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Mr. Mr. Gay Gay Winnipeg? Winnipeg? Why Pink Money Events closed its doors Why Pink Money Events A new page forits Rainbow closed doors Harmony Project A new page for Rainbow Harmony Project Outwords Outwords| September | October 2012 2012| Issue | Issue196 195| Serving | Servingthe theGLBT GLBTCommunity CommunitySince Since1994 1994


“ Everyone is entitled to a safe and comfortable place in which to work and study. End of story.” Gordon Mackie,

Instructor, Notre Dame Campus

Embracing the Community Red River College’s LGBTT Initiative fosters the development of a safe campus environment, in which everyone has the chance to work, learn and access services in an inclusive, welcoming manner. RRC’s Ally Project supports LGBTT staff, students and faculty by identifying campus Allies who can provide a safe and inclusive space. For more information: Nora Sobel, LGBTT Initiative Staff Lead nsobel@rrc.mb.ca or 204-632-2404. www.rrc.ca/LGBTTInitiative


Contents 5

6 8 10 12

A tribute to the departed

Pope ends absolute ban on condoms

United Church makes history end of the road for Pink Money events

You’re in the navy now

16

Tucky Williams: Life and love between the sheets

18

The struggle of Toronto’s homeless queer youth

20

The inspiration behind Michael Jackson’s style

22

Fame hosts Mr. Gay Winnipeg contest

24

Microsoft flexes its muscles

25

RWB’s season of fantasy and classics

27

Rae Spoon’s queer story

28

Mozdzen & Melnyk team up for a fanciful tale

30

Rainbow Harmony Project’s passes the baton

33

WSO launches its 65th season

34

An ethical dilemma


Michael Dudeck. Messiah (untainted) (detail), 2012. Inkjet print on ragpaper. Image: Elaine Stocki.

Sept 29–Dec 30, 2012 Winnipeg Art Gallery

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outwords Serving the GLBT Community Since 1994 Issue 196 • October 2012 

Published by the outwords volunteer staff: 

Rachel Morgan editor

Ksenia Prints, Jen Portillo Assistant editors

Miles McEnery Sodial media editor

Dylan Bekkering

editorial

A love that will always be cherished

art director & layout 

Michele Buchanan Assistant layout

Darron Field Financial officer

Jared Star, Terry Wiebe distribution  Vic Hooper web manager

Rachel Morgan, Peter Carlyle-Gordge, Ray Buteau, Jefre Nicholls, Jen Portillo, Corey Shefman, Katrina Caudle, Scott Carman, Lynne Robidoux Burndorfer contributors to this issue 

Debbie Scarborough, Diane Ready, Kevin Hills, Barbara Bruce, Sky Bridges, Dale Oughton, Darron Field , Helen Fallding, Shayne Duguay, Gail Eckert Scott Carman, Liz Millward board of directors

outwords

201-63 Albert St. Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 1G4 Phone: (204) 942-4599 For office hours, please call. General Inquiries: info@outwords.ca

Editor: editor@outwords.ca Creative: creative@outwords.ca Advertising: advertise@outwords.ca Distribution: distribution@outwords.ca Accounts: billing@outwords.ca Event Submissions: calendar@outwords.ca Letters Submissions: letters@outwords.ca Website: www.outwords.ca    Outwords provides news, analysis and entertainment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer community and its allies.  GST 89671 7618RT, ISSN 1715-5606 (print) ISSN 1715-5614 (online)  Canada Post Publication Licence 416 99032, Contents copyright © 2012 Outwords Alll rights reserved. Outwords is a member of the Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association.  Articles are not necessarily the views of the staff, management, or board. We accept no liability for our advertisers’ claims.

T

he black and white photograph of the young woman in the Saturday obit section of the Winnipeg Free Press was remarkably sharp, despite the passage of so many years. You could just see the shoulders of her Royal Air Force jacket, the white collar of her uniform shirt and the knot of her regulation editorial tie. At the moment rachel morgan the shutter snapped, she was wearing her military cap tipped slightly back on her tight, dark curls. It somehow gave her a jaunty look, ever so slightly irreverent, despite the seriousness of the times and the job she was doing – helping Great Britain stay alive day by day so the RAF could carry the battle to Herr Hitler. The most intriguing aspect of the old photo was the young woman’s bemused expression and the twinkle in her eyes. It made her appear instantly likeable. Here was someone who could maintain a sense of humour as the Luftwaffe bombs fell all around her. But it was also as if she had some secret joke she kept hidden deep inside – something she would only share with a few close friends. As it turns out, we now know she did have a secret. Among the details of her long and creative life, the obit, written with obvious deep respect and tender love, states she was predeceased by her partner of 40 years – another woman. They met in in the ‘50s, during the Cold War. It was not a time

for lesbians or gays to be open about their sexuality. It was decades before it would be safe to be open about a same-sex relationship. Yet, their love bloomed. And in time, their families and friends all came to know about it, accept it and honour it. On the same day as the Free Press obit, an obit in the Globe & Mail commemorated the life of a man who died at the age of 52, leaving his ‘loving spouse” – a man – to mourn him. The obit touchingly refers to “their blessed 29 years together” and describes him as “an especially wonderful husband.” The choice of words is sincere and heartfelt. This clearly was a loving relationship that lasted longer than many. These are not isolated obits. A regular reader of any major Canadian newspaper will spot other obits for lesbians and gays. They show up almost every week. Sometimes they mention spouses, sometimes they don’t. But each is a testament to a life lived with love, whether it is the love of a partner, a family or a chosen community. It’s difficult to say when obits for gays and lesbians first started becoming obvious. Gays and lesbians have been dying for as long as humanity has existed and as long as there have been newspapers, obits have marked their passing. But it would be a challenge to find obits of the type we are seeing now in newspapers of even a decade or so ago. No, this is something new. And for once, it’s not the young generation leading the way. It’s the older generations, who it is probably safe to assume would be quite happy to finally be out of the closet in every possible way. The end of a life is always sad, but isn’t it wonderful that so many families feel it is appropriate to celebrate these lives as they were lived. www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS THREE’S COMPANY SAO PAULO, Brazil » Two women and a man have had a civil union between all three recognized by Brazilian authorities. Public notary and doctoral student of law Claudia do Nascimento Domingues granted the wishes of the man and two women, saying there is nothing in law that prevents such an arrangement. The trio have lived together in Rio de Janeiro for three years. They have a joint bank account and they share bills and expenses. The union was made formal three

Pope Benedict has officially allowed the use of condoms, but only to prevent HIV

Compiled from web news services by Peter Carlyle-Gordge

months ago, according to Globo TV, but only became public recently. “We are only recognizing what has always existed. We are not inventing anything,” Domingues told reporters. “For better or worse, it doesn’t matter, but what we considered a family before isn’t necessarily what we would consider a family today.” Same-sex unions have been legally recognized in Brazil since 2004. A same-sex couple may convert their civil union into marriage with the approval of a state judge. In July 2011, a judge in Sao Paulo approved the country’s first gay marriage, when he ruled two men could convert their union.

A public notary recognized Brazil’s first threesome legal union - Image by: James Martin of Getty Images

Catholic church abolishes absolute ban on condoms

Lebanese men victims of

VATICAN CITY » After decades opposing the use of all contraception, the Pope has ended the Church’s absolute ban on the use of condoms. Pope Benedict says it is now acceptable to use a prophylactic when the sole intention is to “reduce the risk of infection” from AIDS. AIDS campaigners have attacked the church in the past for thwarting safe-sex campaigns with their ban on contraceptives. The Pope still insists the Catholic Church has staunch objections to contraception because it believes that it interferes with the creation of life. However, he argued that using a condom to preserve life and avoid death could be a responsible act – even outside marriage. The Pope has previously signalled his willingness to be more flexible on the use of condoms to prevent HIV. This statement was released in a book-length interview published in November 2010.

BEIRUT » Gay rights activists in Lebanon are demanding police stop performing anal examinations on men suspected of having “sexual intercourse contrary to nature.” It started with a raid by police on a cinema in one of the poorest districts of Beirut, following claims on a television show that it was a “gay house”. Thirty-six people were arrested. All of them were subjected to an examination by a doctor at a police station. The scale of the operation – and the subsequent outcry – brought the issue of such tests to mainstream attention. Lebanese Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi has written to the prosecutor general asking for clarifications of the police actions. “From a humanitarian point of view, this is totally unacceptable,” Qortbawi told the BBC.

repeated police anal probes “Immediately after I saw the TV report, I sent the prosecutor-general a letter asking for clarifications. And later on, the prosecutor general issued himself a memorandum.” Anal examination results have been used as evidence to charge people with having illegal intercourse, despite the fact that many doctors who undertake the exams are not convinced at all that they hold any medical or scientific weight. There is no law that criminalizes homosexuality in Lebanon. But people can be charged under Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which penalizes “sexual intercourse contrary to nature” – specifically sexual intercourse that includes anal penetration – with a maximum of one year in prison.

204.985.9200 OUTNABOUTTRAVEL.COM 6

outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca


United/Continental Airlines is being sued after the suitcase of a Virginia couple was searched and a dildo was allegedly left on display.

Lawsuit

filed over

exposed

dildo

HOUSTON, Texas » A gay couple from Virginia is suing Houston-based United/ Continental Airlines after baggage handlers allegedly removed a sex toy from one of their checked bags, leaving it on show before it went back on the carousel. The couple claims the sex toy had been covered in a “foulsmelling lubricant” and taped to the top of the bag. The couple were on their way home to Norfolk, Virginia, after holidaying in Costa Rica. When they arrived in Norfolk, the couple alleges that the bag came down the carousel, partially open, with the dildo showing and wrapped in clear plastic tape bearing the Continental logo. In the lawsuit the couple claims: “Because of the fact that the sex toy was contained in the bag of a male, and because the employee(s) responsible knew that the bag belonged to a male due to the name tag attached to the bag and the male clothing contained in the bag, there is a high likelihood that these egregious actions were directed towards [the] plaintiffs because they are homosexual and because they are males.”

An online petition alleges that Tim Griffin was fired from the Boy Scouts of America’s Camp Winton for his sexuality

Online petition aims to reinstate gay Scouts leader SAN FRANCISCO » A campaign has begun on Change.org to urge California’s Golden Empire Council to reinstate 22-year-old eagle scout Tim Griffin and to reject the Boy Scouts of America’s policy barring LGBT scouts and leaders. More than 60,000 people have joined the campaign so far. Griffin, who was the longest-serving employee at Camp Winton, says that he was fired from the scout camp because of his sexuality. The campaign was launched by Alex Hayes, Camp Winton’s program director. Hayes, along with nine other employees of the camp, resigned in protest following Griffin’s dismissal. “The Golden Empire Council claims he was fired because he violated the camp’s dress code, but as his direct supervisor at Camp Winton, I know this isn’t true,” Hayes said in published reports. “He was fired because of his sexual orientation.” President Barack Obama, honorary president of Boy Scouts of America, has publicly attacked the group’s anti gay policies.

Ten openly gay atheletes won medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, including Carl Hester from Great Britain, who won gold in team dressage Image by Alex Livesey, Getty Images

Gay is golden

at Olympics LONDON, England » Ten openly out LGBT Olympians have taken home gold from the London 2012 Games. If they had been a national team, they would have tied with Mexico and Ethiopia in total medals. Cyd Ziegler, founder of outsports.com, told reporters: “If ‘Team Gay’ was a country, it would have finished 31st overall with seven [gold] medals, tied with Mexico, Ethiopia and Georgia. They would have beaten the medal count of such countries as Jamaica, Ireland, Argentina and India. They would have finished 21st overall for most golds, tied with Iran, Jamaica, Czech Republic and Korea.”

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

7


NATIONAL NEWS

Compiled from web news services by Peter Carlyle-Gordge

The Barn closed on Aug. 8 - Photo by Andrea Houston, Xtra.com

The Barn shuts its doors TORONTO » The Toronto gay club The Barn/ Stables has closed down permanently after two decades of entertaining gay men. Times and tastes have changed as the bar has struggled to stay in business. General manager Russell Palloo, who has worked at the bar for five years, says it’s time for The Barn to take a bow. “It has come to a point where it has had its run. Unfortunately, it’s not something we can actually market anymore. The places where people go out have changed, their desires have changed and unfortunately, The Barn is not something that can keep up with those desires anymore.” The Barn had a difficult time competing for partygoers. College Night on Wednesdays was always a moneymaker, but the weekends just were not profitable, Palloo told reporters.

Gay United Church Moderator Rev. Gary Paterson doesn’t want his sexuality to become the centrepiece of his time as moderator. - Photo courtesy of the UCC.

United Church

elects a gay

leader

OTTAWA » In a historic vote, the United Church of Canada (UCC) has elected its first openly gay moderator. After six ballots and roughly eight hours of voting at the church’s 41st general council in Ottawa, Rev. Gary Paterson beat a record 15 candidates to win the top job at Canada’s largest Protestant church. He is the first openly gay person to head any mainstream Christian denomination. The 350 voting commissioners at the general council greeted the announcement with cheers and a prolonged standing ovation. They quickly voted to make Paterson’s election

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outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca

unanimous. “I am so humbled by the trust and the responsibility you have placed in my hands,” Paterson told them. As moderator, Paterson will be paid between $119,000 and $135,000 a year and will act as

“I am so humbled by the trust and the responsibility you have placed in my hands,” presiding officer at meetings of the church���s general council and executive. He succeeds the current moderator, Mardi Tindal.

A judge of 13 years, J. Gary Cohen won a Hero Award for his work advancing LGBT equality - Photo courtesy of the CBA.

Judge wins legal award for

his LGBT work

VANCOUVER » Surrey Provincial Court judge J. Gary Cohen has been given a Hero Award by the Canadian legal community. Cohen was given the award at the Canadian Bar Association’s (CBA) Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference (SOGIC ). The awards recognize excellence within the Canadian legal profession in advancing the cause of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and two-spirited people. Cohen came out in 1974 at the age of 18. Two years later he became president of Gay People of Simon Fraser University. Next he went to UBC law school, where he founded and became the first president of the UBC Law Gay and Lesbian Students’ Association in 1978. He also met his partner, Bruce Fraser, while at UBC. They have been partners for 32 years.


Denying a gay couple

accommodations ruled a human rights

violation WHY CHOOSE? GET BOTH. Get what you need and what you want with RBC Royal Bank®. Eadie and Thomas had each requested $2,500 in damages, but Marion decided on the lower figure, as they found alternative accommodations. - Photo by Brady Strachan, CBC. VANCOUVER » The B.C .Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that a Christian couple violated a gay couple’s rights when they denied the two men accommodation at their Grand Forks bed and breakfast in 2009. “There is a clear nexus between the complainants’ sexual orientation and the denial of accommodation,” wrote tribunal

OR

“There is a clear nexus between the complainants’ sexual orientation and the denial of accommodation,” - Human Rights arbitrator Enid Marion member Enid Marion in her July 17 decision. “Their sexual orientation was a factor, if not the sole factor, in the cancellation of their reservation.” Marion ordered Les and Susan Molnar to cease and desist their discriminatory conduct and to refrain from doing the same or similar in the future. She ordered them to pay Shaun Eadie and Brian Thomas $1,500 each as damages for injuries to dignity, feelings and self-respect, as well as $344 for expenses associated with attending the hearings, $850 for lost wages and post-judgment interest until the awards are paid in full.

rbc.com/student or visit your local branch

TM

* Refers to the RBC Student Banking® account with no monthly fee. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. 20996 (08/2011)

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012 70077 AD_20996_4C_Kwong.indd 1

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12-07-13 12:13 PM


Pink Money Events Fades to Black By: Peter Carlyle-Gordge

le this artic ed by or s n o p s y proudl nes

nd Jo Banvilleearchants wine m

They were responsible for many of the best-loved queer events Winnipeg has seen – but all good things …. It was an organization that came together by chance in 2007, but since its launch, Pink Money Events raised about $40,000 for sexual minority groups in Manitoba. It’s probably safe to say it was underappreciated by many of us who benefitted from its work, only because the volunteer members of Pink Money Events never sought the limelight. As a result, few people really knew how much work they were actually doing nor how many organizations were benefitting. The organization’s members, most with backgrounds in fundraising, are now older and there are fewer of them to shoulder the work. After its Victoria Day dinner and social at Gio’s, the organization is quietly folding its tent. Chris Vogel, its president, has been with Pink Money Events from the first day. The fundraising idea started at the Rainbow Resource Centre, where he was treasurer from 1974 to 2002. At that time, there were no ongoing sustaining grants at the centre and fundraising was a necessity if it were to survive. Disagreements between the board and the fundraising group led the latter to set up Pink Money

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outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca


Events in 2007 as a separate entity. Rainbow took an alternate course and is now largely supported by ongoing funding from the province and the Winnipeg Foundation. “When we formed Pink Money Events, the idea was that we would hold generally classier, quality events that did not compete with other general fundraisers,” says Vogel. “We also tried to avoid popular dates, such as Halloween and Valentine’s when the clubs would be cashing in.” A gala dinner at the Fort Garry Hotel was one of the early events and it turned out to be an important learning experience for the new group. “The Gala took a huge amount of planning, but didn’t raise a huge amount of money,” says Vogel. “One problem was that we had no major sponsor and I learned from reading many books that to raise serious money you need to get a few wealthy people to write large cheques. That was lacking at our events.” The most successful of Pink Money’s annual events was Cocktails in the Trees, which sold out every year, despite steady increases in ticket prices. It was elegant, glamorous and a great, semi-formal social mixer, Vogel recalls. “We got a lot of compliments and rarely had complaints,” says Vogel. “One of my nicest and funniest memories is that after the first Cocktails event when we were clearing up, a woman came up to me and said, ‘Thank you so much for organizing this and letting us forget we’re in Winnipeg!’” Talk about back-

handed compliments. One up for Cocktails, one down for the city. “Cocktails in the Trees was earning about $1,000 an hour for three and a half hours,” Vogel says. “The other successful events included Dyke Night Out. In fact, women-oriented events usually went very well and were very successful.” Dyke Nights Out was generally well supported, though some women complained they didn’t like the name. “On the other hand, a lot of women did like it and told us not to change it,” says Vogel. “We were holding four or five events a year and they were very successful.” Less successful was a male-slanted boat cruise, which didn’t do well. It lost money and had poor support from Winnipeg’s male community. Vogel says he was able to make some observations regarding gender behaviour at these fundraisers and has no doubt it is easier to work with women. Women also come out in larger numbers and stay longer, he says. “Men, by contrast, don’t come early and get worried if there isn’t a big crowd,” Vogel says. “They are always checking on numbers and if they don’t think enough are there they just leave.” He says older people are generally better at supporting and staying at such events. “Younger men are the worst, but older men are OK and supportive,” he says. Over the years, Pink Money honed event planning down to a science. They had started with an 800-name mailing list, which kept growing. They kept folders

detailing every step for setting up and executing an event. Included were notes on cocktails, food, prize draws, décor and much else. Advance planning and attention to detail are critical in ensuring success for an event, Vogel emphasizes. “Overall, I am happy with the type and quality of the events we helped organize,” says Vogel. “We went for quality rather than quantity and many groups benefitted, including Pride, which got the profits from Cocktails in the Trees. We had a capacity of 155 and it sold out, even at $45 a ticket, so I call that very successful. Now I’m tired and looking forward to retiring from fundraising.”

- Peter Carlyle-Gordge is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer

Your Members of the Legislative Assembly

Understand What Matters to the Community Jim

Rondeau

MLA for Assiniboia (204) 888-7722 JimRondeau.mb.ca

Jennifer Howard

Ron Lemieux

MLA for Fort Rouge MLA for Dawson Trail (204) 946-0272 (204) 878-4644 JenniferHoward.ca Ron-Lemieux.ca

Deanne Crothers

MLA for St. James (204) 415-0883 DeanneCrothers.ca

Andrew Swan

MLA for Minto (204) 783-9860 AndrewSwan.ca

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

11


IN THE NAVY Napoleon once said “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon,� and this fall season we do battle on the fashion battlefield with the deepest shade of bleu, the appropriately named navy.

Fashion and Photography: Jefre Nicholls Hair: Becky Kooting Makeup: Michael Kovalik Model: Brent, courtesy of Swish Model Management

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outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca

Navy wool suit and burgundy gingham collared button up from Banana Republic. Wolf fur coat and bow tie stylists own.


Brent wears a navy, cotton-belted crop trench; polka-dot, collared button-up; and rust chinos, all from Club Monaco. Sunglasses & red, fox stole stylist’s own; shoes model’s own.

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

13


Navy, double-breasted blazer, candy striped, cotton button-up; and tan, cuffed chinos all from Club Monaco. Oxblood eel-skin briefcase stylist’s own; shoes model’s own.

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outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca


www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

15


an Interview with Tucky Williams, creator of Girl/Girl Scene Based on the lives and loves of four young friends, Girl/Girl Scene (GGS) boldly goes where no other show has gone before – between the sheets and into the minds and hearts of unapologetically queer women in America. But underlying the many shocking and controversial moments is an important drama explori ng the intoxicating extremes of modern day life and love. GGS delivers an original brand of online TV series that offers a genuine, petulant, raw, bold and blunt reflection of today’s young lesbian culture. Refreshingly nonjudgmental and atypical in its embrace of stereotype, with its sometimes funny, always provocative and brutally realistic storyline, GGS is a vibrant and honest reflection of today’s young lesbian culture and what it means to be a lesbian in middle America. The series is created by Tucky Williams, who is taking the LGBT scene by storm! The young talent was recently featured in the Advocate Magazine’s special “Forty under Forty” issue honoring 40 LGBT figures under 40 years old, who are considered to be the architects of the next decade for their contribution to the LGBT community. Williams was also voted by AfterEllen as one of

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outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca

its 2012 Hot 100 Women, landing at the ninth spot. Keeping a busy schedule, Tucky is also successfully making her transition to primetime TV with appearances on the third installment of Showtime’s unscripted hit series, The Real L Word. Tucky Williams is also focusing her star-power off-screen by taking on a new role as a spokesperson for Epilepsy Awareness. Openly speaking out on behalf of those three million Americans with epilepsy, Williams’ role is to educate people, explain the need for more research to find a cure and eradicate the stigma of madness attached to the condition, once considered demonic. For the first time ever, Tucky is finally coming out about her condition and is now dedicated to make a difference by turning her disability into “ability” to help others. Outwords had the opportunity to catch up with Tucky Williams and get a peek into the new, second season of Girl/Girl Scene, which features the return of Williams’ character Evan. And GGS is certainly looking different this season, with a distinctively new signature high-production quality, as well as new characters and even more provocative and

by jen Portillo

controversial storylines. With Kayden Kross, American adult entertainment industry actress, joining the cast, and Abisha Uhl from the band Sick of Sarah returning as a series regular, GGS is definitely heating things up this season.

Q&A

Outwords: What would you like fans of GGS to know about the new season? Williams: We really put our all into it. It’s got a completely new approach and there are new characters to learn about and old characters to revisit. We have the sexiest, most beautiful cast ever assembled. O: What is the best part of working with such a variety of queer folks? W: The attractive talented queer folks I get to call my friends, of course! O: Season one of GGS was a massive web hit. Has the positive feedback motivated you to continue and take GGS further? A: Of course – it has motivated me greatly. Which is not to say I wasn’t motivated before, but positive feedback always gives one a certain push that negative feedback may stifle.


a genuine, petulant, raw, bold and blunt reflection of today’s young lesbian culture O: Does GGS work to represent the current LGBTTQ* culture? How much is based on your experiences? W: I wouldn’t say it necessarily “represents” it, but I would say that it most certainly gives many points of view of and from the LGBTTQ* culture. It gives an inside look in an entertaining way. There are some things pulled from real life (experiences, relationships, etc). Am I saying I live my life like Evan? Not quite, but I think a lot of people could look at certain things in the show and relate to them. O: Do you find that people often mistake the character Evan for Tucky Williams? Do you identity with the label ‘butch’ (or any label for that matter)? W: I’m sure they do. Sometimes people tend to not disconnect the actor from the role but overall I think people know I’m a separate person altogether. I don’t really like the term “butch.” It’s a yucky word. I much prefer the labels “sexy,” “adorable,” and “fascinating.”

O: With all the recent celebrity coming out stories, do you feel that shows like GGS can help LGBTTQ* youth feel more comfortable with their queer identities, or with coming out? W: I feel like it’s really up to that person and their situation to decide whether or not they should come out. Does each one add to the community? Yes, but they may have their own personal reasons for not coming out. I think it gives the youth more people to “look up to” and connect with. They can understand that they aren’t the only ones and there are many other people out there that feel like they do. O: What was your favorite episode or moment from season 1? W: Any moment with Abisha (Uhl) is a good moment. Haha. Cyndy punching me in the face was pretty great. But honestly I don’t really think I could really pick a favorite, the whole thing works as one, without the other it isn’t quite complete.

O: What can we expect from the upcoming season? A: You’ll just have to wait and see! O: Where does your biggest support come from? W: Emotional support really comes from the fans and within the cast and crew. We back each other up! O: What would you like to say about your recent work with Epilepsy awareness? W: Epilepsy is a condition that many people are afraid of, which comes from a lack of education. I want to talk about epilepsy and the fact that I have it, as much as possible to raise awareness. I also want to reach out to others with epilepsy, especially teenagers, to serve as a person they can look to for support. GGS Season II Episode One: Fans can watch the season premiere at: http://blip.tv/girlgirlscene/girl-girl-sceneepisode-201-6254486

Rockin’ Halloween

The Pack A.D. will rock the WECC on Halloween night. If you’re looking for some rockin’ fun on Halloween night, the The Pack A.D. will be performing at the West End Cultural Centre (WECC) as part of their North American tour. The girls will be accompanied by Royal Mountain Records recording artists Topanga. There’s no stopping The Pack A.D. Recently, they’ve completed tours with Elliott Brood and Our Lady Peace, played a handful of summer festival dates including Edgefest and The Ottawa Blues Fest, signed autographs, released a French 7” and unleashed their ferocious third single, “Take,” from 2011’s Unpersons. The WECC is celebrating its 25th anniversary in October by returning to its roots with a two-day celebration that will honour

the artists and audiences who helped shape its vision for the past 25 years. The celebration begins on Friday, Oct. 19, when progressive thrash band Propagandhi return to the WECC to commemorate the many punk, metal and thrash bands that have cut their teeth at the centre. Support for this performance will be provided by Head Hits Concrete and This Hisses. On Saturday, Oct. 20, the celebration continues with a collaborative performance that will showcase artists in the folk and roots community. The WECC has invited the best of Winnipeg’s singer-songwriters and asked them to collaborate with one another to help in the celebration.

Featured performers include Nicky Mehta (The Wailin’ Jennys), Nancy Reinhold (formerly of Wyrd Sisters), Nathan Rogers & JD Edwards (Dry Bones), Daniel Roa, Ismaila Alfa, Keri Latimer (Nathan), Sam Baardman, Cara Luft, Lloyd Peterson, Scott Nolan, Vanessa Kuzina & MJ Dandenau (Oh My Darling), Andrina Turenne, Alexa Dirks and Ariane Jean (Chic Gamine), Red Moon Road and more. O

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

17


A dangerous

life

The precarious existence of Toronto’s homeless LGBT youth

By Peter Carlyle-Gordge

B

eing homeless in a big city is not a pleasant prospect. Being homeless and gay, lesbian or trans is even worse. Toronto, which is often a magnet for LGBTQ youth from across Canada and the world, does have youth shelters. But now their future is in question as city council ponders closing some of them. Ilona Alex Abramovich of the University of Toronto got involved in studying youth homelessness as a result of a personal difficult coming-out experience. Abramovich says the current homelessness support system does not meet the needs of LGBTQ youth, who often face targeted violence and rejection within the shelter system.

There are about 1,500 to 2,000 homeless youth ages 16 to 29 in Toronto and about 55,000 across Canada. 18

outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca

According to Abramovich, an estimated 25 to 40 per cent of homeless youth in Toronto may be LGBTQ and their needs are just not being met. There are about 1,500 to 2,000 homeless youth ages 16 to 29 in Toronto and about 55,000 across Canada. Homophobia and transphobia are serious problems and Abramovich would like to see a youth shelter specifically designated for LGBTQ youth so that their needs can be better met. Better staff training at shelters to make them more sensitive to the obstacles and threats LGBTQ youth may face is also necessary. So far, Abramovich’s study has found a lack of political will to offer more focused services to LGBTQ youth, despite the great numbers of queer youth who end up in shelters after coming out of the closet and being kicked out by parents or guardians. And now, even without adapted supports, Toronto’s LGBT homeless population may face additional barriers. The City of Toronto directly operates nine of the 57 local shelters. Coun. Giorgio


“A shelter may have specific beds set aside for trans youth, but they may not use them because they’re afraid of being so obviously identified in a shelter where transphobia could be an issue.” Mammoliti, chair of the city’s Homelessness Action Task Force, recently proposed moving homeless people off the streets and into transitional housing, by force if necessary. He also wants to close Toronto’s shelters and replace them with transitional housing, a suggestion that infuriates Abramovich, who says it will just make the situation worse for LGBTQ youth. The LGBTQ youth may be homeless because their families have rejected them when they first came out. But being out in a homeless shelter can also be dangerous and stressful, since homophobia and transphobia are quite common. Abramovich’s research and that of others has shown a high proportion of queer homeless youth report feeling safer on the streets than in shelters due to the homophobic and transphobic violence that occurs in the shelter system. Preliminary data from Abramovich’s study indicates that the issue of homophobia and transphobia in the shelter system is much greater than most people think. Several key themes that emerged from Abramovich’s research include the need for shelter staff to receive anti-homophobia training, as well as LGBTQ terminology training. “The system needs to evolve because youth needs are complex,” Abramovich says. “Besides needing support to counteract homophobia there is need for training and support on many other issues, including HIV, harm reduction, legal issues and much more. The present system assumes that one size fits all and it simply does not. “ “Some staff thought such training would be helpful, though some also thought they had no need of it,” Abramovich says. “Another key issues is the complaint mechanism if someone is threatened, bullied or assaulted. A lot of the youth don’t even know they can make a formal complaint and some won’t complain anyway because it may cause them trouble. They have a sense of pride and want to fit in and appear to be tough.” Abramovich says street life is stressful enough and it shouldn’t be exacerbated by having LGBTQ youth feeling unsafe in the shelter system, whether through bullying or outright violence from homophobic shelter residents. “A shelter may have specific beds set aside for trans youth, but they may not use them because they’re afraid of being so obviously identified in a shelter where transphobia could be an issue.” The first stage of Abramovich’s research examined the adults who work in the shelter system and focused on the training they have received, their levels of preparedness in dealing with situations of homophobia and transphobia, and how the shelters operate. The second stage identified thee problems faced by LGBTQ homeless youth in Toronto and explored how the shelter system has let them down and examined their everyday experiences within the system. Despite many hurdles, Abramovich is still hopeful that change will occur. “Although there is a huge lack of support for LGBTQ homeless

Alex Abramovich’s study into the barriers facing homeless LGBTQ youth in Toronto may help shatter myths. youth in Toronto, there are a few drop-in programs that are LGBTQ-positive for homeless youth,” Abramovich says. “ So, while there are no specialized shelters for this population of youth, there are a few meal and arts programs. And while there are numerous staff members who claim that homophobia and transphobia are not issues in the shelter system, there are also staff who very clearly see these issues and support the idea of specialized programming. “

You can find out more about Abramovich’s research at: http://www. ilona6.com/press.php – Peter Carlyle-Gordge is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

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Designing for

show

time

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Pop Regalia LLC


copyright MJJ Productions

Behind the scenes with the man who helped create the style of Michael Jackson

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ave you ever wondered who helped create the unique style of Michael Jackson? And what was the source of inspiration behind all those amazing costumes the King of Pop wore during performances around the world? The answer to both questions can be found in a new book by Michael Bush, a Los Angeles-based costume designer and friend of the rock star. Set for release Oct. 30 in a limited edition, The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson takes readers behind the scenes for the story about the costumes, apparel, shoes and accessories created and worn by Michael Jackson. For more than 24 years, Michael Bush, along with his partner, Dennis Tompkins, worked with Michael Jackson in creating some of the most original and recognizable clothing ever worn by a musical performer. They created thousands of custom artistic pieces that captured the inspiration, direction and creativity of the King of Pop. The book features photographs of the costumes and the carefully planned construction of the clothing that was necessary to provide support for Jackson’s unique dance moves. All of the dynamic fabrics, metals, materials and creative discussions are documented and accompanied by text that provides insight into the artist’s methodology and stories from their long relationship.

“Michael Jackson was the world’s greatest entertainer. His fashion sense and ideas of design took me on an extraordinary journey for almost 25 years. There was nothing we couldn’t do and Michael was full of surprises. We travelled the world together and created designs and fashions that have become iconic,” says Bush. “Michael loved military style, Egyptian styles and the image of royalty as you can see in many of his most famous costumes and personal outfits. When we designed, we designed for show time, no matter what the occasion.” To purchase a copy of The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson after Oct. 30, visit Insight Editions at insighteditions.com. - Caroline Galloway, M2M PR & Partnerships

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

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Fame to host

Mr. Gay Winnipeg contest Winner To Compete For National Crown

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innipeg’s Fame nightclub will host the Mr. Gay Winnipeg contest on Saturday, Oct. 13. The winner gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Whistler, B.C., to compete for the title of Mr. Gay Canada in February 2013. The winner of that contest will go on to compete for Mr. Gay World. “We are very excited about this event and think this is a huge opportunity for someone within the gay community to represent Winnipeg, Manitoba,” says Beverly Claeys, the senior general manager of Fame. The Winnipeg competition takes place on the evening of Friday, Oct. 12 and all day Saturday, culminating with the public event at Fame. The doors will open at 9 p.m. The competition starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are $5. The guys will have orientation on Friday night and prepare for the day on Saturday. The day will start with a community outreach

Mr. Gay Canada Thomas Egli (centre) with contestants Wendelinus Hamutenya from Namibia and Ethiopia’s Robel Hailu. and Mr. Gay Canada organizers Dean Nelson (left) and Ken Coolen (right).

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with the Rainbow Resource Centre. During the afternoon there will be rehearsals and each of the delegates will face panel interviews with the judges. The public event at Fame will include runway-style fashion worn by the delegates, entertainment, the infamous final question and last but not least the crowning of Mr Gay Winnipeg. The judges will be Lorena Gaudio from Metro News, Chad Smith from the Rainbow Resource Centre and Devine Darlin (Toronto’s Next Drag Superstar). JD Francis from Energy 106fm will be the host. Devine Darlin and Satina Loren (Winnipeg’s Next Drag Superstar contestant) will be performing. Ken Coolen, an organizer with the Mr. Gay Canada competition, says the audience will get to see and hear the delegates as they work the stage to impress the judges. The delegates will model formal wear, club wear, fetish wear, underwear and swimsuits. Judges will be looking for confidence and composure, the ability to convey self-acceptance and comfort. Contestants don’t need to have a “ripped” body, but the self-assurance to feel comfortable in their own skin to be able to model swimsuit or underwear as well as all other clothing. Coolen says a contestant’s ability to articulate his thoughts and speak publicly

The delegates will model formal wear, club wear, fetish wear, underwear and swimsuits. will come out during the final question when the delegates are posed questions about issues facing the gay community. The winner will not only have inner beauty and self-assurance, but also charisma and natural leadership abilities, Coolen says. Any man wishing to enter the competition can contact Fame at Famenightclubwinnipeg.com or go online to www.mrgaycanada.ca. “We are very honoured to be hosting this event and provide this opportunity for someone from the gay community, it can be virtually limitless, says Claeys. “The sky’s the limit!”


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www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 12-09-10 2012 9:56 PM 23


Microsoft proves

it’s still got game I

have used this column in the past to compare the ‘big three’ tech companies, Apple, Microsoft and Google, on more than one occasion. technology Those comparisons Corey Shefman almost always have ended with, “comSeattle sets pany X makes the the gold best product for one standard market, company makes the best – a model Yproduct for the Manitoba other market.” So I could emulate was pretty curious when notoriously Apple-friendly tech blog Gizmodo published two articles extolling the virtues of Microsoft (“Microsoft is the most exciting company in tech, hands down” and “the Windows Phone 8 start screen is the best of any phone”). As evidence, Gizmodo cites Microsoft’s innovative new ‘Surface’ tablet - the first tablet on the market that could seriously be considered a laptop (or even desktop!)

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replacement. There’s also Kinect (the motion control hardware), Windows 8 (completely redesigned and built for a touch, not mouse, interface) and more. Even Hotmail, that awkward uncle of the webmail providers, gets a mention for having “stepped up its game.” Giz certainly has a point. The Surface tablets are mind-blowingly awesome. Even just the keyboard built right into Microsoft’s version of Apple’s smart cover is revolutionary. And with their two separate spec categories, Surface tablets will compete against both the iPad and the MacBook Air/ Ultrabook lines. Likewise, Windows 8 marks Microsoft’s first serious effort in a long time to compete with Apple in the design game. Microsoft’s products have always been functional, but haven’t always been that attractive. Windows 8 and it’s cell phone cousin, Windows Phone 8, combine all the best customizability of Android with the clean and functional design of iOS. But this about-face alone won’t likely be enough for the general public to get on board with Gizmodo’s excitement about the up-andcoming products from Microsoft. Microsoft has to deal with the stigma still associated

with it, thanks to Windows Vista and years of uninspired design. Microsoft’s competition isn’t likely to make the battle easy. Apple’s iPhone 5 complete with a totally new design, larger screen, 4G connectivity and a quadcore (read: very fast) processor. iOS 6, the upcoming release of the iPhone/iPad operating system is also certainly a jump, though not quite the exciting overhaul that makes Windows 8 so exciting. Similarly, Google is expected to release its latest Android OS, Jelly Bean (AKA Android 4.1) in mid-summer and if it’s previous release history is any indication, Google will be releasing its next Nexus phone (the Android flagship phone) in either December 2012 or January 2013. There’s no question that it is an exciting time to be watching the tech world. Producers are bringing us new and more exciting products about as fast as we can buy them and they don’t seem to be letting up their pace. – Corey Shefman is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.


kissing on tip-toes a season of oldschool romance As another autumn is upon us, Winnipeggers will no doubt be excited by the colourful offerings of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB). From well-loved classics, remastered gems and the newest addition to the repertoire of the ballet, this promises to be a fairytale fantasy season. It opens with Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin, the show’s

Canadian premiere. It runs Oct. 17-21, just in time to get the community in the mood for Halloween, with its own rendition of ghouls and

goblins, princesses and a very special old woman. In Tharp’s adaption of fantasy novelist George MacDonald’s classic, we take a journey with the wide-eyed princess Irene on her fearless adventure. The princess discovers the children of the town are being kidnapped by the evil goblin, and with the help of her great-great-grandmother, princess Irene triumphs over the goblin and rescues the children. In this inspiring story of a young girl who, against the odds of her age, demographic and sex, surpasses all expectations and comes out victorious, we can see parts of ourselves in her courage,

wit, and endurance in the name of what is right. A holiday favourite, The Nutcracker once again graces the RWB’s stage, running Dec. 20-30. At the mere mention of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, you can picture

the smiles and the seat dancing of women, men, and children alike. The Nutcracker has entertained audiences for many seasons and generations and this piece of genius, with its illustrious costumes and choreography, becomes a little bit more familiar with the RWB’s choice to incorporate Winnipeg landmarks into the scenery. The ballet is set at a home on Wellington Crescent, featuring landmarks that Winnipeggers audiences young and old can appreciate, from the frozen-over duck pond, a joue de hockey and a battle on Parliament Hill. When choosing gifts this holiday season, make sure to remember two (or more!) tickets to enjoy Clara’s adventure with her sweet prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy and all the dancing toys. You may even want to bring your own sugar plum fairy or sweet prince out for the evening with you. Be sure to look for the RWB’s float in the Santa Clause Parade, as well as the Nutcracker tree at the festival of lights.

by Marina Koslock

to come give them that kiss that would make everything rosy. Every now and then, we like to remember that feeling of encompassing love, which might be why the RWB is bringing Sleeping Beauty to the main stage for the first ballet of 2013, running March 6-10. Another piece of Tchaikovsky mastery, this romantic evening takes us away, with the dance and costumes of sinewy dreams, all the way to the magical kingdom of Princess Aurora. As bitter winter fades to a beautiful spring, so does good conquer evil, through the simplicity of a kiss from the Prince Desire, which will make us all remember why we believed in love in the first place. Finally, to close the season, Moulin Rouge will grace the stage, running from

May 1-5. Since its world debut in 2009, this ballet has been seen by more than 100,000 people, who believe that “come what may” will help them endure all of the hardships of their and their partner’s life. In this glorious production of French inspired music, the cancan, the tango and other high-kicking choreography, the ballet follows two star-crossed lovers, with love so pure it will bring you to tears. The pair, both engrossed in finding stardom, one as a playwright and the other as a sparklingdiamond actress, find their success and their love entangled in a production that correlates with their real life love story. Passion, anger, lust and love come to a boil at the end of this beautiful, heartbreaking ballet, in the most libidinous of places. Welcome, my friends, to the Moulin Rouge. – Marina Koslock is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.

Every little prince and princess’ dream was to be lying in a bed of flowers, waiting for their dream prince or princess www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

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! S K N A H T WITH THE SUPPORT OF OUR GENEROUS COMMUNITY, OVER 60 CAMPERS, PEER YOUTH LEADERS, AND VOLUNTEERS HAD A FABULOUS TIME AT CAMP THIS YEAR! Please consider donating to support Camp Aurora 2013. Send your donation to the Rainbow Resource Centre at 170 Scott Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3L 0L3. Please designate your donation to Camp Aurora. Donations of $20 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt.

THANKS AGAIN TO: HEALTHY CHILD MANITOBA, THE WINNIPEG FOUNDATION, VARIETY-THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY, ASSINIBOINE CREDIT UNION, RAINBOW RESOURCE CENTRE, RUN FOR RIGHTS, SNOW Y OWL MONARCHIST SOCIETY, PFLAG BRANDON, SPECIAL T SHIRT COMPANY, TEEN TALK, AND MANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY DONORS.

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all words butch + femme

By Katrina Caudle

musician Rae Spoon to release their first book – a look into a queer Alberta childhood

A favourite of Winnipeg is returning to the city to perform a new kind of show this month. Montreal’s Rae Spoon will be back to launch their debut book, First Spring Grass Fire, on Oct. 20. Welcomed to the city several times before to perform their music, this will be Rae Spoon’s first literary event. “Queer people, we’re always building our own culture and it’s great to be a part of that,” Spoon says. Sparked by a meeting with a publisher at an event for Persistance: All Ways Butch and Femme (edited by Ivan E. Coyote and Zena Sharman), the book is a series of 10 short fictional stories that follow the

narrator’s life growing up queer in a strict Pentecostal family in Alberta. Coyote and Spoon have collaborated many times before over the last eight years, most recently on a show about the Yukon that was performed for about four years and Gender Failure, a show that the two artists will be performing in various cities in Canada this fall. “Ivan’s been coaching me,” says Spoon. “Ivan’s always growing. It’s nice to work with someone like that.” Writing a book provides Spoon a chance to explore their creativity differently and expand as an artist. “It’s my first book, see, so it’s something I’m just starting and learning. I like writing because you can get a bit more descriptive than in songs. Stories have a bit more specific content,” shares Spoon. “I really want to write a book about touring and being trans. I think it would be funny. I also want to do a grown-up version of the stories in the book. Sort of uplifting. An escape story about becoming an adult.” Even though Spoon is excited for the chance to expand artistically, there is a humbling sense of humour about it all. “I’m more nervous when I do readings. Right now, I’m not sure how to perform them. I’m still working on integrating the computer and I’d really like to incorporate music into the reading. I’m hoping I can memorize them all. I might just make it all up,” Spoon says with a laugh. “I have a back-up plan, which is electronic music. So if shit starts to hit the fan, I’ll drop the beat.” Spoon is also pleased to come back to Winnipeg with this latest project. “I always consider moving to Winnipeg. Being smaller, more diverse, people hang out together. I love that,” says Spoon. “I’m sad Alycia’s closed.” A queer storytelling event will take place at Mondragon Oct. 19 at 7 p.m., featuring local storytellers along with Rae Spoon, who will also play some music. The launch of First Spring Grass Fire will be Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. at McNally Robinson’s Booksellers. – Katrina Caudle is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

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If Copperfield were a Winnipegger... Local artists to stage a Dickensian take on a Winnipeg landmark, with a queer twist

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his October, two local artists will be using a historical site to stage their fanciful work of performance fiction, Dalnvert Copperfield. And they are not shying away from exploring some of the local landmark’s more sinister history – nor the potential homoerotic storylines. The brainchild of Iam Mozdzen and Doug Melnyk, the fictitious historical house tour is “crafted out of the pages of Charles Dickens’ enchanting semi-autobiographic novel – David Copperfield (1850) - and the unique history of Dalnavert House in downtown Winnipeg. The Dalnavert Museum, run by the Manitoba Historical Society, is dedicated to telling the story of Victorian life in Winnipeg. Specifically, it tells the story of the life

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and family of Sir Hugh John Macdonald, son of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Mozdzen and Melnyk will fill each of the house’s 20 rooms with a mash-up of characters, whimsical props, puppets, games and “Dickensian/Dalnavertian dramatics” to tell their story through the titular character – Dalnavert Copperfield, Knight Bachelor of 61 Carlton St. Despite the playful and irreverent air of the piece, the two artists don’t shy away from tapping into the less romantic aspects of their subject matter’s history. One of the ironies of the piece is that Macdonald, during his lifetime, tried to sue two playwrights for besmirching his name.

“We tapped into the racism and sexism in the house, built into the architecture of the house. Macdonald was involved in capturing Riel and was against the Metis Uprising and Winnipeg General Strike. He also had a lot of hypocrisy around him. He worked for prohibition but he was an alcoholic,” Melnyk says. “He was very proarmy, pro-war. Ian takes Hugh’s voice, from reading lots of letters that he wrote and aspects of the regular tour, making it really off-colour. He even revamps a uniform of Hugh’s for his character for the show.” The innovative and clever use of props in the show is truly enchanting and captures the Victorian sense of thrift and crafting by using what was readily available to create what they needed. Many outfits are made of


a combination of garbage bags, duct tape and coffee filters – but don’t lose their impact because of the attention to detail and the artists’ loyalty to Victorian forms. The work came about through the organic amalgamation of both the work of Dickens and the house’s history. Even their artistic chemistry (Melnyk creating the illustrations and Mozdzen the writing) mirrors the relationship Dickens had with his illustrator. “Dickens had very specific ideas of how people’s faces looked. Ian and I have this back and forth as well,” Melnyk says. As the artists worked, the small insignificant details became the seed of inspiration for some of the work’s most interesting and outstanding elements. “There’s a picture of Macdonald and Charles Tupper hanging downstairs. We were looking at it and it looked like they were almost holding hands!” Mozdzen says. “We really ran with it and worked it into Dalnavert Copperfield’s life. The man he loves has died and he’s not really admitting it. Doug redrew the picture to make it a bit more fanciful and really play up that undertone.” “We’re not allowed to touch the objects in the house, which is a challenge when you’re trying to dramatize the space,” says Mozdzen. “So the image sits over the original and we can

“All that fancy china and ladies in long dresses. You look in their medicine cabinet and their medicines are alcohol and cocaine,” pluck this prop off the wall. That way you can see the original picture in the background.” Between shadow-puppet boxing that re-enacts the tensions between Macdonald’s second wife and daughter and a frequently seen flask as a nod to Macdonald’s alcoholism, the artists explore a somewhat earthier view of the Victorian home than one might normally get. “They were more rough-and-tumble than we think. They loved their entertainments and parlor games. There was some amount of boxing, even between women. All that fancy china and ladies in long dresses. You look in their medicine cabinet and their medicines are alcohol and cocaine,” Mozdzen says with a laugh. Dalnavert Copperfield will run during several shows on Oct. 5-7. Space is limited so please call the Dalnavert at 204-947-0559 to reserve your tickets. – Katrina Caudle is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.

Shawna Dempsey & Lorrie Millan

Dempsey, Millan launch new book WAG celebrates centennial with historic events Winnipeg artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan are publishing their new book, Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World, which will be featured at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) as part of the Winnipeg Now exhibit. Dempsey and Millan’s new book examines North American myths through the eyes of women who question puritanical values of good and evil, and the sense of promise the New World has traditionally implied. The eight short stories span the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, exploring the fictions that justice and equality exist, that infinite growth is feasible and desirable, and that anything is possible. Winnipeg Now runs from Sept. 29 to Dec. 30. The show is a measure of what art-making looks like in Winnipeg in 2012. Of the 13 artists in the exhibition, 12 are making new work for this exhibition. Whether it’s the animated model schooner and the technicolour stratosphere of Sarah Anne Johnson’s installation, Guy Maddin’s shooting of a film a day for 18 days on set in the gallery, or K.C. Adams’s porcelain forest of corporate-lit trees, Winnipeg Now will surprise and challenge audiences with work that hasn’t been seen before. This will also be the launch of the gallery’s centennial celebrations. Some of Canada’s most treasured pieces of art will be brought to Winnipeg. With works by Rembrandt, Matisse, Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Warhol, and major Canadian artists like Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, Bill Reid, and Jean-Paul Riopelle, it’s a show unlike anything offered by the WAG before. More information on the book can be found at arbeiterring.com/books/ detail/bedtime-stories-forthe-edge-of-the-world/

Winnipeg Now will surprise and challenge audiences with work that hasn’t been seen before.

Guy Maddin, Seances, 2012. Performance, live filmmaking. Image: Galen Johnson.

More information on the WAG art exhibit can be found at wag.ca/art/exhibitions/ upcoming-exhibitions/ display,exhibition/115/ winnipeg-now.

www.outwords.ca // outwords, july 2012

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Vic Hooper (far right) conducts the Rainbow Harmony Project in a past season. This season, Hooper will remain as artistic director but will pass the condutor’s baton to Johanna Hildebrand.

Heralding in the change 2012 a year of reinvention for the Rainbow Harmony Project. By Scott Carman

I

t’s a year of changes for the Rainbow Harmony Project, Winnipeg’s gay community chorus. This year, artistic director Vic Hooper begins transitioning his role to newcomer Johanna Hildebrand. But Hooper isn’t ready to retire just yet. “This season, Johanna will be the conductor responsible for leading rehearsals and performances,” Hooper explains. “I will remain for one year as artistic director and will work with Johanna, the music team, the board and the concert production team to provide input and help with the transition.” The Rainbow Harmony Project (RHP) has come a long way under Hooper’s tutelage. As he notes, RHP started as the city’s “gay choir,” but has evolved into a strong musical entity that just happens

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to consist of a bunch of queers (and a few straight allies). This evolution is the result of years of experience, pushing the envelope musically and artistically and competing – and winning – against other choirs in various music competitions. “In 2007, we sang at the Winnipeg Music Festival for the first time and were awarded the Helga Anderson Trophy,” says Hooper. “In 2008, after winning it again, we were invited to be the representative choir at the festival’s gala concert, which was comprised of winners from all areas of the festival. It was a very proud moment.” The Helga Anderson Trophy recognizes the most outstanding performance by an adult community choir. RHP won the trophy for a third time in 2011. Among Hooper’s proudest moments are also performing at the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Conference of the United Church and singing this past spring with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in their Broadway Rocks concert. “Broadway Rocks may have been our most significant concert to date, as it meant so much to all of us to be asked to perform at this level, being recognized as a choir capable of performing with the WSO and the outstanding soloists who were also featured in the concert,” Hooper says.

This summer RHP also performed at the GALA Choruses International Festival in Denver, where they were invited to sing with the Desert Voices choir from Tucson,

“Gay choir gives support and empowerment to its singers through sharing experiences and a common interest, in developing musical skills and in communicating ideas, feelings and our stories through singing.” Arizona in the festival’s Legacy concert in front of an audience of more than 3,000 people. But, all good things come to an end and Hooper is ready to kick back and clear his schedule a little. “I always planned to retire when I turned 65, which happens in April 2013,” Hooper says. “So I started keeping my eyes and ears open to find a replacement.” A couple of years ago, he crossed paths with Johanna Hildebrand, a graduate from the University of Manitoba’s school of music. Hooper invited her to help with sectionals last season, when it became clear


she was ready, willing and able to start directing the choir on a more permanent basis. With her outstanding musical talent and upbeat personality, Johanna will bring a fresh new feeling to the choir. The choir members who attended GALA in Denver will also be returning this season with an infectious enthusiasm. Also bringing a fresh perspective to the upcoming season is long-time RHP member Paul Sullivan, who will be the choir’s new administrator. His experience as a past board president and production director will bring a whole new level of management to the RHP team. As for getting involved in the RHP, Hooper acknowledges Alan Blanchette, who first asked him if he would help the choir by sharing the director

Johanna Hildebrand with Vic Hooper

responsibilities with himself, Scott Naugler and Linda Rodgers in 2003. He also tips his hat to longtime accompanist Rob Lindey. “In the summer of 2004, 19 of us went to Montreal and performed at the GALA Choruses International Festival. After that, I was absolutely hooked on the power of music,” Hooper says. “I could see how a gay choir gives support and empowerment to its singers through sharing experiences and a common interest, in developing musical skills and in communicating ideas, feelings and our stories through singing.”

For more information about RHP, including rehearsal and concert times and locations, visit www. rainbowharmonyproject.ca, email rhp@rainbowharmonyproject.ca, or join its Facebook group. – Scott Carman is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer and communications specialist.

Why service fees can save money We live in a world of tipping for service every day. Think about it – when you go out for dinner you are travel expected to leave a tip, which used to be 10 per cent of the bill. Now these fancy wireless debit machines are Linda Robidoux programmed to add 15, 18 or 20 per cent of your bill as Burndorfer tip. And the pressure is on as the waiter stands over you while you enter how much tip you are going toleave... Travel experts Um, er, guess I’ll leave 20 per cent. really do know I recently had my dogs groomed and they had that how to get the fancy debit machine and much to my amazement, it for a tip. A tip to groom my dog? I tip my hair best deals asked dresser, I tip my waiter, I tip my cab driver and now I need to tip my dog groomer. Really? So what does this all have to do with travel? In travel, we call this tip a service fee and customers tend to grumble about it. ‘Why do I have to pay a service fee to a travel agent, I can book it online and save that service fee,’ many think. Well of course you can book it online and save that piddly service fee travel agent’s charge. You can also cook your own meal and not go out, you can cut your own hair and groom your own dogs. You can spend three hours on a Friday night trying to find the best deal to Las Vegas, check various websites, look at all the different airlines, read 100 hotel reviews, finally find that great deal, go back to that website, put in all the info and hit book. The response? “Sorry, that fare is no longer available.” Then you madly go through the whole process again, the fares are higher, that hotel you wanted is now sold out, and you settle for something you didn’t really bargain for, having spent the last four hours pulling out your hair. The flip side is, you won’t have to tip your hairdresser as you won’t have any hair. Solution? Call your travel agent. Let them know what you are looking for. Go out for dinner, or get a game of golf in while your travel agent does all the work, finding you the best deal, best hotel and the best flight routing. The best part is, you have them in your back pocket the whole time you are away in case of an emergency or a delay. Your travel agent is there for you. And what is the cost? A minor service fee for all their work. If you don’t like the sound of service fees, think of it as a tip – you are giving the agent a tip for saving your time, money – and possibly your hair. – Linda Robidoux Burndorfer is a travel expert with Out ‘N About Travel Inc. of Winnipeg. www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

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OutWords Annual General Meeting Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. 201-63 Albert St. Preventing & continuing medical care including: + Hepatitis & HPV + Psychological issues + STI screening

Dr. Dick Smith Four Rivers Medical Clinic, 647 Broadway Phone: 204.786.8588

Charles Dickens and Charles Shulz knew how to tell great Christmas stories. We’re betting they’re not alone.

OutWords is asking readers to share stories of their most memorable Christmas or Hanukkah. It can be sad, glad, funny or just plain queer. We’ll print the best ones in our December issue.

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outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca

Your story must be true and no more than 500 words. Send your story to editor@ outwords.ca by Oct. 19. Readers whose articles are published will receive a pair of tickets to a Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performance this season.


High-pitched achievements WSO celebrates its 65th year By Marina Koslock

T

he Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 65th year this season with the help of some highly talented performers, such as pianist Natasha Paremski, the Contours, opera sensation Measha Brueggergosman and the Barenaked Ladies. Along with these special artists, the WSO will offer audiences some special performances, including Mahler’s Seventh Symphony. All that good planning is possible due to a fifth consecutive year in the black. With a small but significant surplus of just over $22,000 from last season, WSO executive director Trudy Schroeder says this a major accomplishment. And it’s thanks to increased attendance, new initiatives and programs. At the heart of the symphonies success, is an ensemble of first-class musicians, led by music director Alexander Mickelthwaite, who is in his sixth year. After an amazing run as president and chair of the symphony’s board, Dorothy Dobbie has passed the baton to Timothy Burt for the 2012-2013 season. Under Dobbie’s leadership, the WSO expanded its programs to reach a broader audience, including such innovative offerings as Sistema Winnipeg, a sister of the original program in Venezuela, El Sistema. This program looked to create social change through music in partnership with Seven Oaks School Division, allowing children access to music as an after-school program in which they learned to play the violin, viola and cello. This year, the WSO Pops series again offers music styles to enchant new generations of music lovers, this year featuring Len Cariou’s Sweeney Todd score. The New Music Festival, which saw its highest attendance since 1999 last year, will feature works from Iceland, Finland, the U.S.A. and Canada. As a special treat, the Indigenous Festival will showcase new and

Artistic director Alexander Mickelthwaite.

classic styles of music from Japan, Mexico, China and indigenous communities across North America. This season will hold many enchanting discoveries for those new to the WSO, as well as for regular concertgoers. Here’s a short overview of some of the highlights: + The symphony’s Master works Series, will feature works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Mozart, Handel, Prokof iev and Mahler. + Soundbytes features a spectacular one-day-only adaptation by R ichard Lee conducting Charlie Chaplin’s own score to his silent masterpiece The Gold Rush. + A WSO Pops whirlwind experience will be the three-day production of A Symphonic Night in Havana,

transporting the audience to the muay caliente nights of Havana, where strolling along the streets in a daze of love and music is the only thing you want to do on a cold Januar y night. With a little help from Miami-based Tiempo Libre, their Cuban f lair will have you up in your seats with electrif ying, sensual Latin jazz music. + A nother gem in the WSO Pops series will be Cirque Musica, with the veterans of Cirque du Soleil, Barnum & Bailey and the R ingling Brothers performing to symphony music that includes excerpts from Flight of the Bumblebee, Violin Concerto, The Planets and more. – Marina Koslock is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.

www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

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“Let me start with a story.” They moan together, “Here we go.” “There was a young opposite-sex couple that lived together for a few years, in what they agreed would be an open relationship.” Robert begins. “One day when they were shopping, the young man met a previous girlfriend who he had a great sexual relationship with and was excited to see again. His significant other was not as enthusiastic about the encounter.”

“So help me, if he starts with either RuPaul or Jesus, I’m out of here,”

“The ex-girlfriend mentioned she would love to get together with him again. A date was set to meet in a few weeks and they warmly embraced and said goodbye.” “Not a word was said about the encounter.” “A few weeks later, the anticipated date arrived. The man reminded his significant other about the date. She said that she did not like the idea and had made plans for them that evening.”

The Story Of A

Couple With An Open Relationship

Spirituality

Ray buteau

The difference between being ethical and being moral

“Hi, my name’s Tom.”

“Lets grab a drink and sit over there before someone grabs those seats.”

“Hi, mine’s Danny.”

“Why over there?”

“Man, what an odd looking group!”

The two young men chat with the others until the guest walks in.

“That’s the Rainbow for you,” Tom responds. “The group has a guest speaker tonight.”

Both Danny and Tom’s eyes meet his and both blurt out, “Holy shit.” “What is it?” Tom asks.

“‘I’m sorry that my meeting her hurts you, but I am going to meet her,’ the man said. He kissed her and walked out.” “What does this have to do with being gay?” Danny whispers. “This story is about an ethical man. If he were a religious person, no matter what religion, he would likely be considered immoral and sinful. But spiritually speaking, he’s an honest man, to himself, his significant other and the other loves in his life,” Robert concludes.

“Yeah, a long story.”

“I know you didn’t get the story from the Bible,” Danny says to Robert. “So where did you get it, is it yours?”

“Let me guess, a minister talking about sin and how to be good boys and girls.”

“Good evening, everyone. Thanks for inviting me this evening. Ah, I see some familiar faces,” the speaker looks at Danny and Tom.

“I’m gay, not bi, and the story comes from a great book by Dossie Easton & Catherine A. Liszt called ‘The Ethical Slut’, one of my favourites.”

“Man, do you sound edgy!”

“One of your tricks?” Tom smirks at Dan.

“Why am I not surprised,” Tom mutters.

“Not quite. Yours?”

“So where did you meet this Robert?” Danny asks as the meeting ends.

“I have my own opinion of adults, especially older gay ones.” “I’m told he’s a counsellor of some sort, going to talk about morality and ethics.” “I bet that like all preachers, he loves the chance of telling others what to think, believe and do.”

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“Next to my favourite thing, the door.”

“The young man reminded her that when they first met, they agreed to an open relationship. If either of them had a sexual encounter with someone else, they would let the other person know and would always come back to each other.”

outwords, October 2012 // www.outwords.ca

“It’s a long story. And you?”

“Not mine.” “What’s the difference between morality and ethics?” Robert begins. “So help me, if he starts with either RuPaul or Jesus, I’m out of here,” Dan whispers. The group is silent.

“Have you ever been to a bath house?” – Ray Buteau is a former Catholic priest and author of the book No Longer Lonely.


www.outwords.ca // outwords, October 2012

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