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living life over the rainbow in Waterloo Region



A girl called Wanda Carson Arthur: The move is on The art of Craig Musselman Bullying Ends Here First Dance: Who leads, who follows? Ongoing groups & coming events Articles, news, voices and info and loads more..

Cover art: “Celestial Prophecy� by Craig Musselman 1 MUSE 2013 MUSE is a fiercely proud community magazine. Writers, bloggers, reporters, artists, photographers, businesses, community groups, critique,| Fall welcome.

16 Princess Street East, Uptown Waterloo Phone: 519-579-9880 2 MUSE | Fall 2013

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Contents COVERART 7 Mussel Art


Craig Musselman is both visionary and artist - from steampunk graphic visuals to his own venture featuring local talent TALENT NEXT DOOR, understanding what makes him tick is gazing into the goggles of a mad inventor and taking the hand of a devout humanist at the same time.

FEATURES&ARTICLES 3 Bullying Ends Here 11 A girl called Wanda 13 The Move is On 17 Contributions 20 First Dance

REGULARISSUE 2 MUSEworthy 5 Forewords 10 MUSE Information 18 Community Updates 21 Coming Events 22 Community Listings


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MUSINGS&INSIGHTS 4 Open Waters Stephen Curtis Gaymday William Pensaert 6 Gay Stays: Las Vegas Greg Ryan 9 A gardener’s journey Jason Bock Gaze Melissa Sky 12 Rumors behind the rainbow Jim Parrott 1 MUSE | Fall 2013

14 Do you have what it takes for financial success? John Brick 14 Muses Cafe Shelley Schanzenbacher 15 Motivated to move Craig Ramsey Ask Ali Ali Scott 16 Get involved with gender activism WRGVWG

16 Secrett’s Veggie Kitchen Shelley Secrett 19 Online dating: life jacket req’d Nadine Hull Life’s been good Randy Farrell 23 Musing Charlène Le Duc

MUSEWorthy news& insight Fourth annual Waterloo Region GSA conference will be held February 12 at The Waterloo Inn. A study published in Preventive Medicine journal found that both straight students and girls who identified as lesbian or bisexual were less likely to binge drink if their school had a GSA for at least three years. “Conservative” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird criticizes Uganda/ Ukraine/Russia anti-gay bigotry.

The Ren@41 Urban Lounge (formerly Club Renaissance) opened its doors late August in a new location (41 King Street West, Kitchener) and with a new restaurant/urban lounge/dance bar format. Visit for more. Google these for more: Canadian Olympians marched in protest in Ottawa Pride. Canadian Olympic speed skater Anastasia Bucsis says she is ‘proud to be gay’ Canada’s refugee board is likely to look favourably on claims of persecution by gay asylum-seekers from Russia, says Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. Toronto homes displaying rainbow flags targeted by homophobic vandals - homeowners band to together and fight back by buyingg rainbow r window decals.

Robert Ranger, a gay former prison guard in Ottawa has been compensated with $98,000 in damages for homophobic harassment and discrimination in the workplace, after a decade-long struggle for his case to be recognised. He’s Magneto, Gandalf, and now actor Ian Mclellan will portray Sherlock Holmes, in a film by queer director Bill Condon. Out sci-fi actors Zach Quinto (Spock from recent Star Trek movie reboot) George Takei (Sulu from the original Star Trek) were signing autographs last month at Toronto’s Fan Expo. Forward-thinking Minneapolis has begun to promote gay marriage services. British duo Golfrapp have unveiled a must-watch video ‘ entitled Annabel’ exploring gender identity, with them describing it as ‘a film about a girl trapped inside the body of a boy.’ Christian-based scouting group launches after Boy Scouts of America allow gay youth.

Russia’s homo-smackdown: •

Russia recently made it easier to arrest foreigners suspected of being gay or even being pro-gay, barring same-sex couples from adopting Russian children and anyone exposing children to gay propaganda Days after the St. Petersburg assault, President Putin said the antipropaganda law was meant to protect youth, not to impose sanctions on gays Gay bars in London (UK), L.A., Sydney and Vancouver stopped serving all Russian vodkas

“The people’s” Pope Francis: •

He didn’t change the attitude of the Vatican on homosexuality, and his past comments have been antihomophobic While his comments have been sensationalized and taken out of context, he said as long as they practice abstinence, it’s not for him to judge priests who are gay He drives a Ford, and eschews very formal garb and high security

The defeat of DOMA and Prop 8: •

Australian PM Tony Abbott, despite conservative views and being described as “deeply religious,” says he’s in support of gay marriage. San Franciscan Gay rights pioneer Jose Sarria, the first openly gay person to run for office in the US, mourned. RIP Aug 19, 2013.



Striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, the US Supreme Court decision was a very close win with a 5-4 vote. 61 per cent of voters in California support same-sex marriage (Feb 2013, The Field Poll, release 2443) The lead plaintiff in the case was 84-year-old lesbian Edith Windsor. She sued the federal government after paying estate taxes because it did not recognize her marriage to her wife, Thea Spyer Wanda Skyes formally came out when she spoke out against Prop 8! Go Wanda!

{Wanda’s performing here in Kitchener on Oct 30 at Centre in the Square! }

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Tad Milmine isn’t just another RCMP Officer realizing his lifelong dream of being an enforcement professional, he’s taken two steps further - he’s out, and he’s using his personal experiences to spread the message to kids across the nation that it’s okay to be gay, and that




was laying in bed reading the news in October of 2011 when I was first introduced to an inspirational young man named Jamie Hubley. Jamie was relentlessly bullied for many years, first for being a figure skater and later for being openly gay. In grade 10, Jamie decided he wanted to start his own club, called the ‘Rainbow Club’ in hopes of helping others who may feel alone, unsafe, struggling with sexuality or simply wanting to make new friends. Sadly, Jamie’s posters advertising about this club were often ripped down. Jamie took his own life on October 15, 2011. Jamie inspired me because, even with all of the negativity in his life, he took something positive from it and wanted to help others. Jamie wanted to help make this world a better place. It was at that moment that I decided that I would pick up where Jamie left off.

Although I am far from being a student, I still recall the challenges of being bullied 3 MUSE | Fall 2013


daily in high school because I was horribly introverted. I remember the feeling of not having anyone to talk to. I remember the neglect and abuse I suffered for many years growing up in Cambridge Ontario. I remember having a dream as a little boy that I wanted to grow up and become a police officer because I simply wanted to help people.

Today, I have achieved that dream. I am a front line police officer in Surrey BC. I also created a program called ‘Bullying Ends Here.’ This program takes me across the country speaking to youth about my story and that of Jamie. I let them know that I will do anything I can to help get them through their dark days because I know what it feels like. I created a website, where anyone can go and learn more about me, bullying and how to connect with me. As Michael Jackson says in ‘Man in the Mirror’....if you want to make this world a better place, take a look at yourself and

then make that change. This is exactly what I am trying to do. It all starts with us as individuals. I am honoured to have been asked to write in this magazine and look forward to sharing a lot more with you about my experiences and how something so simple has turned into a very large mission. Tad Milmine Bullying Ends Here @tadmilmine Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Open Waters “I love you but you should know that I am not good at monogamy and I don’t expect you to be monogamous either. You’re young, you’re going to want to explore and I want you to do so.” That is how I began my longest running, still going relationship. It still took a few months to see who would blink first when it came to playing around and when it started, it was fine. Finding one person who is sexually absolutely everything to another is pretty rare and, understanding this and knowing I was my partner’s first boyfriend, the move to be open right off the bat was the best thing for both of us. Four years later with the occasional bump along the way, we’re still fine. Thus it is from this position that I offer a few simple tips on opening and maintaining a relationship. Tip #1: Communicate as much as possible. Talk about possible sex partners, talk about the things you would like to do and the things you have done. Leave no stone unturned and no subject taboo. Tip #2: Set rules that you can both keep. For an example, our rules are safety and disclosure. Tip #2A: Keep the rules simple. You remember that Queer As Folk episode where Brian and Justin opened up the relationship, set a rule for ‘no kissing’ and then they broke up because Justin made out with someone and somehow Brian could sense it? Yeah, a rule like that is ridiculous and, in some respects, unavoidably breakable. Tip #3: Jealousy happens. Even in open relationships, jealousy can happen. The little green monster is best dealt with by communicating it to death. Tip #4: Remember your primary partner. Forgetting the open part of an open relationship for a second, you have to remember to be there emotionally and physically for your primary partner. This goes back to the first tip with communication.

Gaymday gaymday is a chance for our community to come together to play board games and such. We always have a broad selection of games on hand, but feel free to bring your own. We play Jenga, Bandu, Cribbage, Seven Wonders, Rummiekub, Balderdash, Mexican train, Tzol’kin, Solitaire, and Metropolis, to name just a few. Among our regulars, we have some complete strategists who play to win, others who play just for fun, and yet more who come for the company and snacks. Not into board games? We also provide LEGO, various puzzles including jigsaws, and even Yo-Yo’s. We also supply snacks. Notable among those we have nibbled on are alphabet pretzels for those who’d rather play with their food, and we’ve drunk de-alc. beer - it really does taste like pilsner! Some have even brought home baking including Belgian waffles and one-mouthful biscuits. The health-conscious often bring crudités, or dried Wasabi peas. Our inauguration was June 7, and gaymdayz are generally held twice a month on the first and third Fridays of the month from 7 PM to midnight at Spectrum Space. Yes, play even continued through the July power outage by improvising the lighting with flashlights suspended from the ceiling! So start your weekend with us and come out and play! Join us on William Pensaert is a mathematician and a lover of games, and lives with his husband Jim in Waterloo.

Tip #5: The best way to take care of your home and those you invite in it is to make sure it’s well kept. Make sure to get regular STI check-ups to ensure the health of you, your partner and play partners. Tip #6: Your relationship is yours, own it. A lot of people will have a lot of opinions on your relationship and some of them will be very vocal about it to you. At the end of the day these people and their opinions do not matter. Your finding a happy, comfortable relationship is your own affair. Remember, your relationship is your own to define and enjoy, do so! Steven Curtis is a digital artist, writer, musician and geek living in Waterloo, Ontario. 4 MUSE | Fall 2013

To dare greatly... When I first set out to craft MUSE, I did so because I believed there was a gap, and so an opportunity, to create a forum for our rainbow community. The gap - a forum for critical voices, artistries, and a showcase for the broad tapestry of our lifestyles to be shared. So, MUSE was born of good intentions, stitched together from a bit of narcissism, the chance to build upon excellent prior foundations like Proud, The Voice, and Outlooks magazine, and the desire to see authentic content continue to come to light for our community. I expected critique (good and bad are both well-accepted). I expected to slog through a lot of learning curve before making what I’d consider a product to be proud of. And with the help of a few friends, I expected to do a lot of work, suffer gladly, and grow this thing. What I honestly didn’t expect was deep criticism - before MUSE ever even hit the streets. In a way, it’s serendipitous this happened now, at the outset of MUSE. It reminds me that our opinions, our values, and our histories are as varied in some ways as they are shared. This is the rainbow community’s new reality: we don’t really even know, ourselves, who we are, or what we gain by binding ourselves together (at times artificially) into this social construct. Our greatest future challenge, as persons who identify under the rainbow, is finding our legitimate place among this new reality: mainstream acceptance, portrayal in popular media, a veritable sea of ever-changing cultures and counter-cultures, persistent trans/homophobia and internalized homophobia, family, socioethic and political values, self-definition, and more. Gritty and messy and dangerous as it may be, I totally dig it. If you like MUSE or if you don’t like MUSE, tell us about it; contribute. If you don’t like MUSE so much that you can’t even tell us about it, feel free make your own MUSE! If MUSE is meant to be a vessel, a showcase for real voices and whatever it is they want to share... then I say: share them. If the guiding influence is flawed, mea culpa, caveat emptor, be wary dear reader. Make up your own mind. Whatever else it may be, MUSE is a place for art, lifestyles, and critical thinking -- but never a place for hate. MUSE, cheeky monkey, well done. You managed to surprise and challenge, right from the very beginning. Thom Ryan is Breslau’s most dangerous citizen and the publisher of MUSE. 5 MUSE | Fall 2013

A MUSE of any other colour... Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his/her inner vision and it’s ultimate expression~Isaac Bashevis If you so eloquently stir in four billion pieces of communiqué, zillion hours, exchanges of too many ideas to count, moments of hair pulling, moments where you crack, months of ups and downs, moments where you realize the exchanges with the very person you are working with is almost on an ethereal level and add in loss of sleep, proud moments, sheer exhilaration and crazy time lines, you will get MUSE. Voila! This definitely has been a labour of love and sheer determination. It has been an honour to work with such generous, sinfully talented contributors who entrusted MUSE with their work and our advertising partners who believe in Muse. To the very people who supported me, family (Vicky), friends, colleagues, reviewers, you are flat out amazing! Lastly, to the very person, who listened to me, made me laugh and pull my hair out- all at the same time, but ultimately who made this possible, I humbly say, merci. Now, stop reading this and check out all the cool pieces in the inaugural issue of MUSE Magazine!! Charlène Le Duc is co-producer of MUSE.

Gay Stays: Las Vegas Las Vegas is one of America’s best cities for gay travel. There’s a lot more to Las Vegas than gambling, there are lots of great shows to see as well as places to go explore. Several resorts on the strip cater to the rainbow community: the Wynn and Encore, for instance, have “pride concierges,” and the Luxor does LGBT pool parties every Sunday during the summer. Downtown Las Vegas also has a booming scene, from the bowling lounge Drink & Drag to the 80,000 square-foot Krave Massive, which boasts to be the world’s biggest gay club. (1) Well known for it’s iconic pyramid design, The Luxor is the official host of the Gay Days Expo and the Gay Days Pool Parties (September).(2) If a massive dance club is not your scene, Las Vegas’ gay scene holds something for everyone, with a number of fun gay bars and clubs for all types. Although there are bars sprinkled throughout the city, there are mainly two groupings: the “fruit loop” on Paradise and the Commercial Centre off Sahara.(3) Don’t worry about getting around in Las Vegas - the taxis are always on standby and are ready to take you wherever you need to go, 24-7, and the drives know the back roads like the back of their hand.(4) Outside the night life, Las Vegas is a great destination to just get out and explore. Each resort holds its own draw, from the botanical garden and art gallery at the Billagio, the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay to searching for deals at the massive fashion and outlet malls. Just remember, “What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas!” (1) (2) (3) (4)

Greg Ryan is an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre Conestoga Mall.

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Mussel Art

The art & passion of Craig Musselman

C “Concealed Red Death,” digital artwork by Craig Musselman

“Steampunk,” digital art, artifact and costume.

raig doesn’t know how people can NOT create art - it is a foreign concept to him. He wonders how people can walk through a field, read a book, see the sun reflecting off architecture, or examine rust devouring a metal object and not want to create something. He finds it the worst kind of torture to be caught without his trusty camera to document everything interesting he encounters that could one day become part of a work of art. Art, he says, is something he was born with.

Growing up in a creative family meant Craig was always involved in some sort of artistic endeavour. He bought every sci fi fantasy art book he could find as a child with Alan Lee and Rodney Matthews most memorable. Later influences include Georgia O’keefe’s flower paintings, and the super-realists like Charles Bell famous for his pinball and toy paintings.

scene that although seemingly chaotic, was designed around one of the basic rules like the “rule of thirds” used in photography. He is also a great believer in shamelessly sneaking unnecessary “public pleasers” into complicated works, because no matter how great the main image, sales tend to come from buyers that love it because you have hidden a cat, mouse, or snake in the corner.

Like all things in his life, nothing is simple. His artistic style oscillates between murals and large scale realist acrylic paintings of flowers, hyper-realistic digital drawings of toys and machines, and his better-known photoshop photomontages in which he collages everyday objects and source photos into elaborate science fiction and fantasy images.

Craig shows in local galleries whenever he can, his favourite being a show at the Rotunda Gallery at Kitchener City hall. He is currently looking for a gallery to show all of the flower paintings he has created in the last year. His digital sci fi fantasy work has been published around the world, including novel covers in Poland, “ImagineFX” magazine in the UK, “Expose” in Australia, a Photoshop Textbook in the US, as well as all of the books he has self-published like “Machines and Magic” and “Talent Next Door.”

When painting, Craig works in acrylic, because he is too impatient for oils and too messy for watercolour. For digital work his tool of choice is photoshop. Additionally, Halloween and other costume events like Royale Medieval Faire are events he enjoys and spends weeks creating extravagant costumes (complete with electronics) out of garage sale finds in a manner similar to his photoshop method. Other than learning more technical skills and colour theory over time, Craig still paints in acrylic the way he always has, standing up, working in very thin layers, never allowing the paint to become three dimensional, and not distinguishing between using the brush and his hands to apply the paint. He has recently taken to stretching canvas on huge plywood mounts for the actual painting’s creation, so as to be able to attack the canvas without denting it. Formerly, he used other people’s stock photography, but to eliminate copyright issues, now uses his own photos exclusively from his extensive online collection available to the public at Great compositions can either be something hard hitting and iconic that burn a hole in your memory with one central image (which is great when you have a deadline) or a very complicated 7 MUSE | Fall 2013

Craig’s advice for budding artists: 99% of art is non-art related. You need a truck, you need storage space, you need computer skills, and most importantly if you don’t know people, you won’t succeed. Start schmoozing with the dealmakers around town as soon as possible and more importantly, get an education in a money-making field before you ever even consider being an artist. What’s next? Craig plans to publish more books on artist’s reference photos (flowers, hands, and sci fi / fantasy) and to explore to crowd sourcing on Kickstarter. He is actively lobbying for construction or designation of unsupervised public art walls for artists to do spontaneous shows whenever they want in KW. Craig Musselman was born in Kitchener, but grew up in the hamlet of Shakespeare until he moved back to attend University. He has lived at his current home in Waterloo since 1992. He has a BSc in Physics/Math from the University of Waterloo, as well as college diplomas in both Digital Imaging (Graphic Design) and Web Design. Recently he finished publishing a series of art books cataloguing the artists working in the KW, Cambridge and Guelph areas called “Talent Next Door” (available locally or online see: www. for details). “Land Platform” digital art.

“Lilacs,” acrylic.

“Pinball” digital art. “The Keeper,” digital art. “Cyberpet mechahopper,” digital art. “Marigolds,” acrylic.

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A Gardener’s Journey It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon in August that I came across an old picture of my great grandmother standing in front of her garden, stamped “1954” - she was 80 years old. The picture is in black and white but I still recognize a few of the plants. I can see iris and bridal breath spirea - they must have been popular “back in the day.” She likely never bought plants at a garden center, but probably received cuttings or divisions from friends and neighbors. This is where “true gardeners get their plants, not from garden centres,” or so I have been told.

One of my favorite perennials planted includes “Echinacea Pow-wow Wildberry” - it has a raspberry colour and bloomed for four weeks. I wanted a low growing hydrangea hedge and planted the variety “little lime.” Of course, no garden is complete without black-eyed susan, phlox, shasta daisy, peony and day lilies. My favorite fall plants are anemone and sedum. These look great next to an ornamental grass. As every gardener knows there is always room for “one more plant,” so the garden centers must love me. This year I planted a ligularia, common name “the rocket.” This is a shade-loving perennial and produces beautiful tall spikes of yellow flowers. It looks great next to my front porch. My garden journey is not over. Anyone who gardens knows you are always making changes. I have already started to give friends divisions of plants. Jason Bock lives in Hespeler, where he tends to his growing perennial garden. 9 MUSE | Fall 2013

Hello lesbiqueers and gaymosexuals! Welcome to Gaze, my fledging column on all things queer and film related. I figured MUSE could be an interesting space for me to a-muse myself and my fellow LGBT movie-lovers with incisive, scintillating film reviews, as well as indispensable info on upcoming fests and events. Or something close to that. So here goes… Have you exhausted the “Lesbian and Gay” section of Netflix? Bored of scouring Youtube for queer mashups? Can’t wait for Rainbow Reels? Then check out Busk Films (www.buskfilms. com), a Vancouver-based videoon-demand website that focuses on lesbian films. This indie streaming service has hundreds of selections and they’re expanding their inventory to include more trans and gay male titles. Best of all, independent queer artists all over the world benefit directly from your viewing pleasure, as a significant portion of your streaming fee goes right to the artists. Fees are reasonable, ranging from $1.99 USD for a short film to $4.99 USD for a feature length film. There are even some free titles. They have classics like Desert Hearts, and award-winners like Cloudburst, as well as truly independent, hard to find international gems. Check them out! A more memorably named, but less Canadian and artist-friendly alternative is Popcorn ‘N Tits. Seriously. They contacted me about a film I directed and it made my week seeing that name pop up in my inbox. Check them out too (yes, there’s a pun going on there). Last year, Grand River Film Festival brought Susan Freaking Sarandon to K-dub. Seriously, what self-respecting queer does not love her?! They offered a charming film about gay and lesbian ballroom dancers in their lineup, Ballroom Rules, and while this year’s official line up has not been announced (at least not at the moment that I’m writing this), I happen to have topsecret, insider information that I can share with you about their Shorts program (ok so it’s not so top-secret, but it made me feel important to write that!). This year, I was lucky enough to be invited to sit on the jury for their SHORT Shorts program, which judges short film submissions from Waterloo Region and across Canada. One of the Canadian selections, The Paintbrush, directed by Tony Fullerton, is a gay coming out tale with a dark and clever twist. I can’t reveal too much, but it involves some tortured teen angst, an abstract painting, a gun and some great “WTF?!---Oh, wait I get it” moments. Did it beat out the others shorts to win the competition? Check out the GRFF website for details about the Shorts program to attend and find out ( P.S. If you’re too babydyke to know it, Youtube it and earn some more lesbian cred. It’s worth the 3 ½ minutes of your life to see all that classic 80s turquoise eyeliner and big hair. Plus there are half-naked models grappling with sumo wrestlers. Which totally relates to the lyrics…sort of. Melissa Sky is a professional videographer and heads up Femme Fatale Creations. Check it out at

Photo courtesy A. Noccetti

Every plant has a story, not just about the plant, but when, where and why it was planted. My garden journey has had a lot of trial and error, and everyone has an opinion. What plants look good together? What colour combinations? Spacing of plants, heat and sun conditions? I am trying to mix different leaf-shapes. According to google, gardening experts do have rules. For example, dividing the number of perennials planted into spring, summer and fall bloom times; planting in clumps of three or more; or using the colour wheel as a guide to colour combinations. For me, these rules never worked. Spring is too cool here. I followed the rule about planting in clumps of three or more, and now I am digging plants out.


Credit: Craig Musselman’s Le Masque

MUSE Waterloo Region Fall 2013 ________ Editor/Publisher Thom Ryan Co-producer Charlène Le Duc Contributors Ali Scott Brenden Sandborn Carson Arthur Craig Musselman Craig Ramsey Darryl Regier G.Metcalf Greg Ryan Isabella Le Duc Jason Bock Jeff Fox Jim Parrott John Brick Melissa Sky Michael Nixon Nadine Hull Randy Farrell Shelley Schanzenbacher Shelley Secrett Stephen Curtis William Pensaert Advertisers Brazen Innuendo Brick Financial Centre in the Square Charlotte Zawada RE/Max Cowboys & Angels Inclusive Counselling, Consulting & Training Litte Bean Coffee Bar OK2BMe Paul Curzon Re/Max Secrett Events Sizzle Your Big Little Club Snuggler’s Furniture Spectrum Community Centre Swan Moving Printer Denison Print _________

MUSE Waterloo Region 58 Trowbridge Street Breslau, Ontario Canada N0B 1M0

Printed in Canada

Fearless and peerless MUSE is un-flat, fearless and peerless; there is no better means to get your message to the gay, lesbian and rainbow community in Waterloo Region and area. MUSE strives to lend a critical context to the rainbow lifestyle where we live, work and play. Each issue is a feature showcase of local artists, critical viewpoints, happenings, lifestyle, trends, culinary, fitness and health, book and film reviews, travel and leisure, fashion, arts and entertainment. MUSE is not-for-profit and non-corporate; all profits above operating and promotional costs are donated to benefit non-profit rainbow community organizations. MUSE is FREE Published quarterly; 2,500 print editions distributed to more than 200 locations. MUSE online content may change more frequently. Who reads MUSE? MUSE is craftily crafted for the enjoyment of all readers, but with significant focus directed to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and rainbow community. It’s the only magazine in Waterloo Region and area capturing the pulse of the rainbow community thriving here. _________

Interested in contibuting to or advertising in MUSE? Contact us to learn more, especially if you have a great idea that you think you can express through MUSE...!

Find your MUSE Read MUSE online at Find MUSE Waterloo Region on Facebook 2500 printed copies of MUSE Waterloo Region are distributed quarterly around Waterloo Region and area, in Ontario Canada Spectrum Community Centre GLOW Centre WLU Rainbow Centre Pride Conestoga OK2BMe Laurier Women’s Centre uWaterloo Women’s Centre uWaterloo Student Centre WPIRG (uWaterloo) KW Counselling Gay-Straight Alliance of Waterloo Region particiating highschools ACCKWA Rainbow Health Ontario Langs Ren@41 Sizzle Your Big Little Club Little Bean Coffee Bar The Olde Banke Cafe Angry Bull Restaurant Cowboys & Angels Salon Out on the Shelf (Guelph) Guelph Queer Equality (uGuelph) Centre in the Square The Walper Hotel Mom’s Tattoos Cambridge City Hall Kitchener City Hall Waterloo City Hall Regional Municipality of Waterloo Local Community Centres Local Libraries The Tannery ...And many other fine locations near you!

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Don’t let anyone pressure you into coming out. ..with me, it was organic. It was my time, it was right for me

” A girl called

WANDA liberating one. While her story is like many, when she came out she was met with some resistance from her mom. She admittedly said once her mother developed a sense of comfort with who she is, that relationship changed for the better. “Now, when I am on stage I can focus on my comedy, and it’s liberating because I can just talk about anything,” Sykes said. “The energy that I would use before to go and ‘Don’t say that’ -- none of that inner conversation is going. It’s total freedom.” Like everything Wanda does, it’s authentic, organic, and she offers up advice for others about coming out.

Thanks to the Centre in the Square, Charlène Le Duc from MUSE was fortunate to score a telephone interview with Wanda Sykes...


anda Sykes is a revered artist, comedian, writer, voice-over artist and actress. Sykes is well-known for her movie roles in Monster-in-Law, Over the Hedge, and Ice Age. She is adored for her well-crafted television work in The New Adventures of Old Christine and Curb Your Enthusiasm. If you have had the pleasure of reading her book “Yeah I Said it” (ATRIA Books, 2004) or have seen her in any of her four HBO specials, you will know she is caustic, sarcastic, and wickedly funny. On stage she radiates a sense of comfort in her own skin and seeing her live is not to be missed. I chatted with Wanda via telephone where she made me laugh and she shared some personal insight. Wanda was born in Portsmouth VA and raised in Maryland. She graduated from Hampton University. Her stand-up-comedy career began at a Coor’s Light Super Light talent showcase in Washington, DC. She found herself fully immersed in comedy during her five years as part of HBO’s critically-acclaimed “Chris Rock Show.” It was there she was nominated for three Primetime Emmys and in 1999, won an Emmy for her writing. Married with two children under six, the recently ‘out’ comedian said she most notably found the experience of being out a 11 MUSE | Fall 2013

“Don’t let anyone pressure you into coming out. Like, with me, it was organic. It was my time, it was right for me,” Sykes shared. “It was a situation where I was in total control. I guess, you just have to be comfortable with who you are. The more confidence that you get, others will see that.” But does it get old being labelled a gay comedian? “That does not bother me. For one, because I know it’s important for the kid who is in the middle of no where-he needs to hear it,” said Sykes. “Actually ‘female comic’ bothers me more than anything. It just bugs me. They say ‘one one of the funniest female comics’. Why can’t I just be ‘one of the comics’?” What turns you on when you look at a comic? “Just funny, if they are making me laugh. I love a good story teller. I love

comics who have something to say. My heroes are Richard Prior and George Carlin. I love Bill Cosby. He is the best story teller. That is what I look for,” she said. “Chris Rock. He is so smart, he gets right to the nut of a problem or topic. He really knows how to break it down. I love that.” Wanda’s impeccable timing and sense of authenticity comes through on stage. She often gets compared to the legendary Richard Prior. “He was so, just human and flawed, but also there was something very sweet also about him. Just truth. Just really truthful. And one of the best performers ever.” Any plans on writing another book? “No plans yet,” Sykes shared. “Right now I am touring and working on my stand-up. Hopefully in a year or so, I’ll have another special to shoot.” So, can we expect some French comedic pieces when we see you in Canada? “You know my wife is French. So, I do have a few jokes about her-just the language in general. I tell the story about the first time we took the kids to the aquarium and then when we got to the seals, my kids started yelling ‘Phoque! Phoque! Mama, phoque! Phoque! Phoque!’ And everyone around us looking (at us) like ‘You filthy mouth kids’, and how embarrassed I was.” What can we look forward to on stage in your show at Centre In The Square? What are us Canadians going to see? “Maybe I will do some twerking,” Sykes joked. “I don’t twerk in the US. But, maybe when I get up there, I might go crazy and twerk a little bit for you. But just know, if I pull a muscle and have to stop the show, just remember--you asked for it.” There is no place you should be besides in the audience on October 30th at 8pm, to see Wanda, laugh hard and see her twerk. Ticket info: Ticket prices range between $45-80 to see Wanda. visit and enter the promo code MUSE to get a chance to chill with Wanda after the show!

The Rumors Behind the Rainbow Hi There! As part of my latest parole conditions, I have been volunteering at the Grand River Rainbow Historical Project (, an ambitious, sprawling, fragmentary undertaking, in some ways reminiscent of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral – but without the latter’s welloiled publicity machine. Many moons ago, I pitched the idea to my twin brother Jim Parrott that what the Historical Project needed was some way of preserving the rumours and slander festering just beneath the surface of civilized historical discourse. And voila, The Rumours Behind the Rainbow was born! As it happened, the Historical Project was preparing a large historical exhibit to be mounted in the Rotunda of Kitchener City Hall on June 1 as part of the 2013 tri-Pride festivities. It seemed to me apropos to take this occasion to explore the salacious rumours circulating about Lord Kitchener (1850-1916), after whom the city was named. For a special twist I decided to create the fiction that a pop-up history of local queer history had been published under the name The Rumours Behind the Rainbow. I then created a title-page for that fictional publication, and also a pop-up page devoted to Lord Kitchener himself. The working text on Lord Kitchener was initially drawn from Wikipedia, and predictably suffered from the characteristic restraint of that publication. With some effort, suitable improvements were made, resulting in a more engaging commentary on the life of this “ardent pursuer of men.” The rest is, as we say, history. The Lord Kitchener pop-up page was so convincing that a number of persons evidently left the Rotunda under the impression that the label “kitsch” was derived from the surname of the personage being honoured. I was most gratified. Photographs of the historical displays, including the “Rumours Behind the Rainbow” exhibit, may be located from the top-level page of the Project website ( It seems likely that popular demand will require the creation of additional popup pages for the collection. Perhaps a page commemorating the manysplendored history of drag artistry in the Region… Dangerous Dolores (formerly Ace Reporter with The Listowel Tatler) 12 MUSE | Fall 2013


ore and more couples and partnerships are investing in homes as a shared asset. We’ve escaped the cramped condos and apartments of the major cities and have moved into true suburban bliss. With this migration comes lots of home renovation and as our homes are our biggest assets, we want to make sure that our renos are improving our property value. So where do you think the best spots are to spend the money?

We used to think that kitchens and baths had the greatest return on investment (ROI) but through several different studies from several different major companies (Gallop Organization, MoneySense Magazine, TD Canada Trust) we now know that the best place for you to upgrade your home is…outside!

The move

is on with

Carson Arthur

As a landscape designer, I couldn’t be happier to tell you that improving your outdoor spaces can increase your home’s value by 12-25%. Now I’m not talking about planting some pretty plants along the driveway. There are some specific key areas that will get you the biggest bang for your buck. Frontyard - Curb appeal has never mattered more. The front of your home sets the stage for everything else. A well-designed frontyard with a shade tree and a walkway to the door can increase your home’s value by up to 7%. That’s a big number and its also the number you shouldn’t go over when making improvements on the front. If you budget what you know you’ll get back, than you’ll never lose money! Easy! Backyard – When it comes to the big green lawn, think twice. The ttruth is, more people want outdoor living spaces like decks patios instead of grass. Whether it’s for a barbeque with and p friends or pre-Pride brunch, we’ve all been to that one house that friend has th the great outdoor living space perfect for entertaining. Why couldn’t that be yours? Adding useable square footage to your could living space (even if its outside) increases your home value by a whopping who 15%. Remember to create low maintenance in the backyard. What does a patio really require? A good leaf blower, backy some comfortable furniture, an ice cold drink and you’re all set to enjoy the summer. The kkey to making your outside space look amazing is to make it life lifestyle-appropriate. We are already breaking traditions every everyday…so why design our outdoor spaces based on a blueprint we go got from our grandparents. Escape the flowerbeds around the fence with a lawn in the middle and have a yard that meets your needs and looks fabulous at the same time! Carso Arthur started his television career as a behind-the-scenes Carson prop coordinator for a national garden call-in show. Very quickly, Carson turned an opportunity to host his own show into a Carso landscape design staple. With international coverage, Carson has lands become a voice of environmentally friendly landscape design on a becom global scale. globa

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Do you have what it takes for financial success? Many people often ask what it takes to achieve the financial success they desire. I have seen one trait that my financially successful clients share. They live within their means!!!! Living within one’s means may seem like a simple thing, but so many people don’t do it and I suspect have no idea how to begin. Quite simply, it means spending less than you make and putting some money aside for a later date. That may be for an emergency fund, retirement, a first home, a cottage, children’s education or other goals. Although it sounds like a difficult task, those who live within their means, regardless of income level, achieve far greater financial success. This has a direct correlation to personal relationships, which are often strained or fail due to financial difficulties. So how does one go about living within one’s means? There are many small things you can do that add up and put together they are really not that difficult once you set your mind to the task. 1) Purchase with cash, don’t pay interest. 2) Often a very large purchase such as a home may require financing. The cheapest financing is often not the same as the lowest payment. Consider all the terms of the financing including interest rate and amortization to determine which options are best for you. 3) Minimize monthly expenses. Be careful not to accumulate too many “easy” monthly payments. These are just a few simple steps you can take toward achieving your financial success. Is it worth it to you to reach your dreams? Don’t be afraid to get help. Contact your financial planner or find one you trust. A good planner will help you get on track. John Brick is a Certified Financial Planner and proprietor of Brick Financial, a personal weatlh, investment and financial advisory services firm in Waterloo.

Muse’s Cafe I bid each of you a big virtual welcome to the Muses Café. The Muses Café has something for everyone. Sitting inside or outside, whatever your preference, there is a space just for you. There are many places to sit and take in the sights, the different views, spaces to calm your mind and to contemplate all that life has to offer. The Café offers time to get clarity with your journey on the road of life. It is a place to allow your soul to breathe and take in what is right in front of you. Perhaps for you, it is even a place to become aware of the things that get in your way. Have you ever had one of those days? A day where everyone and everything has just become too annoying to bare! Crazy people on the highway, people living with no care or concern except for themselves! YES... best known as the “I” decade. You wonder to yourself what is this all about anyway! The radio announcer drones on and on about the long term forecast and that MM Motors is having a 0% down sale and if you don’t act fast you’ll miss out on the gas card that takes 13 cents off of every litre you purchase. “FAST” the anthem of our time, life, work and lives. We are the “FAST Laners”, day after day, driving in the fast lane, chasing the brass ring or the next rung on the ladder. Are we suffering from “Upitis” to some degree? Where is up anyway and who decides who goes up and who says it’s just not possible? When we get there how will we know we have arrived? Once we have arrived, then what, where next, how next and who next? What if at the end of the day, what really defines that you have arrived, is that YOU... yes you, the one and only authentic YOU has arrived. What if the real race is not one of speed, certainty, or has a monetary result, but is rather one of longevity, commitment, peace, wisdom, kindness and selfless acts of courage? What if crossing the finish line at the end of every day is decided by acts of service, selfless love and acts of personal connection and compassion!! How about considering this… the true race, the only race that matters... is the Human Race. Shelley Schanzenbacher is a selfproclaimed “free spirit” with an over the top love for life. She is the sole proprietor of “Cornerstone Coaching.”

14 MUSE | Fall 2013

Ask Ali Dear Ali, Why are our LGBTQ youth are so unaware of our history and how fortunate they are to have the rights and freedoms they have today? Why are our youth so apathetic towards advocacy and our rights? I feel they do not understand or appreciate what we fought for in this country! Sincerely, Frustrated Dear Frustrated,

Motivated to move Gym etiquette: don’t rush around in the gym. There is so much equipment that can injure you. Move slowly and with purpose at the gym. If you have questions, ask them! Leave your ego at the door. Gym equipment can be very dangerous! Protect yourself with the knowledge of how to correctly execute gym equipment. Ask a staff representative for proper equipment use. Take advantage of personal trainers. They can inform you about the gym and what type of program and equipment you need to be focusing on to get closer to your goals. Avoid blocking the mirrors, or standing in front of the dumbbell rack. Share equipment and weights. Don’t sit on a machine in between sets. “Work in” with other gym members. Remove weight plates when you finish. Put weights back where you found them. Wipe off equipment when you are finished. Meaning, don’t sweat out your neighbor. Utilize a locker. Most gyms have a policy that gym bags cannot be carried around the gym. Gym bags and other such material can be potential tripping hazards. Be mindful of others. For more tips and information on Craig Ramsay and his “Muscle Building Phone Apps” visit 15 MUSE | Fall 2013

I have heard these comments many times, and understand your frustration. If you were one of the people that lived through the changes from 1969 onwards in Canada, then you have a very different appreciation for our rights than others today. So much has changed since then, and many youth really are not aware of the privileges and rights they enjoy because of all the work and activism already accomplished. However, as an educator and trainer, I must say that it is not just our youth that are unaware. I train and work with many adults that do not know anything about our history (LGBTQ identified and our straight allies!). Many people know Pride exists, but they do not know why, or how it came to exist. So I make it a priority to inform people. Since this is not taught in school or in any other formal way in Canada, it is not surprising that so many people do not know about our history. The Stonewall Riot (New York, June 1969) marked the beginning of the “LGBTQ” or “Queer” Movement in Canada, when people in the LGBTQ community joined together to change laws. Current politics are quite different than the past – but this was always the intention of Pride, and the rainbow flag. I think activism still exists (and some of our youth are doing an amazing job by participating in pride, informing and educating through projects and events etc.),

however, current activism looks different than it did in past. Issues have come to the forefront today around gender and supporting other countries still fighting to obtain basic human rights. Some would say there is no need to march down the street with the pride flag any longer. But some of the traditional forms of activism such as protesting, letter writing etc. are still done on a regular basis. Activism still happens. We are fortunate to have an incredible local history in Waterloo Region which has been documented by the Grand River Rainbow Historical Society ( Gay Straight Alliances also have a place in informing our youth about our history. It is also important to note that activism is still needed at many levels to continue to promote equality in Canada, especially to help educate society. Fortunately, we have yearly events, and Pride to look forward to every year – which will hopefully help remind us all of the importance of remembering where we came from, and appreciating what we have today because of the people that fought for our rights in this country. Do you have a question for Ali? Are you interested in a community dialogue? If so, write Ali and have your question be featured in an upcoming edition of MUSE! Email me at:

Secrett’s Veggie Kitchen Get Involved with Gender Activism/ Education in Waterloo Region For years now there has been a gap in the LGBTQ/rainbow community on gender in Waterloo Region. The limited groups that have existed in Waterloo Region historically have focused more on specific supports for transgender-identified folk here (i.e. peer support or individual counselling). What we really need in our community is increased advocacy, awareness and education of gender-related issues. Those of us working in this area are frequently made aware of how misinformed people are about transgender identity, and our local communities. For example, many people are not aware that the identity label “transgender” is an umbrella term used to describe a diverse range of people, and not just certain types of trans person. There is so much misperception and a lack of education that more is needed for everyone to have a better understanding of the diversity of the gender spectrum. One local group working on this is The Waterloo Wellington Gender Variant Working Group (WWGVWG). The WWGVWG started as an “action group” with the Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition in 2012, and has been working to build a foundation to move forward on gender projects. The WWGVWG’s vision is “to create a thriving LGBTQ community that fully includes gender variance through support and educational outreach”. The group is made up of gender variant identified people and their allies, whose goal is to support gender variant individuals and informing others about the gender spectrum by getting involved in peer support, activism, educational opportunities, outreach, events etc. in the Rainbow Community. We decided to use the term gender variant instead of transgender in our name, because of the misperceptions of the word transgender. The word gender variant describes our group and goals more accurately by portraying a diversity of who we are and how we work in the community. We would like to promote different words to enhance our community’s local knowledge of gender and the gender spectrum. If you would like to be part of this growing group in Waterloo Region, learn more about the gender spectrum or become a gender advocate, contact us! So join us to help spread the word about the gender spectrum and make a difference in our local Community!

When I say “chia”, what is the first word that comes to your mind? Be honest! It was “pet”, wasn’t it? I haven’t seen one in years but apparently they are still quite an American style craze. These terracotta pots are shaped liked animals and other figurines and when chia seeds are planted, within a couple of weeks, the sprouts grow and resemble hair or fur and your Chia Pet is born! Over the past few years, I have noticed chia seeds being sold at local farmers’ markets and in health food stores as the new superfood. I remember glancing at the container, laughing to myself while thinking of my Chia Pet from the 80s and making a “why would people eat that?” kind of face and then moving on. I have embraced other superfoods like quinoa entirely but am still lagging behind with goji and acai! Chia seeds are starting to intrigue me and it wasn’t until I recently visited the Can-Fit Pro Tradeshow in Toronto that I finally gave them a chance in the form of lemon and blueberry chia water and started researching their health benefits. What can you do with them? Sprinkle them on yogurt, oatmeal or salads, add them in your favourite smoothie or try them in a recipe!

Chia Banana Date Cookies Ingredients: 4 tablespoons of white chia seeds 4 tablespoons of plain flour Half a small ripe banana 2 tablespoons chopped dates 2 tablespoons rolled oats 1 large egg 2 tablespoons honey 1 and a half teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon of water Directions: Grind the seeds and the flour together. This makes the seeds grind easier and aerates the flour. Put this mixture into a bowl and add the rolled oats. Blend together the banana, egg, dates, honey, baking powder and water. Add this to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Mix together. The consistency should be similar to a cake batter but not as runny as a pancake mix. Drop dessertspoons of the mixture on to an oiled tray. Bake in a medium oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Makes 16 cookies Join Secrett’s Veggie Kitchen Community on Facebook for inspiring, healthy and vegetarian food creations!

Find us by searching WWGenderVariance on Facebook - our membership is growing regularly. To be added to the group and learn when the meetings are, contact us at: wwgender.variant@ 16 MUSE | Fall 2013

Courtesy: Gay Muslim “Home” and “Keep Breathing,” 2010.

Self-portrait, “gently embellished.” Courtesy G.Metcalf, 2008.

Darryl Regier Pottery

My name is Isabella LeDuc. I enjoy coloring, dancing and playing with my friends. At home I like to play with my dog Alice, my cat Badger and my fish Rarity. What do you get when you cross a smurf with a cow? Blue cheese! 17 MUSE | Fall 2013

I have been doing pottery for almost ten years initially taking it up after a few visits to Conestoga Pottery in St. Jacobs and becoming admired by the history in the craft. I attended evening classes at Mohawk College’s Stoney Creek Campus in Hamilton for 5 years completing the Certificate Advanced Level Program in 2009. Since then I have been a member of the Burlington Potter’s Guild located at the Burlington Art Centre where I have taken other courses to further develop my skills in the craft. This past April I attended a two week course at La Meridiana in beautiful Tuscany, Italy led by Canadian Potter Carol-Ann Michelson of Georgetown. Over the past ten years my passion for pottery has grown into a desire to further develop my skills and leading to an opportunity as a commercial potter. Shown here are items I made in Tuscany which is a Vase, Nacho Platter and a Olive Oil and Balsamic Ewer. The others are set of mugs, a Casserole Dish and a Bird Bath for the garden.

tri-Pride: Update tri-Pride 2013 was a great time! Thanks for everyone who came out to celebrate! Are you interested in volunteering or getting involved with tri-Pride in 2014? tri-Pride needs amazingly talented people to come OUT and join the team. Carve off a piece of pride doing what you do best... if you’re great at working with people, events planning and execution, marketing, social media, organizational development, building community bridges and imagining all that our local pride festival can be -- come OUT and talk to us!

Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition (WRRC): Update WRRC is working towards building a diverse Rainbow Community within the Region: Community Conversation – An annual event that aims to bring broad members of the Rainbow Community together to identify directions and actions to move forward with that align with the vision and mission of the WRRC. All are welcome to join the conversation on September 19th at 6:30 pm in the Community Room at the Adult Recreation Centre in Waterloo.

If you’re interested in making new friends, expanding your social circle, being part of something greater, and dedicating some of your time to worthwhile community initiatives -- come OUT and meet us! If you’re building your resume, want to learn how it’s all done, have a great big idea, or just want to give something back -- come OUT and work with us! tri-Pride: now recruiting savvy Directors and most excellent volunteers!

Rainbow Community Coalition (RCC) – building a network of existing local community organizations, governmental representatives and business owners committed to promoting sustainable opportunities for advocacy, awareness, education and community-building, that are respectful of the diverse interests within the Rainbow community.

Join us for the tri-Pride Annual Meeting Oct 23 2013... Watch our Facebook page and website for details as they develop.

Online Community Portal – developing a user driven, interactive online community portal to support the Rainbow Community Coalition and house relevant resources.

Facebook: tri-Pride; twitter: @tripridefest or Email or visit

ACCKWA: Update ACCKWA has been providing support, education, and advocacy to individuals living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS in Waterloo Region for 25 years. We do this through a variety of programs targeted to youth, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, women at risk, African and Caribbean communities, and individuals dealing with substance use. We distribute safer sex supplies, safe injection kits and lots of information on safer sex, HIV and other STI prevention and transmission, antihomophobia and creating safer, more welcoming spaces for people living with HIV and LGBTQ communities. ACCKWA provides: • • •

• • •

Support: individual and supportive counselling, practical assistance, advocacy Outreach: Needle Exchange Program and education Gay Men’s Sexual Health Program: published the Tri-city Guy report, Gay Men’s HIV positive support and social group, and bar, park and outreach Education and Awareness: for at-risk youth, free workshops, Speaker’s Bureau and free safer sex items Testing: weekly walk-in HIV testing Thus 4-7pm And more!

And we always welcome volunteers! Learn more at

42 Erb Street West, Unit K, Waterloo Ontario N2J 1L6 18 MUSE | Fall 2013

Online dating: life jacket required

Life’s Been Good

I’m not new to the dating game but after a seven-year hiatus it feels like jumping into unknown waters, remembering too late, that I can’t swim. How do you meet people? Your once party animal friends are now scheduling their kids’ play dates instead of planning Saturday night debauchery. Where are all the single people? Online of course! Everyone has had some kind of online experience that ranges from good, bad or simply odd. Through my own online dating adventures I have come across 5 types of online daters to avoid!

At age eight, Bonanza aired with Little Joe and I was curious. At twelve, my future sister-in-law gifted me with Beatlemania and I was pretty sure. At sweet sixteen, it was the summer of love and both the world and I met Jim Morrison and the Doors and I KNEW. At eighteen, I was validated by our government with the passage of Trudeau’s Omnibus Bill of rights and freedoms in 1969. It was that same year that our american friends stood and defended their rights at Stonewall.

Profile Snobs: These are profiles that instead of talking about themselves, list the requirements that you should have prior to contacting them. It is as if they are performing a community service by entertaining the idea of dating you or anyone for that matter. I’m never sure if I should dust off my resume and get my reference letters together or move on. Bi-curiosity Killed the Cat: Healthy curiosity should be encouraged, hell everytime a bi-curious girl comes out as bisexual or gay, a lesbian gets her wings. That said, no one cares about the open and understanding boyfriend, who for purely “supportive” reasons is willing to watch, or if need be, lend a helping…um, you can fill in the blank. Too Quick to Commit: Can turn a friendly conversation into an uncomfortable exchange about who is willing to relocate, wedding plans and how many children they want. Slow down! Let’s have a couple of conversations first so that everyone’s sanity can be assessed, prior to declarations of undying love. Conversation Droppers: It takes a lot of courage to send the first message, so I make a point of responding. However, simply saying ‘Hi’ is like playing conversation chicken. “You say something” “No, you say something”. I always try to say something semiinteresting to start the ball rolling, but close-ended responses result in a strike, making it impossible to move forward. Show Me Yours: It’s true that a picture increases the chances of getting noticed; however I understand why some would prefer to remain photo-less. I too have gone incognito, but always send a picture when initiating contact - common courtesy. So sending a photo-less message requesting a photo would be, in my books, just plain rude. Online dating requires a little give and take, you give me a peek of yours and I’ll give you a peek of mine. Today’s society is consumed with social networking allowing connection between people from all walks of life. Online dating can be frustrating, but can also lead to interesting conversations, new friendships and possibly even more. So grab a life preserver, dive off that cliff and ride the waves! Nadine Hull is a social service worker and student, who leads a secret life as a budding writer. When she is not sharpening her writing skills she is busy taking swimming lessons, acting as the stage kitten for the Girly Show and enjoying the pleasures of life. 19 MUSE | Fall 2013

On the scene appeared homophile organizations, GLOW, TAB, gay bars, community dances, body politic, marches, XTRA, protests, Pride, drop in centres, legitimatized LGBTQ organizations, political will, political actions, and the movement grew and some dark clouds dispersed but some still lingered. The horrid face of AIDS has scarred our community. As we are cope, victory is far too slow in coming. I have been blessed in this life many times. My family and my community abound with wonderful, kind people. I married a man who truly loved me. His passing was devastating but his love still carries me through. At 62 I now have the time and, luckily, still have the energy to be actively involved in our vibrant rainbow community. My life has gone from living with a terrifying secret in my youth, to advocacy for our rights, to public acceptance of who I am. As time rushes me towards the sunset, I think back on how far we have come and how much further we have yet to go. I hope for a few more years of glittering, glorious, golden, gay days to love, laugh and learn, and a few more to grow. In the words of Joe Walsh, “Life’s been good to me so far.” Randy Farrell is a retired school board IT guy who’s just finding his way in the universe and spends time with his best furry friend Hogan.

how they seamlessly passed the lead back and forth between them. They reclaimed and surrendered control of the dance without changing their level of presence or feminizing their personas. They remained two men dancing together, they simply took turns leading and following. In a world where roles are so frequently carved in stone (gender, sexuality, power dynamics), O’Connell found the sight of these two men fluidly exchanging roles without any apparent loss of self captivating personally and creatively.

First Dance: Who leads, and who follows? By Jeff Fox A couple’s first dance. A staple of the modern wedding ceremony. But how do you construct such a dance when the partners are the same sex? Who leads? Who follows? It may sound like a simple matter but it isn’t and is one of the questions that First Dance explores.

A year and half later, after several discussions and with almost twenty hours of recorded conversations, the piece was first workshopped as verbatim theatre during the Magnetic North festival in Kitchener in 2010. The response was enthusiastic. People were intrigued by the idea of a partnership in which the roles were truly flexible as well as how a classically stereotypical form such as ballroom could be turned on its head, visually

First Dance is an original Canadian play, the result of the creative collaboration of Jeff Fox (professional ballroom instructor and choreographer), Trevor Copp (professional actor and Artistic Director of the Tottering Biped Theatre Company), and Lisa O’Connell (dramaturge and Director of the Pat The Dog Playwright Centre). O’Connell saw the boys performing a short dance piece as part of the 2007 Briefs From The Closet festival in Kitchener in which they used a Rumba to tell the story of two men meeting in a club. As they used the movements of latin dance to play cat and mouse with one another, she was struck by both the unique power and strength that is produced when two men dance together and and mechanically, when the partners we the same sex. Three years later, after several workshops, a six-university tour, three evolutions, and a sold out run at Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius, First Dance is now a fully realized piece which examines themes such as growing up gay in a hetero-normative and gendernormative culture and finding the balance of control and surrender within ourselves. Who leads and who follows? To be truly free we must be ready to do both.

Performances at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener September 28 & 29 as part of the Impact Theatre Festival. More at 20 MUSE | Fall 2013

Upcoming Events

The River (Part I)

Sep 19 Sep 21

Once told to me: His subtle, effervescent glory be Quite a steady route, and quietly then rippled by Instead ‘twas I, no different than my hungry awe, Witnessed by a nature yet grander than my pride To see the richness of early autumn by the riverside Leafy splendor etched by change, turning ever forth In seasons gently canvassed by the mirthful soil The unequivocal river groomed my heart a royal pass Inwardly the compass to beauty that will always last That each drop, as would moments in the play of time Be simply water the mind may agitate to render more Between two walls of earth, the river is no bigger dent Than if dammed, yet however be it thirsted by desireUndone, the Artist whose production own Or this wanting for creation never meant. Even to be yet enriched by heavy golden brush strokes Heaven’s light reflected, pastel-caressed so bodily near Costume surrendered, so from it did my spirit dance Like wind upon lively waters running eternally clear Untouched, His passion, by earth’s divided restraint ‘Twas as unmatched as is the memory to fulfillment For no longing holds the key, nor be there a substitute Is God but Love, a radiating source unlimited for theeBy the purity of His truth, would we then redeemed be And pained not, for the uplifting of its reverence? For, if hope becomes unknown by something less, Its object so perfected by reflection, no less unreal Impatience would outwait the fruition of a dreamOf an equal measure, whose investments unaligned; But one with God, who’d a miracle quickly perform It seems in both the swiftness and stillness of time As the heart that does miraculously beat Its only effort would painstakingly divine The sap of triumph from tempting defeat Oh, sorrow did distort that remembrance The glorious confection once to be shared In the quietude of prayer no longer sweet A poem by Michael Nixon

WRRC Community Dialogue @ ARC Whoopi Goldberg @ Centre in the Square @ Centre in the Square DJ Dallas “Back on Track” @Sizzle Sep 23 Celebrate Bisexuality Day everywhere Sep 24 Spectrum Fun & Flix @ Spectrum Sep 26 SOLA Mix and Mingler @ Sizzle Sep 27 Gay Alliance Support Group Spotlight Mixer @ Sizzle Sep 28 DJ Rusty House Party @ Sizzle Sep 28 Brave and Crazy Acoustic @ Little Bean October LGBT History Month everywhere Oct 4 Karaoke with Rui @ Sizzle Oct 6 Spectrum Birthday Party @ Spectrum Oct 11 National Coming Out Day everywhere Clubhouse Fridays hosted by Elana Harte @ Sizzle Oct 12 TriCity Bear Meat @ Sizzle Oct 15-21 Ally Week Oct 19 DJ Rusty House Party @ Sizzle Oct 19 Brave and Crazy Acoustic @ Little Bean Oct 23 tri-Pride Annual Meeting Oct 24 SOLA Mix and Mingler @ Sizzle Oct 26 Brave and Crazy Acoustic in concert @ Sizzle Oct 30 Wanda Sykes @ Centre in the Square @ Centre in the Square Nov 1 Sarah Smith @ Little Bean Karaoke with Rui @ Sizzle Nov 2 DJ Dallas Hallowe’en Party @Sizzle Nov 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance Nov 8 La Cage @ Walper Hotel Nov 9 TriCity Bear Meat @Sizzle Nov 15 Clubhouse Fridays hosted by Elana Harte @Sizzle Nov 22 tri-Pride Fundraiser @ Victoria Park Pavillion Dec 1 World AIDS Day Dec 31 Sizzle New Year’s Eve Bash @Sizzle Jan 4 Sizzle’s Birthday Bash feat. Stiletto Flats @Sizzle Jan 24-25 Cliterature Feb 12 4th Annual GSA Conference @ Waterloo Inn

21 MUSE | Fall 2013

Gathering Places The Ren@41 Urban Lounge 41 King Street West, Kitchener, 519-570-2406

The Rainbow List Subscribe at: mailman/listinfo/ Grand River Rainbow Historical Society

Sizzle Your Little Big Club 135 George Street North, Cambridge

K-W Out for Dinner Club

Little Bean Coffee Bar 417 King Street West, downtown Kitchener

Lazy Queer Reading Circle

The Olde Banque Cafe 9 Ainslie Street, Cambridge Spectrum Community Centre 42 Erb Street East, Waterloo

Queer Pagan Discussion Group Wednesday Night Discussion Group Self-Help Alliance Meetings

Torchlight Gender Support Email: Women Out Opening Doors Socially Email for info Queer Ontario Gay Alliance Support Group AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Linewww.youthline. ca or call 1-800-268-9688 Outline: 519-836-4550 or visit www.uoguelph. ca/~outline The Trevor Helpline: 1-800-850-8078

Community Groups

Rainbow Chorus Waterloo-Wellington

Conestoga College Gay-Straight Alliance

Rainbow Reels Queer Film Festival (WPIRG)

GLOW Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity Guelph Queer Equality WLU Rainbow Centre Connect Rainbow Youth Group Waterloo Region Gay-Straight Alliance OK2BMe Resources and Groups for Youth PFLAG of Waterloo Region Waterloo Wellington Queer Parenting Network Euchre in the Basement Friends of Dorothy Bowling League KW Rainbow Women’s Soccer League Gaymeday Gay Men’s Social Group e-LIPSE Electronic Lesbian Information Postings and Social Events

LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Southern Ontario Leather Association

Region of Waterloo Public Health Clinics Cambridge - 150 Main Street, 1st Floor. Call 519-883-2267 Kitchener - 2B-625 King Street East, 2nd Floor. Call 519-570-3687 Waterloo - 99 Regina Street South, 2nd Floor. Call 519-883-2267

ehBC - Safe and consensual kink

Langs Community Health Centre

TriCity Bear Meat

Rainbow Health Ontario

TriCity Bears Coffee

Sexual Health Ontario

tri-Pride Festival

Sexual Assault Support Centre Waterloo Region or call 1-519-741-8633

WorldPride in Toronto 2014! Brantford Pride Guelph Pride Pride Toronto Halton Pride London Pride Hamilton Pride Windsor Pride Chatham-Kent Pride Pride Niagara Capital Pride (Ottawa)

Advocates for Males Victimized by Sexual Abuse or call 519-744-7645 ext.320

Secrett Events

Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition Waterloo Region Rainbow Professionals Waterloo Region Transgender Network Waterloo-Wellington Gender-Variant Group

EARS Line - male survivors of violence 519-570-EARS(3277) or 1-800-553-3277 Southwestern Ontario Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health TransParent Canada

Special thanks to Jim Parrott, Spectrum Community Centre, and the Rainbow Community Calendar for most of the information here including listings, events, gathering places and resources. 22 MUSE | Fall 2013

“Enigma”. Watercolour by Brenden Sanborn


Brenden Sanborn is a renowned, award winning artist whose gift for intertwining vibrant color, exquisite detail and sensuous motion has gained him international acclaim. His passion for evoking emotion and tantalizing the human spirit through artistic expression is evident in his infatuating paintings that present love in all it’s many forms. When I see his pics in galleries on on my walls, they evoke a simplistic, visceral response of pleasure. Check him out at

23 MUSE | Fall 2013

When your heart and mind connect on an almost ethereal level, that is my muse You have this sense of purity and simplistic knowledge You get more jazzed up about justice than self preservation You make silent moments sing You are not afraid to be loved and physical interaction is where you live You see through the unnecessary over complicated parts of relationships You are fearless with your loyalty You inspire me like no other Your lingering hugs are of great sweetness You stand alone for justice with no apologies You know people are human and you are there for them You awkwardness is humbling and authentic You never make others feel less for you to feel greater You never lie for self preservation You laugh at your self most of all You never deflect onto others to avoid ownership Your humour is cosmic You are afraid but never afraid to admit it You know the value of friendship and love You have a critical eye that makes me melt Your heart is open to all experiences You live within people’s lives with goodness You are fluid You know that a cabin in the woods is all we really need You know that rain storms, oceans and rivers are the source of true energy for our soul You are my muse Written by Charlène Le Duc

24 MUSE | Fall 2013

25 MUSE | Fall 2013

MUSE Waterloo Region Fall 2013  

MUSE Waterloo Region Fall 2013

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