WILL & GRACE IS BACK— SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
AND NO ONE’S HAPPIER THAN ERIC MCCORMACK THE 10 BEST WILL & GRACE CELEBRITY GUEST STARS LAURA JANE GRACE IS PUNK’S TRANSGENDER PIONEER LIFE FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE STILL VARIES DRAMATICALLY AROUND THE GLOBE
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SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
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Netflix›s Sense8 cast members Toby Onwumere, Alfonso Herrera, Max Riemelt and Brian J. Smith pose with series co-creator Lana Wachowski (centre) at the 39th annual Vancouver Pride parade on Sunday, August 6, 2017 (Photo: GETTY EVENTS)
September / October 2017
06 | 3 STEPS TO YOUR HEAD-TO-TOE DEEP CLEAN Fall is your hair and skincare’s transition time to correct summer’s wear and tear and prepare you for cooler weather
08 | WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A LEGAL COHABITATION AGREEMENT Even if you’re absolutely positive you’ll never break up, you just never know for sure 09 | A PLACE OF THEIR OWN How you can help LGBT youth find a job and a home 10 | SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? Learn when to stay and when to walk away from your relationship 10 | CANADIAN BABY MAKES HISTORY Infant has been issued a health card that does not specify the child’s sex 11 | DRIVE INTO FALL These diverse vehicles are ready for some serious fall adventures 13 | EMPOWERING LGBTQ YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS The CGLCC has announced an LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneur Program in partnership with the Province of Ontario
14 | GOOD NEWS ON THE AIDS FRONT (WELL, SORT OF) The United Nations says that for the first time in the AIDS epidemic, more than half of all people with HIV are on drugs to treat the virus 15 | FRESH STARTS Stuck in a rut? This fall is a perfect time to refocus your life and create a new you 16 | HELPING CANADIAN LGBTOWNED BUSINESSES SUCCEED These businesses can be an economic force to be reckoned with 17 | ON THE TOWN Scenes from the party circuit
FEATURES 18 | GOING WITH GRACE Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace began her transition five years ago and hasn’t looked back since
26 | THE 10 BEST WILL & GRACE CELEBRITY GUEST STARS While we’re waiting for the reboot, here’s one reminder of why we loved this show so much 28 | WORDS TO LIVE BY Why a good quote is like drinking from the fountain of wisdom 40 | LOCAL TRENDS IN A GLOBAL CULTURE Life for LGBT people still varies dramatically around the globe 42 | GLACIER FACE TIME East Greenland’s remote Scoresby Sound, the largest fjord system in the world, offers up pure Arctic adventure—glacial bays, calving icebergs, muskox and more 46 |THE MAGIC CITY Miami casts its spell...even when things don’t go as planned 50 | FLASHBACK Six male police officers raid an all-female party at a Toronto bathhouse
20 | THIS IS THE WAY THAT WE LIVED AND LOVED Why the return of The L Word is a positive next step for an evolving lesbian culture
22 | GAY SQUAD GOALS Will & Grace is returning to tackle social media, sexuality and politics—and no one’s happier than Eric McCormack
29 | GET YOURSELF A PAIR OF SMOOTH COMFORT THIS FALL 5 suede Chelsea boots to amp up your fall wardrobe 30 | MEET ME IN MONTAUK Slowly start your transition to the next season and daydream of an East Hampton getaway with these laid-back looks 5
3 STEPS TO YOUR HEAD-TO-TOE DEEP CLEAN Fall is your hair and skincare’s transition time to correct summer’s wear and tear and prepare you for cooler weather By Adriana Ermter
Head first The oil flow that takes place in the skin, including the scalp, during the summer months is still occurring, yet the season’s cooler air is creating layers of dead skin cells. This traps oil and bacteria beneath the surface of the skin on your scalp, which leads to an increase in sensitivity and, potentially, dandruff. “The causative factor of dandruff is a fungus called Malassezia globosa,” says Dr. Rolanda J. Wilkerson, principal scientist “The way your skin and hair looks and feels at the close of for hair care for Procter and Gamble. “The fungus feeds off summer is noticeably different from when the season began,” sebum (the scalp’s natural oils), and then releases fatty acids explains Charmaine Cooper, education manager for Dermalogica that initiate inflammation of the scalp and itching and induces Canada. “We’re exposed to so many assaultive climates and polluted rapid skin cell turnover, hence flaking.” environments that dryness, dehydration, pigmentation and sensitivity cause dullness and dryness and, dare we even say, make The first step is to remove the built-up layers of dead skin us a bit haggard looking.” cells on your scalp with a scalp-care-specific shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide to restore the scalp back to a The culprits: summer sunshine, wind, salt water, chlorine and healthy state (such as Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Shampoo, increased sweat. Just eight weeks ago, the warm, sunny tan you $9, available at Walmart and drugstores). But you also need fondly referred to as your healthy glow now appears dull and to add a little extra hydration immediately afterwards, so use a discoloured—a manifestation of skin damage robbing your face second shampoo and conditioner. Choose products such as and body of its taut and youthful appearance. The combination Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner (from of harsh, hot winds and a proliferation of sweat have formed a $25 each, available at www.moroccanoil.com), replete with glue-like film all over your head and body that adhere pollution ingredients such as avocado, argan and jojoba oils; these particles to your hair and skin, leaving it coarse and rough. And help to repair your dry scalp and damaged strands by adding the harsh chemicals from the pool and the salt from the ocean moisture. Antioxidant plant extracts such as lavender, chamomile have stripped your moisture from head to toe, making your hair and rosemary will soothe, refresh, and protect from and dermis look and feel brittle and parched. environmental pollutants. Rubbing an oil-based hair treatment like Moroccanoil Mending Infusion ($37, available at “It is critical for a healthy regimen to commence correctly,” says www.moroccanoil.com) into the ends of your hair will Cooper. “If the hair and skin is not cleansed properly, every also work to nourish, condition and help strengthen damaged proceeding step after that is hindered and rendered ineffective.” locks. But make sure to avoid products containing sulfates, phosphates or parabens, as they can irritate your scalp and create And that makes this transition time. Here’s your step-by-step guide to a filmy build-up on your hair. “Be proactive about your hair care,” correct summer’s wear and tear and prepare you for cooler weather. advises Dr. Wilkerson. “Your scalp will appreciate it.”
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
If the arrival of fall’s crisp, invigorating air has you making lists, longing for organization and pining for a fresh start, you’re not alone. For many people, back-to-school season inspires clean-sweeping your house and detailing the Mazda3. If you’re smart, it also means deep cleansing and updating your skin and haircare routine—because a change in seasons means a change in how your scalp and skin behave.
Face forward Because the skin on your face accumulates both water-based debris (sweat and pollution) and oil-based debris (pollution and sunscreens), one cleanse cannot sufficiently remove it all. “A fresh start for healthy skin means to start with step zero,” says Cooper. A pre-cleansing product, such as Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm ($62, available at spas and www.dermalogica.ca) is needed first to break up and wash away the oils. Follow up with a second wash with a second cleanser suitable to all skin types such as Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser (from $9, available at drugstores), to purify and condition your face. Exfoliation is also a critical step in deep cleansing; this will eradicate excess dirt, dead skin cells and oil while thoroughly cleaning your pores. For sensitive to normal skin, opt for products comprised of finer, softer exfoliants such as rice, bran and oatmeal to gently loosen dead skin cells for a brighter complexion. For thicker, coarser skin, ingredients like hydroxy acid and charcoal, found in products like Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant ($79, available at spas and www.dermalogica.ca), provide deeper purification. Adding a mask that combines deep cleansing, exfoliation and hydration (such as Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face
Mask, $62, available at www.fresh.com) into your weekly routine can also benefit and replenish your skin, including your lips. “An all-in-one, exfoliating treatment mask is an excellent way to address multiple skin concerns such as dullness, dehydration, congestion and lack of lustre,” adds Cooper. Body basics For your body, shower scrubs that include ingredients to target thicker, coarser skin—like salt, sugar and even crushed apricot or walnut shells—will offer optimum exfoliation. Better still if these scrubs are oil based, as they’ll break up deep layers of dirt and debris while simultaneously moisturizing your skin. Products with enzymes often found in fruit-based ingredients like papaya, pineapple and even pumpkin, as well as in hydroxy acids, “help accelerate skin renewal and minimize ingrown hairs,” says Cooper. But make sure your body scrub of choice also includes hydrating ingredients such as honey, aloe vera, milk and essential oils found in items like Aveda Beautifying Radiance Polish ($69, available at Aveda salons). “The skin on the body is very different than the skin on the face,” says Cooper. “It is coarser and requires formulas with a larger molecular weight to hydrate, smooth and condition it.”
ADRIANA ERMTER is a Toronto-based, lifestyle-magazine pro who has travelled the globe, writing about must-spritz fragrances, child poverty, beauty and grooming.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A LEGAL COHABITATION AGREEMENT Even if you’re absolutely positive you’ll never break up, you just never know for sure By Courtney Hardwick
According to the 2011 census, there were 43,560 same-sex the eyes of the law, there is a big difference between common common-law couples living in Canada, up 15 per cent from the law and marriage. “If you are in a common-law relationship, you 2006 census. Although the numbers from the 2016 census have will not have any proprietary interest in your partner’s property. yet to be released, it’s safe to predict that number has most likely If you are married, the scenario is quite different,” says Sawision. increased again. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada “Upon separation, a married spouse will have both a possessive since 2005, but many couples are choosing to remain common interest in the parties’ matrimonial home (even if it is owned by law rather than get married. That trend isn’t exclusive to LGBT the other party), as well as an entitlement to the accumulation of couples either—marriage has become a lot less inevitable in general, their partner’s assets throughout the length of the marriage, known especially for millennials. as an ‘equalization payment’ in Ontario family law.”
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
There are a number of reasons why couples, LGBT or not, might decide to move in together. Perhaps they want to spend more time together, take the “next step” in their relationship, make a tangible commitment to their future together, or (while not the most romantic reason) save themselves some money by splitting expenses. But we all know that staying together forever isn’t guaranteed, so what would a breakup mean for the assets you brought with you into a common-law relationship and any assets you gained while together? With more and more couples choosing to cohabitate and either put off marriage or never get married at all, there is more need for people to be aware of the laws and how they can protect you in the event of a breakup. Chantalle Sawision, an associate lawyer at Hart Legal in downtown Toronto, specializes in issues directly affecting people who identify as LGBTQ. She’s made it a priority to educate her clients on how to use the law to protect themselves and their assets, improving the quality of their romantic and familial relationships in the process. Some people think a common-law relationship comes with the same rights as being legally married, but that is not the case. In
While there are certain laws that will apply to you automatically if you’re considered common law, every couple has their own unique circumstances that they might want to address through an official, legally binding common-law agreement. According to Sawision, “in the absence of a cohabitation agreement dividing their assets, property and debt, LGBT partners have no right to financial support in the event that the relationship ends by way of either separation or death. A cohabitation agreement allows partners to carefully craft the division of their assets, as well as provide provisions for spousal support, child support, child custody and access, power of attorney, health care, dental benefits and estates rights.” When you’re in love, it’s easy to forget about the practical concerns that come with living together. As time passes, it will become harder to logically separate what you are each entitled to. Having a cohabitation agreement in place in the event of a breakup will eliminate uncertainty. You’ll be able to focus on your relationship, knowing your finances are taken care of. And if you do break up, tough money decisions will already have been made for you, so you’ll be able to move on that much faster. Well, at least in the financial sense.
COURTNEY HARDWICK is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Her work has appeared online at AmongMen, Complex Canada, Elle Canada and TheBolde.
How you can help LGBT youth find a job and a home By Colin Druhan
Homelessness and unemployment: these two issues feed off each other, and together they keep people from reaching their full potential. Finding and keeping a job can be tough for many young people, particularly those who identify as LGBT. Youth unemployment in Canada is at double the overall rate, and LGBT youth face very specific barriers to landing paid work. “In an already competitive job market, they’re competing with adults who have work history and life experience,” explains Tyler Morden, coordinator of LGBTQ Youth Housing Support Services at The 519 in Toronto. “And often, because of awkward, abusive or broken relationships with family, they are unable to access their parents’ networks and connections in order to secure their first job.” Without an income, of course, it’s difficult for LGBT youth to find a home to call their own.
LGBT youth, and take steps to bring down existing barriers. The 519 has great resources about these barriers (available at the519.org), and Pride at Work Canada has tools to help businesses of any size recognize their potential to become more inclusive (prideatwork.ca).
And the problem goes both ways. Many LGBT youth who are homeless lack resources such as clothes to wear to interviews, inconsistent access to a phone, limited access to the internet, and an inability to afford reliable transportation, making it next to impossible for them to participate in the hiring process. Of the more than 150,000 homeless youth in Canada, it’s estimated that between 25 per cent and 40 per cent identify as LGBT.
Become a mentor The best way for LGBT professionals to leverage their skills and experience to help youth one-on-one is through an established mentorship program. Some programs may require mentors to go through some preliminary training to make sure they are effective in their role. The matching process can sometimes be lengthy, but finding the right fit is key to a successful mentorship relationship.
Facilities such as the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Sprott House, a 25-bed transitional housing program for LGBT homeless youth, are doing great work to meet a small part of the community’s need. Kate Miller, director of Sprott House, says the program provides a stable environment where youth can connect with others, which “builds up the confidence of LGBT youth as they meet more people like them.” But more support is needed.
Volunteer in a meaningful way If your schedule doesn’t allow you the time to mentor someone, find an organization that’s making a difference and ask how you can help. Remember that the best volunteers don’t come to the table with a specific task or position in mind. Be clear about what your skills are and trust that the organization you’ve chosen will find a way for you to make an impact, even if it’s not working directly with clients.
When it comes to making a difference, there are a number of options for Canadian employers and members of Canada’s LGBT community who want to help. Advocate for more inclusive hiring practices A lot of employers talk about embracing diversity, but we need more than just talk. Staff members who are responsible for recruitment and hiring need to understand the specific challenges faced by
Engage the community on what the issues really are Employers that want to take steps to make application forms, hiring processes and job fairs more accessible shouldn’t make assumptions about what needs to change. They need to talk to people who are working directly with LGBT youth to get direct feedback and recommendations. When planning events that engage the public, for example, Miller recommends asking questions like, “Is there a way we can open up spots for queer and trans youth to be part of this?”
Put your money where your mouth is Those doing the tough work to make a difference in the lives of others can always use more financial resources. If your budget allows it, try to make regular contributions of any size to a charitable organization you trust. You can support the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Sprott House by donating at ymcagta.org, and contribute to the development The 519’s programs and services at the519.org.
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.
PRIDE AT WORK
A PLACE OF THEIR OWN
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? Learn when to stay and when to walk away from your relationship By Adam Segal
I am constantly trying to sort out whether I want to stay in my relationship or end it. We’ve been together for five years but soon after our first year together, I started wondering whether or not he was right for me. I compare him to other people, imagine what it would be like to be with different kinds of guys, and am afraid that I’ll miss out on something better if I stay locked into this relationship. There’s so much about him that I love—of course he’s not perfect, but we have such a nice thing going. These nagging questions are driving me bonkers. My friends have told me that I’ve done this in previous relationships: talked to them frequently about my confusion until either I’m fed up and leave, or the other guy jumps ship because of my shaky attitudes. I’m tempted to end things and look for a partner who feels more ‘right,’ but think there’s a good chance I’ll just start the same pattern again. How do I sort out my confusion and just move on—with or without my guy? –Omar
committing and therefore would have less to lose if things don’t work out. Instead of simply wishing the ambivalence would go away, try considering what you get out of being in limbo and what would be scary about letting that go.
The reality is that, yes, there always could be someone else out there who is a better fit, but this possibility has become an obsession and is likely distancing you from your fella. What your question reveals most to me is a certain amount of fear. You sound terrified of making a mistake or of having regret at some point down the line. Choosing a partner for the long term is, no doubt, worthy of serious reflection—unless the Buddhists are right, we only live once and we certainly want to make the most of our time here. Knowing this can help us live with purpose, but we can experience this reality as immense pressure to get it ‘right,’ making the stakes feel very high. The problem is that fear cuts us off from our hearts and makes life feel like a perpetual emergency.
The feedback you’ve received from friends is invaluable and I’m glad you’re listening: they’ve observed you over time and recognized that uncertainty seems to be part of how you engage in your relationships. There’s no doubt that constant ambivalence can feel crazy making, but it can also be a very safe and comfortable state—if you’re always questioning, then you aren’t fully
The simplest thing I can suggest is this: do not let fear be what ter). There is no man who will come along and eclipse your fears with his absolute perfection. Your task here is to see what it’s like to fully connect with your guy in a loving way without the safety of the ambivalence. Only then will you know how you truly feel.
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
ADAM SEGAL, writer and therapist, works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental-health questions at email@example.com.
CANADIAN BABY MAKES HISTORY Infant has been issued a health card that does not specify the child’s sex A baby in British Columbia has made history after being issued what could be the world’s first healthcare card that doesn’t specify a male or female gender. The baby, Searyl Atli Doty, was born at home in November 2016 to Kori Doty, a non-binary trans person who uses the pronoun ‘they’ to self-identify. Doty’s own personal experience led to the decision to allow the baby to decide their own gender later in life. “I’m raising Searyl in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are, I’m recognizing them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box,” Doty told CBC this summer. “When I was born, doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be, and those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life.”
Doty said British Columbia has refused to issue a birth certificate without a gender included on it, but the Canadian government recently sent a health card with the letter “U” for gender, possibly meaning “undetermined” or “unassigned.” Doty is now fighting for a similarly marked birth certificate. It is believed Canada is the first public authority to issue a nongender-specific card in this way. At least two Canadian provinces— Ontario and Alberta—are considering offering the option of having documents with a third non-binary category. Doty, who is a member of a group called the Gender-Free Coalition, wants individuals to have the right to strip gender identification from all government documents. Doty is one of eight people to have brought a case before British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal demanding the right to change their own birth certificates. Canada, along with Pakistan, Nepal and Australia, is also working on designing passports with a new gender designation.
DRIVE INTO FALL These diverse vehicles are ready for some serious fall adventures By Casey Williams
As summer sets and the cool weather of fall peeks over the horizon, we’ll be looking for adventure—whether that’s camping with our spouse, travelling to see friends, picking pumpkins with kids, or hauling bushels of apples. From a funky little crossover to a plug-in mini-van, these diverse autos can turn up the party.
Nissan Quashqai Looking like a sportier Rogue, this stylish crossover flaunts Nissan’s V-motion grille and LED lighting. Piano black interior trim dresses it up. Check boxes for a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto climate control, and navigation. A 141 horsepower four-cylinder engine, with continuously variable transmission, achieves fuel economy of 7.3/8.8L/100 km city/hwy. Stay safe with a full suite of crash-avoidance gear that includes radar-based pedestrian avoidance. Base price: $19,998 Chevy Colorado ZR-2 Here’s a truck that can take you virtually anywhere. Fortified for severe off-roading, the ZR-2 is lifted so it can even clear boulders, and fortified with functional rocker panels to protect bodywork. Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve shocks sound like a military appliance, but they allow the truck to bound over rough trails. Get it with locking differentials and a choice of 308 horsepower 3.6-litre V6 or 10.7 L/100 km 2.8-litre diesel engines. Base price: $44,215 Volkswagen Atlas Beetles are cute, but they’re little. Volkswagen goes big with the beefy and buff three-row Atlas crossover that can take up to seven members of your diverse family almost anywhere. Luxuriate in Fender audio, heated leather seats, and digital cockpit with reconfigurable instruments. A 235 horsepower turbo-four conserves fuel while the available 276 horsepower 3.6-litre V6 tows boats, RVs and other weekend toys. Load up and explore! Base price: $35,690
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid There’s no better vehicle for long drives than a mini-van. They’re boring, but this one is an elegant hybrid. Plug in for 53 kilometres of fossil-free driving and up to 911-kilometre total range with the gas engine running. You can go far on your dollars given fuel economy of 2.6 L/100 km. Keeping everybody entertained is easy with Bluetooth and available seatback-mounted touchscreens to play videos and built-in games like checkers and tic-tac-toe. Base price: $40,106 (with incentive)
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 to wfyi.org, the area’s PBS/NPR station.
Money confidence starts with money conversations.
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
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The CGLCC has announced an LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneur Program in partnership with the Province of Ontario By Al Ramsay
October is Small Business Month across Canada and it’s a good “LGBTQ youth are at a high risk of facing discrimination, reminder that small businesses are the backbone of most economies— rejection from family, and suicide. Many LGBTQ youth do not and Canada is no different. In fact, the most recent statistics, from have the opportunity or support needed to develop their abilities to a 2016 report by Innovation, Science and Economic Development become entrepreneurs, resulting in significantly underutilized Canada–Small Business Branch, support this fact: talent opportunities,” says Schuurman. “Through this program, the CGLCC will be able to provide the encouragement and to There were 1.17 million employer businesses in Canada at the support the development of the skills, attitudes and knowledge that end of 2015. Of these, 1.14 million (97.9 per cent) were small LGBTQ youth require to become successful entrepreneurs. We are businesses, 21,415 (1.8 per cent) were medium-sized businesses launching this first in Ontario, and will be piloting the program and 2,933 (0.3 per cent) were large businesses. Small businesses this fall. Our hope is to roll this out nationally, in partnership with employed more than 8.2 million individuals in Canada, or 70.5 per our regional network of LGBT Chambers of Commerce, following cent of the total private labour force. the successful completion of the pilot.” Clearly, we need to continue to encourage, promote and invest in our entrepreneurs and in particular our young entrepreneurs. Therefore, as a board member of the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), I was excited to be at the LGBT Summit of the Americas in Toronto this year when Darrell Schuurman, CGLCC’s CEO, announced the CGLCC LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneur Program in partnership with the Province of Ontario through the Ontario150 program, and in collaboration with the Ontario Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and partners across the province (TD is a founding partner).
For anybody looking to participate, either as a youth entrepreneur or as a mentor, please visit www.cglcc.ca/youth. You can also learn how TD can help you start up a small business or help your small business grow by visiting www.tdcanadatrust. com/products-services/small-business/smallbusiness-index.jsp.
About the program The objective of the program is to empower, support and mentor LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneurs (18-39 years old) in Ontario, by providing them with financial support and tailored guidance to help them establish or grow their own businesses. Five qualified applicants per year will be selected for this program. Applicants will be screened to ensure they meet various criteria, including commitment level to start a business or having started a business that is in the ‘infancy’ or ‘start-up’ stage. The CGLCC will leverage existing programs supporting new entrepreneurs; however, this program will be different in that it will assist LGBTQ entrepreneurs, who will be mentored specifically by LGBTQ mentors and supported by the CGLCC. Successful applicants will receive a scholarship or grant to enable them to participate in the program and commence a business operation. Participants will receive 50 per cent of the scholarship or grant at the commencement of the program and 50 per cent at the successful completion of the program. In addition, successful applicants will receive a free one-year membership to the CGLCC for ongoing support. Darrell Schuurman (left) and Al Ramsay 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @AlRamsay_TD. 13
EMPOWERING LGBTQ YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
HEALTH & WELLNESS SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
GOOD NEWS ON THE AIDS FRONT (WELL, SORT OF) The United Nations says that for the first time in the AIDS epidemic, more than half of all people with HIV are on drugs to treat the virus
For the first time in the history of the global AIDS epidemic, Experts applauded the progress, but some have questioned if the more than half of all those infected with HIV are getting the billions of dollars spent battling the virus in the past two decades medications they need to treat the disease. According to a global should have brought more impressive results. report released by the United Nations this summer, a record 19.5 million of the 36.7 million people who are HIV-positive around “When you think about the money that’s been spent on AIDS, it could the world are on treatment. have been better,” said Sophie Harman, a senior lecturer in global health politics at Queen Mary University of London (England). “We met the 2015 target of 15 million people on treatment, and we are on track to double that number to 30 million and meet the UNAIDS said there has been significant progress globally, but 2020 target,” said Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS. “there is still more work to do.” As it explained, “Around 30 per “We will continue to scale up to reach everyone in need and honour cent of people living with HIV still do not know their HIV status, our commitment of leaving no one behind.” while 17.1 million people living with HIV do not have access to antiretroviral therapy and more than half of all people living with The document estimated that 35 million lives have been lost HIV are not virally suppressed.” in the more than 35 years the world has grappled with the AIDS epidemic. It also reported that AIDS-related deaths have Harman warned that the real test will come in five to 10 years once declined by nearly half since the peak of 1.9 million deaths in the funding to various AIDS programs goes down, and suggested 2005, although those figures are based on estimates and not actual that aiming for a complete elimination of AIDS is unrealistic. numbers from countries. “It’s bold and no one would ever disagree with the idea of ending UNAIDS said there were particularly encouraging signs in AIDS, but I think we should be pragmatic,” she said. “I don’t Africa, a continent that has been ravaged by the disease think we will ever eliminate AIDS, so it’s possible this will give throughout the years. Another interesting piece of information people the wrong idea.” from the United Nations report is that Eastern and southern Africa are leading the way, reducing new HIV infections by Others are more optimistic. “Our quest to end AIDS has only just nearly 30 per cent since 2010. begun,” Sidibe says. 14
HEALTH & WELLNESS
FRESH STARTS Stuck in a rut? This fall is a perfect time to refocus your life and create a new you By Karen Kwan
With fall comes an opportunity to make a fresh start. The cooler temperatures and the start of a new school year motivates many of us to make some changes in our routines—it’s as though we’re all hit with the urge to earn straight A’s in life. But kickstarting your way to a better you doesn’t have to mean doing an overhaul of epic proportions, like going minimalist or doing a cleanse. A few small tweaks to the way you live day to day can add up quickly and reward you greatly. Organize one aspect of your home Just making one element of your everyday life more organized physically will bring you more peace of mind. According to Psychology Today, a messy home can bring about stress because all of the stuff is too much stimuli for our minds and the view of clutter is a cue to our brains that work is not done, which makes it difficult to relax. Start with a small task, such as sorting out that junk drawer. Want a bigger project? Develop a system to sort out and manage the steady stream of mail, newspapers and magazines that tend to pile up, perhaps by creating a folder to gather pending items to be filed, and ditching whatever can be recycled as soon as it enters your household. Make breakfast your most important meal of the day A new study led by researchers at Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California found that people tended to have a decrease in body mass index if breakfast was the largest meal of their day. In the same study, those who skipped breakfast tended to
lose less weight than those who ate breakfast. This and past findings make a good case for making a wholesome breakfast a key focus of your diet to maintain your health into your golden years. If the prospect doesn’t excite you, think about ways to charge up your morning meal, by incorporating dishes such as overnight oats or savoury quinoa bowls. Revive your fitness routine with something new If you’ve settled into a groove when it comes to your workouts, consider adding a different type of workout to fire up some of the muscles you tend to neglect with your current regimen. Yoga fanatics and running cardio junkies, for example, can each gain benefits by incorporating a bit of each other’s training. Or consider swapping your venue for a boost of motivation: take that gym routine outside to the park and work out in the fresh air with a view of the changing autumn leaves. Take more breaks from your smartphone Constantly checking your emails and social media on your phone is linked to higher levels of stress, says a report released this year by the American Psychological Association. And many people who are over-attached to their phones report feeling disconnected from friends and family, even when they’re in the same room. If you can identify with this, establish some guidelines for yourself to put down the phone. Start small to make it more manageable: no smartphone or device during meals or when watching TV, for example, and no checking it after a certain time of night.
KAREN KWAN is a freelance health, travel and lifestyle writer based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter at @healthswellness and on Instagram at @healthandswellness.
HELPING CANADIAN LGBT-OWNED BUSINESSES SUCCEED These businesses can be an economic force to be reckoned with By Katie Mead
It is estimated that there are more than 140,000 LGBT-owned businesses in Canada, with a buying power of over $90 billion and contributing nearly $200 billion to the Canadian economy. They play an important part in Canada’s economic success, and it’s critical they have access to resources and tools that can support their growth. Here are three simple tips to grow your business by leveraging programs aimed at LGBT entrepreneurs: Join your local LGBT business group Across Canada, there are numerous LGBT Chambers of Commerce and business groups whose mandates are to help LGBT entrepreneurs and companies thrive. These groups provide amazing opportunities to connect with other business owners in your region, creating a local B2B network offering support as well as sales opportunities. Though each group may offer different services, they all exist to help promote LGBT businesses, advocate for pro-LGBT business policies, build market access equality, and provide overall support as needed.
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By joining your local group, you also become part of a national and international network of LGBT businesses. These networks strive to promote economic growth and prosperity both domestically and internationally. Having access to this network opens the door for companies to grow and do business beyond the local level. Participate in professional development opportunities It’s important for business owners to find ways to continue to develop their own skills. LGBT businesses can stay competitive by ensuring they are innovative and current, and have the right tools to provide the best product or service. One of the many services offered by LGBT business groups is access to information, training and resources. Again, this will vary by region and by group, but often includes opportunities such as workshops, webinars, best business practices and conferences.
Mentorship opportunities may also be offered, whether with other LGBT-owned businesses or through the organization’s corporate partners. These mentorship programs are invaluable ways for business owners to learn from leaders in the industry, and apply those learnings within their own company. Become certified as an LGBT-owned company Over the past 10 years, Canada has seen the growth of an initiative called “Supplier Diversity.” The goal is to create an inclusive corporate supply chain by procuring goods and services from traditionally underrepresented community groups, including women-, Aboriginal-, visible minority- and LGBT-owned businesses. The Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) has been building LGBT Supplier Diversity since 2012, and is the only certifying body of LGBT-owned businesses in Canada. The CGLCC works closely with these certified businesses and corporate Canada to make connections, in hopes that they will work together. Becoming certified provides the opportunity for these businesses to connect with decision makers at companies that they might not have been able to access previously. Certification is available to businesses that are 51 per cent or more LGBT-owned, operated and controlled. Darrell Schuurman, CEO of the CGLCC, explains, “We see certification as another opportunity for business development, another tool in any LGBT entrepreneur’s toolbox. While it’s essential that each supplier successfully win the business based on the strength of their value proposition, through certification and supplier diversity, we can at least help them get their foot in the door.’’ The impact of a strong LGBT business community Canada’s LGBT-owned businesses not only play an important part in the country’s economic growth and prosperity, they provide an invaluable support to the LGBT community at large. Through employment and community give-back, LGBT businesses are investing within the LGBT community and building our community’s wealth. So when you have the chance, support our LGBT businesses.
KATIE MEAD, supplier diversity program manager for the CGLCC, is an ex-opera singer who comes to the CGLCC with many years of business development experience, most recently consulting for both corporate and non-profit clients. She enjoys leveraging her sales/ IN MAGAZINE business development experience to help organizations achieve the next level in their evolution. In her spare time, she is completing a Masters in Gestalt therapy.
ON THE TOWN
SCENES FROM THE PARTY CIRCUIT By Michael Pihach
FML Mondays at Flash 1: Joey Viola, Monty Tayara, 2: Kate Mosley, Daniel Bosco, Clare Coburn, 3: Seamus Strachan, Craig Dominic, 4: Rolyn Chambers, Quanah Style. The Black and White Party at Private Residence 5: Deo Mathiabo, 6: James Burn, 7: Gregory Dawson, Al Ramsay, 8: Rob James, Pierro Mathiabo, 9: Darrin Bast, Scott Mullin, David Clemmer, Rupert Hon. Wet Banana at Island Cafe (Photos courtesy of Philip Villeneuve) 10: Leelando, 11: Robert Weir, 12: Philip Villeneuve, Kris Steves, Zorah Freeman-McIntyre.
PUNK’S TRANSGENDER PIONEER
GOING WITH GRACE Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace began her transition five years ago and hasn’t looked back since By Ashley Kowalewski-Pizzi
If you grew up on the punk scene of the late ’90s and early aughts, the name Laura Jane Grace should be instantly recognizable. The frontwoman for the Orlando-born punk band Against Me! is still playing sold-out shows two decades later. But now Grace, who began her transition five years ago, is advocating for her community and doing what she can to make a difference. While her transition has been short-lived in the grand scheme of her 36 years, it was a long time coming. Grace is already making waves as an advocate, and has been telling her story on her own terms, bringing some of the issues she, and so many others, have faced and continue to struggle with. Her 2016 memoir, Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout (co-written with Dan Ozzi), chronicled Grace’s pre-transition life, from her upbringing as Thomas James Gabel through her drug-addled tours and her less-than-sober journal entries, from which a lot of the basis of the book is drawn. In her account of her pre-transition life, she admits she was most bold when writing her songs for Against Me!, which she founded in 1997 with her friend Kevin Mahon, who left a few years later. James Bowman joined the band in 2001 and has been a part of Against Me! ever since.
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This year Grace was the recipient of the Icon Award at the Alternative Press Music Awards and offered a pretty heartwarming message, stating, “I look at it as a collective effort. When you’re trans and you’re still hidden about that, when you see other trans people, you feel like the universe is putting that for you to help you push on your way.” Grace herself had awarded fellow musician Joan Jett the same award three years ago, citing Jett in her memoir as an inspiration throughout her transitioning process. In Tranny, Grace recounts one of her earliest memories of her gender dysphoria: at the age of five, watching Madonna perform her smash hit “Material Girl.” Grace recalls, “I reached out my hand and touched her on the screen. That’s me, I thought, clear as day. I wanted to do that. I wanted to be that.” While her love of music was what helped her cope with these feelings of confusion, it’s what also offered her an outlet for expression of her true feelings, as well as concealing the identity she hadn’t full accepted yet. “The
look of [Guns N’ Roses], particularly that of wiry lead singer Axl Rose, excited me most because it was androgynous. Hair was big, clothes were tight, lines were blurred. I often couldn’t tell if band members were boys or girls, and I liked that,” she explains. It was at this point in her early teen years that she began growing out her hair “under the guise of rebellion and rock and roll, wanting to emulate the bands whose posters I tacked to my bedroom walls, but secretly I just wanted to look like all the girls my age.” What makes Grace such a remarkable person is that her life went through more than just a transformation of genders. Reading through her memoir, the pre-transition Tom was not a great human. Battling with gender dysphoria prompted him to turn to aggressive use of drugs and alcohol and, while battling these issues truly channelled the mood of the band into one that would ricochet them into fame on the punk scene—and then back again because of how popular and “mainstream” they became—much of the memoir reads of a rude, unhappy human that you’d likely not want to be around. It wasn’t until Grace was 30 that she realized her youth was starting to fade and that she didn’t want to wait any longer, stating in her journal entry from 2011, “I don’t want to wait until my youth is gone. I don’t want to end up a sad, old tranny.” Still in love with her wife, she was concerned about how this decision was going to affect her marriage. However, it was her friend Brendan that Grace came out to first, after Brendan started picking up the bread crumbs that Grace was sprinkling into her songs. After coming out to her wife, Heather, and later the rest of the band, Grace worked with the band’s publicist to come out publicly in a May 2012 issue of Rolling Stone—a great article about an early-transitioning Grace and the balance of struggle and liberation to go from Tom Gabel to Laura Jane Grace. In her Emmy-nominated web series True Trans With Laura Jane Grace, which streamed on AOL in 2014 (you can now view it on rollingstone.com), she covers issues of suicide—Grace was one of the 41 per cent of trans people who attempt suicide in their lifetime. It wasn’t until she was 31 that she came out as a transgender woman and, as she puts it, “nothing has been the same since.”
ASHLEY KOWALEWSKI-PIZZI is a Toronto-based writer and editor who has more pink lipsticks, neon Post-its and daily cups of
IN MAGAZINE coffee than the average human. When she’s not testing out beauty products, you can find her hanging around the city with her pup Odie. Follow her on social at @ashkowapizzi.
THE L WORD
THIS IS THE WAY THAT WE LIVED AND LOVED Why the return of The L Word is a positive next step for an evolving lesbian culture By Kim Hoffman
Two lesbians walk into a bar. They sit down, order drinks and start talking. They’re on a first date. They’re friends. They’re strangers. One leans in and asks the other, “So, what character from The L Word do you most relate to?” In 2004, Ilene Chaiken’s new Showtime series blew the hinges off the lesbian TV door, providing entry into a planet where lesbian TV isn’t groundbreaking or alien—it’s just normal, and it functions off the female gaze, not the male one. The series also did something gigantic: it cemented a new ritual for the ways lesbians observe, work, interact, date, hook up and break up in real life. Its characters became iconic, household names. Going “gay for Shane” (character Shane McCutcheon) was a new way to proclaim your latent sexuality.
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The L Word offered movement in a stagnant place for lesbian representation on television. Not every story and every person was represented in a neatly wrapped box—but even at its most frustrating, messy lows, The L Word was conversation-worthy. It gave a reason for Sunday-night gatherings. It gave long-term jobs to creative women (the many female actors, directors, writers and crew members who worked on the series). Most importantly: it opened closets. Beyond the screen, it offered new insight and recognition about ourselves and each other. When YouTube was still brand new and The L Word had been around for a season, there I was—watching “lesbian scenes from film and TV” montage videos. I was a closeted 19-year-old. It was the first time I had ever seen Shane. Growing up in a heteronormative bubble, spotting a butch-leaning woman was a thrill and a relief. Not only has mainstream TV strayed away from featuring butch female characters, I simply lived in a place where—at bars, restaurants, grocery stores and malls—spotting a dyke in the wild was like spotting an endangered species. Shane wasn’t representative of all lesbians, but her television presence was visually validating.
So I dropped everything and rented the first season of The L Word from my local Blockbuster. I had never been so deeply affected by a TV show in my life. It made me feel inspired, yet sad—and eager for change, acknowledgment and personal bravery. We didn’t even have marriage equality yet. When recent talk of an L Word reboot made media headlines this summer, there was a collective moment among lesbians everywhere who know: we conjured this reboot. Jennifer Beals, Kate Mooenig and Leisha Hailey have reported they will sign on as executive producers, reprising their roles as Bette, Shane and Alice. Someone cue Pink and the Indigo Girls’ “Dear Mr. President” and get Bette back on a farm tractor. Beals tweeted on July 11: “It’s on. Think more rebel yell than reboot.” Ah, the sight of Bette Porter yelling—gimme more. Creator Ilene Chaiken will also co-executive produce, but it’s rumoured she will step down as showrunner to make room for fresh writers and new perspective. It’s imperative, to L Word devotees and critics alike, that any reboot pay respect and regard to all of the changes we’ve witnessed since 2009, as well as the very real battles we are still fighting today—GLAAD recently called for increased and accurate media coverage of transgender murders, almost all of which are transgender women of colour. Previously, the show represented a majority-white middle- to upper-class community and showed only the pitfalls relative to that world. This poked some holes in the evolution of the series—like the erasure of bisexual characters like Alice, Max’s transgender invisibility/isolation, and Bette’s biracial experience being overlooked and delegitimized. But it’s also important that fans remember: a TV show can’t serve every function, or be relatable to every viewer. Characters, like real people, are not flawless. They come with setbacks. Bette Porter in full-blown road rage is entertaining, and we forgave her for cheating on Tina. That said: maybe the question isn’t, “Who killed Jenny?” Did we kill Jenny Schecter? Yes. Because Jenny
Schecter (Mia Kirshner) was The L Word. And some viewers still can’t forgive, tolerate or like her, even in death. The fatal hiccup was the final season of The L Word. A murder mystery didn’t couple well with the “talking, laughing, loving, breathing” mantra during the show’s five-year run. The death of Jenny Schecter marked the end of the series and the beginning of countless lesbian deaths on TV. If you disagree, consider the sobering fact that 62 lesbian or queer female characters have been killed off on US television in the last two television seasons alone. While Jenny was our POV into The L Word from the start, many grew to despise the character. “Hello, Bette.” It wasn’t when Jenny cheated on her fiancé Tim with Marina that broke her moral compass—we all wanted Jenny to be gay. Viewers turned on Jenny slowly: after she cut herself, after she chopped her hair, after she bared her body onstage, when she began deeply researching her Jewish heritage, when she kissed anyone, when she got revenge on Stacy Merkin (the vagina wig), when she chose Nikki, when she realized she loved Shane. Sure, she turned into a brat when she started making Lez Girls, but she was completely cornered in the end. It calls to mind other female characters of the past who have been vilified for being opinionated, expressing a darker side, or displaying their mental health crises.
Of course, some turns of events were even more devastating— like the abrupt death of Dana Fairbanks (Erin Daniels) after her character is diagnosed with breast cancer. As a breast cancer survivor myself, it would have felt way more satisfying and real to see Dana champion her intrusive and traumatic ordeal—a physical and spiritual journey that is often misunderstood and overpowered by imagery of pink ribbons and bald heads. Ghost Dana is drinking beer, though. She’s good. A reboot doesn’t owe us Dana, or even Jenny. It only needs to do what it’s always done—show up in our real-life conversations, make us ask bold questions, and continue opening closets and minds. The L Word painted a backdrop like most shows, and the setting itself served as a character. In a way, this fictional world was our indulgent escape. We rewatch The L Word when we’re single, when we’re processing heartbreak, and when we’re drinking a Dos Equis with new lovers. If you didn’t know what to say to your crush, or how to kick someone out of your apartment, or how to talk to your family when you came out, The L Word opened a door. It taught me way more than I ever learned in health class, teen magazines or rom-coms. So, why is it important to see The L Word make a return? Because it’s time to heal. Because the lesbian phone is ringing. Because we still exist—and this is still the way that we live and love.
KIM HOFFMAN is a writer living in sunny Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in Curve magazine, AfterEllen.com, Huffington Post and Bitch Flicks. Follow her on Twitter @the_hoff, and Instagram @kimhoffman.
GAY SQUAD GOALS Will & Grace is returning to tackle social media, sexuality and politics— and no one’s happier than Eric McCormack By Nelson Branco
“Honey… What is this? What’s going on? What’s happening?” – Karen Walker in almost every scene in Will & Grace
(just imagine Jack on Grindr!), and no one is worried lightning won’t strike twice with Will & Grace 2.0.
Just like everything else in the world, you can blame Hillary Clinton.
But Will & Grace was much more than a Greek chorus for the gay community. (How much do you miss the ’90s right about now?!)
If the former US first lady, senator and secretary of state hadn’t been in danger of losing the coveted presidency of the United States last year, our favourite gays and their kooky queen magnets wouldn’t be returning to reclaim what is rightfully theirs on TV this fall.
If it weren’t for the quirky yet trailblazing LOL-funny situational comedy, there wouldn’t have been a Queer As Folk, The L Word or Looking. Nor the LGBTQ+ diversity we see in almost every narrative and medium today.
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As most know, the much-missed and adored Will & Grace is making a very big gay comeback, which was inspired after the Emmy- But it wasn’t a bona fide hit out of the gate. Debra Messing winning team reunited for a get-out-the-vote video last September. reminded E! recently that the cast is still surprised the original With nearly eight million views at press time, the hilarious and series even lasted past the first season. The Emmy winner said, topical 10-minute vignette reunited the dysfunctional but lovable “When we filmed the pilot, we knew that it was risky. But we Will Truman, Grace Adler, Jack McFarland and Karen Walker. all looked around and said, ‘We could be cancelled after three episodes...[because] America may not be ready for this show. As It was surreal yet comforting to see our beloved old friends tackle you know, Ellen DeGeneres’ [titular sitcom] had just gone off the modern hot topics. It was akin to seeing Carrie Bradshaw and air. We just didn’t know.” company in a Sex and the City movie—except Will & Grace’s writing didn’t suck! Will & Grace producers were also slammed during the first season for not making Will “gay enough” and eschewing homosexual Enter NBC, a network that is staging a comeback of sorts lately romantic situations. after a decade of failures. It was immediately inspired to reboot Max Mutchnick and David Kohan’s Emmy-winning and groundbreaking But that all soon changed, and Will & Grace became untouchable sitcom, which aired between the impressionable years of 1998 to and a cultural phenomenon. Having scored 16 Emmys and 83 2006, when TV was just beginning a renaissance by becoming nominations during its run, the show has been called the most more sophisticated and diverse. In fact, expectations are so high successful network series featuring leading gay characters and that NBC increased its 10-episode order to 12 shows, and then 16 one of the top 10 best NBC sitcoms ever, and it has been inducted shows following the outpouring of support for the continuation. into the National Museum of American History.
So much has changed since the show went off the air 11 years ago: same-sex marriage is now federally legal south of the border (for now); transgender rights have been embraced by the majority; and Barack Obama became the first black US president.
Will & Grace was such a vanguard for the industry that, during an interview with Meet the Press, former US vice-president Al Gore said, “I think Will & Grace did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done. People fear that which is different. Now they’re beginning to understand.” Gore added he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage, which prompted then President Barack Obama to echo his sentiments.
However, the world isn’t all rainbows and unicorns: it’s currently in danger of being dismantled by myriad power structures and dictators due to a fear of globalization and terrorism. Add the mercurial impact of climate change, technology, AI and smartphones
Will & Grace was the catalyst for a lot of the strides the LGBTQ+ community made. And that’s not going to change for the Justice League of sitcoms. Messing tells expectant viewers to expect the same W&G but with modern storylines and situations.
And that’s because, if there was ever a time we needed Will, Grace, Jack and Karen, it’s now.
For eight seasons, actor Eric McCormack played Will Truman on the series Will & Grace. Now heâ€™s ready to revisit his beloved character 23
COVER In an interview with E.T. Canada, she promised, “It’s gonna be truthful. In every episode, we’re gonna be addressing what’s happening in real time. Always our number one priority is to make people laugh, but there’s lots of comedy to be mined from the chaos that’s happening in our world. There’s also an opportunity to now celebrate all the other initials of LGBTQ. We know that [the writers are] coming up with a very quick and clever way of addressing the time that’s past. I have heard some storylines and I’m just very excited. It’s not going to disappoint.”
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IN spoke with 54-year-old Emmy winner Eric McCormack—who is pulling double duty as he also stars on Showcase’s Travelers, which tapes in Vancouver—about reprising his iconic role. Welcome back! It’s totally surreal! I began rewatching Will & Grace out of the blue earlier this spring, before NBC’s announcement, and I can’t believe, in hindsight, how groundbreaking the show was—its humour, sex references, subtext and stories. Will the continuation of Will & Grace still boast that courageous cheeky wink to the audience despite the fact that nothing is sacred anymore?! On a sexual level, I said to Max, our producer, I hope we’re not going to be stifled in any way. We have to be as much as Will & Grace as we were—if not more. I mean, I made out with Taye Diggs
at 9 pm on a Thursday night on network TV. Over a decade later, we can’t back away from that. We can only go forward. Luckily, everyone at NBC agrees that the show has to be more Will & Grace than it ever was. So, on a sexual, political and cultural level, we’ll continue to push the envelope. Was the US election video that reunited the cast an attempt to gauge viewer interest regarding a reboot? Or was this all a happy accident? It certainly wasn’t my intent. But I think it was Max’s. I think he knew if we did these videos right, it could easily result in a season pickup for us. We had access to the sets—which still existed—and we wanted to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But, for me, I never thought Will & Grace would go beyond that. It was exciting to see the response. I never thought it would turn into this. And it happened so quickly, right after the September debates. Within a week, there were Will & Grace reboot rumours. Meanwhile, I had finished shooting Travelers and was waiting for that to air, so I wasn’t even in the mindset of Will & Grace returning to TV. It took a bit of time to figure all the logistics out, but we got the two shows to work together. Was there anyone on the cast who was hesitant to do this? We’re always hearing about the few actors from Friends who never want to reprise their iconic roles for a variety of reasons.
It was an easy decision. And it’s not because we would meet up at our own Central Perk week after week. We had seen a lot of each other, but all of us went on with our careers and tackled other roles. Debra Messing’s had other shows (Smash and The Mysteries of Laura), and so have Megan and Sean. Resurrecting Will & Grace wasn’t born of any need, you know? It was born out of love. If we do this right and don’t hurt the show, nor its memory and legacy of this beloved series…I think it’ll be a success. And that’s because we all loved the way the series ended. You remember, we were all sent into the future and Will’s and Grace’s kids fell in love. We realized we don’t have to be defined by the series finale. We can just put Will and Grace back into that apartment and tackle modern life. I don’t think the audience needs an explanation to the finale. Will, Grace, Jack and Karen just need to exist. So we should thank US President Trump for ‘Just Jack!’ coming back to our screens?! If Hillary were elected, I don’t think Will & Grace would need to exist again. Yes, we would be fun to be around. I think right now we need these characters to say what they say. And I include Karen in that. There’s always a debate Karen can tackle in a funny way. That tone of discourse is important. You must be proud of how Will & Grace’s legacy impacted the
human freedoms we enjoy today—especially in Canada. Between [former US vice-president Joe] Biden and Obama, they flew that rainbow flag with pride. They did incredible things: they took our sitcom fire and brought it to the mainstream and put it in context. And it’s so pressing right now because, in a few months, we could be put back so far with Trump. Certainly, during the ’00s, we were all surprised how Joe Biden put it, but we couldn’t deny that we always had an agenda with Will & Grace to slowly and surely normalize things for the average American that they weren’t used to. I get younger guys, like 18 years old, telling me, ‘I came out to my parents because of Will & Grace.’ I’m like, ‘What? You’re 18!’ They’ve been watching the reruns. The show continues to have a voice for gay men and women for all generations. Even more so now that it’s coming back to TV. What are your thoughts on Pride in general since you’re a part of our gay history? Anything that is positive is good now. Especially now because we’re living in a very cynical and negative time. Pride came out of wanting to be heard and accepted but now it’s a celebration that must continue. Pride encompasses more than ‘we’re here, we’re queer—get used to it.’ It’s more about celebrating the lives gay men and women have created with children and everyone else in their lives. Will & Grace premieres Thursday, September 28 at 9 pm ET/ PT on Global.
NELSON BRANCO is the editor of 24 Hours Toronto newspaper. As a contributing editor, he’s penned pieces for magazines like Hello Canada, People and 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 the Sun News Network. You can follow him at @nelliebranco.
THE 10 BEST WILL & GRACE CELEBRITY GUEST STARS While we’re waiting for the reboot, here’s one reminder of why we loved this show so much By Christopher Turner
For eight seasons, Will & Grace was the sassiest sitcom on television. Will, Grace, Jack and Karen’s hilarious adventures were a hit with audiences and critics alike, winning an impressive 16 Emmy Awards during its run. Of course, those LOL moments also attracted a lengthy list of celebrity fans. Last year, the gang reunited for a 10-minute sketch about the importance of voting in the presidential election. After the success of the sketch, NBC ordered a revival of the beloved 2000’s sitcom. Before Will & Grace returns for a ninth season and 16 all-new episodes this fall, we couldn’t help but think back to some of the show’s funniest celebrity cameos…and there were a lot of them. Here are 10 favourites:
Jennifer Lopez “I Do, Oh, No, You Di-in’t: Parts 1 and 2” (2004) Jennifer Lopez poked fun at herself when she joined the show for the Season 6 finale and the Season 7 premiere to perform at Karen’s abortive Las Vegas wedding. Jack serving as a backup dancer to JLo’s “Waiting for Tonight” is one of the show’s best moments.
Matt Damon “A Chorus Lie” (2002) Back in Season 4, Matt Damon played Owen, Jack’s rival for a coveted solo spot in the Gay Men’s Chorus. When Jack suspected Owen might be straight, he put a plan in motion to take him down, enlisting Grace to seduce him. The seduction went comically awry and Jack’s plan failed when the choir opted to accept Owen anyway.
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Britney Spears “Buy, Buy Baby” (2006) When right-wing bosses took over OutTV in the final season of Will & Grace, Jack decided to buddy up with dim-witted Christian conservative Amber-Louise, played by Britney Spears. Who wasn’t laughing along with Spears’ exaggerated Southern drawl declaring: “I’m not who you think I am. My real name is Peg. And I’m a hardcore lesbian. I’m into leather play, butch white girls, skunkin’, pullin’ the blinds and poodle balling. Whatever you got, I’ll eat it, snort it or ride it, baby.”
Macaulay Culkin “May Divorce Be with You” (2003) In Season 5, Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone’s Kevin McCallister) played Karen’s bumbling divorce lawyer, who seemed like he was fresh out of high school. Of course, he was pulling the old Usual Suspects, in an attempt to trip up Will..
Elton John “The Honeymoon’s Over” (2002) Jack lost style points when he went incognito out of fear that the “Gay Mafia” had it in for him. In an unexpected run-in with Will, Grammy-winning legend Elton John revealed that he’s actually the head of it.
Ellen DeGeneres “My Uncle The Car” (2001) Ellen DeGeneres joined the Will & Grace gang back in Season 3, when she brought the laughs playing Sister Louise, a zoo-loving nun who attempted to overcharge Grace when she tried to renegotiate the sale of her uncle’s car.
Glenn Close “Hocus Focus” (2002) In the fourth season, Will won a photo shoot in an auction with acclaimed photographer Fannie Lieber (a thinly veiled parody of famed celeb photographer Annie Leibowitz), played by Glenn Close. The laughs came when Fannie became so enamoured with Will and Grace that she ended up kissing them both.
Michael Douglas “Fagel Attraction” (2002) Michael Douglas played Detective Gavin Hatch in Season 4 when Will’s laptop computer was stolen. Douglas stole every scene as the closeted detective who had tried to secretly flirt with Will with killer lines like: “You have a pair of eyes like two inviting pools of chocolate pudding.”
Madonna “Dolls and Dolls” (2003) Karen was newly divorced when she got a new roommate back in Season 5. Cut to Madonna playing Karen’s potentially perfect but ultimately pretty eccentric roomie, Liz (a nod to M’s former long-time publicist, Liz Rosenberg). It was all laughs until they discovered they had the same taste in men, which resulted in that hilarious bar fight.
Cher “Gypsies, Tramps and Weed” (2000), “A.I.: Artificial Insemination” (2002) The one and only Cher made not one, but two appearances on Will & Grace. The legendary diva first appeared when Jack mistook her for a Cher impersonator in Season 2. Two years later she stopped by as Jack was contemplating quitting showbiz. That was until Cher appeared to him in a heavenly dream sequence—complete with a musical number and some hunky angels.
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.
WORDS TO LIVE BY Why a good quote is like drinking from the fountain of wisdom
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By Jumol Royes
I admit it. I love quotes. I’d even go so far as to say I’m a quote- “Beauty fades, dumb is forever.” – Judge Judy Sheindlin, aholic. Scroll through my Facebook feed and you’ll find one everyone’s favourite TV judge for pretty much every occasion. When I stumble across a good Good looks attract attention, but good looks alone won’t keep quotation, I can’t help but share it and make it my own. it. In today’s selfie-obsessed world, we can get so caught up in external appearances that we forget there’s more to a person than So what makes a good quote? More than just a compilation of words, meets the eye. Sure, we all like a little eye candy—and there’s it’s the perfect balance between wit and wisdom. It connects with nothing wrong with that—but given the choice, I’ll take style and you and resonates deep within you. A good quote is memorable substance any day. and meaningful, and often conveys a timeless message. Some make you laugh while others might make you shed a tear, but a “The problem today isn’t just that hate is speaking so loudly; good quote will also impart an important lesson. it’s that love is speaking too softly.” – Marianne Williamson, internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher, author and lecturer Here are a few of my favourite words to live by, from people whose There’s always room in the choir of people tearing each other wisdom knows no bounds. down and ripping each other apart, but it takes courage to join the chorus of people standing for what is good, what is right and “Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. what is just. Don’t be silent. Let your voice be heard. Love wins Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.” when it’s spoken. – Cheryl Strayed, New York Times best-selling author We all know forgiveness doesn’t come easy—whether we’re “Who you are matters. And how you show up matters, every forgiving someone else or, better yet, ourselves. Forgiveness moment of every day, no matter where you are or what you’re is a deliberate choice and a process that takes time to unfold. doing. You matter.” – Iyanla Vanzant, inspirational speaker, When pondering forgiveness, don’t think one-night stand. Think spiritual teacher, author, life coach and TV personality long-term relationship. If you have not yet seen Iyanla Vanzant’s Aha! Moment (…at The Home Depot), you’re missing out on something special. Here’s “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGHH1x9BUxw. It’ll make know better, do better.” – Dr. Maya Angelou, activist, author, you laugh and cry, but her message is one we all need to hear. and one of the most influential voices of our time You matter. I matter. We all matter. We can’t know what we don’t know, and I think it’s fair to say that most of us go through life trying to do the best we can in each In those moments when we’re at a loss for words, we sometimes moment. The thing is, once we gain knowledge and understanding, find that the words we need have already been spoken by someone we have a duty to put it into practice and pay it forward. When you wiser than we are. When words fail you, someone else’s words might lead by example, your best is sure to follow. be just what you need to hear. And, yes, you can quote me on that. 28
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.
5 suede Chelsea boots to amp up your fall wardrobe
Ready to start injecting some fall footwear into your wardrobe? It’s no secret that the suede Chelsea boots are back, although it’s not like they ever went anywhere. They’re easy to slip on, super stylish, and comfortable enough to take you from a day at the office to a night on the town. Don’t let the last piece of your outfit be an afterthought. Here are five options that will work with every budget. Bottega Veneta Aussie suede Chelsea Boots (camel) $1,032, available at Saks stores across Canada Franks + Oak George suede Chelsea Boots (grey) $165, available at www.frankandoak.com Common Projects suede Chelsea Boots (tan) $785, available at www.ssense.com Aldo Vianello-R suede Chelsea Boots (navy blue) $155, available at Aldo stores across Canada Call It Spring Andler suede Chelsea Boots (black) $100, available at Call It Spring stores across Canada
GET YOURSELF A PAIR OF SMOOTH COMFORT THIS FALL
MEET ME IN MONTAUK Montauk, New York, has long been regarded as a casual beach town with a decidedly bohemian vibeâ€”and it still is. Slowly start your transition to the next season and daydream of an East Hampton getaway with these laid-back looks.
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Photographer: Iko Maramo Fashion Director and Stylist: Danyl Geneciran Grooming: Windy Chiu Model: David Kubas
Blazer: MISSONI Pants: BENCH PH Cummerbumd: ARMANI Sandals: GIVENCHY 31
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Shirt: MATTHEW MILLER Shorts: OFF WHITE 32
Pants & underwear: BENCH PH Suspenders: ZARA MEN Motorcycle jacket: SKINGRAFT Pants: RICH KIM 33
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Blazer: DIOR HOMME Shirt: COMME DES GARÃ‡ONS Pants: BENCH PH 34
FASHION Blazer: OAMC Shorts: 3.1 PHILLIP LIM Shoes: ADIDAS SUPERSTAR
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Shirts and shorts: 3.1 PHILLIP LIM Underwear: BENCH PH 36
Shirt: BENCH PH Pants: COMME DES GARÃ‡ONS 37
FASHION SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
Shirt: BENCH PH Overall: COMME DES GARÃ‡ONS 38
Shorts 3.1 PHILLIP LIM
LOCAL TRENDS IN A GLOBAL CULTURE Life for LGBT people still varies dramatically around the globe By Paul Gallant
On a visit to the Colombian city of Cali earlier this year, one of the saunas I checked out was a four- or five-level building that also had a balloon-festooned event room big enough to host a sit-down dinner for 200 guests. It’s not impossible to consider that the right kind of couple could throw a wedding party just upstairs from the dark and sticky labyrinth. Another Cali sauna, also massive, holds a Sunday afternoon party where patrons in towels and high heels strut for prizes. “He’s a cop,” a helpful English-speaking patron told me when I dropped by, directing my attention to a bearded contestant doing elegant pirouettes on his tacones. “He’s very funny.” Another Cali sauna, inexplicably, has a private apartment just off its third-floor lounge, and is connected to a bar in an adjacent building by way of a hidden mezzanine. For some reason, gay men in this sweaty Colombian city like the bathhouses they frequent to be large-scale, endlessly surprising multi-purpose entertainment complexes.
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The main gay bar in Lafayette, Louisiana, is, at times, as likely to play zydeco music as the latest dance hit. San Francisco gay bars get hopping early—speaker-dancing at 7 pm—and also go dead early, because everyone, it seems, must scurry back to their semi-affordable basement apartments in Oakland. In Berlin, someone uninterested in kinky theme nights might have to make an effort to avoid them. In Mérida, Mexico, the best gay discos are in the suburbs (the legacy of a socially conservative mayor, I’m told), while in Mumbai, India, the locations of the best queer nightclubs are not made publicly available; you have to sniff them out, usually by knowing the right people. In Bali, the gay bars deploy drag queens who prance on platforms in the clubs’ front windows and then sashay to the back of the bars, like fishermen casting hooks and lines to haul in potential clients gawking on the street. Those of us who inhabit and visit gay-friendly communities may complain about generic nightclubs and the identity-flattening effects of hookup apps. But life for LGBT people still varies dramatically around the globe. And I don’t mean homophobic social and political conditions, like the horrors faced by gay men in Chechnya and at the hands of the so-called Islamic State, or lesbians who face violence in many countries, or trans kids left to fend for themselves in abusive school systems. None of that is about us, of course. It’s about them, our oppressors, though we ourselves are called upon to find ways to respond. I’m talking about how, when LGBT people are left to our own devices, we find remarkably fresh ways to achieve the same things, whether it’s finding sex, love, friendship and community, or just getting our groove on. It’s been written before that, because LGBT people have often been shut out of mainstream culture, we’ve had to invent our
own. That makes it possible for single individuals to shape entire communities and institutions. In Toronto, for example, the activist George Hislop, who passed away in 2005, lent his face and his friendly personality to a community that was still in the shadows when he ran for Toronto City Council in 1980. He lost, but I’d argue that his defiant pluck lives on in Toronto’s soul. Will Munro, the brilliant artist/DJ/entrepreneur who passed away in 2010, helped the city loosen up by mixing art and queerness with effortlessly inclusive style. In Vancouver, Janine Fuller, who managed Little Sister’s bookstore for more than 25 years, has a knack for advocating against the censorship of sexually explicit material without seeming the slightest bit sleazy. She managed this at a time when other activists, particularly in the US, were playing down sexuality in order to win acceptance. Further afield, in Dublin, an impassioned speech by the drag performer Rory O’Neill, a.k.a. Panti Bliss (the speech was a non-apology, actually, for a TV appearance where he named public figures he considered homophobic), was believed to have been a significant factor in Ireland voting to legalize same-sex marriage in a 2015 referendum. O’Neill/Panti also owns one of the most popular gay bars in the country, popular perhaps because of Panti’s iconic status or because of its generous deployment of shirtless Brazilian bartenders. Brazilians, I’m told, can work in Ireland more easily than other European countries. And there you have it: an ingenious theatre artist/activist/entrepreneur, combined with a peculiarity of Irish immigration policy, makes for a truly unique, singularly Dubliner, night out. Some queer innovations export with ease. This summer, Madrid’s reputation for throwing an over-the-top Pride party went global as masses of men descended on the Spanish capital for WorldPride. The trending of other phenomenon trends can be more complicated, rightfully so. The availability of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and the effectiveness of treatment-as-prevention to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS has caused some, but not all, men who have sex with men to rethink how they define “safe sex.” For a generation taught “no sex without latex,” it might take a while to figure out how to talk about, and how to have, safe sex under these new conditions. Unfortunately, some less-than-charming local quirks can live on well beyond their best-before date. Even nowadays, I often gulp down my beer at bars before heading to a washroom, a remnant of the days when Ontario prohibited drinks in the can. It’s a habit I wish I could break.
PAUL GALLANT is a Toronto-based writer and editor who writes about travel, innovation, city building, social issues (particularly LGBT issues) and business for a variety of national and international publications. He’s done time as lead editor at the loop magazine IN MAGAZINE in Vancouver as well as Xtra and fab in Toronto, and is currently executive editor at BOLD magazine.
Pride flags flying high during the WorldPride Parade in Madrid, Spain in June 2017
GLACIER FACE TIME
East Greenland’s remote Scoresby Sound, the largest fjord system in the world, offers up pure Arctic adventure—glacial bays, calving icebergs, muskox and more By Doug Wallace
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them. I’m talking about icebergs, of course. When the first thing you see out the window in the morning is glacial icebergs shot through with ribbons of multiyear blue ice, shining in the Greenland sun in impossibly calm waters, you know you’re in for a rather Zen day. Happily, I had 12 days of communing with icebergs—and glaciers, tundra, rocks, muskox and rabbits, not to mention Greenlanders—in East Greenland, high above the Arctic Circle, exploring the Scoresby Sound fjord system with polar pioneers Quark Expeditions. Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland’s real name, is a country of superlatives: the largest island in the world, the second-largest ice sheet in the world, a deeply indented coastline that’s 40,000 kilometres long. And we’re neighbours—Canada’s Ellesmere Island is only 25 kilometres away at its closest point, way up in Greenland’s northwest—so it was time for a visit.
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My trip began with a charter flight from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Nerlerit Inaat Airport in East Greenland, also known as Constable Point. My fellow passengers and I then hiked to a pier loaded with Zodiac skiffs, and took a quick cruise to board small expedition ship Ocean Nova, our home away from home for the next week or so, and a little bit of luxury in a rugged and remote land. Arctic expedition travel is the ultimate adventure, one of the last frontiers left in the world. Ice in the fjords now melts enough in summer for ships to reach places they couldn’t before—really the only upside to global warming. We hit several different fjords in Scoresby Sound, stopping for morning and afternoon excursions to cruise the icy bays in the Zodiacs or hike the tundra, up mountains or alongside glacial moraines. I was part of the sea kayaking group, which was an adventure in itself, filled with silent astonishment,
breathtaking vistas, dramatic geology, the odd seal, and a daily core workout. The conditions varied from site to site, which injected the necessary newness into both the kayaking in particular and the trip in general. “This type of travel is largely experiential, about making a lasting memory that people can take away for a lifetime,” says our Quark expedition leader, Hadleigh Measham. The big difference between an expedition and your run-of-the-mill cruise is that Mother Nature is the tour guide in these parts; the itinerary is only as useful as the ice, sea and weather conditions will allow. We retooled our plan of action a few times; doing things on the fly amplified the sense of adventure. Can we land? Are we dropping anchor here? Can we get a little bit closer? The decision-making process has many facets and this was a very intrepid group of people—staff and guests alike. “People get hooked on this type of travel,” says Measham. “They went to Antarctica because they thought it was cool as a kid, and now they want to go to the Arctic, or vice versa. They’re sacrificing their beach holidays or their trips to the Four Seasons or whatever to do this, because they can get their rest at home. As the trend increases, they need to get that buzz or kick. They want to see more and experience more,” he says. “So do I.” I’m not leaving until I see a critter Although my journey was late in the season when the wildlife tends to become a bit scarce, there were a few cool sightings to prop up the travel brochures. You have to keep in mind that wild animals are wild; they aren’t sitting around waiting for you to come take their picture. We found foxes and hares, and many species of birds, both on land and accompanying us on our way down the fjords:
Photos: Doug Wallace
TRAVEL glaucous gulls, black guillemots, ravens and hardy pomerants, the only bird that stays all winter.
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The muskox came in handy for the trails they leave behind. We often followed these up the hills, rather than making our own—the animals know where they’re going. Related to the sheep family, they’re hard to see, especially in the fall when everything is brown. They’re active all year long and prized for the fine wool underneath their long guard hair, which is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool. This is how they can withstand minus-70-degree temps in the winter. One afternoon, while on a Zodiac ride in Northwest Fjord to find a sheltered spot where we could put the kayaks in the water, we saw two muskox galloping full tilt over the hills on the banks beside us. One fled immediately, while the other stared at us for several minutes. Another morning on a hike in Goose Fjord, we happened upon a herd of six of them, and sat on a hill ridge watching them from a distance with binoculars. They saw us, but kept grazing. Two of the males even started to butt heads, which made us feel like we were in our own nature documentary. The elusive polar bear is the uncontested icon of the region. Many travellers cite a sighting as their main reason for coming to the Arctic. Polar bears have an extraordinary sense of smell and can detect a female in heat based on the smell of her paw print—this
according to our onboard biologist. They’re mostly solitary, but their sense of community may be based on this powerful sense of smell: they know where everybody is. Their hair is hollow to help them direct sunlight to their black skin, and also to provide buoyancy in the water. They hunt seals on the sea ice and have been known to swim 60 kilometres without resting. Sadly, climate change has caused the ice to melt sooner in the spring, so the bears have to start swimming sooner and swim farther to survive. The region’s glaciers are also in a sad fix, as they continue to rapidly recede, with cascades of ice calving, gliding down into the bays and out to sea. Our resident geologist referred to these as “calving events,” which made it sound, well, eventful—which it is. Glaciers are 3,000 metres thick and some of the ice is many thousands of years old. The iceberg graveyards, where they accumulate stranded in the shallows, have a type of rare, dramatic beauty that is totally mesmerizing. Again with the pictures—I just couldn’t put the camera down. Wind, weather, sea and ice conditions aligned perfectly one afternoon in Goose Fjord as we headed towards the spectacular Magga Dan Glacier, the larger of two glaciers flowing into the fjord. The captain took the ship right into the ice-filled waters beside the massive glaciers as they cracked and calved for us, almost on cue. I spent some of this time on the bridge of the
ship watching the crew navigate the scene. They were almost more excited than all of the passengers. You could tell this was major. When we weren’t kayaking or cruising in the skiffs or hiking the hills, we were wandering through old settlements, untouched ruins used for hundreds of years by different peoples. You could still see the “front steps” of some winter homes and piles of rocks that had once been meat caches or “ice boxes.” Fox traps still sat on the top of flat rocks. We found tools made out of bone and even a couple of graves. “Greenland has a long human history, thousands of years old,” Measham says. “So as a member of the same species, you see what’s come before you and it makes you feel tiny, in space and time. Greenland has a special beauty about it that emphasizes that feeling.” The Late Dorset culture spread through Greenland from 700 AD to the 1300s. They were specialists in making lances and harpoons, and thrived in the cold weather, taking advantage of the ice and living off the marine mammals. They were also famous for their art: sculptures and figurines, and animal-shaped amulets. According to the Quark historian, as the Late Dorset culture struggled, turning to art and religious beliefs helped them survive in such a cold climate.
And then came the Norse Vikings and then the Thule, an advanced culture that lived as a community, carving maps of the coastline out of driftwood, which they gave to Danish explorers who arrived in the 1700s. Home Rule in Greenland was established in 1979. Let there be light Clear nights made for clear Northern Lights. The aurora borealis is caused when electrically charged sun particles collide with oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere around the magnetic fields of the poles. I would go to bed early to catnap before being awakened by an announcement that Mother Nature had switched on the Northern Lights. Passengers took to sleeping in their clothes to be ready to just jump into their boots and grab a camera. The real photographers in the crowd were mega-prepared: extra gloves, tripods out, their turf on the top deck secured. There was even a night shore landing one evening, arranged to allow for more stable photographing of the Northern Lights without the motion of the ship throwing off the camera’s focus. I almost drifted off, lying on the soft grass with my nose in my jacket, watching the lights dance across the sky in a multitude of colours. It was these kinds of calm moments of silence—when the environment just imprinted itself on me—that I appreciated the most. In the end, my Northern Lights shots sucked. But if you need a picture of an iceberg, I’m your guy.
DOUG WALLACE is the editor and publisher of travel resource TravelRightToday.
THE MAGIC CITY Miami casts its spell...even when things don’t go as planned By Steven Bereznai
I was strolling along South Beach in May 2017, just hours before the Miami OutGames were set to start, and my phone suddenly went wild with emails, texts and social media posts announcing the games were abruptly being cancelled. Organizers said they were unable to meet their financial obligations. Thousands of queer athletes and allies had already arrived (or were en route) from around the world to compete in a variety of sports. Amidst the anger, disappointment and a fraud investigation, I was amazed and impressed at the local Miami organizations that quickly stepped in to make everyone feel like they’d won gold. Several gay clubs offered free drinks and no cover to athletes, and a local organizer stepped in to hold hastily arranged track competitions. I was there as a member of the Toronto Triggerfish water polo club. We were one of the few (along with those in the swimming and diving competitions) to have our events go ahead as planned. That’s because the aquatics organizers, sensing that “something was up,” had secured their funding for venues in advance. (Country western dance and soccer were also able to proceed.)
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The athletic competitions were fierce, but in the social arena, locals showed us Miami Vice and Miami Nice.
through the “life” of an asteroid. I waited for a sense of IMAX vertigo as we “spun” around an asteroid—that dizzying effect was my favourite part of the IMAX documentaries at Toronto’s now defunct Ontario Place. Despite signs that warned of this possibility, my stomach stayed disappointingly calm. The museum’s design more than compensated with its open-air atrium and minimalist white, future-city feel, providing stunning views of Museum Park’s green lawns (dotted with outdoor sculptures), the skyscrapers of downtown, the blue waters of Biscayne Bay, and the beautifully modern parkette shared with the neighbouring Pérez Art Museum (also worth a visit). When you’re ready for something to eat, you can check out Quinto La Huella. Located in the upscale hotel “East, Miami,” this Uruguayan restaurant is a swank oasis in the city’s centre, cozied up against the revamped Brickell City Centre Mall. For air-conditioned elbow rubbing with a suit-and-tie crowd (and electro beats), stay inside. I preferred the chill, dressed-down vibe and Miami heat of the outdoor patio, full of lush greenery. Beef, seafood and sushi are specialties, including octopus a la plancha (crusty on the outside, tender on the inside) and grass-fed beef skirts with the chef’s secret recipe (which pairs amazingly with a Tannat Uruguayan red). I started with a refreshing “Chili Parador” cocktail (a house specialty that’s heavy on fresh lime juice with a light kick from Thai chili leaves).
As the Out Games (or as some began calling it, the “Not Games”) wound down without ever officially starting, my team fought our way to bronze. No one complained that there were no official medals “I’m wildly comfortable,” said my teammate Gregory, who is afraid to take home. It was time to dance! As is the Triggerfish way, we of heights, as we took in the panoramic view of Miami’s skyline turned the closing aquatics party into an underwear party, held at and bay from the 25th floor balcony of the Conrad Hotel’s Atrio the over-the-top Scottish Rite Temple. This special events space is restaurant (1395 Brickell Ave). Atrio serves “Mediterranean cuisine an Egyptian Revival gem and the first Art Deco Building in South with a local touch,” according to Milan Kalajdzic, its food and Florida. Surrounded by what felt like eclectic Aztec modernism, beverage supervisor. That includes Cuban and South American the Miami spirit once again shone. When two of my teammates influences, as seen in the Cuban pork sandwich and the ceviche. snuck up to the off-limits balcony area and began voguing, staff We were big fans of the goat croquet and plantain chips. could have sent security to call them down. Instead, they shone a spotlight on the gyrating pair to the wild approval of the boys and Coconut Grove girls in briefs below. More than the gluten-free protein cupcakes While many gays flock to South Beach, we favoured the low-key I devoured at CraveClean Protein Bakery or the wild murals of vibe of Coconut Grove, one of Miami’s oldest areas. It combines a Wynwood Walls, it’s the Miami spirit that would bring me back again. bayside bohemian vibe with modern hot spots. The local Marriott (2649 S Bayshore Dr) was friendly, clean, and across the street We discovered that while “The Magic City” is known for its from The Fresh Market, an upscale grocery store. It was also hedonistic side, its arts, architectural and food scenes are minutes from Coco Walk, with its little shops and boutiques, flourishing in various neighbourhoods, each with their own and an affordable Uber ride ($3-5 US for Uber pool, and around flavour. Here’s IN’s guide on where to eat, sleep and play in Miami. $16 US for Uber X) to South Beach, the amazing graffiti art of Wynwood Walls and downtown, each about 20-30 minutes away. Downtown For the nerd in you, stop by the Frost Science Museum (1101 Choices Café (2895 McFarlane Rd) will appeal to lovers of Biscayne Blvd). Miami’s brand new quasi-futuristic science organic, wholesome foods, served in a cafeteria-style setting. museum makes the Ontario Science Centre look ready for They have a conventional seating area as well as one for sitting retirement. It features a multi-level aquarium (the jellyfish were on the floor. Highlights include the kombucha on tap, vegan lentil a personal favourite), an exhibit on flight, and a planetarium that “meat,” walnut “cheese,” and tempeh “bacon” served in a bowl looks like a giant golf ball. Inside is a 250-seat IMAX cinema. I or wrap. I like my meat, in all its variations, but their hearty and openly cooed when Sigourney Weaver’s voice began guiding us tasty combos brought me back more than once. 46
Ocean Drive on South Beach
“Little Hulk” by American artist Ron English at Wynwood Walls
Inside the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Downtown Miami
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“I love your lightning bolt necklace,” one of the greeters said as I entered the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (3251 South Miami Ave). “It’s very shazam.” It was an appropriate welcome to the estate’s sprawling European-inspired garden full of elaborate fountains and statues of the Greek gods amidst lush vegetation, including the unusual Peach Palm and the humorously named flowering lily “‘Regina’s Disco Lounge.” The brochure says the estate is an “American realization of an Italian Renaissance Villa and an American industrialist’s dream.” According to the greeter, “they wanted it to look old, even though nothing [in Miami] is old.” South Beach As much as I enjoyed Coconut Grove’s ironic flair, it was impossible to stay away from South Beach completely. And why would we? It’s an architectural gem. On a sweaty Miami morning, volunteer tour guide Howard Brayer took one of my friends and me on the Gay and Lesbian Walking Tour of South Beach (he also does a Jewish Walking Tour of the area). He consulted his binder (“you need to be off-book,” a passerby shouted) as he told us of the rise of Miami Beach as a WW2 army base (Air Force planes noisily flew overhead for Memorial Day weekend), the ridding of homosexual staff from Florida universities as part of the Johns Committee during the Lavender Scare of the 1950s, and the days of Anita Bryant in the 1970s. “I was 20 around that time,” he said. “I was more interested in bars than politics. I did volunteer work for a gay hotline. We mostly got prank calls.” We walked along South Beach’s famous strip of art deco hotels, learning how women played a strong role in preserving them in the 1970s, how a gay man got them to be so colourful (to better show off the architectural details), and how an iconic Calvin Klein Obsession print campaign featuring
muscled, naked men (“it was risqué at the time”) helped revive the area after a downturn in popularity. For more great design, we strolled along pedestrian-friendly Lincoln Road Mall, popping into the H&M (541 Lincoln Rd) to appreciate its history as a music conservatory, in particular the area with the enormous screen behind the cash, where it felt like a concert could erupt at any moment. After filling our water bottles at the ornate water fountain, we went out into the street behind the H&M, where we salivated over the new conservatory (designed by Frank Gehry, who used to babysit musical director Tilson Thomas). Gehry’s trademark sweeping forms are inside a huge pane of glass, and the exterior can transform into a giant outdoor viewing screen. For Miami’s coolest parking spot, we sashayed over to 111 Lincoln Rd. This parking garage is known for its zigzagging triangular forms in the stairwells and support columns. So chic, it’s been used for charity balls, fashion shows and upscale weddings. For bonus points, we ran up the stairs to the parkade’s fifth floor to clothing boutique Alechemist. There, we tried on $3,000 jackets that matched the pattern on my teammate’s red bandanna and took selfies. Located in the trendy W Hotel, The Dutch (2201 Collins Ave) was laid-back chic with whitewashed walls, a soothing colour palette of pastel greens, and oversized factory lamps. The food is well-prepared American, from the juicy burger and fresh fries to roasted chicken with quinoa. Like the food, the staff is laid-back friendly with a touch of class. Does Dutch have a dress code? The cheeky website’s answer: “This ain’t no country club, but it’s no ball game either. This is Miami Beach. Keep it fresh.” Good advice wherever you go.
STEVEN BEREZNAI is a Toronto journalist, and author of the new dystopian novel I Want Superpowers. You can find him on Instagram at @stevenbereznai.
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FLASHBACK SEPTEMBER 2000 IN LGBT HISTORY
Six male police officers raid an all-female party at a Toronto bathhouse
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
On September 14, 2000, six police officers raided the Club Toronto bathhouse during Pussy Palace, a women’s bathhouse event organized by the Toronto Women’s Bathhouse Committee. It was the second anniversary of the Women’s Bath House event and about 350 women were in attendance that night, many of whom were naked when the male officers entered the building. No charges were laid against customers, although police recorded the names of 10 women, and two organizers, Rachael Aitcheson and J.P. Hornick, were charged under the bawdy house law. In 2002, an Ontario provincial court judge ruled that police had been wrong to raid the party.
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