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®/The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries. PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Gordon Bowness SENIOR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Ryan Lester ACCOUNT MANAGER Simon Ma ART DIRECTOR Nicolás Tallarico

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 Toronto.Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment.

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THIS ISSUE CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS Nicola Betts, Christopher Butcher, Derek Dotto, Anna von Frances, Kevin Kelly, Peter Knegt, Alice Lawlor, Pamela Meredith, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Andrea Zanin ON THE COVER

Tel. 416.258.6642

Photography by Kevin Kelly •



Michael Westhoff




sex is easy to find 20

14 20


May 2013

26 17

WIN-WYNNE SITUATION? LGBT politics in Ontario by Krishna Rau A STUDY IN CONTRASTS Highlights from the Contact Photography Festival by Gordon Bowness


CANADIAN ON HIS OWN TERMS Shyam Selvadurai and his new novel The Hungry Ghosts by Alice Lawlor


NOVEL GRAPHICS TCAF lets you draw your own conclusions by Christopher Butcher

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22/04/2013 3:28:43 PM




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→ POP WILL EAT ITSELF Celebrity is Lady Gaga’s religion and pop is her Bible. So prepare for the rapture of Of a Monstrous Child: A Gaga Musical from Ecce Homo Theatre, written and directed by Alistair Newton. Playing performance legend Leigh Bowery, Broadway and Stratford star Bruce Dow hosts this “dance dialectic” featuring Gavin Crawford as Björk, Camille Paglia, Andy Warhol and Quentin Crisp (among others), Chy Ryan Spain as Grace Jones, Madonna and Yoko Ono and Kyle Travis Young as Boy George, Elton John and Michael Alig. Kimberly Persona plays Lady Gaga (pictured) and Tyson James plays the Little Monster. The pop free-for-all runs Tue, May 14 to 26 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. See page 17.

Robert Kusel, Lyric Opera of Chicago



May 2013

→ “We take [mostly] 19th-century works and clean them off —

shake the dust off so they feel more present to us in our time.” With 11 productions on the go, including two new ones, designer Michael Levine is part of a powerful cohort of Canadians putting their unique stamp on opera today. His stark, minimalist production of Dialogue of the Carmelites, under the direction of fellow Canadian Robert Carsen, comes to the COC this month. Francis Poulenc’s 1956 masterpiece is the story of a young aristocrat trying to escape the terror of the French Revolution by hiding in a Carmelite monastery. The climax is one of the most chilling scenes in all of opera: As the orchestra eerily mimics the swooshing chop of the guillotine, the nuns are beheaded — one by one, their voices are silenced. “Robert and I decided to create some kind of space that felt pure and spiritual so we kept the set very spare,” says Levine. “Then we use a mass of people, over 100 extras, to represent the Revolution. They surround and then invade that pure space. So yes, in this circumstance, less is more.” The COC production stars three internationally renowned Canadian singers: Isabel Bayrakdarian (pictured), Judith Forst and Adrianne Pieczonka. Created in 1997

for Nederlandse Opera, Carsen and Levine’s version has proven very popular, playing everywhere from La Scala to Lyric Opera of Chicago; it heads next year to the Royal Opera House in London where Levine now lives. Other Carsen/Levine collaborations coming up include a new Queen of Spades for Zurich Opera and a revival of Mefistofele for San Francisco. Levine made headlines earlier this year for a blood-drenched production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the Met, under the direction of another Canadian, François Girard. It’s a three-company co-production that comes to the COC in a couple of years. While life on the road can be a grind, the former Torontonian is still enjoying his 27-year career. “I love what I do and love the people I work with. I get to settle into all these amazing cities. I’m completely charmed by all the travel.” All that and Bette Midler, too? (Levine designed the set for Midler’s 2008 show in Las Vegas.) “That’s another story, altogether,” he says laughing. “Vegas was completely crazy.” Dialogue of the Carmelites opens Sat, May 4 at the Four Seasons Centre. See page 17.

TORONTO TALK EXCHANGE SOUND OFF GUYS & GUYS → The Shaw fest’s Kyle Blair, starring in Guys and Dolls, discusses this great

American musical and his pending marriage to fellow ensemble member Kyle Golemba

You’re currently starring in Guys and Dolls at Shaw, playing Sky Masterson. What do you love about the musical and this production? “It’s such a great musical and I love our approach. We’re aggressively pursuing character and situation to determine how we tackle each song. That’s such a great challenge when you are singing such well-known songs like ‘Luck Be a Lady.’ The director Tadeusz Bradecki said he wanted to avoid any heavy directorial concept in the hope of allowing the musical to flourish. It’s got such great writing as it’s based on the stories and language of Damon Runyon. So we need to get out of the way and serve it as best we can. Plus we’ve got great dancers in this company. There’s all these wonderful male-driven numbers plus the sexy Hot Box numbers for the girls.” You have a unique history with Guys and Dolls. “I’ve been in it four times, so it’s my most frequently done musical. The last time, I played Sarah [Sky’s love interest] in a cross-gendered version for Talk is Free Theatre in Barrie. It was fun but really difficult. It’s great to be wearing the pants again.” Marlon Brando or Ewan McGregor? (They’ve both played Sky.) “Ewan McGregor.”

You both have worked at Stratford. What’s it like being back at Shaw? “We’re both very conscious of how lucky we are — to have a partner in life and in work. And this company is so supportive and loving. The first couple of years Kyle was at Stratford and I was at Shaw, so we only saw each other once a week. Last year we were both at Stratford so that was a big year for us. We were a little nervous about it. But if we’ve got one thing going for us, it’s communication. We talked over everything, our hopes and fears. The transition went really positively. We have a house in Stratford but of course we’re living in Niagara-on-the-Lake this season. I love living by the water. This place is so beautiful.” Any local hotspots you can share? “The Stone Road Grille has great food and a funky atmosphere that is unique. And we’ve done one of the bike tours of the wineries. That was hilarious.” Coming up. “I’m also doing Lady Windermere’s Fan and Kyle is doing Major Barbara. So we’re in one production together and one apart... which is good, so we have something to talk about at dinner.”

SHAW FESTIVAL Season runs until October. Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1-800-511-7429.

Andrée Lanthier

In the cast is your fiancé Kyle Golemba. Where did you two meet? “In Winnipeg three and a half years ago. We were both doing The Drowsy Chaperone at MTC. We hit it off immediately.”

You’re getting married sometime in the future, a year and half or so from now. Who proposed to whom? “It was made clear to me that that was my job.”




DIDGERIDOOS & FASHION DON’TS → The little state of Goa puts its unique stamp on the immense diversity of India Story & photography Anna von Frances


hey say that you see India

Goa is the smallest state in India

If you’ve ever wondered where

where the yuppier set of Westerners

with your heart not your

and the richest, one of the few

all the Mad Max-looking hippies

and Russian families descend for

eyes. Seeing India, how-

places in India where you can wear

go after Burning Man each year,

the holidays. The distance between

ever, can be a daunting task your

a bikini on the beach and not induce

look no further than Arambol. It’s

the two is a few minutes on a

first time, especially if you don’t

too many stares from onlookers.

all white people with dreads and

scooter and about a 20-minute walk

have months to spend exploring. If

The most popular tourist destina-

Russian fire dancers — out of this

up the beach. Stay in Mandrem, it’s

you only have 10 days or two weeks,

tion is Anjuna in North Goa, but I

world in terms of weirdo hippies.

a bit quieter at night.

I suggest Goa, the small Christian

prefer the more chilled-out small

Just sit back and enjoy, it’s better if


stretch of beach between Arambol

you don’t resist.




(where Mumbai is located). 8

May 2013

and Mandrem.

Mandrem is slightly less hectic,





lovely collection of Italian-owned eco-huts just back from the beach

Nathalie De Haaij


→ HIPPIE HAVENS The beach near Arambol (opposite page), the Dunes in Mandram (left), the restaurant at Atman (top right) and a ubiquitous fire dancer at Ash (above right).

between Mandrem and Arambol.

Goa is a world capital for trance

They have a beautiful tree-house-

music. If you like trance, you’ll find it

If you want to try something dif-



easily. If you don’t, then you should

ferent, head to the Anjuna night

proper, imported, Italian espresso

head to Ash any night of the week,

market on Wednesdays beginning

and other Italian fare. Inside the

located down a narrow path along

in December. You’ll have to hire a

walls of Atman, you feel as if you’ve

the river behind Atman. The path

driver to take you, then have him

just India, plus music, food and peo-

been transported to another place

ends and opens onto a lovely night-

wait a few hours for your return.

ple of all ages.

entirely, it is so peaceful.

time oasis. As you enter, you feel as

Be prepared for the craziest traf-

I can’t say enough good things

Ashiyana (,

if you’ve been transported to a ’60s

fic you’ve ever experienced, it could

about Arambol and Mandrem. After

located on the river in Mandrem, is

space movie or the set of Survivor.

take an hour just to crawl through

having experienced my first holi-

the swankiest of the yoga retreat

It’s all fire torches and seating nooks

the two-lane street to the entrance.

day there in 2012 (over Christmas,

resorts in the area. If you spit in Goa

on the ground. You can order food

I suggest you get out and walk once

a wonderful time to go), I plan on

you hit 15 yoga teachers. I definitely

as well as beverages, like most bars

you hit the wall of traffic; arrange

returning annually for as long as

recommend trying out one of the

in the area. At Ash, they have some

a time and meeting spot for your

my body will endure the flight.

dozens of yoga centres. Or you can

of the most interesting live shows,

driver. The night market offers


simply wake up before sunrise and

from operatic singers to fairy-

wares from all over the world, not

do your own practice of sun-yoga on

sounding hang performances in an

the beach with the locals.

open-air theatre you access through



If you’re looking for a hut-on-

a teepee entrance. It’s a truly magi-

the-beach vibe, then Dunes (dunes-

cal experience each and every time. is probably your best bet.

If nightclubs are what you’re after,

It’s located in Mandrem, in a hub of

then head to Morjim, the swankier

stores and shops. The huts are built

beach area about a 10-minute drive

just back from the beach, and they

from Mandrem. You can go either

have a lovely café that serves a vari-

by scooter (a scooter costs about $10

ety of dishes right on the beach.

a week) or you can take a taxi (ask

(It is illegal to build anything per-

your hotel to arrange) for a few dol-

manent on the beach, so all the huts

lars as well. Soma is my favourite,

for rent beachside are seasonal and

they play decent house music new

attract more fly-by-night owners.)

and old and the club has stunning

When it comes to nightlife, there

views of the beach, which you can

are dozens of places on the beach

access from the dancefloor. They

that play a variety of live music

also have luxury huts onsite, but

(think didgeridoos and hangs), usu-

personally, I have never liked stay-

ally accompanied by a Russian fire

ing close to a nightclub.

dancer of sorts. These beach places are hit and miss

Along that stretch of beach there are several swanky clubs that are

The closer you go to Arambol, the

sparsely filled, play house music

more it turns into bad trance music.

and will make you feel at home with

a menu consisting of $16 cocktails.

CHECK LIST GETTING TO GOA Flights Fly to Mumbai and spend a few days feeling the crush of India’s endless variety of cultures bearing down on you. Then catch a quick one-hour flight to Goa (check out Indigo at Or you can skip all that craziness and fly direct. Cheapoair ( is one of my faves. It’s usually much cheaper to fly into Mumbai; there are dozens of daily flights to Goa. Train If you want to have more of an adventure go by train. Book well in advance to get a 2AC car (first class); book through a travel agent. The journey is 10 hours and the sleepers are very comfortable. (Pack a sweater and wool socks; they pump the AC 24 hours on the

train and the nights get cool during the Goan winter.) WHERE TO EAT Magic Park A candle-lit garden

back from the beach. Extensive vegetarian. No booze. Café Nu Fine dining at half the

price. One of the only decent wine lists. La Plage In Ashwem beach. My top favourite restaurant. Traditional Mediterranean menu on par with Prego or Opus in Toronto. Love their take on a thali as a chocolate dessert; a mouth-gasm times six.





Sartorialist Gigi Basanta discusses the power — and perils — of a well-made man’s suit Story Gordon Bowness | Photography Nicola Betts


ife off the rack is not an

takes a ton of confidence to walk

she had a lot of catching up to do.

stand out, like the signature bowtie

option for Gigi Basanta.

into a store and try one on. That’s

“My dad never wore suits; it was the

or the suspenders. So right from the

The Toronto-based law-

why the first step, at least it was for

tropics.” She started reading up on

start I was interested in acquiring

yer knows how to work a power

me, is usually Value Village or a vin-

fashion and style; she checked out

some accoutrements that I thought

suit, and not a woman’s jacket with

tage store in Kensington Market. But

blogs and sought the advice of other

of as powerful style statements. I

a femme pencil skirt, but a well-cut,

that means it probably will not fit

sartorialists. “I read everything. I

probably will never have to worry

properly tailored man’s suit.

and the cut will be dated. Of course,

still do.

about coming across as stodgy or

“The suit is still a powerful sig-

the perfect suit would be more

“I’m generally a confident per-

nifier of style, substance, credibil-

accessible if I was a tall skinny man

son but feeling confident about my

ity,” says Basanta. “I want to access

who can buy a gorgeous charcoal

aesthetic is a different thing. I want

those messages by figuring out how

wool suit off the rack.

my aesthetic to be authentic not



espite all the talk about professional identities, one of

Basanta’s earliest forays into mak-

to wear men’s suits so I can make

“I can’t get the access that a guy

it true for me. I don’t want to play

can when I buy men’s clothes,” says

It’s an issue of credibility. “Maybe

ing a powerful style statement came

dress-up, I want it to be real.”

Basanta, a self-professed “chubster.”

it is just me, but I would not feel

about because, she says, “I was

Basanta can list off her favourite

“Men’s fashion, at a high level

good in a middling suit next to a

hot to trot for a girl.” It’s that age-

designers rapid fire. From the US:

I mean, is a construct that doesn’t

colleague who looks like a million

old story: She wanted to impress

Mark McNairy, Band of Outsiders,

make room for me.


a date. “I went on what I thought



a lot of women who demand that

Basanta is currently legal coun-

was a romantic weekend with a girl

Ferragamo, Gucci, Prada, shoes from

kind of space, who you can look to

sel for the Pan American Games,

I was interested in but what really

Brunello Cucinelli (“My new hero”).

as role models.”

on secondment from the Toronto

happened was that she helped me


District School Board. She wears a

buy my first Brooks Brothers suit —

“I try — try being the operative word

demands space. Whether discuss-

suit everyday. “A grey suit for a law-

navy, two-button.” Brooks Brothers

— to channel an Italian sensibility

ing politics or fashion, she’s not one

yer is like underwear; it’s a basic

was a great start but Basanta still

into an American style, a look that

for equivocation. “A jacket without

necessity.” She prefers narrow sin-

had to hem and trim any of their

I can get here and make my own.”

a vent is a sin.” So it’s surprising to

gle-notch lapels and two-button

off-the-rack suits or shirts..

Basanta’s facility around men’s

learn that the garrulous profession

jackets. She has a penchant for pat-

fashion is hard won. She’s made

of law wasn’t her first choice. Born

big investments — some money,

in Trinidad, she arrived in Toronto

yes, but mainly thought and feeling

when she was 14. After attending

about what it means to be a strong,

Queen’s University in Kingston, she

capable woman making her own

worked in mediation, labour rela-

way in this world.

tions, social services and human




The Brits: Paul Smith and Burberry.


There aren’t






Brown’s, A Short Man’s World, the


one on Avenue Road. “They have what’s called a Banker’s Cut, which are suits designed for portly men. Perfect for me,” she says. “I bought a blue pinstripe and a blue birdseye

“In my experience, as a male-

resources. She only started law

tern: Prince of Wales plaid, hounds-

from them. And upstairs they have

identified woman or butch or what-

school at the age of 37. That’s when

tooth, gingham, birdseye. She often

a great selection of shirts, so I don’t

ever term you want to use, I am

Basanta came into her own; law was

accents her look with a perky bow-

have to trim them down. Where else

going to have a dysfunctional rela-

a good fit.

tie and pocket square of linen or

are you going to find a 17” neck/31”

cotton, not silk. “A cotton pocket


tionship with suits,” she says. “It → L AWYER’ S UNIFORM Gigi Basanta is wearing a blue birdseye wool suit from Brown’s, a Harry Rosen madeto-measure shirt, a Haspel bowtie, a Harry Rosen Outlet pocket square, a Hugo Boss belt, Etro socks and Uncle Otis shoes (The Generic Man). Her glasses are from Rapp Optical.

“After law school, I sat myself down and looked at what it meant

square sits up.”

Her sartorial successes and new

that I never wore women’s clothes,”

“I think of my job as part of my

earning power propelled Basanta to

says Basanta. “I thought if I’m only

identity, I am not one who leaves it

tackle the summit of men’s fashion:

going to wear men’s clothes, then

at work, probably to my detriment,”

the bespoke suit. The choice of who

I’m going to have to figure out how

she says. “I admire those lawyers

to make it was obvious: her friend

to do it properly.”

who cultivate a personal style, a style that they’re known for so they

Victoria McPhedran, co-owner of

As an immigrant, Basanta felt

Continued on page 12


LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 11

Green Shag clothiers on Queen Street West. Intriguingly, Basanta

ith the lesson of the bespoke suit well learned, Basanta

now marches into high-end shops

found the experience unsettling;

like Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen

she reverted back to a more inse-

to make the most of their made-to-

cure version of herself. The myriad

measure services. Every spring she

choices set her off-balance. A man

gets two shirts made to measure. As

used to having his own way might

for suits, there are at least two sales

see teal lining and pink stitch-

every year when they sell off the

ing as fun, dashing options. But

remaining fabric used that season.

to Basanta, they became political

Communication is key. She recalls

minefields: Were they too femme?

picking up one suit ordered from

Was she being pushed around? It

Holt Renfrew when they had cut the

was all too much.

buttonholes on the wrong side, the

“I felt intimidated, through no

female side. “Of course they totally

fault of Victoria’s,” says Basanta.

understood my distress and were

“I didn’t understand the process.

extremely apologetic. And of course

I started to panic. I didn’t have

they fixed it. But it’s those assump-

enough patience to take my time

tions that you have to keep fighting

and articulate what I wanted. I had a


lot of self-doubt.”

Basanta gives as good as she

In some ways the experience

gets. “When they see me coming,

revolved around a basic question of

they tend to send the women over,”

worthiness faced by so many women

she says. “I don’t want the women,

and queers. Are you worthy of all the

which I say with all due respect, as

attention being lavished upon you?

there are some really great female

Are you worthy to demand space, to

salespeople and they have all sorts

be heard? Are you worthy of power?

of expertise working in the men’s

Basanta cringes recalling the expe-

department. But part of me is say-

rience. And yet the suit is now her

ing, I want the Italian guys!


“Then the reality is that these

It’s an object lesson she keeps

very professional men can get flus-

in mind when she’s called upon by

tered when they have to measure

friends to take them shopping for

my chest for a shirt or my inseam for

suits. While the first hurdle is sticker

pants. I feel for them because they

shock (“Yes, a good pair of men’s

are as much purists as I am and we

shoes will cost you, but they’re going

both want an excellent outcome.

to last you 15 years”), it’s that issue

“I mean, ‘Get in there,’” she says,

of authenticity, of power, that can

laughing. “‘Fit me like I’m just

be the real hurdle. There have been

another chubby guy.’”

a number of occasions when, after a

One last piece of advice for any-

day of shopping, a friend just can’t

one setting out on a fashion jour-

see themselves in the suit they’ve

ney of self-discovery? “That a pair

picked out. Basanta literally has to

of khaki chinos, a Lacoste polo shirt

barge into the dressing room and

and a pair of Bass Weejuns loafers

get her friend into the outfit. The

is always a great look. It can get you

transformation can be overwhelm-

into anywhere.” •

ing. “You see them stride out of the dressing room, full of swagger,” says Basanta. Then come the stories from whatever event they attended. “After going to a wedding in a good suit, one friend said that she had never gotten that type of reaction before, ‘Now I know what you were talking about,’ she said. ‘It was out of control.’”



May 2013

→ T HE PINNACLE Her Green Shag bespoke suit is made with Scottish superfine wool, brown piping, ticket pocket, surgical cuffs, hunting buttons, teal lining and hot pink stitching. The shirt is from Stollerys and the cufflinks are a gift from Basanta’s mother-in-law. Completing the look are an H&M tie with vintage tie clip from Cabaret, a Calvin Klein belt and Allen Edmonds brogues.



— with Adam Segal “I’ve been with my girlfriend for nearly eight years and feel like we have a fortunate life together: We rarely fight, we have a great circle of friends, we travel well together, and so on. Our sex life has slowed down as I imagine is the case in lots of long-term relationships. I love my GF and feel terrible admitting this: I’ve lost nearly all my attraction to her since she’s gained weight. I never would have imagined that I could be one of those people who longs for a thinner mate — but that’s where I’m at. She’s barely exercising anymore and eating crap (since getting a new and demanding job) and as a result has become overweight (her GP has suggested she lose at least 20 pounds.) I’ve never mentioned my feelings about this to her but feel dishonest as I’m sure she’s noticed my decreased interest in physical/intimate connection. How can I talk to her or is that universally considered an asshole move?” →

Andrea Often our relationships to food and body image are supersensitive areas — there’s no way around it. If you choose to bring this subject up with your better half, you’ll need to expect that she will likely feel hurt and defensive — at least at first. One of the problems that I see in your question — and with our general attitudes toward long-term relationships — is the expectation that our partners stay the same as they were when we fell in love with them. The reality is that over the lifespan of a relationship, folks go through fluctuations in weight, get wrinkles, get bad haircuts, change jobs and so on. We can’t expect our partners to be static entities. Your partner’s main life goal shouldn’t be to stay attractive to you so as to be a suitable playmate. However, there should be room in a relationship to let a partner know when we are feeling less drawn to them. Speaking the truth is vital for relationships, especially as your partner might already be sensing your decreased lust. Emphasizing your concern about her overall selfcare since she scored the new job

might land better than a “you used to be hotter” approach. No amount of delicacy can ensure a smooth ride here but the difficulty of the conversation could pay off for you in the end if it inspires some renewed self-care. But you should also examine whether the weight is really the issue or whether you have pinned other, less tangible relationship issues onto her frame — literally. Are other more complex factors to blame? Some questions to consider: What are your feelings about your own weight and sense of attractiveness? How do you imagine others see you now that you have a bigger partner? Has your overall attraction to your girl, as a person, swayed as well? Do you have any unresolved anger toward her? Questions such as these will help you sort out what you’re bringing to this dilemma and what’s truly dampening your desire.

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

sex is easy to find

love isn’t.

The dilemma: You are a successful professional living a fulfilled life. You are active, dynamic, intelligent, and financially stable. Your friends and family say that you are a catch. Then why is it that sincere love is so hard to find? The soluTion: A boutique networking agency specializing in personalized matchmaking will save time and energy. Their service is designed for busy, successful professionals who cherish the idea of a loving, faithful relationship once they find the right partner. The clienTs: Preferred Partners clients value the prospect of meeting like-minded individuals who are also tired of the internet and bar scene. Typically, they are successful professionals living full and active lives who work hard and love to play, too. Preferred ParTners canada’s exclusive Gay maTchmakinG aGency

Call us today for a free Consultation

1 866-467-5252

Michael Westhoff




Even after the selection of Kathleen Wynne as premier, LGBT activists argue that there’s much more pink politicking left to do in Ontario Story Krishna Rau

he selection of an openly les-


But for LGBT activists, including

gay activist. I think that sent a real

committee. “We have to ask, ‘Do we

bian premier in Ontario may

those who are members of main-

message to the community. I under-

need more women in politics or do

have marked a victory in

stream political parties, a lot still

stand she had to put people, espe-

we need feminist policies?’”

one battle, but for many in the LGBT

remains to be done, and Wynne’s

cially the 905ers, at ease. But it sent

Even members of the Queer

community, the political struggle

accession to the premiership is,

a very cautioning message, ‘Don’t

Liberals, an unofficial group for LGBT


as yet, little more than a symbolic

expect a lot from me. I’m not carry-

members of both national and pro-


ing your agenda.’”

vincial Liberal parties, admit that

When the Ontario Liberal party


voted for Kathleen Wynne as their

“We are not easily moved by the

As long-time trans activist Susan

new leader in January — making

fact that we have a premier who

Gapka points out, Wynne has yet

her Canada’s first openly LGBT pre-

is out,” says Nick Mulé, chair of the

to win an election as premier. “It all

“The Wynne win shows that

mier — it marked the culmination

activist group Queer Ontario. “I’m

reminds me of George Bush, and his

the times are changing,” says Jules

of a series of wins for the province’s

not sure she’s had enough time to

‘Mission Accomplished’ banner. This

Kerlinger, president of the Queer

queer community. Same-sex mar-

demonstrate whether it’s an advan-

premier has not been elected by the

Liberals. “Even 10 years ago, that

riage, human rights protection for

tage to the community. There’s a lot

people of Ontario,” says Gapka, who

wouldn’t have happened. We have

trans people, anti-bullying legisla-

of wait and see to this. But she also

sits on the executive of the provincial

made a lot of progress, but there’s

tion… and now a lesbian premier.

made the comment that she’s not a

NDP as a member of the party’s LGBT

still a lot to be done. Just because

May 2013

having a lesbian premier doesn’t mean the end of the fight.


we’ve sort of crossed the horizon

ances. “One thing we’d like to see for

forget in our bubble in Toronto that

doesn’t mean everything’s resolved.

sure would be to go after the pastoral

we do exist outside the city. If you’re

Party of Ontario did not provide any-

Just the lack of visible gay, lesbian or

guidelines, which call us ‘intrinsically

living in Timmins, for example, you

body to be interviewed for this story.

trans MPPs, there’s still a problem.”

disordered.’ It’s a modern-day bla-

don’t have access to those services.

“We don’t actually ask anybody’s

The last year has undeniably seen

tant form of discrimination. But I also

What we’re really concerned about

sexual orientation when they join

a number of positive developments

know the government won’t touch

is the redistribution of services to the

the party,” says Alan Sakach, the par-

for LGBT Ontarians. The passage of

that, it’s too controversial.”

trans community.”

ty’s director of communications. “It’s




what is popularly known as “Toby’s

Christin Milloy, a trans woman

Mulé also says that legislative

Law” ensured trans people are enti-

who ran for the Libertarian party

changes tend to focus on gender

tled to protection under the prov-

in the last provincial election, also

identity alone. The recent federal

Gapka refers to the homophobic

ince’s human rights legislation. The

points to lack of action on Catholic

bill to include trans people in human

reaction that some openly gay candi-

legislature passed anti-bullying legis-

rights protection does not address

dates have received in elections, like

lation in Bill 13. Laws were changed




George Smitherman’s mayoral cam-

and the Ontario bill to allow document changes still requires medical

paign in Toronto and openly gay NDP


run in York South-Weston, as well as

In particular, he refers to a failure to

to make it easier for trans people to change gender on legal identity documents, such as drivers’ licenses or birth certificates, although a doctor’s signature is still required. But those both inside and outside



“It does recognize trans people, does allow them to change gender identity, but does so in a very tradi-

just not something we put on the questionnaire.”

candidate Paul Ferreira’s provincial to reaction to legislation like Toby’s Law and Bill 13. “Some




tional way. The formal political sys-

ted by homophobic literature. And

tem needs to start looking beyond

around Toby’s Law, there was some

binary definitions of gender,” says

very offensive language, calling it the

Mulé. “But it speaks to how compli-

bathroom bill. There was story-tell-

cated these issues are. The queer

ing and fear-mongering around what

school funding as a priority. “After

community hasn’t even resolved

this would mean.”

reform the sex education curriculum

Bill 13, it’s been made very clear that

them yet.”

for schools to include more gay-pos-

the publicly-funded Catholic system

itive content; to include more queer

has no right to insist that freedom

content in teacher training; and to

of expression and association can be

end the funding of Ontario’s Catholic

denied by groups seeking to perse-

school system.

cute queer students.”

the mainstream political process agree that many battles remain to be won. Mulé points to ongoing problems with Ontario’s education system when it comes to queer issues.

Mulé points the finger at Wynne’s predecessor



All these activists agree that trans


issues might be the area that most

McGuinty, for his willingness to

needs to be addressed by our politi-

back off curriculum change when

cal parties.

updated proposals faced a backlash



That’s why it’s important to Gapka to have openly gay politicians, and

part from questions of policy,

why she hopes to see a trans politi-

does having a lesbian premier

cian elected one day. “Wynne and

mark the high point of queer involve-

Smitherman are leaders. It’s impor-

ment in politics? Does it mean that

tant that young people grow up with

gays are now fully a part of the polit-

role models.”

ical process?

Milloy, however, says that while

Milloy says she ran for the

she intends to run again in the next

Libertarians not because she felt

provincial election, she also under-


unwelcome in other parties, but

stands why many young people —

from the religious right. “Here we are

pleased that it’s easier for trans indi-

because they reflected her beliefs

queer or not — would feel alienated

in 2013 and there’s no mention of

viduals to change the gender on

about personal freedoms. “I never

from politics. “I believe it’s a reflec-

when this’ll get off the ground. A lot

identification documents, she thinks

experienced any discrimination dur-

tion on the system itself. They know

of us make the connection between

the government has no business

ing the election. I had more doors

they’re unlikely to see the degree of

how outdated this is and bullying in

being involved at all in how people

closed on me because I was running

change they want to see.”


self-identify. Gapka, too, thinks the

for one of the smaller parties than

For Mulé, who feels Queer Ontario

Kerlinger blames the Liberal retreat

process needs to be easier and less

because I was trans. I think in this

should maintain its outsider sta-

on curriculum on the Conservatives,

bureaucratic, and should be available

day and age it would do more harm

tus, activism needs to happen both

but says he, too, doesn’t know when,

to those under 18.

than good to a party’s reputation to

within and outside the system.





or if, a revised curriculum will be

Gapka also points to the need

brought forward. “There was a huge

to make transitioning easier for

Kerlinger notes, however, that

ist approach that many groups in our

backlash from the PCs, insisting that

all. While the Liberal government

even with a lesbian leader, the

community unfortunately do. We’re

little kids would be forced to exper-

restored funding for sex-reassign-

Liberals aren’t all welcoming to LGBT

not seeking mainstream acceptance.

iment with homosexuality. Wynne

ment surgery five years ago, proce-

members. “We’re a big tent party

But I do believe that we also need to

has promised to reintroduce the cur-

dures like electrolysis and chest con-

and there are going to be people who

apply pressure from within. I think

riculum, but we’re not sure when.”

struction for trans men are still not

just aren’t going to be very accept-

if you have these pressure points,


ing of homosexuality. At the leader-

it really does escalate things. But

Mulé also would like to see Wynne

“We don’t take the assimilation-

address the issue of Catholic school

And Mulé says that services for

ship convention, we were wearing

I would say that say if someone’s

funding, and the reluctance of the

trans people, or for gay and lesbian

our Queer Liberals shirts, and there

going to run for office, they should

separate school system to accept

people, are not easily accessible to

were some people who were clearly

never compromise the principles of

LGBT students or gay-straight alli-

all in Ontario. “We can sometimes

disturbed by that.”

the community.” •








BOOK OF MORMON Opens starring Mark Evans

DIANNE REEVES Performs at Koerner Hall

9 STOPHEART Opens at Factory starring Amitai Marmorstein

Cylla von Tiedemann

INDANCE Opens at CanAsian dance fest

12 FALSETTOS Closes starring Eric Morin


Arnaud Maggs at the Ryerson Image Centre, Chris Marker retrospective at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Dean Dayal’s images of the Raj at the ROM, James Nizam’s installation in Brookfield Place… scores of shows throughout the city in May. See listings below for more and page 20. Festival launch. 7pm. Wed, May 1. MOCCA. 952 Queen St W. (416) 39-9595. ALEX MCLEOD/MITCHELL CHAN Outworld, a new body of digital landscapes by McLeod. Studies in Movement, Absentia, a new series of kinetic sculptures (mechanized string!) by Chan. Noon-5pm. WedSat. Until Sat, June 1. Angell Gallery. 12 Ossington Ave. (416) 530-0444. MERYL MCMASTER In-Between Worlds works exploring the synergy of the

24 INS CHOI Kim’s Convenience opens at Soulpepper

artist’s bicultural Aboriginal-European heritage. With new works by April Hickox in the backroom. Part of Contact. 11am5pm. Tue-Sat. Until Sat, June 1. Katzman Kamen Gallery. 80 Spadina Ave #406. (416) 504 9515. JANIETA EYRE Love the poison-candycoloured worlds of this Toronto artist; she has two shows as part of Contact. Constructing Mythologies. Noon-5pm. Tue-Fri. Noon-8pm. Wed. Noon-4pm. Sat. Until Fri, June 28. UTAC Art Lounge. 15 King’s College Circle. (416) 978-1838. The Mute Book. Opens. 6pm-9pm. Thu, May 16. Noon-6pm. Thu-Sat. 1pm-5pm. Sun. Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects. 1082 & 1086 Queen St W. (416) 993-6510. JJ LEVINE The Toronto photographer has a two-part show of Queer Portraits at Contact. In the vitrines at Gallery 44. Opening. 6pm-9pm. Fri, May 3. 11am-

LOUISE PITRE Gala fundraiser for The 519

5pm. Until June 16. 401 Richmond St W #120. 416 979 3941. And in the Art Bar. Opening. 7pm-10pm. Sat, May 4. Noon5pm. Mon-Sun. Until June 16. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W. (416) 531-4635.

Books & Print TORONTO COMIC ARTS FESTIVAL A stellar lineup of Canadian and international guests amass for the 10th anniversary of TCAF. Free. 9am-5pm. Sat, May 11. 11am-5pm. May 12. Toronto Reference Library. 789 Yonge St. torontocomics. com. See page 30.


with two mainstages and ancillary programs. Toronto-based companies InDance and Susan Lee are joined by



Montreal’s Joceylne Montpetit. 8pm. Wed, May 1 & 2. Then it’s an evening with Taketeru Kudo from Tokyo. 8:30pm. May 3 & 4. $25-$30; passes avail. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queens Quay W. A late-night outdoor performance by Ziya Azazi from Vienna. Free. 10pm. May 2-4. West Jet Stage. 235 Queens Quay W. KAEJA D’DANCE A double bill with Allen Kaeja’s X-ODUS for five dancers and Karen Kaeja’s Crave, an intimate duet. With dancers Michael Caldwell, Zhenya Cerneacov, Merideth Plumb and Stéphanie Tremblay-Abubo. Part of Next Steps. $18-$39. 8pm. Tue, May 7-11. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 9734000. WHAT WE ARE SAYING World Stage presents dancemaker Ame Henderson and the innovative Canadian theatre company Public Recordings in a movement piece on uncertainty and language. $15-$25.



and its Latin ensemble, Cantemos, present an evening of works by Morten Lauridsen, Samuel Barber, Astor Piazzolla, Eric Whitacre, Stephen Chatman and Mark Sirett. Includes Inspiration, a collaboration between the choristers and David Tomlinson. Laurie Evan Fraser conducts. $20adv; $25 door. 8pm. Fri, May 10. Grace Church on-the-Hill. 300 Lonsdale Rd. (416) 256-0510.



Burning Cake, from Janieta Eyre’s Motherhood series at UTAC.

FALSETTOS Acting Up Stage Company presents a new production of the 1992 Tony-winning musical by James Lapine and William Finn. Against the backdrop of the sexual revolution and the emergence of AIDS, Marvin, a married father leaves his wife and son for another man. Starring Darrin Baker, Sara-Jeanne Hosie, Sarah Gibbons, Michael Levinson, Eric Morin, Stephen Patterson and Glynis Ranney; directed by Robert McQueen with music direction by Reza Jacobs and choreography by Tim French. $39-$55. 8pm. Wed-Sat. 7pm. Tue & Sun. 2pm. Sun. Until Sun, May 12 (Mother’s Day). Daniels Spectrum. 585 Dundas St E. 1-800-838-3006. BESAMÉ OPERA Opera 5 presents a double-header of Latin opera with Manuel de Falla’s El retablo de maese Pedro featuring Conrad Siebert, Giovanni Spanu and Rachel Krehm, and Enrique Granados’ Goyescas featuring Emily Ding, Catherin Carew joing Spanu and Siebert; musical direction by Maika’i Nash. Spanish food and drink augment the evening. $20 & $25 adv; $25 & 30 door. 7:30pm. Wed, May 1 & 2. Gallery 345. 345 Sorauren Ave. A FEW BRITTLE LEAVES Sky Gilbert’s gender-bending comedy drama about aging. Starring Edward Roy and Gavin Crawford with Gilbert directing. $20-$30. 8pm. Wed-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Until Sun, May 5. Buddies in Bad Times Main Chamber. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. CARRIED AWAY ON THE CREST OF A WAVE

7pm. Wed, May 22-25. Power Plant. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000.

Classical & Jazz DIANNE REEVES One of the pre-eminent jazz vocalists today, joined by New Yorkbased vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Raul Midón. $40-$80. 8pm. Fri, May 3. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. WINTERREISE PROJEKT Hatch presents a cross-disciplinary exploration of Franz Schubert’s song cycle. Part concert, part play, part dance and part memoir from Kawa Ada, Derek Kwan and Hazel Venzon; Nina Lee Aquino directs. $15. 8pm. Sat, May 4. Studio Theatre. 235 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. SING: THE TORONTO VOCAL ARTS FESTIVAL

The city’s first-ever a cappella vocal fest runs Thu, May 9 to 12 at Harbourfront

with singers and ensembles from around the globe including a 50th-anniversary concert by the UK’s Swingle Singers (May 12), a tribute to harmony groups of the ‘50s and ‘60s, honouring Frank Busseri of The Four Lads and featuring cast members from Forever Plaid (May 11). $25-$45. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. TORONTO’S TALISKER PLAYERS Soprano Erin Bardua and mezzo soprano Vicki St Pierre join the ensemble for On the Wing, a bird-themed program of Telemann, Lukas Foss, John Plant, Lee Hoiby, Miriam Gideon, Aaron Copland Arvo Pärt. Actor Graham Abbey performs passages by three great writers on natural history: Diane Ackerman, David Quammen and William Canning. 8pm. Tue, May 7 & 8. Trinity St Paul’s Centre. (416) 466-1800. UPPER CANADA CHORISTERS The choir

Tarragon Theatre presents the world premiere of David Yee’s poetic look at the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. From a mysterious escort in Thailand to a Catholic priest in India, from two brothers in Malaysia to a housewife in Utah, the play ponders what happens when the events that tie us together are the same that tear us apart. Starring Kawa Ada, Ash Knight, Richard Lee, John Ng, Mayko Nguyen and Richard Zeppieri; Nina Lee Aquino directs. $27-$53. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sat & Sun. Until Sun, May 26. Tarragon Mainspace. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 531-1827. THE BOOK OF MORMON Mirvish presents the national tour of the 2011 Tony-winning musical about which Ben Brantley of the New York Times raved, “The best musical of this century. Heaven on Broadway! A celebration of the privilege of living inside that improbable paradise called a musical comedy.” Book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez

and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the creators of South Park. Lopez is cocreator of the long-running hit Avenue Q. Choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone); directed by Nicholaw and Parker. Tickets are sold out; check for additional seats coming available and the ticket lottery. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Until June 9. Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King St W. (416) 872-1212. DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES The Canadian Opera Company closes its 2012/2013 season with Francis Poulenc’s operatic masterpiece. Canadian Robert Carsen directs a cast of 161 performers, led by three Canadian opera stars: Isabel Bayrakdarian, Adrianne Pieczonka and Judith Forst. COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts; with design by Michael Levin (see page 6). $12-$325. May 8, 11, 14, 17, 19, 21, 23 & 25. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. STOPHEART Factory Theatre presents the world premiere of Amy Lee Lavoie’s Stopheart, a dark comedy on growing up “different” in a small town in Northern Ontario starring Amitai Marmorstein as 20-year-old Elian and Vivien EndicottDouglas as his best friend July. With Martin Julien, Elizabeth Saunders and Garret C Smith; Ron Jenkins directs. $32-$42. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sun. Thu, May 9-26. Factory Theatre. 125 Bathurst St. (416) 504-9971. THE LESSONS OF LOVE A double bill from Toronto Masque Theatre featuring the world premiere of The Lesson of Da Ji by composer Alice Ping Yee Ho and librettist Marjorie Chan; Derek Boyes directs. Set in the Shang Dynasty in ancient China, the libretto is based on a famous Chinese concubine whose story is immersed in love and revenge. Presented with the baroque classic Venus and Adonis by John Blow; Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière directs. Featuring singers Vania Chan, Charlotte Corwin, Benjamin Covey, Alexander Dobson, Derek Kwan, Marion Newman, Xin Wang and Timothy Wong; dancers Lacoursière and William Lau; and a 10-member musical ensemble led by Larry Beckwith. $40. 8pm. Fri, May 10 & 11. 3pm. May 12. Al Green Theatre. 750 Spadina Ave . (416) 9246211 ext 0. OF A MONSTROUS CHILD: A GAGA MUSICAL

Buddies presents the world premiere of Ecce Homo Theatre’s pop music spectacle written and directed by Alistair Newton. Bruce Dow leads an ensemble featuring Gavin Crawford, Tyson James, Kimberly Persona, Chy Ryan Spain and Kyle Travis Young, with music direction by Dan Rutzen, choreography by Sky Fairchild-Waller and designs by Matt Jackson, Trevor Schwellnus and Lyon Smith. PWYC-$37. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Tue, May 16-26. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. See page 6. KAMP World Stage presents Dutch company Hotel Modern and its harrowing Continued on page 18


IN SPOT THE CHIEF SALVAGE CO Story & photography Derek Dotto

Continued from page 17

depiction of Auschwitz concentration camp. The stage is filled with thousands of eight-centimetre-tall puppets representing prisoners and executioners, with performers moving through the set like giants. $15-$35. 8pm. Thu, May 23-25. 2pm. May 25. 4pm. May 26. Enwave Theatre. 231 QueensQuay W. (416) 973-4000. THE CHARGE OF THE EXPORMIDABLE MOOSE One Little Goat Theatre pre-

sents the English-language premiere of Quebec playwright Claude Gauvreau’s absurdist masterpiece (first produced in 1970 but written in 1956), translated by Ray Ellenwood, directed by Adam Seelig. A poet is envied, mocked and ultimately sacrificed by his fellow housemates. Hume Baugh, David Christo, Lindsey Clark, Sochi Fried, Lindsay Owen Pierre, Jessica Salgueiro and Ben Irvine. $13-$28. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Fri, May 10-26. Tarragon Theatre Extra Space. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 531-1827. SOULPEPPER The Barber of Seville, a free-wheeling adaptation by Michael O’Brien and John Millard of the Beaumarchais play. Starring Dan Chameroy, Oliver Dennis, Raquel Duffy, Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Gregory Prest, William Webster and Daniel Williston; Leah Cherniak directs. Opens Wed, May 15. Plus a remount of the hit from last year, Kim’s Convenience by Ins Choi, a touching family comedy set in a Regent Park Korean convenience store. Starring Choi, Grace Lynn Kung, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Andre Sills and Jean Yoon. Opens Fri, May 24. $22 -$68. Young Centre. 50 Tank House Lane. (416) 866-8666.

→ A FEW BRITTLE LEAVES At Buddies until Sun, May 5 starring Edward Roy and Gavin Crawford.

Causes & Events CANADIAN LESBIAN AND GAY ARCHIVES The CLGA celebrates its

40th anniversary by inducting social worker and activist Richard Hudler and psychotherapist and educator Rupert Raj into its National Portrait Collection, which recognizes significant contributions to the LGBT community. The portraits will be displayed with personal letters, newspaper reports and manuscripts; Pearse Murray hosts. Reception. 7:30pm. Fri, May 3. CLGA. 34 Isabella St. (416) 777-2755. THE 519 Salah Bachir pulls together a gala fundraiser for the 519 Church Street Community Centre and its numerous community programs ( featuring singer Louise Pitre and near-legendary ‘80s band The Parachute Club (their hit “Rise Up” was selected as the theme for next year’s World Pride celebrations in Toronto). $600. 6pm cocktails; 7pm dinner. Sun, May 26. The 519 Ballroom. 519 Church St. (416) 392-6878 ext 4039. FUNNY GIRLS & DYNAMIC DIVAS

Comedian Elvira Kurt hosts the 11th comedy and music fundraiser for Sistering, the charity supporting homeless, under-housed and lowincome women in Toronto since 1981 ( musician Jane Bunnett and funny lady Sandra Shamas. Plus silent auction and raffle. $80. 6pm. Thu, May 30. Jane Mallet Theatre. 27 Front St E. (416) 366-7723. •

The Chief Salvage Co is packed to the brim with knickknacks, artifacts and antiques — so packed it’s hard not to be petrified you’ll knock something over if you so much as blink in the wrong direction. But within your first moments inside the tiny one-ofa-kind shop at Dundas and Dufferin, you’ll find this works to your advantage, forcing you to move slowly and take in every little detail. “Basically, anything that is odd and curious,” says store owner Cody Cochrane of her random collection of goods. Vintage medicine cabinets and armoires are strategically cluttered with everything from the skeleton of a red deer to Masonic paraphernalia. Cochrane finds most of her treasures at flea markets, estate sales and auctions around Austin, Texas. The Deep South influence is evident in the abundance of religious items in the store, including a giant clay rosary with beads the size of billiard balls. “From a young age, I’ve always been fascinated with religious artifacts and icons,” says Cocharane. “I was fascinated with it because I never had a religious upbringing. It’s not just Catholic imagery, but a lot of different things.” An undeniable showstopper, a taxidermy duck sits at the centre of the store. It’s not the only stuffed wildlife you’ll find but Cochrane insists she will only buy ethically

→ CURIOSITY SHOP Lose yourself in

Cody Cochrane’s quixotic store at Dundas and Dufferin.

sourced pieces. “I feel similarly about taxidermy as I do about vintage fur. I would never buy a new fur coat but I don’t have a problem recycling that stuff because otherwise, where does it end up if everyone is opposed to the idea of it? I’m not going to let it go to waste. It’s like art to me.” No matter how slowly you make your way through The Chief Salvage Co, the flashier pieces may still steal your attention away from some of the most fascinating artifacts: old family photos, diaries and journals. Cochrane admits they’re not big sellers but, she says, “They create a story, and that’s what I look for. It’s always interesting to pick something up and realize this is someone else’s life’s drama from 50 years ago. Now it’s kind of irrelevant unless you put it on display and allow for other people to be part of it. Then it becomes relevant again.” she says. “That’s the whole idea behind calling the shop a salvage company. We’re salvaging the beautiful artifacts of people’s lives.” Well said.

THE CHIEF SALVAGE CO Noon-7pm. Tue-Sat. Noon-6pm. Sun. 1493 Dundas St W. (647) 3521983.

is Blue. It’s a 40-ton whale launching its body out of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the fresh catch-of-the-day at Quincy Market. It’s the cloud-dotted sky framing the historic lighthouses of the Cape and Islands. It’s the rollicking wave pools at Six Flags, the picturesque fishing port of Gloucester, and the bobbing rafts speeding down the rapids of the Deerfield River. For help planning the perfect colorful Massachusetts holiday, visit or tweet your questions to @VisitMA with #AskVisitMA




Jonathan Hobin’s controversial photographic works are a highlight of this year’s Contact Festival Story Gordon Bowness



hotographers are used to

uses children in images that tackle

flashes of light. But ever

iconic moments or memes in pop-

“Thank God when I made the

he says. “I much prefer to have

torture at Abu Ghraib Prison.

“But I’ve developed a thick skin,”

since 33-year-old Jonathan

ular culture and the news. The first

first series it was something I made

people feel that strongly — and

Hobin showed his In the Playroom

image that garnered strong reac-

for myself,” says Hobin. “I didn’t

hate something — than think-

series last year, the Ottawa-based

tion featured two boys playing at

have the chance to change things.

ing the work was ‘meh’ or okay

artist has become a lightning rod.

blowing up a toy-block World Trade

Knowing how scrutinized I would

and not worth giving a second

Critics and the public either hate

Center, another was a reenactment

be, I might have really edited

thought to.”

or love his work because Hobin

of the infamous photograph of


May 2013

Though Hobin is represented


by the Patrick Mikhail Gallery in

what the kids say during the shoot.

Ottawa, he has strong Toronto

They are shocked at how aware the

connections; he went to school

kids are of the issues.

at Ryerson and lived in the city

“The shoots have raised some

for eight years. For the Gladstone


exhibit at Contact, he is showing 12

the dinner table. It hasn’t really

works from the original series and

brought a darker awareness to

five new ones (like Obama Nation,

the kids, but it has to the parents,

pictured). The works are luxuri-

about what their kids are actually

ously large, some running as wide

thinking. These are subjects that

as five feet.

probably should be discussed. We



The kids he uses are either pro-

always seem to manage to avoid

fessional models or children of

it, just like the birds-and-the-bees

friends. Despite what some crit-

conversation, parents will avoid it

ics charge, Hobin says the shoots

until they can’t any longer.”

are not upsetting to the kids. They

In the Playroom opens at 7pm to

have fun. “That’s really all play is…

10pm on Thu, May 2 and runs until

play is exploring.”

May 31 on the second floor of the

But the process does open the

Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St W).

eyes of the parents. “The parents

(416) 531-4635.

sometimes are really shocked at

→ T HEY SEE ALL Ottawa artist Jonathan Hobin comments on media and childhood in new works like Obama Nation (opposite page) and in a piece first shown last year called The Twins (above).

BODY LANGUAGE Running throughout May at scores of venues across the city, the Contact Festival is huge. Here are two more shows to check out; a few others are highlighted in the listings section on page 16. ALEKSANDAR ANTONIJEVIC

The exhibition inFORMants is a series of 19 images from Aleksandar Antonijevic, principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. “This is my ongoing exploration of the human form and its capabilities of saying and conveying something to the viewer,” says Antonijevic. Many of the featured subjects are dancers with the National but Antonijevic doesn’t see this series as dance photography nor does he like to use the term model. “I consider them to be artists and their bodies to be their instruments,” he says. “They are my colleagues and friends and the reason I work with them is that there is definitely a sense of trust between us, which in turn allows me to get to a moment of truth.” The opening reception is from 7pm to 9pm on Thu, May 2 at Berenson Art (212 Avenue Rd); the show is up until May 30. (416) 925-3222. DOUG ISCHAR

Under the title of Undertow, Contact offers a three-part showcase of the Chicago-based artist and teacher Doug Ischar, presenting photography, installation works and experimental video that span 30 years. The photo retrospective at Gallery 44 (401 Richmond St W) features works from Ischar’s Marginal Waters series from 1985 — sunbathing men in their prime stalked by AIDS. Showing simultaneously upstairs at V-Tape are screenings of recent videos Alone with You and Tristes Tarzan. The opening reception runs from 6pm to 9pm on Fri, May 3; the shows continue until June 16. Ischar also gives a public lecture at Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander St) at noon on Sun, May 5.

CONTACT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL Various venues through May.





Come out of hibernation. Search for action, adventure and... art Story Pamela Meredith | Photography Colin Davison


t’s time to come out of hiber-

Photography brings together a wide

nation and satisfy the crav-

range of the gallery’s permanent

ing for action, adventure and

collection of photo-based work (the

art. Hit the open road for trips short,

Albright-Knox was a pioneer in con-

medium and long to visit these ven-

sidering photo as an essential and

erable industrial cities and world-

worthy media for exhibition and

class museums.

acquisition). John Massey’s cerebral 10-part series After Le Mepris is one


of the high points in the exhibition.

Just down the road is Buffalo, home of Anchor Bar chicken wings, Frederick Law Olmstead-designed parks




PITTSBURGH The Steel City is lousy with both


bridges and incredible museums.

homes. Currently the Albright-Knox

I’ve always made the trek dur-

Gallery ( is featur-

ing The Carnegie International

ing no less than three Canadian art-


ists in their lineup of exhibitions.

roundup of international contempo-

Agnes Martin’s solo show of early

rary art in the US (only the Venice

Nestled into a valley in the

paintings and drawings is nearly

Biennale has been around longer).

Berkshires, gritty North Adams,

over so act quickly to see the transi-

Happening every three to five years,



remarkable exhibition by Xu Bing,

tional works that preceded her del-

this survey is always a smart, gor-

Williamstown (home of Williams

which is not only a jaw-dropping

icate grids and pale abstractions.

geously installed overview of what

College, The Clark Institute, The

spectacle and feat of engineering

Martin attempted to destroy all of

is going on in the contemporary



but also a thoughtful rumination

these early pieces (more than 100

art world. The show will open this

on contemporary issues in Chinese

were disposed of) but mercifully she

fall and once again I will get on the

Both towns are worth the sevenhour drive, but MASS MoCA (mass-

didn’t get them all. It is a rare treat

road to spend the day with 35 art- is the star attraction for

beauty match MASS MoCA’s ambi-

to see these semi-figurative but for-

ists’ projects (including Canadian

contemporary art lovers. Housed in

tions perfectly.

mative works.

Rodney Graham).

26 interconnected former industrial

I would visit on the June 21 week-


original NORTH ADAMS



→ T WILIGH T AVENGER Kelly Richardson’s video installation at Albright-Knox.

culture and beyond. Its scale and

A large swath of the museum

While in town visit the Mattress

buildings on 13 acres of downtown

end to attend Wilco’s annual Solid

has been turned over to former

Factory ( for cutting-

North Adams, the museum must

Sound Festival (solidsoundfestival.-

Torontonian Kelly Richardson for a

edge installations by international

be experienced to be believed. It is

com) featuring music by Low, Neko

mid-career retrospective of 15 cin-

artists who live in residence and

a marvel of vision, scale and inno-

Case, Yo La Tengo and, of course,

ematic, immersive video installa-

create site-specific works, as well

vative programming. At any given

Wilco. Save lots of time to view the

tions. Her meditations on other-

as the Warhol Museum (warhol.-

moment, the museum is so vast that

ongoing Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing

worldly landscapes highlight what

org) dedicated to the art and life of

there may be 10 to 12 exhibitions,

Retrospective (105 works!) and Mark

the artist (and Umberto Eco) call

Pittsburgh’s Pop Art progeny. All

artists-in-residence, performances,

Dion’s Octagon Room.

“the authentic-fake” as her digital,

of these museums are housed in

outdoor artworks, dance parties

aural and animated tweaks call to

architecturally spectacular histor-

and films all happening simultane-

mind both post-apocalyptic scenar-

ical buildings, which leads me to

ously. A number of Canadians were

ios as well as the art-historical tradi-

suggest a stop at Fallingwater (fall-

recently featured in the large survey

tion of The Sublime., Frank Lloyd Wright’s

Oh, Canada (travelling to various

most famous residential project,

locations in Canada in 2014).

Looking Out and Looking In: A




just east of Pittsburgh.

Currently, it is home to the

PAMELA MEREDITH Is TD Bank Group’s senior curator.





From the death of Divine to the dawning of gay seniors Reviews Peter Knegt


oronto’s Inside Out LGBT

ignored issues facing LGBT com-

than their heterosexual counter-

LGBT doc canon. Following three

Film Festival turns 23 years

munities today and tomorrow is

parts, half as likely to have health

different LGBT seniors each facing

old this year, and in doing

that our rapidly aging population

insurance coverage, and 10 times

a different array of issues, it affect-

so brings some of the best LGBT cin-

is not properly cared for. In the

less likely to have a caretaker if they

ingly personifies an increasingly

ema of the past year’s film festival

United States — PJ Raval’s docu-

fall ill.

forgotten generation of queer folks

circuit to Toronto. From Sundance

mentary looks at three men who

Unfortunately there is not much

to SXSW to Berlin, here’s five par-

live in Harlem, NYC, Galveston,

attention being paid to them by

ticular standouts from the city’s big

Texas and Portland, Oregon — there

their younger LGBT counterparts (or

queer cinema event.

are an estimated 2.4 million LGBT

anyone else, for that matter). Which

Americans over the age of 55. As a

is one of the reasons that Raval’s

Isn’t it about time that gay boys

demographic, they are five times

documentary Before You Know It is

got their own version of Mean Girls?

less likely to access social services

such a crucial new addition to the

That’s the reductive gist of Darren

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT One of the biggest and often 24

May 2013

(and makes you want to become friends with all of them). GBF


→ PAS T, PRESEN T, FU T URE. Inside Out offerings include Pit Stop (opposite page), I Am Divine (middle), GBF (top right) and Before You Know It (below right).

to). And though the film is largely a serious affair, look out for the film’s doozy of a sole comic scene, in which Adam gets ridiculously drunk and dances with a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI. In the Name Of… is the opening night film of Inside Out. Look for details of the opening night gala and party on the fest’s website. PIT STOP Yen Tan’s quiet, moving Pit Stop made its world premiere at Sundance back in January, where it was largely overshadowed by the more star-heavy (and quite good) queer flicks Kill Your Darlings (starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg) and the James Franco codirected Interior.Leather Bar (also screening at Inside Out after making its Toronto debut at Hot Docs). Hopefully Tan’s feature drama will manage to find the audience it deserves. The film depicts a series Stein’s GBF, a high-school com-


is transgressive. Because Mother

of characters living in small-town

edy that puts the usual second (or

One of the most fabulous trans-

Monster has nothing on the person

Texas, among them two lost gay

third) banana role of the gay best

gressive people to ever almost

whom the film rightfully proclaims

men in their mid-30s (Bill Heck and

friend front and centre. Tanner

cross into mainstream American

is “the Queen Mother of us all.”

Marcus DeAnda). Similar in tone

(the adorable Michael J Willett,

culture is at the heart of Jeffrey

in his film debut) is accidentally

Schwarz’s new documentary, I Am

outed, becoming his high school’s

Divine. Framed around the 1988

Winner of the Teddy Award for

that creeps up on you and will lin-

first openly gay student. The three

death of then 42-year-old Harris

best LGBT narrative film at this

ger in your mind long after the cred-

most popular girls at school (Sasha

Glenn Milstead — the man behind


its roll.

Pieterse, Andrea Bowen and Xosha

Divine — it is mostly a loving, hilar-

Festival, Malgorzata Szumowksa’s

Roquemore), in a clear send-up of

ious (there ain’t no talking head

Polish drama In the Name Of…

the Heathers or the Plastics, race to

like John Waters’ talking head) and

sensitively approaches the cen-

snatch him up as “the new hottest

complex tribute to a man and his

tral character of a gay priest. Father

accessory,” leading to Tanner’s pop-

female alter-ego, both of whom

Adam (Andrzej Chyra, in a mes-

ularity skyrocketing while threaten-

lived their lives to the fullest. The

merizing performance) is the pas-

ing his friendship with his own GBF

doc takes us from Milstead’s chal-

tor of a tiny parish in the middle of

(and potential love interest), played

lenged Baltimore upbringing as an

the Polish countryside. As drama

by the hilarious (and also adorable)

overweight kid (where he grew up

begins to surround Father Adam,

Paul Iacono.

just blocks from Waters, though the

In the Name Of… develops into a

Though in large part a send-

two didn’t cross paths until they

thoughtful, distinctive portrait of

up of the genre of straight teenage

were both 17) to the night he died in

a truly devout man struggling to

romantic comedies it mirrors, GBF

his sleep (“of happiness,” friend and

come to terms with himself (notably

also stands nicely as its own (rare)

manager Bernard Jay says in the

after developing a relationship with

entity: A sharp, sweet gay teen

film). The film must be watched by

a young Jesus lookalike at the cen-


anyone who thinks, say, Lady Gaga

tre for difficult boys he devotes time

to 2011’s queer cinema breakout IN THE NAME OF…



Weekend, Pit Stop has a sincerity


INSIDE OUT LGBT FILM FESTIVAL Thu, May 23June 2. Most screenings. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. Festival launch. 7pm. Wed, May 1. Burroughs Building. 639 Queen St W. Tickets go on sale on May 9.




WHEN ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS ONE → The two worlds of Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist Shyam Selvadurai come together

in one passionate, powerful writer Story Alice Lawlor | Photography Kevin Kelly


rom war-torn Sri Lanka

and particularly challenging. “It’s

all account of coming to Canada.

drop of this alienation. Being both

to suburban Toronto, The

taken me 13 years to write this

“That sense of the landscape itself

a cultural and sexual outsider mag-

Hungry Ghosts is a novel

novel and it was writing about

feeding your depression and your

nifies his sense of difference. As he

with the power to transport. It’s the

Canada — I just couldn’t get it

gloom and the sheer drudgery and

begins to explore the gay bars of

tale of Shivan, a gay Sri Lankan-

right,” he says. “I was trying to ren-

grind of that life,” says Selvadurai.

Church Street, he quickly discov-

Canadian who moves between cul-

der this landscape of Scarborough,

tures, belonging to both but com-

an amorphous and kind-of-noth-

fortable in neither. This strong and

ing landscape, so the reader would

evocative narrative is the work of

be oriented in a place that does not

Shyam Selvadurai, author of Funny

have an orientation… and it just

Boy — shortlisted for the Giller

took a long time to do it.”

ers his place in the pecking order.


“It did not take me long to realize that in a community so devoted to the worship of beauty, I was generally not considered good looking because of the colour of my skin,”

prize in 1994 — and Cinnamon

Part of the struggle — and what

Gardens. His writing often draws

makes the novel an important

on personal experience and, like

one — is that there was no prec-

Shivan, Selvadurai left Sri Lanka

edent for what Selvadurai set out

for Canada when he was 19. This

to do. Part of his creative process

isn’t a memoir, though. “It’s an

is to use related novels as a start-

autobiography of feeling and place

ing point, creating a dialogue with

and time and period detail,” says

them in his own work. But the


story Selvadurai wanted to tell is

“There are no models for that

Shivan’s relief at living in a cul-



It wasn’t an easy book to write.

unusual, partly because it’s a gay

The parts about life in Canada were

character and partly because it’s

brand-new territory for Selvadurai





writes Selvadurai as Shivan. “My foreignness was often my appeal, and these white men ascribed both a submissiveness and feral sexuality to me, one man begging me to put on a loincloth and turban that he had in his closet.” There’s a clear tension between that



In The Hungry Ghosts Shivan’s

ity, and the loneliness he feels in

coming out is set against the back-

Continued on page 29



Continued from page 27

that community. Even returning

thing that’s fixed, but within that

Selvadurai is in the thick of city life,

home to his mother and sister in

context you can make choices that

living and working in the commer-

Scarborough can’t lift his mood.

will influence how that fate plays

cial capital of Colombo. In the last

The familiar sight of “grey-brick

out; how your karma plays out in

few years, he’s been curator of the

houses, stretches of wasteland,

your life.” Buddhist philosophies

Galle Literary Festival, an experi-

a field with a circle of overturned

like this are woven through the

ence that deepened his connection

white lawn chairs in the middle of

story and are sometimes voiced by

to the culture. “It’s a completely

it,” becomes almost unbearable.

Shivan’s tyrannical grandmother,

different and wonderful experi-

This Canada-focused part of the

Daya. She’s harsh and difficult to

ence to work in Sri Lanka because

narrative feels especially raw — an

please yet devoted to her grand-

it roots you to the place in a way

indication, perhaps, of why it was

son — a complex character that lit-

that going in as an expat writer

such a challenge to write.

erally had a life of its own. “This

sniffing around and doing research

grandmother was supposed to be

doesn’t,” he says. He recently

just backstory, but a chapter on her

started Write to Reconcile, a cre-


just took over,” says Selvadurai.

ative writing project in conjunction

“Once I had put her on the bed

with The National Peace Council of

polishing the silver there was no

Sri Lanka. And he’s hard at work on

going back, she just took up more

an anthology of Sri Lankan fiction

and more space. And so the novel

for Penguin India.

There’s also no glorifying or

ing and growing.”

Still, it’s not easy to live in Sri Lanka as a gay person. “When I

That process of changing and

first encountered gay people in Sri

the same person but I’m putting

growing echoes Shivan’s narrative

Lanka in the early ’90s, they were

on different clothes — and I liter-

and, to some extent, Selvadurai’s

self-hating. Now the gay people I

ally am putting on different clothes



meet think there’s nothing wrong

when I move from place to place,”

demonizing of Sri Lanka; this is a

spends seven months of the year

with them, the problem is with

he says, with a smile. “I don’t

story that shows the nuances of

in Toronto and five in Sri Lanka.

society, so they’re closer to 1960s

think of myself as an immigrant.

both places. Influenced by fellow

He shares his Spadina and St Clair

gay people in Canada,” he says.

For me, immigrant is a phase you

South Asian writer Jhumpa Lahiri,



“They have to negotiate a life in

pass through and then you become

Selvadurai set out to reflect a pos-

Andrew Champion, and describes

secrecy and protect themselves

Canadian on your own terms. And

itive image of his native culture. “I

Toronto as “a big city that is peace-

from discrimination of all sorts.

that’s really how I think of myself:

wanted to have a sense of affection

ful enough to allow one to write.”

But they do increasingly have their

Canadian on my own terms.”

for my own people in the book,” he

It’s also a great place to be Sri

own support networks, and there’s

says. “There’s no question of look-

Lankan, he says. “There’s such

even a pride event. So all that’s

ing down my nose or being slightly

access to Sri Lankan food and cul-

going on in a slow way.”

removed from them.”

ture and community here, which

Given his continent-straddling

There’s a strong sense through-

you don’t get even in New York.

lifestyle, does Selvadurai think of

out the book that we can’t blame

If you lived there, you’d have to

himself as more Sri Lankan than

our cultural background for the

go out to Staten Island to do your

Canadian, or is there less separa-

bad things that happen to us.

groceries. Here I just go out to

tion than ever? “I guess you could

“There are choices we can make,

Scarborough and get whatever I

say I’m Sri Lankan-Canadian, but to

and that’s our responsibility,” says


me they seem like distinct things.

Selvadurai. “Your fate is some28

kept changing and growing, chang-

→ FAT E VS CHOICE Shyam Selvadurai’s new novel, The Hungry Ghosts, took 13 years to write, in part a reflection of the book’s difficult terrain.

May 2013






In the Sri Lankan half of his life,

Like two sets of clothing: I’m still

THE HUNGRY GHOSTS Shyam Selvadurai. Doubleday Canada. $20. AUTHORS AT HARBOURFRONT Shyam Selvadurai reads with Mia Couto and Ania Szado. $10. 7:30pm. Wed, May 1. Brigantine Room. 235 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000.


A R T & B O O KS


Festival director Christopher Butcher charts the limitless bounty of comics, graphic novels and illustration at the 10th-annivesary edition of TCAF Story Christopher Butcher


May 2013



he Toronto Comic Arts


Festival (TCAF) has come

Vellekoop for a special exhibition


a very long way since our

of erotic art prints (7pm. Sat, May

ics releases since

2003 debut at Trinity-St Paul’s at

11. Church on Church. 504 Church


Bloor and Spadina (although most

St). Vellekoop, who has been at

30 years ago. And

people think our first TCAF was

TCAF since the very beginning,

the one two years later, in Honest

also did our spectacular 10th-anni-

their fully realized queer char-

Ed’s Alley). TCAF has truly become

versary poster.

acters continue to







win over countless

an international festival over these past 10 years. For our 10th anniver-



LGBT fans. The


sary we will welcome 400 cartoon-

Also joining us from Japan this

ists from more than 19 countries.

year is the critically acclaimed

brothers will kick

There’s no better place to explore


off TCAF with a

the rich and diverse medium of

Taiyo Matsumoto, whose work is


comics and graphic novels.

considered to be some of the most






With such an amazing diver-

exciting and innovative manga —


sity of cartoonists and authors on

Japanese comics — that have made



hand, it’s not surprising to hear

it to North America. While he’s 180

ist Tom Spurgeon

that folks don’t know where to

degrees from Tagame in theme, he’s


start. What follows is a list of car-

as incredibly skilled. Don’t take my

Toronto Reference





word for it: Matsumoto’s Tekkon

Library). A not-to-

whose work I think you might just

Kinkreet won the comics industry’s

be-missed event.

love, and who will be participating

prestigious Eisner Award, and the

in the two days of programming

animated film adaptation was nom-


at TCAF and in events leading up

inated for an Academy Award.




to the festival, taking place across

Matsumoto has a very busy sched-





→ TOUGH LOVE Erotic artist Gengoroh Tagame made a sexy print (opposite page at left) exclusively for TCAF. Gilbert Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame is coming to Toronto with his new memoir Marble Season (above).

ule at TCAF, including a screening

Spiegelman are the New York

of Tekkon Kinkreet (7:30pm. May 9.

powerhouse couple behind Raw

Innis Town Hall. 2 Sussex Ave) and a


The international gay comics

massive gallery show of original art-

comics anthology from the 1980s.

master Gengoroh Tagame makes

work at The Japan Foundation from

A who’s-who of art comics lite-

his first North American visit

May 10 through June 7 (author talk:

rati were published in the pages

Ulli Lust is a fabulous Austrian

from his native Japan. Tagame

1pm. May 11. Japan Foundation. 131

of Raw including Lynda Barry,

cartoonist. Highly-acclaimed, with

is at TCAF to promote his first

Bloor St W).

Ben Katchor and Chris Ware. But

numerous awards in Europe, Lust



will make her English-language

work from the pages of RAW

debut at TCAF with Today Is the

was Spiegelman’s own Maus, his

Last Day of the Rest of Your Life. A


English language graphic novel, The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame, though true gay art aficionados

JAIME & GILBERT HERNANDEZ Colloquially known as “Los Bros






have been buying up his work



genre-defining exploration of the

gripping tale of her transformation

untranslated for years, just to

Hernandez are the masterminds

Holocaust that went on to win the

from teenage punk to world travel-

get a peek at his gorgeous, dan-

behind the venerated comic and

Pulitzer Prize.

ler, I’m certain that Lust is about to

gerous, hard-core erotic illustra-

graphic novel series Love & Rockets.

Spiegelman is in Toronto in sup-

become the new favourite graphic



Just on the tail end of the series’

port of Co-Mix, a massive new

novelist of many English readers

ible for popularizing the muscle-

30th anniversary, Jaime and Gilbert

career retrospective work. Mouly

across North America.

chub body type known as “gachi-

will make their first joint appear-

will discuss Blown Covers, a book

muchi” in Japan, Tagame’s com-

ance in Toronto in 15 years —


ics feature exquisite illustrations

frankly it’s been far too long.

from The New Yorker, where she







and run the full gamut of SM and

Gilbert Hernandez will arrive with

shapes the world every week as

bondage scenarios, from the tame

a very important new graphic novel

art director. Currently Mouly and

to the stomach-churning and not

in tow, Marble Season, an auto-

Spiegelman are teaming on a new

quite physically possible, and he’s

biographical examination of the

publishing project with goals even

drawn international fans, includ-

author’s childhood that is already

loftier than Raw — Toon Books, a



drawing rave advance reviews. Both

carefully curated line of comics

designed this new volume, and

of these creators are going to draw

intended for young and very young

Edmund White, who writes its

huge crowds as Love & Rockets

readers. Toon Books will have a


(the inspiration for the band of the

large presence in TCAF’s kids pro-

same name) has been one of the

gramming this year.




East meets west when Tagame

TCAF Free. 9am-5pm. Sat, May 11. 11am-5pm. May 12. Toronto Reference Library. 789 Yonge St.


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

ASK THE SEX GEEK — with Andrea Zanin

“I really like anal sex, specifically being on the receiving end. But I don’t like cleaning myself out with an enema beforehand. The idea of filling myself up with water is really creepy, and when I tried it once, I hated the sensation. Is there any other way to clean out? Like maybe some sort of really gentle bottle brush?” Vic →

When you watch anal-sex porn, unless the focus is scat play, all the

towel. And — gasp! — some of them have anal sex anyway.

porn stars seem to have absolutely

So you don’t like enemas. No big-

squeaky-clean buttholes. It’s as if

gie. Please do not scrape a dry brush

their manicured little rosebuds had

of any kind against your tender anal

never even heard of a turd! But let’s

walls! That’ll hurt, and create small

recall that these are the same peo-

tears which make you more vulner-

ple whose tits levitate, whose skin

able to STIs.

never shows a tan line, and whose

Instead, approach this from the

body hair often grows in miracu-

inside out. See a naturopath to

lously geometric shapes, when it

assess your diet and digestion.

grows at all, which it often doesn’t

They’ll ask you a million questions

(bears excepted of course).

about what you eat and what your

Beyond porn, I understand that

poop is like. Take their advice; after

for some people, poop is such a

a few weeks, you’ll probably feel like

giant turn-off that they take every

a million bucks, and your dumps

possible measure to ensure that it

will be firm, relatively un-messy,

doesn’t appear during sex, some-

and regular as clockwork. (If a natu-


ropath feels like too much work, the




preparation rituals.

quick fix is to quit dairy, hydrate,

Listen, I’m all for cleaning out if

and eat more high-fibre vegetables.)

that makes you feel more comfort-

Then, when you want to take it up

able. As long as you don’t do it so

the ass, time it well and a good wipe

often that it interferes with your

or a quick shower should suffice.

body’s natural excretion processes,

Another key element? Pick tops

knock yourself out. But sometimes

who aren’t super squeamish, and

I wonder if all that flushing is an

let them know you don’t douche.

anxious attempt to control what’s

A condom will protect them from

essentially a messy reality. Our

coming into direct contact with your

bodies don’t always obey. Our flu-

feces; if there’s a little mess on the

ids leak out at the wrong moments

end after your get-down, all they



need to do is use a few tissues when

other than soap and cologne. C’est

removing the condom, and wash

la vie.

their hands. For lots of folks, this is



And honestly? For basic butt sex,

plenty clean enough.

an enema-induced level of cleanliness is not actually necessary. In real life, people’s rectums aren’t always as clean as a freshly laundered bath

ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at

416.391.0400 |













by George Pimentel, Glenn Bell, Rupert Hon, Richard Rhyme, Michael Pihach










→ 1. Amanda Brugel in Izzy Camilleri 2. Derek Dotto in Susan Dicks 3. Garvia Bailey, Dwight Drummond in Damzels in this Dress 4. Tanya Kim in Mercy. 5. Jeffry Roick, Chad Brincheski 6. Brian Gluckstein, Gary Sarantopoulos 7. Sandeep Joshi, Charlie Guiang 8. Patty DeMarco, Bonte Minnema 9. Steven Nicoletta, Matthew Prange 10. Rupert Hon, DJ Alessandro 11. Andrew Fraser Stewart, Pacal Dessureault, Mathieu Chantelois 12. Lilly Russner, Cozmic Cat, Ally Feliciano, Jane Riccioppo, Brittany Leigh 13. Susan Gapka 14. Sharon Gless, Rosie O’Donnell 15. Kathleen Wynne, Brian Burke. •


May 2013


Profile for IN Magazine

IN Toronto Magazine: May 2013  

IN Toronto Magazine: May 2013 Issue: 36 IN Magazine's August 2014 issue, featuring stories on gay and lesbian living.

IN Toronto Magazine: May 2013  

IN Toronto Magazine: May 2013 Issue: 36 IN Magazine's August 2014 issue, featuring stories on gay and lesbian living.