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celebrating canada’s lgbt LIFESTYLE | JUly 2015

FASHION

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SPORTING LIFE exclusive

CHEYENNE JACKSON A NEW TV SERIES, SECOND CD AND “FOCUSING ON MY MARRIAGE”

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MAGAZINE inmagazine.ca PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Jim Brosseau Art director Nicolรกs Tallarico FASHION DIRECTOR Adam Webster CONTRIBUTORs Ruth Hanley, Dr. Malcolm Hedgcock, Michael Pihach, Al Ramsay, Adam Segal, Riley Stewart, Mary Anne Terry, Terri-Lynne Waldron, Casey Williams ON the cover Cheyenne Jackson photographed by Karl Simone Senior Account Director Woodrow Monteiro Marketing/sponsorship co-ordinator Patrick Forestell DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza Controller Miki Ogiri OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Celebrate Canada. Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment. ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES 416-800-4449, ext. 100 info@intorontomag.com EDITORIAL INQUIRIES 416-800-4449, ext. 201 editorial@intorontomag.com PRODUCTION ads@intorontomag.com TALK BACK Feel free to share your comments on IN or articles in the magazine by emailing us at editor@inmagazine.ca. IN Magazine is published 12 times per year by The Mint Media Group. All rights reserved. 182 Davenport Rd., Suite 300, Toronto, ON, M5R 1J2

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Contents

issue 62 July 2015

INFRONT

06 | ENTERTAINING Throwing the ultimate summer barbecue 08 | THE DOCTOR IS IN Treating anxiety, with and without pills 09 | WHEELS BMW’s naughty new convertible 10 | FITNESS PROFILE Discipline for healthy living 12 | ON RELATIONSHIPS Keeping a lid on disagreements 13 | ON THE TOWN Scenes from the party circuit 15 | MONEY$TYLE How to start saving for baby 16 | INSIGHT Canada’s top LGBT-friendly companies

FEATURES

17 | green acres Husbands abandon the city for farm living 22 | ROCKING 40! Cheyenne Jackson is much more than another pretty face

fashion

28 | GAME ON Smart looks for the sporting life

ART & CULTURE

26 | CAMERA READY The 10x10 exhibition honours both sides of the lens

Adam Webster

34 | FLASHBACK Making same-sex marriage equal under the law

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inmagazine.ca

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INfront collective wisdom for living well

ENTERTAINING

SUMMER AND SMOKE → How to host the season’s most memorable barbecue, Moroccan style By Mary Anne Terry

T

here is something that is both enchanting and exhilarating about getting lost in the labyrinth that is the souk. That’s the way Paul Brans, Oliver & Bonacini’s culinary stylist, describes his travels in Morocco. As you walk the winding streets, lined with lively stalls, you become intoxicated by the aromas of jasmine, orange blossom and henna; the sounds of energetic shopkeepers and snake charmers’ flutes; the tastes of saffron, cumin and fresh herbs; and the displays

of hundreds of colourful slippers and carpets of floral and geometric designs. As Brans contends, “It is mesmerizing.” This summer, you can invite your friends to experience this feast for the senses in your own backyard with the creative Brans’ tips on how to host a Moroccaninspired barbecue. DÉCOR: MORE IS MORE. Create a full-table arrangement, featuring a rainbow of shapes, sizes, scents and colours. “This eclectic, mix-

and-match style will surely impress while also establishing a relaxed atmosphere,” says Brans. He advises that you first lay a runner with a vibrant geometric or chevron pattern along the centre of your outdoor table; then top it with unique vessels, such as apothecary jars, pewter vases or ceramic bowls, filled with figs and Medjool dates. For lighting, fragrance and drama, add several lanterns and candles, most scented with vanilla and one with an exotic

spice. If you have an umbrella, you may also opt to hang white stringed lights. Finally, scatter an assortment of flowers, such as marigolds, roses and stemmed chrysanthemums, throughout for blocks of bright colour. Bonus tip: If you opt to serve buffet style, which may be ideal for a younger or less traditional crowd, simply position your display behind the spread of food. MUSIC: PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM. While you don’t need to play jams

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IN front from Casablanca or The Clash, a mixed bag of music is ideal. Intersperse your playlist with some Bar Buddha and French Moroccan jazz to subtly augment the theme. To keep the party Morockin’ all night long, Brans suggests, “Start with your softer tunes, then progress to the more energetic post-dinner.” BEVERAGES: EVERYONE’S CUP OF TEA. Like the Moroccan culture, your bar offerings should be lively. Greet your guests with a flavourful cocktail, such as a spiced hibiscus iced tea, served with gin, soda water, a lime wedge and mint sprig. “Make a pitcher of this, so you only have to pour and garnish as your guests arrive,” adds Brans. Beyond the welcome, set up a self-serve bar for everyone. Brans describes its benefits: “You want your guests to indulge without feeling like they’re imposing, and you want to be able to be a guest at your own party.” On your bar, he suggests displaying the essential spirits—vodka, gin, whisky, bourbon, tequila and rum; the basic mixes, including tonic, soda, ginger ale, Coca Cola, cranberry and orange juice; and some wine options, which can later accompany the meal. Brans recommends serving a zesty sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, a slightly chilled gamay and a rosé from Provence. The importance of being inclusive cannot be stressed enough. “Making all your guests feel comfortable is the heart of hospitality,” says Brans, “so be sure to offer something elevated that could be enjoyed as a nonalcoholic drink, such as fresh rhubarb lemonade.” THE MENU: SOMETHING OLDE AND SOMETHING NEW. As the Moroccan proverb goes, one bean does not make a whole meal. “Serve a range of dishes, and a good balance of the familiar and of the exotic,” advises Brans. With diverse influences, Moroccan cuisine features many unique and unexpected flavour combinations; while you should offer some safe options, it is the

unusual that will excite and wow your guests. To start, Brans recommends “arranging a spread of marinated mixed olives, beet hummus, pickled vegetables, feta-stuffed grilled figs and flatbread for guests to snack on as they arrive.” Continuing the culinary tour, Brans’ appetizer ideas include charred eggplant and roasted sweet potato with pomegranate syrup, hazelnuts and lemon yogurt; quinoa with crispy lentils, shredded kale, Brussels sprouts, pecorino cheese and lemon; and lamb kebabs with harissa. For mains, he suggests grilled sardines or mackerel with a pine nut, olive and currant salsa, and zesty spatchcocked chickens, accompanied by three sublime 260 RICHMOND ST. EAST sides: cauliflower couscous, SUITE 100 marigold tabbouleh and flatbread TORONTO ON M5A 1P4 topped with caramelized onions, T. 416.777.0260 black olives, feta cheese and WWW.GALLERY260.COM mint. Finally, Brans proposes concluding with some sugar and MON - SAT 10AM - 6PM spice and something real nice: a SUN 11AM - 5PM Oil on canvas | 30 x 40 in flourless spiced chocolate torte with fresh berries and saffron whipped cream; almond cookies; and mint tea. Bonus tip: Play the music and pour yourself a drink an hour before guests arrive and, when they do, allow them to help with easy tasks. Your energy sets the whole event’s tone, so relax and enjoy the experience of elsewhere at home!

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IN front

the doctor is in

THE CALMING EFFECT → Exploring a handful of simple strategies for dealing with anxiety By Dr. Malcolm Hedgcock

T

en years ago this month I finished my medical training and started working in the real world. While my formal training ended in 2005, the learning continues and sometimes takes me by surprise. For example, it was only after listening to many guys describe their experience with anxiety that I started to recognize some of the symptoms in myself: the frequent racing heart, stomach cramps and flushing that I’d never paid much attention to before. Suddenly these symptoms organized themselves into a recognizable pattern. And only then did I see that I had started to avoid things that triggered these intense and unpleasant feelings. I was lucky. My work helped me discover my own hidden anxiety, but it also showed me that I wasn’t alone. Anxiety is entirely normal and can sometimes be helpful. Fear can assist us in performing during difficult situations by preparing the body for stress. Anxiety becomes an issue when these primitive adaptive responses are exaggerated or occur at inappropriate times. Many

people

suffer

from

intense anxiety that interferes with the ability to work or maintain meaningful relationships. If you think you might be among them, you should speak to your doctor or consider completing the generalized anxiety disorder questionnaire (GAD-7). For severe anxiety, medications are available that are generally well tolerated and effective.

However, medication, as always, is only part of the solution. There are many potent therapies that can be used alone or in combination with medication to help control chronic worry. Oftentimes, though, patients have already come up with their own solutions for dealing with anxiety—even before they’re fully aware of the problem. The first strategy I often prescribe for anxiety is to become a “self-scientist.” It’s important to acquaint yourself with all of the ways anxiety presents itself in your body. Distress signals are not always clear. Sometimes our bodies use pain or shortness of breath as a way of identifying an issue, and so we need to pay attention. One popular

tactic for becoming more selfaware is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness and meditation in general help not only with awareness but also with sleep, mood and anxiety. Certain types of meditation and breathing exercises are also an excellent first defence against escalating panic. A second strategy should be to gather social supports. Open up to a partner, family member or trusted friend about how you’re feeling. Chances are they have all felt the same way at some point, and it’s incredible how talking out loud with someone can suddenly make your feelings less overwhelming. Also consider seeing a counselor trained in cognitive behavioural therapy. This type of therapy can help reframe

some of the ingrained maladaptive thoughts that can perpetuate worry. Exercise is another technique for managing stress and anxiety. Many studies have demonstrated a positive effect of aerobic and resistance exercise on mental well-being. If it has been a while since you were last active, start slowly, with simple walking or a beginner yoga class. Frequently people with anxiety issues have already begun an exercise program—they recognize intuitively that it helps with how they feel. Unfortunately, some other selfhelp strategies are less effective. Drugs and alcohol are often used to self-treat anxiety but they provide only temporary relief. I also find that people often tend to underestimate the degree to which marijuana and caffeine can precipitate anxiety. Even one cup of coffee can mimic panic in those who are extra sensitive, and it’s surprising how much caffeine is hidden in things like workout supplements. My most important piece of advice is not to fall into the trap of feeling ashamed of anxiety. Worry is a natural part of life; it is a problem only if it starts to interfere with work and relationships. Think about some of these strategies the next time you feel anxiety escalate. Remember that worry is an automatic reflex— but you can choose how you react to it. Dr. Malcolm Hedgcock is a Torontotrained family doctor living and working in Vancouver. He has a special interest in gay men’s health issues, including the primary care of those living with HIV and AIDS.

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INFRONT Wh e e l s

VA VA VOOM, INDEED → The sleek BMW M4 convertible leads the way in sex appeal

BMW

By Casey Williams

Y

es, I felt so naughty after driving the BMW M4 that I should have had a cigarette…. It looks like it will cut it as a diva: a convertible created to make drivers chortle like they just ingested a bottle of Jack while scorching a Cohiba. It’s pretty good. The automobile fairly snarls just looking at it. The aggressive front fascia, clean underbody and integrated rear spoiler optimize fuel economy while reducing lift at high speeds. Press a button in the console and the upper half folds into the lower half—a stunt that would make Cirque du Soleil envious. It all sits over 19-inch black light alloy wheels. A softer approach is taken inside with stitched leather on the dash and doors, carbon fibre trim and comfy leather sport seats. A multi-colour head-up display and tri-spoke

leather-wrapped steering wheel give drivers the right tools. The heated steering wheel, heated seats and neck warmers tame fall chills. Open the hood and peer past the gorgeous carbon fibre tower brace for the car’s jewel: a 3.0-litre turbocharged inlinesix-cylinder engine conjuring 317kW/425 horsepower, 0-100 km/h in 4.4 sec and a final velocity north of obnoxious. Gas mileage rates just 14.2/9.6 litres/100km city/hwy, but why concern ourselves? As the 7-speed dual clutch transmission upshifts, the exhaust lets out a loud crack before tossing your cookies back for the next stage. Launch Control gets the car cleanly off the line. You can adjust the steering and suspension for Comfort, Sport and Sport+, but in none of these settings does the car feel light. I’d prefer actual comfort in the Comfort

2015 BMW M4 Convertible Four-passenger, RWD Powertrain 317kW/425hp 3.0-litre Turbo-I6, 7-spd. double-clutch auto trans Suspension f/r electronic Ind/Ind Wheels 19”/19” alloy f/r Brakes disc/disc fr/rr Must-have features Naughty power, Naughty style 0-100 km/h 4.4sec Fuel economy 14.2/9.6 litres/100km city/hwy Assembly Munich, Germany Base/As-tested price $84,500/$94,713

setting. Forget it; just stick a corner and giggle. The M4 is proficient but not perfect. Its suspension crashes over every bump. I’ve learned to use the iDrive infotainment system, but it’s still a bonanza of menus. And who eliminated a “P” setting for the gear selector? It’s complication without distinction. All of this debauchery comes at a starting price of $84,500; $94,713 as-tested. For that, you can get a Corvette Z06, a Porsche Boxster Spyder or two Mustang

GT Convertibles. Of course, I wouldn’t feel half as naughty driving any of them.

Casey Williams is a contributing writer for Gaywheels.com and a frequent business traveller to Montreal. He contributes to the New York-based LGBT magazine Metrosource and the Chicago Tribune. He and his husband live in Indianapolis, where Williams is a columnist for that city’s newspaper, the Star. TALK BACK Feel free to share your comments on IN or articles in the magazine by emailing us at editor@inmagazine.ca. in m a g a z in e . c a

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Top, Nike Dri-Fit Cool Stripe Tailwind Crew, $65 shorts, Nike 5� Phenom Two-In-One, $60 Shoes, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32, $150 (Availability: Nike Retail Locations and retailers including Sport Chek, Running Room and Foot Locker)

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Fitness Profile

Jarrett Plyley PROFESSION Owner, Ciotti Models ROLE MODELS My mother, father, step-mother and sister HOW SEXUALITY AFFECTED SPORTS ACTIVITIES GROWING UP Growing up in a small town, I was teased for my sexuality. At 16, I was the only openly gay student at my high school. I strayed from playing many group sports except volleyball. I also found solitude in gymnastics. That was my first love. ADVICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE ON OVERCOMING BIASES IN SPORTS If you love something, don’t give up. Work hard and show others you’re just as good, if not better. You’ll see that your teammates will have a newfound respect for you, and you for yourself—the far more important of the two. FITNESS STRATEGY Cardio in the morning—it wakes me right up—and weights in the afternoon. I try not to stress if I miss a day. Giving your body time to recover and relax is key. I do better with someone there to motivate me or taking group-exercise classes. HOBBIES Growing up in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, I loved to swim in the summer and board in the winter at Blue Mountain. Today I enjoy tennis, horseback riding and bicycling throughout Toronto. Besides exercising, I like dinners, dancing and beating my friend David at board games. I love to travel but don’t have much time for it since starting my business. INSPIRATION SOURCE My family and friends. Also, the agency’s models are a huge inspiration. When I see their hard work pay off, it not only puts a smile on my face, it motivates me.

Photography by Riley Stewart

inmagazine.ca

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Bespoke matchmaking

INFRONT

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

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AGREE TO DISAGREE → Finding productive ways to settle differences By Adam Segal

I have been with my partner for about six years, and I think we have a pretty good thing. A few friends have expressed their worry about how much we bicker. The sniping has become so natural that I’ve stopped noticing just how much we do it—it’s something that happens at least once a day. These little fights blow over pretty quickly, but they feel stressful and make me feel less close to her. We seem to know how to press each other’s buttons. Considering just how much time we spend together (neither of us has many friends since moving to a new city), this can mean quite a bit of tension. We’ve talked it over, and we make promises to be kinder. But nothing really changes. What do you think we should do? Nama

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Dear Nama: Bad habits in relationships can be sneaky. They slowly worm their way in and before we know it, the main way we relate to each other has devolved into something fairly toxic. Ultimately, a new normal is established, wherein we don’t even recognize how bad things have gotten until they blow up in our faces. While you two are clearly stuck in a communication rut, things can change if you’re up for treating each other with humanity again. Sometimes constant bickering is really just a sign that a couple needs space from one another. Moving to a new city is hard because the relationship becomes an island, and this gets claustrophobic. There’s a good chance that you have both started to look to the other to meet all of your respective needs, which, no doubt, sets you both up for disappointments. The best thing you can do for the relationship is to focus less on what you feel you aren’t getting from your partner and make sure that you’re taking care of yourself —and in some of the most basic ways. Are you getting enough rest? Exercising? Having fun? The more fulfilled you are, the

less likely you will feel as if she is getting on your very last nerve. Bickering just perpetuates the notion that you are on separate teams when really you are one team trying to play well together. Nitpicking is a lazy way of expressing feelings without actually having to be vulnerable. Instead of mindlessly blaming your partner for losing a sock in the dryer, make sure you know what you’re really feeling and what you need her to understand. You will need to be willing to not react to your partner’s digs in a way that perpetuates the cycle, no matter how irritated you are. Ultimately, you don’t have control over her behaviour, but you do have control over your own and how you choose to respond to anything she throws your way. Every time that you are disrespectful with her, you are essentially consenting to the old pattern and in that case you can’t expect to see a lot of change.

Nitpicking is a lazy way of expressing feelings without actually having to be vulnerable.

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

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INFront

on the town by Michael Pihach

4

Opera Atelier’s Versailles Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel

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2

3

5

9 7

Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual diversity 10th Anniversary at FountainBlu

6

10

87

12

Power Ball at the Power Plant

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13

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→ 1. Tyler Gledhill, Magdalena Vasko 2. Jim Yuan Lai 3. Henry Calderon, Patricia Barretto 4. Kirk Pickersgill, Robin Kay, Stephen Wong 5. Anne Marie Mediwake, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Darryl Konynenbelt 6. Al Ramsay 7. Craig Scott, Cheri DiNovo, Catherine Fife 8. Gleb Tretyok, Kyle Moore 9. Gavin Crawford 10. Jully Black, Rufus Wainwright 11. Jennifer Rubell 12. Jessika Fink, James Temple 13. Daniel Faria 14. Annie Murphy, Dan Levy 15. Gaëtane Verna inmagazine.ca

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INFRONT

MONEY$tyle

CRADLE AND ALL → Building a secure future for your child…and yourself By Al Ramsay

L

ooking back, I realize how

your options, related laws and

Is there sufficient

I was brainwashed by

costs in your province, since they

equity

those Hollywood movies

do vary.

home

to

in

your get

a

that made me believe starting a

If you’re part of a couple, you

loan?

Can

you

family would be a snap. The typ-

should have an open discussion

afford

a

rent

ical story line was: boy meets girl,

about how much you are both

increase?

they fall in love, get married and

willing to spend, as well as how

then children appear. Everything

much you can afford to spend.

disbelief

looked so effortless.

I

am

still

in

each

Speak with your financial advisor

time I discuss the

Of course, they ignored boy

and put the right plan in place.

average

meets boy and girl meets girl.

You don’t want to start this

cost of day care

And most important, they don’t

important life journey and be

in Toronto, where

tell you that starting a family is

surprised—and

one study put it

hard work and can be very costly.

at

the

at almost $1,700.

The latter is especially true of

reality of the expense. That

This can vary by

the LGBT community, who most

could be extremely stressful and

province,

often will have a baby the “non-

emotionally draining.

Quebec having the

traditional”

way,

significantly

various

YOUR

intervals

by

BAMBINO

ARRIVED.

escalating the costs.

disappointed—

To

HAS

make

this

a

monthly

with

lowest due to its government

I don’t want to sound like

smooth first-year transition, you

subsidies.

the “Financial Grinch.” Having

need to be prepared for various

are a fortunate few

a baby is among the most

new expenses and potentially

with grand­parents

selfless and beautiful things in

lower

and

the world. However, as with

or paternal leave. Employment

who are able to assist financially

every

you

insurance in Canada is standard,

and share in the little one’s care.

must be both financially and

but the benefits and income

But if you’re not in this lucky

You

can

emotionally prepared for it. Just

top-up

vary.

group, get ready to take on what

any

time

ask Tim Thompson, TD Asset

So learn from your human-

can be the equivalent of an extra

something important for the

Management’s chief operating

resources department about your

mortgage or rent payment.

child or even a family vacation—

officer and chair of TD’s LGBTA

company’s

Committee, who, with his partner,

newspaper article noted that

FUTURE. Given that education

knows what’s involved in raising

the cost for the first year of a

costs are increasing each year,

a growing family. “Matthew and

baby’s life—for clothes, strollers,

it’s important that you begin

I are grateful to live in a country

gadgets, etc.—is $8,000. It can

putting money into a Registered

where LGBT people can have

run even higher, depending upon

Education Savings Plan (RESP).

GETTING STARTED

children,” Thompson told me in

various preferences. This is where

Immediately! This allows you

For more tips and financial advice

a chat. “Having three wonderful

you can reach out to friends and

to set aside money that will

on starting a family, including

daughters has enriched our lives.

family who have young children

grow in a tax-deferred account.

parental leave and saving for a

We love being dads!”

to get help alleviating some of

Also, instead of having friends

baby, visit the TD Canada Trust

these costs.

and

website: www.tdcanadatrust.com/

major

life

event,

DECIDING TO GROW. Whether

income

from

with

maternal

employers

policies.

A

recent

There

other

PLANNING

family

family

FOR

buy

members

BABY’S

traditional

through adoption, surrogacy or

Depending upon the size of

birthday gifts for your little one,

in-vitro fertilization, one thing is

your home, having a child could

have them instead put money

certain: All of these cost money,

make it necessary to relocate or

into your child’s RESP, as an

and some can run into the tens

to expand your current space.

investment in his or her future.

of thousands

My

The financial implications of that

A Tax-Free Savings Account

recommendation is that you do

should be addressed up front:

(TFSA), too, is a great way to build

lots of homework to understand

Do you need a new mortgage?

a war chest without a tax burden.

of

dollars.

→ FAMILY TIME Thompson (right) with his partner, Matthew, and their three daughters

*

make

withdrawals

for

emergencies,

which you’re likely to need!

* Some restrictions may apply,

depending on the investments chosen.

products-services/banking/indexbanking.jsp

Al Ramsay is TD Bank Group’s regional manager, LGBTA Business Development. Follow him on Twitter, @AlRamsay_TD, or call 416-983-6818. inmagazine.ca

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IN front

insight

The A List → Pride at Work salutes Canada’s top employers for inclusion leadership

T

he well-being of LGBT workers has been at the heart of Pride at Work Canada’s mission from its start in 2008. To survey the engagement on issues of importance to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, the non-profit presents its LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index, “Canada’s definitive national benchmark on LGBT-inclusive workplace practices and initiatives.” Four 2015 participants stand out for their level of commitment to equality: Royal Bank of Canada (52,000 employees). RBC’s LGBT employee-resource group PRIDE collaborated with RBC’s many ERGs and the Global

Diversity Group to mobilize more than 25,500 employees last year to participate in the International Day of Pink. This annual campaign is a show of RBC’s dedication to fighting bullying and harassment, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. Its major awareness campaign for National Coming Out Day included personal stories and testimonials from 18 LGBT-identified and ally employees on RBC’s intranet. TD Bank Group (50,000 employees). One of its senior-most champions of LGBT employees and chair of its Employee Resource Group, COO of TD Asset Management Tim

Thompson, hosts and facilitates focus groups at which issues facing LGBT workers at TD are highlighted and discussed. LGBT role models and employee stories are featured in its internally published Building Pride magazine, showcasing how TD creates a truly inclusive workplace. EY (5,000 employees). “Leadership Matters” is an EY program helping those at the senior-management level and above to better understand the importance of inclusive leadership. The program covers the advancement of underrepresented groups, including

LGBT employees. New managers attend annual leadership training at which materials spotlight visible LGBT role models, allies and EY’s Unity Network. Dentons Canada LLP (1,381 employees). New Dentons members are introduced to Dialogue LGBTA, the firm’s LGBT professional network, which highlights Dentons’ enthusiasm to foster an inclusive environment. The firm regularly showcases the achievements of LGBT Dentons members; for example, when Ainsley Gray, a paralegal at Dentons Toronto, won a silver medal at the 2014 Gay Games. (To learn more about Pride at Work Canada, visit www.prideatwork.ca.)

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GREEN ACRES A pair of city dwellers ditch the corporate world in search of peace on the farm

By Terri-Lynne Waldron

A

fter a romantic trip to celebrate their

lives. They left their corporate jobs in Toronto—

lavender and raising cashmere goats. “It was a

second wedding anniversary, Kingston,

Darcy as an architect and Keith as an event

combination of things, but mostly the result of

Ont. native Darcy Shaun and former

planner—and took up residence in rural Kingston

soul-searching together,” says Keith. “It came after

Chicagoan Keith Alan Gawronski-

to become farmers.

a visit to the French countryside, in August 2014,

McNinch were inspired to make a change in their

But not just any farmers. The couple is growing

to celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary. inmagazine.ca

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We stayed in a remote country hamlet in the

brothers and sisters—also grew up there. “It has

southwest of France and were amazed when we

been empty for over 10 years, but was still lovingly

saw the lifestyle of people who lived there year-

maintained by my family,” says Darcy, who has

round. The attention to aesthetics everywhere,

a Masters of Architecture from the University of

and the calm, country life was enticing to us both.”

Waterloo. “When we realized that we could get

the history of the residents who once lived there,

The couple met in 2008 while dancing at a

started on a new life that we make for ourselves,

as well as those who live there today. Says Keith,

party hosted by a mutual friend. During a romantic

we went for it. The home we are now living in is

quoting from the operation’s website: “Inhabitants

→ COUNTRIFIED Newly minted farmers Keith and Darcy Gawronski-McNinch (previous page) pose for their version of Grant Wood’s iconic painting “American Gothic.” Their field of flowers (above).

past and present have inscribed

getaway in Chicago—before visiting Keith’s family for the holidays in December 2010—Keith proposed to Darcy after an elegant dinner. They exchanged vows two years later at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto in front of 100 guests. Now

happily

ensconced

in

Kingston, they have created their own business, called Secret Field Lavender, which is a fusion of art, architecture and agriculture located on a homestead farm called Bonniespring. By moving to Kingston, Darcy was literally going back to his

By raising [these] goats, the couple has figured out a way to combine producing cashmere in a sustainable way while maintaining the lives of the animals.

the landscape of Bonniespring with names. Winding forest trails, rocky outcroppings, crossings over water, fields, houses and barns, all have their beloved nicknames and unique monikers.” The duo has done extensive research and discovered that there are many more uses for lavender than one might think. “When we lived in Toronto, we had satchels in multiple places in our home and also used lavender essential oil,” says Keith. “I am particularly fond of lavender

old stomping ground. Their farmhouse once

nestled in the woods two kilometres down a

eye pillows. We love the beautiful fragrance in

belonged to his great-grandparents and then to

laneway from the country road.”

natural household-cleaning products but also the

his grandparents. His dad—along with his eight

The name, Secret Field Lavender, is rooted in

culinary kind in tea and scones. It is wonderful for

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relaxation, and for city dwellers, you can always

after beloved characters from TV’s The Golden Girls.

use natural ways to help relax. When we thought

This spring, both Sophia and Rose gave birth. As

about starting a farm, this was the first thing that

Darcy marvels, “It has been amazing experiencing

came to mind. When we learned about the Ontario

the miracle of life.”

Lavender Association and the growing industry

A gay couple used to big-city sophistication,

in Ontario for lavender farmers, producers and

Keith and Darcy say they have yet to encounter

retailers, we realized that this could be the start of

even mild traces of bias or suspicion related to their

something amazing.” Darcy picks up the story. “We have been designing prototypes which we hope to turn into products to sell locally and online at our website,” he says. “Most of these ideas combine lavender and cashmere, two things we love. We want to create unique items that bring these elements together, combining luxurious softness and sweet relaxation.” By raising cashmere goats, the couple has figured out a way to combine producing cashmere in a sustainable way while maintaining the lives of the animals. “We both love animals, and believe in treating them with kindness and compassion,” says Darcy. “I have been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old for several reasons, but

→ HAY DAYS A mother goat bonds with her baby (left) at their new home. (Above) Keith, left, and Darcy take a rare break from their chores.

we’re looking forward to marching in the Kingston Pride Parade this year.” The self-styled gentlemen farmers say that

“It came after a visit to the French countryside. We stayed in a remote hamlet and were amazed when we saw the lifestyle of people who lived there year-round. The calm, country life was enticing to us both.”

especially because of my belief in animal rights.” The couple’s diet at home has always been vegetarian, so when the newly minted farmers

while profitability is a goal, they have other priorities. “We know we both could make more money right now, working in the city,” says Keith. “Our primary motivation has not been financial, but rather, to plant seeds to grow a new life in the country.” If the couple exudes plenty of enthusiasm and idealism, they’re hardly viewing their new venture through

matching

glasses.

“We

rose-coloured

chose

this

new

direction knowing the risks involved and understanding that it will take time for our business to become profitable,”

Keith

acknowledges.

“Most estimates say three years is a good measure, but that seems like a long time. Although we cannot predict the future, we hope that we can have more success more quickly by jumping in and giving it our all.”

sexuality in their adopted rural community. Instead, they have been welcomed by neighbours both straight and gay.

thought about having livestock, they wanted to

The Kingston area has been “very accepting

choose animals that would not be used for meat

and supportive,” says Keith. “There is a small but

and which would yield a product that could be

proud LGBT community here. We’ve also been able

harvested in the most compassionate and natural

to meet open-minded, accepting people through

way possible. And so the choice of cashmere. They

the wonderful organizations we’re involved in,

started with two does, Sophia and Rose—named

including Kingston Unitarian Fellowship. And

(For

information

about

Bonniespring

and its products and services, visit www. secretfieldlavender.ca.)

TALK BACK Feel free to share your comments on IN or articles in the magazine by emailing us at editor@ inmagazine.ca. inmagazine.ca

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Rocking 40! Starting a new decade, joining a hit TV show, writing another album…there’s no stopping Cheyenne Jackson interview By Jim Brosseau - Photography by Karl Simone

T

o paraphrase that snarky commercial tag

For much of his career, Cheyenne Jackson toiled slightly below

line, don’t hate him because he’s beautiful.

the radar, best known among cabaret and theatre crowds (he

Yes, he’s supremely good looking and, as his

wowed Broadway audiences in Xanadu and Finian’s Rainbow).

Broadway, TV and film credits attest, a canny

Roles in the films Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks and Love Is

entertainer blessed with deft timing. Oh, did

Strange (gay cops should all be so hot) brought him wider notoriety.

we mention a set of pipes that could make

In recent years, through memorable characters in such TV hits as

angels think about taking voice lessons? Ah, would someone still on speaking terms with God please ask

him why some guys get all the breaks.

Glee and 30 Rock, the proudly out actor who can turn the world on with his smile has long since stepped into fame’s big league. And his ascent continues this fall, when he’ll be seen in Ryan

inmagazine.ca

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Murphy’s hugely popular series American Horror

IN Can you share a stand-out moment?

[Burtka, Harris’s husband]. Not sure about a gay

Story: Hotel. Lady Gaga will also be joining the

CJ My first big story line was seducing Gwyneth

mafia, but there certainly is a brotherhood, of

cast, but Jackson is mum on whether he and the

Paltrow. I was super nervous, because I had lots

sorts. When we all get to do an event together, it’s

raccoon-eyed one will share any scenes. (“If I told

of quick rat-a-tat dialogue and a lot to prove. But

really a good night.

you,” he warns, “I’d have to smother you with

she was hysterical, very, very sweet and a total

Gaga’s famous meat dress.”)

professional.

IN You do stage, film, TV, cabaret—is there any one that’s your favourite and why?

Jackson has come a long way from simply being that hunky star with the great butch name; from

IN What was life like on 30 Rock?

the head-turner many a fan has used in the same

CJ 30 Rock? The holy grail of comedy. I was

always the same. Each has its pluses and minuses,

sentence with the words “trapped on a desert

the luckiest man in town to get to cut my teeth

and I like them all the same. Whatever I’m doing at

island.” (Sorry, guys, he’s taken: Jackson and his

on a show written by Tina Fey and alongside Alec

the time is my favourite.

second husband, marketing entrepreneur Jason

Baldwin and that genius cast. Everything I learned

Landau, were married last year.) If he once found

about comedy on TV, I learned from working on

his openness about sexuality liberating, the

30 Rock.

IN Obviously, you’re identified in part as a “gay actor.” Do you think that in your lifetime we’ll see those labels drift away, and actors will

same appears to be true of his sobriety—part of a journey he’s candidly addressed for some two

IN How were the actors behind the scenes?

years. “I knew I had reached my highest level of

CJ Tina Fey actually has a beautiful singing

potential….” he has said. “I wanted more.”

CJ This is the most boring answer, but it’s

simply be actors, singers will be singers, etc.? CJ Yes. It’s already happening.

voice and is a Broadway expert. Jane Krakowski IN

As he turns 40 this month, Jackson appears poised to receive just that. IN You’re known for your singing and your CDs. But not as many people know about your songwriting. Tell us a little about that. CHEYENNE JACKSON I’ve always loved writing music. It started as a kid, writing melodies and lyrics with my little sister. It’s been a natural progression to show a bit of that side as I get older.

“Not sure about a gay mafia, but there certainly is a brotherhood of sorts.”

With

marriage

same-sex increasingly

common—Canada

has

already had it for 10 years— do you think celebrities in the LGBT community feel their relationships are getting closer scrutiny? CJ I think anyone in the public eye, to some extent, has a bit more scrutiny. The key for me is to just focus on my marriage and my family and not think too much about all that. IN What advice would you give to a young person today trying to break into professional acting or

IN Do you have a new

singing?

CD coming out?

CJ Be nice. Be on time. Know your

CJ I’m writing a second solo album. It’s a definite

is a perfectionist and a truly, truly committed

lines. Know your lyrics. Take responsibility. Be

reflection of where I’m at now, emotionally—

comedienne. And I’d love to have a career like

prepared. Be motivated. Get a thick skin. Do

happy, hopeful, healthy.

Alec Baldwin’s—from broad comedy to Scorsese

your research. Practise. Take care of your voice.

dramas. What a talent.

Take care of your body. Don’t be an a--hole. Be

IN What can you tell us about your role in the upcoming American Horror Story: Hotel? CJ Nice try.

interested in other people. IN You’ve mentioned being friends with the talented Matt Bomer. When folks in the LGBT community think of you, Matt, Neil Patrick

IN Okay, we’ll have to wait. So, tell us this: What are your fondest memories of Glee?

IN Great advice. To switch gears, do you have a favourite Canadian destination?

Harris and others, there’s this image of a sort

CJ I love Vancouver, and I love Toronto. But

of Hollywood gay mafia, or maybe it’s a modern

those are the only places I’ve been to. I really want to visit more.

CJ A cultural phenomenon. [Writer and

version of Sinatra’s Rat Pack. Seriously, though,

producer] Ryan Murphy changed the rules with

is there a kind of brotherhood with some of the

Glee. It was the first of three times he’s hired

other gay actors on the scene today?

me, and I’m so grateful to him. I joined Glee in

CJ That’s funny. I have known Matt for a long

the second season, when the buzz was at an

time, yes. He is such a sweet, generous person. I’m

all-time high. It was an exciting set with lots

so happy for his success and really looking forward

of strong personalities, and things going on

to working with him again on Horror Story. Neil I’ve

with the young cast members dealing with their

known for over 10 years from our early Broadway

new fame.

days, and it’s always nice seeing him and David

IN We’ll be happy to have you. So, you turn 40 this month—how does that make you feel? CJ Excited for the next chapter.

TALK BACK Feel free to share your comments on IN or articles in the magazine by emailing us at editor@inmagazine.ca.

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inmagazine.ca

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Camera Ready The 10x10 project celebrates a community of pride on both sides of the lens

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O

ver the past five years, it has

community projects more critically.”

become an annual event that

This year’s collection, unveiling 100 additional

is much anticipated among

portraits by 10 photographers, will be on exhibition

proponents of LGBT art across

at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel until August 10.

→ IN FOCUS This year’s 10x10 works include (clockwise from far left) Judy Virago, photographed by Sophia Banks; Andrea Németh, by IN contributor Michael Pihach; Craig Paiva, by Samantha Blanchette; York Lethbridge, by Jade Rude.

Canada. And fans of the 10x10

Among the 10 photograpers who were selected

Photography Project will be

for display this year is IN contributor Michael

the crossroads of the queer and arts communities,

gratified that the 2015 collection once again

Pihach, whose monthly “On the Town” feature

respecting their autonomy and honouring their

colourfully showcases both the photographers and

chronicles high-profile social events within

interconnectedness,” explains Fowler, whose

their subjects.

the LGBT community. For the 10x10, Pihach

paintings have been displayed in several cities in

photographed CBC News anchors Michael Serapio

Canada and the U.S.

The project “is like a queer arts alumni, honouring some of Canada’s leading queer artists

and Kevin Sweet, among others.

and talented, up-and-coming stars,” says founder

Notable subjects in this year’s collection

and curator James Fowler. “The work that is

include Sarah Diamond, OCAD president; Sophie

included in each year’s exhibition and published

Hackett, associate curator of photography at the

book just gets better and better…. It has been

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO); and Scott Ferguson,

interesting to watch the project catch the eye of

president of the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival.

the arts community, who often regard LGBTQ

“My aim was to put these annual exhibitions at

The 10X10 is supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the Gladstone Hotel, PageWave Graphic and Akasha Art Projects. Catalogues of the Fifth Anniversary collection of 10X10 will be on sale at the Gladstone throughout the exhibition for $40. They can also be ordered online at www.10X10photographyproject.com.

inmagazine.ca

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16/06/2015 9:20:01 AM


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For information on the Workplaces To Consider Program, contact: info@inmagazine.ca

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FLASHBACK JUly 2005 in LGBT HISTORY

IT’S OFFICIAL!

H

ere comes the bride, here comes the groom. Only it’s Canada, July 2005, and the bride’s with a bride and the groom with a groom. That’s because after a series of legislative fits and starts, gay marriage had finally received full protection under the law. Bill C-38, which had passed the previous month in the House of Commons, received Royal Assent on July 20, 10 years ago this month. Happy Pride season, indeed!

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