as well as the refusal of French drug companies to expedite potential breakthrough treatments.

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In French with subtitles, the film stars Nahuel Pérez Biscayart as Sean and Arnaud Valois as Nathan, the film’s central couple. Sean is positive, while Nathan is not. Beyond exploring the activism of the day (the two meet at Nathan’s first advocacy group meeting), the audience watches their budding relationship blossom with unabashed sexual intimacy. In reviewing the film, Vanity Fair called 120 Beats Per Minute “a vital new gay classic,” while The Telegraph deemed it “a vitally erotic, moving ode to activism.” Gorgeous visuals come courtesy of veteran cinematographer Jeanne Lapoirie, while the film’s furious forward momentum is often pushed by Arnaud Rebotini’s pounding house-music score. Listen for punchy use of the Bronski Beat classic “Smalltown Boy,” a landmark gay pop anthem that topped the charts during the early days of the AIDS struggle. Campillo’s film is occasionally slowed down by the inevitable weight of the topic. Scenes of mourning and loss move the audience, but perhaps more importantly, they serve as a testament to early crusaders and as a poignant reminder of one of the LGBT community’s biggest battles.

CHRISTOPHER TURNER acted as guest editor for this issue of IN magazine. He is a Toronto-based writer, editor and lifelong fashionisto with a passion for pop culture and sneakers. Follow him on social media at @Turnstylin.

IN MAGAZINE


SPORTS

CANADIAN POLE VAULT CHAMP COMES OUT World champion and 2016 Olympic pole vaulter Shawn Barber came out as gay in a Facebook post By Steven Bereznai

Photo: Mark Blinch/Canadian Olympic Committee

There was a slew of support for Canadian pole vault world champion Shawnacy Campbell “Shawn” Barber, after he recently came out on Facebook.

at Gay Games 10 in Paris in August 2018,” wrote Manuel Picaud from the Gay Games 2018. On a lighter note, “Freckled and Gay = best combination,” said Sjoerd Zijlstra.

In late April, he wrote: “Gay and proud! Thank you to my parents for being such a great support. I continue to grow as a person and have a great support group. My parents are my greatest support and have helped me through a lot recently. To my friends, you are always my friends and i love you too!”

Barber, 23, was born in New Mexico but holds dual citizenship (his father was born in Ontario), and he competes for Canada, calling Toronto home.

Nearly 3,000 people had positive reactions on Facebook, along with hundreds of encouraging comments from the Castro to Uruguay. “Thank you [for] coming out while competing as a pro. You are an inspiration to a whole generation,” wrote Roel Huijsmans. “Congrats Shawn! You are so inspiring. Please come and participate

Since the post, he has avoided all media requests, but according to his official Team Canada bio, his father competed in pole vault at the 1983 World Championships and is his primary coach. Barber “was intrigued by pole vaulting because his father took him to his training and competitions.” He’s gone on to break his own records on numerous occasions, and turned pro with a Nike contract in 2015.

STEVEN BEREZNAI is the author of I Want Superpowers, Queeroes, and Gay and Single…Forever? You can find him on Instagram at @stevenbereznai. I Want Superpowers is available at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto and all major online booksellers.

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COVER

WEED WARRIOR Nothing gets between Melissa Etheridge and the fight for equality and freedom By Nelson Branco

There’s no such thing as a day off for a human rights activist— especially considering the several hot messes running government these days and the myriad debates surrounding security/privacy, non-traditional gender and sexual discourse, and the impact of technology/social media on our ever-changing culture. Which why Melissa Etheridge isn’t resting on her laurels. The Leavenworth, Kansas, native not only became a breakout superstar (thanks to her blues-rock sound, smoky/raspy voice and groundbreaking lyrics she made a signature of on her first titular album Melissa Etheridge in 1988), but she also became an LGBTQ icon when she publicly came out of the closet as a lesbian in January 1993 at a gay event honouring Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Ah, those were the days.

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Today, Etheridge has a different fight on her hands: the legalization of marijuana in North America. In Toronto, and elsewhere, pot dispensaries are being raided and shut down. Employees and owners are being arrested despite the fact that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has promised legalization before July 1, 2018. Much like the infamous 1981 Bathhouse Raids in Toronto, lives are being ruined due to passive-aggressive, hypocritical and counterproductive bureaucracy and politicking—but that’s nothing

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IN MAGAZINE

new for fearless game changers like Etheridge. Or any gay person who fought for liberation in the past four decades. (Ironically, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders launched the Project Claudia pot raids last spring, a month before he apologized for Operation Soap, the police name for the Bathhouse Raids. Let’s hope it doesn’t take 30 years for the cops’ next mea culpa.) In an interview with IN, the 57-year-old Gemini says, “I’ve heard about Toronto’s pot raids. Listen, there is always a big pushback right before the giant leap forward. Fortunately, our freedom fighters in Canada—and we have them in California too—are strong, loud, organized, and not giving up. You can’t blame the law enforcement because they are confused: they need retraining and re-education.” The marijuana fight is a personal one for Etheridge. In October 2004, the Hollywood Walk of Fame inductee was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through the ravages of chemotherapy and the relentless torture the disease unleashes, a little green herb managed to improve her mood, increase her appetite and propel her back into a more functional life. One of Etheridge’s most powerful and compelling performances to date occurred when the then-bald crooner returned to the Grammy Awards stage in 2005 after chemo and surgery, and wowed the audience by singing “Piece of my Heart,” which was a tribute to one of her heroes, Janis Joplin.


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COVER Now cancer-free, Etheridge is still using medical cannabis for “acid reflux or anxiety and stress.” Just add this passion to her dedication to the cause of environmental awareness and issues: Etheridge scored an Academy Award in 2007 for her song “I Need to Wake Up” in Al Gore’s doc An Inconvenient Truth (that award was in addition to her two Grammys.) Etheridge sees many parallels between the pot revolution and the fight for gay liberation/marriage equality.

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She says it’s all about visibility and being proud: “It really comes down to people coming out to friends, family and co-workers as a smoker and proclaiming proudly, ‘I’m a good person, I have a job and I’m not into hard drugs. Like opening up about your sexuality, one by one, we can change people’s hearts and minds.” She’s such a fan of medical—and recreational—marijuana that she is also a producer of newly legalized cannabis products in California from her eponymous Etheridge Farms. Her most buzzed-about product? Cannabis-infused wine. Yep, you read that correctly.

high without too much of the euphoria. One glass of cannabis wine will give you the effect of three glasses, so you drink less but you feel relaxed and it doesn’t have the psychotropic effects.” Despite a few hurdles, she’s confident the marijuana community will win this fight too. All you have to do is open a history book. Playing #ThrowbackThursday, Etheridge recalls, “In 1989, I was in Germany when the Berlin wall came down. It was a huge eye-opener for me because I witnessed, in that moment, how people can change the world. That’s when I knew we could win the fight for LGBT rights. So I’m not surprised how much change has happened in the world—even in the past 10 years. I’ve seen much change in my lifetime and I hope it continues.” Etheridge learned a lot during her coming out at a time when there wasn’t a rule book for celebrities—and many feared the decision to be personally transparent was career suicide (even though it rarely is).

While many warn that marijuana should not be mixed with alcohol, “It was scary,” she admits. “I had to tell myself not to worry about Etheridge appears to have created a hybrid elixir that is the best of the ramifications and to be myself every day. I’m proud of myself, both worlds. She relays, “It’s been around since biblical times. My for sure, and I would say to myself back then: ‘Well done!’ It was brand, No Label, infuses cannabis into the wine. Unlike edibles, we an interesting journey of just talking about being gay for two years, don’t heat the cannabis so the THC isn’t released. This way, you which is weird! But, at the end of the day, there was no downside only get all the positive elements from the plant. It’s a full-body to me coming out.”

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With gay marriage legal federally in America but with a certain madman in the White House, Etheridge hasn’t sounded the alarm over concerns about LGBTQ rights being overturned or threatened…yet. Etheridge sighs, “We need our leaders to be vigilant more than ever, especially these days because we have seen a backlash. Here in America, we have states that are still trying to outlaw same-sex marriage. And don’t get me started on the trans bathroom issue! I mean, come on! You really want to waste your time, energy and money to drag us back?” LGBTQ rights will always have to be maintained and we cannot take them for granted, she says: “We have to always be on guard because there are people out there who will vilify us because of the fear they were raised on. Listen, I’m sure there are some people out there who write off me or my music because I like women. I think my music would never have resonated as much had I stayed in the closet. But that’s fine with me because the majority of people just see me being a lesbian as just one part of myself.” In honour of Gay Pride season, IN asks her whether or not it is time for our community to reinvent the celebrations and bring it back to its smaller, more thoughtful roots instead of being the commercial and marketing extravaganza it has become in recent years. “Pride is important, but absolutely the most important thing to be is out,” she stresses. “And Pride does help with that process. Sometimes the first public event an LGBTQ person attends and

feels safe at is Pride, so I don’t want it going anywhere.” And what does she think of the big social and cultural mysteries of the day? Will the millennial community help save the world or will it just become complacent and self-involved thanks to our increasingly narcissistic culture? As a Gen Xer, Etheridge answers, “I love them! My oldest, my daughter Bailey [Jean Cypher], is a full-on millennial! The key to them is that they wield a group mentality. They understand the tribe is stronger together versus individuals. I think the issues of the world and the opposition to evolution will be a dusty path one day thanks to them. My daughter goes to Columbia University and I hear what her generation is talking about—and it’s very impressive. I think our generation did a great job teaching them to judge someone on the content of their character—and that’s a great message to share with the world.” As for her professional future, Etheridge reveals she’s making new music. She says, “The plan is to start writing a new album at the end of the year. There’s so much material out there to write and sing about! It’ll be a new project, but I’m still trying to figure it out. I’m thinking I’ll be touring at the end of the year. I get inspired by cannabis and music, which go hand in hand. Cannabis enhances music and deepens it into our soul and emotional life. I want a Melissa Etheridge dispensary where you can smoke, write and listen to music at the same time.” Sign us up!

NELSON BRANCO is the editor of 24 Hours Toronto newspaper. As a contributing editor, he’s penned pieces for magazines like Hello Canada, People, TV Guide and online sites like Huffington Post. He’s also worked as a TV producer for Breakfast TV, The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News and Sun News Network. You can follow him at @nelliebranco.

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TELEVISION

THE REAL BACHELOR OF NEW YORK Andy Cohen is undisputedly the king of Gay TV By Nelson Branco

Move over, Anderson Cooper. Like his CNN and 60 Minutes pal, Andy Cohen is a rare breed in media success these days: The Real Housewives franchise executive producer and host is part of a generation of gays who have fought on the front lines through the cusp of change, and are now enjoying the fruits of those battles without being defined solely by their sexuality. Yes, while the world is burning, there is a segment of gay men and women who are grasping the universe by its balls and thriving. Well, at least in North America. And, like Cooper, workaholic Andy Cohen can’t stop building his résumé. The St. Louis, Missouri, native also helms SiriusXM’s Radio Andy, along with penning several bestselling books. But most importantly, the host of the frothy and dishy Watch What Happens Live is another out gay host of a US talk show. Cohen fans are fuming because the Bravo show doesn’t air in Canada—yet. “I don’t know why it’s not airing in Canada,” Cohen tells IN. “I wish I knew why. You have to ask Bravo what’s happening. If it were up to me, it would air everywhere.” Not that we need another man on late-night television—but a gay heartthrob is a different story. The king of guilty pleasures also helmed Fox and Citytv’s beloved dating series from the ’80s/’90s, Love Connection, which he resurrected late this spring (it was produced by The Bachelor’s Mike Fleiss).

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Cohen is not just a handsome face; he has some serious journalism cred, as a former CBS News intern, Early Show senior producer and 48 Hours/CBS This Morning producer. And this TV expert (and fan) knows you have to reinvent a classic to make it resonate with a new generation, so this time around, Love Connection features gay and lesbian contestants, a monetary bribe to weed out “fame whores” and a first-impression rating. Predictably, the show was a runaway success for Fox. “We had great luck on this show,” Cohen says. When he’s not reinventing the dial and making us forget our real-life problems by relishing in others’, Cohen is on the road with—you guessed it—Anderson Cooper on their 20-city national tour AC2, raising money for OneOrlando after last year’s horrific nightclub shooting. But it’s the Real Housewives franchise that Cohen is most famous for. Or infamous for.

“In my mind, the hybrid was the best Real Housewives could be—that it would be a soap opera,” the diehard All My Children and The Young and the Restless fan explains. “And that is what it turned into. That element is what attracted me to the project, yes.” But don’t call him a groundbreaker. “I see the series as groundbreaking—not me,” he diplomatically answers. Despite his open and naughty nature onscreen, Cohen is surprisingly guarded when you speak to him during a press interview. It’s a little disconcerting, especially when you watch him go head-tohead with superstars on Watch or during those epic, fiery reunion Housewives shows, but somehow it also makes sense. I’ve been interviewing stars forever—and I’ve learned their onscreen personas rarely exist off-screen. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to spill the tea: Cohen has the unique ability and talent to ask bitchy, sometimes inappropriate questions—and somehow he gracefully gets away with it! Blame the Cohen charm. He says it’s all about creating good TV: “Absolutely. I consider it a gift,” he concurs. “I think it comes from a lot of time interviewing Housewives. Also, I think people understand and know I’m on their side. I don’t want to hurt them or piss them off. I’m asking the questions the viewers want to know.” Last month was Pride month, so I wanted to ask Cohen, someone in my generation, what he thought about the annual celebration—and if it needed to be reinvented in some way. Cohen offers, “I still think Pride is important for everybody. We don’t have equality everywhere yet. There are people who are still in the closet. Pride is one big support group, so it’s still relevant.” Back to the fun stuff: as the guilty pleasure master, how does Cohen unwind? “I just travel,” he says. “That’s probably my guiltiest pleasure.” Almost 50, Cohen’s body is still in as good shape as when he was in his 20s. What is his secret? “I still work out,” he says. “And it’s also natural.”

Many critics credit the 49-year-old hairy-chested sex symbol with reinventing reality TV by marrying it with the soap opera formula. Was it a conscious decision? NELSON BRANCO is the editor of 24 Hours Toronto newspaper. As a contributing editor, he’s penned pieces for magazines like Hello Canada, People, TV

28 GuideIN andMAGAZINE online sites like Huffington Post. He’s also worked as a TV producer for Breakfast TV, The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News and Sun News Network. You can follow him at @nelliebranco.


Finally, I asked him the question on everyone’s minds: will millennials save the world? “They’d better! It all comes down to them.”

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OPINION

BACH TALK

Inspirational influencer Jordan Bach on spirituality, sexuality, and being a demonstration of love By Jumol Royes

We all have that one friend we go to when we need good advice. A conversation with Jordan Bach is like chatting with that friend. He’s calm, cool and collected, and his words drip with wisdom. Bach has people talking: The Advocate named him “an LGBT architect of the next decade.” Fans flock to his website, The Bach Book (thebachbook.com), for tips and inspiration. His Twitter profile describes him as an influential talker, life coach, believer in the power of love, LGBTQ+ advocate and Dolly Parton fan—but if you ask him what he does, the simple answer is he helps people connect with themselves.

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IN recently connected with Bach on Skype for a free-flowing conversation about spirituality, sexuality, love, and living with purpose. A lot of people don’t relate to being religious, but they’ll freely admit to being spiritual. Where do you stand? You hear the term ‘spiritual but not religious,’ but the idea has taken on a life of its own that’s not always wholly accurate. Younger people want a religious experience, but we’re not necessarily comfortable using the term ‘religious’ to describe it. We want an experience of transcendence; we want an experience of letting go of our fear and believing in a force greater than us. You can have that experience in a nightclub just as much as you can at church, temple, synagogue or mosque. What I love is being able to take [faith] traditions and apply them to our times. Some of us want to avoid the traditional religious experience, but then there are some of us who want to transform it. I certainly consider myself to be in that group of people who want to transform the traditional religious experience. It’s fair to say that many faith traditions, including Christianity, have a challenging, and sometimes adversarial, relationship with the LGBTQ community. How can we reconcile that divide, and is it possible to embrace both faith and sexual identity? My friend Matthew Vines wrote an incredible book called God and the Gay Christian. It presents a very compelling, strong, 30

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theological argument for same-sex relationships. There are a lot of passages in the Bible that can be interpreted from a place of fear rather than love and compassion. I always refer to St. Augustine, who said scripture ‘teaches nothing but charity, and we must not leave an interpretation of scripture until we have found a compassionate interpretation of it.’ There is indeed poorly distributed power in our religious communities, and some of us in the LGBTQ community feel disenfranchised. That being said, the solution doesn’t come from wrangling power from each other. The real solution comes from increased empathy and understanding. Where there is increased understanding, there is equality. So how do we start those conversations or create those encounters in our everyday lives—especially on social media, where so many of us are talking past each other instead of with each other? I don’t know if you saw the Heineken campaign about the power of human connection… Yes, I loved it! I tweeted about it and someone said, ‘Stop promoting alcohol.’ And then someone said, ‘…it’s a brand; you know they’re just trying to appeal to people.’ I say: A good message is a good message. There’s a quote that goes: ‘Twice I did good, that I heard never. Once I did bad, that I heard ever.’ We’re constantly railing on how companies are getting it wrong and we’re not talking about when they get it right. We heard so much about Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad. We like getting upset about shit. Every day there’s something new to be upset about. One thing I live by is: promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. The thing that was really great about [the Heineken ad], and the thing it showed so clearly, is that when you sit down with someone in person, something changes. What we’re really seeking is connection. The paradox of this new age is that we’re more connected than ever, yet we’re more disconnected than ever. In your YouTube video, When I say ‘I’m Gay,’ you talk about LGBTQ people being teachers sent here to expand humanity’s vision of what love really is. What do you mean by that? A Course in Miracles says that ‘to teach is to demonstrate.’ To teach love means to demonstrate love. And so the most powerful thing


that we can do as LGBTQ people is to demonstrate our love and to do it in a way that is true for us. I believe we don’t just happen to be gay…I don’t just happen to be gay; I came here to this planet intending to be gay, and here I am. And so the most powerful thing that I can do is to love as passionately and with as much fierce grace as possible, and just by doing that, I can change the world. You’ve clearly found your purpose and you’re doing what you were meant to do, but it’s something a lot of us still struggle with. How do you know when you’re living authentically and in alignment with your purpose? That’s a very popular self-help Google search: how do I find my life purpose? Practically speaking, about 85 per cent of people don’t have an obvious, natural calling. Some people do. The rest of us have to try out different things and test for feedback. Clarity

comes through engagement, not more thinking. Every time you try something and it doesn’t feel right…that’s a sign that it’s not for you. I would do what I do without being paid for it. I brought a self-help book to reading time in third grade…I’ve been into self-help and spirituality and having deep conversations my whole life. It was right in front of me the whole time. I think it’s helpful to ask yourself, what is it that I love to do? That’s number one. Number two: of the things I love to do, what do I do well? Then number three: of the things I love to do that I do well, what do I do better than most other people? And there’s your sweet spot. When you’re not busy dispensing solicited advice, what’s your guilty pleasure? I love pop culture. I love knowing why is Khloé Kardashian mad at Caitlyn Jenner [laughs].

JUMOL ROYES is a Toronto-based PR and communications strategist with a keen interest in personal development and transformation. Follow him on Twitter at @Jumol.

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SHOPPING

WEAR YOUR PRIDE Wear it loud, wear it proud all summer long By Christopher Turner

If you want to make a statement this summer, why not wear it? Inspired by LGBTQ communities around the world, these Pride-inspired pieces also serve as reminders that the fight for tolerance, diversity and equality is ongoing. Here’s a roundup of some of our favourite rainbow designs you can pick up this summer. Consonant Skincare Consonant Skincare is celebrating Pride with a limited-edition Rainbow Bath Bomb! All profits from the sale of the all-natural rainbow-layered bomb will be donated to the Bill 7 Award, a charity providing scholarships to disadvantaged LGBTQ youth enrolled in post-secondary education in Ontario. The Rainbow Bath Bomb retails for $9; it is available at Consonant Skincare locations across Canada and at consonantskincare.com. Nike BeTrue collection All of the pieces in Nike’s 2017 BeTrue collection for men and women feature riffs on two prominent symbols of pride: the rainbow flag and the pink triangle. The apparel collection includes dri-fit tees and tanks, and even on cushioned running socks, while the footwear collection includes the new Air VaporMax, Air Zoom Pegasus 34, Cortez and Flyknit Racer. The items range from $42 to $265, and will be available at Nike Running locations and nike.com. Bonus? Nike is donating a portion of all BeTrue sales to organizations empowering the LGBT sports community.

Levi’s Pride collection Levi’s fourth annual gender-neutral Pride collection includes tanks, tees and patchwork denim shorts. One shirt reads “Fight Stigma” on the front, with a timeline of historic moments in the history of LGBT rights on the back. Items in the collection range from $35 to $80, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Harvey Milk Foundation. Available online and select Hudson’s Bay stores as well as at Levi’s stores at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Sherway Gardens and Square One. Burt’s Bees In honour of this summer’s Pride festivities, Burt’s Bees has released a new limited edition Rainbow Pride Lip Balm pack. Included inside are six flavours of lip balm–beeswax, strawberry, vanilla bean, wild cherry, coconut and pear & honey–each infused with 100 per cent natural ingredients. Available at Shoppers Drug Mart, and burtsbees.ca for $18. Puma Puma’s first Pride-inspired kicks have hit the streets. The classic low-top Clyde silhouette features a one-of-a-kind metallic rainbow outsole and, of course, rainbow branding and laces. Available at Footaction, PUMA Labs and select Foot Locker stores across Canada.

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Converse Pride collection This summer, Converse gives their iconic Chuck Taylor All Star

sneaker a bright and bold makeover with three different Prideinspired versions of their classic HI and OX silhouettes (including a kids’ style). The rainbow-inspired kicks retail for $50 for kids, $75–$80 for adults, and are available at Browns, Town Shoes, Get Outside, Baggins and the newly launched converse.ca.

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CHRISTOPHER TURNER acted as guest editor for this issue of IN magazine. He is a Toronto-based writer, editor and lifelong fashionisto with a passion for pop culture and sneakers. Follow him on social media at @Turnstylin.

IN MAGAZINE


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WAITING FOR NEVER Bold colours and loud clashes that dominate the season are pretty distinctive. They don’t always match the frame of mind, but they do always make a sartorial statement. Our advice? Be brave...experiment with the new wave of print patterns.

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Photographer: Sean P. Watters Fashion Director: Danyl Geneciran Stylist: Carlton Jones Grooming: Coco Bennett Model: Judson Harmon @ Fusion Models NYC

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Amoux knit coat: ORLEY Silk shirt: OSKLEN Denim pants: RICHARD CHAI Suede hat: NEW YORK HAT & CAP CO 35


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Woven lurex coat: BUKI AKIB Wool pants: LUCIO CASTRO 36

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Motorcycle jacket: SKINGRAFT Pants: RICH KIM 37


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Motorcycle jacket: SKINGRAFT

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FASHION Printed suit tank and shirt: RICH KIM 39


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Patchwork jumpsuit: BUKI AKIB Boots: RICHARD CHAI for PALLADIUM 40

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FASHION Shirt & blazer: LA MARQUE Pants: TRISTAN LICUD FannyWoven pack: URBAN lurex coat: OUTFITTERS BUKI AKIB Wool Pant pants: chain: LUCIO STYLIST’S CASTRO OWN 41


FASHION JULY / AUGUST 2017

Clear jacket and woven pants: BUKI AKIB Tank: RICH KIM 42

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Embroidered collar jacket: RICHARD CHAI 43


INSIGHT

COMMUNITY GENEROSITY Let’s take a chance and be kinder to each other By Paul Gallant

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Years ago, when I was a more careless and less informed person, I flippantly used the word “tranny” in a private conversation within earshot of others at a public event. Someone overheard me and told a couple of other people, who confronted me right there. I was mortified then, and I redden in the face recounting this now. There was no excuse for me using the word, but, by way of explanation, I was trying to fit into a new social milieu where other gay people were calling me “faggot” in a (kinda, sorta) friendly way, and I was experimenting with how cavalier I should be in order to demonstrate my comfort and at-homeness in the Toronto LGBT world. A misjudged stab not at disrespect, but at being a homeboy.

exist, and that sometimes malice is subtle, tucked away in biases, assumptions and systemic discrimination. We have learned to look for little clues that this is happening to us. Key words, words not spoken, a certain tone of voice can all signify that someone or some institution has an “issue” with us, and therefore we have a problem to solve or endure. A few weeks ago, in a Q&A after his new play, It’s All Tru, playwright Sky Gilbert talked about how—even though things have gotten much better for LGBT people in Canada—our historic oppression, and the impact of the AIDS crisis, have left scars on the community. Sometimes our scars makes us touchy, but if we pay attention, these scars can also make us more empathetic to others, more able to value similarities over differences.

Looking back with the wisdom of age, and with many lovely trans people in my life, why on earth would I think it would be okay to throw around a word that serves no purpose other than to hurt people? But looking back, I also wonder: couldn’t the overhearer People who are marginalized in multiple ways—because of their have quietly pulled me aside to set me straight? In a world where ethnic background, appearance, ability, immigration status, mental indignation and one-upmanship seem to be the rule, the LGBT health status, HIV status, religion, gender, etc.—learn a particularly community has the power to set a higher standard of generosity long list of indicators that tell them whether they’re facing an towards one another. “issue” in any given situation. Considering the pervasiveness of systemic discrimination, which can unfold automatically and It’s a common complaint that mainstream gay male culture unconsciously, people are often not wrong in their assumptions. promotes body fascism, with gym bunnies treating non-conforming There’s lots more work to do. guys like second-class citizens. I agree that’s nasty. But respect is a two-way street. I’ve also heard artsy types dwell on the vacuity of But in our own communities, we should be striving to make this body-conscious guys who have nothing in their lives but the gym, assumption wrong. Among our own kind—and I define “own kind” as if there is a right and a wrong way to spend one’s spare time. I very broadly—we should bring our best, most generous selves. It’s not have written before about how horrible some gay white men sound about keeping up with the latest terminology or taking a sensitivity when they refuse to contemplate where Black Lives Matter was workshop, though those are both fine undertakings. It’s about coming from when it demanded major changes—some admittedly really listening to each other, hearing what others in our community debatable, like banning police uniforms in the parade—to make say—not scouring their words for something that will give us the people of colour feel more welcome at Toronto Pride. On the other upper hand. Why speak at all if it’s not going to win over others? hand, at a public meeting last year, I witnessed a well-meaning white woman ask a sincere question about why police recruitment Our safe spaces should be free of judgment not only about who we booths at Pride couldn’t be a good thing, only to have her voice are, but also about the low-level mistakes we make as a scarred drowned out by attendees who had no patience for questions that and struggling community. I am not naive. Donald Trump and his didn’t fall in line with the for-us-or-against-us script. ilk are malicious, yes. But the person next to you at Pride, a bar or a community meeting is usually, at worst, ill-informed. If any group of people should know that nobody has it all figured out, that nobody has a definitive answer on how to make the world Rapidly changing attitudes towards LGBT people and other a better place and that people’s attitudes and viewpoints can evolve minorities demand ongoing dialogue rather than recalcitrance. under the right conditions, it should be LGBT people. But histories There is no party line. Even in a country that has, in many that should make us more generous with each other can make us ways, become one of the world’s best places for LGBT less so. Having been picked on, discriminated against, ignored and people to live, that’s a gift we can give ourselves within sometimes insulted right to our faces, we’ve learned that enemies our own communities.

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PAUL GALLANT is a Toronto-based writer and editor who writes about travel, innovation, city building, social issues (particularly

IN MAGAZINE LGBT issues) and business for a variety of national and international publications. He’s done time as lead editor at the loop magazine in Vancouver as well as Xtra and fab in Toronto, and is currently executive editor at BOLD magazine.


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TRAVEL

HOT FOR ISRAEL Candid, complex and captivating, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv make for a character-building, eye-opening, mouth-watering holiday By Doug Wallace

As an atheist, I didn’t have Israel on my bucket list. As a homo, I was skeptical about how comfortable the region would be for LGBTQ travellers who wanted to let their hair down or at least be themselves. As a journalist, I waited for the propaganda I was warned about (which, happily, never came, though the myriad political opinions almost made my head spin clear off). As a goy, I learned a lot. But the 10 tons of fun I had was what I brought home. Despite all the troubles, Israel is awesome—a cross-cultural mixed bag, cosmopolitan in places, historical to the point of dumbfoundment, and delicious across the board. It even smells good.

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Jerusalem—the holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam— is especially enticing with its mix of old and new. From the monochromatic limestone buildings punctuated by lush gardens awash in bright botanicals, to the noisy and crowded sidewalk markets, you get a sense that not much has changed around here since Jesus was in third grade. We spent hours in the Old City, wandering the stalls thick with crafts and ceramics, tapestries and jewellery, antiques and souvenirs. The change in atmosphere moving from one religious quarter to another is almost palpable. At the gates to the Western Wall, I felt like an interloper, on top of being overwhelmed by the number of guns: three different tiers of security forces buzzed around the entire place, some hyper-alert, others bored, others joined hand in hand in a circle breaking out into song. Even young off-duty soldiers in their street clothes had to carry around their guns. I felt sorry for them, particularly the one who sat on a chair praying with his gun in his arms, eyes shut. All Israelis do a mandatory stint of military service, which may be one of the reasons why the population appears to be quite fit, a result of adopting fitness regimens early on. To say that said soldiers were capital-H-Hot would be a huge understatement. Jerusalem is not without its modernity, of course: the nearby new Mamilla Mall is proof positive of that, with its string of chic shops. This is where we saw an Orthodox busker doing Eagles and Zeppelin songs to the delight of the throng. The culinary scene here is world-class: the variety of fusion permutations springing from so many different cultures yields tantalizing results at restaurants like Satya, Mona and Eucalyptus. 46

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A visit to the Mahane Yehuda fruit and vegetable market is a total taste explosion from beginning to end, with tea and fresh spices by the bushel, and cakes and sticky buns and baklava fresh from the oven. Huge swaths of massive garlic hang twisted into giant bouquets. Sesame seeds are ground into rich tahini before your eyes. Big chunks of dense, flaky halvah weigh down the shelves. I could quite happily have lived in here for days. Later, when it started to rain while we wandered the surrounding outdoor markets, we huddled under a striped sidewalk canopy and munched away on the best falafels we had ever tasted. This is a follow-your-nose kind of city, for sure. One afternoon, our noses led us to coffee at the Tmol Shilshom Café in the heart of the Downtown Triangle. Rainbow flag-illustrated graffiti outside the door reads: “Here to Stay.” This 20-plus-yearold café-bookstore, its name translating to “only yesterday,” has become an institution for avid readers and noted writers, as well as tons of students, coffee drinkers and the gay crowd. “We never planned it to be the gay spot in Jerusalem; it just happened,” its owner, David Ehrlich, told us. “Our opening coincided with an early LGBT event, and the gay community endorsed us from Day 1.” Religious people ignore the café “mostly because it’s not kosher,” said Ehrlich, who promotes a live-and-let-live attitude. “Our society poses certain problems,” he said, “but I look for bridges. If you do some negotiating, you can find a meeting point.” This place is older than dirt A day trip to Masada (the storied ruins of King Herod’s desert mountaintop fortress) proved spectacular, most particularly for its lasting power—this place was the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against the Romans in the year 73 CE—and for the incredible view. The sky felt so big in the bright sunlight, with the Dead Sea spread out before us. It was as if I had never been in the presence of so much air before. We naturally stopped off at the Dead Sea on the way home, pulling in to Neve Midbar Beach, elevation minus 400 metres, the lowest place on earth. Guess what? The Dead Sea is a lake. And one-third of its water is salt. How dead is it? Quite dead, actually. We floated like marshmallows, shrieking as we tried to flip ourselves from front to back, slathering each other with thick black mud, then letting


Photos: Doug Wallace

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TRAVEL it dry in the sun. I’d heard stories of oil slicks and rent boys at the more touristy south end, but here on the northwest shore, things were subdued, all white plastic chairs and fake grass. There was a souvenir shop, and a nice man with a camel was offering rides and photo ops. In the end, I didn’t have a religious experience, I just had a beer. A few days later, leaving Jerusalem for the seaport of Acre near the Lebanese border, we loaded up on falafels and salads before walking it off in the area’s newly excavated underground city, Israel’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current town is apparently built on top of an ancient Crusader city, hidden for centuries, that was buried in the rubble of late 13th-century wars. The archaeologists can barely keep up with the work they have ahead of them.

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Down the road an hour, a stop at the ancient Roman aqueduct at Caesarea led to a bit of interesting digging of our own. The Mediterranean has eroded the shoreline to a point where the foundations of the old city have been unearthed, bits of flooring and remnants of pottery flaking away from the embankment. The city that never sleeps While there is no gay street or neighbourhood in Tel Aviv, it is the gay capital of the Middle East hands-down. Around 20 to 30 per cent of the population is gay, depending on who you ask. A local politician once joked that you couldn’t throw a stone in Tel Aviv without hitting a gay person, an actor or a cat. The most brilliant thing about this city has to be the two-kilometre stretch of beach right in the middle of town. It just couldn’t be more convenient—and relaxing, and hot, and sexy, and worth the trip in itself. Tel Aviv is a real walking city, and we strolled the entire waterfront from the marina to Jaffa, hitting the famous flea market and drinking in the mix of old and new. 48

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We wandered through the old neighbourhoods of Neve Tzedek and Florentin, now fashionable and thriving, cool and comfortable. Carrying on to the Carmel fruit and vegetable market, we made a brief pit stop at Hummus HaCarmel for the best hummus I have ever eaten in my entire life—it was so good, I wanted to lie down in it. While there are not a lot of gay bars (just gay nights in a lot of cool clubs), you can certainly find your party here. Pride is a week-long event in June, drawing 30,000 participants from all over the world, along with $80 million into the economy. The celebration has a very strong family element to it, as does everything in Israel. With family life such an important part of the culture here, and as there is no civil marriage in Israel—marriage being solely a religious rite—it’s not surprising that adoption for LGBT people is such a hot topic. Sitting down one morning to chat politics with activist Evan Cohen, we learned that many politicians say no to any kind of LGBT legislation, to make their supporters happy and win votes. All the gay stuff just carries on quietly in the background. Cohen feels that not rocking the boat often yields the best results. “It’s sometimes better to have legislation not passed than to try to have it passed and fail,” said Cohen, a founding member and former chairman of Likud Pride, the LGBT-equality group in the ruling Likud party. “Visibility is the most important thing right now,” he told us. “We need to work on being more visible. Be there, be out, and that’s it.” In the long run, I found a simple serenity pervading Israel, despite some of the tensions. And when you go—and I know you will—remember that Atraf, the local LGBT app, has an English-speaking section.

DOUG WALLACE is the editor and publisher of travel resource TravelRight.Today.

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$581.67* For more details or to set up an appointment, give me a call. Steven Simone, EMBA, PFP-RBC Financial Planning Church & Wellesley/Bloor & Yonge Financial Planner Investment & Retirement Planning Royal Mutual Funds Inc. Tel. 416-574-2825 steven.simone@rbc.com

PROTECT WHAT MATTERS MOST For illustrative purposes only.

Example is based on: ■ Name of Fund: RBC Managed Payout Enhanced Plus ■ NAV/Unit (as of May1,2017): $6.7048

CHANTALLE SAWISION Hart Legal Family Law, Wills & Estates 1 Dundas Street West, Suite 2500 647-943-1208 Ext. 3312 csawision@hart-legal.com Hart-Legal.com | chantallesawision.com

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Number of Units: 14,915 Monthly Distribution/Unit: $ 0.0390

* May be adjusted depending on future market conditions. Please consult your advisor and read the prospectus before investing. There may be commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. This advertisement is intended as a general source of information only, and should not be construed as offering investment advice. Interest rates, market conditions, tax rulings and other investment factors are subject to rapid change. Cash flow payments are not guaranteed and may be adjusted depending on future market conditions. Cash flow from mutual funds should not be confused with mutual fund rates of return. Distributions may consist of interest income, Canadian dividends, capital gains, foreign non-business income or return of capital, and each may have different tax consequences. Individuals should consult with their personal tax advisor. Mutual funds are not guaranteed or covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government deposit insurer. For funds other than money market funds, unit values change frequently. For money market funds, there can be no assurances that a fund will be able to maintain its net asset value per security at a constant amount or that the full amount of your investment in a fund will be returned to you. Past performance may not be repeated. Financial planning services and investment advice are provided by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. (RMFI). RMFI, RBC Global Asset Management Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. RMFI is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. ©2012 Royal Bank of Canada.

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FLASHBACK JULY 1977 IN LGBT HISTORY

Looking back at Craig Russell and Outrageous!, Canada’s groundbreaking drag film

JULY / AUGUST 2017

Canada helped make history when Outrageous!, starring drag queen Craig Russell, hit theatres on July 31, 1977. The Canadian film was one of the first gay-themed films ever to break out and score a mainstream theatrical release. Groundbreaking for its open portrayal of drag culture, the rags-to-drag storyline (if you haven’t seen it, go watch it immediately on YouTube) was inspired by Canadian writer Margaret Gibson’s 1976 short story Making It. Gibson, who struggled with mental illness, lived with Russell in the early 1970s and based the work on her experiences with him. Russell and his full three-octave vocal range won a Best Actor award at the 1978 Berlin International Festival for his role in Outrageous! He also has the rare distinction of winning best Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the Virgin Islands Film Festival. 50

IN MAGAZINE


LOCATED IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO, STRIKER IS THE FIRST SPORTS BAR EXPLICITLY DEDICATED TO SERVING THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY & CREATING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY THE GAME IN HI-DEF...OR ANY NIGHT OUT! 31 ST. JOSEPH STREET

(BETWEEN BAY & YONGE)

TORONTO, ONTARIO

WWW.STRIKERTORONTO.COM

(416) 929-9595

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JULY / AUGUST 2017

SMOOTH HAS NEVER LOOKED THIS SHARP.

LEXUS NX TURBO | UNSPOKEN STYLE The NX is the perfect synthesis of practical function, dynamic performance and cutting-edge design. Innovative triple-beam LED headlamps and sleek keyless door handles complement its aerodynamic lines. The first ever 4-cylinder Turbo engine from Lexus delivers 235 hp of highly efficient exhilaration. Luxurious comfort and striking style define the interior. It’s no wonder the NX is such a sharp departure from the expected.

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IN MAGAZINE

IN Magazine July/August 2017 Issue