Page 1


Gay & Lesbian

City Living


october 2 0





plus SEXY BEDROOMS A nation of Opera lovers


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18/09/2013 2:12:16 PM

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04 05.INTO.MastContents.indd 4

21/08/2013 11:59:50 AM 18/09/2013 3:02:43 PM


issue 41

views | living & design | insight | listings | Arts & entertaiNment | sex


18 12 18



top coPS Toronto Police Service making inroads with the LGBT community


Out at work Hiring gays is good for business


arab Author Abdellah TAÏA at the IFOA The first Moroccan intellectual to come out publicly


Kelly and the kellygirls R. Kelly Clipperton and his band play in deep waters

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06 A night for opera lovers 07

myth: ALL lesbians are close to their exes




designing bedrooms to Get down


open house: aUTHOR with a superhero fetish

17 Relationships: initiating sex is an emotional risk 24

oCTOBER events calendar and listings

27 in spot: KNAVES POP-UP KITCHEN 33

Sex geek: Scared to Switch

34 Caught in the Act Photos

04 05.INTO.MastContents.indd 5

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18/09/2013 1:39:55 PM

toronto talk exchange VIEW FINDER → REPRESSION REVISITED As part of the Alameda Theatre Company’s sixth annual De Colores Festival of New Works, gay Chilean playwright Bruce Gibbons Fell (pictured) sets his play Paradise Red against the backdrop of 1970s Chile and the Pinochet dictatorship. It takes place over a weekend where mental breakdowns, homoerotic desire and sordid bloody secrets change forever the face of a powerful military family that has already fallen apart. It’s all set as a grand, dark campy telenovela about politics, oppression and sexual repression. “Paradise Red is my response as a writer to a history of political violence, through how conservative morals and the repression of sexual desire create a big dark closet of hate, like a bloody dream of paradise,” says Gibbons Fell. “It is the first time I tackle homosexuality as openly as I do in this play; it’s a major theme, and since the work takes place mostly in 1977, it’s also a way of dealing with our previous generations and their crimes. “I’ve never been more comfortable with being gay since moving to Canada. Homosexuality is not explored as a main theme in the Chilean theatre scene, and I come from a very conservative background back home. So this play, developed in the openness of Toronto, has allowed me to proudly let go and explore freely my history in relation to my sexuality in my work.” Turn to page 27 for event info.

In their own words By MICHAEL PIHACH


on stage with the COC’s Ensemble Studio singers. So far everyone from Nelly Furtado, Rufus Wainwright and the Arkells to Austra and Broken Social Scene has joined in. “Rock artists get fascinated by working with a trained singer,” says Neef. “They usually do some operatic stuff together then take on a song and do something with it. We’re not in silos. It’s a reciprocal appreciation for the art form, and in the end people are inspired by that unexpected collaboration.” The coming together of two worlds has not only diversified the crowd at Operanation—corporate COC patrons mingling with Jäger bombchugging twentysomethings—but it has also given the COC’s up-and-coming stars new inspiration. Says Neef: “We did the first one with Broken Social Scene. Afterwards, [the band] kept calling those opera singers and saying, ‘We wanna do gigs with you.’ For my young singers, it was the greatest thing that ever happened to them.” This year, for Operanat10n, the six-time Junowinning Sam Roberts Band takes to the stage alongside COC Ensemble Studio alumna soprano Ambur Braid. The gala evening’s theme is A Night of Temptation, inspired by Così fan tutte, a comedic opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, coming to the COC in 2014 in a new production directed by Atom Egoyan. The goal is to raise $100,000, which goes

“The biggest misunderstanding about opera is that people feel they have to have knowledge about it to enjoy it,” says Alexander Neef (pictured), general director of the Canadian Opera Company (COC). “That’s not how I came to opera.” Neef just enjoyed the music, a love affair born simply out of exposing himself to the stylized art form as much as he could. Part of Neef’s mission since joining the COC in 2008 has been to paint a more accessible picture of opera and attract new audiences. And if that means throwing a sexy party, then so be it. Enter Operanation, the COC’s annual fundraising gala. The event began as an intimate affair for 300 highbrow patrons at the Spoke Club 10 years ago. What could have become a lacklustre reception of stuffed tuxes instead evolved into something much cooler: an art party where opera meets pop music. With opera, “the biggest challenge is getting people through the door for the first time,” says Neef. But once people go “a lot tend to come back.” The success of Operanation, which has evolved into a multi-sensory event of 1,000 people on all three floors of the Four Seasons Centre, can be credited to a 2010 meeting between Neef and Jeffrey Remedios, president of the Arts & Crafts record label and Operanation co-chair. The idea was to get a hip crowd high on opera by inviting well-known pop stars to collaborate

→ “The impact of a live voice filling an auditorium. That’s what gets people really excited about opera.”

directly into COC’s training program for young opera singers. Says Neef: “The program takes on singers and turns them into artists.”

Operanat10n: A Night of Temptation will be held on Thur, Oct. 24 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St W. 9pm. $150. 416.363.8231.

October 2013

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toronto talk exchange Sound off a few seconds holding hands by Paul Gallant

Mj and Louise

Val and Martika


hen I describe Michèle Pearson Clarke’s It’s Good to be Needed ( project to women, they cringe. Clarke photographs expartners—queer women who don’t maintain a friendship—holding hands with each other. Some women immediately conjure their worst breakup with their worst ex—hell, no! But the photos’ many mysteries are a feast for viewers. Is there any visible historic intimacy underneath the obvious awkwardness? What went through the women’s minds when they decided to do this and what were they thinking the moment the photo was taken? Will this artsy ritual change their memory of the relationship? When three of Clarke’s photos were shown at the Gladstone Hotel’s Pride show, lesbian attendees who knew the subjects were abuzz about the backstories. “People don’t want to do it, but they want to see it,” says Clarke, 40, who started her art practice in film before adding photography to

the mix. Clarke got the idea for It’s Good to be Needed after her mother passed away in 2011, prompting her to contemplate unconditional love (her mother showered her with it) and how people carry loss. “That whole grieving process brought up a lot of older grief. I had begun a new relationship a few months before my mother passed away. My partner is close to her ex-husband and I’m not close to my ex-wife, and we were talking about the contrasts in our own lives. Because it’s the opposite of the conception that lesbians are always close to their exes and straight people are not.” At first Clarke figured she’d do eight or 10 photos to be posted all at once on the online gallery No More Potlucks (nomorepotlucks. org). But the difficulty of finding willing subjects expanded and broadened the project, which will follow her into an MFA at Ryerson University this fall. The negotiations required—and Clarke’s conducted more than 20 negotiations for the four

photos she’s taken so far—are a performance the viewer can only guess at. Clarke presents herself as a neutral facilitator, forming an email relationship with both the volunteer and the ex, who might be confused and annoyed. “I realize I’m asking a lot of people. I try to make the photo shoot happen Reese and Eli as fast as possible,” she says. “Like most things in life, when we struggle to imagine doing something, when we see somebody else do it, it makes it possible. If these people can do it, then I can.” Although Clarke isn’t naïve enough to declare, “We should all be friends,” she is trying to tap into the tenderness Sara and Lisa she believes underlines the queer experience. “As people who have to come out, we know who we have to be to take care of each other,” says Clarke. “We all have stuff we want to heal, stuff we want to shift. It’s a small community. When two people break up and there are difficult feelings that are not resolved, it tends to have this ripple effect through other friendship groups. The more time that passes, the more these things become entrenched. Eight, nine years later, you can’t even remember why you don’t talk to this person or why, when these two people are in the room, it becomes uncomfortable.” It might seem trite to try to get past a bad breakup with a few seconds of hand-holding. But Clarke has found that some candidates got something out of just imagining doing it. “One woman told me, ‘Just her saying she wanted to do this with me was important to me.’ “It’s a stereotype but it’s true. Lesbians do tend to process a lot. But sometimes it’s not enough.”

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18/09/2013 1:40:50 PM


October 2013

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Puerto Rico Romp → San Juan is a rainbow-friendly place for a week of kicking back Story Doug Wallace | Photography Tim Stewart


rinks with Ricky Martin?

results together: Puerto Rico was

Condado Beach has a quiet little

Sign me up!

in the top five on both lists. Puerto

strip of gay, right in the middle, at

When we heard that our

Ricans are a relaxed bunch, and this

the foot of Calle Vendig, where there

favourite Puerto Rican celebrated

includes their government’s attitude

are two terrific café bars to prop up,

his birthday at La Concha Resort

on homosexuality. With so much

morning, noon and night. Unlike a

on San Juan’s Condado Beach, we

boycotting of islands with anti-gay

more secluded resort beach where

had to head down to this tiny U.S.

laws on their books, it’s nice to find

you see the same tourists getting

territory to scope it out. Happily, we

a relatively safe spot to not worry

redder and redder every day and

discovered our new favourite spot,

about your glamboyancy. Ever since

the same tanned torsos jogging

with the flight a mere four hours and

Puerto Rican boxing featherweight

every morning, the people-watching

change. Extended long weekend,

Orland Cruz came out of the closet

varies by the minute, with the San


last year, and didn’t, you know, get

Juan population mixing right in.

Truthfully, I once Googled “best

beat up, this city is buzzing. Give it

There are hours of fun to be had

places to SCUBA dive” and “best

10 years, and we could be looking at

taking in the tiny trunks (gay or

gay-friendly sun spots” and put the

the new Puerto Vallarta.

European?), the ass cheeks (gym or

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18/09/2013 1:42:05 PM

L I V I N G & D ES I G N


October 2013

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implants?) and the May-December

mullets, gaudy cougars and fresh-

1521, this thick-walled museum is

inviting people you meet on the

couples (what’s going on there?).

faced twentysomethings. With food

a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and

beach out for cocktails or dinner or

You can make an entire day of

this good, everybody wins.

well worth a visit.

both, make sure you see them in

this, as we often have, all the while

Old San Juan makes for plenty of

In places as tiny as San Juan, your

creepily taking clandestine shots of

roaming, so carve out an afternoon

best bet is to head for the cooler

Swim trunks really are great ice-

the tall, dark and tanned with our

to explore it. Many shops cater to the

straight places that actually have a

breakers, aren’t they? Particularly at

phones. A word of caution: This is a

aforementioned cruise vacationers,

scene. This is where you will find the

the pool at La Concha. And while my

city where girls make their men wax

so dip your toe in that water if it suits.

local upscale population, gay and

travel mates all nixed my pleas for

their eyebrows, so when you see a

A few hours at the old forts—Fort El

straight, along with sophisticated

dinner in the giant beachfront shell,

group of well-groomed brows, don’t

Morro and Fort San Crisóbal—will

travelers who did their homework.

I will persevere next time. If it’s good

assume you can bat an eyelash.

yield a small peek into the town’s

And if you tend to make friends

enough for Ricky Martin, it’s good

history. Founded by the Spanish in

easily, remember: Before you go

enough for me.

Ocean Park Beach is just a bit

their street clothes first.

further east, attracting a younger crowd out for the rec activities

THe Details

(volleyball, paddleball, etc.) and a louder good time. Windsurfers

Base Camp

head further east to Punta Las Marias. Feel free to wander over. Perhaps because this is America, interesting ex-pats abound, and they often have a good life story to tell. These are the ones you need to latch on to for info on what’s hot and what’s not. Though there are

• For a relaxing overnight or two, ferry it to the pristine island of Vieques, just off the eastern shore. There’s a W Hotel, so you will be in good hands.

• A restored former convent, the El Convento Hotel (below) is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Three restaurants and excellent Trip Advisor reviews. (

• Scuba diving is stellar around Puerto Rico. Divers head to the southeast side of the island for the most relaxed diving: relatively shallow, uncrowded and undamaged. Fahardo is a major dive centre, as is Vieques.

multiple types of cuisine to tempt you when mealtime rolls around,

• Mona Island, off the west coast, is a designated ecological reserve offering pristine wildlife and cool cave exploring.

keep one thing in mind: You don’t

The cuisine in San Juan is largely geared to tourists, particularly the cruise-ship crowd which docks in the Old Town. This is a good thing, because you won’t tire of the fresh seafood platters, salads and the infamous mofongo: fried green plantains mashed with garlic and olive oil, and served with crab, shrimp, chicken, beef, vegetables

Walter Rinaldi

go to Puerto Rico to eat Italian or Thai, you go for the home cooking.

Party Central

• The Atlantic Beach Hotel used to brand itself as gay, but has branched out to include everyone. Still the same excellent value. ( • Entering the lobby at Hotel Casablanca is like stepping into an art gallery. Very old and right in Old San Juan, so you can stumble home after dinner. (

and broth, or any combination of the above. If you come across fried chicken on any menu, order it. And if your idea of a good time is enjoying a nice basket of ribs and a bit of local colour at the same time, the crowd at Mango’s at Ocean Park fits this bill to a tee. Be prepared for acidwash miniskirts and almost-cool

→ Yours to Discover (Clockwise from left) The lookout at Fort San Cristóbal; a statue blends art and history in Old San Juan; a rainbow on Condado Beach; Condo rejuvenation oceanfront at Condado Beach; locals and tourists mix on Ashford Avenue; Old Town fountain.


There are plenty of nice spots to lay your pretty little head near or very near the gay beach, including plenty of condos for rent.

• Before or after your city sojourn, maybe there’s time for a week of full-on royal service pampering that only the luxe Gran Meliá Resort Puerto Rico can provide? It’s worth the short drive. ( • La Concha (below) is a Renaissance Resort. Everyone who is anyone will eventually turn up at the lobby bar. When was the last time you went to the Caribbean and bothered to pack a Prada shirt? No worries here. (

• Ask your hotel doormen for the newest spot to hit for drinks after dinner (which is late, by the way). Tiny bars pop up and the latest and most fun hole in the wall won’t be obvious during the daytime. • On the other side of the scale, conveniently located right on the gay part of Condado Beach at the foot of Calle Vendig, is Oceano—with a very hip mixed crowd. Terrific for lunch, dinner and after dinner. • The small but lively Splash Lounge is a great place to start your night, not that far from the gay beach (6 Calle Condado). A younger crowd congregates for a meal or a round or two of drinks (or 10). • Though much further east in Isla Verde, the San Juan Water & Beach Club is stylish and dramatic with two bars: Liquid, on the main floor, and Wet on the roof. Keep an eye out for celebs. ( • Circo is the most popular dance club, with a bit of everything going on, from drag shows to go-go boys with lots of tourists thrown in (650 Calle Condado in Santurce). Take a cab there and back, because the surrounding area can be a bit sketchy. Don’t be fooled by the smallish outer ante-bar upon entering: there’s a small courtyard that leads to dance-floor action further inside. I kissed a girl and I liked it.

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L I V I N G & D ES I G N

Home Decor

Bye bye boring bedrooms → Erotica Interiors can turn your private space into a sex zone Story Andrea Zanin


anish the TV and bring on the satin sheets. Erotica Interiors takes high-end

design deep into the most private of spaces. Owner Karen E. Klucowicz has worked in interior design for more than a decade. After turning 50, she split with her business partner and decided it was time to have some fun at work. “Toronto has well over 4,000 designers,”




needed a way to differentiate myself.” So instead of specializing in kitchens and bathrooms like her colleagues—“the easiest way to resell a home”—she decided to get a little racy. Enter Erotica Interiors. “I think it’s time for people to start investing in themselves again, in their relationships. And the best way to do that is through the bedroom. Other spaces can be sexy,





lifestyle in terms of being gay,

base of a steel four-poster bed,



and how much weight the top bars

client is a careful process. “We

says. “They’re individuals. If it’s a

would take to suspend someone.


determine what they find sexy first.

couple with a very active sex life or

“And I had someone with a real

Interiors offers a personalized design

The initial consultations take care

a particular kind of sexuality, the

shoe fetish, so I designed a little

process to create sexy, sensual

of the direction they would like to

room will still be tailored to them.”

corner where they could display



see. I leave it to the client to decide

She works with singles, too, helping

different shoes that turn them on,

to getting down. She plays with

what is erotic to them. Sometimes

design rooms that will express the

and a space to kick the shoes off.

whatever information she gets to

you have to pull it out of them,”

client’s personality while still being

Also, I’ve designed a toy chest with

make the room fun and intimate.

she laughs. “It’s such a private

a welcoming space for a possible

hidden compartments. It has a

And she doesn’t necessarily have to

thing, right? You sort of peek into

future partner (or the occasional

mirrored top surface inside.

live the client’s lifestyle to handle

a bedroom, but you don’t go right

visitor). And she’ll happily apply

“I’m absolutely not a psychologist

their requirements.

in there, you know? So when they

her talents to the home gym, the

or sexologist, but I’m open to

The concept: As a full interior design



bedroom setting means to each

but this is a way to really explore.” service






“We’re not going to Home Sense.

invite me in, I have to find a way to

backyard or whatever other space

things. If you want to explore BDSM

A lot of the work is custom, so it

relax them.” Think questionnaires

screams “sex” for a given client.

or whatever, I’m not an expert, but I

really is a luxury investment,” she

and other assessment tools—you

explains. Klucowicz meets with clients for an initial consultation,

Says Klucowicz:

“I haven’t had

can refer you to someone who gives

can bust out the massage oil once

really crazy requests yet.” But

workshops and then I can design a

she’s gone.

perhaps that’s an indication that

space to accommodate you.”

develops a palette and a concept,

And being open-minded certainly

she’s not easily fazed. Clients have

and then sends in the painters and

helps in this line of work. “I don’t

asked, for instance, whether she

electricians to bring it to life.

necessarily differentiate by sexual

could retrofit a cage setting to the

Visit Erotica Interiors at

October 2013

12.INTO.Interior design.indd 12

18/09/2013 1:43:49 PM



by Paul Aguirre-Livingston

Head to toe → Fall

accessories for those finishing touches

making a spectacle of yourself Re-branded by dorky hipsters and dapper gents alike, spectacles as fashion statement may have

you praying for poor eyesight. Thick-rimmed classic frames keep colliding with contemporary design elements (think ombré dyes) to produce stylish, yet professional eyewear in vintage shapes and sizes.

“Bridgeport Oakwood” optics $119, Hickey Freeman. Free shipping.

ics Tie” opt “Black istian Dior. hipping. s r $199, Ch Free o c y l clear

“Maske U3” sunglasses. $395, Kuboraum. Karir Eyewear (First Canadian Place and 138 Cumberland St).

hot around the collar Whether you’re suited up, sporting a blazer or just soaking up the final days of summer, there’s always an

occasion for neckwear. Despite what you may have heard, bow-ties are most certainly not jejune and today’s flâneur says knitted ties are not déclassé, neither are printed scarves.

Silk striped bow-tie $39.90.

“Frankie” knitted tie. Yorkdale Wide-stripe silk tie $99. Ted Baker London. $125, Oliver Spencer. . re nt Ce Shopping 962 Queen St W. Uncle Otis. 26 Bellair.

Foot fetish Shoes and socks always reveal a man’s true character. And the focus on feet has found its way from the runways to the streets.

A classic Italian brogue always pairs well with a daring pair of socks. Plus look for updates on the classic sneaker. But the big question this fall is what is he wearing under those biker boots?

“Manleich” polka-dot pattern leather sneakers $65, Aldo.

textured leather “Dalton” buckle lace boot. e. . Dr. Martens Stor Dr. Martens. $240 391 Queen St “Charlesworth” Italian leather shoe. Insolito Terra with acupressure insole technology. $249.99.

Happy Socks . “Disco Dot” print. $13. GravityPope. 1010 Queen St W.

Baggage Check In the evolution of the man bag, there are only two true survivors: the briefcase-cum-satchel and the backpack. Evocative of your schoolboy days gone by, newer styles continue to bring back the elementary charm of craftsmanship and rugged design with one millennial add-on: all come complete with specially-designed compartments for all your gadgets and gizmos.

Tin cloth backpack with quilted back. $295. Filson. Uncle Otis. 26 Bellair.

HARLEMM Attache case mixed leather contrastaluminum case with nylon interior, padded shoulder strap. colour satchel, $385, Ted Baker $695 and up. Rimowa. London. Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Free shipping.

13.INTO.Fashion.indd 13


18/09/2013 1:44:33 PM

L I V I N G & D ES I G N


All ‘grown up’ now → Author and CBC news writer Steven Bereznai speaks candidly about his love of superheroes, his IKEA kitchen and how the Underwear Bomber ruined his Christmas Story Michael Pihach | Photography Riley Stewart


October 2013

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18/09/2013 2:19:43 PM







rent the ground floor and basement


to other tenants. Why did you


hometown of Pickering,

become a landlord?

Ontario to live in downtown Toronto

SB: In my early 20s I wanted to

in his early 20s, all he wanted was

explore gay life more, so I moved

to explore gay life in the big city.

to this neighbourhood and rented a

Keen on living close to all the action,

room I could afford. It was in a house

he rented a modest-sized room in a

owned by a gay couple two doors

house just a short walk from the gay

down from here. Looking back, it was

village. The apartment was fit for

shady and weird, but the landlords

a queen... until Bereznai’s mother

were nice and being close to the gay

stepped in and said, “We can do

village was what I wanted. But it’s

better than this.” With that, Bereznai

not what my mom wanted. When

made his first grown-up purchase:

she came for a visit she encouraged

Buying the house next door.

me to find something a little more

You live a couple of blocks south

“grown up.” We looked around and

of the gay village at Church and

this house two doors down was for

Wellesley. How would you describe

sale. It had three units and a rooftop

this part of town?

deck. It financially suited us, so I






bought the place.

glamorous Jarvis and Gerrard, which

You bought a house in downtown

is not only known for its hookers,

Toronto in your early 20s? That’s

but for its Harvey’s. Obviously I was

something you don’t hear about

today, so I’m glad I did it when I

immediately enchanted with the


did. It seemed like a smart thing to


SB: I had savings, but it was a

When did you move here?

different market back then. A few

Let’s just say it was before escorts

years ago I sold a 550 sq. ft. condo

started putting their ads online.

I’d previously bought for more than

do and as a writer, having the extra income gave me some freedom. You’ve given the house some serious gay love.

→ ECO friendly Bereznai has a strong appreciation for nature and animals, which are seen throughout the house. That and superheroes, of course.

carpets on all floors and a bizarre green-ish carpet trim along the

You live in the upper two floors

I paid for this entire house. I don’t

SB: The house was very different

walls. There were plastic chandeliers

of an old house that you own. You

know if I could buy a house like this

when I bought it. There were pink

everywhere. It was almost as if

14 15 16 17.INTO.OpenHouse2.indd 15


18/09/2013 2:20:54 PM

L I V I N G & D ES I G N

someone had this grandiose idea of

is in ecology, so I have a strong

opulence, but didn’t have the money

appreciation for nature and animals,

to make it happen.

which you’ll see throughout the

What kinds of renovations were required to make the place your own?

You also have an in-house Pilates studio?

SB: A kitchen from IKEA. I love the

SB: I’m a certified Pilates instructor,

tiles I installed, but my favourite part

so once in a while I’ll have a client

is the super hot water dispenser. If I

in there. But it’s mostly for myself. I

have a date over and offer to make

play water polo and spend about an

tea, it’s instantly ready and they’re

hour in there stretching everyday.

like, “Wait. How did you do that?”

The fiscally conservative part of me

I used marble in the bathroom too

considers getting a roommate, but

and the lines are quite striking.

of all the rooms in the house, it’s the





appreciation for campy musicals and sci-fi.

room I use the most. Let’s talk about the sexy superheroes hanging on your walls.

SB: On one side I have vintage

SB: They’re “my boys.” We have

that somebody could be meek and

pictures of Batman and Robin,



mild in their everyday life and have



Captain America and Green Lantern

this hero inside of them always

and Kato, and Han Solo (Star Wars

(or “thug” Green Lantern). They’re all

appealed to me. And, of course, the

was the first movie I ever saw in

by artist Joe Phillips, who queerifies

guys were super hot and ripped.

theatres… I fell asleep). On the other


side there’s shots from the Wizard

straight. They’re all signed, too.



of Oz, Singin’ In the Rain and my alltime favourite, The Sound of Music. What about the mounted rhino head? Inspired by Woody’s? SB: Everyone thinks it is. My degree 16







You’ve been a comic book fan your entire life.

Who’s your favourite superhero? SB: I’ve had a longtime crush on Nightcrawler. He’s got a nice jaw

→ simple pleasures Among all the fantastic design elements of the renovation, Bereznai is most excited about the instant hot water dispenser in his kitchen.

There are more gay superheroes than ever these days. Did that inspire you to write a book?

line, a lean body. He’s got that tail

SB: I wrote a book called Queeroes,

SB: Comics were a big escape for

and he can disappear into a puff of

which is about a group of gay teens

me in my early teens when things

smoke. But I’d go for someone like

with superpowers, with all the

weren’t going so well. Just the idea

Colossus, too.

ups, downs, and hormonal crushes

October 2013

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18/09/2013 3:03:39 PM

LIVING & DESIGN → No MEMBERSHIP required Bereznai is a certified Pilates instructor with his own gym (pictured below). After a work out, he pampers himself in his adjoining marble bathroom.

and angst that entails. Between breakups and makeups, they must also save the world. I’ve since

around and saying, “This is my life, how can I make the best of it?” Once I did that, it really changed my outlook on life. I started putting more effort into my friendships, family. I became a happier person. You’re also a news writer at CBC. How has that job influenced your craft? SB: Learning and being groomed in a newsroom has been a great experience. There’s no luxury of writer’s block in a newsroom. The news has to be written and written accurately. When I’m writing outside of CBC, I can go into a similar headspace: “It has to be written. It has to be written now.” What’s the most challenging news story you’ve ever covered? SB: Several years ago I was working Christmas Day, thinking to myself, “Oh it’s Christmas. This is going be an easy day.” Then I’m given this tiny story about a plane where smoke was detected, and I’m like, “Meh. It’s a holiday. We have room in the newscast so I guess we’ll put it in.” Well, wouldn’t you know, by the time we went to air, this becomes a story about the Underwear Bomber. I had to update it constantly and was on it for the rest of the holidays. The Underwear Bomber ruined my Christmas.

written a sequel, Queeroes 2, which is out now. That’s a different tone from your first book Gay and Single…Forever?: 10 Things Every Gay Guy Looking for Love (and Not Finding It) Needs to Know, which you wrote seven years ago. Are you still single? SB: I am, and had been single up until that book. After the book came out, I actually got into my first longterm relationship. Funny how life works that way. Are you jaded over the single life? SB: I certainly have my jaded moments. But it’s not one of those things. Day by day things change. I like the idea of surrendering. Not in a giving in way, but in looking

Steven Bereznai’s latest book, Queeroes 2, is available on

relationship advice

— with Adam Segal → I have been with my partner for about six mostly great years. She has told me she is frustrated with me because I never initiate sex and always depend on her to do so. While she might be overstating things a little, she does have a point. I have become less inclined over the years to make the first move and probably have always been the more passive one. I tell myself to try more often, but avoid taking any real action. Once we are having sex, I think it is fantastic and am very aroused. She is more warm with me after sex and that makes me feel closer to her. But I don’t want sex to be the only way we connect. I want to take her feedback to heart, but can’t seem to shake this habit of wanting her to pursue me. What should I do? Allison Let’s face it: Approaching a partner for sex, even if we have built a trusting relationship with them, is an emotional risk. The possibility of a “Not tonight, honey” rejection is always there. Your resistance toward initiating sex likely signals an underlying fear of feeling vulnerable. By handing the “sex starter” job to your partner, you never have to face the possibility of being turned down. Avoiding possible rejection might keep you safe in the moment, but over time weakens your confidence, spurs your partner’s resentment and ultimately places too much of your esteem in the hands of your partner. Another factor inhibiting someone’s capacity to get the sexual party started is that pesky little ego. Of course, it feels great to be coveted and lusted after— why wouldn’t you enjoy that? The problem starts when sex becomes more often a currency of validation rather than a way of being embodied and intimately connected to your partner. If your partner’s longing for you was truly the missing link for you to feel desirable, you wouldn’t keep needing it to be reaffirmed. Your job will be to sort

out the root of this sense of unworthiness and minimize its impact on your life and relationship. Your situation also reflects a frustrating dynamic that can plague a lot of relationships: One person needs closeness in order to have sex while the other person needs sex in order to feel close. This stark contrast can result in a sort of stalemate where both of you have opposing needs and are holding out for the other to supply the ingredient you want most. A crucial step forward could be as simple as just talking about it together. Once you identify this mismatched choreography, you’ll have a shot at shifting the pattern. Most importantly, you will both have to give a little more (whether sex or closeness) before you get to receive the thing you’re most after.

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

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18/09/2013 3:05:06 PM

Riley Stewart 18

October 2013

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Playing nice, finally → A decade ago, you could hardly find a gay cop in town. Today, a more LGBT-friendly approach is transforming the Toronto Police Service Story Paul Gallant


osh Wilson was a 16-year-

TPS cops who are comfortable with

It now has about 50 members, 15

until you look at how underreported

old high school student

gay, lesbian, bi and trans people and

of whom participated in this year’s

the crime used to be because people

in 2000, the year when

their issues, often because they are

Pride parade. Wilson, who is ISN

were afraid to go to the police.

five male Toronto police officers

gay, lesbian, bi or trans themselves.

co-chair, suggests that’s just the tip

stomped through the women-only

Though no one would claim macho

of the iceberg.

Pussy Palace bathhouse night, an

cop culture has completely purged

“In my workplace, there are at

operation that seemed more like

its homophobic streak, there are

least five officers who are not part

a panty raid than policing. At the

signs of progress in the recruitment

of the ISN,” says Wilson, who got his

time, the raid wasn’t on Wilson’s

strategy, in the training and in police

start working at the CN Tower after



culture itself. Around the time of

studying at Seneca. “People may be

Ontario, and wouldn’t come out to

the Pussy Palace raid, I remember

out in other parts of their life and

history, up there with the FLQ cri-

his family for another two years.

calling the TPS about a news release

they may want to keep their social

sis. Dramatic, sure, but so long ago.

But he’s had an education since

which listed the various ethnicities

life separate. At first I didn’t have a

But the relationship between the

then. Now a special constable with

and language skills of the newest

huge interest in the ISN because I

Toronto police and the gay com-

the Toronto Police Service (TPS)

crop of police officers, asking if there

didn’t feel I had any issues I needed

munity remained mostly toxic for

court services, Wilson is respon-

were any out cops in the mix; up to

to overcome. But I started to discover

a couple more decades. Sometimes

sible for training new recruits. He

that point, I hadn’t been able to track

what it stood for and I liked it.”

it seemed like a warped game, with

includes a discussion of the Pussy

down a single out officer. I might as

Palace raid in the LGBT session.

well have asked if they had recruited


any avowed terrorists.




“It’s something we certainly can’t


events trans

How did the police get so much better





working with LGBT people? You have to start at the top.


he 1981 bathhouse raids have a special place in Canadian


the police and mainstream media



regularly hinting at some imag-



ined dark gay underworld. After



hide or pretend it didn’t happen,”

Now the TPS actively recruits

inappropriately detained by police

police officers raided the Bijou

says Wilson, now 29. “It’s important

LGBT officers. And when they found

officers who didn’t follow TPS’s trans

porn theatre in 1999, for example,



that recruits were going back into

policies—or the killing of Sammy

the district supervisor in charge of

important that everyone knows—

the closet in training, they started

Yatim on an empty streetcar this

the gay village denied secret deals

what happened so it won’t happen

sending in a mentor to support them

summer, Torontonians justifiably

to tolerate “illicit sexual activ-

again. When I tell the new recruits

in staying out. “When studying,

and necessarily find themselves

ity” in the gay community, as the

about it, they’re shocked.”

everybody’s an A-type personality

asking the police, “What went

National Post put it. When Kyle

What a difference 13 years make.

with lots of macho jock guys,” says

wrong?” But in the case of police

Rae, Toronto’s first openly gay city

Wilson is part of a new generation of

Wilson, who didn’t come out in

attitudes toward LGBT issues, it

councillor, criticized the officers

class. Meanwhile, an LGBT Internal

might also be fair to ask “What’s

responsible for the Pussy Palace




gone right?” You hear fewer reports

raids, the officers sued him for def-




of homophobic cops now, fewer

amation. No matter how egregious


accusations that police ignore crimes

police actions, there was always a



→ MACHo no more Thanks to the efforts of special constable Josh Wilson and LGBT liaison officer Danielle Bottineau (opposite page), there is progress in





recruitment strategy, training and in




against LGBT people. Reports of gay-

hint that LGBT people had brought

police culture itself.

companies—was formed in 2009.

bashing are up—which sounds bad

trouble on themselves.


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Australia Police Service gave Goh many of the tools he needed to sell his vision when Blair hired him eight years ago as manager of the Diversity Management Unit. “They wanted the service to be a place that was welcoming, not only for police officers, but for communities of every race, orientation and creed. But they didn’t know how to do that,” says Goh, who is openly gay. “So you start with what’s possible.” While some changes would take a generation—the ingrained attitudes of officers who grew up when homophobia was acceptable being slowly diluted by younger officers— Goh identified others that could be achieved more quickly through policies, procedures, processes and practices. The TPS looked at how it recruited and promoted officers, engaging in a three-year project with the Ontario Human Rights Commission




internally and with the public (the results are expected to be released at the end of the year). It added LGBT language




which sounds trite, except that making words a part of regular discussions makes it more difficult to snigger at and speculate about them. → Policing with PRIDE Special constable Josh Wilson (top) and Danielle Bottineau (left, in uniform) march in the Pride Parade; André Goh (above) is the primary engineer of the new approach at TPS.

“If you say you’re including all religions and creeds, why won’t you say LGBT? We tried simple things like that,” says Goh. “I’ve said to the executive team: use LGBT more often in your speeches. For the chief, it came naturally to him. For

The disdain flowed both ways.

to have rewritten an otherwise

workforce who understood and fit

many others—not that anybody


depressing script. Having spent his

into Toronto’s many communities.

was homophobic, they just had

police chief Julian Fantino, now

early career downtown, policing the

Sexual diversity, along with ethnic

no experience. People would ask

a Conservative cabinet minister,

village and working with gay officers,

diversity, was part of that recipe.

me, ‘Can I say dyke?’ The fact that

hosted his first-ever Pride reception

Blair started from a position far more

“I remember the discussion 15

people felt comfortable enough to

in lieu of going in the parade, he

informed—and far less paranoid—

years ago about recruiting in the

show me their ignorance told me we

faced a protest on the other side of

than Fantino. But it was his vision,


were growing.”

the fence. Community leaders like

as much as his background, that

“They’d say, ‘We know they are

The mind shift also means adapting

Rev. Brent Hawkes worked hard to

formed the backbone of what was

already with us, we don’t have to

on the fly. Goh says the force is

build a better relationship, but it

to come. His decision to shift toward

recruit in that community.’ But we

currently supporting two employees

seemed an impossible task.

community-based policing—getting

had to do more than that.”

who are transitioning; when one of









“There’d be a conflict and a source

cops out of their cars and onto the

of anger and we wouldn’t even be

streets where citizens could get



policy of making a system-wide

aware of it,” says TPS chief Bill Blair.

to know them and vice versa—

with the Ontario Human Rights

announcement of name changes,

Blair’s 2005 appointment seems

meant recruiting a more diverse


brass tossed the rule. When the

A primary engineer of the new is

André and

Goh. as


them was uncomfortable with the

October 2013

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18/09/2013 3:06:13 PM


LGBT ISN decided to produce an anti-bullying video (

does become a hate crime.” As charming as Bottineau is,

health and my happiness. But my

says Matthew Cutler, who is co-chair

stance as I’ve gotten older has been

of the LGBT community consultative

watch?v=2Pq-9_uJUnY) earlier this



that it’s normal. If you don’t have


year, the brass jumped in; the chief

welcoming yet another cook into

that self-loathing and shame, people


appeared in the video and there

an investigation’s kitchen. In the

don’t pick up on it and people don’t

or because they’re sex workers







folks— involved

was a media launch. “It grew into a

or because their gender identity

monster,” says Wilson. “Everybody

doesn’t fit the normative profile—

wanted to get involved.” Trust between the police and the community can be harder to build. Goh remembers a text he got about two years ago from a friend who was at Goodhandy’s (now Club 120), which is known for its sex-friendly attitude. “We’re being raided. I’m here. Why?” the text read. Goh

“It’s important that our officers know—it’s important that everyone knows—what happened so it won’t happen again. When I tell the new recruits about it, they’re shocked.” —TPS Special Constable Josh Wilson speaking on the Pussy Palace raid in 2000

immediately called the inspector on

who are still experiencing a lot of challenges in their relationships with the police. Sure, the committee has a very different feel than it would have 10 years ago, but I wouldn’t say the work is done.” But the work has, for the most part, become proactive rather than reactive—a far cry from where things were a decade ago.

duty and found there was no such


raid scheduled—policies developed


post-Pussy Palace require officers

the victim didn’t feel comfortable

to notify their superiors of any

disclosing as trans in the first place.

While standing up for themselves

Blair. Certainly, the more out officers

such operations. Goh discovered

“Every officer’s reaction is different,”

seems an effective way for LGBT

there are, the less likely straight

someone at the bar had called the

says Bottineau. “There still needs

cops to change attitudes, it’s surely

cops will see LGBT people as weird

police, making a false gun threat in

to be more of an educational piece

too much to ask of victims of crime

and suspicious. And the less we all

the midst of a lovers’ row. The police

out there for the officers. Knowing

and other vulnerable people.

have to fear.

turned on the lights to search for

the terms and the language does

the perpetrator, who confessed. The

make them approach individuals

lights went off again and the party


continued. The response had been merely Pavlovian.

assault frustration



pick on you. I decided on day one I



was going to be out of the closet and


I was.”

victimization, but also of fear,” says

Both Bottineau, who came out in her job interview when she joined

While TPS has had an LGBT liaison

the force, and Wilson say they’ve

officer since 2001, the officer is often

had few personal problems with

spread thin. In the run of a day,

homophobia in the force. There’s

the current liaison officer, Danielle

the occasional “That’s so gay” or the

Bottineau, might meet with one of

officers who teased Bottineau that

a dozen community groups, talk to

they could turn her straight. But the

a merchant who has been accused

two officers are quick to shrug it off.

of saying homophobic things to

“Police culture can be raw and

customers or work with officers

intimidating. The guys will talk

doing an investigation that affects

about whatever,” says Wilson. “I

LGBT people. (She’s also organizing

thought, ‘I should take part in these



conversations, too.’ It took courage

in conjunction with next year’s

in the beginning to speak as freely

WorldPride celebrations.)

about my life as everyone else does,



“A few months ago I got a call from

but I’ve gained the respect of people

a trans person who was assaulted

I work with. I’ve seen people have

in Scarborough,” says Bottineau,

these ah-ha moments when they’re

who has been with the TPS for 14

with me. ‘Maybe I should think

years. “When they reported it, they

differently about this. It’s not as

didn’t disclose as being trans. But

weird as I thought it was.’”

they told me they felt they were

Which isn’t saying that going into

assaulted because they were trans.

the force as an out man was easy.

So I had to assure the individual

“It was a scary thing to think about.

that nobody was going to pass

Who knew what was going to

judgement on them, but it was

happen?” says Wilson. “I certainly



wasn’t afraid for my safety, but

since it changes the investigation. It

I was concerned for my mental




measure of




the and

“Not all of us are in a better space,”

What’s happening in the rest of the world Ignore Russia (just for a moment). Police forces in some far-flung locations are trying various strategies to win the trust of LGBT people. London’s Metropolitan Police currently has more than 60 LGBT liaison officers who wear rainbow triangle badges when they’re on the job. The small European state of Montenegro has established a national plan to improve the quality of life for its LGBT people. In the next five years, the government intends to increase police education on LGBT issues and “enhance the safety of the LGBT persons, social gatherings and social life.” After the severe beating of a gay Baltimore man, the city police department established a special LGBT advisory council earlier this year. This year San Francisco posted Safe Zone signs in the windows of

10 police stations designated as safe havens for members of the LGBT community. The New South Wales police force in Australia has a Facebook page highlighting outreach and antihomophobic efforts. Dozens of the force’s officers participated in Wear It Purple day, a high school program that supports sexual and gender diversity. In August, South Africa’s deputy minister of police joined the country’s Free Gender Gay and Lesbian Organisation and Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) to celebrate Women’s Month. The government is also set to introduce new hate crime legislation to protect LGBT people. A full decade after a damning report on discrimination against lesbians in the Philippines, the Metro Manila police force this year hosted its first series of LGBT sensitivity workshops aimed at uniformed officers.

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Gay good for business → Organizations like Proud at Work, Out on Bay and exeQutive aim to improve diversity in the workplace Story Krishna Rau




Out on Bay is one of several

to adopt a pro-gay attitude in the

including the LGBT Youthline, Egale

decision to serve as chair



organizations in the Toronto area

workplace. “Your employee policies


and president of Out on Bay

that work to improve diversity in

have a huge input on your bottom

and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay

Street has been an easy one. After

corporate Canada and to provide



all, the organization is responsible



Straight allies will not conduct

“It’s about finding like people,”

for changing his life.

employees. While Out on Bay works

business with companies that do not

says Elizabeth Hurly, an exeQutive








In 2007, Mirpuri was in his first

with LGBT students, Pride at Work

have a good brand and reputation to

member and an investment advisor

year at York University’s Schulich

Canada (PAW) focuses on getting

the Canadian consumer.”

at RBC Dominion Securities. “Things

School of Business. In his first

companies to embrace diversity

Chamberlain says there’s been

have changed so much over the past

month at the school, he heard about

and improve workplace conditions

a noticeable change in corporate

few years. Even back in the ‘90s, to

the annual meeting of Out on Bay

and ExeQutive serves as a forum

attitudes in the past few years alone.

come out and say you were gay at

Street, an organization that focuses

allowing gay business leaders in

“There’s been a really interesting

work was really hard to do. But even

on providing networking and job

Toronto to gather for discussions

shift,” he says. “Five years ago, it

today, we’ve had events on coming

opportunities for gay and lesbian

and planning.

was grassroots, LGBT employees

out, how to come out to your boss,

students interested in business, law

But the bottom line is the same for

building a business case and then

to your co-workers. I think most of

or technology. Mirpuri decided to

all of them, says Brent Chamberlain,

bringing it to the firm they work for.

our members are out, it just depends

attend the meeting, and things have



Five years later, it’s the organization,

on how out you are. Some people are

been different since that day.

about making things better for gay

more often than not, that’s reaching

more out than others, we don’t say

“I had had a very closeted high

employees and getting companies

out to Pride at Work. Now, it’s much

what’s right or wrong.”

school experience,” says Mirpuri. “I

to realize that a happy and diverse

was still in my questioning phase

workforce is good for business.



about where I was going to go when

“People can perform better when

I attended the meeting. But after

they can be themselves,” he says.

I attended the event, I realized I

“If they’re spending all their time

could be open about who I was and

and energy concealing their sexual

still be successful. I quickly turned

orientation, studies have shown

to being out. I was out throughout

their productivity is reduced by 30

university and have been ever since.

per cent.

It’s proudly on my resume.


“It really worked for me. I was



“Not only am I a woman in a male-dominated profession, but I’m a lesbian. That means I’m different in two ways. It is a man’s world. But there’s more and more LGB executives and they’re more willing to speak up.” — ExeQutive member Elizabeth Hurly


companies is the business drivers.

more employer-led. They say they

Hurly herself says she was not out

one of the original success stories,



see the benefit, they see how it

at work for most of her professional

one of the people learning to be

diversity can market themselves in

directly affects the bottom line in a

career, only coming out about five

comfortable with who they were. I

a really authentic way. Take TD. The

good way.”

years ago. But wanting to be open at

landed a job at TD part-time during

people they have in their ads are

But things are not perfect for LGBT

work was one reason she says she

school through Out on Bay Street.”

not only genuine employees, they’re

employees yet. One of the functions

moved to RBC in December of 2012.

telling their real stories. Those

of exeQutive — which gay business

“Before, I was hesitant to come out,”

campaigns are giving them tens of

leaders in Toronto pay $375 a year

she says. “Not only am I a woman

thousands of customers.”

to join—is to offer a space where

in a male-dominated profession,



but I’m a lesbian. That means I’m

Currently Canada,











Manager for Deloitte’s Employee Resource








Matt Petersen, the chair of PAW





and the senior director of diversity

problems of being out in a corporate

different in two ways. It is a man’s

Employees at Deloitte), and has been

strategies and workplace inclusion

workspace with others in the same

world. But there’s more and more

the president of Out on Bay for three

for CIBC, agrees that companies

position. ExeQutive also helps fund

LGB executives and they’re more


have significant business motivation

a prominent gay charity each year,

willing to speak up.”

October 2013

22 23.INTO.Out On Bay.indd 22

18/09/2013 1:59:16 PM


Allied) and still be successful in the business world.” Mirpuri and the members of other groups all admit, however, that the corporate world still has a long way to go when it comes to bi and trans people, and to a lesser extent, to lesbians. “The B is nowhere near that understood,”



“There’s tremendous stigma. And it’s not only from the straight community, but as stupid as it sounds, it comes from the gay community, as well.” Petersen says that trans employees still have to deal with corporate befuddlement. “It’s still the area where companies need to get their heads around how to deal with it,” he says, “especially with employees that are going through transitioning in the workplace. They want to do the right thing, but they’re not always sure what that is.” But Mirpuri says that having corporations





these issues also helps blaze the way for the larger society to adopt more welcoming policies. “They create a path for the society to follow. Companies are the setters, they break the ground for other companies to follow and society follows that.” Hurly points to same-sex marriage → Power in pride (Top) Out on Bay town hall with (from left) Paul Marai, Shane Hebel, Jonathan Naymark, Adam Keeping, Michael Mirpuri and Japneet Kaur; (bottom) Pride at Work’s Brent Chamberlain (left) and Matt Petersen with Premier Kathleen Wynne.

as an example of where corporations have to change. Industries that have


were ahead of the societal curve. “I

traditionally been male-dominated

that Out on Bay Street is trying

believe that corporations have a really

have a level of macho attitude.”

to reach. The organization holds

big impact on societal change. For

But Petersen and Hurly both see a

monthly socials and recruitment

example, companies that extended

significant change in the way that

fairs throughout the year that offer

benefits before same-sex marriage

younger employees entering the

students and young gays the chance

was legal. If you look at countries

Petersen says he has never felt

corporate workplace approach their

to meet with older gay professionals

where same-sex marriage is not

any hesitation about being out, but

sexual orientation. “The millennial


legal, when companies offer benefits,

he agrees with Hurly that diversity



technology companies interested

is not evenly applied across all

advanced and they do look for

in recruiting young workers. The

industries or across the country.

companies that adopt these policies,”


says Petersen. “I also do think

scholarships each year to post-


organizations want to attract the best

secondary students. Out on Bay also

reasons: “Look at what’s going on in

people and want to retain them.”

“Even if you look at geographical differences, outside




















they’re showing a different way.” Hurly also says that corporations can help make sure that gay rights rolled




annually presents its Leaders to Be

Russia. It used to be that being gay

Petersen. “And when you think of

Hurly agrees that there’s also a

Proud Of Awards, which recognize

or lesbian there was not a problem.

manufacturing, oil and gas, and the

vast change. “Now I know when

LGBT executives or allies, and, says

Now, it’s really difficult. You just

legal industry, they still have a long

students are applying for jobs at

Mirpuri, offer role models for young

have to be vigilant and just make

way to go. It’s only over the past

many companies, they put right on


sure there is equality for all.”

three to five years that we’ve seen

their resumes that they’re gay. I just

with the comfort of knowing and

the legal industry realizing they

find it really neat.”

seeing that you can be LGBTQA (for




Visit, and for events.

22 23.INTO.Out On Bay.indd 23


18/09/2013 2:57:10 PM

listings & events

october IN THE CITY


Proartedanza Opens at Fleck Dance Theatre





Litmus Theatre’s Birth of Frankenstein Opens at St Luke’s United Church

Kelly and the KellyGirls At Revival Nightclub

Lynn Crawford





Abdellah TaÏa reads at the IFOA At Harbourfront

DELICIOUS FOOD SHOW Opens at the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place

Opera Atelier’s Abduction From The Seraglio Opens at the Elgin Theatre

Ai WeiWei: According to What? Closes at the AGO

Art DAVID CRONENBERG: TRANSFORMATION Six new TIFF-commissioned artworks from leading Canadian and international contemporary artists who share filmmaker David Cronenberg’s inspirations from literature and philosophy—writers such as McLuhan, Burroughs and Ballard—and his fascination with biological horror, the human psyche and the merging of humans and media. Artists featured: Candice Breitz, James Coupe, Marcel Dzama, Jeremy Shaw, Jamie Shovlin and Laurel Woodcock. Free. 11am-6pm. Tue-Sun. To Sun, Dec 29. Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. 952 Queen St W. ART TORONTO Now in its 14th year, this Toronto international art fair includes more than 110 galleries representing 13 countries. Wiidely acknowledged as an essential platform for networking in the

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Canadian visual arts community, Art Toronto brings together collectors, curators, artists and galleries from around the world. Toronto galleries include: Sandra Ainsley, Angell, Bau-Xi, Stephen Bulger, Blunt, Christopher Cutts, Daniel Faria, Olga Korper, Paul Petro, Odon Wagner, Miriam Shiell, Mira Godard, Katharine Mulherin, Caviar20, Jane Corkin; From Montreal: Antena Galerie BAC, Battat Contemporary; Galerie de Bellefeuille, Galerie René Blouin, Blunt, Galerie Dominique Bouffard, Galerie Donald Browne, Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Galerie D’Este; plus international galleries from the US, Israel, Mexico, Korea, Japan, China, France, Spain and England. $14-$18. Fri, Sat. 12pm8pm. Sun, Mon. 12pm-6pm. Fri, Oct 25-28. Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building). 255 Front St W. THE ANNUAL: SHIFTING GROUND For the art fair’s fifth year, curator Katherine

Dennis pushes local artists to look deeply at the effects of important personal, cultural and societal changes, bringing together artists, curators and collectives to present new work and site-specific installations. Personal histories from indigenous to immigrant stories explore where traditional practices, cultural heritage and individual identity collide with and make space within everyday contemporary society. Participating artists were invited to respond to this year’s theme by thinking literally—natural disasters, climate change, border negotiations—and metaphorically—reinvention, disruption, the creation of new worlds. This exhibition invites dialogue through a diverse body of artistic practices working in many mediums from painting and photography to video projection and immersive installation. Opening reception: Free. 7-10pm. Thu, Oct 10. $5 (free for students) 11am-8pm.

Fri, Sat. 11am-5pm. Sun. To Oct 13. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W. 416-531-4635. AI WEIWEI AND DAVID BOWIE When planning your fall outings don’t even think of missing out on these exhibitions, the only North American stop (David Bowie) and Canadian stop (Ai WeiWei) on these show’s world tours. Featuring photographs, sculpture, installation art and audio and video pieces, Ai Weiwei: According to What? (To Sun, Oct 27) examines how the artist spotlights the complexities of a changing world and probes such issues as freedom of expression, individual and human rights, the power of digital communication and the range of creative practice that characterizes contemporary art today both in China and globally. David Bowie is (To Wed, Nov 27) spans five decades and features more than 300 objects from Bowie’s personal archive. The multime-

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our guide to your month and Artistic Associate Robert Glumbek, the second installment in Campanella and Glumbek’s long-term project to produce a full-length feature work in homage to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony; the critically acclaimed Fractals: A Pattern of Chaos, choreographed by National Ballet of Canada principal dancer Guillaume Côté; and the North American premiere of Shifting Silence, choreographed by Robert Glumbek. Dancers include Tyler Gledhill, Justin De Luna, Benjamin Landsberg and Ryan Lee. Part of Next Steps, Harbourfront Centre’s national dance series. $20-$39. 8pm. Wed, Oct 2-5. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000.


THE ANNUAL ART FAIR At The Gladstone Hotel

dia show celebrates the artist’s collaborations in the fields of fashion, sound, theatre, art and film. In addition to handwritten set lists, lyrics, diary entries, instruments and sketches, David Bowie is includes more than 50 stage costumes plus music videos, set designs, photographs and excerpts from films and live performances. $12.50-$30 (combo packs $40). 10am-5:30pm. Tue, Thu-Sun. 10am-8:30pm. Wed. AGO. 317 Dundas St W. 416-979-6648. WHEN PLATITUDES BECOME FORM This marks Christopher Kulendran Thomas’ first solo exhibition in Canada. Born in London in 1979 after his parents left escalating civil conflict in Sri Lanka, Thomas exploits the gap between contemporary art from here and there, setting in motion consequences that undercut the parameters of both. Thomas reconfigures artworks by some of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated young artists in order to instigate part-clandestine processes of structural change in the formerly Tamil-occupied territories of the North and to form a media platform to link diasporically dispersed Tamil solidarity. Free. 11am-6pm. Tue-Sat. To Oct 12. Mercer Union. 1286 Bloor St W. 416.536.1519.

Books 34th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS Each fall, the IFOA brings together the world’s best writers of contemporary literature for 11 days of readings, interviews, lectures, round table discussions and public book signings. This year’s participants include Abdellah Taia, the first Moroccan and Arab writer to publicly declare his homosexuality. The

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French Éditions du Seuil has published five of his books, including L’armée du salut, which was translated into English in 2009 under the title Salvation Army. His novel Le jour du Roi was awarded the prestigious French Prix de Flore in 2010. He has just finished his first full-length movie as a director, Salvation Army, an adaptation from his novel. At this year’s IFOA, Taïa presents his autobiographical novel of self-discovery, An Arab Melancholia, about an openly gay man who lives between cultures in Egypt and France. (See page 29). Also reading are Alison Wearing, S Bear Bergman and Helen Humphreys. (See page 30) $18 ($15 supports; free students/youth). 8pm. Oct 24-Nov 3. Harbourfront Centre. 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000.

Classical Music & Opera OPeRANATION The Canadian Opera Company celebrates its 10th Operanation with a collaborative party performance featuring the multi-platinum, six-time Juno-winning Sam Roberts Band and the COC’s Ensemble Studio artists. In a celebration of sound and sensation, Operanat10n: A Night of Temptation, a fundraiser for the Ensemble Studio training program for young opera professionals, transforms three levels of the Four Seasons Centre into a multi-sensory evening where elements of the opera are translated into food, fashion, music and art. Since its inception, Operanation has grown to be the largest opera party in North America. This year’s inspiration is Così fan tutte, a popular comedic opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, coming to the COC in 2014 in a new production directed by Atom Egoyan. $150. 9pm. Thu, Oct 24. Four

Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. 145 Queen St W. 416-363-8231. (See interview with COC general director Alexander Neef on page 6.) ROYAL CONSERVATORY ORCHESTRA Conductor Julian Kuerti leads the Royal Conservatory Orchestra with violinist Luri Lee. The evening’s program features Strauss’ Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. $25-$55. 8pm. Fri, Oct 4. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W.

DX INTERSECTION The Design Exchange hosts its second annual fundraising gala, a celebration of fashion, art, food, entertainment, architecture and design. This charity event, in support of DX youth and educational programming, returns as Canada’s design museum honours the 2013 recipients of the Gamechanger Award, Byron and Dexter Peart. Known in the fashion biz as “The Twins,” they are the founders of the Want agency, a fashion and lifestyle firm that distributes Filippa K, SWIMS, Maison Kitsuné, Arc’Teryx Veilance and Nudie Jeans. From culinary adventures to interdisciplinary installations and interactive experiences, this evening is a showcase of how design infiltrates all aspects of our lives. $500. 6:30pm (includes VIP Dinner, installation and party); $175. 8pm. Party only. Fri, Oct 18. The Design Exchange. 234 BAY ST.



IKINK Northbound Leather’s 17th annual fashion show and party is the world’s BALLET JORGEN Formation is the grand largest single night fetish party with a full finale of the company’s 25th anniversary, a dungeon. $45 in advance ($60 door; $125 mixed repertoire performance that VIP). 9 pm-6am. Sat, 11pm show. Oct 19. includes Bouffonia, a new one-act ballet by Polson Pier. 11 Polson St. renowned Canadian choreographer Robert Film Desrosiers. With an original score by Eric Cadesky and Nick Dyer, Bouffonia is a TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL comedic ballet based on the antics of old The eighth annual event programs nine world clowns where Desrosiers fuses nights of new horror, sci-fi, action and cult dance with magic and imagination. movies. $11-$13 ($143 all-access pass). Formation features other new works by Thu, Oct 17-25. Scotiabank Theatre. 259 dance artists Malgorzata Nowacka and Allen Kaeja. Intensely physical, both artists Richmond St W. For more info on films and tickets, visit bring their unique style of dance to a

classical context, creating ballets of vibrant energy and emotional intensity. Rounding out the program is Derek Sangster’s Good Mourning, showcasing the redemptive and healing powers of the grieving process. $30-$76. 8pm. Fri, Oct 4-5. Betty Oliphant Theatre. 404 Jarvis St. 416-978-8849. PROARTEDANZA The program includes the world premiere of Beethoven’s 9th-3rd Movement, choreographed by ProArteDanza Artistic Director Roberto Campanella

Fundraiser STAR STRUCK: A HOLLYWOOD AFFAIR The annual gala fundraiser in support of the Community One Foundation brings together the LGBT community while recognizing an individual for leadership in the LGBT community with the $10,000 Steinert and Ferreiro Award. $75. 7pm. Thu, Oct 17. St. James Cathedral (Snell Hall). 65 Church St. (416) 910-1576. For more info, email

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Leisure & Pleasure DELICIOUS FOOD SHOW This interactive consumer-based tradeshow showcases the hottest in food products, wine and spirits, restaurants and food equipment from more than 300 exhibitors. Mike Chalut hosts The Food Network’s Celebrity Kitchen, featuring some of the world’s most notable culinary masters: Martha Stewart, Michael Smith, Nadia G, Chuck Hughes, Lynn Crawford and David Rocco. $20. 11am-10pm. Fri. 10am-7pm. Sat. 10am-6pm. Sun. Oct 25-27. Better Living Centre. 95 Princes’ Boulevard, Exhibition Place.

Music KELLY AND THE KELLYGIRLS In the 10 years since the band formed it has released three studio albums, one live DVD/album, one mini-album, toured Canada four times, the UK/France twice and California. The seven-piece band is known for its unique cultural fusion of ska, swing, mariachi, reggae and flamenco. The band promotes their latest album The Deep Ending. 7pm. Oct 24. Revival Nightclub. 783 College St. 416.535.7888. revivalbar. com. (Turn to page 31.)

Stage PIg An explicitly honest account of contemporary sexuality by Tim Luscombe follows three gay couples as they stretch the boundaries of their relationships in the quest for deeper levels of intimacy. $20-$37. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. To Sun, Oct 6. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. 416-975-8555. BIRTH OF FRANKENSTEIN Just in time for Halloween, Toronto-based Litmus Theatre’s site-specific production fuses Mary Shelley’s gothic novel with the dramatic personal circumstances that inspired her to write it. Set in a unique downtown location, the production explores the myths and monsters that haunt the pages of Frankenstein. Says director Matthew Thomas Walker: “We have stripped Shelley’s story to its bare bones, exposing the flesh, blood and sinews that will bring Frankenstein back to life.” $20-$30. 8pm. Wed, Oct 23-27. Oct 29-Nov 3. Saint Luke’s United Church. 53 Sherbourne Ave. DE COLORES FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS This festival for Latin American playwrights has developed the new works of more than 20 Latin American writers in Canada. This year the festival features works by Bruce Gibbons Fell (Paradise Red), Jefferson Guzman (Solaz), Flavia Hevia (Have You Lost Something?) and Rosa Laborde (Marine Life). $13-$15 (Festival pass, $40). 8pm. Wed, Oct 16-18. Wychwood Theatre. 601

Christie St. 416-504-7529. (Turn to page 6 for more on Bruce Gibbons Fell.)

Abduction from the Seraglio Opera Atelier’s 2013-2014 season begins with Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, a colourful comedy that tells of the charming antics of Belmonte and Pedrillo, a master and servant who must rescue their beloveds from the harem of the Pasha Selim. A revival of Opera Atelier’s 2008 production, this opera, directed by Marshall Pynkoski, choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg with costumes by Margaret Lamb, features some of Mozart’s most demanding arias, grounded in the commedia dell’arte tradition. Sung in German with English dialogue and English surtitles. $38-$166. 7:30pm. Sat, Oct 26-Nov 2. 3pm. Oct 27. The Elgin Theatre. 189 Yonge St. 1-855-622-2787. ticketmaster. ca. EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL Taking all the elements of the cult classic horror films Evil Dead 1, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness this zombie-inspired Canadian cult musical is about five college friends spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods after accidentally unleashing an evil force that turns them all into demons. Warning: audience members in the first three rows run the risk of leaving the theatre covered in fake blood. Not to mention dismembered limbs. $40.95-$80.95. Opens Wed, Oct 23 for an unlimited run. Randolph Theatre. 736 Bathurst St. 1-855-985-5000. FARTHER WEST Canadian playwright John Murrell tells a sweeping tale of romance, independence, and fate as prostitute May Buchanan moves steadily west across gold rush-era Canada pursued by two men obsessed with possessing her again. Directed by Diana Leblanc. $32-$68. 7:30pm. Oct 11-Nov 9. Young Centre for the Performing Arts. 50 Tank House Lane (Distillery District). 416-866-8666.

Television VALENTINE ROAD This film looks at the school shooting of a young teenager who’d begun exploring his gender identity, detailing the circumstances that led to his murder by a fellow student, and the complicated aftermath. Directed and produced by first-time filmmaker Marta Cunningham, the powerful and disturbing documentary raises questions about the safety of LGBT teens, while challenging the efficacy of the U.S. educational and juvenile justice systems to prevent these kinds of tragedies. An official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. 9pm. Mon, Oct 7. HBO Canada.

in spot Julian Calleros Story & photography Paul Gallant

Back when Dundas West was little more than a string of Portuguese sports bars, Julian Calleros staked the neighbourhood’s first queer flag. His gallery/café/bar Naco was not just a place for coffee, cocktails or tamales, but a home for artists, DJs, performers and promoters who used the space as something of an experimental lab. “A lot of it involved people being drunk,” laughs Calleros, a Guadalajara-born visual artist who moved to Canada more than 13 years ago. Naco was also an experiment for Calleros, now 33, an artist who had never run a business before. While the gallery side of things was his initial passion, Naco’s menu—simple Mexican meals that his mother would have made for him—became increasingly important. When, in 2011, Naco’s three-year lease wasn’t renewed, Calleros wasn’t sure what his next move would be, but knew it would involve food. After a post-Naco stint in Mexico, he and his collaborator Marc Griebel came up with a plan for a pop-up kitchen that would give Mexican classics a modern makeover. Last year they founded Knaves Kitchen ( events/385915451465950/), which has

attracted a cult following who have followed the event from venue to venue. Built on traditional Mexican ingredients like tortillas, beans and cactus, Knaves Kitchen veers away from Toronto’s current taco madness, toward something more world-inspired—coconut rice, say, or brisket with stuffed poblano peppers. “Anyone can make tacos. You fold it and, voilà, you have a taco. We wanted to provide more of an experience,” says Calleros. For example, one event matched food from different regions of Mexico to story-telling from those regions. Dynamism— bringing people together with his artsy dude-ish energy—is as important for Calleros as what goes in your stomach. The next kitchen is a seven-course meal at a historic home, which includes a house tour and live flamenco music. Another one is set for November, with details still in the works. Meanwhile, he’s helped his family launch an eco hotel, Anima Casa Rural, (, in Jalisco state, a short drive from Guadalajara. Though he originally conceived the place as a retreat for Canadian and American artists, the 15-room hacienda has already attracted a local Mexican following with workshops and cultural events. As with many of Calleros’ ideas, the hotel has quickly evolved to be more complex—and less easy to define— than the original plan. “We realized that sustainable meant working with people around us. It’s not me sending Canadian to Jalisco, it’s finding a place in the community,” says Calleros.

Knaves Kitchen. $75. Sat, Oct 26. 32 Beaty Ave.

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Breaking the shame & the silence → Arab author Abdellah Taïa a welcome revolutionary to the IFOA Story Bryen Dunn




Abdellah Taïa—appearing




International Festival of Authors— has broken new ground, publicly and in literature, when it comes to his portrayals of gay life in the Arab world. The stories from Taïa, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Paris since 1998, stem from a life living in a homophobic society, with autobiographical references to the social experiences of a generation of Moroccans who came of age in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2006, the shy Taïa officially came out of the closet in an interview with the literary magazine TelQuel when

→ freedom fighter Author Abdellah Taïa has been living in self-imposed exile in Paris to escape Morocco’s homophobic

questioned about the gay content in his novels. He became the first Moroccan





to publicly declare his sexuality, and


released in English as The Road to

autobiographical writer published in





Love. At this year’s IFOA, Taïa will

Morocco. “I did that when my second

present An Arab Melancholia (2008),

book, Le Rouge du Tarbouche, came

an autobiographical novel of self-

out in Morocco, and it was a success

discovery about an openly gay man

there,” says Taïa. “Of course, it was

living between two very different

a big scandal in Morocco, but a lot of

had its Canadian premiere at last

there. I want to introduce this world

cultures, Egypt and France. Writes

journalists defended me.”

month’s Toronto International Film

of mine into literature and cinema.”


This year’s festival marks Taïa’s


Taïa writes in French and has








first visit to Canada. He is appearing

“It’s not that I want to tell my life

had works translated into Basque,

incantation, part polemic and part

as part of IFOA’s programs Brave

in books and films,” he says, “it’s

Dutch, English, Spanish, Swedish,

love letter, it creates a new world

New Word, featuring young and

just that is the world that I am most

and most recently his native tongue,

where the self is effaced by desire

emerging authors from Canada and

interested in writing about. It is the

Arabic. He is the author of Mon

and love, and writing is always an

abroad, and Found in Translation,

world I lived and the one I know

Maroc, Le Rouge du Tarbouche,

act of discovery.” He will also read

which focuses on the art of literary

very intimately, the poor Moroccan

Salvation Army (L’armée du salut)

from Le Jour du Roi, Lettres à un

translation of international talent.

family in the city of Salé, near Rabat

and Le Jour du Roi, which was

Jeune Marocain (2009) and Infidèles

Taïa’s visit also comes shortly after

the capital [where he was born]. I am

awarded the prestigious French Prix


he directed the film version of his

inspired by this world, by my family,

de Flore in 2010. He also appeared in

But writing novels just hasn’t been

first novel, Salvation Army, which

by all the complex experiences I had

Rémi Lange’s 2004 film Tarik el Hob,

enough. Two years after Salvation

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Army came out in 2006, French

don’t want to know actually, but I

producer Claude Kunetz contacted

know everything that’s happening

him and said that he should turn it

in their life.”

into a film. Salvation Army is about a

But Taïa has gained fresh hope

young graduate who must navigate

for the possibility of change from



the Arab Spring, the revolutionary

intrigue surrounding his arrival in

wave of protests that swept through


Arab nations in 2010, resulting in the




“I had no desire to work on a

crumbling of several dictatorships.

story that I already published,”

When the demonstrations finally hit

he says, “but one day the images

Morocco in February 2011, educated

started to appear before my eyes.

but disenfranchised youth took to

I started writing the screenplay. It

the streets and social media to bring

wasn’t easy. It wasn’t the fact that

worldwide attention to their efforts.

the stories are personal, but to find

“Arab Spring is the biggest political

the right way to transform a story

event of my life,” he says. “Arabs

into a piece of art. Although it was

finally understood that change will

very hard to make this film, I want

not come from the Arab dictators

to continue telling stories through

or religion. I am totally part of this

images that touch me and present

revolution, as both an Arab and a

the world in the way I see it.”

gay man. Of course, we will need

The film was shot in Morocco, and

many years to achieve the goal of

featured an openly gay actor, another

being Arab and free, but we should

first in a place where homosexuality

never forget that what’s happening right now is a major change.”

“When I write, I want to be naked, totally naked. I give myself the right to do so. When I write, I don’t think as an activist. I think about giving the right image of gay people, especially in the Arab world.”

To prove that there has been some positive movement in his Arab region, Taïa makes a point of mentioning the Arabic word mithly, introduced into the language six years ago as a neutral word for homosexuality—according to Taïa, a major step in the right direction. “That’s


all Arab media. But there is still lots to accomplish. In the past 10 years in Morocco we’ve had a real debate about individual freedom, but the government does nothing to

however, regularly travels back to

help change the very conservative

his native land to visit family, and

mentality of the population.”

says he has no fear of repercussions,

As for what the future entails, Taïa

although he admits things can still

says he’d like to live in Cairo, “the

be difficult personally.

most exciting city in the world.”

“As a gay man, I spent most of my

But he is less excited about the

life hiding,” he says. “It’s definitely

prospect of a gay marriage. “I am not

a lonely experience, and not only in

interested at all in getting married;

Morocco. Unfortunately when I am

it’s just not for me. Of course, it is

with my family, I become like a child

an important step for gay people to

again, and I am not able to speak

be recognized by society, with equal

freely or just be myself. I really don’t

rights for all. This should be obvious

think the family is the right space

for everyone.”

for freedom. My brothers and sisters big space separating us. They know nothing about my life, and they 30

HELEN HUMPHREYS is a lesbian literary legend. The UK-born, Kingston, Ontariobased bestselling author has written four books of poetry, six novels and two works of creative non-fiction. She’s also won the City of Toronto Book Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and, in 2009, the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence. Her latest work, Nocturne, is an intimate memoir written after the sudden death of her younger brother, Martin.

SEE HER in discussion with other authors in Trusting the Muse, November 2 at 4pm. S. BEAR BERGMAN describes

himself as a storyteller, a theatre artist, an instigator and a gender-jammer. Perhaps best-known for Butch is a Noun and the multiple-award-winning Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Bear is as much an activist as he is an author, speaking frequently on transgender issues. His latest collection of essays, Blood, Marriage, Wine and Glitter, challenges perceptions of gender, sexuality and family in intriguing and humorous ways. SEE HIM reading from Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter on October 27 at 2pm and November 3 at 11am.


this word is now used in almost

is still considered a crime. Taïa,

didn’t reject me, but there’s still a

other readings at ifoa

The 34th annual IFOA takes place October 24 to November 3 at Harbourfront Centre. For more info on the IFOA go to page 25.

ANTHONY DE SA wears many hats. As well as being an acclaimed author, he’s the head of English at a high school, teaches creative writing, and is a father of three. His first book, Barnacle Love—a set of interlinked stories about the Portuguese community— was nominated for the Giller Prize and the Toronto Book Award. Set in Toronto in 1977, Kicking the Sky shows the aftermath of a grisly murder through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy.

SEE HIM reading from Kicking the Sky on November 2 at 12pm and November 3 at 11am. AND DON’T MISS Rewriting the Rules of Family on November 2 at 11am. Moderated by queer writer Susan G Cole, S Bear Bergman and Alison Wearing—author of a memoir about growing up with a gay dad, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter—compare notes about writing the queer experience and share their unique perspectives on the changing face of the Canadian family. — Alice Lawlor

October 2013

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playing in the deep end → Kelly and the Kellygirls face the world with vodka and cynicism Story Mary Dickie


inger, songwriter, playwright, costume designer, hairstylist, photographer… R. Kelly Clipperton (pictured third from right) is a flurry of creative activity all on his lonesome. Luckily, he seems to have a near superhuman amount of energy to help him complete all his various projects, as well as the confidence and drive to get them produced and into the public eye. But that doesn’t mean everything’s smooth sailing. “I’m pretty tightly wound, I know that about myself,” he admits. “And I’m a bit of a perfectionist. But I have a pretty solid work ethic, and I am my boss in every part of my life—I’ve always been an entrepreneur.” While he also has a show of photographs of backup singers in the works, at the moment Clipperton is

focusing his energy on the upcoming release of The Deep Ending, the latest album from his seven-piece band, the Kellygirls. It’s a collection of songs that initially seem to have little in common other than his rich voice, with ska and Latin rhythms surfacing unexpectedly amid the pop and bluesy rock — plus the inimitable voice of Carole Pope on the standout song “Vodka and Cynicism.” But there is something else that ties everything together: water. “I’m a water baby,” he explains. “I wasn’t good at sports as a kid, but the one thing I could do was swimming. I love anything to do with the water. I was going through a rough time a couple of years ago, when this album started to happen. I was at a friend’s cottage, and I took

one of those air mattresses out into the lake, and it sounds fatalistic, but I was lying there and the water was warm and I thought, I could just… go under. It wasn’t a suicide wish, not in the slightest. It was one of those moments when you think, I hit the same walls every time, with relationships, with working professionals, with friendships, with myself, and maybe I need another place. That was the image I was working with, the idea of relocating. And I’ve always been good with water. Maybe I could hold my breath for 20 years and it would be great. “That’s where the images came from, and I just started writing. I thought, why don’t I try to create the arc of a story where there’s appreciation of the water, and then

the question—Could I do this? Could I go under?—and then being down there and facing life’s challenges and coming back up? And it made it easy to deal with the challenges in my life, having to use my head instead of just my intuition to write these songs.” Kelly and the Kellygirls launch The Deep Ending on Oct. 24 with a performance at the Revival. (For event details, turn to page 27) “It’s going to be big,” he promises. “I’ve got an aerialist, because the Revival already has the rigging in the ceiling, plus four dancers, projections and the full band. And then we’ll see. I’ve managed to achieve a certain level of success in this country, which I’m very proud of. But I want to reach further, so that’s what I’m focusing on.”

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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 → Queer poly dominant/sadist here. I usually only switch for spanking and bruises—except for the occasional lost bet. I’m open but I haven’t really explored being a submissive. Recently I had an experience with a new lover (with usually submissive tendencies) in which I agreed to let him explore his dominant side. He handled me like a piece of meat and fingered me hard, inflicting pain and owning my body in a way he hadn’t before. Letting go of control (consensually) and allowing him to take me that way was super hot. I then blew him while kneeling, and at the moment it felt safe to say yes to have him cum in my mouth with my tongue sticking out. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, but after, I completely freaked out, felt really vulnerable, cried my eyes out and wasn’t very coherent for an hour. My guess was that the last bit crossed a line and the experience also triggered memories of sexual trauma. He was really good at aftercare and bringing me back from that. I would let him top me again, but I’m hesitant to try any time soon. What can I do in the future to open up again without completely losing it? Maya

The best sex happens when we hit

terrain of your own meanings (and

the balance between safety/com-

his!) more deliberately so you can

fort and risk/excitement. Even when

engage with them on purpose instead

desired and chosen, symbolic power

of by surprise—or choose not to.

differentials or physical pain can tip the scales.

This territory gets even more tender when our turn-ons come into

It seems there are several things

conflict with our identities. You’re a

going on here at once. First, you don’t

queer woman involved with a man,

mention whether you’ve done any

and a dominant sadist who got off

deliberate healing work on your past

on being submissive and taking pain.

sexual trauma, but I’d strongly rec-

Trauma history and in-the-moment

ommend seeing a queer- and kink-

negotiation aside, these elements

friendly therapist, whether to get

can be destabilizing entirely on their

started or take it to the next level.

own. Meditate on what this means

Then, talk with your lover about

to you. If you can find a language or

submitting—but have that conver-

“story” for your sexuality that helps

sation when you’re not in the mid-

you claim and integrate these dispa-

dle of having sex. That way you can

rate pieces, you may feel more confi-

make more measured decisions. Our

dent stepping into them.

feelings about sexual acts are usually

Above all, don’t rush. Figuring this

about the meanings we attribute to

stuff out can take time. What’s impor-

them. For you, clearly getting spanked

tant is for you to feel good.


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doesn’t hit any danger buttons, but having your lover cum in your mouth does. If you can explore the meanings of various acts with your lover, perhaps you can begin to map out the

ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at Email her at


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caught in the act by Michael Pihach & Tino Berardi


Freddie For A Day at the Gladstone Hotel






amfAR Inspiration Gala at The Carlu






STIGMA at the Julie M Gallery




→ 1. Rick Rock 2. Ale Luna, Richard Andrade 3. Peter Bridgemohan 4. Liz Palmucci 5. Marco Placencio, Julie Hanson 6. Adrien Brody 7. Hilary Swank 8. Alan Cumming 9. Sylvia Mantella 10. Beth Ditto 11. Nancy Jones, Benjamin Jones 12. Crystal Gao, Andreas Kyriakos 13. Grail Noble, Tim Singleton, Kelsey-Rae Williams, Devon Hamilton 14. Mark Hierlihy, Daniel Lecavalier, Neil Boutin, Kareem Grizzle •


October 2013 pics.indd 50

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Profile for IN Magazine

IN Toronto Magazine: October 2013  

IN Toronto Magazine: October 2013 Issue ISSUE: 41 Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

IN Toronto Magazine: October 2013  

IN Toronto Magazine: October 2013 Issue ISSUE: 41 Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto