for christâ€™s sake? BC law schoolâ€™s anti-gay covenant G ay & L e s b i a n
Cit y Living | march 2014
TRAVEL Magical and Medieval Prague open house a night at the museum SNap shots A sneak peek rupaul THE Doyenne of drag
carefree & casual PUT SOME spring in your step
hannah and maggie are queer as folk
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issue 46 march 2014
views | living & design | insight | events | Arts & entertaiNment | sex
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24 living & design
arts & entertainment
06 | travel Our trip to Prague
24 | photography SNAP: ACTâ€™s annual fundraiser
09 | open house Going antiques crazy
26 | tv RuPaul rules
11 | relationships Dealing with the cold shoulder
29 | music Hannah & Maggieâ€™s platonic love affair
12 | fashion Warm up to a wealth of colour
30 | art Curator Jon Davies on the verge of something big
insight 19 | Rights watch Trinity Western University Law School violates our bedrooms
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22 |get out Places to go, people to see
34 | caught in the act Party pics
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Living & Design
t r av e l
Party palace → Prague’s beauty is its old-world charm—compounded by the cheapest beer money can buy Story & Photography Michael Pihach
ix sips.” “But it’s not even noon,” I whine to my tour guide, wiping the sleepy dust from the corner of my left eye. It’s morning of my second day in Prague and my guide, Javier, has bought me a beer. As we sat hunched over a stained wooden table in a pub resembling a miniature version of the Great Hall in Hogwarts Castle, he challenges me to finish my first glass in just six easy sips. Gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp,
gulp… burp. By 12:30pm I’m buzzed and that concluded the day’s lesson: Prague has the cheapest beer money can buy. And I’m a cheap drunk. Cheap beer is just one of the many reasons why Prague has become one of the It girls in European tourism since the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The 1,100-year-old destination has maintained much of its centuriesold charm, surviving wars and modernization alike. For gays in
surrounding post-communist countries, it’s a beacon of fun. Believe it when I say that nothing in Prague is overrated. The capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague is home to roughly 1.2 million people. It’s situated in the region of Bohemia, once a kingdom in the holy empire, just west of the country’s centre. The Vltava River romantically weaves its way through the city under rows of fairytale-like stone bridges that were built as far back as the 13th
century when King Charles IV sat on the throne. If you’re obsessed with taking selfies—and you know you are— here’s the good news: you can’t take a bad picture in Prague. It’s one of the most photogenic places in Eastern Europe thanks to architecture like no other. A quick look around town and you’ll see buildings from all points of art history, from Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque to Renaissance and Art Nouveau. The mischievous gargoyles
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Living & Design → Magical and Medieval Author Franz Kafka was born near the Old Town Square (opposite page); the Vltava Water Tower (top) and (below) the Charles Bridge aglow at night.
clinging to St. Vitus Cathedral; the hauntingly colossal Prague Castle; the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire-inspired The Dancing House (tancici-dum.cz); the alienlike babies crawling up the side of Žižkov Television Tower. With hundreds of sandstone structures between blocks of old-fashioned churches, it’s no surprise Prague is known as the “Golden City of a Thousand Spires.” There is no official gay village in Prague, but according to Paul Coggles, a former Londoner who operates Prague Saints (praguesaints.cz), a travel resource company for LGBT tourists, Prague’s Vinohrady district is where the gays live and play. “It’s where you’ll find 15 gay places within a 10-minute walk,”
says Coggles, who runs a bar of his own, Saints (saintsbar.cz), a cozy basement space located steps down from a leafy street in Vinohrady. Vinohrady, which means “vineyards,” is “nothing like Castro Street,” Coggles clarifies, but on a Friday night at Saints, a hub for gay tourists and expats, “95 per cent of locals will live 10 minutes from here.” But you don’t have to live in the Vinohrady district to be openly gay. “People here are very live and let live,” says Coggles, crediting the fact that religion does not play a major role in most Czech people’s lives compared to neighbouring countries like Poland and Slovakia, which tend to be more conservative.
While same-sex marriage isn’t legal in Prague, samesex domestic partnership (an unregistered cohabitation) is and has been since 2001. The military doesn’t question sexual orientation of soldiers. Same-sex adoption isn’t legal, but activists are working on it. “Prague is a bit of a magnet,” says Coggles, noting how the city’s liberal attitude and diverse club scene is a draw for gays living in surrounding countries. That was the case with Gregor. On my third night in Prague, I fired up Grindr with the hopes of meeting a local who could help me paint the town pink. I agree to meet Gregor, a 19-year-old, fivefoot-six med student with slicked black hair, almond eyes and an obsession with Ke$ha. Gregor was from the neighbouring country of Slovenia and my impression was that he came to Prague to get wasted. “Because there’s nothing gay in Slovenia,” says Gregor in a bitchy (but sexy) Eastern European accent as he flicked the ashes of his seventh cigarette onto the floor whilst we drank
beer at Friends (friendsclub.cz), a go-to gay mainstay for drag, dancing and karaoke. It was here, one night on a weekday, that I witnessed a man sing the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A” in drunken Czech like it was the end of the world. The glowing-purple venue filled up quickly as Gregor sat cross-legged and upright like a sphinx, puffing smoke circles into the pasty nightclub air (yes, you can smoke in bars; it’s Europe.) I don’t smoke, but five cigarettes later I was blowing smoke circles like Cruella De Vil. I also drank enough beer to burst. Beer is a recurring theme in Prague because it’s cheaper than water. The most popular being Pilsner Urquell, the first pilsner beer ever made. Ever. It goes for between 35 to 45 CZK ($1.90$2.50 CAD) a glass, so you’ll drink a lot of it. There’s consistency in beer prices, too, because you just don’t mess with a Czech’s brew. Says Coggles: “One time a bar raised its beer prices and it failed miserably.” Drinking excess beer around the clock led to many hangovers—a condition I managed to curb by eating at Lokál (lokal-dlouha.ambi.cz), a popular restaurant that resembles an old-school beer hall. The menu has traditional Czech food, such as beef and cream with knedliky (dumplings), fried cheese and potatoes and schnitzel with potato salad. No place for the carb conscious, I know, but you’re on vacation so get over it. The food is irresistible and, like the beer, it’s remarkably inexpensive with mains ranging from 99 to 109 CZK ($5.30 - $5.90 CAD). From Lokál you’re only steps away from Prague’s Old Town Square, a romantic district with windy cobblestone roads, pastelcoloured medieval buildings and historical hot spots, such as Prague’s incredible Astronomical intorontomag.com
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Living & Design
The Details HISTORY
Prague Astronomical Clock
Termix A popular gay dance cave with plush seats, neon lights and a dancefloor where bumping-‘n’-grinding to gay dance anthems is code for hello. A great place to go after sipping Cocaine, an energy drink you can buy in Prague that has twice the amount of caffeine as Red Bull. club-termix.cz.
Mounted on the southern wall of Old
Town City Hall in Old Town Square,
the clock was installed in 1410 and → picture perfect Prague is one of the most photogenic places in Eastern Europe thanks to its old-world charm and architecture like no other: alienlike babies crawl up the side of Žižkov Television Tower (left); The Dancing House.
Clock (built in 1410 and still ticking!), Tyn Church, with its powerful gothic spires that dominate the skyline and St. Nicholas Church, a Baroque masterpiece. Visiting the Old Town is like walking into a painting. No wonder Franz Kafka was so attached to the area. The famed existential writer, born near the Old Town Square, lived and worked in Prague for most of his life, and famously once wrote: “Prague doesn’t let go. This dear little mother has claws.” (If you’re a fan, visit kafkamuseum.cz.). After one afternoon, I couldn’t shake the little mother’s claws either. Old Town Square is where Prague’s Pride parade rolled through last August. The city has had just three Pride festivals to date, but it’s quickly becoming a leader in promoting LGBT rights in Eastern Europe. “I’ve been to Pride parades in Budapest, Bratislava and Slovakia and it’s not so pleasant because there are lots of police and neo-Nazis staging counter-demonstrations,” says Willem van der Bas, one of the organizers of Prague Pride (praguepride.cz). That’s what van der Bas was worried about when Prague hosted its first Pride
it still ticks. Every hour when the
back in 2011. “We had police in helmets and gear. Luckily it wasn’t necessary. About 12 protestors showed up and police handled it perfectly,” he says. Nowadays, Pride organizers have different problems on their hands. “The city is scared of how big our festival is becoming,” says van der Bas of the weeklong festival that includes art exhibitions and an outdoor concert by the river. The first year drew about 15,000 people; last year that number grew to 40,000 people. In 2012 the parade was led by a knight on a horse carrying the rainbow flag (cute considering Prague’s medieval charm). For a community that has traditionally been apathetic politically, as locals tell me, the parade has paved new ways to get political. “One year we had a float that had a stork made out of papier mâché on it to address the adoption issue,” says van der Bas. This year’s Prague Pride will be held from August 11 to 17, with the parade and concert on Saturday, August 17. The theme will be East Meets West. Says van der Bas: “We want to show the former communist communities of Eastern Europe that a Pride festival can be beneficial for a city. And to the West, that there are positive developments in Slavic countries, despite all the doom and gloom we hear on a daily basis from Russia.” Now that’s something I think we can all drink to.
bells toll, mechanical skeletons and “sinners” mounted beside the clock come alive while tiny windows above swing open and reveal the 12 Apostles, who do a procession through the doorways. The best half-a-minute you’ll experience in Prague. Starome˘stské náme˘stí 1, 110 00 Praha 1. This gay-friendly boutique hotel
is close to Prague’s Old Town and
An historic bridge that began
served as the official hotel for
construction in 1357. It crosses
Prague Pride in 2013. From its
the Vltava River, runs 621m and is
ultra-chic steel and glass staircase
decorated with 30 baroque-style
that connects the conference area
statues. Tip: the bridge is so packed
to the lobby to its Zen-inspired
with tourists during the day you can’t courtyard, the hotel is a design even move. Go at night. Karlu’v most, lover’s dream. Need a good gay bar 110 00 Praha 1.
recommendation? The staff know. hoteljosef.com.
Prague Castle GET AWAY FROM IT ALL
Riegrovy Sady A sunny hillside park in gayfriendly Vinohrady that overlooks the city. Witnessed two blonde Czech guys here sitting on a bench in each other’s laps making out. Sold. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the
largest ancient castle in the world,
Translates as “place of trees,”
about 570m by 130m. Today it is
Stomovka is a green oasis of trails,
the residence and office of the
bushes, lakes and lots of ducks. It’s
President of the Czech Republic
far from the tourist areas, so lean
Miloš Zeman, though it has been
back against a giant tree trunk with
home to kings from as far back
your headphones on, put on some
as the ninth century. Most of the
Goldfrapp and take a time out from
grounds are open to tourists.
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Living & Design
o pe n h o u s e
a rare find → Spending time with David LeBlanc and Bruce Ferreira-Wells is like spending a night at the museum Story Michael Pihach | Photography Riley Stewart
isiting David LeBlanc and Bruce Ferreira-Wells at their two-storey residence on the edge of Forest Hill is like spending a night at the museum. The 33-year-strong pair (once a romantic couple, but now business partners and life-long
best friends) are diehard collectors who have dressed their newly renovated home with hundreds, if not thousands, of rare antiquities from bygone eras and lost civilizations. When they’re not placing winning bids at Christie’s or Waddington’s, they oper-
ate Ferreira-Wells Immigration Services Inc., a long-running immigration consultancy that specializes in LGBT immigration and refugee cases. You guys have been together for 33 years. Wow, that’s a long time. David: We met in the spring of
1980 and moved in together that same year. We were a couple up until the year 2000. Both of us have had relationships in the last 13 years, but we still live together. He still bosses me around. Bruce: It’s the other way around, I’m afraid. intorontomag.com
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Living & Design
→ going going gone Some of the objets d’art picked up at auctions are pretty rare, some more than 2,000 years old.
That’s an interesting dynamic. How does it play out when you meet someone? B: We have separate suites in our building. D: Bruce has had a few partners; I have had a few more. Sometimes people are jealous of our connection because Bruce and I know each other so well. We finish each other’s sentences. What role do you play in each other’s lives? D: We still have a motherly presence in each other’s lives. If he does something I don’t think is good for him, I’ll comment on it but leave him with complete freedom of choice. We play protector guardian in each other’s lives. You also have very different tastes in design. D: You see it in our suites. My bedroom is Zen-inspired whereas Bruce’s is a night at the museum. He’s an eccentric curator and since we no longer share the same space, he gets to knock himself out at auctions and bring home the darnedest things. B: I have been an antiquities collector for about 30 years. It’s primarily pre-Columbian art and decorative items from the 18th century. The antiquities are pretty rare and some are over 2,000 years old. Your antiquities room is jam-packed. B: Every inch is covered. I have a gold mask and chalice—the ROM doesn’t even have one (I’m not giving it to them until they’re willing to pay for it). I have statues from archeological digs, a real marble sculpture of the Empress Joséphine, Napoleon’s wife; English Georgian miniatures that people back then carried around as a keepsake of their loved ones. They contain people’s original hair. I got those at Waddington’s. The room is straight out of 18th-century England. What do you find so appealing about this period? B: I grew up in a British colony. A lot of it is what my grandparents and parents had. I’m trying to recreate part of my
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Living & Design past at home. I have a chair that is 220 years old. It’s incredibly comfortable. D: Bruce has a chair fetish. He has a bony West Indian ass, but has 12 chairs in one room. Bruce, why so many chairs? B: I think of the generations of people who’ve lived with the chairs. For example: the early chairs are low to the ground because people were short and stout. The seats are built wider. You learn quite a lot about people back then. David, how does your suite compare? D: I went for cleaner lines compared to Bruce. My taste is eclectic and over the last 13 years almost all my partners have been Asian so there’s an Asian influence. My bathroom is what people “oooh” and “ahhh” about. It’s made from Iranian limestone. I wanted it to look like it was from a medieval castle. B: When you shower in here it’s as if you’re showering outside. There’s a skylight. D: And twice last year our contractor was on the roof while I was in the shower. David, you have some prized possessions as well. D: I have a German bible I bought from a dealer in Pennsylvania. It’s from 1712. The bible is completely intact and all the pages are here. There’s no foxing, mould or wormholes at all. B: We’ve been able to finish our place by going to auctions and being careful about money. Otherwise some of this stuff would cost a fortune. You must know how to find a good deal. D: We have a Tabriz palace rug that’s worth about $13,000 that we got at Ritchies. Palace rugs are so oversized so no one was bidding. We got it for $1,300. How did you get into the immigration business? B: I formed the business in October, 1995, after many years working for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. At that time gays and lesbians had no rights under immigration law to sponsor their same-sex partners. But there
were ways to do things quietly and legally. So I reached out to the gay community to advise them. Eventually we lobbied the government to have same-sex relationships incorporated into the citizenship act in June, 2002. Since the passing of samesex marriage, how much of your business is from the gay community? D: When I joined 12 years ago it was the majority. Now’s it’s about 50/50. B: People can do a lot of work on their own now. There was also a temporary drop due to a backlash against non-genuine applications going on. Backlash? B: Our clients were telling us that some lawyers would find straight clients and tell them, ”Say you’re gay, and have a story about discrimination as a gay man.” They’ll take the client through the gay village and have him remember gay bars because in the hearing immigration officers will ask: “Where’s the gay village? Have you been to certain places?” How does this impact LGBT people who actually need to seek asylum? B: The process at a hearing is to try and figure out if a person is really gay and has been the subject of threats and persecution for being gay. D: Let’s say the client doesn’t look gay enough. That’s happened. Or, if you’re like our last client from Russia, who was soft-spoken and gentle, you could be refused a visa because officers think you’re gay and trying to come to Canada to file a [refugee] claim. If they suspect for a moment, you’ll be denied. There’s something very hypocritical about the system. Do you suspect an increase in clients from Russia in the wake of the country’s passing of anti-gay laws? D: There will be. Absolutely. But the most challenging thing is that they need entry visas for Canada before they’re able to make a claim for protection at the border or once inside Canada. And then there is the daunting battle to prove credibility at the Refugee Board.
relationship advice — with Adam Segal → I’m questioning whether or not I can ever be fully happy in my relationship with my wife. We’ve been together for nearly eight years and I feel like she rarely shows me the affection I need. I always try to be a warm and generous partner to her and no matter how giving I am I feel she barely notices me. She talks mostly about herself and rarely asks about my feelings or wellbeing. I’ve tried to raise my concerns with her and she is incredibly defensive and will not acknowledge my concerns or take any responsibility for her behaviour. I’ve also tried suggesting couples therapy and she refuses... and won’t even consider her own therapy because she sees me as the problem (“You are too sensitive” etc.). I’m left feeling like it’s time to separate but also feel at a complete loss—I can’t help but feel that there is a kind person underneath all that and worry that I’d be giving up on something if I left. Johanna
Sometimes we can find ourselves caught in a trap where we are left holding out for that better version of someone that we wish they really were. It will be vital that you take a good look at your actual lived experience of your relationship versus what you imagine the relationship could be. While you seem clear about your need for more emotional maturity from your partner, you unfortunately can’t do her work for her. Being in a successful committed relationship means being willing to learn, grow and reflect on our behaviour and communication. It’s going to be very hard for you to feel a sense of hopefulness when your partner is not only unable to take responsibility but unwilling to participate in the therapy that could improve your relationship together. There are some people whose narcissistic qualities might make it very hard for them to ever feel a sense of empathy or see themselves as part of the problem. These folks can be especially compelling for people with low esteem as they can seem aloof and untouchable. What follows is familiar choreography where you are endlessly hoping to be seen
by someone who may not be capable of seeing someone other than themselves. I do believe that people are capable of change and I’m not assuming that this has to be the end. That being said, it’s important to know when to call it a day in a relationship. Staying because you have seen signs of change and respect for your well-being would be a much better reason than having fear lock you into what’s familiar. If you do decide to stick it out a while longer, it’s likely time to raise the stakes. I’ve often heard it said that one should never give ultimatums in relationships— and while mindlessly throwing around threats to get what we want is usually destructive— I’m all for a well thought-out, oldfashioned ultimatum. Conveying to your partner that it’s essential she participate more fully in the improvement of the relationship is a perfectly reasonable step at this point.
Adam Segal The writer and therapist works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at email@example.com. intorontomag.com
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Lift your spirits Whatâ€™s in store for spring? A wardrobe of warm and calming colours Photography: Adam Webster Models: Maciel Mendes & Nigel White (Sutherland Models) Stylist: Janet Devins Grooming: Meghan Victoria & K. James for Glass Visage
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Snap to it LeFT shirt: Paul Smith bow tie: Holt Renfrew (both items available at Holt Renfrew stores across Canada) right shirt, bow tie: French Connection bag: Fossil watch: Diesel
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stay calm and CARRY-on duffle bag: Valextra shirt: French Connection jeans: Guess watch: Diesel shoes: Stave Madden
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hoppy go lucky jacket: Canali pants: Paul Smith (both available at Holt Renfrew stores across Canada) belt: Joe Fresh shirt: French Connection boots: Palladium
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spring fever shirt: banana republic pants, belt: H&M
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nautical nice jacket: Prada (available at Holt Renfrew stores across Canada) shirt, shoes: H&M jeans: French Connection watch: Diesel glasses: Calvin Klein
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r i g h t s wat c h
The law according to God? → BC’s Trinity Western University Law School requires gays to be celibate or risk expulsion Story Krishna Rau
he law has been a major force in advancing the cause of Canada’s gay and lesbian community. From basic human rights to employment protection to, of course, samesex marriage, the courts have, in recent years at least, confirmed that gays and lesbians are entitled to equal protection under the law. And as gay rights have advanced, courts have increasingly found themselves balancing those rights against the religious freedom to oppose homosexuality. But in the most recent case of competing rights, the question at stake is somewhat different. Indeed, it might go to the very heart not just of what makes the law, but of what makes a lawyer. The case—which seems destined to end up in the courts— revolves around Trinity Western University, a private Christian institution in British Columbia. TWU wants to open a law school beginning in 2016. The application has been approved by both the BC government and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. But considerable opposition has been mounted to the application because the school requires all of its students to sign a community covenant, which mandates that students abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” In other words, any gay or lesbian students attending the university would have to remain celibate or face discipline that could include expulsion. The case has raised numer-
ous questions, and most lack satisfactory answers. Should religious freedom include the right to actively discriminate? Should equality trump religious freedom? Can a school that actively discriminates graduate students who don’t, a case TWU has successfully argued in court before when it came to establishing their teaching college. Or is the whole thing a tempest in a teapot? And there are wider questions that have so far not been raised in media reports or during the debate. If the law school does proceed, what does that mean for the future of the legal profession and for the wider society at large? And should private schools be allowed to teach professional courses, like education, law or potentially medicine? Why should private religious institutions have the right to teach graduates who will serve the public in secular professions governed by secular governments? In many cases, the public does not have the chance to choose their own teacher, lawyer or doctor. Many people have to rely on legal aid lawyers to guide them through the court system or trust in a crown attorney, neither of whom they have a say in selecting. And in small-town Canada or in an emergency, the doctor you get is often a result of the luck of the draw. Should people not be able to know that such a professional comes from an educational background not dictated by the religious convictions of a private institution? And surely one of the major attributes of a pro-
fessional school in a public university is that its graduates are exposed to a diversity of cultures and thought, one that would generally include students, including those from a religious background, who are free to be open about all aspects of their identities, sexual or otherwise. That debate is especially important when it comes to law. The advances in protection and rights achieved by gays and lesbians in Canada—and for that matter by women and racial minorities—have been mediated or granted by the law. Having a school graduating lawyers who, by implication at least, consider homosexual relationships of lesser value than heterosexual ones would seem to go some way towards easing the way to rolling back those advances. At the least, it might very well make it easier to find lawyers prepared to oppose gay rights. While the school has received the approvals it needs to open, provincial law societies—including that in BC—are still debating whether its graduates should be accredited to practice in their respective provinces. While the situation lacks any precedent, it could potentially create a situation where graduates from the TWU law school are able to practice in some provinces, but not in others. The opposition, being led pro bono by famed Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby’s firm, says forcing students to sign the community covenant blatantly discriminates against gays and lesbians.
“The Federation of Canadian Law Societies found that there was no public interest reason to refuse Trinity Western,” says Angela Chaisson, a constitutional law expert at Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan. “But they only look at the curriculum, at whether the courses taught meet their standards. We should abhor their decision. It makes no sense. The covenant is inherently discriminatory. It would be a huge step back from equality. Gays and lesbians should have equal access to the legal profession.” Chaisson scoffs at the argument advanced by some TWU supporters that the school is not discriminating against gays per se, just against homosexual behaviour, what she derides as “the love the sinner argument.” “It’s a ridiculous argument. It’s like saying you can be black, but you can’t be practicing black.” The debate, in general and around TWU in particular, is not new. In 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to rule in a case where the BC College of Teachers had refused to accept graduates of TWU’s recently established teaching college for the same reasons in dispute now. The court ruled then that the college had to accept such graduates as long as they did not display any discrimination in their work. “The proper place to draw the line,” the court ruled, “is generally between belief and action. The freedom to hold beliefs is broader than the freedom to act on them.” Chaisson believes that the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2001 intorontomag.com
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“In keeping with biblical and TWU ideals, community members voluntarily abstain from the following actions:
*sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman *the use of materials that are degrading, dehumanizing, exploitive, hateful, or gratuitously violent, including, but not limited to pornography...”
Angela Chaisson is not one they would uphold today. And she adds that her firm is prepared to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court again if it proves necessary to prevent the law school from operating. “That case is not relevant. Thirteen years ago, equality issues in the Charter didn’t get raised. We didn’t have same-sex marriage 13 years ago.” But that case, says Lyndsay Lyster, the president of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, is the primary reason why the BCCLA is supporting TWU in this case, although she stresses that neither she nor the BCCLA agree with the school’s prohibitions. All sides in the debate agree that TWU is able to even propose such a course of action because it’s a private school, even though it does receive some public money, especially in the form of tax breaks. Public universities, however, are covered by human rights codes, under which, all agree, TWU’s covenant would be deemed unacceptable. “It can be characterized as a case of competing rights and freedoms,” Lyster says. “But we took the position then that the covenant should be no impediment or barrier to students being allowed to teach. There’s an absence of evidence
— excerpt from Trinity Western University Community Covenant Agreement: Our Pledge to One Another that graduates will act in a discriminatory manner.” Lyster stresses that the TWU law school will still be required to teach law in a manner acceptable to the profession’s governing bodies: “They have to teach legal ethics and constitutional law and not some weird version of constitutional law. If they’re not going to teach constitutional law properly, that would be a reason to close them down. But a person is certainly entitled to the view that same-sex marriage is wrong. I think a professor, as long as they teach what the law is, is entitled to teach that the law is wrong. And if a student prefers to take part of their education at a faith-based institution, if we accept that likeminded individuals are allowed to gather together, my view is that it’s a basic respect for their own dignity. Under the community covenant, it’s not only same-sex sexual activity that’s prohibited, but also opposite-sex couples outside of marriage. It’s about freedom of association, freedom of religion and agreeing to live by the terms of the community covenant.” Lyster also argues that attending a secular law school is certainly no guarantee that a graduate will not be homophobic. She says that even after graduating from law school,
one is required to take courses from the provincial law society before becoming a lawyer. And she points out that graduates of TWU in other fields have almost certainly gone on to become lawyers. Chaisson, however, sees an inherent contradiction in the school’s position. “This is not about freedom of religion. They’re free to honestly believe that being gay or lesbian is an affront. But you cross over from belief to conduct when you’re actively barring people from enrolling. And it’s a little ironic to have a school that wants to teach constitutional law insist that gay marriage is unacceptable. It’s like allowing Jehovah’s Witnesses to run a hospital that won’t allow blood transfusions. I think it would allow a really negative precedent. It would really give credence to bigots. There’s also some concern that Trinity Western would become a breeding ground for intolerance, that it would be embracing queer inequality in the name of religion.” TWU president Bob Kuhn claims in a video on the school’s website that the debate “strikes at the very heart of religious freedom in Canada.... We cannot stand idly by and watch while our freedom of religion is left defenceless, only to be beaten
and bullied, ultimately thrown from the public marketplace.” But if those words sound familiar, it’s because they echo those uttered by religious leaders before same-sex marriage became law in 2005, or before the Ontario government passed antibullying legislation in 2012, which required Catholic schools to allow gay-straight alliances to form and to label themselves as such. The anti-bullying law “overrides the deeply held beliefs of any faith community, and intrudes on its freedom to act in a way that is in accord with its principles of conscience,” said Toronto’s archbishop at the time. But the sky didn’t fall when same-sex marriage passed. Contrary to the doomsday predictions, priests have not been arrested for refusing to perform same-sex ceremonies or charged with promoting hatred for reading bible passages; churches have not been prosecuted for refusing to allow same-sex marriages on their premises. And the Catholic school system has not collapsed because schools have been forced to allow gay-straight alliances, although such groups still face numerous obstacles. Lawyers take an oath to serve the public. So do doctors. Teachers are entrusted with our children. So why would we want to entrust those professions to those who begin by discriminating against specific groups? Governments in Canada operate by principles of secular democracy because we’ve decided that it’s fairer to the whole population not to follow religious principles in our governance. So surely it’s logical that the bodies those governments delegate to educate the professions which serve the public—teachers’ colleges, medical schools, law schools—should follow those same principles. “It’s demeaning to the profession,” says Chaisson of TWU’s covenant. And when a lawyer says that something is demeaning, you know it must be bad.
20 IN Magazine March 2014
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19/02/2014 10:27:06 AM
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Get out MARCh Events
talks › The Second Skin
As part of the Misleading Questions Speaker Series, Michael Atkinson, professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto, and author of Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art addresses contemporary understandings of tattooing as quasi-legitimate performance art in Canada. MOCCA. 952 Queen St W. mocca.ca
Theatre › The Wanderers This play by Afghan-Canadian Kawa Ada (pictured) looks at the stories of a transplanted Afghan family as they confront their new world in Canada. By no means the typical immigrant story, it explores legacy, race and sexuality, and those stigmas and ideals that are carried over when the past and present collide. To Mar 23. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Theatre › Lungs
Award winning Weyni Mengesha (pictured) directs this raw love story that won Best New Play at the Off West End Awards. It’s a no-holds-barred look at a lifetime of love in a time of global anxiety and political unrest by British playwright Duncan Macmillan. What will be the first to destruct? The planet or the relationship? Tarragon Theatre. 30 Bridgman Ave. To Mar 30. tarragontheatre.com.
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Photography › SNAP
One of Toronto’s most exciting annual auctions of contemporary photography features established and emerging artists with works ranging in price from $300 to $6,000 all in support of the AIDS Committee of Toronto. With both live and silent auctions, SNAP provides an opportunity to purchase original works from a curated selection from local, national and global artists. All funds raised help support ACT’s programs and services for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. SNAP. Andrew Richard Designs. 571 Adelaide St E. snap-toronto. com. (For more on SNAP, turn to page 24.)
FILM › Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Poet of Contamination
The ultimate retrospective of the films of controversial Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. Films include The Gospel According to St Matthew (pictured), The Decameron, The Arabian Nights and Love Meetings. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. To Apr 12. tiff.net.
19/02/2014 10:57:21 AM
ART › Generations of Queer
Curated by Lisa Deanne Smith, this exhibition focuses on queer activist conversations that date back to the Toronto bathhouse raids of the 1970s. The work of artists Robert Flack (who died in 1993), John Greyson, Elisha Lim and Kiley May (pictured) emphasize the passion, humour, diversity, spirit, intelligence and talent of their communities—all highlighting the beauty of humanity. The exhibition is also a platform for LGBTTIQQ2SA people, worldwide, to tell their stories of what queer pride means to them through the interactive online blog The Queer Pride Chronicles. Onsite [at] OCAD University. 230 Richmond St W. To Jun 28. ocadu.ca.
Dance › Talking Dancing
As part of a showcase of contemporary Israeli culture, choreographers Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor take part in a moderated conversation on Israeli contemporary dance with Dancemakers artistic director Michael Trent. These real-life partners combine elements of contemporary dance with elements of performance art and physical theatre. For this particular event they perform Two Room Apartment, an award-winning work considered a milestone in the development of independent Israeli choreography. Opening a window onto the Israeli contemporary dance scene of today, the artists will provide an insider’s look at the issues and trends informing this ever-changing and dynamic ecology. Dancemakers Centre for Creation. 9 Trinity St (Distillery District). Studio 313. spotlightonisraeliculture.com.
Stroll through our enchanted city streets to discover impeccable local cuisine, stunning architecture, and waterfront sunsets. Romance is around every corner.
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Prince Edward Island
19/02/2014 10:57:46 AM
Arts & Entertainment
ph o t o g r a ph y
photo op â†’ Since 2002, SNAP has raised more than $2 million for the AIDS Committee of Toronto. The annual auction of contemporary photography is a great way to collect works from local, national and global artists. Hereâ€™s a sneak peek at the catalogue of works up for grabs.
2 4 IN Ma g a z i n e m a r c h 2 0 1 4
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Arts & Entertainment
â†’ Live Auction: 1. Artist: Brendan George Ko, Price: $1,600; 2. Artist: David Emitt Adams, Price: $700; 3. Artist: Susan A Barnett, Price: $1,200; 4. Artist: Jason Gowans, Price: $4,500; 5. Artist: Richard Johnson, Price: $1,900; 6. Artist: Youngho Kang, Price: $2,200; 7. Artist: Isabel M Martinez, Price: $900; 8. Artist: Matt Barnes, Price: $500; 9. Artist: Nigel Dickson, Price: $1,500; 10. Artist: Sebastian Benitez, Price: $800; 11. Artist: Toni Hafkensheid, Price: $1,000; 12. Artist: The Tintype Studio, Price: $1,000; 13. Artist: Elise Victoria Louise Windsor, Price: $700. 14. Artist: Sarah Malakoff, Price: $300. 15. Artist: Sergey Sergeev, Price: $1,400; Silent Auction (bids begin at $120): 16. Artist: Vanessa Lorraine Phillips; 17. Artist: Andrew Adams; 18. Artist: Anna Church; 19. Artist: Ghassan El Charif; 20-21. Artist: Mark Johnston; 22. Artist: Lodoe Laura; 23. Artist: Celia Moase; 24. Artist: Justin Poulsen, 25. Artist: Robert Quance; 26. Artist:Susan Gouinlock; 27. Artist: Olena Sullivan; 28. Artist: Lauren Vaile; 29. Artist: Curtis Trent; 30. Artist: Jin Wu; 31-32. Artist: Toni Wallachy.
SNAP takes place on Thu, Mar 6 at Andrew Richard Designs, 571 Adelaide St E. For more info, visit snap-toronto.com.
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Arts & Entertainment
Bitches beware → RuPaul’s Drag Race enters its sixth season with the scariest queens ever Story Jason Yantha
uPaul needs no intro-
witches to her greatest hits and
The whole thing has been a learn-
Olympics [of drag]. This season
drag queen fits.
ing experience. It’s been inter-
especially. Because our show has
esting to watch myself grow and
been on the air for so long, they
evolve on the show.
all know how to play the game
queen” and the first
IN: Hello Ru! What do you
search result is her perfect brows
think of Toronto, and when was
and heaven-high hair.
the last time you were here?
We see a lot of drag queens
and they come prepared to win.
Whether you’re a diehard fan
RuPaul: Let’s see… it’s been
stand up on stage and pour their
They’ve worked their whole lives
of RuPaul’s Drag Race or just loved
way too long. I think I was there in
hearts out to you on the show.
[to be here]. It’s very exciting.
her as Jan Brady’s guidance coun-
2008. It’s one of my favourite cit-
The stakes are really high for
Speaking of Alyssa Edwards,
selor in The Brady Bunch Movie,
ies in the world. When I got my
them and there can be a lot of
it was announced that you were
or still work out to her anthemic
MAC cosmetics contract [in 1994],
tears. What goes through your
producing a spin-off show for
‘90s hit “Supermodel (You Better
they flew me up to Toronto to go
mind when the contestants cry
her. Can you give us an update
Work),” we can all pretty much
through the plant, where every-
in front of you?
safely agree that she is indisput-
thing was made. I love the people.
I love seeing people’s honest
Well it has a pilot, and we have
ably the doyenne of drag.
I’ve made movies up there and
and true emotions and feelings.
to wait to see if anybody’s going
have had great experiences. And
It’s beautiful to have that juxtapo-
to buy it. As of right now, it hasn’t
if you noticed, I do say, “Torono.”
sition of all of the artifice and then
been bought. It’s unfortunate.
And interviewing RuPaul is a sickening
speak, a good thing. But with so
many questions and so little time,
Torontonian! Congratulations on
editing it all down was harder
all of your success with RuPaul’s
than mastering the perfect tuck.
from watching a variety of music videos from any of her five stu-
dio albums to flipping through
Fans are really, really excited
repeats of Untucked, her behind-
about this season.
having the humanity there at the
I think it’s safe to say that you’re the world’s most famous
exact same time. The queens can get quite
drag queen. Out of curiosity, what
loose-lipped on your spin-off
does RuPaul’s bathroom look
like? Is it a jungle of wigs and
Absolut Vodka does it take to
lashes, or are you a neat freak?
film one episode?
No, I’m not a neat freak, but it
It’s un-measurable. Gallons!
is all clean because I have peo-
(Laughs) The truth is we had to
ple who help clean everything
And they have reason to be.
limit the amount that the girls
up. (Laughs) I like the bath-
Before the call, I’m given a top
This season is just off the hook.
could have. I think they can only
room to be a clinical place.
secret number. I’m told to ask for
The kids are all so skilled. They’re
have one drink back there.
Ru. While on hold, Ru’s Glamazon
so talented and it makes for a
plays in the background. I hum
the-scenes spin-off show.
your show, “The RuPaul Hunger
If you could go back in time,
sitting in her L.A. office, a leop-
what would “Season Six RuPaul”
Games.” Is season six really
ard print rug on the floor and
tell “Season One RuPaul?”
I don’t think I would tell
Hollywood sign. On her right is
“Season One RuPaul” anything.
Alyssa Edwards, recently called
along all the while imagining Ru
huge windows overlooking the
Breakout star of season five,
it! This is the
a desk calendar with daily inspirational quotes; on her left, a bedazzled phone with a flashing pink light (me!). With a new album on the way, as well as the launch of her sixth TV season of Drag Race, Ru was ready to talk about everything from wigs and 2 6 IN Ma g a z i n e M a r c h 2 0 1 4
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Arts & Entertainment
Lady Gaga once said that drag
That’s where I put everything
queens are the ones who taught
together. I have to see really
her how to “serve.” She tweeted
clearly. The lighting has to be per-
at you during production, asking
fect and bright.
to be a guest judge this season.
Naked” is out now. What do you want people to know about it?
What happened there? Well, we wanted her, but scheduling people during that
It’s my third album with [pro-
time is hard. That’s a whole other
ducer] Lucian Piane, who is a
show. People have no idea how
genius. We have so much fun
much we have to go through to
recording together. This album,
get the people that we do get. But
it’s got the pop/dance storyline,
this season we have great guests.
Oh please, it would be Cher,
but we also go a little bit more
Paula Abdul, Adam Lambert, Neil
Judge Judy, Diana Ross, David
naked in a sense… a little more
Patrick Harris… the list goes on.
Bowie and Boy George. All of
into my own vulnerability.
Who’s your dream celebrity
Sixth season contestants
The RUPAUL RUPORT
judge, dead or alive?
them! You’ve been in the public eye as a drag queen for more than 20 years. You’ve watched perceptions and acceptance of drag change over time. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve noticed? I’ve been in “the life” as we used to say, for a long time, and the pendulum swings and it’s all cyclical. Everything comes and everything goes. The current trend, which is pure acceptance of drag, is lovely. I love it for
We asked RuPaul what was the first thing that came to mind when we threw a series of random topics at her: TOM DALEY: “Yummy!” TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, JULIE NEWMAR: “Breakthrough.” BRITNEY’S “WORK B*TCH”: “… coulda been more.” TWERKING: “Bring it.” THE SURPRISE “BEYONCÉ” ALBUM: “Conceptual.” KHLOE KARDASHIAN: “Lovely.” LADY BUNNY: “Funniest person I’ve ever met.”
my girls because they get to work around the world. They are rul-
what my role is. I’m in show busi-
ing the club scene. But don’t get
ness. My audience is my audi-
it twisted, it will change. It always
ence. They’re not my therapist.
does. I was in my teens in the ‘70s
I save that shit for my shrink. So
and I got to see ideas, morals and
if I’m going to say something and
trends change. Then in the ‘80s, it
I have an audience, I’m going to
regressed completely backwards.
say something of value, whether
And you think that will happen again?
takeaway that you can use in your
It always has. That’s what this
life. You have one of the most rec-
world is. What would you say is the biggest
it makes you laugh, or it’s some
ognizable and contagious laughs out there. Who makes you laugh the most?
You know, what other people
Probably me! (Laughs) You
think of me is none of my busi-
have to. It’s my favourite thing
ness. I don’t pay any attention to
to do on this planet. When I was
what other people think.
in high school, I was around a lot
You’re such a positive influ-
of hippie-dippie kids and this one
ence on your show, and even
girl who professed to be a witch.
more so on Twitter. You always
She always said, “The greatest
deliver great, inspirational anec-
spell you could cast is to laugh.”
dotes. Were you always this
I’ve never forgotten that.
way? There are times when I’m not that way. But I wouldn’t behave that way in public. I understand
RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Mondays at 9pm on OUTtv.
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Arts & Entertainment
In perfect harmony → Hannah & Maggie find their niche in the LGBT-college-folk music scene Story Mary Dickie
“It’s important for us to find safe spaces to sing love songs to women." —Hannah
annah Hickok and Maggie Kraus first met when they joined an a cappella singing group at Smith College in 2009, and it didn’t take long for them to realize they were on the same wavelength in a number of ways. Their voices melded beautifully and they both liked folk music and girls, but it wasn’t till they wrote their first song together that it became clear how simpatico they really were. The two singer-songwriters, who had grown up listening to Joni Mitchell and James Taylor on either side of the Hudson River—Hannah (pictured above left) in Westchester, N.Y., Maggie in Maplewood, N.J.—decided to
enter a songwriting competition as a duo. “We thought, ‘Why don’t we do it together? We can rally our fan bases and combine forces,” explains Maggie. “So we sat down one afternoon, and it pretty much happened in one sitting. I think I had had some chords in mind and we got our guitars and wrote for half an hour, and then we shared the words we’d written and kind of reorganized it. It was amazing how easy it seemed. The fact that we made the same decisions in a very smooth and natural way was remarkable.” Hannah likens it to a platonic love affair. “I have a partner I live with, and then I have this relationship with Maggie that is so artistically
fulfilling in ways I never anticipated,” she says. “It’s unlike any other relationship in my life.” In 2011, the duo released their debut LP, Fine Being Here, followed by Muscle & Bone in 2012. And last month they unveiled In the Company of Strangers, 13 new acoustic songs embellished with the occasional mandolin, clarinet and trumpet, marked by sweet, effortless-sounding harmonies. “I feel like we never had to think twice about harmonizing together because we’d already been doing it in the singing group,” says Hannah. “It was second nature to us.” They still have day jobs, but Hannah & Maggie have found a
comfortable niche for themselves in the LGBT-college-folk music scene—about as supportive an environment as they could hope to find, and much more so than pop, rock or country. “Yeah!” says Maggie. “The most uncomfortable I’ve ever been is when we accidentally booked a performance at a honky tonk bar in Salt Lake City. It was the kind of place where we consciously toned down the gayness of our music—we swallowed all the s’s of the ‘she’s’ in the love songs to play down the fact that they were love songs to women. I was a little freaked out.” “It’s important for us to find safe spaces to sing love songs to women, and obviously some are safer than others,” adds Hannah. “When we started, I didn’t want to be seen as using our gayness as a gimmick. As soon as you start marketing yourself as a gay duo, you alienate certain people. It was parallel to coming out of the closet as an individual, to come out of the closet and own a lesbian identity as people who are trying to get their name out there and do an artistic project. It was a double-edged sword at first, but now we’ve embraced the identity of being a gay duo, and the gay community has embraced us.” “I wonder what niches other singers find to help them succeed,” says Maggie. “The folk and LGBT worlds have been very open to us. It’s not unlike the feeling you get when you meet another gay person—there’s a camaraderie. It’s best not to generalize, obviously, but it’s a comfortable space to inhabit when you know there’s at least someone who’s on the same page as you.”
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Arts & Entertainment
The art of collaboration → Curator Jon Davies champions younger artists with something distinctive to say Story Pamela Meredith
t’s always great to be able to introduce art world luminaries in our own backyard who are on the verge of big things. Take, for example, Jon Davies, associate curator at Oakville Galleries, who was recently awarded the inaugural Hnatyshyn Foundation Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art Award, a prize for excellence in curators under 35. His practice is defined by timely selections for solo exhibitions of emerging artists like Sonny Assu, a west coast artist whose works are rarely seen in Ontario, alongside rigorous exhibitions like Coming After, an international group show of young artists exploring “queer genealogies and cultural lineage.” IN: Jon, the word “curate” and the concept of curating has become relatively loose lately; everyone is a curator of their objects, books, shoes, etc. But you and I are actually curators. It’s our job title. For readers who may be unclear about what a curator does at an institution like Oakville Galleries, tell us about your job on a typical day. Jon Davies: A lot of emailing. I feel like my job is about bringing together artists and audiences, so my role as curator involves marshaling the resources I have at my disposal to help produce and to present an artist’s work for a public that will be engaged and moved when they experience it. That said, to make that moment of encounter actually happen takes a lot of communication and logistics. While it’s most rewarding to spend time looking at art
and talking with artists—and at Oakville Galleries I tend to work more with younger artists, sometimes on their first solo museum show—as well as engaging in the heady work of researching and writing, just as many hours go into the nitty-gritty of figuring out how to make everything come together in our galleries. This is especially true as my job at Oakville includes coordinating all the exhibitions that we do and managing our permanent collection of contemporary art, and not only curating my own shows. I read a really thoughtfully written curator’s statement that you wrote about your approach to organizing exhibitions. Can you share the highlights with us? One of my roles as curator is to draw people’s attention to what I find to be of value. Artist Harrell Fletcher said: “I think of what I do as just pointing to things that are interesting so that other people will notice and appreciate them too.” I’m interested in the idea of critical discernment, but from a place of humility; there is so much art out there demanding our attention. I want to sift through it, really think about it and figure out my feelings towards it, and try to identify and champion artists’ practices that compel me. And maybe the gallery visitor will feel the same way, or if not initially, maybe I can convince them. If I am working with artists who have something distinctive to say, I also feel like I owe it to them to take a position or stance with every project as
well. I just finished reading a biography of Pier Paolo Pasolini and he talked about his desire to create something personal, particular and from a minority position, which resonated with me. Can you tell us about your seminal exhibition Coming After for The Power Plant? How did this exhibition come to fruition and what was the feedback from the show? The exhibition actually came about during the inaugural Independent Curators International Curatorial Intensive program in New York in 2010. A
group of young curators each workshopped an exhibition idea over the week. I wanted to come to terms with the complicated relationship I have to growing up queer in the 1980s and 1990s and the popular memory of the first decade of the AIDS crisis, and specifically the rise of AIDS activism and the political radicalism that seemed to define queer identity more back then. I wanted to try to account for what it means to grow up with AIDS and AIDS activism in your proximity, but at a generational remove. Thinking about “queer time,” about social
3 0 IN Ma g a z i n e M a r c h 2 0 1 4
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Arts & Entertainment
→ It’s personal (Clockwise from opposite page) Curator Jon Davies; Sonny Assu: Possession, Oakville Galleries, 2013–2014; Christian Holstad, The Road to Hell Is Paved (Costco), 2009, and Tim Leyendekker, the Healers, 2010, both works from Coming After, The Power Plant, 2011–2012; and Shary Boyle’s Bloodie Writes an Anthem, 2005.
spaces haunted by loss, about “missing” something intangible, I ended up working with 16 artists on the exhibition, which took over a number of different spaces inside and outside of The Power Plant with video installations, light and sound artworks, paintings that dripped over the course of the exhibition and other surprises. I have really valued the discussions that I’ve had around the show, particularly with friends and colleagues who are more politically active than I am in my life now who are critical of overly mythologizing movements like ACT UP and of having a nostalgic regard for what AIDS
activism looked like in the past, when we are facing a very different global picture of AIDS now. The conversation has travelled, too; I was invited to lecture to grad students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago about the exhibition, and friends send me snapshots of the catalogue when they see it in stores in other cities. What’s your next project? The next project I am working on is the presentation of the full series of Shary Boyle and Emily Vey Duke’s collaborative The Illuminations Project in fall 2014 here at Oakville Galleries. I’ve been following both of their practices really enthusiastically over
the past decade. So I was honoured to be approached by them about premiering, as well as touring and publishing, this really ambitious and stunning series of ink and gouache drawings (by Boyle) and texts (by Vey Duke) that grew out of their close friendship. Created between 2004 and 2010, it has 32 sets where Emily would send Shary a piece of writing; Shary would create a drawing in response and keep it to herself before creating a second drawing that she would send to Emily. Emily would continue with one text in response that she kept to herself, and one that was
completed. It’s quite remarkable. Only segments of the project have been shown so far so it seemed like perfect timing to debut it 10 years after it was initiated. And it ties in with many of our programming strands, including feminist art practices and explorations of the tensions between private and public. It will also be in the gallery space at Centennial Square, which is inside the Oakville Public Library; the work partly draws on myths and fairy tales so it seems like a beautiful fit there. It will also hopefully give audiences insight into how artists with very different practices but shared concerns collaborate, think and create together.
shared with Shary, and so on. So neither of them knew what the full project looked like until it was
PAMELA meredith Is TD Bank Group’s senior curator.
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19/02/2014 10:39:30 AM
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Jacob Javits convention center, nYc
marCh 22-23, 2014
make a weekend of the show Come to nyC for the ultimate gay networking experienCe For inFormation on exhibiting and attending: RDP GRouP 800-243-9774 • info@RDPGRouP.com • oRiGinalGlbtexPo.com Photos bY Johnson sarkissian
TORONTO’S MOST EXCITING AUCTION OF CONTEMPORARY ART PHOTOGRAPHY!
MATT BARNES, Hands on Deck
LIVE AND SILENT AUCTION GALA Thursday, March 6, 2014 The SNAP! Factory @ Andrew Richard Designs 571 Adelaide Street East
PUBLIC PREVIEW February 28 to March 2, 2014 Arta Gallery 14 Distillery Lane Distillery District
Info. Tickets. View the collection. www.snap-toronto.com
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Yes! Often enough, at least. Pretty much every cisgendered woman is physically equipped to ejaculate, so let’s start with a basic anatomy lesson. The urethral canal, inside your body, leads from the bladder to the urethral opening, a tiny hole located above the vaginal opening and below the clitoris—the yellow traffic light, if you will. (How apropos.) The urethral canal is surrounded by glandular tissue, like a garden hose wrapped in a big thick fuzzy blanket. When you get turned on, that tissue swells with fluid drawn from your bloodstream. Surrounding the urethral opening are even tinier openings known as the para-urethral ducts. This is where ejaculatory fluid comes out when you squirt. It’s not pee; it doesn’t come from the bladder and it doesn’t come out via your urethra, just awfully close by. If you put a finger inside your vagina an inch or two and angle up toward your belly, you’ll be pressing on some slightly rough-feeling skin which is essentially the bottom side of the glandular tissue surrounding the urethra. This is known as the G-spot, but it’s not like a button—more like a roughly demarcated area. If you’re really turned on, you may notice that it feels a bit like pressing upward into a water balloon. For some women, firmly stroking or thrusting into this area will feel really good, particularly if you’re already very aroused. It may start to feel like you need to pee—but really it’s that you wanna squirt! To let that happen, you need to retrain your instinct to clamp your muscles inward to prevent a leak. If anything, you may want to try bearing down as though you
were pushing pee out; the muscular contractions can help squeeze the fluid out. Squirting feels like an intense release. It may or may not come along with an orgasm of the clitoral variety. Sometimes it’s easier to ejaculate after you’ve already come, because you’re more relaxed. Unlike semen, ejaculatory fluid replenishes very quickly as long as you stay hydrated. That means that for lots of folks, it’s possible to squirt over and over again more or less indefinitely. Swig a bottle of water and lay down a towel or 10. Plastic sheets can help. I’m serious. You may squirt anywhere from a teaspoon to several cups’ worth of fluid. Hot! Here’s the trick, though. If you put psychological pressure on yourself to squirt, you may end up feeling tense and anxious. That makes it much harder to work up the kind of intense deepbody arousal that leads to ejaculation. Your best bet is to relax and just enjoy the ride without being too intensely goal-oriented. Remember also that depending on your menstrual cycle, tension levels and hydration, you may squirt lots sometimes, less other times and sometimes not at all. Try reading Sheri Winston’s book Women’s Anatomy of Arousal if you want more detailed info.
ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at sexgeek.wordpress.com. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
19/02/2014 12:17:14 PM
ON the town
caught in the act by Michael Pihach
An Evening in Honour of Charles Pachter at UofT Arts Centre
Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards at the Royal York Hotel
Show Your Love at The Pilot
â†’ 1. Karen Pachter Ross, Charles Pachter 2. Barbara Fischer, Brenda Cossman 3. Christopher Bunting, Stephanie Karapita 4. Linda Schuyler, Adamo Ruggiero 5. Sophia Spina, Bonte Minnema 6. Mike Bradwell, Aliya-Jasmine Sovani 7. Brad Wilson, Ron White 8. Coco Rocha 9. Travis Smith 10. Meredith Jessica 11. Nicholas Opp 12. Jeff Brown 13. Jason Yantha, Philip Tetro 14. Celeste Ali-Akow, Robin Magder, Adam Wheeler 3 4 I N M a g a z in e M A R C H 2 0 1 4
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19/02/2014 10:42:00 AM
AJAC AWARD WINNER 2014 LEXUS IS 350 RWD BEST NEW LUXURY CAR (UNDER $50,000)
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2014-02-19 2:14 PM
19/02/2014 2:57:19 PM
Your passport to WorldPride.
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