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PRESIDENT Patricia Salib DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Ryan Lester EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lidia Salvador THIS ISSUE CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS Derek Dotto, Serafin LaRiviere, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Michael Thorner, Maurice Vellekoop, Lulu Wei, Eric Williams, Andrea Zanin ON THE COVER Illustration by Maurice Vellekoop






8 12 16 27 6



SEDUCTIVE CURVES Peer into the home and studio of furniture designer Amy Markanda by Derek Dotto IKEA, ABBA & GAY-FRIENDLY A voyage to discover Stockholm’s less obvious virtues by Michael Pihach AMAZING GRACE LGBT couples open their homes to foster children by Krishna Rau

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VIEW FINDER → TOGETHERNESS At the Same Time is a group show of six artists who use photography to explore the nature of their relationships: Steven Beckly and Dylan MacNeil from Toronto, Ted Kerr and Zachary Ayotte from Brooklyn and Colin Quinn and Oisín Share from Manchester, UK (pictured). The show opens Fri, Aug 10 (7:30pm to 10pm) at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (34 Isabella St) and runs until Sep 22. (416) 777-2755.




August 2012

→ “[It’s] about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I’m living a life where I’m not just successful on paper, but sure that I’m happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freakin’ boulder on my chest.”

Early in July rising R&B star Frank Ocean blogged about his first true love — a man he met when he was 19 — sending shock waves through the R&B and hiphop community. Later that month, in Vancouver, he discussed his disclosure with the UK’s Guardian newspaper. When asked about possible ugly repercussions in the often homophobic world of hip hop, Ocean said, “Sure, evil exists, extremism exists. Somebody could commit a hate crime and hurt me. But they could do the same just because I’m black. They could do the same just because I’m American. Do you just not go outside your house? Do you not drive your car because of the statistics? How else are you limiting your life for fear?” The 24-year-old Ocean, who’s written songs for artists like Justin Bieber, Beyonce and John Legend, and was heavily featured on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s 2011 album Watch the Throne, just released his debut studio album Channel Orange to rave reviews. New songs “Bad Religion,” “Pink Matter,” and “Forrest Gump” reference his bisexuality. Ocean is currently touring North America.



→ Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop is now the oldest surviving gay and lesbian bookstore in the world. Reinvigorated by its purchase earlier this year by a group of literature-loving community members, Glad Day is re-establishing a queer literary presence in the city. And as anybody who attended Glad Day’s revival of the Proud Voices reading series at this year’s Pride recognized, the store’s new era is off to an auspicious beginning. In Toronto asked the bookstore’s staff and new owners to tell us about their favourite or most inspirational books.

“Picking a single queer author from the dozens who inspired and shaped me is nearly impossible but, like choosing the smooth delights of Casablanca as greatest film, I’ll go with Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. By mixing and matching (and dispatching!) its remarkable diversity of richly drawn characters — gay, straight, trans and all over — Maupin created a San Francisco rooted in its ‘70s past and mapped a utopian future that’s better than Star Trek. “With his ninth Tales novel due next spring, Mary Ann, Mouse and the immortal Mrs Madrigal have come to feel like old friends I’ve grown up with. A great gift.”


“And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts is a masterpiece of investigative journalism chronicling the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in America. Reading this just a month after I came out at 19 years old was the beginning of my own political and social awareness. The book is a fascinating and enraging account of how American politicians, media and the general public ignored the deaths of thousands in the early days of AIDS. But it’s also about the resilience of the gay community and how people responded with both compassion and political organizing. This book helped educate me and maybe even saved my life.”


“Currently I am turning the pages of a novel by Farzana Doctor, Six Metres of Pavement (Lambda Literary Award 2012). Doctor writes dynamic characters who live and breathe right off the page. One of the main characters, Fatima, reminds me of many young people I have met through my day job at an immigration law practice. Because of their sexual orientation they have been thrown out of their homes. Love this story of unlikely friendships, self-acceptance and the healing nature of chosen families.”


Toronto lost a tireless activist last month when Kyle Scanlon — well-known for his work at the 519 Church Street Community Centre and the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line — took his own life. Scanlon became executive director of the Youth Line in 2001. At the time, he was the first openly trans man to become the ED of a gay agency. In fact, it was during Scanlon’s tenure that “trans” was added to the group’s name. Scanlon moved to The 519, where he initially served as the Trans Community Services Coordinator and later as Research, Education and Training Consultant. He led groups such as the Trans Access Project and Project Open Door and was part of Trans Pulse and the Gay/Bi/Queer Transmen Working Group. Scanlon always had a sense of humour, but was well aware of the pressures facing trans people. In the autobiography for his portait in the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, he wrote: “It’s so easy as a transitioning person to think that everything in life is related to transition, to surgeries, to hormones, and to passing. We divide our lives into ‘before and after.’ We spend all our time telling friends and relatives about why we want to transition, what it was like to transition, and what the differences are between living as men versus women. “We’re viewed as social experiments, the creations of science and medicine. We’re the topics of gossip and the guests of tacky talk shows. We’re objects. People easily forget we’re human. And we mustn’t let them. We must show them, at every opportunity, that we have talents and dreams and lives.” The 519 has established the Kyle Smith Scanlon Fund to support community projects and services. For information, visit KRISHNA RAU





Furniture designer Amy Markanda infuses sustainability with a modern, minimalist aesthetic, both in her work and her College and Dovercourt apartment Story Derek Dotto | Photography Lulu Wei


August 2012


How did you find your apartment? I found this place about a year ago for my partner Mia. I was living down the street and a few months ago I moved in. It was a definite purging, on both of our parts, to fit two apartments into one tiny apartment. Did you butt heads at all when it came to decor? It was very simple. We didn’t approach it with any kind of plan at all. Mia and I both have a very strong sense of design in very different ways. Mia tends to lean towards dark and sexy. I’m more cheerful and colourful. I think that has totally translated into this apartment. The random objects that we’ve collected over the years and brought into the space describe our design senses. Speaking of random objects, where do you find the knick-knacks and art that adorn your place? It’s all art from friends, except for a few pieces. There is a painting by Nevin Begovic, a friend of ours, an amazing painting by Janna Watson, a partner in my collective Tinsel and Sawdust. I bought a screen print by Jamilah Malika at the Beaver for a fundraiser for Will Munro. We went to Sappyfest last summer, an annual independent arts and music festival, and picked up a screen print from a local artist from New Brunswick. There’s a vessel that my friend Michelle Mendlowitz made. She’s a ceramic artist with a studio on the Danforth. There’s a lightbulb from New York’s railway station. It’s really hard to find vintage lightbulbs intact. As a furniture designer, why not just build all your home furnishings? I don’t like to have all my furniture surrounding me because once I make something, I want to send it off to its new home. There are so many other things in the world by other designers that I’d rather live with.

→ SEDUCTIVE CURVES Amy Markanda (next page, top) keeps only a few of her own pieces at home, like the concrete-top coffee table (opposite page) and the chair (this page, middle), a prototype made from poplar.

But you do have a couple of pieces of your own here, including your signature concrete-top coffee table. I had already given Mia the coffee table because I accidentally broke her coffee table. It was vintage and she says it was worth a lot so I gave this one to her as a gift and now I’ve ended up living with it. I also have the first prototype of my bookshelf. Okay, maybe I like a few pieces of my work around me. Who are your design influences? There are many. To name a few: Naoto Fukasawa, Charles and Ray Eames, Jasper Morrison. I’m definitely into Japanese minimalism and Scandinavia, and craftsmanship from anywhere. I’d like to think that I’m creating a new aesthetic when I’m creating a piece of furniture that marries all those influences into this new form. Do you feel pressure to create your own signature style? I think that happens naturally without me trying to think about it too hard. That’s not to say that I won’t try another avenue of inspiration for another piece. If I’m working with a client, it’s about what the client wants and not so much about what I want. But I’ll definitely try to throw in some kind of signature, maybe the way I round the legs. I put round corners on everything. No sharp corners. Why no sharp corners? There’s a softness or delicateness to round corners versus sharp edges. I think sharp corners read very masculine. I feel like my furniture is more soft and feminine. I think there’s also a nice tactile quality to running your fingers over something that’s rounded or curved. Your work is reminiscent of midcentury modernism. What is it that draws you to this era of design? Mid-century modern designs came from an age of innovation, new materials and processes, things were stripped of their excess and they became very clean and simple. What you needed to get by was the only thing that was presented. It was an Continued on page 10


LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 9

optimistic time and a brand new revo-

porting businesses that don’t care

lution of aesthetic. There’s something

about anything but profit. Some people

about all those things that are close to me.

just can’t afford to live that way but I think if we keep supporting this new

There seems to be a lot of borrowing

business growth, slowly these things

of old aesthetics by furniture houses.

will become less expensive and every-

I don’t think it’s about reinventing

one can benefit from it.

the wheel each time, because somebody somewhere has thought of it and

Speaking of keeping things alive,

done it. It’s more about the connection

your workshop at Bloor and Christie

between you and your product and

has some history to it, including the

what the story is behind it.

eye-catching 10-foot industrial doors. They were the selling point for me.

What is it that drives you to create

They remind me of the beautiful archi-

your pieces in a sustainable way?

tecture in Buenos Aires, Argentina. All

Sustainability is a complicated issue.

their doors are super-tall and grand.

I care about locally sourced materials,

The building was built right after the

materials that come from managed

First World War. It used to be a motor

woodlands. My workshop is in down-

rebuilding shop, but it was initially

town Toronto, so when you’re pur-

built as a smokehouse. There’s a beam

chasing a piece from me you’re really

that goes outside that they would

involved in the whole local movement

use to bring in the carcasses of meat.

versus buying a piece from Ikea that

There’s another little addition at the

was made in China and designed else-

back where they smoked the meat.

where. There’s no connection to that and it’ll probably end up on the side of

But after all these years, it needs

the street in a few months. I want my

some work.

furniture to last and pass on to future




manship issues. The bricks are com-

designed with that in mind, it should

ing apart. But I think it’s better to use

stand the test of time and not just fade

something and put in work to make it

into a tacky piece of furniture.

usable than rip it all out and have all







this stuff go in the landfill. I think I Are you noticing more people shifting

will use the beams overhead, to bring

their mindset?

in heavy timber versus dead animals.

Yeah, I think I’m really lucky to be liv-

I can really use the space to give it

ing at this time when people are really

new life. •

becoming more aware of what’s up. It’s our generation that is spearheading that movement. The power of our dollar is extraordinary and it just takes education and willpower to stop sup-


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Jeppe WikstrÖm



is a gorgeous capital of design and good living Story Michael Pihach



kea might have re-invented


between the airport and Stockholm







the closet, but there’s little

Sweden always seems to make

Central Station. The train’s interior

Stockholm is a paradise of saffron

need for it here.” So reads

those happiest-countries-to-live-in

is an impressive display of elegance

and terracotta-coloured buildings

the introduction to Stockholm’s

lists, and now I know why. Not only

and funky innovation. The toilet

delicately placed around the spar-

official city gay guide. The Swedish

do Swedes receive free health care

doors have blinking red-pink hearts

kling shores of Lake Mälaren to the

capital is as welcoming of LGBT

and university, but they also live in

that make you go “aw.” It’s no sur-

west and the Baltic Sea to the east.

travellers as it is of die-hard ABBA

one of the prettiest and cleanest of

prise these high-speed carriages,

More than 30 percent of the city

fans (yes, they have fan tours).

environments on the map.

which get tourists from the airport

is comprised of waterways, held

Gay-friendly, ABBA and Ikea is all

It’s no fluke Ikea was created here.

to Stockholm city in 20 minutes,

together by some 50 bridges; while

I know of Sweden when I arrive.

Swedes love good design. That’s evi-

won a 2011 Red Dot award, one of

another 30 percent is made up of

So Stockholm offers me a voyage

dent right from the start, with the

the largest design competitions in

parks, which is probably why the

of discovery, of beauty, style and

Arlanda Express, the train running

the world.

air tastes so fresh, arctic fresh (the

August 2012

Jeppe WikstrÖm

Alexander Dokukin


city is klicks away from the Arctic Circle.)

Stockholm is for you.


But it isn’t the good looks of

Being a green city is partly what






tique design shops, gift stores that

→ ISLANDS AND ALLEYS Stockholm is built on 14 islands, like Riddarholmen (this page, left). The Old Town (right) boasts great architecture and shopping.


sell novelty Viking hats and pastry-

motivated the European Union to

draws my attention so much as the

packed cafés (not Starbucks). It’s

name Stockholm as Europe’s first

population’s willingness to put on

where-old world charm meets the

Green Capital in 2010. Since 1990,

a nice pair of pants and give glam-

slim-fit blazer. Here, it isn’t unusual

tre square that has a street-front

Stockholm has cut its emissions

our a go. Stockholm is an epicentre

to see men — gay, straight, old

patio designed for afternoon chat-

by 25 percent, and has bolder plans

of style.

and young — wearing bold jackets,

ter. Inside, friendly gay waiters —

to be independent of fossil fuels by

“When companies want to launch

bow ties, striped socks and pencil-

one of whom, on this particular

2050. The water is clean enough to

a product, where do they go?

leg pants ranging from cherry red

trip, is wearing white leotards with

swim in. Buildings are smoke-free.

London, New York and Stockholm,”

to Smurf blue. Those cobblestone

pixelated black patterns — man the

Bicycles rule the winding streets. It

says Elisabeth Daude, a Stockholm

roads don’t stop women from wear-

espresso machine, which sits facing

isn’t unusual to count more cyclists

city tour guide with 20 years of

ing a pair of power pumps either.

a collection of male erotic art on the

than motorists waiting at red lights.

tourism experience. It’s one reason

Old Town, with its charming

Not only is Stockholm good for

why she thinks Stockholm lives up

renaissance and medieval archi-

Another Old Town gem is Torget

your lungs, it’s also a good place

to its reputation as a fashionable

tecture, is where you’ll feel the soul

(Mälartorget 13, 111 27), a living

to be gay or lesbian. Sweden legal-

and trend-conscious community.

of Stockholm. Some buildings are


ized same-sex marriages in 2009,

There’s an inclination to try new

almost 300 years old. It’s home to

that’s busy every night of the week

becoming the seventh country in

things and look good while doing it.

the national cathedral, Storkyrkan,

and plays NYC house beats to Judy

the world to do so. Sweden’s Prime

“People here are willing to invest

the Nobel museum and Sweden’s

Garland. The bartenders, like most


the money it costs to get dressed

royal palace, Kungliga slottet, the


marched in Stockholm’s summer

up in the latest fashion, from high-

enchanting 600-room official res-

and will become your go-to people

Pride parade, which runs annually

end couture to H&M,” adds Daude.

idence of Sweden’s King Carl XVI

when it comes to asking for direc-

in late July/early August.

(H&M was founded in Sweden in

Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

tions to other nightclubs.




And Swedes are ridiculously —

the late 1940s.)

















like ridiculously — good-looking.

Stockholm’s Old Town (known

If men with broad shoulders, thick

as Gamla Stan) is a fairytale-like

Chokladkoppen (Stortorget 18 111

(Brunnsgrand 2-4, 111 30), with

blonde hair, piercing blue eyes and

district with curvy, narrow cobble-

29), which, means “cup of choc-

scarlet-red upholstery and drap-

chiselled jaws are your thing, then

stone roads, medieval alleys, mus-

olate,” is a cozy café in the cen-

Continued on page 14










LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 13


Human Specta

Kolingsborg. Three dance floors, pop music and big-stage drag shows make it Stockholm’s biggest gay dance club. On Wednesdays it’s ”Sthlm Night Fever,” Friday is “Paradise,” Saturday it’s “Garage” — a tech-house party in the basement. Södermalmstorg 2 116 45.

reminiscent of the original Moulin

→ FI T FOR A QUEEN And we’re not talking ABBA (not really).

Rouge in Paris. Oysters and French

ally snow and it gets dark early.

cuisine put this place on the map.

From May to July, one can expect

ery and dramatic ornate lighting

Stockholm doesn’t have a gay vil-

temperatures of around 20°C to

lage, so investigate other neigh-

25°C and an entire evening of twi-

bourhoods, each of which have

light (the sun never seems to fully

their own gay hot spots. SoFo, or


“South of Folkungagatan,” located

If travelling in spring or summer,

at Södermalm in central Stockholm,

a visit to Mälarpaviljongen (Norr

is a bohemian neighbourhood with

Mälarstrand 64 112 35), a dockside

tons of vintage stores and many

restaurant that floats on water, is a

local fashion brands. At previous

must. Tucked within the confines

Stockholm Pride events, businesses

of lush trees and romantic shore-

in this area have offered “SoFo goes

line pathways, Mälarpaviljongen is

homo” events where Pride revellers

a charming 15-minute walk from

can show their festival pass and

the Old Town. It’s for TGIF-ers and

obtain special store discounts.

twilight cocktailers unwinding over

Keep tabs on what you spend in

a glass of blush pinot grigio. And it’s

Stockholm, because it isn’t cheap.

very gay-friendly. To see a young

Second-hand stores don’t necessar-

gay couple holding hands, cuddling,

ily mean second-hand prices and

adjusting each other’s shirt collars

eating at bars can pinch the wallet.

and feeding strawberries to one

A burger, fries and a beer can cost

another next to a group of sports-

up to $40 Canadian.

loving straight guys is a beautiful






Stockholm’s spring weather is rela-

While nature, urban sophistica-

tively mild compared to other loca-

tion and cultural history can fill up

tions at similar latitude. During

a single day in Stockholm, it’s the

the winter months (December to

live-and-let-live mentality of the

March), temperatures tend to aver-

people that impresses the most.

Patricia. A club with several dancefloors… on a boat! Located at the waterfront of Södermalm near Slussen, this summertime hot spot used to be the official royal yacht for Queen Elizabeth in the 1950s. Now it’s just queens (Sunday night is gay night). Stadsgårdskajen 152 116 45. FOR POP CULTURE

ABBA City Walk. For the quintessential ABBA fan. The tour covers many landmarks where the Swedish pop group lived and worked, from City Hall (where group member Benny performed for the first time) to the Sheraton Hotel, where many of ABBA’s videos were filmed. Stieg Larsson Millennium Tour. Head to the central island of Södermalm and step into the shoes of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and computer hacker Lisbeth Salander on this tour that covers the locations where author Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series are set. FOR SIGHTSEEING

Under the Bridges of Stockholm. Stockholm is all islands and water, so what better way to see the city than from a boat? This two-hour narrated water ride travels under 15 bridges and passes through two locks connecting the Baltic Sea with Lake Mälaren. Fresh lake breeze… ahhh. FOR MUSEUMS

Moderna Museet. The Modern Museum is for the art lover. Cruise galleries of local and international art from the 20th and 21st centuries, including pieces by Picasso and Salvador Dali. Vasamuseet. The Vasa was a 230-foot Swedish warship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 in Stockholm harbour. It wasn’t salvaged until 1961. Since then, the massive Vasa has been restored to its almost original condition.

age between -5 to 1°C, there is usu-

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August 2012


WE've got information and sex-positive tips to help make your choices safer and more rewarding.



— with Adam Segal → “I’m a 17-year-old guy who has recently come out to my parents and closest friends. After some initial drama, everyone has now become quite positive... I feel pretty accepting of the fact I’m gay, but I’m fearful that being gay will prevent me from having the life that I want. I am a very romantic person who wants the whole lasting love, kids, a house and a dog kinda package. The more I see in the gay world, the more it seems my goals are out of sync with what appears to be a superficial, immature and sex-obsessed community. Does being gay mean I have to let go of my dreams? Or settle for a life of lonely hookups?” Zack For starters, I want to congratu-

ity contests abound. But it may be

late you on your bravery in com-

helpful to see this cultural phe-

ing out to your circle of family and

nomenon as proof that so many of

friends — never an easy feat!

us are simply searching for accep-

You may have heard this cliché





tance and ways of belonging... just as you are.

Coming out is a process, not an

While there are plenty of gay

event. Learning how to navigate

dudes who are sex-obsessed or

the world as an out queer person

superficial, there are also throngs

will be an evolving set of cultural,

of men who share your 1950s sub-

interpersonal and emotional expe-

urban wet dream.

riences. Your letter indicates that

Your task will be to seek out

most pressing for you at this time

those big-hearted brothers who

is a fear of whether or not you can

are less caught up in circuit parties

actualize your dreams of romance

and Grindr-mania, but get stoked

and family in your homo reality.

when planning backyard BBQs.

Before I get to that, I need to chal-

It would also be good to inves-

lenge you a little. There is a tone

tigate whether your critique of

of judgement and a whole whack

“the community’s” sexual focus

of assumptions in your assess-

is stemming in any way from

ment of “the community.” I don’t

any shame you are still carrying.

fault you, though, because I can

While being gay is by no means

remember a time when I thought

just about sex, you still have a pri-

there was one cohesive gay com-

mal, non-romantic sexual self that

munity that you were either a part

needs your acceptance too.

of or not. The actual fact is that gay people are everywhere and come in countless stripes and shades. I won’t pretend that when tons of gay men congregate in the same place there isn’t a sort of high school culture that can emerge; where cliques form and popular-

ADAM SEGAL The writer and therapist works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at

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a foster parent can mean taking in children who have been traumatized. But, says one LGBT couple, “the rewards are indescribable” Story Krishna Rau | Ilustration Maurice Vellokoop


August 2012



or Stephen and Philip Tran,

against their parents because of

good Jewish girls who go bad are

becoming foster parents was

from the same source. “I saw an ad in one of the bus

drugs and alcohol, one kid who


never part of any plan. It was

shelters,” says Shulman. “I thought

was physically abused. There was

And while Shulman has fostered

more an example of the power of

to myself, ‘I could probably have

one who was transgendered, who

a number of girls who were phys-


some kids living with me.’ I had

didn’t get along with his family.

ically or mentally abused, she

“We had been together 23 years,

been renting rooms in my house

Happily, they were able to recon-

says that many of her girls were

but we didn’t have any great long-

and I had some issues with tenants

cile, they just needed a break from

taken into care because of cultural

term plans,” says Stephen. “Then

about neatness. I thought that with

each other. We had one child with


one day we were just driving along

kids, I would have the right to tell

HIV. He would keep running away

and I saw a billboard looking for

them to pick up their underwear off

and he ended up in prison.

foster parents. I just turned to

the floor. I thought maybe I could

Philip and said, ‘Do you want to do

have more input.”


times the methods of discipline

stressed out and we panic. But we

parents use are illegal here. But


manage to pull through. There are

they’re not coming in from neglect.

That was five years ago. Since

about 50 teenage girls over the

far, far more rewards than there

Most of them come in despite the

then, the Trans have fostered 20

years, as well as raising two daugh-

are difficulties. Many of these kids

fact that their parents love them a

boys aged seven and up, adopted a

ters of her own, from her self-

we’re still in touch with. That’s one

lot. It’s a clash of cultures. I can’t

child in November, are in the pro-

described “10-minute marriage.”

of the great rewards.”

rationalize beating kids, all the





cess of adopting one of three chil-

“Sometimes people ask me, ‘How

dren they’re currently fostering,

can you do it?’ I say, ‘How can you

and hope to adopt a third child at

not?’ You live in a great society.

some point in the future.

How can you not want to give back?




“If they come as refugees or immigrants from other countries, some-


things that can be considered disci-


pline. But it didn’t mean their parents didn’t love them, that was the sad part.”

“The rewards are indescribable,”

How can you not want to help these

says Stephen. “I’m 61 now, I’ve lived

kids? These kids have lost every-

my life, I partied; now I’m doing the

thing. They’re scared, they don’t

The Trans now foster kids with

tures has been part of the joy. “It’s

reverse. I can’t have a nice home,

know what’s going to happen to

special needs — physical, emo-

changed my whole way of think-

live a nice life and not want to

them. They’re good kids, they are.

tional or otherwise. Shulman, as

ing, it’s freed me from stereotyp-

share it. It’s a really rewarding way

They all think it’s their fault. They

well, runs a “specialized house,”

ing. Different foods, different cul-

to give back to your community.

all come in with trauma. I try to

often taking in kids with drug or

tures, different attitudes. It felt like

These kids just don’t have anybody

make it easier.”

alcohol problems, although she

the real world to me. The real world

But both Shulman and the Trans

says she had to stop taking in emer-

isn’t all white.”

Philip says that he and Stephen

admit that fostering children is not

gency night placements because

Shulman and the Trans, however,

want to share with their foster chil-

easy. It requires immense amounts

she kept wanting to keep them. She

admit they just couldn’t handle

dren what they both grew up with.

of patience.

says that her own teenage years

some foster kids.

there for them.”

have given her insight into dealing

But Shulman says that taking in girls from a wide variety of cul-

“He came from a family of 17,” says

“We’ve had to deal with things

Philip. “I came from a family of

like stealing, drugs, drug traffick-

eight. We were both used to having

ing,” says Stephen. “We had one

“I had quite problematic teen-

people around.”

kid that was always going AWOL.

age years myself. There was a hard

“Consistency, structure, nurtur-

Mimi Shulman started fostering

We’ve had to deal with the police.

time. I went through a lot. My par-

ing and tolerance, that’s what we

in the late ’90s. Intriguingly, her

We’ve fostered kids who were taken

ents weren’t happy. They sent me

can provide,” says Stephen. “But

awareness of fostering stemmed

into care because of court orders

to Israel, to a kibbutz, where all

Continued on page 18

with the girls.

“Lighting fires, if I was threatened, if I felt physically at risk, I can’t handle that,” says Shulman.


INSIGHT Continued from page 17

a foster parent has to know what

adoption is, in fact, the end goal of

their limitations are.”

their fostering. The couple has just




taken in their first foster child —

cles, though, is what makes it

the day they were interviewed was

worthwhile. Stephen says it was

their first full day with the two-

extremely rewarding to see the

year-old boy — in the hope they’ll

kids fit into his and Philip’s own

soon be able to adopt him. The two


are participating in a Children’s

“My sister and brother-in-law

Aid program called “Fostering with

lived with us for a while, so they

a View to Adopt,” in which people

were very open. After we adopted

agree to foster a child they would

our son, we went to Vietnam for

like to adopt. The process is poten-

five weeks, with the three boys

tially faster than a normal adop-

we’re fostering now. Philip’s fam-

tion, but because the children have

ily there was very accepting and so

not been officially put up for adop-

was my family here.”

tion yet, they could still be returned

It was that desire for family that led the Trans to adopt their first son a year ago, when he was 12.

“We’d learned about the challenges foster children face, and the

who identifies as gay. And the girls had no issue with my sexuality.

→ S T ILL IN T OUCH Mimi Shulman with her former foster child Teniesha Ochrym.

“Unfortunately, every so often,

number of moves they have to go

they have what they call failed

through,” says Went. “We thought

“With some of the girls, being in



this would reduce the number of

my house, they felt comfortable

had two boys from a failed adop-

moves and be good for the child

enough to experiment. Some of

still do it. As a community that has

tion who needed to be fostered. We

and for us.”

them stick. Not that many, and not

experienced abuse and discrim-

that many dabbled. But one girl did

ination and stereotypes, I would



kind of fell in love with these two

“For us, it’s very much about

young guys. One was 10, one was



show up later with a girl she intro-

say we’re in a pretty good position

seven. But we had to give them up

“I’m adopted myself and I always

duced to me as her girlfriend, and

to be empathetic to kids in these

to adoptive families.

thought that if we had children,

she had such a proud look on her


“As a foster parent, we take these

we would adopt. But you’re looking


kids so far, then we have to hand

after the child for Children’s Aid.

The Trans, too, say they they’ve

considering having a child, they

them on. That’s why we decided

We’re aware of the risk we might

been able to help some kids — gay

took a course at The 519 Community

to adopt. Because we were gay, we

become attached to him and then

and straight — with questions of

Centre called “Daddies and Poppas

weren’t even sure we could adopt.

have him taken away.”


2B,” which they recommend to any

But Children’s Aid was just so







When Kerr and Went first began


“Being gay parents, we’re more

man thinking about children. “For

pleased to pair us with a child. We

adopted a child, she stays in close

open, obviously, when we have

me, the course helped me decide. It

have three foster boys as well now

contact with about 10 of her girls.

gay kids,” says Stephen. “But what

brought me to a place of comfort in

— 17, 15 and 12 — and we’re in the

“For the most part, they’re all doing

those kids need is not necessarily

having a child,” says Went.

process of adopting the 12-year-

pretty well — married with kids,

a gay couple, but an open-minded

Went and Kerr learned about

old, with the blessing of his sib-

not married with kids, in school,

couple who can help them on their

the options open to them, includ-

lings. And our hope is to adopt at

employed, self-employed.”

journey. Last Pride, one of the par-

ing fostering and adoption. They

Shulman also says she would like

ents of a kid we had fostered called

applied to adopt about a year and

Shulman says that even though

to think she helped to instill an

me up and told me the son — who’s

a half ago, and then heard about

she hasn’t considered adoption,

openess about sexual orientation

straight — wanted to go down to

the fostering program. The couple

her family, too, has been very open

in her charges, though Children’s

celebrate the festival with us.”

are very active in the community

to the numerous foster kids they’ve

Aid has never said anything about

been introduced to.

her orientation.

least one more.”

Shulman and the Trans say they

— most recently as two of the co-

think gay men and lesbians are

owners of the Glad Day Bookshop

“My family’s pretty good, they

“They were very open about sex-

ideally suited to be foster parents.

— but Went says that now they’re

were amazingly accepting. Jewish

uality. They didn’t care who was

Shulman turns 65 this year and

in their 40s, they wanted to focus

families like to appear as liberal as

gay, who wasn’t, which was good

thinks she’ll foster for only one

their attention on a child.

possible. One kid was a little rude

because I’ve never been in the

more year. She would love to see

“One of the ideas that resonated

to my family once. Who would

closet, ever. I came out in the ’60s.

younger LGBT folk look becomen

for me was the idea of giving back,”

have thought? Whoever heard of

They don’t single out girls to send

foster parents.

says Went. “The joy that you can

a rude teenager? But the kids who

either. It’s the next one out of the

“I would encourage gays, lesbi-

get from seeing one person grow is

see me as their mum see this as

gate, whoever needs a bed. Only

ans, couples, singles, whatever,”

very different from the joy you get

their family.”

rarely has the agency called and

says Shulman. “I have absolutely

from helping a community grow.” •

said we have this young woman

no regrets. If I was younger, I would

For Doug Kerr and Michael Went, 18

to their biological families.

August 2012

National Pride Tour 2012




6&0 1.07





RY A G CAL 09 02.





4 CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL The Grand Parade on Lakeshore

AUSTRA Joins Hard Toronto party


KINNIE STARR Outdoor concert for Planet IndigenUS

Art & Photography AT THE SAME TIME Three couples use photography to explore the nature of their relationships: Steven Beckly and Dylan MacNeil (Toronto), Ted Kerr and Zachary Ayotte (Edmonton and Brooklyn, NY), and Colin Quinn and Oisín Share (Manchester, UK). The exhibition also launches a book of the same name featuring essays by AA Bronson and Sholem Krishtalka. Free. 7:30pm-10pm. Tue-Thu. Opens Fri, Aug 10-Sep 22. Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. 34 Isabella St. (416) 777-2755. See page 6. ANGELL GALLERY Summer Group Show with Jon Rafman, Jakub Dolejs, Alex Kisilevich, Alex McLeod, Daniel Hutchinson, Thrush Holmes, Andrew B Myers, Steve Driscoll, Vessna Perunovich, Andrew Rucklidge, Stanzie Tooth, Derek Maniella, Rafael Ochoa and



JEAN WILLOUGHBY DESIGNS Made show in Bowmanville closes

MARIKO TAMAKI Performs at Flying Beaver Pubaret


WALTER SEGERS Last day for Wondereur online portfolio

Callum Schuster. Noon-5pm. Until Sat, Aug 11. 12 Ossington Ave. (416) 530-0444. BRAVOS An innovative exhibition providing an overview of the new Spanish design scene. Curated by Juli Capella, the show includes designs from 21 of Spain’s most talented industrial designers, including Jaime Hayon, Patricia Urquiola and Nacho Carbonell. PWYC-$10. 10am-5pm. Thu, Aug 9-23. Design Exchange. 234 Bay St. (416) 363-6121. NEW MEDITATIONS Group show featuring works by Jose Dávila, Jessica Eaton, Derek Liddington and Elizabeth Zvonar, curated by Rui Amaral. The exhibition explores the conversation Russian avant-garde painter Kazimir Malevich began, and minimalist artists such as Josef Albers and Sol LeWitt developed further. Until Sat, Sep 15. 11am-6pm. Tue-Sat. Daniel Faria



CATHERINE DENEUVE The Umbrellas of Cherbourg screens at TIFF

EMILY ATKINSON A Synonym for Love opens at the Gladstone

Gallery. 188 St Helens Ave. WORKERS, 2009-2011 Photographer April Hickox displays her portraits of park workers at the Toronto Islands, some of whom have been taking care of the green space for 30 years. This body of work was produced over the past two years and includes more than 90 portraits. Thirty of the images are reproduced as life-size portraits in an outdoor installation on four buildings on throughout the islands and the city ferry docks. Until Sat, Sep 15.

ballet by combining modern dance with traditional ballet technique, art with social statement, and setting ballets to pop and rock music scores. $8 & $11. Closing Thu, Aug 2. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. 506 Bloor St W. (416) 637-3123.

Film & Video



DUSK DANCES The dance festival’s 18th season continues, featuring four new works from Zata Omm Dance Projects, Bageshree Vaze, Lua Shayenne & Co and Tiger Princess Dance Projects with

ground-breaking Joffrey Ballet dance troupe. Since its founding in 1956, Joffrey has revolutionized American


Jacques Demy’s gorgeous musical (granted, not for all tastes) from 1964 starring Catherine Deneuve, with music by Michel Legrand. Part of TIFF summer French fest. $12. 5:30pm. Sat, Aug 18. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599-8433.



Walk. Donate. Volunteer.


Plays ALL CAPS fest on Sun, Aug 12 on Toronto Island

September 23, 2012 Julia Aplin, as well as a performance by Vancouver-based The 605 Collective. Free. 7pm. Until Sun, Aug 5. Withrow Park. Logan and Carlaw. From Aug 16 to 19, some shows move to Earlscourt Park. St Clair W and Caledonia. (416) 504-6429 ext 41.

Classical & Jazz A SYNONYM FOR LOVE Volcano Theatre and Classical Music Consort present the world premiere of the queer, modernized English version of the libretto to Handel’s 1707 cantata. Directed by Ross Manson, with musical direction by Ashiq Aziz, librettist Deborah Pearson, and singers Emily Atkinson, Scott Belluz and Tracy Smith-Bessette and featuring 14 musicians playing period baroque instruments. $42. 7pm. Mon,

Aug 20-24, Aug 26-31. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W. 1 (800) 838-3006.

Pop & Rock HARD TORONTO An outdoor all-ages music fest (with licensed areas) featuring Justice, M83, Austra, Buraka Som Sistema and Charli XCX. $49; $69 VIP. 5pm doors. Sat, Aug 4. Historic Fort York. 100 Garrison Rd.

Stage BACKBEAT The North American premiere of the musical drama about the Beatles. Based on the 1994 film, Backbeat tells the story of the time the young band spent learning their craft in Hamburg, and of the influence early member Stu Sutcliffe had on

John Lennon and the music that would later make the band the most influential quartet in musical history. $36-$130. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat, Sun. Until Sun, Sep 2. Royal Alexandra Theatre. 260 King St W. (416) 872-1212. STRATFORD A Word or Two features the legendary Christopher Plummer — and recent Oscar winner — in a one-man autobiographical journey through the literature that has stirred his imagination since youth. From the sacred to the profane, from Stephen Leacock and AA Milne to Ben Jonson and the Bible, these selections of poetry and prose reflect Plummer’s life-long love affair with the written word. Directed by Des McAnuff. $100-$175. 8pm. Wed & Thu. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Thu, Aug 2-26. Avon Theatre. Also opening this month is Elektra, Sophocles’ classic tale of a Continued on page 22

Register Today

® Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia.


Continued from page 21


daughter’s thirst for revenge against her mother and stepfather, who murdered her father, and the further griefs and tragedies that befall her and her family. Directed by Thomas Moschopoulos and starring Yanna McIntosh, Seana McKenna and Ian Lake. $93.75-$118.75. Days and times of performances vary. Sat, Aug 11-Sep 29. Tom Patterson Theatre. Stratford. 1-800-567-1600. See page 24 for Hirsch, now playing at Stratford’s Studio Theatre. SUMMERWORKS Toronto’s much-loved independent theatre festival returns. As always, a number ofLGBT-themed plays are featured, $15-$17.50. Tue, Aug 9-19. Various locations (416) 628-8216 See page 25.

Story Derek Dotto


This concept store joins the Queen West block dominated by locally-owned boutiques; but Canon Blanc stands out with its homage to the impeccable style of Gay Paree. “We get to bring the things that we like from Paris and show them off in the shop,” says Caroline Phely, one half of the couple behind Canon Blanc. “It’s like getting the best of both worlds.” Phely and husband Matéo Masquelier moved to Toronto from Paris just seven months ago. They knew they wanted to get out of Europe, due to the high cost of living, and chose Canada as their new home without ever visiting the great white north. “We leave everything behind us, apartment, everything we have,” says Masquelier in a charmingly heavy French accent. “We said, ‘Okay, this is our new town and we are Canadian now.’” But they didn’t quite leave everything behind. With a cache of French goods in tow, the pair set up shop, offering men’s and women’s apparel, housewares and classic French furniture. The one common thread: the city of love. “It’s got to be either from Paris or sold in Paris,” says Phely. “The whole concept is to bring you into a French apartment,” adds Masquelier. 22

August 2012

→ CI T Y OF LOVE Everything stylish and Parisian can be found at Canon Blanc.

Work pants, available in a rainbow of colours, may be the first thing to catch your eye but a closer look at pieces from French menswear brands Cummune de Paris and Homecore show exactly why Paris is and will always be the fashion capital of the world. Special attention is paid to simple, yet crucial details such as collar shape and pattern alignment. These shirts would put a twinkle in the eyes of men from Bay Street to Parkdale. The designers carried at Canon Blanc, many of whom Phely and Masquelier know personally, are more like artisans. “Everything is very exclusive,” says Masquelier. “There will be three or four in a size and that’s it. It’s very limited edition.” While their love for Paris still burns, the couple are clearly smitten with their new home, and considering bringing in Canadian labels in future seasons.

CANON BLANC 679 Queen St W. (647) 346-5060.

Heather Gold and Mariko Tamaki perform funny and thought-provoking material on crushes, deep loves and the revenge of the secret sisterhood of kids who grew up eating lunch alone. Think a little Spalding Gray, a little Sandra Bernhard, a little rec-room party. Audience participation. $10 adv; $15 door. 7:30pm. Fri, Aug 10. Flying Beaver Pubaret. 488 Parliament St. (647) 347-6567. SOULPEPPER The Canadian premiere of The Royal Comedians (Molière) by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Carl and Ellendea Proffer. Set in 18th-century France, the play delves into the life of Molière, while subtly mirroring Bulgakov’s own artistic repression in 20thcentury Russia. The cast includes Michael Hanrahan, Stuart Hughes, Diego Matamoros, William Webster and members of the Soulpepper Academy; directed by László Marton. Tue, Aug 7Sep 21. Then Albert Schultz directs Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning The Crucible, an exploration of the Salem, witch trials in 1692. Starring Hanrahan, Hughes, Nancy Palk, Webster and Joseph Ziegler. Thu, Aug 9-Sep 22. $22-$68. Young Centre. 50 Tank House Lane. (416) 866-8666.

Online WONDEREUR This free iPad app is a Canadian-helmed art magazine featuring a different portfolio and essay on an artist every couple of weeks. Currently featured is Toronto photo-based artist Walter Segers and his whimsical explorations of gender and sexuality. Until Fri, Aug 17.

Causes & Events CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL The Grand Parade is Sat, Aug 4. You can pay for seats in Exhibition Place or just wait and catch all the colour, feathers, music and revellery along Lakeshore West. Don’t hurry to get there. It always takes much longer for the parade to show up late afternoon. Find some shade and get some great eats. Getting around on bicycle is a smart idea. ISLAND SOUL FESTIVAL From Fri, Aug 3 to Aug 6 Harbourfront presents a three-day free celebration of Caribbean music and arts to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of the independence of

Jamaica and of Trinidad and Tobago. Performances include a tribute to the Grandmaster Calypsonian Lord Kitchener. 8pm. Fri, Aug 3. Westjet Stage. 235 Queens Quay W. Afro-Caribbean Drum and Dance Theatre. 1pm. Aug 4. Redpath Stage. 235 Queens Quay W. Duane Stephenson, currently fronting the Wailers. 9:30pm. Aug 4. Westjet Stage. A party with Jamaican dancehall DJ Admiral Bailey. 8pm. Aug 5. Westjet Stage. Caribbean Folk Performers. 4pm. Aug 6. Redpath Stage. (416) 973-4000. TASTE OF THE DANFORTH Purportedly Canada’s largest street festival shuts down Danforth Avenue and offers well over a million people each year the chance to sample food from the street’s many Greek restaurants, as well as the opportunity to enjoy performers, music and other expressions of Hellenic culture. 6pm-midnight. Fri, Aug 10. Noon-midnight Aug 11 & 12. (416) 469-5634. TORONTO QUEER ARTS FESTIVAL

Features everything from a bike gallery tour in the West End to a film night at Buddies. The kick-off party features DJs Cozmic Cat, Quinces, Chiclet and more.

Rose TheaTRe PResenTs

→ NEW MEDI TAT IONS Object of Contemplation by Elizabeth Zvonar, part of minimalist-inspired group show at Daniel Faria Gallery.

No cover. 8pm-2am. Fri, Aug 10. Le Steamée. 1602 Dundas St W. Another highlight is the eighth annual Toronto Pride Ride that runs along Toronto’s entire waterfront, from Sunnyside to the eastern beaches (about 40km one way). Starts: Noon. Aug 12. Sunnyside Cafe. 1755 Lakeshore Blvd W. The Smash Words Festival features readings and performances by Kirk DeMatas, David Bateman, Philip Cairns, Dianne M Moore, Lizzie Violet and more. $5. 7pm. Aug 12. The Press Club. 850 Dundas St W. artsfestival. ALL CAPS! ISLAND FESTIVAL Toronto’s only music, art and camping festival. This year’s musical line-up includes Montreal “noh-wave” Japanese prog band Yamantaka, Sonic Titan, Brooklyn’s noise-rockers A Place To Bury Strangers, local funk-pop hero Maylee Todd, community choral collective Choir! Choir! Choir!, post-punk goth-rock Lioness,

avant-garage punk from Detroit’s Tyvek, Krautrock drone duo Wet Hair, Guelph’s minor-key folk-pop from “one to watch” Esther Grey, love-jammin’ OG Melody, robot-rockers Young Mother and some hip hop courtesy of Canadian Winter. Visual arts line-up TBA. On-site food vendors. Camping passes are very limited: $65 (Sat night camping only). Festival passes: $30 (admission both days, no camping). Single day: $17. Gates open 3pm each day. Sat, Aug 11 & 12. Artscape Gibraltar Point. Toronto Island. Ferry tickets not included. Ferries leave from the bottom of Bay St. PLANET INDIGENUS A 10-day regionwide multi-disciplinary celebration, bookended by festival weekends at Harbourfront Centre, running Tue, Aug 10 to Aug 19. Highlights include an outdoor performance by Digging Roots and Kinnie Starr. Free. 9:30pm-11pm. Sat, Aug 11. WestJet Stage. 235 Queens Quay W. The North American premiere of Susuriwka: Willow Bridge with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and the Yokohama Noh Theater, exploring the connections among Iroquois and Ainu song and dance. $30. 7pm-8:30pm. Fri, Aug 17. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queens Quay West. And a Robbie Robertson Tribute Show featuring Derek Miller and guests. Free. 9:30pm11pm. Aug 17. WestJet Stage. FAN EXPO An odd, giddy, often-costumed celebration of nerdom. Meet stars from the world of comics, sci-fi, anime, horror and games, from Stan Lee, John Carpenter and Jeff Lemire to Jason Priestley, Gillian Anderson and Patrick Stewart. $20. 4pm-9pm. Thu, Aug 23. 10pm-7pm. Aug 24 & 25. 10pm-5pm. Aug 26. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building. 222 Bremner Blvd. ASHKENAZ FESTIVAL A celebration of Jewish and Yiddish music, art and culture in Canada and worldwide. From Israel’s Yemen Blues, a 21stcentury brew of Yemenite-Jewish song and poetry set to West African grooves and American jazz, blues and funk, to Toronto’s Theatre Panik and their production of The Corpse Bride, a darkly comedic spin on shtetl folklore. Sat, Aug 28-Sep 3. Harbourfront Centre.


Nicholson and Shaun Moore of MADE curate an exhibition of 32 design objects for the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington featuring works by Brothers Dressler, Anneke van Bommel, Jean Willoughby, Grant Heaps, Barr Gilmore, Jeremy Hatch, Loyal Loot Collective and more. Curator’s talk on the closing day. Free. 2pm. Sun, Aug 5. VAC. Clarington. 143 Simpson Ave. Bowmanville, ON. (905) 623-5831. •


His only GTA performance! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear Ramin perform dazzling new songs from his debut album alongside much loved favourites from phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. Tickets start at $45 Scan for a video preview of this show.


Visit us online for the full 12-13 season schedule

act proud for 30 years we’ve seen the boldness, strength and resilience of the communities we serve.

act bold. act strong. act resilient. act now. The AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) 399 Church Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON M5B 2J6 T 416-340-2437 F 416-340-8225 W

t @ACToronto f




play takes on the controversial life of John Hirsch, the man behind much of Canada’s television and theatre history Story Paul Gallant | Photography Douglas Spillane


n 1952, when he was 22, John

past and the present, the awful and

Hirsch wrote a short piece of

the wonderful, the innocent and

fiction about bombs dropping

world-weary in on each other like

on Budapest during World War II.

an origami whirlybird.

In the story, a little boy hold-

Though it was several years in

ing the hand of a man faces a fir-

development, Hirsch follows the

ing squad. The man gets shot and

biography A Fiery Soul: The Life and

falls into the Danube, pulling the

Theatrical Times of John Hirsch, by

boy into the river with him. As the

Fraidie Martz and Andrew Wilson,

boy sees the bombs falling and the

by only a year, a strange resur-

buildings burning, he remembers

gence of interest in a behind-the-

the beach in the Hungarian tour-

scenes player who died of AIDS way

ist town where he grew up. The

back in 1989. While Hirsch could

bombs remind him of the planes

be credited with defining contem-

that would fly over, dropping prizes

porary Canadian theatre and tele-

and balloons for the kids: “It’s so

vision drama (he green-lit King


of Kensington), most Canadians




won’t recognize his name. “It’s not

Canada at 17 with the War Orphans

acceptable for you to be forgot-

Project of the Canadian Jewish

ten,” is one of the play’s earliest







lines and Canadian theatre people,


at least, certainly haven’t forgot-

The Dybbuk and, as he opens the

had not, and he was adopted into a

ten him. Indeed, some of the actors

show as himself, Nashman tells

family in Winnipeg.

who worked with him still get angry



“with makeup.” But the challenges

when they hear his name.

life.” It was only later, as a per-

of being Hirsch are not just physi-

former, that Hirsch the man — a

cal. There are times when a genuine

Such horror and joy were never









Hirsch was 6’3”. Nashman is 5’10”

the Manitoba Theatre Centre, artis-

Nashman and Thompson, who also



affection and respect for Hirsch’s

tic director of the Stratford Festival

directs the one-man show, talked

from Winnipeg — came into focus.

talent and his life journey get in the

from 1981 to 1985 and head of TV

to more than 60 people (and went

In Hirsch, Nashman plays not only

way of Nashman filling Hirsch’s big-

drama at CBC in the 1970s. The two

through the extensive archives)

Hirsch but his grandmother, his

ger, bitchier shoes. From his colour-

emotions were present in generous

to gather moments and bits of

uncle, his harassed actors and the

ful childhood and his first sexual

portions in his life and, more ful-

dialogue for Hirsch. Some of the

executives who bought into his

experience during the Holocaust

fillingly, in his art. They were also

best bits are the nastiest. To one

amped-up artistic vision and ego:

to his rehearsal meltdowns to his

served up by Hirsch himself who

stressed-out actor, Hirsch (alleg-

“Your intellect is nothing compared

relationship with long-time partner

was known as much for his tyranny

edly) says, “You don’t have so much

to my intellect. And I’m not brag-

Bryan Trottier, there is a lot to cap-

as for his creative genius. Though

talent, so take it easy.” It is perhaps

ging, just observing.”

ture. Even then, the play is unwill-

the bombs-as-balloons image does

because Hirsch is such a perfect

To perform a one-man show

not appear in Hirsch, a new play

manifestation of the idea that great

about someone so complicated and

“He was a man who was rewrit-

created and conceived by Alon

art is usually accompanied by dark-

combative required the assistance

ing his life story as he lived it,” says

Nashman and Paul Thompson that

ness — madness, anger, misplaced

of a stunt coordinator. “There is


debuted last month at the Stratford

sexuality, wounded psyche, child-

built into the play a battle royale,”

Festival, it does evoke the play’s

hood scars — that he still holds a

Nashman tells me. “I get to lose my

theatrical strategy of folding the

fascination today.

temper at a number of people.”

August 2012



→ HORROR AND JOY A complex original, John Hirsch (photo from 1968).

Holocaust. His parents and brother

far apart for Hirsch, co-founder of


At age 14, Nashman saw Hirsch’s

ing to settle for a single version.

HIRSCH Continues until Fri. Sep 14. Stratford Festival’s Studio Theatre.




stories excite Summerworks’ playwrights Story Serafin LaRiviere


or some, August is that lan-

different, with an inspired selec-




tion that includes an elderly com-

related and live together,” says






→ SIDEWAYS REALI T Y New works by Jesse Strong, Waawaate Fobister and Johanna Nutter at Summerworks.

where things slow down;

ing-out story, a tale of a two-spir-

playwright Jesse Strong. “The idea

when sitting by the pool or the

ited medicine boy and a true-life

with Breathe for Me is that one of

lake magically seems like meet-

account of one of the world’s first

them puts on the table this idea

epilepsy,” says Strong. “They had

ing our daily cardio fulfillment,

pregnant men.

that they’re lesbians, even though

a seizure in front of me I started

they’ve never really claimed that

freaking out and saying ‘I’m gay,

about themselves.”

I’m gay. You can’t die!’ So my

and deciding which salad dressing to pull from the fridge is the clos-


est thing to a major life decision.

Breathe for Me is a clever twist

The piece is a departure for

coming out was prompted by that,

But for theatre lovers, August is

on the classic coming-out story,

Strong, whose plays have trod

by saying it before it was too late.”

the month where things really get

with its two protagonists coming

ground more familiar to the young

Strong was also inspired by his

cooking. Perfectly placed between

to terms with their orientations

writer’s own life experiences. “I’ve

previous career in social work,

June’s wonderfully unpredictable

and their relationship rather late

written a lot of gay boy plays,” he

where he viewed first-hand the

Fringe Theatre Festival and the fall

in life. Edith and Edna, both aged

says. “And I wrote the Twink col-

challenges of growing old alone.

season of stalwarts like CanStage

75, are close friends who have

umn for Fab magazine. I wanted

“I really wanted to show the iso-

and Tarragon, the Summerworks

shared a lifetime of experiences

to write a queer story with a nar-

lation of old age when your fam-

Festival, running Thu, Aug 9 to 19,


rative that I’ve never explored

ily maybe isn’t there anymore,

offers some of the best indepen-

made a home together, but have


and you don’t have the commu-

dent theatre our city has to offer.

long danced around the nature of

The story was actually prompted

nity support,” he says. “There can

When it comes to LGBT theatre

their relationship, until a health

by one of Strong’s own childhood

be a lot more anxiety around that.

creations, the Summerworks jury

crisis strips away the layers of

coming-out episodes, which, like

It’s so invisible sometimes. And

has a deservedly solid reputa-

propriety and lays their emotions

Edna and Edith’s, intersected with

you never see a play where the

tion in choosing innovative and


a relative’s health crisis.

two central characters are older

rewarding plays. This year is no




“I think a lot of people have

“A family member of mine had

Continued on page 26



Continued from page 25

actors, so that was important to

beautiful Agokwe, a story of young

ries and tradition to light, not only

story using monologue and chalk

me as well.”

love on a Canadian Aboriginal

as elucidation for non-Aboriginals,


Director Edward Roy is an old

reserve. This new piece follows the

but also as inspiration to a people

Her brother James Diamond may

hand at Summerworks, having

journey of a young First Nations

often ignored or dismissed by the

have been born a woman, but real-

written, starred in and directed

man named Mukakee, as he wres-

society around them.

ized early on that he was destined

many shows over the years. But

tles with his calling as spiritual

rather than feel jaded, Roy says he

leader to his people.

never tires of experiencing new

“He’s in a vicious cycle and resisting,”



“We’re still very much in recov-

to be a man. And like many trans

ery,” says Beagan. “We are a col-

people, the road to gender change

onized people, and even though

was a circuitous one, sometimes


taking him in completely unex-

work by the emerging artists hon-





ing their craft each year.

“Mukakee’s still a teenager, his

omy, there are still a lot of cycles

pected directions.

“It fuels me in so many ways,”

mom has just passed away. He has

remaining that have to be over-

“He had a crisis of faith along the

says Roy, an accomplished profes-

a gift, but he’s numbing himself by

come, so this piece is very much

way, where he fell in love with a

sional on the Canadian theatrical

smoking weed.”

about that.

man and thought maybe he had

scene. “Working with young art-

Despite his resistance, Mukakee

ists like Jesse infuses me with new energy and inspiration.”


made a mistake,” Nutter says. “He

finds himself journeying to the

who are becoming leaders very

stopped taking the hormones and



early,” she says. “We need lead-

went back to living as a woman.”


ers, because some of our elders

before in both a mentoring and

embrace his role as medicine man.

are unwell, so that burden some-


dramaturge role, Roy was partic-

“A lot of my work is based on

times falls to our youngsters, like

Nutter’s one-woman play. “I’m

ularly drawn to Breathe for Me’s

Aboriginal world view, my lan-

Waawaate. He’s so determined to

just so inspired by James,” she

fresh take on a traditional plot

guage and perspectives and cul-

lift up his community by shining.”

says. “I always thought my sis-

device. “The thing I liked about

ture,” Fobister says. “This piece

this is that it shows there are so many different ways of coming







aboard as


the learns




but now I’m seeing my brother

and the two-spirited people.”

7:30pm; Aug 16, 10pm; Aug 17,

feel good and confident in his own


5pm; and Aug 18, noon. Studio


who you are,” says Roy. “It offers a

Fobister’s performance style com-

Theatre. Pia Bouman School for

“For me the important thing is

different perspective while being,

bines his community’s culture

Ballet and Creative Movement. 6

that he’s happy, and whatever

ultimately, a love story. That’s

with modern storytelling that is

Noble St.

identity or outer packaging is nec-

what sparked my interest.”

both illuminating and challenging

Breathe for Me plays Aug 9, 10pm;

“Waawaate really captures the

Aug 11, noon; Aug 12, 2:30pm;

reality of the people he comes

Aug 13, 5pm; Aug 16, 10pm; and

essary to make him happy makes MY PREGNANT BROTHER Anyone



me happy.” Oprah

My Pregnant Brother plays Aug 9,

from,” says Tara Beagan, who acts

will surely remember her inter-

7pm; Aug 12, 4:30pm; Aug 14, 7pm;

Aug 18, 7:30pm. Factory Theatre

as both director and dramaturge

view with Thomas Beatie, billed

Aug 15, 9:30pm; Aug 17, 4:30pm;

Mainspace. 125 Bathurst St.

for Medicine Boy. “He captures

as the world’s first pregnant man.

Aug 18, 2pm; and Aug 19, 9:30pm.

something in the cadence and the

But playwright/performer Johanna

Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace.

rhythm of interactions with peo-

Nutter is out to set the record

16 Ryerson Ave.

Waawaate Fobister offers his

ple that really takes you to Grassy

straight with her new play, My

own take on the traditional with

Narrows, the reserve where he

Pregnant Brother.

the premiere of his new play,

grew up.”


“That all actually happened two

Medicine Boy. Fobister scored an

Like Fobister, Beagan is commit-

years after my brother’s preg-

early success with his hauntingly

ted to bringing her culture’s sto-

nancy,” says Nutter, who tells her

SUMMERWORKS $15 door; $17.50 adv; various passes. Thu, Aug 9-19.




ter was shy and unsure of herself,




7:30pm; Aug 11, 5pm; Aug 12,



This change led to an unplanned

comes from the idea of agulquee Blending




out, and coming to terms with



*†At outset of contest. *No Purchase Necessary. For complete Contest details see the rules posted at participating Pizza Nova stores and at Contest closes May 06, 2012. Mathematical skill-testing question required. ®/MD Coca-Cola Ltd., used under license • © Toshiba of Canada Limited • ©2012 Reebok International Ltd. All rights reserved Blu ray is a registered trademark of the Blu-ray Association.

August 2012




illustrator Eric Williams never met artist and community builder Will Munro, who died in 2010. Williams’ only exposure was a retrospective art show — enough for Munro’s charms to inspire anew




August 2012


ERIC WILLIAMS This excerpt appears in the first of Hungry Bottoms Comics. $5. Available at The Beguiling. 601 Markham St. HUNGRY BOTTOM LAUNCH 7pm-9pm. Thu, Aug 16. Glad Day. 598A Yonge St. (416) 961-4163.





Mould, après le deluge

Review Michael Thorner | Photography Brendan McWeeney


ob Mould, along with his seminal hardcore band Hüsker Dü, carved a sonic path in the 1980s that would define the alternative rock style in the 1990s. Bands like The Pixies and Nirvana were shaped by the melodic but raging distorted power-pop Mould and his bandmates pioneered. Last year, the guitar-wielding musical alchemist, at 50, produced an autobiography. See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody documents his dark and angry journey through childhood, adolescence and adulthood, repeatedly underlining how the creative process of playing and writing music was the balancing force that saved him. The music Hüsker Dü created in the early years was a maelstrom of amped-up, testosteronedrenched, speed punk fire. Hüsker Dü produced a series of seminal albums including Zen Arcade, Flip

Your Wig and Candy Apple Grey, before imploding over in-fighting and drug abuse. Mould’s subsequent band Sugar produced the seminal 1992 classic Copper Blue, an acknowledged masterpiece of muscular, dynamic power pop. The narrative in See A Little Light is rather chronological and episodic, and a different structural approach might have provided more impact. I’m not sure how much of the book is shaped by co-author Michael Azerrad. One moment Mould is discussing different aspects of the punk scene, then the next he seems to downplay a seemingly innocuous — but life-changing­ — first meeting with future Hüsker Dü collaborator Grant Hart, tie-dye smocked and barefoot, as he tends the cash register in a St Paul record store.

Mould volunteers his perspective on his often combative relationships. With an abusive family environment fuelling his anger, and subsequent years self-medicating with drugs and alcohol (there are cringe-inducing passages), readers may feel a sense of relief when, much later in the book, Mould shares how he finally finds self-acceptance at being gay. He acknowledges the aftermath of a lot of self-destructive behaviour, and describes the process of conquering his demons, as well as the steps he takes toward rebuilding and creating a healthier, more fulfilling and loving life. A gift for melody and a deft-

ness for a unique brand of pop is what saved Mould from an otherwise rage-fuelled downfall. The bearded bear got lucky. He is still around to share his musical legacy with us. He is respected as a composer and his following is devoted. Now that Mould is at peace with himself, it will be interesting to see whether his music will mature and become more sedentary. But don’t expect softly-strummed acoustic guitars accompanied by string quartets and brass just yet.

SEE A LITTLE LIGHT Bob Mould. Little, Brown and Co. $25.

→ BOB MOULD Created amped-up, testosterone-drenched speed punk with Hüsker Dü.


S EX s p o n s o r e d b y s p a e x c e s s

ASK THE SEX GEEK — with Andrea Zanin

Can you change your instincts? I’m a straight male submissive, and I prefer women 10 to 15 years older than me. But dominant women are a rarity in the BDSM scene, and they’re often married or otherwise unavailable. I feel like I’m waiting for table scraps. I’ve decided that if I’m going to get any kind of intimacy, I need to swear off older, unavailable women. But younger women just don’t make me respond in the same way. I feel like I’m forcing myself to eat Brussels sprouts while still fixating on the chocolate I know will make me sick. So can I want what I want to want? Peter →

First of all, to clarify for my read-

be a cakewalk in comparison.) The

ers, I’m answering a technically

trick is, new sexual interests must

hetero question in this gay-as-glit-

happen spontaneously and authen-

ter column because the underlying

tically, not because of a “should”

question is classically queer: “Is it a

or “should not” message — your


own or society’s. Remember, Robert

Much like LGBT folk, kinksters

Spitzer, the doctor who first advo-

often experience their pervy desires

cated “reparative” therapy for gays

as key elements of who they’ve

recently admitted that it just hurts

been since their earliest memories.

people. So, you could learn to like

I don’t have room to get into it here,

younger women, but only if one

but all the “gay gene” studies are

comes along and knocks your socks

terminally flawed and “kink gene”

off, not by choking down Brussels

ones haven’t been attempted, with

sprouts and avoiding chocolate.

good reason. But even though this

Second: Your hunting grounds are

stuff can’t possibly be genetic, that

much wider than you seem to think.

doesn’t make it any less immuta-

Get a copy of Karen Martin’s How

ble. Our core erotic turn-ons are

to Capture a Mistress and take all

embedded deep in our psyches and

her wise advice on how to present

rarely disappear. (Read Jack Morin’s

yourself. Then dive into the main-

The Erotic Mind for more.)

stream dating scene — not exclu-

There are two kinds of good news, though.

sively the BDSM scene. Drop the kink in-crowd lingo and seek the

First: You can always discover

cougars. Make it clear, online and

new turn-ons in addition to the

in person, that you’re looking for a

old. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of

committed relationship with a hot

times — spanking aficionados are

older lady who’d love to order you

drawn to bondage, dominants find

around, no BDSM experience nec-

their inner submissives, boot fetish-

essary. The key is chemistry, not

ists discover pony play. Similarly,

corsetry. Your future lady love can

people discover both same-sex and

learn terms and techniques at her

other-sex attractions in surprising

own damn pace, if she’s interested

and unexpected ways all the time.

at all. After all, she’ll be in charge!

(Don’t get me started on how mean some gay people can be towards other gays whose desires aren’t strictly homo. Coming out gay can

ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at

577 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1Z2 T 416-966-6969 | shop online 33


CAUGHT IN THE ACT with Spencer Xiong & Michael Pihach


















August 2012


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