Page 1


Gay & Lesbian Cit y Living



october 2011







San Sebastián

Basque Country

e n i s i u c e t u a h e r u t a i n i m s o x t Pin :


San Sebastián The beach resort city of San Sebastián is situated in the north of Basque Country by the Bay of Biscay coastline. The city is divided into 3 districts; Old Town (also known as the Parte Vieja), Gros and Centro where a few gay bars are located. Bask in the sun at one of the two major beaches in the city’s coast, La Concha (located at the western part of the city) and La Zurriola (which is situated at the eastern part of the old town). Among the many must see sites are; Plaza Mayor, City Hall, San Sebastián Cathedral and the Maria Cristina Bridge built over the Urumea River. Tasty snacks called “ pintxos “ are a signature dish in Basque cuisine mostly found at bars in the Old Town. The city awakens at night with it’s vibrant social scene especially during their local street festivals – be ready to stay up all night!

- Armando Mendonça GLBT Travel Expert, VoX International Inc.


LEND AN AIR OF ENCHANTMENT TO ANY PERFORMANCE, BUSINESS EVENT OR FUNDRAISER. Visit us at Theatrix Costume House: 165 Geary Ave, 2 nd Floor, Toronto [ near Dufferin and Dupont ]

CALL: 416-977-3113 OR TOLL FREE: 1-800-977-8749 PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Gordon Bowness CREATIVE MARKETING DIRECTOR Nelson Tomé DESIGNERS Nicolás Tallarico, Jenny Watson PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jara Solis OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Celebrate Toronto. Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment. ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES (416) 551-0444 EDITORIAL INQUIRIES (416) 551-0449 PRODUCTION

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY Discover Canada by train. Great deals all year round at

In Toronto is published by The Mint Media Group all rights reserved. 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6 THE MINT MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT Patricia Salib DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING & MARKETING Nelson Tomé PROJECT COORDINATOR Jara Solis THIS ISSUE CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS Paul Aguirre-Livingston, Nicola Betts, Derek Dotto, Anna von Frances, Alice Lawlor, Michael Pihach, Ian Phillips, Adam Segal, Michael Thorner, Chris Tyrell ON THE COVER Photograph by Michael Graydon


Trademark owned by VIA Rail Canada Inc.

04.05.INTO.OCT.Contents.indd 4

27/09/2011 3:13:04 PM


issue 17

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






Creative synergy Flair and forests along the Humber by Michael Pihach


Canadian male Klaxon Howl at LG Fashion Week by Derek Dotto


Look for the urban label Hot designers, on and off Toronto runways by Paul Aguirre-Livingston


COLOMBIAN GOLD Adventures off the beaten path by Paul Gallant

6 KENNETH COLE on AIDS campaigns 7 SOUND OFF on ethical oil 8 SHUT YOUR FACEBOOK by Michael Thorner 18




33 SEX & RELATIONSHIPS with Adam Segal 34

CAUGHT IN THE ACT with Michael Pihach & Ann Gagno

toronto talk exchange

VIEW FINDER → OBSTACLE COURSE With big events like Nuit Blanche and Art Toronto, October is a busy month on the Toronto art scene. Not to be outdone, the Hammer offers up a sexy showcase for Canadian artist Attila Richard Lukacs, paintings from the collection of Salah Bachir curated by Melissa Bennett. The show runs Sat, Oct 8 to Dec 31 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton (123 King St W); call (905) 527-6610 or go to

Michael Pihach

In their own words Kenneth Cole

→ “We’re

an intelligent species.”

“I did my first AIDS advertising campaign in 1985,” said the acclaimed designer at the third annual Cinema Against AIDS, the gala fundraiser for the American Foundation for AIDS Research and Dignitas International held during TIFF last month. “The president of the United States hadn’t mentioned the word AIDS publicly and didn’t until 1987. But it was so obvious and so apparent back then that we didn’t have a cure, but we knew how to contain it. It was about adjusting human behaviour. It seemed like that’s what I do for a living so I thought I should be able to [start a campaign]. That’s what I set out to do and have been doing it ever since.” Cole, who is the honourary chair of amfAR, was among 500 guests at the Carlu, including Kathy Griffin, John Legend, Kim Cattrall, Cheyenne Jackson and Backstreet Boy Howie D (see page 34).

toronto talk exchange Sound off Oily ethics



→ Congrats to Randy Filby

ethic oil. a choice we have to make.

Advancing ideas from conservative commentator Ezra Levant’s book Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands, is a website3.set up by policy analyst Alykhan Velshi, former communications director for federal minister Jason Kenney. It promotes Alberta’s controversial tar sands development by contrasting Canada’s human rights record with respect to women, gay men and lesbians, workers and indigenous people to that of oppressive oil-producing nations of the Middle East. A new low — or high — in spin? Three experts discuss.

“It’s derived from an effective political campaign. In politics, negative attack ads highlight how bad the other guy is. They take the focus off your record. This campaign takes the focus off what is happening in the oil sands and puts it on to what’s happening elsewhere. It’s smart on their part.”

Ira Basen, Writer, broadcaster, CBC Radio’s Spin Cycles

“It is propaganda to counter both local and international criticism — Canada is in the spotlight for its shameful stance and lack of leadership on environmental issues, specifically linked to continued tar sands developments. On the gay rights analogy, our Conservative government is not a champion (or even an advocate) and so this intersection is all the more questionable. Oil is becoming an oldschool paradigm. It is clear we need to invest in forward-thinking, environmentally sound solutions that consider the environment and future generations.”

Liz Marshall, filmmaker, environmentalist

“Ethical oil allows gay marriage — in Canada [that message] works. As a nation, we traditionally perceive ourselves as good people, contributing to good in the world. Anything that tarnishes that reputation would be something Canadians would want to overturn. This campaign appeals to a sense of being fair and good. ‘We are an exporter of oil and we are ethical’ is a statement Canadians would want to identify with. People will believe anything if you tell them enough. It’s an innovation in spin.”

Mark Federman, former strategist at the McLuhan Program, University of Toronto

on his amazing dedication and impressive fundraising efforts (Top of the World, In Toronto, Sep 2011). As ACT’s largest annual fundraiser, the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life provides crucial funding for the programs and services provided by ACT to support our communities. To keep on giving go to Join us in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Daniel Knox, Director of Development, AIDS Committee of Toronto, Toronto

TIFF RIFF → So delighted by Peter Knegt’s

story on actor Louis Negin (Enchantment, In Toronto, Sep 2011). I worked with Louis 20 years ago; loved him then. He is an amazing talent with an incredible arc of a career and generosity of spirit. Excited to see his new film Keyhole. Sheldon Larry, producer, Leave It on the Floor, Los Angeles

BLOCK PARTY → It’s interesting that none

of the “urban thinkers” in the Sound Off (Towering over the Village, In Toronto, Aug 2011) noticed that the Church/ Wellesley Village is over, dead and done with. The only people still there are tourists of one persuasion or another. Heck, even Fab and Xtra have left, and when they join a trend, you know it’s over. You want to see the future of Church Street? Visit Yorkville. Richard Costello, Toronto

Continued on page 8


toronto talk exchange Letters

How Tweet It Is Keeping us up at night

Continued from page 7

by Michael Thorner

CONNECTABLE → Dude, your video is awesome

did not start reporting the design

now includes the revamped news

upgrade until it was obvious that

feed and scrolling ticker. News

major changes were under way.

feed info is blue-tabbed, with an

Facebook initially altered its

algorithm determining and pri-

news feed to make it easier to not

oritizing news stories based on

follow another person’s status


updates, not include their content

with whomever posted the sto-

within their news feeds, and basi-

ries, by how many comments

cally not interact with them at all,

they have received, the “type of

yet still keep them in the “friends”

story it is,” and so on.

list. Just “unsubscribe” them.



I’m not sure if I like Facebook

These changes, while increas-





ing user control, take away the

ests are. But the seemingly eter-

egalitarian aspect of the social

nal ticker at the top right of

network, creating more bound-

the new homepage is fascinat-

aries, silos and barriers to shar-

ing. Constantly refreshing sta3.

ing — a gated community with gates within gates. And a user

tus updates by all my

3. Facebook

friends make me dizzy. I can see how addictive this feature might


hen shifty, ever-evolving Facebook began to


will never know if a friend has

would say that. This is the poten-

removed them. It does beg the

tial power that Facebook wields.

question, why share? Once again,

Astute moves on Zuckerberg’s






online “friendship.” Social



implement changes —

Google+, having learned a thing or two from observing Facebook and

a piecemeal way, at first I thought

Twitter, created opt-in options

they were fine-tuning their news

on content sharing. Facebook,

feed content sharing mechanism

in reaction, has gone for opt-out

into complete and utter obliv-

controls, alienating some users

ion. At first, users agreed, voting

by taking away access to content

against the changes by a two-to-

they previously had. It feels dirty.

Part of the uproar occurred



social networking has become in people’s lives. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls the dramatic redesign “a new way to express who you

The timeline is a complete profile page rethink. The homepage

→ I can’t wait for Asian pop

music (K-pop, J-pop, C-pop) to explode in Toronto’s queer party district and across North America. Thank you Kevin Ritchie (Get into the Groove, In Toronto, July 2011) for covering Asian pop culture. DJ Quinces, DestinAsian producer, Toronto

the future.” Well of course he




mine the outcome.









01.INTO.SEP.Cover.indd 1



We’re moving

But then came the sweeping

no announcement. Media outlets


are. I think it’s the engine for


because the changes began with

October 2011


of data shows how assimilated

always, user behaviour will deter-

without warning — to its service in

one margin.


“The scrolling wheel of data shows how assimilated social networking has become in people’s lives.”

(Colin Phillips: Gay, Disabled and Proud,, Jan 2011). I am a gay guy who recently opened up a service called GLBT Disability Support Services (, the first in Australia. One day I want to be able to set up something similar in Canada. Take care, man. Adam Sharpe, Director of Services, GLBT Disability Support Services, Melbourne, Australia


→ Send us your letters to the editor to our new address: 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6. We’re still at

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drama in the valley →

Event planner Rob Dittmer had to use Google Maps to first find his boyfriend’s cozy, two-storey home hidden in the lush forests of the Humber Valley. Seven years later, Dittmer and hair/make-up artist Hanoch Drori have built a home reflecting their creative synergy Story Michael Pihach | Photography Nicola Betts




How did you first meet? HD: We met on Both of us had been in a previous relationship of 15 years. I was previously married to a woman, who I met in Israel, which is where I’m from. Rob was the first guy I ever went on a date with. First and last. RD: We were both looking for something serious. You guys moved in together after four months of dating. How did you wind up in this house? HD: I bought this house 11 days before Sep 11, 2001. I originally moved in with my ex-wife (who I eventually bought out) after living in Canada for six years. Meanwhile, Rob was living in the Pantages condos and paying lots of money for rent. RD: I eventually got rid of my condo and moved here. Moving from a downtown condo to a house in the Humber Valley must have been an adjustment for you. RD: I remember the first time I came here I was like, “How do I get out of here? There are so many trees.” I had to Google Map my way out.

You’re located on the edge of Old Mill and Bloor West Village. What do you love about this neighbourhood? RD: My industry, event planning, is all about the look and being overthe-top. When I’m here we can just relax, watch movies and hang out with friends. There’s no pretentiousness. We’re only 15 minutes from downtown. HD: The Humber River is a five minute walk away. A restored forest is two minutes away. It feels like living in the country

→ INSPIRED Hanoch Drori and Rob Dittmer (bottom left) have packed their living room (opposite page) with Old Masters-type paintings, Persian rugs, antique clocks and fur throw covers. In the dining room (middle right) hangs a print styled by Drori. The master bedroom (bottom right) features a chandelier for added luxury. The eclectic, open concept den (lower left) is home to numerous style magazines and books for inspiration.

And your neighbours? RD: They love the gay guys living next door. We like that we can live like “normal” people, be in a neighbourhood and not be around the whole gay scene. We can still be ourselves and live our life and be happy about that. HD: We’re also seeing more gay couples out here. We see them in Bloor West Village all the time. It’s clear the styles in the house are eclectic. RD: Design is a revolving door in Continued on page 12


LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 11

here, from the furniture to the art.

tional. We just like that little bit of

And Hanoch, you specialize in hair

a lot of stuff to make an impact.

We love Old Masters-type paint-


and make-up.

Less is more.

HD: Yes, I’ve been in the industry for

ings and Persian rugs. We like drama, in a good and stylish way.

Rob, your event planning busi-

16 years. I do everything: Celebrities

How do you guys stay inspired?

HD: He likes drama a little more

ness, Three Events, has its own

at TIFF, magazines, weddings. I’ve

RD: We constantly buy magazines.

than I do. I sometimes feel like I live

boutique store, Three Design at

worked on shoots with everyone

They’re always around the house.

in Fantasia. I like a home that’s cozy,

Jane and Dundas. How did that

from Valentino and Lush magazine

We’re not trying to grab the next big

cluttered, but not too cluttered. We

come about?

to shoots for The Bay, Sears and even

thing. Hopefully we’re in it already.

tend to meet in the middle.

RD: When I started doing events


RD: I get the house has to be func-

people were like, “Where can I get

What about kids? Do you want

this cutlery? This vase?” And now

Is it true you once styled Amy


I can say, “You can get it from our

Winehouse? What was she like?

HD: I am friends with a gay couple

store.” We sell everything from

HD: She was in a different world. She

in Tel Aviv, Israel, and they have

plates and cutlery to candles and

kept to herself.

four kids. I get jealous. RD: We’ve talked about having

floral vases. Rob, you design the room at LG

one girl. The space and time needs

Do you bring your work home

Fashion Week twice a year. What

to be right. But if it’s gonna hap-

with you?

can people expect this season?

pen, it has to happen now. But no

RD: I acquire so much stuff from

RD: This year is intense because




we’re outside Roy Thomson Hall,

HD: I’ll take the minivan. I’ll be the

sculptures on our outdoor patio, for

which I love because you’re not

soccer mom.

example — those were used in the

obstructed by a building in a box.

movie Blindness starring Julianne

You have to make something of

Moore. The palm trees were left

a tent. We’re manipulating the


over from TIFF events. It’s always

space differently compared to pre-

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D esigne r s po t lig h t

Ship shape → Toronto

label Klaxon Howl by Matt Robinson, showing at LG Fashion Week this month, redefines modern vintage, taking style cues from the frontlines and high seas Story Derek Dotto Photography Matt Barnes


→ au t hen t ici t y Klaxon Howl’s fall/ winter 2011 collection, with its nautical theme, is inspired by how demobilized servicemen treated fashion.

att Robinson is a cloth-

son they tell you, ‘That’s no lon-

utilitarianism to his line. “There

ing designer in the most

ger relevant. You don’t need that.

is a lot of stuff that you can wear

traditional sense. The

You need this,’” he says. Robinson

season after season,” he says. “All

man behind Toronto-based label

won’t reinvent himself with every

the stuff we do is kind of rugged.

Klaxon Howl doesn’t get caught

collection. “The shirt you bought

You can dress a lot of these pieces

up in the fast-paced fashion cycle

two seasons ago or two years ago,

up, but they’re also supposed to be

bray shirts and a khaki shirt, a

that enslaves so many designers.

if it fits you well, if the fabric is

functioning, active clothing.”

jacket, jeans and a white T-shirt,”

“It seems like the whole consumer

good quality, you should be able to

end of fashion is built on telling

find a place for it.”

Launched in 2006, Klaxon Howl

Robinson says. “We’re just build-

is a label built around staple

ing on it, slowly adding pieces,

you one minute what you need to

Robinson’s no-nonsense approach

pieces that rarely change. “Our

have is ‘this.’ And the next sea-

to fashion brings a high level of

very first collection was two cham-

Continued on page 14



Continued from page 13


or his work, too seriously.

ing to Robinson’s customers, who

recreates a life at sea. “This sea-

Robinson is a history buff and

value Klaxon Howl’s authenticity.


taking some away.” You can see

a storyteller. “I’m kind of roman-

Robinson ensures his clothing is

inspired,” he says. A sober pal-

Klaxon Howl’s spring 2012 collec-

tic and nostalgic,” he says, “so all

recreated in the image of its inspi-

ette of navy, black and grey sets

tion when it debuts at LG Fashion

those things that I design go back

ration, manufacturing the entire

the tone for a collection anchored

Week this month.

to that.” He boasts an impressive




by wool pea coats, bomber jackets

Robinson recreates and modern-

knowledge of menswear history

izes looks from bygone eras, draw-

and the era that influences him the

ing inspiration from vintage work

most. “The 1930s and 1940s was

wear and military uniforms in his

the beginning of casual sports-

personal collection. “These things,

wear. Returning World War II vets

you see them all around you, they

were demobilized and demobbed.

speak. They’ve had an existence,

You all of a sudden have millions

they’ve had a life. I try to take that

of returning service men who now

feeling, that construction and ele-

want a pair of Levi’s. They want to

line in Toronto. “There are lots of

The entire collection can be

ments that worked, and remake

get rid of their military uniforms

alternatives out there if you want

found at Klaxon Howl’s flagship

them.” he says. “When I design,

and slip back into their civilian

to spend $9.99 on a shirt. You can

store, which, like the clothing line,

sometimes three of my favou-

life, but they can’t get them so

do it and have it fall apart. But

is a discovery worth seeking out.

rite shirts get combined into the

they start improvising and mixing

that’s really killing our industry,”

The only visible hint at the shop’s

ultimate shirt,” Robinson adds

in pieces of their uniform.”

he says. “We try to make things

location, in a back alley just off

the way they used to.”

Queen Street West, is a spray-

with a smirk and a hint of sar-

His appreciation for “the real

casm, not a man to take himself,

thing” is all the more comfort-

October 2011

“I’m kind of romantic and nostalgic, so all those things that I design go back to that.”

and Klaxon Howl’s staple pieces in heavier, more protective fabrics. Photographer Matt Barnes shot a stunning, almost haunting, campaign for the collection. Keeping with




Haida, a World War II destroyer, served as the set.

For fall/winter 2011, Robinson

painted logo and a few arrows







885 Caledonia Rd Toronto Mon-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-5 416 783-3333

They’re coming to Toronto. (There goes the neighbourhood.)

pointing you in the right direction. A converted 19th-century coach house, the space lends itself

→ cl assics Designer Matt Robison wants his creations to last, in terms of quality and appeal.

to Robinson’s appreciation for salvaged pieces of history. Klaxon Howl can also be found

Really luxurious,” he says. The Bay’s more well-known multi-

far beyond Queen Street. The

stripe blanket served as inspira-

label has been picked up by shops

tion for a wool backpack and a

in New York, London and Tokyo.

duffle bag.

But it’s Robinson’s recent part-

With one foot in the past and

nership with the Bay that seems

the other firmly in the present,

the most obvious. For a designer

Robinson ensures his place in the

so infatuated with history, it feels

future of Canadian fashion.

only natural he would jump at the chance to work with a company that boasts more than a 341-year heritage. This season Robinson designed a vest and mackinaw coat, using the Bay’s signature grey eight-point blanket. “This one’s a mackinaw, so it’s a double-breasted with a shawl collar.

KLAXON HOWL 694B Queen St.W. (647) 436-6628. LG FASHION WEEK Mon, Oct 17-21. David Pecaut Square. 221 King St W.


Two Weeks Only. November 16–27 416-644-3665 Official Dancap Subscription Series Sponsor:





we gear up to see Canadian designs for spring/summer 2012, LG Fashion Week prepares for its new home at David Pecaut Square on King West. Whether or not these designers will show on or off the official runway remains to be seen, but look for these labels to make serious sartorial strides this month Story Paul Aguirre-Livingston

Caitlin Power


Who: Calgary native Caitlin Power has uprooted her entire

Who: With a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New

life for a proper chance at making it on the mean streets of

York, designer Ken Chow has been hard at work refining his craft and

Canadian fashion.

really thinking about the future of menswear.

The goods: For the ladies, not gals. Power is big on using

The goods: Chow is known for his structured, fashion-forward (and yet

leather and other unconventional fabrics, and she’s relentless

functional) bags, with nods to industrial design in his very graphic and

in her quest for playing with the female form, creating gar-

visual clothing. From classic button-ups to interesting leather harness

ments that fit effortlessly or fall just right.

creations worthy of the Black Eagle, there’s something for every man.

The appeal: This season will mark Power’s first official run-

The appeal: His debut showing on the official runway last year had

way show during LG Fashion Week. After smaller, crowded

everyone buzzing with excitement. You’ll admire this strong and val-

presentations at venues like the Drake Hotel, and serious vic-

iant effort from a Canadian male for Canadian males. It’s also his first

tory laps around the fashion competition circuit, her moment

time showing a spring/summer collection in town, and he’s got everyone

in the spotlight is (finally!) just around the corner.

waiting with bated breath.

Spring 2012: “Inspired by retro-futurism. It’s a mix of Flash Gordon, Star Trek and Blade Runner.”

Spring 2012: “Explores the softer side of the Krane man. The collections will also take a colour and graphic cue from the paintings of


October 2011

Fall/winter 2011

Fall/winter 2011

Spring/summer 2012

Ellesworth Kelly.”


Ashley Rowe Who: Rowe has been crafting and creating since 2009, and she’s mostly self-taught. Her cool, easy minimalist style has garnered her serious accolades and a cult following. The goods: Heavily influenced by the ’70s, each new Rowe collection continues to define and refine her target markets. Her pieces have also become increasingly unisex, sported by several boy bloggers about town. The appeal: Rowe is known for her unconventional runway presentations.

Spring/summer 2012

Last season, she showed her collection entirely on an Internet livestream out of her studio’s hallway. The time before that, it was in a warehouse with her tie-dye creations. It just keeps getting better. Spring 2012: Inspired by the ’70s, from Mick Jagger to black and white photos of her dad in Corfu.

Korhani Home Who: German-born Kirsten Korhani and husband Moji have turned their home fashions line of superb rugs into, well, actual fashions that are sent down the runway on actual models. The goods: 100 per cent made in Canada, the duo churns out exquisite accents for the home that show interiors really are the most fashion-forward endeavour in a person’s life. How do they do it? A simple textile pattern from the newest home collection is revamped and made into a one-off shirt for the runway. You can’t possibly get that shirt, but you’re left wanting more anyway. Fall/winter 2011

The appeal: It’s easy to dismiss this as a marketing tactic, but if you witnessed last year’s runway presentation — the first of its kind in the world – you’d say the whole thing was pretty brilliant. One can only dream of what they’re cooking up this year aka something completely different. Spring 2012: “Is top secret, of course.”

JUMA Who: Toronto’s brother and sister team Alia and Jamil Juma have propelled their namesake label into a thriving global business in just a few years. They now operate out of Toronto, New York and China. The goods: The siblings’ unisex line, complete with custom prints and untraditional fits, is a hit with a younger crowd of metropolis-dwelling, fashion-forward urbanities. Drop-crotch pants, tops with heaps of generous fab-

Fall/winter 2011; Irina Luca

ric and everyday basics that aren’t so dull. The appeal: Last season marked the first time the established label showed on anything near an official runway. This time around, the buzz is whether they’ll even make an appearance. The duo tried to raise money for a show at last month’s New York Fashion Week, so there’s definite excitement about what’s coming next (the rumour: evening dresses). But when you start producing custom garments for female megastars like Nicki Minaj, some question the need for another round on a Toronto runway at all. Spring 2012: “Inspired by our mother’s frequent trips to Turkey, using her photographs and ceramics to create digital prints.” •



stylin' with chris tyrell → You’d be forgiven for thinking this vivacious blonde, Carolyn Quinn, associate producer of LG Fashion Week, belonged on the catwalk. But she’s more of a mover and shaker behind the scenes. She makes it all happen by keeping the Fashion Week machine running smoothly. Carolyn always tempers her classic Grace Kelly looks with a touch of whimsy or a nod to edgier looks.


What are you wearing?

Pink Tartan pants, Yves St Laurent cardigan, Adrienne Landau fur vest and Valentino shoes (I’m bummed they didn’t make it into the photo).

What items of clothing can you not live without?

Fave designer internationally? Yves St Laurent.

My vintage handbags from my grandmother. I rarely use them. I have them displayed in my library. They are beautiful works of art.

What should every guy or girl buy this season?

If money were no object what would be your fashion purchase?

Canadian! I try to wear something by one of our Canadian designers everyday. We have so much design talent in this country.

Shoes, bags, dresses, coats… shall I go on?

What’s the difference between style and fashion? Fashion is Lady Gaga, style is Grace Kelly.

What if you, or someone close to you, is told ‘You’re HIV postive’?

Toronto’s Gay Wedding Show! Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 11:00 am. - 6:00 pm. $10.00 admission Delta Chelsea Hotel 33 Gerrard st. W Toronto For more information call Joan Brennan 519-858-9900 or Malvina Chevolleau 905-422-0144

Boutique style wedding show with fabulous door prizes, live entertainment, food samples and the ultimate “Free Wedding Give Away”! Please visit our website for details!

income support support income treatment programs treatment programs foodprograms programs food healthpromotion promotion health engagement PHAPHA engagement Help us continue to support people living with HIV/AIDS

Toronto People With AIDS Foundation by volunteering or making a secure online donation at 200 Gerrard Street East, 2nd floor Toronto, Ontario M5A 2E6 416-506-1400

Toronto People With AIDS Foundation Toronto People With AIDS Foundation 200 Gerrard Street East, 2nd floor Toronto, Ontario M5A 2E6 416-506-1400


t r avel

Strike gold → Discover

the joyful energy emerging in Colombian cities like Bogotá and Medellín (yes, that Medellín) Story Paul Gallant


am wandering around downtown Medellín at night with a scrap of paper on which I have scrawled the address of a gay bar called Machete. It’s unnerving. The first time I ever heard of this Colombian mountain city was in 2000’s Our Lady of the Assassins, a gay fantasia based on a novel by hometown author Fernando Vallejo, that features handsome young employees of warring drug gangs shooting at each other from motorcycles. I flinch every time a bike passes by. I wonder if I should head back to my hotel in the posh south-

ern end of the city. Then across the street I spot a motley little parade. A dozen people playing bongo drums, tambourines and a glockenspiel are being led by a fairy princess, decked out in a poofy white gown. I have no choice, really, but to follow. Around the corner on Calle 57A, there are so many people standing on the street and sidewalk that cars can barely pass through. It is hard to count the number of LGBT bars because it’s hard to tell what is a bar and what is merely a takeout counter, what’s purposely gay

and what’s just been overwhelmed by gayness. In the circus-like atmosphere, it all melds into one flamboyant mess, ruled over by a fairy princess, who I later discover is local personality and performance artist La Dany. She continues to lead her marchers up and down the street for much of the night. I stand there thrilled and confused until a trio of friendly locals introduce themselves. After a chat (they tell me that many of the bars on Calle 57A are owned by lesbians, who use the street as a soccer field on Sunday afternoons),

→ FROM T HE HILLS Writer Paul Gallant was given an impromptu tour of Medellín at night, ending up in the hills overlooking the city drinking beer with partying locals.

they offer to show me Medellín by night. I hop in the car and we’re off. We drive past where the trans prostitutes gather, where the gay bars were in the 1980s and ’90s, where the drug cartel bars were during those same decades (very close to the gay bars, I notice) and past the nightclub that served as Continued on page 20


LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 19

Pablo Escobar’s base during the

handed responses toward solv-

time when the drug lord reigned

ing those two problems — were not

LGBT Colombians face the same

Medellín were taken by surprise —

supreme in Medellín. We buy beer

the best tourism marketing. In the

puzzle — and then some. They’ve

not unpleasantly so — when I told

at a grocery store and drive to the

last decade, cocaine distribution

had some good news lately. This

them their city seemed to have a

top of the valley in which the city

— the messiest part of the drug

summer, the Colombian congress

small gay village.

of 2.2 million is located. Slightly

trade — seems to have been out-

passed an anti-discrimination bill

In Bogotá, there are reportedly

chilled from the altitude, we stand

sourced to Mexico. The rebels have

that levies prison sentences for

more than 30 gay cafés, lounges

on the side of the road with people

been dramatically weakened and

discrimination on the basis of race,

or discos in the Chapinero district

on their way to or from parties and

now have little effect on life in the

ethnicity, gender, religion, political

— nicknamed Chapigay — and

discos, everyone looking down at

major cities. The national govern-

belief and sexual orientation. Also

probably more than 80 establish-

the twinkly yellowy lights of urban

ment, if not yet squeaky clean, has

this summer, in a storyline that

ments citywide. That’s impressive

life below. It would be peaceful if

made some progress in reducing

will seem familiar to Canadians,

for a city of 8.8 million people. But

people weren’t blasting Latin pop

poverty and improving the quality

the Supreme Court gave the gov-

aside from a website or two listing

from their cars.

of life of Colombians.

ernment two years to come up with

names and addresses, and a couple

So what a visitor finds is a pop-

legislation that would legally rec-

of stapled-flyer booklets, there is

ulation with a pent-up eager-

ognize same-sex relationships and

little published information about

ness to show off the true core

gay adoption. Still, the gay people

any of these spots. Mostly, it’s all

of the nation, a core that’s both

I met in Medellín and the capital

word of mouth.



Bogotá seemed more likely to be

For a Bogotá newbie, going club-

Brazilians praise the genetic stock

closeted than their peers in, say,

bing is little like a box of chocolates

“Do you like?” asks the host who speaks the least English. “I like,” I say, before we descend back to the city for a nightcap. It seems La Dany, not Escobar, rules Medellín now.


in their own streets and plazas.

for their own. Straight people in

of Colombians — and hospitable.

Brazil or Mexico. And in a country

— you don’t know what you’re get-

ust eight or 10 years ago,

Of course, an uncertainty lingers

where policy and practice are often

ting yourself into until you put it in

Colombia seemed an unlikely

under the newfound optimism.

leagues apart, they had a justifi-

your mouth. I swung by Brokeback

gay and lesbian travel destination.

Things have changed so quickly,

able skepticism that the legislation

Mountain to discover a tiny space,

The headlines about drug cartels

Colombians themselves don’t have

would shape their everyday lives.

decorated with a DIY-funky aes-

and leftist guerillas — combined

a strong sense of their own world

Young people might call each other

thetic, full of twinks making out

with corrupt governments’ heavy-

now, what they can and cannot do

“marica” (little faggot) as casually


as Canadians call each other dude,

ately, had no signage on its sheet

but when I called myself one in

metal exterior. Inside, 30-some-

front of some young, professional

things danced to diva pop remixes.

straight people, everybody blushed

Romeo had tight security, a classy

and went quiet. Nobody knows

velvet-rope vibe and a cutting-edge

what the boundaries are now.








So what you get in big cities like

Café Bear was jam-packed with

Medellín and Bogotá are LGBT

hairy 40-plus guys. Dark Club had

communities that are low-key in

a mandatory nudity policy.

the mainstream, but boisterous

The exception to all this mystery

in the areas they have claimed

was Theatron. What used to be an

→ capi tal Bogotá highlights include Plaza de Bolívar (below left) and Cerro de Monserrate (above left). La Candelaria (middle, above) is the old colonial district. 20

October 2011


“As Colombia steps into the light after decades of darkness, there’s a newfound passion for putting it all out there.”

its neighbourhoods, where a good the best way to discover the city’s charms. Medellín is more compact and warmer, and so better able to showcase its architecture and quaint squares, the nicest of which is peppered with the voluptuous statues of the city’s best-known

old theatre now contains seven

artist, Fernando Botero Angulo.

themed gay bars, three of them

But, with its reputation as a busi-

as grand as anything in post-Circa

ness centre, Medellín is no show

Toronto. The showstopper is a

pony either.

rooftop lounge that would pass for

What makes both cities remark-

a New York hotspot except it fea-

able is the people. For all its new-

tures attendants stoking a massive

found yuppiness, Bogotá’s cornered

bonfire all night long. In a security-


conscious society, a one-frisk, mul-

youth, who have turned formerly

tiple-venue mega club makes per-

rundown historic neighbourhoods

fect sense. In a society undergoing

into hubs of underground art and

massive cultural upheaval, so do

fashion. It’s not quite São Paulo

the complaints from the boys that

(yet) but takes its urban edge seri-

the club is getting straighter week-

ously. By contrast, Medellín’s easy-

end by weekend.

going friendliness is almost flirty.


city guide

meal or smart drink with friends is




No wonder the city has a reputa-

here is more to Colombia than

tion for bisexuality; even soldiers

gay life, of course. The coun-

and stroller-pushing dads seem all

try’s most winning tourist attrac-

too eager to practice their English

tions are in the Caribbean region,

on obvious foreigners.

the coffee region or colonial cities

As I jump the security hurdles at

like Cartegena and Villa de Leyva.

the Medellín international airport,

The capital, Bogotá, never had

I spot the only queer publication I

the boom and bust cycles of, say,

saw during my visit to Colombia.

Mexico City or Buenos Aires, and so

Inexplicably, a lesbian magazine

doesn’t have the stellar architec-

from Chile takes up 20 percent of

ture such cycles produce. It doesn’t

the airport’s newsstand. Why not?

boast world-famous attractions or

As Colombia steps into the light

natural beauty and its cool temper-

after decades of darkness, there’s

atures are not conducive to sitting

a newfound passion for putting it

around outside. Torontonians get

all out there. It’s a thrill for visitors

that. Its appeal is tucked away in

to be able to play witness to it. •


Bogotá’s equivalent to the CN Tower is the cable car ride up to Cerro de Monserrate (, a lookout over the sprawling city. Among Bogotá’s many museums, The Gold Museum ( is the most popular, the Botero Museum ( probably the best. In Medellín, the most dramatic attraction is actually public transportation. It sounds like faint praise, but it’s not. The cable cars connecting the poor ad hoc mountain settlements to the rest of the city are a photographer’s delight ( EATING

Unlike Mexico’s tortilla, Colombia’s starch staple, the arepa, comes in many shapes and sizes and with many fillings. They seem to come with every meal, including at Andres DC ( Spread over four rambling floors, the place is as much amusement park as it is restaurant. Campy performance artists wander among the tables. You get a tableside serenade from the in-house troubadours whether it’s your birthday or not. NIGHTLIFE

No gay visit to Bogotá is complete without a stop at the massive and glam Theatron (, with its army of security and bigger army of lovers. For a more mixed gathering, the upscale bars and restaurants around Parque 93 are a good choice, as are the spots in the T-Zone, the pedestrian area in the shadow of the posh Centro Comercial Andino. Medellín’s ever-morphing gay scene is not so shiny, though it’s always a party at La Cantina de Javi ( Those with a more mature mien can rejoice. In both cities, last call is usually before 3am, extremely early by Latin American standards, so it’s not unusual to hit the clubs by 10pm. SLEEPING

Hotel High Park ( is Bogotá’s oldest (and, depending on who you talk to, only) exclusively gay hotel. It’s run by a sweet straight couple who use dance music and sex appeal to market the place, but deliver friendly, homey service. They have grown accustomed to turning a blind eye to who shows up for breakfast.



dÉjÀ voodoo economics → With

American mania for budget cuts infiltrating north, this provincial election could return us to the anti-government, slash-and-burn policies of the Mike Harris era Story Krishna Rau | Illustration Ian Phillips



he ghost of former Ontario

the enviroment ministry, a judicial

cial Conservative leader Tim Hudak

backyard, federal cabinet ministers

premier Mike Harris and his

inquiry later concluded, contrib-

join himself and Toronto mayor

John Baird, Tony Clement, Lisa Raitt

obsession for cutting taxes

uted to the Walkerton water disas-

Rob Ford in power. And the num-

and Jason Kenney have all made

is looming large in the province.

ter. Harris forcibly amalgamated

bers suggest that it could happen.

numerous appearances to support

Are Ontario voters going to turn

cities and downloaded provincial

Harper has, in fact, been pour-

the clock back to 1995, when Harris

services to municipalities — moves

ing high-profile Tory troops into

was first elected? His administra-

from which Toronto has still not

the GTA, whose ridings are seen

McGuinty are virtually deadlocked

tion had a devastating effect on


local candidates. Hudak




as key to deciding who will be the

in the polls with two weeks to go,

many in the province. The Tories

With the Ontario election on

next leader of the province. While

with the NDP riding high on the Jack

slashed funding for welfare, hous-

Thu, Oct 6, prime minister Stephen

the PM himself has confined his

Layton wave — actually leading in

ing, women’s shelters, rehab and

Harper is calling for a Conservative



Toronto in some polls. Hudak’s

hospitals. Deregulation and gutting

“hat trick.” He wants to see provin-

Ford’s annual BBQ in his mother’s

soulmate Rob Ford, however, is

October 2011




in freefall as the city anticipates

programs actually increased. He

vantaged communities, including

But he does see similarities, espe-

massive municipal cuts. What will

says he doubts that Hudak would

LGBT people. It’s time to push back

cially when it comes to taxes.

Ontario voters do? Will they bring

be so generous.

on the pushback.”

back the Harris era?

“I regret that the public discourse

“I have absolutely no faith that

Brown sees signs that minority

has become how to cut taxes.

Glen Brown, one of the origi-

a Tim Hudak government would

groups could be a particular tar-

Politicians are appealing to cyn-

nal founders of AIDS Action Now,

do anything for our healthcare

get after this election. He points to

icism, to people’s pocketbooks.

a former executive director of the


the ways in which race has already

People seem to have a knee-jerk

AIDS Committee of Toronto and



been raised as an issue. Hudak has

reaction to cut, cut, cut.”

a longtime community activist,

Trans Lobby Group, agrees that a

repeatedly attacked a Liberal pro-

But Hawkes says the growing

does fear a return to the Harris era

Conservative government might

posal to offer tax breaks to com-

opposition to Rob Ford’s attempts

of sacrificing services for tax cuts.

be disastrous for the health of

panies that hire skilled recent citi-

to cut services in Toronto is

As Ford did municipally, Hudak

minority groups, especially trans

zens as “affirmative action” and as

encouraging. Polls have shown not

is talking about cutting costs and

taking jobs away from Ontarians.

only growing opposition to Ford,

finding waste. He, too, is promis-

“Politicians are appealing to cynicism, to people’s pocketbooks. People seem to have a knee-jerk reaction to cut, cut, cut.”



but a willingness to pay higher

leader and former NDP premier

taxes in order to maintain services.

taxes on the rich. One can just do the math. Even if there were good

ing no cuts to services. “I fear that that’s a possibility. The prospect of having federal, provincial and municipal, not just conservative, but right-wing conservative governments, gives one pause. Not just pause, but shivers. “Conservatives have been tremendously









of Ontario, and even Ernie Eves,

“For me paying taxes is the pri-

the former finance minister under

mary way people respond to the

Harris, have both accused the pro-

Biblical instruction to love thy

vincial Conservatives of emulat-

neighbour,” says Hawkes. “I don’t

ing American Tea Party politics by

want tax cuts. Tax cuts that can-

adopting such divisive policies.

not be proven to be of benefit are

“You’ve seen how quickly they


leapt on an ugly, ugly wedge

But Hawkes says that regardless

issue,” says Brown. “They’re lying

of who wins the election, a lot of

people. She says the coverage of

through their teeth. The fact that

groups will find their government

sex reassignment surgery under

they’re willing to demonize that

funding cut. The answer, he says,

news on the economic front, they

OHIP, which was restored by the

population makes me worried.

is to build new movements.

will have reduced government

Liberals after being cut by Harris,

The style of Conservative we’re

“To rely so heavily on that level

revenue. They are peddling the

could be at particular risk.

seeing today would use wedge

of government funding, I’ve been

issues against us.”

saying for the past couple of years,

ting people to oppose taxes, even

same bullshit that Rob Ford ped-






dled so successfully. I don’t know

Liberals never included gender

Brent Hawkes, the pastor of the

that’s very dangerous. I really

how much we’ve learned.”

identity in the Ontario Human

Metropolitian Community Church

challenge people that they can’t

In fact, Brown says he thinks vot-

Rights Code, she agrees that the

of Toronto who conducted the

get paralyzed by fear. This is the

ers might be even more alienated

resurgence of right-wing politi-

memorial service for Jack Layton

time to build movements.”

from government today than they

cians at all levels of government

in August, hopes voters don’t go

were during the Harris era.

feels like an unwelcome case of

for that sort of division.

“Neo-liberalism has gotten us to

déjà vu.

And Brown says he sees hope for that sort of movement.

“This compassionate country is

“I think we’re seeing a bit of a

the point where people no longer

“They said there would be a

at odds with a Tea Party mental-

resurgence of activism. I’m cer-

see the apparatus of government

pushback after same-sex mar-

ity,” he says. “I think prejudice lies

tainly seeing at community events

as belonging to them.”

riage, but they could never have

just below the surface at all times.

a lot of young folks out and about.

Brown fears things might be

predicted it would look like this.

My hope is that people would react

And we’re going to need them.”

worse in some ways, especially for

It feels very much like we’re going

with horror to that. The politics of

Hawkes sounds one more cau-

minority groups like gay men and

backwards. There is a danger of

attack and division just horrify me

tionary note. “The problem with

lesbians, under a Hudak govern-

going back 10 or 15 years. There

when it looks like it’ll reap benefits

democracy is it assumes an intel-

ment than they were under Harris.

may be an attempt to cut fund-

at the polls.”

ligent electorate.”

Brown points out that under

ing for basic healthcare, not just

Hawkes doesn’t think voters

Harris, funding for HIV and AIDS

for trans people, but for all disad-

want to return to the Harris era.




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fetish party & fashion show

Them, a video by Polish artist Artur Zmijewski. PWYC. 11am-6pm. TueSun. Closes Mon, Oct 31. 952 Queen Sholem Krishtalka GV and the St W. (416) 395-0067. Glorious Bird, a series of painted Nuit Blanche 130 free installations portraits of friends cast in an operand events throughout central atic epic about Gore Vidal and TennToronto from 7pm to sunrise on Sat, essee Williams. 7:30-10:30pm. TueOct 1. In Queen’s Park, look for The Thu. Until Thu, Oct 27. Canadian Denon Mini System Feast of Trimalchio by AES+F, a Lesbian and Gay Archives. 34 Compact integrated playbackartists. It’s an collective of Russian Isabella St. (416)• 777-2755. CD/AM/FM/iPod* • USB front input for iPod/iPhone* invideo a snapinstalanimatedconnection panoramic Kathryn Hollinrake Fulfillment. • 30encaustic watts per paintchannel lation that turns Petronius’s Works combining Satyricon ing and photography. Until Sat,from Oct system • Control iPod* remote into a luxurious hotel. 29. Akasha Art. 511 Church St, #200. Through the Gorilla Glass is a DM38S/BK kinetic sculpture and light instal(647) 348-0104. lation by a group of Toronto artists MOCCA The international group set atop City Hall’s green roof. With video show ¡Patria o Libertad! On The Other Painting competition at Patriotism, Immigration and Popthe AGO, Winnipeg artist Paul Butler ulism featuring works by Benny hosts an artist-run painting compNemerofsky Ramsay, Pascal Lievre, etition. Outside the Scotia Plaza on Maja Bajevic, Marc Biji Krisdy Adelaide St is Fluxe, a huge interShindler and many others. Plus

Art & Photography






Gloria Vanderbilt Reads at IFOA


alex boisjoli Ceramics in a haunted school house at Art Toronto

active video installation by Steve Di Lorenzo; inside is City Mouse, mixedmedia sculpture of a bizarre kind of wilderness by Julia Hepburn. Over at the Gladstone Hotel, 120 acts and artists participate in Vaudeville Hotel. David Hockney’s Fresh Flowers

The ROM’s Institute for Contemporary Culture presents an exhibition on Hockney’s use of new technology like iPhones and iPads. Curated by Charlie Scheips. $24 regular admission (half price Friday evenings). Sat, Oct 8-Jan 1. Royal Ontario Museum 100 Queen’s Park. (416) 586-8000. Art Toronto (aka the Toronto International Art Fair) Runs Thu, Oct 27 to 31, showcasing hundreds of artists and galleries from across Canada and around the world, from


our guide to your month

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Eight Ways from Mara Choreography by William Yong opens at Enwave Theatre

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OA’s Don Giovanni Starring Phillip Addis opens at the Elgin

halloween Church Street closes Monday night for revellers

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494-9371. Faust The 1926 version of Goethe’s tale of possession by gay silent film master FW Murnau was the last film — and most expensive — he made for German studio UFA before moving to the US. It stars Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings and Camilla Horn. This screening is accompanied live by local composer Robert Bruce playing his own score. $15. 7:30pm. Fri, Oct 7. Trinity St Paul’s. 427 Bloor St W. (905) 777-9196.



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the Adam Gallery in London, UK to the Joyce Wahouda gallery in Montreal. Highlights include a commissioned project from Toronto artist Kent Monkman. The Art Game is a life-size maze that takes audiences through an art world funhouse with four interactive dioramas featuring real art professionals. Author Derek McCormack and designer and illustrator Ian Phillips conclude their Halloween project The Holiday Arts Mail-Order School (HAMS) with a haunted schoolhouse displaying “student projects” and a souvenir stand featuring works by alex boisjoli. $18. Noon-8pm. Fri, Oct 28 & 29. Noon-6pm. Oct 30 & 31. Opening night preview, a fundraiser for the Art Gallery of Ontario. $200. 6:30pm10pm. Thu, Oct 27. (416) 979-6660 ext 580.

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(narrated and produced by Ryan Reynolds). $5-$12; $22 galas. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599-TIFF.

Bad Habits: The Return of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Kevin O’Keefe’s doc on the outrageous drag nuns who began 30 years ago in San Francisco and the recent Canadian chapter that began last year in Vancouver. This screening is a fundraiser for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. $10. 6pm.

Continued on page 26

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l i s t i n gs & e v e n ts

Continued from page 25

in spot

Sat, Oct 15. Royal Theatre. 608 College St. pwatoronto.-org. Then it’s broadcast on iChannel. 9pm. Oct 16.


Print & Readings

Review Anna von Frances

International Festival of Authors Running

Ortolan is by far the best restaurant in Bloordale, but many are saying it’s the first in what will soon become an onslaught of trendy spots along the Bloor West strip — the new Ossington, some say, but without the Liberty Village suburban expats. Fittingly, Ortolan is the brain child of restauranteur partners from Delux and Pizzeria Libretto, both Ossington staples. The space is quaint and quiet, seating just more than 20 people with a small reclaimed wood bar and pared-down, but chicly designed, table tops and chairs. Sitting in the window is the real spot for nosh and drinks. People watching on Bloor West is a mix between young lezzie moms, a variety of street people and old guys coming out of either Duffy’s or the House of Lancaster nearby. The menu is à la carte from the blackboard. You pick your appetizer, main and side as well as wine and beer from an edited list on the board. Taxes are included in the prices, which struck me as a nice change. We went all out with the rabbit rillette ($10), which came with bread and peppered mustard, the skirt steak ($18), the trout with chantrelle mushrooms ($18), and new potatoes and green beans ($7), and red cabbage ($7) as 26

October 2011

→ WESTWARD HO Ortolan leads the charge to remake Bloordale.

sides. Everything was delicious. The rillette was like a pâté with sour dough bread, the trout was cooked beautifully, moist and light right through, and the sides were just the right amount of crunchy and comforting. The steak was a little dry, but it was a minor bump in the road. Including two glasses of wine and a beer, the tab came to just under $100 for two people, which wasn’t bad, except we were expecting slightly closer to midpoint between the food, décor and service. It didn’t feel crosstown enough for the price point, but the food was good. We liked our server, although it was hard to tell if the service is good since we were the only people in the restaurant, so how could they go wrong? Long story short: Worth checking out, great for a date.

ORTOLAN 5pm onwards. Tue-Sat. No reservations. No wheelchair access. 1211 Bloor St. W. (647) 348-4500.

Wed, Oct 19 to 30 the IFOA opens with the PEN Canada Benefit featuring design guru Bruce Mau, discussing his life and work. $50. 8pm. Oct 19. Fleck Dance Theatre. Other events to watch for include: Linwood Barclay, Brian Francis, Dany Laferrière, and Emma Ruby-Sachs reading from their latest works. 8pm. Oct 22. Douglas Coupland discusses his latest book, Marshall McLuhan. 8pm. Oct 26. Readings by Johan Harstad, Bharati Mukherjee, Ruth Roach Pierson and Sina Queyras. Noon. Oct 23. Author, heiress, jeans designer and mother to Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt reads from her latest collection of stories, The Things We Fear Most. 8pm. Oct 25. Helen Humphreys reads from her latest novel The Reinvention of Love, in a program with Riel Nason, Ruth Roach Pierson and Miriam Toews. Noon. Oct 29. Michael Ondaatje reads from his latest novel The Cat’s Table. 2pm. Oct 29. Most events: $18. 207 & 235 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000.

Dance Fallen Rain Hari Krishnan’s contemporary spin on traditional south Indian courtesan dance. Originally a series of solos and duets, the piece is now expanded into a work for seven dancers and six musicians. Featuring Nalin Bisnath, Sreyashi Chakraborti, Hari Krishnan, Hiroshi Miyamoto, Srividya Natarajan, Shobana Raveendran and Vinod Shankar. $25. 7pm. Sat, Oct 1. 3pm. Oct 2. Robert Gill Theatre. 214 College St, third floor. Season 2011 ProArte Danza presents new and recent works by Roberto Campanella, Robert Glumbeck, Guillaume Côté and Kevin O’Day. $22-$39. 8pm. Wed, Oct 5-8. Fleck Dance

Theatre. 207 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000 . Eight Ways from Mara

Danceworks presents the world premiere of Zata Omm Dance Project’s distillation of Buddhist principles as conceived and choreographed by artistic director William Yong. With video by Elysha Poirier and music by Andrea Rocca. Performed by Heather Berry, Kate Franklin, Nicholas Melymuk, Erika-Leigh Stirton and Yong. $23 & $28. 8pm. Thu, Oct 20-22. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. Pteros Tactics Toronto Dance Theatre’s season kicks off with a revamped version of artistic director Christopher House’s Pteros Tactics. $20-$26. 8pm. Wed-Fri. PWYC. 2pm. Sat. Fri, Oct 28-Nov 5. Winchester Street Theatre. 80 Winchester St. (416) 967-1365.

Stage The Girl Who Wants to Fly Theatre 20’s concert

production of a new musical by John Gray (Billy Bishop Goes to War) about aviatrix Amelia Earhart. Starring ElizaJane Scott, Karin Randoja and Steven Gallagher. Directed by Sarah Phillips with musical direction by

Michael Barber. $59 & $69. 8pm. Mon, Oct 3. Panasonic Theatre. 651 Yonge St. (416) 872-1212 The Ugly One Theatre Smash presents the Toronto premiere of Marius von Mayenberg’s black comedy about today’s image-driven culture. Starring Jesse Aaron Dwyre, David Jansen, Hardee T Linehan and Naomi Wright; Ashlie Corcoran directs. $18$34. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Tue, Oct 4-16. Tarragon Theatre Extra Space. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 531-1827. I Send You This Cadmium Red The Art of Time

Ensemble presents a theatrical exploration of the correspondence between artist John Berger and filmmaker John Christie, paired with Soudain, l’hiver dernier, a pas-de-deux from choreographer James Kudelka. Featuring dancers Ryan Boorne, Andrew Giday, Michael Sean Marye and Luke Garwood and actors Julian Richings and John Fitzgerald Jay. Daniel Brooks directs, with music by Gavin Bryars. $22-$45. 8pm. Mon-Sat. 1:30pm. Wed. 2pm. Sat. Mon, Oct 10-22. Berkeley Street Theatre. 27 Berkeley St. (416) 367-8243.

l ist in gs & e ve n ts

→ gv and t he glorious bird Recent works by Sholem Krishtalka this month at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. De Colores Festival

A showcase of works in progress from local Latin American playwrights. Featuring Staying Alive by Martha Chavez. A woman deals with memories in the form of drag queens (José Arias, Ryan G Hinds and Jonathan MortonSchuster). With an excerpt from Ayekan by Gilda Monreal. 8pm. Thu, Oct 6. Excerpt from Anti-Romantic by Aracely Reyes and Danza del Venada by Ari Belathar. 8pm. Oct 7. $15. Wychwood Theatre. 601 Christie St. (416) 652-5442. Ghosts In this Soulpepper production, Morris Panych translates and directs Ibsen’s haunting and provocative examination of a family’s shattered glory. Starring Diego Matamoros, Nancy Palk, Joseph Ziegler, Michelle Monteith and Gregory Prest. $51. Various dates and times. Fri, Oct 14-Nov 18. 55 Mill St, bldg 14. (416) 866-8666. THE NORMAL HEART

A Studio 180 Theatre (The Laramie Project) production of Larry Kramer’s landmark 1985 play chron-

icling New York’s AIDS crisis from the perspective of uncompromising writer and activist Ned Weeks (played by Jonathan Wilson). Joel Greenberg directs. Fri, Oct 14-Nov 6. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. God of Carnage All hell breaks loose as two married couples meet to sort out a playground fight between their sons. Théâtre Français de Toronto presents the original French version of Yasmina Reza’s Le Dieu du carnage. Directed by Diana Leblanc and featuring Colombe Demers, Olivier l’Écuyer, Christian Laurin and Tara Nicodemo. Ask about English surtitle performances. $28-$41 (PYWC Wed). 8pm. Wed-Sat. 3:30pm. Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Fri, Oct 21-Nov 5. Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs. 26 Berkeley St. (416) 534-6604. Don Giovanni Opera Atelier presents Mozart’s dark comedy in a new production designed by Gerard Gauci and Martha Mann. Starring Canadian baritone Phillip Addis in the title role, with Carla Huhtanen, Vasil Garvanliev, Peggy Kriha Dye, Meghan Lindsay, Curtis Sullivan and Lawrence Wiliford. Italian conductor Stefano Montanari makes his OA debut leading the Tafelmusik Orchestra. $90-$230. 7:30pm. Tue & Wed, Fri & Sat. 3pm. Sun. Sat, Oct 29-Nov 5. Elgin Theatre. 189 Yonge St. 1 (855) 622-ARTS.

Classical & Broadway Toronto Symphony Orchestra Hollywood

Hits. Gay conductor Steven Reineke leads the TSO in tuneful faves from movies. Featuring soprano Jodi Benson, tenor Hugh Panaro and the Amabile Men’s Ensemble. $29$109. 8pm. Thu, Oct 4 & 5. 2pm. Oct 5. Former TSO conductor Andrew Davis is joined by pianist Louis Lortie for Mozart’s Piano Concerto #25, in a concert featuring Beethoven’s Symphony #3 “Eroica.” $35-$145. 8pm. Wed, Oct 12. 2pm. Oct 13.

Following programs of baroque and Racmaninoff, the TSO finishes up the month by accompanying live a screening of The Wizard of Oz. Emil de Cou conducts. Audience members are encouraged to dress in costume. $20$105. 8pm. Sat, Oct 29. 3pm. Oct 30. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 593-4828.

in spots GREAT GASTROPUBS Reviews Alice Lawlor

The Musicians in Ordinary Apt for Voices,

Viols or Violons. Elizabethan and Jacobean court music with soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist John Edwards. $25. 8pm. Sat, Oct 8. Heliconian Hall. 35 Hazelton Ave. (416) 535-9956. Liza Minnelli The mega talent, live, in concert. $60-$200. 8pm. Fri, Oct 28. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 872-4255.

Party & Events Operanation The Canadian Opera Company’s annual gala. This year’s headliner is Rufus Wainwright. He is joined by Austra (Katie Stelmanis’s hot new band; Stelmanis was a member of the COC’s Children’s Chorus when she was a kid) collaborating with Ensemble Studio members Adrian Kramer and Ambur Braid. All proceeds benefit the COC Ensemble Studio for young opera professionals. $150. 9pm. Fri, Oct 21. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. Rapture Northbound Leather’s annual fetish ball returns with fashion show, dungeon and dancing featuring DJs Jimi LaMort, Betti Forde and more. Dress code in effect. $45 adv; $55 door. 9pm-6am. Sat, Oct 22. Sound Academy. 11 Polson St. (416) 972-1037. Halloweek A week of community fun, from a resto tour to pumpkin carving. Culminates with a big night of drag and costumed revellery. The Queen of Halloween drag contest hosted by Miss Conception is Wed, Oct 26. Woody’s. 467 Church St. The big outdoor party and street closure is Mon, Oct 31. •

There’s nothing like people watch-

modern palate: Potted duck and pork

ing on the Firkin patio, or a bear and

comes with wild cherries; a cider-

a burger at O’Grady’s — but temples

infused duck leg is served with curry

of gastronomy they’re not. Now that

sauce and croquettes. And for afters?

the cooler weather is here, perhaps

It has to be sticky toffee pudding.

it’s time to do a little cheatin’ on Church. Check out these three great gastropubs downtown.

THE GOOD GERMAN Just opened in July, The Bohemian Gastropub is a new kid on the Queen


West block. Chef Paul Boehmer (of

Cabbagetown favourite House on

Boehmer on Ossington) and chef

Parliament has been serving up high-

de cuisine Chris Scott (formerly

quality pub fare and local beers on

of LAB on College) have created a

tap for more than 15 years. Although

menu that makes the heavy fare of

a fire forced a move into the three-

Central Europe seem, well… kind of

storey Victorian next door, the HoP

fun. There’s spaetzle “poutine” and

is still hopping and tables can be

fried pig’s ears. There are potato fun-

hard to come by. But with such jovial

nel cakes and a currywurst sand-

service, reliable standards (try the

wich with mango pickle. There’s a

pulled pork sandwich) and creative

well-chosen selection of beers that

specials (grilled mahi-mahi with

includes many local favourites. Best

green peppercorn beurre blanc) it’s

of all, the ambience eschews the

always worth the wait.

Queen West try-hard-hipster vibe in favour of a casual, come-on-in



English expat Jamieson Kerr (owner of Crush on King West) was so dismayed by the lack of proper pubs downtown that he opened his own: The Queen and Beaver. The name is a tribute to Kerr’s dual national alliances, and the décor takes tonguein-cheek elements from both. The food is classic British updated for a

HOUSE ON PARLIAMENT 454 Parliament St. (416) 925-4074. THE QUEEN AND BEAVER 35 Elm St. (647) 347-2712. THE BOHEMIAN GASTROPUB 571 Queen St W. (416) 361-6154.



te l e v i s i o n

Honesty in design → “There

isn’t anything about me that’s off limits,” says décor guru Tommy Smythe Story Paul Gallant | Photography Michael Graydon


October 2011





“I was interested in décor before

Smythe can tell when peo-



I was interested in men,” Smythe

“Some of the men of our gen-

ple have fluffed their homes

says, during a break from shooting

eration learn to lie early on in our

Lawrence Antique Market. The ten-

prior to his arrival. His friends don’t

Sarah 101, Richardson and his latest

gay lives. It’s a slippery slope to get

sion between their styles and how

do it — they know he’s dated slobs

TV offering, a back-to-basics design

into the habit of false pretence and

they react to problems is a big part

in the past. He can deal. But some

course (season two airs early next

false character,” says Smythe, who

of what makes Brand Richardson

people can’t resist. Who wouldn’t

year). At age eight, Smythe chose

is within spitting distance of 40. “I

work. But you have to wonder if

want to clear away the clutter, hide

the furnishings for his bedroom,

know that a lot of kids and young

playing Robin to Sarah’s Batman

the dead flowers, haul their grand-

visiting his grandmother’s interior

people watch the shows, so it’s

for so long has made Smythe rest-

mother’s favourite candlesticks out

design office to choose the drapes

important to be honest. There isn’t

less. Does he ever wish for his own

of storage and, if there’s time, paint

and wallpaper. (He still remem-

anything about me that’s off limits.


the kitchen a fresh shade of Sarah

bers the beige and cream herring-

“If it was the right thing, suggested



bone wallpaper design. “To this day

Para) before the arrival of their bow-

I’d buy it again.”) At 14, he designed

tied visitor? He does notice things.

his own bed, shaped like a triangle,

“There’s nothing more personal than what you find beautiful, what you find relevant, what you collect, what you read.”

by the right people, at the right

Smythe seriously considered was

I use Crest Whitestrips. Sometimes

Rick Mercer, Ann-Marie MacDonald,


I wear a bit of makeup. I take pills to

Mark Tewksbury, Rex Harrington

help male pattern baldness. I don’t

and David and Glenn Dixon —

really have any secrets.”

Smythe tied his gay identity even



“If I go into one more home in July

with built-in bookcases and storage.

and see a snowsuit on a hook, I will

When the old family home went up

lose it,” Smythe declares in a clip

for sale two years ago, he visited out

promoting Sarah’s House 4, which

of curiosity, only to discover all his

premieres on HGTV this month.

furniture was still there. Although

Smythe losing it would be some-

he was once a waiter at the CN

thing to see.

Tower, the only other career option

Smythe has appeared by design queen




they are, unfluffed.

Smythe is the one who’d rather spend






time, I’d consider it. But I’m here by choice. I don’t ever feel there’s anything lacking,” says Smythe. “But I must say, I don’t think at 75, I will want to still be on TV shows.” As the co-creator of last year’s It Gets Better Canada — a heart-tugging video targeting LGBT youth that featured high-profile Canadians like

for more than nine years, in vari-

A décor guru and TV personal-

ous TV incarnations, starting with

ity are not exactly the same thing.

Design Inc. He exudes a vibe that’s

TV personalities, by default, have

Honesty seems relatively easy,

more closely to his public persona.

quirky and sprightly and encour-

no private life. For example, each

though, when all your adoring fans

Although the difficulties of youth

aging, yet very, very controlled

time he moves — and Smythe has

want to talk about are rugs and

remain dear to his heart, his cur-

and precise. It’s as if he’s from the

had three relationship-prompted

closets and the perfect dining room

rent big gay project is Casey House.

same school of gay advice-givers as

moves in the last couple of years,

chairs. For Smythe, though, these

Parallel to the HIV/AIDS hospice’s

Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, where

the most recent in the direction of

questions are deeply personal, inti-

$10-million Capital Redevelopment

extraordinarily lucid opinions are

singledom — the décor glossies and

mate even.


more effective than direct orders.

blogs are immediately after him

“There’s nothing more personal

Lose it? You can’t imagine Smythe

to shoot the space. His friendship

than what you find beautiful, what


so much as dumping out your

with Richardson is real — they met

you find relevant, what you collect,

Snowball. Though the details are

unworthy can of Benjamin Moore

through his sister, fashion designer

what you read,” he says. “When

still under wraps, the event will be

Gypsy Rose 1327. But still. Would

Christie Smythe — but played with

you put yourself out there that way,

much more design-focused in 2012.

you really want to test him?

a bit more edge for TV viewers. To

you always leave yourself open to

stay sane, Smythe tries to practice


→ PRIME T IME Tommy Smythe has been doling out design advice on TV for nine years.

complete and absolute honesty. His home and his personal life are as






“It won’t be a ball in the classic sense,” says Smythe. “And it’s

On air, Richardson is more contemporary


with his fellow co-chairs to retool





not going to be the new Fashion Continued on page 30




Continued from page 29

hot, new and ripe for Sarah 101.

Cares. But we want to reposition it

He’s also got to make a trip to the

as an exciting place to be.”

optician’s. He promises it will not

Meanwhile, TV is the hungry beast that’s never satiated. Sarah

THE SOLUTION: A boutique networking agency specializing in personalized matchmaking for busy, successful professionals who cherish the idea of a loving, faithful relationship once they find the right partner.

result in a change to his trademark thick-rimmed eyeglasses.

101 2 began production just as

“No, they’re still part of the cos-

Sarah’s House 4, which once again

tume, so to speak,” he laughs.

focuses on the makeover of a sin-

“Round glasses would turn [the

gle home, wrapped up. While he’s

audience] on its ear.” Indeed, a

in production, it’s all early-to-bed

Tommy Smythe without clunky

and no drinking. And Richardson’s

frames might just cause them to

office/studio is also getting a make-

lose it.

over, so Smythe isn’t even sure where he’s supposed to sit. He has interns to deploy to find out what’s

Tommy Smythe’s Tips & Trends


1 866-467-5252

SARAH’S HOUSE 8pm. Tuesdays, beginning Oct 18. HGTV.

For glamour and sparkle

Add really good, creative flowers and mirrors.

Most common mistake

It’s all about scale — learn that and the rest will take care of itself. Most bang for your buck

It’s the age-old answer: paint (I recommend Sarah’s designer palette for Para Paints, naturally). If money is no object

Painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Madonna has one.

red partners female intoronto quarter.indd 1

26/09/2011 2:32:38 PM

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Every room could use a little red. Colour & accents

We seem to be seeing a shift in neutrals. Grey dominated for a few years, but now we’re moving back to cognac and light natural linen tones. Brass is definitely the metal of the moment. As always, there is a trickle-down from the fashion runways to the world of interiors; right now it seems to be animal prints (zebra, leopard, etc). But proceed with caution — or the help of a professional — these should be used in small doses! Study the greats

North American design is, in my opinion, best exemplified by the work of the great New York designers of the ‘70s: Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley and Mark Hampton made an indelible impression on my design aesthetic. My early mentor John Manuel worked among them all and brought his own inimitable perspective on that sophisticated North American point of view to Toronto. He taught me (and others like Lynda Reeves and Michael Angus) a lot. Hot Canadian designers

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Rich Brilliant Willing (RBW; is a New York-based collective (Sarah Richardson’s brother Theo is one third of the team) which combines the best of Canadian and American perspectives in furniture and lighting design. Available at Hollace Cluny (1070 Yonge St;


musi c

From unfathomable depths → Composer

John Corigliano confronts two of the most harrowing contemporary tragedies, AIDS and 9/11 Story Gordon Bowness | Photography J Henry Fair


n tragedy’s wake, out of numbed silence, US composer John Corigliano coaxes trembling sounds of hope; from unfathomable depths emerges music both brutal and kind. Corigliano is one of the most successful and celebrated classical composers working today. Best known for his Oscar-winning score for the 1998 film The Red Violin, Corigliano’s body of work spans 40 years, garnering numerous awards including two Grammys for recordings of the Symphony #1, his AIDS symphony from 1990. The New York Philharmonic recently commissioned Corigliano to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11; the world premiere performances of his song cycle One Sweet Morning continue until Oct 4 in NYC. This month also sees the Esprit Orchestra perform the Symphony #1 in Toronto on Oct 19. Corigliano recalls wandering around Manhattan 10 years ago after the World Trade Center had collapsed. Traffic and subways were at a standstill; everyone had to walk home. What struck him was the chilling silence. “No one could find anything possible to say.” A silence of a different kind fuelled his AIDS symphony. “I always saw AIDS as a war, but no one acknowledged it was happening. No one wanted to know. No one cared,” he says from his home in upstate New York that he shares with his lover, composer Mark Adamo. “We could shout and

of three movements, each built around a theme evoking a friend of Corigliano’s who died from AIDS — or was dying. His best friend, pianist Sheldon  Shkolnik, died a week after the premiere. One of Shkolnik’s favourite pieces, a transcription of Isaac Albeniz’s Tango, is heard off stage during the furious first movement, titled Apologue: Of Rage and Remembrance. The second movement is a tarantella, a form of music that gets faster and faster as if dancing wildly to ward off the effects of a tarantula

“Rage is just impotence, the inability to do anything about what’s happening, about what you feel.” → MEMORIES ENDURE John Corigliano’s first symphony is a furious and compassionate response to AIDS.

shout, and no one heard.” The 73-year-old Corigliano still gets angry when talking about AIDS and the indifference of many during the early years. “There are two parts to my life: before AIDS and after AIDS,” he says, “and after AIDS is a much darker place.” His symphony is at times terrifying and raging. “Rage is just impotence,” he says, “the inability to do anything about what’s happening, about what you feel.” The symphony is comprised

bite. The movement is based on a piece that Corigliano had earlier composed for another friend, Jack Roman, head of Baldwin Pianos, who developed AIDS dementia. The third movement recalls his friend Giulio Sorrentino, an amateur cellist. A haunting cello solo gives way to a number of other musical sketches of dead friends in a conscious emulation of the AIDS Quilt. The Symphony #1 has been played hundreds of times around the world, enjoying an unusually successful run for a new classical composition. “I want music to grab

you, to shake you,” Corigliano says. He recounts how, a couple of years after the symphony’s premiere, it was played in Kiev. Through an error, no program notes were given out; the audience didn’t know about the AIDS connection. “But the audience knew what it was about,” says Corigliano. “They reacted the same way as the audience in San Francisco a week later. “The symphony gives expression to something buried inside. That rage is within everyone…. It’s universal, it’s human.” In both the first symphony and his new 9/11 commission Corigliano composed the last sections first. “The first symphony couldn’t be just rage and remembrance… because then what? I couldn’t just leave the audience there.” The piece concludes with waves of sound moving through the brass section to evoke the ceaseless motion of ocean waves. Memories, like the sea, endure. The 9/11 song cycle, with its evocation of innocence lost and its litany of death and violence, concludes with a setting of a poem by Yip Harburg, librettist of The Wizard of Oz. “For out of the flags and the bones/ buried under the clover,” it goes, “Spring will bloom/ Peace will come/ One sweet morning/ One sweet morning.”

STIRRED SO MUCH The Esprit Orchestra plays John Corigliano, Arvo Pärt, Chris Paul Harman and Douglas Schmidt. $56-$67. 8pm. Wed, Oct 19. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208.


S EX s p onsored by spa excess

relationship advice

— with Adam Segal → For the past six months I’ve been having regular sex with a guy who is in a long-term relationship with another gent. He tells me they’ve been on a rocky road for a while now and don’t have sex anymore. We hook up regularly for very hot sex and have an incredible time together. This arrangement has been running smoothly, although I sometimes find myself thinking about us and wondering if he would ever become fully available. I so rarely meet men that I’m this drawn to, but am worried that our arrangement will end up screwing me over in the end. What should I do? Brian

It’s a good thing that you’re feel-

a potentially risky situation. One

ing worried — getting involved

injuring outcome, for example, is

with someone who is already part-

that their relationship eventually

nered certainly has its set of emo-

improves and you find yourself

tional risks. Your fear is a healthy

discarded just as you’ve become

response that is like those weird

fully attached.

highway signs proclaiming “Danger:

Your part-time lover is also pro-

Falling Rocks.” (What on earth are

viding you with valuable informa-

you really supposed to do in that

tion about himself: Part of how he


copes with dissatisfaction in his

On some level, you have actively

relationship is by getting something

chosen to connect with someone

on the side. Should you two ever end

who isn’t actually available and

up together, there’s a strong likeli-

there could be any number of rea-

hood that he could avoid address-

sons why you would do this. You’ll

ing relationship issues head-on and

need to be honest with yourself in

act out instead. In fact, there’s an

your exploration of how, despite

opportunity here for you to take

stressing you out, his unavailabil-

some responsibility by speaking up

ity is in some way serving you.

and initiating a discussion about

For example, if you’ve been ago-

your respective intentions.

nizingly heartbroken in a previ-

If you are both able to stay on the

ous relationship, there’s a chance

same page in strictly wanting occa-

that your current set-up feels safe

sional mind-blowing sex, then it’s

if only because there’s not much to

pretty safe. If you’re holding out

lose to begin with.

hope that he’ll ultimately toss his

Design: Jonathan Kitchen,

How you proceed should also be

relationship and choose you in a

informed by your personal val-


ues. If your loverman is keep-

claim-you kind of way, then you

ing your hookups (and any others

might be on a path of self-sabo-

he’s got going on) a secret, then

tage that only you can choose to

you’ll need to know whether this



is something your conscience can feel okay with. If they’ve agreed upon an open relationship, then this becomes less of a moral/values issue, though it still remains

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



caught in the act by Michael Pihach & Ann Gagno



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October 2011 - In Toronto Magazine  

Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

October 2011 - In Toronto Magazine  

Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto