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#261 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013

OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS

THE NEW LEATHER Ottawa’s thriving kink scene is embracing a younger, more diverse demographic E24


2 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 XTRA!

OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


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XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 3


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#261 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013

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OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS

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Exploring the Conch Republic one bite at a time E14

The Half Shell Raw Bar, in the Historic Seaport, is a great place to start your Key West food crawl. LESLEY FRASER

Editorial Is Pope Francis really a reformer? By Natasha Barsotti E6

From the archives Charlotte loved Margaret Was Ottawa’s former mayor in a “Boston marriage”? E20

Feedback E6 Xcetera E7

Out in the City

Upfront New HIV testing program targets couples in the US and Ontario “It’s frightening to a lot of people that the greatest number of new infections comes from couples”: researcher E9 Local news Vanier residents discuss crime prevention E11 National news Priape saved from extinction by new owners E13 Daily Xtra Travel Montreal snow job The city famous for its hot summer nightlife also provides a brilliant winter escape E18 MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

with the men in Ottawa’s welcoming and vibrant leather community E24

Fit For A Queen

Retelling Shakespeare GCTC resurrects Ann-Marie MacDonald’s beloved 1988 play E26

The poster boy for dreams come true Andrew Binks’s novel Strip translates painful experiences to art E23

Heroes, heroines and whimsy Instantly recognizable individuals theme of Bhat Boy’s new exhibition E26

Cover story Changing of the guard Mindful of tradition and history, a “new guard” of youth, women and trans people joins forces

What’s On E29 Xtra Living E30

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Xposed By Zara Ansar E28

COVER PHOTO BY RÉMI THÉRIAULT

online at dailyxtra.com E The cock carnival and other naughty competitions E Montreal activists fundraise for new doc about Russian LGBT kids E The erotic art of the male nude

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PR and the pope

Is Pope Francis really a reformer? EDITORIAL NATASHA BARSOTTI

Pope Benedict XVI once told us that homosexuality is an “objective disorder.� On another occasion, he deemed it “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.� His predecessor, John Paul II, found it “legitimate and necessary� to ask if gay marriage is part of a clandestine and more insidious “new ideology of evil, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.� Juxtapose those choice statements with the reported words and actions of the latest successor of St Peter to take up residence at the Vatican. Challenged about his stance on homosexuality, Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio, aka Pope Francis I, throws the ball back in his interrogator’s court. “Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?� But his promising rhetorical start ends with an equivocal “We must always consider the person,� followed by a more obscure statement about “the mystery� of human beings. More recently, an Italian Catholic LGBT group that reached out to Fran-

cis later claimed that he gave them “his blessing.â€? What’s not to like from a cleric who has embraced the name of a saint heralded for his prayer about bringing faith where there is doubt, hope where there is despair and light where there is darkness? In an era that is gluttonous about celebrity, Francis, with his friendly countenance, gregariousness in the presence of crowds and understanding of the importance of optics and the well-turned phrase, is poised to become a religious rock star. And while his words and deeds thus far are ummoxing the Church’s more conservative segments, they are giving its more liberal adherents a glimmer of hope that his tenure will bring about much-needed change, including bringing its disillusioned sheep — who’ve been departing in droves — back to the fold. Moreover, in the context of contemporary rightwing nuttery, Francis’s outreach, if not substance, feels like a gale-force cleansing of the homophobic stench issuing from the likes of the American Family Association, the Na-

comment dailyxtra.com & facebook/dailyxtra email comment@dailyxtra.com tweet @dailyxtra

tional Organization for Marriage, Pat Robertson and the unrepentant Scott Lively, now facing a human-rights trial over his alleged role in fostering a hostile environment for gay Ugandans. But really, how different is Francis’s cajoling rhetoric from that of a corporation or PR firm pitching a client’s new and improved product as a real departure from its classic version? As a number of Church observers have pointed out, especially in the wake of the short-lived hope invested in the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, the changes — such as what language should be used for Mass — were more cosmetic than revolutionary. As much as I’d like to flirt with this latest successor to Obama’s Yes We Can–ism, I am as yet reluctant to fall for this smiling, twinkly eyed, avuncular man in robes who seems to be offering more than he realistically can, or really intends, to deliver. Just recently, the Vatican announced that a synod of bishops will convene to discuss the “pastoral care of families.� How far, if anywhere, will it go toward acknowledging families with same-sex parents or families with gay and trans children? If asked, I hope, but truly doubt, that Francis will provide an answer that doesn’t rely on the ambiguity of a rhetorical question. Natasha Barsotti is Xtra Vancouver’s staff reporter.

The outcome that we seek is this — gay and lesbian people daring together to set love free. Xtra is published by Pink Triangle Press, at 2 Carlton St, Ste 1600, Toronto, M5B 1J3.

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InterPride and diversity

privilege of others.

As someone who helped ďŹ ght the battles against HIV discrimination, for marriage equality and against stigma, it’s my opinion that it may be time for the transgender community and their supporters to move forward on their own [“InterPride’s Lack of Diversity a Problem, Board Says,â€? dailyxtra.com, Oct 13]. The [gay movement’s] social and political agenda has matured and softened, by virtue of our own work. I see little in common with the transgendered (bi-curious-transvestite/ drag) group and their supporters. They stay involved with the “communityâ€? at their own peril. They need their own political voice, agenda and leaders, just as we did, and not ďŹ ltered by the

GEOFF CHAULK TORONTO, ON

I’m inclined to agree that the genderqueer community should withdraw its support for InterPride. By virtue of our visibility... trans people have always been at the forefront of civil rights battles. InterPride appears to be populated by tone-deaf leaders who are pleased to accept resources in the name of trans people but who will not provide benefit. Depending on your politics, this [is] either a crap business model or a at-out misappropriation of funds. Either way, it is unsustainable and unsupportable.

Protests against Trinity Western University Years ago, I knew somebody who was given a referral to an individual with an MA from this school. That person never went back because he could detect the underlying religious bias [“Toronto Students Protest Trinity Western University’s Bid for a Law School,� dailyxtra.com, Oct 18]. If a straight male could pick that up, I hate to think what their attitude would be towards those who identify as LGBT. CAELAN TORONTO, ON

NICKI WARD TORONTO, ON

OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


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$2,600 Amount Stepanov gave it away for. ‘Give It Away’ Lead single from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1991 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik.

RAINBOW CRUZ

A PUGILIST’S PRIDE Gay ďŹ ghter Orlando Cruz may have lost his bid for the World Boxing Organization’s featherweight title, but he made quite the entrance into the ring, accompanied by a rainbow ag and sporting rainbow trunks patterned after the ag of his native Puerto Rico. During the third round, the crowd began chanting “putaâ€? at Cruz, who lost the ďŹ ght by knockout to favourite Orlando Salido of Mexico.

Because I think gay people love glamorous women, and I think I’m glamorous. And I’m not blowing my own trumpet, but I’ve been told it often enough. Also, they know I’m a nice person, haha. Joan Collins, asked why she thinks the gays love her so much, in Out magazine MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

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‘The USPS will conďŹ rm this week that my uncle, Harvey Milk, will be commemorated on a 2014 US postage stamp. Another ďŹ rst! My deep gratitude to everyone that supported this effort!’ — Harvey Milk’s nephew, Stuart, on the news that the United States Postal Service intends to honour the legacy of the late gay rights activist and San Francisco city supervisor

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Nina Hagen The woman who inspired Anthony Kiedis to write the song (they dated in the ’80s). ‘God loves the homosexual’ According to a 2010 interview Hagen did with anti-gay GermanCatholic website kreuz.com. ‘Intersection’ The English translation of kreuz. Willy Bogner Designer of Germany’s 2014 Sochi Olympics uniforms, hailed as a pro-gay fashion statement.

71 Bogner’s age. Lou Reed Died Sunday, Oct 27, also 71.

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JOB OPPORTUNITY Mobile Journalist (Ottawa) Xtra Ottawa needs an intrepid part-time mobile journalist with strong news judgment and well-honed journalism skills. You thrive on being a news reporter. Thick-skinned, you’re not afraid to tackle sensitive issues or ask hard questions, even within a small, tight-knit community. A creative thinker, you have a natural “nose for newsâ€? to identify great story ideas. You are outgoing and skilled at networking with sources, newsmakers and community leaders. You must be an aggressive self-starter who gets things done. A quick and thorough reporter, you will generate daily stories for our website, dailyxtra.com. An avid user of social media, you understand how to harness its power to engage our communities and promote your work. Your commitment to fairness matches your meticulous attention to detail, spelling and accuracy. Your superior writing and self-editing skills enable you to turn around error-free copy quickly for live-to-web publishing. You are proďŹ cient enough with digital photography to capture good images and process them for posting online. You are computer savvy, with strong internet skills. This part-time salaried position has a generous beneďŹ ts package, three weeks’ annual vacation and professional development opportunities. Email a detailed cover letter, resumĂŠ and writing samples to Brandon Matheson, publisher and editor-in-chief: brandon.matheson@dailyxtra.com

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CANADA’S GAY& LESBIAN NEWS XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 7


8 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 XTRA!

OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


Upfront

I’m sorry, I really take offence to the term ‘crack ho.’ Zahrah Hajali, Vanier resident E11

New HIV testing program targets couples in the US and Ontario ‘It’s frightening to a lot of people that the greatest number of new infections comes from couples’ HIV NEWS NATHANIEL CHRISTOPHER

Researchers in the United States are expanding an HIV testing program focused on testing gay men in couples, after finding that up to two-thirds of new HIV infections come from couples. The program, called Testing Together, seeks to combat the growing rate of new HIV infections among gay men by encouraging couples to get tested and develop a sexual health plan together. “Two guys go into a room and they receive pre-counselling together, they test together, they get their results together and build a plan together,” says study co-investigator Rob Stephenson, who is an associate professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. The program follows a 2009 study by Stephenson and co-investigator Patrick Sullivan that estimates that one- to two-thirds of new HIV infections come from main partners among gay couples. The pilot project was launched in 2011 in five American cities with support from the MAC AIDS Fund, which will continue to support the expanded initiative with ongoing funding. The testing program will now be available in 21 cities. “We are 30 to 32 years into the epidemic, and those of us in prevention are really focused on the risk of casual sex and the ABCs of HIV prevention, such as abstinence, being faithful and wearing condoms,” Stephenson says. “Relationships are encouraged, but, if you think about it, men in relationships have more sex, more anal sex and are less likely to use a condom with each other. “In our HIV-prevention method we focus on condoms for casual sex, and we almost ignore the fact that gay men MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

form relationships and couples like any other couples. It’s frightening to a lot of people that the greatest number of new infections comes from couples.” Stephenson says their research revealed that many gay men in relationships believed they had a low risk of acquiring HIV and were also less likely to be tested regularly. “It’s kind of this relationship bubble where it’s thought that ‘because I’m in a relationship and only those out in a bar are having casual sex, so I don’t need to worry,’ but that’s not true,” he says. “On average, guys in relationships have sex 100 times a year with their partner and, incidentally, this is the same as heterosexual couples; we’re not different,” Stephenson says. “If you’re in a relationship and you haven’t discussed your HIV status with your partner, or you assume that if he was positive he’d tell you, or if you really don’t know, then that is potentially 100 exposures a year. If you met someone on the bus and have sex with him once, that’s just one exposure. It’s very different.” Stephenson says Testing Together was inspired by the work of the Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group, led by Susan Allen, which provides couples’ testing and counselling across subSaharan Africa, where the epidemic is highest among straight couples. “What’s fascinating is that our studies in Africa showed that the main risk is your partner,” Stephenson says. “Back in the 1980s, Susan Allen moved to Rwanda and set up the very first cou-

“If you think about it, men in relationships have more sex, more anal sex and are less likely to use a condom with each other,” says researcher Rob Stephenson, who helped develop the Testing Together program.

ples’ counselling to get tested together, and it worked. The [Center for Disease Control] now labels it as a high-level intervention in that it significantly reduces HIV transmissions. “After 25 years of success in Africa, we had this light-bulb moment to say, ‘We should do this with male couples in the US doing what worked in Africa.’” The Testing Together model will soon be available in Ontario, too, after Stephenson trains 12 facilitators from four Ontario programs that offer anonymous HIV testing and counselling.

“We were really interested in this model because nobody in Ontario is doing that at the moment, and they had such positive results in the research,” says Jean Bacon, director of policy at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network. “Many people they were serving wanted to be counselled as a couple, and so we want to help people develop that expertise,” Bacon says. “There hasn’t been a lot of innovation in test counselling over the years, and I think this is very innovative.” Bacon says she hopes the programs will be implemented soon, after training

is completed. The service will be offered at the Hassle Free Clinic in Toronto, the Options Clinic in London, Somerset West Community Health Centre in Ottawa, and Hamilton Public Health. “We will monitor it in these agencies, and if clients like it and agencies find it has value, then we will scale it up across the province,” Bacon says. While Vancouver’s Health Initiative for Men (HIM) has no plans to implement this particular program, executive director Wayne Robert notes that many guys already come into its clinics to get tested together. “The nurses and people who work in our clinic are familiar with people coming in to get tested as couples,” he says. “When testing as couples, they have a way of talking about these issues that are respectful of different kinds of relationships. Most guys who come in are ‘monogamish.’ They may have one partner or only have a certain kind of sex with one partner. In all those cases, you have to manage your health given those realities.” HIM featured couples’ testing in one of its latest poster campaigns. “Many guy guys get tested with their partners,” reads the poster, which depicts two men sitting together on an exam table. “HIM operates two health centres that offer STI & HIV testing, and counselling.” Robert says testing as a couple is an effective way to facilitate a conversation about sexual health and overall wellbeing among gay men. “It’s important to be able to discuss your HIV status with your partner, and that’s sometimes a really difficult thing for guys to bring up because it brings up issues of trust and the status of your relationship,” he says. “It’s not like people sit down and say, ‘Here are the rules about sex with me’ when they start a relationship. There are two different people with their own histories and ideas, and it’s important to talk about it, and sometimes talking about getting tested is a good starting point.” XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 9


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OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


Vanier residents discuss crime prevention Community has long suffered from ‘us versus them’ mentality, residents say

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LOCAL NEWS ADRIENNE ASCAH

Using the term “crack ho” can really change the energy in a room. Approximately 15 people gathered at the Vanier Community Service Centre on Oct 10 for a “crime-prevention coffee house.” Nancy Worsfold, the executive director of Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO), discussed the beautification efforts in Vanier, from cleaning up graffiti to getting rid of shrubbery that can offer “hiding places” for drug dealers. Using city services, from callJulie Lalonde (left), the site director of Hollaback Ottawa, and Nancy Worsfold, ing the city when garbage hasn’t been the executive director of Crime Prevention Ottawa, at the community meeting. picked up to calling police when crime ADRIENNE ASCAH occurs, has also helped the community to address safety, she says. Resist (POWER) has steadfastly said street harassment where there’s zero Worsfold was talking about the con- that sweeps put sex workers in danger, harassment.” nection between community spirit and forcing them to choose between their According to Hollaback Ottawa’s oncommunity safety when a resident safety and their need to make a living. line survey, which was released in July, raised the issue of incidents of breaking Despite using the term “crack 97 percent of people said they’d expeand entering. Another Vanier resident, ho,” Derry says in an interview with rienced street harassment in Ottawa in Geoff Derry, said a “crack ho” had Xtra that he recognizes sex workers the past year. Of about 350 respondents, committed numerous burglaries in his as fellow community members. In 84 percent identified as women and 54 neighbourhood. fact, he says, he attended a community percent identified as LGBT. “I’m sorry, I really take offence to the meeting with POWER, adding that it’s Although it wasn’t a scientific study, term crack ho,” said Zahrah Hajali, who important to build bridges. Lalonde says the numbers are in line lives in Vanier. “Right now it’s even questionably with national and international statisAfter a brief back and forth, during legal,” he says, referring to Bedford v tics, including the low number — six which Hajali said it’s fine to object to a Canada, which is awaiting a ruling by percent  — of people who say someone person’s actions toward you and your the Supreme Court. “I’m fully in favour interceded on their behalf after witcommunity but not to of legalized prostitution. nessing public harassment. use oppressive language, I’m fully in favour of Lalonde encourages residents to HOLLABACK ottawa.ihollaback.org Derry said, “I’m not that prostitutes having full take a stand against harassment, patient.” recourse to protection whether by calling out street harass“But patience is what’s needed to under the law in every way and having ers directly, checking in with someone build a safer community,” Hajali said. full access to health services.” who’s been harassed to see if they’re “You can’t build a safe community After Worsfold spoke, Julie Lalonde, okay, or sharing experiences on Holby isolating a section of it. This is the the site director of Hollaback Ottawa, laback’s website and social media. problem. Vanier is becoming the place talked about street harassment. Hollaback’s website also has practiwhere you’re pushing people out who “Your neighbourhood is the same cal, detailed advice on how to safely have called Vanier their home for as every other neighbourhood when intervene when one sees harassment, many, many years.” it comes to street harassment, but the Lalonde says. From Vanier’s gentrification to on- perception is that it’s sketchier here,” For past coverage connected to going sex-worker sweeps dating back Lalonde said. “The fact that we exist in this story, visit the Ottawa several years, efforts to make the com- 64 cities in 22 countries tells you that munity safer often create an “us and there isn’t a neighbourhood, there isn’t section of dailyxtra.com and search them” mentality. Prostitutes of Ot- a city, there isn’t a country in the world for “Hollaback” and “sex worker tawa/Gatineau Work, Educate and that’s really figured out how to address sweeps.” MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

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OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


Priape saved from extinction by new owners Montreal only Priape store reopening; three others closed permanently BUSINESS NEWS ANDREA HOUSTON

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Priape’s agship Montreal store is staying open, but the Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver locations are gone for good. Denis Leblanc, formerly the general manager at Priape Inc, has announced he is one of two new owners of the company. The other new owner is Stephen Pevner, a New York ďŹ lm and theatre producer, reports Fugues magazine in Montreal. “As of today around 10:30, I am now co-owner of the new Priape 2.0! Our purchase offer was heard and granted by a Qc Superior Court Judge!â€? Leblanc announced Oct 30 on his Facebook page. On Oct 21, LeBlanc conďŹ rmed the gay retailer had been under bankruptcy protection since June 27. He said that Priape had been struggling since Health Canada demanded retailers take poppers off the shelves. Now, LeBlanc says the Montrealbased company has been rescued from bankruptcy. However, the company will continue to exist only on Ste Catherine Street in Montreal. The Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver stores will not reopen.

Priape Montreal has been saved; however, the Toronto store, shown here, will not reopen.

“Our purchase offer was heard and granted by a Quebec Superior Court Judge,� LeBlanc says. He declined to comment further or provide details of the sale, promising a press release “soon.� When Xtra called, LeBlanc was in the process of reopening the Montreal store. “I am just calling a locksmith now to change all the locks back to what they were,� he says. “We have to

change the accounting system. I want the lights to stay on, the phones to stay on. I need the insurance to stay on. I have to call 250 suppliers of stock to tell them I need everything yesterday.� Customers outside Quebec can continue to buy products online at priape.com. For more on this story, go to dailyxtra.com.

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Travel

Edible Key West Exploring the Conch Republic one bite at a time STORY & PHOTOS BY LESLEY FRASER

As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, Canadians start to daydream about sunny, southern getaways. Gay and lesbian foodies should consider an old standby: Key West. Like Provincetown in the northeast, the continental United States’ southernmost city was geographically isolated until well into the 20th century and also became a haven for artists and homos. But even if it looks a bit like New England, its lush vegetation, riotous colour and Spanish feel make it more Caribbean than Floridian. And as the Conchs, as the locals are known, like to say, “the Puritans never made it this far south.” Maybe that’s why the food’s better. If you like your travel themed, consider one of the many festivals and events that fill the calendar, from the bacchanalian Fantasy Fest to the Hemingway Days Festival to the annual fishing tournament. Sadly, the shortlived ChickenFest (which celebrated the town’s ubiquitous free-roaming poultry) is no more, but food tourists have other options. A highlight is the five-year-old Food and Wine Festival, which this year kicks off with a beach party on Jan 22 and runs through the 26th (if you’re really keen, you could start the weekend before, at the Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival). Mustdos include the Let Them Eat Cake masquerade party at the Green Pineapple boutique; the mile-long Duval Uncorked, a drinking and eating tour of the famous strip’s restaurants, shops and galleries; the Key West Kitchen 14 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 XTRA!

Tour, which stops at a number of local restaurants; the Master Chef’s Classic culinary tasting and competition; and the wonderful shrimp boil (where you’ll gorge on the famous Key West pinks) at the Hogfish Bar & Grill, located one island over at the decidedly down-market Stock Island shrimp docks. Various seminars are still being scheduled, but if chef Martin Liz’s Conch cooking class is offered, go. Key West has a number of high-end food spots — Latitudes, in the Westin Resort on Sunset Key, is a standout (their poached lobster on polenta was voted best main at last year’s Master Chef ’s competition) — but some of its best are very casual. Blue Heaven is famous for its breakfast but also its key-lime pie, so plan more than one visit if you’re not the sort who eats pie in the morning. The shaded patio at the beautiful Azur restaurant makes for a relaxing start to the day. Be sure to stop for Cuban coffee at the 5 Brothers sandwich shop. Their Cuban mix sandwich is also top-notch, as is El Siboney’s, which offers a range of authentic Cuban food in a sit-down environment. Pepe’s Cafe, established in 1909, is the oldest restaurant in the Keys, and its low-key patio is the perfect spot for an afternoon refresher. The Half Shell Raw Bar, at the Historic Seaport, has 50-cent oysters at happy hour. East Coasters craving the accents of home should brave the cruise-ship crowds on lower Duval and stop for fritters at the Conch Shack, run by transplanted Newfoundlander Matt McKnight; it’s always open except during the Super Bowl and hurricanes. For lunch or dinner, Paseo’s is

Western Union’s cruises, top, sail on one of the oldest working wooden schooners in the US. Above, participants at Chef Martin Liz’s Conch cooking seminar, offered at last year’s Food and Wine Festival, learned how to roast a whole pig. Hogfish Bar & Grill, right, is located on gritty Stock Island, next to the shrimp docks.

renowned for its Caribbean fare, particularly the fire-roasted corn. Italian-influenced Salute, sister resto to Blue Heaven, is right on Higgs Beach and a great place to drop in after a swim. Abbondanza is an old-fashioned Italian-American joint (think eggplant parm, shrimp scampi, pasta puttanesca) with huge portions. A visit to Garbo’s Grill is a must, provided they’re not closed because it’s

raining or they went to the beach or their fish suppliers didn’t deliver. Run by Eli and Kenna Pancamo, it’s the only food truck in town; word is that the loophole they came in through has been closed and they’ll soon move into a bricks-and-mortar location, so get there while you can, just in case any of the magic is lost. The shrimp and mahimahi tacos are fantastic. If your sweet tooth calls, stop in at OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


Getting around Key West is easily navigated by foot or on two wheels, so if you arrived by car, park it and leave it and consider renting a bike: there are no hills, traffic moves slowly, drivers are respectful, parking is free, and with all the booze and food you’ll be taking in, you’ll want to burn off some calories. There are lots of shops to rent from (most offer bikes and mopeds), and many will drop off at and pick up from hotels. Moped Hospital’s one-speed cruisers aren’t fancy, but the big baskets up front are handy and their rates are among the lowest in town. A trolley tour is a great way to get an overview of Key West’s geography and history. The Conch Tour Train, which offers a 90-minute narrated tour, has been in operation since 1958. Old Town Trolley and City View tours let passengers get on and off at various points, and every Saturday at 4pm, the slightly cheesy gay and lesbian trolley tour, operated by the chamber of commerce, takes a 70-minute spin through the town’s queer points of interest.

Where to stay PEARL’S This charming guesthouse used to be women-only and is now “all-welcoming,” but it’s still very female-centric. Located near the quiet end of Duval Street, its buildings include a former cigar factory and the attached workers’ cottages. The patio bar is a popular spot for an afternoon drink. ISLAND HOUSE I can speak only from hearsay, since this all-male, clothingoptional resort has a strict no-women policy. Word is that things get fun around the pool in the afternoon. And the rooms sound fine, too. ALEXANDER’S This lovely 17-room gay-owned guesthouse has tasteful and simple décor, clothing-optional decks, delicious breakfasts and a congenial happy hour peopled by its many return guests. THE GARDENS HOTEL If money’s no object, this is your spot. At one time the largest private estate in town, it was named “the prettiest hotel in Key West” by The New York Times. Even if you can’t afford to check in, check out the Sundaynight jazz in the stunning garden. Top, the Garbo’s Grill food truck is a must-visit. Above, the shrimp boil at Hogfish Bar & Grill is a highlight of the annual Food and Wine Festival.

Key West Cakes for delicious cupcakes and baked goods or for a slice of key lime pie at any number of places; you’ll find four of the big purveyors along Greene Street — look for the green-and-white-clad baker outside Kermit’s, at the corner of Elizabeth, and take it from there. If you’d like to try your hand at making your own, pick up a copy of David Sloan’s definitive Key Lime Pie Cookbook at the wonderful Restaurant Store, a cook’s paradise. Of course, Key West isn’t all about eating and drinking. It’s surrounded by the ocean, after all, so you’ll want to spend some time in the water, on MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

it, or plopped on a beach chair beside it. And it’s chock full of fun spots to explore: whether historical, cultural, architectural, horticultural or just plain sexual. Whatever your tastes, you’ll find plenty to gorge on in this charming and fascinating town. For more Key West adventures, visit dailyxtratravel.com.

On the web fla-keys.com gaykeywestfl.com keywestfoodandwinefestival.com

What to read KEY WEST ON THE EDGE: INVENTING THE CONCH REPUBLIC Robert Kerstein’s fascinating, scholarly yet accessible book examines how this unlikely city became a tourist mecca. THE FLORIDA KEYS: A HISTORY & GUIDE Acclaimed novelist Joy Williams’s anti-guide is one of the most candid and unlikely travel books ever written — it never shies away from the dark side of Florida tourism while displaying the author’s passion for the region. QUIT YOUR JOB AND MOVE TO KEY WEST: THE COMPLETE GUIDE Part guidebook, part self-help, part practical how-to, lots of silliness, from Christopher Shultz and David Sloan, who write from experience.

XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 15


STAY AND PLAY IN MONTEBELLO

gras, beef tartare and roast piglet. The extensive wine cellar can provide the perfect pairing for any dish. For more casual meals, the Seigneurie Bar serves bistro fare — French onion soup, steak-frites and duck confit — prepared to the same exacting standards. Guests can also arrange to dine poolside or on the terrace. Activities around the hotel vary by season. Summer vacationers can enjoy golf, kayaking, tennis, white-water rafting and horseback riding. Winters offer unbeatable skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and romantic sleigh rides. Autumn and spring provide spectacular views of the changing foliage or the budding greenery in unspoiled forests. Adjacent to the stunning indoor pool and fitness centre, guests will find a world-class spa facility offering a wide array of treatments and packages. Services range from basic facials and pedicures to couples’ fireside massages complete with champagne and skin treatments that incorporate local mud. And since it’s Quebec, maple syrup isn’t just for the kitchen; guests will find it blended into a number of unique facial and body-scrub treatments. —Chris Dupuis

The central château features a massive six-sided fireplace.

Into the woods

Fairmont’s Château Montebello is the ultimate in rustic elegance Situated along the Ottawa River, between Ottawa and Montreal, with a view of the Laurentian Mountains, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello has that perfect blend of rustic elegance and modern-day amenities. Built originally as a private retreat in 1930, it opened its doors to the public in 1970 and has played host to numerous foreign dignitaries and celebrities, including Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Its 211 guest rooms range from basic accommodations to luxurious suites equipped with Jacuzzis. Constructed from giant cedar logs

shipped from the West Coast, the building’s chalet-inspired décor complements its natural charm. The central château that houses all the guest rooms has a three-storey atrium with a massive six-sided fireplace at its heart; it’s a perfect place to cuddle up on a romantic getaway. Quebec native Jean-François Fortin serves as executive chef, overseeing Château Montebello’s renowned cuisine with a focus on regional flavours. Aux Chantignoles restaurant provides a fine-dining experience with an everchanging menu, including vegan, raw and macrobiotic fare, along with such French-influenced staples as foie

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Unwind in the wilderness. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Outaouais valley on the banks of the Ottawa River, Quebec’s historic log château is surrounded by forests, rivers and mountains. Our famed resort offers rustic elegance, tranquil surroundings, fine dining, a luxurious spa, warm hospitality and a host of year-round activities. Take some time to unwind! R E S E RVAT ION S

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Now closer than ever via Highway 50! Only 45 minutes from the Ottawa/Gatineau area. OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


STAY AND PLAY IN MONTEBELLO

A great escape in the Outaouais In contrast to typically noisy, gas-powered ATVs, Camp Explora’s Bombardiers run in near silence without polluting

Camp Explora combines treasure hunting, history and ATVs Camp Explora, in Montebello, Quebec, has quickly become one of the Outaouais region’s number-one attractions. Exciting outdoor activities are the game-adventure company’s expertise, specifically its ATV mystery safari, in which participants board electric ATVs for a 90-minute iPadguided tour of the region. In contrast to typically noisy, gas-powered ATVs, Camp Explora’s Bombardiers run in near silence without polluting. Visitors travel along trails and secondary roads, exploring the area’s natural beauty while collecting clues hidden on Mount Wescott and trying to solve a mystery. Those who uncover the secret have their names entered in a monthly draw. Hot summers and cold winters mean participants should consider their wardrobes in advance. Staff members recommend winter

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coats, ski pants and boots as early as November. Mud gets tossed up from the ATVs, so light colours are discouraged and raingear is always handy for unexpected storms. ATV outings end Dec 1, when the trails are turned over to cross-country skiers. However, the fun continues with a snowshoe treasure hunt for the winter months. After your scenic escapade, head indoors to warm up. Built in 1931 by Swiss-American entrepreneur Harold M Saddlemire, Camp Explora’s base camp was once the vacation home of the private and exclusive Seigniory Club, whose members included heads of state and business leaders. Nestled among gigantic white pines and granite boulders, the red-cedar structure was built by the same architects and craftsmen who constructed the nearby Château Montebello.

Electric ATVs transport guests on Camp Explora's mystery safari tours.

The base camp houses a minimuseum on the history of the Club and Mount Wescott. It features original club magazines, promotional material and furniture, as well as details on the rich and famous who spent time there. You’ll also find the Africaninfluenced tearoom, which serves light meals from locally sourced produce, including a homemade cream-of-carrot soup that is quickly winning fans. Cuddle up on one of the large couches in front of the two-storey fireplace and enjoy the amazing view and the beautiful Siberian huskies playing outside before heading back out into the snowy forest. — Chris Dupuis campexplora.ca

XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 17


A world of gay adventure

Travel

TOURISME MONTREAL, FRÉDÉRIQUE MÉNARD-AUBIN

TOURISME MONTREAL, MIGUEL LEGAULT

Montreal snow job The city famous for its hot summer nightlife also provides a brilliant winter escape MATTHEW HAYS

When people hear the word “Montreal,” they tend to think of gorgeous, hot nights and raunchy sex in back alleys. Well, I know some of you do, anyway. But given its European architecture, vibrant cultural institutions and beautiful parks, Montreal is a city that’s well worth checking out in winter. Cold weather makes for a great excuse to spend time indoors, in particular at several of Montreal’s beautiful museums. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a vast permanent collection but also features strong rotating exhibits year-round. The museum itself is an architectural wonder; the old building sits on the north side of Sherbrooke Street, and the new progressive bit of architecture sits on the south. The gift shop is one of the best in the city and the second-floor restaurant is divine. The Canadian Centre for Architecture has one of the largest collections of prints, drawings, photographs and models relating to architecture in the world. The building itself is worth a tour and the bookshop is unbeatable. The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on the works of Quebec artists but also boasts an intriguing number of works by Canadian artists. The current exhibit, 18 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 XTRA!

Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (which runs until Jan 5, 2014), is getting rave reviews. Essential to any stay in Montreal is a visit to the Biodome, an eco-museum where visitors can sample various climates and the plants and animals that inhabit them. Since its opening in 1992, the Biodome has seen millions check out vast rooms that recreate faraway climes, including “tropical rainforest,” “Laurentian maple forest,” “Labrador coast” and “Gulf of St Lawrence.” The people behind the Biodome also run the Botanical Gardens — which features all sorts of rare, exotic plants — and the Insectarium, a museum of unusual bugs. Another fun museum is the Montreal Science Centre, in Old Montreal, which features year-round exhibits on various topics and includes an IMAX theatre that screens educational films. Wintry fun can be found at the Parc Jean-Drapeau, where every year a massive snow village is created. There is a 25-room hotel made entirely of ice and a restaurant that seats 100, but kitsch enthusiasts will really get a kick out of the snow-and-ice replica of New York City. For those who are travelling with children, there are train rides and snowsculpture workshops specifically for kids. There is ice skating at the Parc La-

fontaine, a delightfully picturesque park that lies just north of the Village. And on a mild, clear day, a walk up Mount Royal Park is just fantastic and offers a beautiful view of the city. The lookout features a panoramic view, and hot chocolate is served in the colder months. The Highlights Festival (or Festival Montréal en Lumière, is a celebration of light in the winter, to be held this year Feb 20 to March 2. It’s based in scenic Old Montreal and the downtown arts district and features food, film screenings, music and dance performances, and art exhibits. The newest event is Igloofest, which will run Jan 16 to Feb 8. When it started seven years ago, it proved an instant hit, with thousands of fans dancing in the snowy Old Port to the beat and hum of electronic music. What is basically a wintry outdoor rave continues to grow in popularity. Montreal, home of the legendary Canadiens, is a hub for our national sport of hockey. Jock enthusiasts will want to check out the Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame, where the history of the team, founded in 1909, and Montrealers’ longstanding love for it, is recounted in a number of exhibits. Another bit of hockey history can be found in the Montreal Forum, where hockey games and

TOURISME MONTREAL, STÉPHAN POULIN

Clockwise from top left: Montréal en Lumière is a dazzling showcase of performing arts and gastronomy; Igloofest guarantees one of the hottest nights of winter; Mount Royal Park has sleigh rides and one of the best views of the city.

concerts were held from 1924 to 1996, when the complex was transformed into an entertainment centre, featuring a 22-screen cinema complex, restaurants, pool tables and bowling alleys. There are statues of famous hockey players to commemorate the centre’s origins. You can grope them if you’re feeling really hard up. Okay, I know who I’m writing for. I realize many of you may be rolling your eyes at this point and thinking, “Enough with the culture! Who do you think you are, Peggy Guggenheim?” So I’ll end with a reminder that Montreal’s nightlife remains intact, even in winter. Get off at Metro Berri-UQAM, then head east. There are a bunch of drinking holes and clubs to check out, all in close proximity. As well, after walking around in a

bunch of layers, you will undoubtedly want to take off some clothes at the end of the day — and you might want to watch others take off their clothes, too. The top strip clubs in Montreal include the jock-centric Campus, the raunch-infused Stock Bar, and the borderline-NAMBLA headquarters Taboo. And then there are the one-ofa-kind Montreal queer institutions: Cabaret Mado, run by the city’s legendary drag queen Mado (and featuring nightly drag shows), and the Royal Phoenix, the city’s sole out-of-Village queer nightclub, located in the hipster Mile End neighbourhood.

On the web: museesmontreal.org montreal.com/tourism/festivals tourisme-montreal.org OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


MY

Up on the roof

Montreal

The Norwegian Breakaway will feature a screening of After Stonewall. NCL

From favourite events to hidden gems off the beaten path, My Montreal gets the inside scoop from local residents about what not to miss when visiting the city. In this installment we asked actor/performer/ genderbender Antonio Bavaro to name a favourite haunt.  

FILM FEST CRUISES

“My answer to what to look out for in Montreal may sound unconventional, but it’s rooftops — all and any of them! They are the best places to see Mount Royal, some of the world’s best graffiti art, multitudes of bronzed church spires looming over quickly gentrifying neighbourhoods, and to watch your neighbours getting dirty in the condo next door while having some brewskies with your buds. A bit of privacy and uplifting perspective in an oft-busy yet beautiful city!” Check out other recommendations in the My Montreal series on dailyxtratravel.com.

Two upcoming Pride of the Ocean cruises, billed as the only “floating film festival,” will commemorate the 45th anniversary of Stonewall and National Coming Out Day.  In June 2014, a Pride of the Ocean cruise will mark the June 1969 Stonewall rebellion — and the company’s fifth anniversary. The new Norwegian Breakaway will set sail June 1 from New York City for a seven-day cruise to Bermuda. Featured films will reflect the many changes that have

Montreal’s rooftops offer spectacular views of the city. STÉPHAN POULIN, TOURISM MONTREAL

taken place since Stonewall in politics, history, religion and America’s “second religion” — sports. Confirmed is a screening of After Stonewall, which first aired nationally on PBS for the 30th anniversary of Stonewall.  In October 2014, a Pride of the Ocean cruise will set sail from Honolulu on National Coming Out Day, Oct 11. The seven-day Hawaiian Islands cruise aboard Norwegian’s Pride of America will focus on Asian/Pacific LGBT films.

A sampler weekend cruise, A Taste of Pride of the Ocean, will sail in January 2014. It departs from Miami for Nassau on Jan 31, returning to Miami on Feb 3. Organizers say that since the ship is heading for the Bahamas, the cruise will feature a screening of Bahamian film director Kareem Mortimer’s film Children of God.  For more information or to register for these cruises, visit prideoftheocean.com.

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#news #arts #travel #events Everything gay, every day. MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 19


Charlotte loved Margaret Was Ottawa’s former mayor in a ‘Boston marriage’? FROM OUR ARCHIVES DEREK MEADE

To celebrate Xtra’s 20 years of publishing to Ottawa’s gay and lesbian community, we’re digging through our archives to reprint a selection of noteworthy stories that highlight our community’s rich history. “Charlotte Loved Margaret” first appeared in Capital Xtra #66, Feb 19, 1999.

L

ast month, the National Archives of Canada opened the last and most eagerly awaited of Charlotte Whitton’s 134 boxes of personal papers, making the outspoken former mayor of Ottawa and child-welfare advocate once again the subject of controversy. The box, which Whitton wished to remain closed until 1999, contains hundreds of letters written by Whitton over the course of two years to her housemate and long-time companion, Margaret Grier. Grier died in 1947. The box contains a file folder filled with correspondence between the two women and letters to Grier that appear to be Whitton’s attempt to purge the guilt she felt for being absent when Grier died. Whitton was in Alberta, where she was facing libel charges because of her harsh criticisms of adoption policies in that province at the time. It is the nature of these letters that has sparked the controversy, for they reveal an intimate and loving relationship between the two women that spanned the course of 30 years. Charlotte Whitton was an aggressive feminist to be sure, but was she also a lesbian? There will never be a definite answer to this question, but a glance at her life and at her relationship with Grier may provide some clues. It’s important to remember that Whitton’s coming of age was at a time vastly different than the one we live in today — a time when women were expected to marry and never live alone. Those who did pursue a career over marriage faced a bleak and lonely future. Whitton was often described as “mannish” and “unladylike” because of her 20 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 XTRA!

masculine hairstyle and distaste for fashion. She explained away her short hair by saying it was “less trouble in the wind.” In school, she excelled at sports, especially field hockey and basketball. It was while she was studying at Queen’s University that she had her first and only romance with a man, by the name of Bill King. This “courting” was done mostly through correspondence, and it appears that King was rather more of a handsome and convenient escort for Whitton than a serious romantic relationship. Whitton, who was fiercely independent, could not accept the role of wife and mother for herself but fully believed that a woman’s place was either in this traditional role or as a celibate activist for social welfare. She believed celibacy was the only route for an independent woman to achieve her goals, since it allowed a woman to focus all her energies on social work. One of her most important role models was Elizabeth Tudor, the virgin queen, who seemed to epitomize this attitude. Whitton’s parents had a strained marriage; there was a lot of tension in her family home, and this too could have influenced her decision not to marry. Whitton also had a profound fear of dying in anonymity, which surely would have happened if she had opted for marriage. Whether or not she hid her lesbianism behind these ideals will never be known. An important factor to consider is that Whitton was also a devout Anglican, and to be a lesbian during her era would have been very traumatic for her. Also, as a woman who needed a paycheque, any risk of scandal would have been disastrous to her career.

As a feminist, Whitton believed in and fought for equal pay and equal opportunities for women in the public and private sector, although she did not believe in married women working outside of the home and held very conservative views on abortion and divorce. Her views on sexuality have been described as “prudish.” Her relationship with Margaret Grier, however, indicates a kinder, gentler side of Charlotte Whitton. The two women met in Toronto, where they were both residents at the Kappa Alpha Theta society house on the campus of the University of Toronto. Whitton accepted a position in 1918 as assistant secretary with the Social Service Council of Canada, and Grier worked with the juvenile court, the Big Sisters Association and the Girl Guides. In Grier, Whitton had found a soul mate, even though the two seemed to have very diverse natures. Grier is described as shy, fair and quiet, with delicate features and a calm spirit. Whitton, younger by four years, was considered intimidating, confrontational, ambitious and egotistical. Whatever their differences, the pairing was perfect for them. In 1922, they moved to Ottawa together in order to advance Whitton’s career in social work and to allow her to pursue her goals in government. They set up house together and lived in a “Boston marriage” type of relationship, a term used in the late 19th century to describe a long-term monogamous relationship between two unmarried women, most likely feminists, who were financially independent of men either through inheritance or career. This arrangement was socially acceptable at the time, since women sometimes chose a career over marriage, or for whatever reasons found themselves “spinsters.” Living alone was neither socially acceptable nor financially possible. The two women had many nicknames for each other, such as “Mardie,” “Putty,” “Pussy” and “Red Cat” in reference to Grier, while Whitton’s nicknames included “Lawrie,” “Charlie,” “Charles,” “Sharl,” “Lot” and “Rags.” Whitton often wrote poetry to OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


Whatever my sex, I’m no lady. Charlotte Whitton was an aggressive feminist, but was she also a lesbian? COVER PHOTO FROM LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA, PA-121981

Grier. A sample verse is sure to raise a few queer eyebrows, although it was not uncommon for single women of that era to romanticize their same-sex friendships: So softly your tired head would lie With gentle heaviness upon my breast And knowing but each others’ arms Desiring nothing more we two would rest They also owned a cottage together, on McGregor Lake, and escaped many a humid Ottawa summer weekend there. One letter written by Grier to Whitton while she was away on business — which was often — seems to sum up the nature of their relationship: “Just two nights gone and I’m so lonesome I could cry whenever I stop to think for a minute — Oh Lawrie, dear, I’m just about crazy all the time you are away from me.” In letters written to Grier after her death, Whitton bares her soul. She wrote flowery and romantic prose to Grier, such as in a letter written on Dec 31, 1947, her first letter to Grier after her death: “Oh! Mardie, Mardie, Mardie, how can I go on? Ours wasn’t love, it was a knitting together of mind and spirit; it was something given to few of God.” In another letter: “Mardie, dear. Once again, just you and I together alone tonight veiled from my sight and withheld from my embraces.” Whitton was also upset that Grier had burned a majority of the letters sent her prior to her death, an act that raises the question, why? Was Grier embarrassed or ashamed of the relationship or just a particularly fastidious housekeeper? There is also the question as to why Whitton requested the final box of papers sealed for 24 years after her death in 1975. Was she concerned that the contents would be misconstrued and point at a lesbian relationship? Did she think the late 1990s would be a more accepting time for the contents to be revealed? Or was it out of respect for the reputations of colleagues that she often criticized in her correspondence? Again, we’ll never know the real answers to these questions. One thing is clear, however. Whatever the relationship between Charlotte Whitton and Margaret Grier, it was indeed one based on love, admiration, compatibility and respect. Grier’s death was a severe blow to Whitton, and aroused in her profound feelings of loneliness and regret. Whitton felt a strong need to keep Grier as close to her as possible in the years following her death. From the letters, it appears that Grier’s memory gave Whitton the strength she needed to become a political force in a man’s world — a force we remember — who caused more than one man to curse in exasperation, “That damn woman!” MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

Was it lesbian love? Was former Ottawa mayor and child welfare advocate Charlotte Whitton a lesbian? The question was the basis of an Ottawa Citizen story last month featuring newly released personal letters from Whitton to her long-time “companion,” Margaret Grier. “The bottom line is that we don’t know for sure,” says Barbara Freeman, who covered Whitton’s funeral in 1975 for CBC Radio. “We do know that they had an extremely passionate relationship that certainly could be called emotionally lesbian, whether or not they actually had sex,” says Freeman, a lesbian scholar and now associate professor of journalism at Carleton University. “When she was alive, people might have suspected that she was a little queer.” Freeman says the debate generated by the Citizen story shows how people are labelled. “People aren’t ready to call [Whitton] a lesbian unless they know [Whitton and Grier] had sex together.” “People are still assuming that the labels belong with sexual activity, whereas there are lots of people who are celibate who are also gay. Whether or not she got it on with this woman has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not she was a lesbian,” Freeman says. Queer historian Steven Maynard is familiar with the kind of debate surrounding the Whitton identity. “These are debates that have been playing within lesbian historiography for a long time,” he says. “It’s a fairly central debate about whether there has to be evidence of sexual relations between two women in the past to qualify them as belonging to lesbian history, or do we also include that whole other gamut or range of — sometimes fairly intense — emotional relationships between two women without evidence of sexual relations?” Maynard cautions that it isn’t a yes or no answer. “Yes, we should claim her for lesbian history, but let’s be careful about it. Let’s not be uncritical. She had some fairly contradictory political impulses — quite a few of them.” While Whitton is known for her efforts as a child-welfare advocate, at a time before the development of social work, she fell behind contemporary social values, says Norman Dahl. “She got out of step with child welfare and the social welfare movement because she was a very conservative person. She thought communities should look after their own, whereas we [in the 1950s and ’60s] were moving into a whole new philosophy of government social programs,” he says. Dahl worked as an information officer for the Canadian Council on Social Development, the descendant of the agency Whitton led between 1922 and 1941. “I’m 70 years old, and there are not many of us left who remember her legacy as a very important person in the field of child welfare,” says Dalh, who has lived in the Ottawa area with his lover, George Wilkes, since the 1950s. Dahl believes Whitton wanted to come out posthumously. “She wanted us to know all about this. I think it was a very beautiful thing to do. She wanted us to know, and it was very important to her.” Dahl says it was important to Whitton that her letters become public given that — at the time — Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal government was decriminalizing gay sex. “When she was living with Marty [Grier] all those years, we were still illegal. You couldn’t talk about being gay in those days, certainly not [as] a public figure.” Was Whitton’s relationship to Grier sexual? “She exuded energy and she looked like a very well-put-together person and, I think, very fulfilled at home, but you don’t know,” he says. “What’s wrong with thinking that this was a physical relationship? If it was, fine. If it wasn’t, it’s really none of our damn business,” he says. “I like to think it was.” “She was a beautiful writer,” he says. “The woman had a real command of the language.” “For goodness sake, I think the warmth of those letters is quite clear,” he says. “I like to think she had a wonderful relationship.” —Philip Hannan

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OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


Out in the City

I like things to be fun. I like things to be pretty. I’m a little bit serious because I’m not a total wingnut, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to be fun and being happy. Bhat Boy E26

The poster boy for dreams come true Andrew Binks’s novel Strip translates painful experiences to art

Though it continues to thrive in different form, the Le Folichon of the early 1980s was a kind of club that no longer exists, a transition point Despite setting up as a downward-spiral narrative, between the burlesque theatres of old and the Andrew Binks’s second novel, Strip, is actually flesh palaces of today. Performances included a more an optimistic coming-of-age story that walks feathers-and-sequins show along with convena fuzzy line between memoir and fiction. tional stripping and table dances. The clientele “It’s certainly not an autobiography, because was divided equally between men and women, my life wouldn’t have been that interesting in who often came as couples, and the club featured the space of one year,” the Ottawa native laughs. both male and female dancers. “At one point I was definitely extremely naive When Binks was first hired, he thought he could and lost. Writing this book meant plumbing the just put his dance training to use in the Vegas-style depths of certain decisions I’d made. There were show, but he was quickly informed he’d have to days I was working on this when I looked back at bare all if he wanted to keep working. my life and wondered what the hell I was doing “Of course I was nervous, but part of me was and why I made certain bad decisions.” very intrigued by the idea of stripping,” he says. The book opens with his wide-eyed protagonist, “There was this voice inside that said, Someday John, naked in a stairwell. The 20-something it will make a good story, even though it took me ex–ballet dancer now working as a stripper has a long time to write about it.” escaped a violent trick clothed only in a bed sheet. Despite working in the sex business, Binks — Forced to confront his situation, he makes a men- and his character — maintained a certain naiveté tal survey of the last year of his life, pondering about sex. exactly how it came to this. “Growing up, my only reference point for being “John isn’t self-destructive as much as a naive gay was the dirty old men that wanted to fondle dreamer who gets himself into bad situations,” children my parents warned me about,” he says. Binks says. “There’s a lot of life he hasn’t lived, “I avoided sex for a long time because of that. I so he doesn’t always make the best decisions. wasn’t going to clubs, doing poppers, all the stuff But he’s also very lucky in certain circumstances. that was a part of sex culture at the time. When At one point, he calls himself the poster boy for I finally started to accept myself as gay, I was dreams come true.” dreaming of sex and love together, which meant While successfully climbing the ranks of a finding a monogamous partnership.” Western Canadian ballet company, John falls for His relationship with sexuality during that a Montreal choreographer, abruptperiod also reflects in the book’s ly quits his job and heads for La treatment of AIDS. Like any gay STRIP BY ANDREW BINKS Belle Ville in search of true love. narrative set in the 1980s, the Reading and launch party When both the relationship and disease looms in the background, Thurs, Nov 14, 6–8pm his dance career quickly fizzle, he though less overtly than in most After Stonewall 370 Bank St finds himself hard up for cash and writing about the time. andrewbinks.ca takes a job stripping, a narrative “AIDS felt like something hapthat loosely parallels Binks’s own pening in New York City more than life. After attending the Royal Winnipeg Ballet something happening around me,” Binks says. School, the Ottawa native bought a one-way ticket “I wasn’t a very social person, so I didn’t have as for Montreal, hoping to launch his dance career. much of a community to be destroyed. I felt like But when things failed to spark, he took a job at more of an observer than a participant.” the eccentric suburban Quebec City strip club Le He pauses, tearing up. “At the same time, I reFolichon (rechristened Chez Moritz in the book). gret not being there as much as I could have been, IN PRINT CHRIS DUPUIS

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knowing how quickly people were going to die. But I was so tied up in my own drama at that point, I’ve had to forgive myself for a lot of what happened.” Translating painful experiences to art requires a certain distance, something Binks has found two decades later, living comfortably in rural Prince Edward County with his partner of 14 years and their poodle, Hugo. “There’s a kind of nostalgia that happens in my writing when remembering a place or situation,” he says. “It’s more about how I would have liked things to be than how they actually were.”

At one point I was definitely extremely naive and lost. Writing this book meant plumbing the depths of certain decisions I’d made. XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 23


Mindful of tradition and history, a ‘new guard’ of youth, women and trans people joins forces with the men in Ottawa’s welcoming and vibrant leather community

Changing of the guard COMMUNITY JULIE CRUIKSHANK

You could say that Ottawa is a city with two faces. On the one hand, it’s a government town full of public servants and politicians, giving it an air of bureaucratic nine-to-five respectability. This staid, official image probably goes a long way in contributing to the oft-repeated, tired trope that Ottawa doesn’t know how to have fun. On the other hand, Ottawa is a city with a young and vital population and is rife with live shows and art festivals, board game nights and craft workshops. The city many of us inhabit is a vibrant, active place where there’s something happening every night. And with a burgeoning leather scene that boasts one of the biggest competitions in Canada, Mr Leather Ottawa (MLO), it’s clear that for many people when the ties come off, the hoods go on. The leather community can trace its origins back to the 1940s and the Second World War, when the combination of all-male battalions living in close 24 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 XTRA!

quarters and specialized militaristic gear gave rise to a new subculture. Today, that subculture includes other aspects of kink and fetish, including BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) play and the now iconic “biker” look. It also isn’t limited to men, with plenty of women and genderqueer folks getting in on the action. In Ottawa, the scene includes a growing number of young people in their 20s and 30s who are making it their own. “I think there’s definitely a perception that the leather community is only for men, specifically middle-aged men,” says Valerie Bishop, 27, a relatively new face in the leather community who has become involved with the MLO organizing committee. “Being a young female entering the leather community, the case can be stated that I am a double minority. With that said, I haven’t found that my gender has affected my reception at events I’ve been to, nor has it affected how my peers in the community see me... I have been treated as an equal, even though I am new to the scene and still learning so

much from others,” Bishop says. That willingness to learn is very much key when it comes to breaking into the leather community. “There’s a misconception that the leather community isn’t welcoming of younger folks, but don’t believe it for a second,” says Jeremy Feist, who runs a meet-and-greet night in Toronto for people aged 19 to 35. “I would, however, say to young people looking to get into the community that it is something of a meritocracy. You don’t get a medal just for showing up. If you’re willing to learn, help out where you can, and show due respect to others, that’ll go a lot further than any leather jockstrap or harness,” he says. Like any community, the leather scene has had to move with the times, becoming more accommodating and making room for new faces. “[The Ottawa leather scene] has changed tremendously,” says Pat Croteau, executive producer of MLO. “I’m actually very proud of how we’ve opened [MLO] up. We now welcome trans men to the competition, we welcome every-

body to the event, and I think that’s the key to our success, and it’s something other events need to consider.” The proof is clearly in the pudding — MLO is now in its 21st consecutive year, and in 2012, more than 600 people attended the stage show alone. Lack of interest is obviously not a problem the organizers have to contend with. “You have to open yourself to people of different sexual orientations, different genders, different interests, so that you can have an event anybody is comfortable going to,” Croteau says. Being open and accommodating is especially important in Ottawa, where the overall fetish scene is relatively small compared to bigger cities. People with all kinds of varied interests, from leather to puppy play to rubber and beyond, find themselves intermingling and overlapping at venues and events simply because the community isn’t large enough for groups to have their own dedicated spaces and gatherings. “Ottawa, because of its size, is much smaller and more condensed,” says John Letke, 25, aka Nizzi Greatpup. OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


There are times when it has to be serious, but the majority of time it’s play, chilling with friends, just having fun. KARL COUTURE

From left, John Letke, aka Nizzi Greatpup, Valerie Bishop and Karl Couture, aka Pup Rolph, are three young members of Ottawa’s leather community. RÉMI THÉRIAULT

MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

A contestant for the MLO 2014 title, Letke is a relative newcomer to the city, having moved from Toronto in June. “You get different groups and cliques within such a large city as Toronto, whereas here everything is much more compounded, and everyone has to get along at the same events,” he says. These close quarters have encouraged an environment of respectful camaraderie in Ottawa’s fetish scene. “Probably the biggest common phrase in Ottawa is ‘Your kink might not be my kink, but it’s your kink and that’s fine,’” Letke says. “Ottawa’s much more open in that regard,” adds Karl Couture, 29 (aka Pup Rolph), the outgoing 2013 titleholder. “You don’t have a strict cookiecutter form; you can be whoever you are and still be able to represent.” When he competed in 2012, Couture didn’t try to fit himself into the mould of what a leatherman is “supposed” to be. “I competed as myself. I didn’t dress the part to be someone I wasn’t; I dressed as who I was,” he says. “The community at large is very open in terms of who it accepts in.” “It’s true that the community is predominantly males, but that in no way means women are not accepted or welcomed,” Bishop adds. “Personally, I’m hoping to work with our other younger members to be living examples for those wanting to get involved. You can be a younger person looking to find a sense of community. You can be a female, wanting to share her passion for leather. I’m hoping that by seeing people like myself, a young female member of the community, it will empower people to reach out and take that first step.” To help things along, MLO and the Ottawa Knights, Ottawa’s main leather organization, are beginning to use social media as a way of reaching out. This allows them to be more targeted in their approach and circumvent more mainstream methods of advertising, which can sometimes be less effective, thanks to the popular misconception

funny stories, so I have no idea what that the community is entirely sexual. it’ll entail. I think it’ll just be a blast.” As Letke and Couture explain, for Having a sense of humour is another many people the fetish community is important aspect of the leather comprimarily about camaraderie and conmunity that tends to be overlooked. necting with others who share similar “There are the times when it has interests. The sexual component is to be serious, but the majority of the present, but not for every individual. time it’s play, chilling with friends, MLO takes place over the weekend just having fun,” Couture says. “And of Nov 8 to 10, with attendees mostly again, that’s what people will not see showing up on the Friday night to meet from the outside.” and mingle before things get into full A lot of the play that takes place is swing on Saturday. Each year the event a way for people to relax and wind offers a number of workshops and down. “It’s different for everybody, but seminars, taught by experts from the everyone is just out looking to enjoy fetish and kink community. themselves after a hard day of work,” “The workshops for us are at the heart he explains. of the event,” Croteau says. “People in For those who are interested in the this city have a real thirst to learn about scene but unsure of how to get involved, sexuality and sexual topics.” Couture has the following advice: “If The workshops are changed up every you’re curious about it, find somebody year to cover a broader range of topics, or find a resource or group that can help but the mandate is always “safe, sane you get into it... Get a group of friends and consensual,” or RACK (risk-aware who you know might be interested to consensual kink). support you. Go to the bar, go to the “It’s one thing we worry about and event, even if it’s just a we feel a responsibilmatter of putting your ity to tell people. Go MR LEATHER OTTAWA toe in the water.” out, yes, and have fun XXI WEEKEND Fri, Nov 8–Sun, Nov 10 With brunches, and do all sorts of Weekend pass (three meals; munches, bar nights crazy stuff and enjoy all events), $145 and meets, as well as the yourself, but first unPackage details and tickets: mrleatherottawa.ca/tickets MLO competition and derstand how to do it events and a growing safely,” Croteau says. MLO COMPETITION & DANCE social media presence, This year, workDoors 8:15pm; contest 9pm there are plenty of ways shops include talks Dance and after-party, 11:30pm St Brigid’s Centre for the Arts to get familiar with the on urethral sounding, 310 Patrick St community and options navigating powerContest tickets $25 at for every type of interexchange relationmrleatherottawa.ca/tickets est and comfort level. ships, and the alwaysWhether you prefer controversial breath bark or bite, the Ottawa leather scene play. There will also be a used gear and clearly has something for everyone. clothing swap, the proceeds of which will benefit the Venus Envy Bursary For more information on the Ottawa Fund. And lest you make the assumpKnights and Ottawa’s leather scene, tion that the leather community is visit ottawaknights.com. all rules and seriousness, one of the highlights of the weekend is a roast of Women interested in the leather scene the outgoing Mr Leather. can check out unholyharvest.ca. The “I am not even sure [what to expect],” main event is based in Toronto, but Couture says. “I know there’s a few there are also happenings that take people who have actually been contactplace in Ottawa. ing everybody and anyone who’s ever come into contact with me to try to find XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 25


Retelling Shakespeare GCTC resurrects Ann-Marie MacDonald’s beloved 1988 play Playing the lead in Goodnight Des- reading. I was panicking and judging demona (Good Morning Juliet) was a myself the whole way through. A week two-decades-long dream for Margo later they called and offered me the MacDonald. Enraptured with the play part.” since seeing the 1990 touring version Author Ann-Marie MacDonald’s as a first-year University of Ottawa feminist rethinking of Shakespeare student, she’d always hoped the role follows the exploits of a PhD candidate would someday be hers. That’s why it caught under an academic glass ceiling was so disappointing to walk out of the who sets out to prove the Bard’s greataudition for the current Great Canadian est tragedies were actually comedies. Theatre Company proAfter learning that the duction last summer position she wanted GOODNIGHT DESDEMONA (GOOD MORNING JULIET) thoroughly convinced at Oxford University Tues, Nov 26–Sun, Dec 15 she’d blown it. has been offered to anGreat Canadian “Auditioning is alother professor, ConTheatre Company 1233 Wellington St W ways nerve-wracking stance finds herself gctc.ca and even more so accidently transported when you’re going for into the middle of both a part you want so badly,” MacDonald Othello and Romeo and Juliet, where she says. “The show had a huge influence rearranges both plots and finds herself on me in my early days, and I’d always in the process. wanted to play Constance. But I didn’t “I was already a big fan of Shakespeare feel like I did a great job on the first when I saw the play, but it really changed

the way I thought about his writing,” MacDonald says. “It opened up this idea that we don’t just have to worship him because he’s great. We can also poke fun at the mediocre parts while being respectful at the same time.” In the more than 40 productions staged since its 1988 Toronto premiere, numerous actors (including the author herself ) have taken a stab at the lead. Stepping into a part with so much history can be intimidating, but MacDonald seems unfazed by donning a mantle worn by so many others. “I’ve done a lot of Shakespeare, so I have the experience of taking on iconic roles that audiences may have seen done many times,” she says. “The only way to approach it is to not worry about how it’s been done before and focus on why you were cast and what the director thought you could bring to the role that was unique.” MacDonald found an easy parallel in her own life for accessing her character’s struggle for self-actualization: coming out as queer in a deeply religious family. Though she was already strug-

In accessing her character’s struggle for self-actualization, Margo MacDonald rediscovered the old cliché that art imitates life.

gling with religion as a teen, it wasn’t until her early 20s she was able to leave the church. “At the end of the play we find Constance at the point where she’s just about to embrace herself for who she is, and we know she’s going somewhere

Heroes, heroines and whimsy Recognizable individuals theme of Bhat Boy’s new exhibition

Bhat Boy is a whirl of energy, enthusi- and heroines, from Anne Boleyn to asm and stories. Margaret Atwood to Mayor Jim Watson. For many, being photographed by The idea evolved from his earlier a journalist is something to submit work, which depicted nuns and Mountto politely but without enthusiasm. ies. He was fascinated by iconic cosBhat Boy, a queer Ottawa artist who tumes like nuns’ habits and RCMP in an earlier life was known as Ian Van uniforms, and as he grew more imLock, responds with unprecedented mersed in faceless figures identified exuberance. He runs excitedly to his only by their costumes, he was inevicar to change his shirt and, despite the tably drawn to its opposite — people rain, is happy not only to stand outside who are instantly recognizable as but impulsively jumps in the air for his individuals. photo op. “I didn’t want to do movie stars and “I like things to be celebrities,” he says. “I HEROES AND HEROINES fun,” he says. “I like wanted to do people Fri, Nov 15–Sat, Nov 30 things to be pretty. that I thought were Vernissage Fri, Nov 15, 6–10pm I’m a little bit serious heroes and heroines.” Orange Art Gallery because I’m not a total Inspired by St 233 Armstrong St orangeartgallery.ca wingnut, but I don’t George and The Dragthink there’s anything on, the medieval legwrong with trying to be fun and being end that’s been the subject of art for happy.” centuries, he created Atwood vs Harper, Heroes and Heroines, Bhat Boy’s most which depicts the award-winning aurecent show at Orange Art Gallery, is an thor as St George while the felled dragexhibition of 40 paintings that pay trib- on is none other than Prime Minister ute to historical and present-day heroes Stephen Harper. With the Parliament 26 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 XTRA!

Artist Bhat Boy and gallery owner Ingrid Hollander outside the Orange Art Gallery.

buildings in the background and a Canada goose flying down to place a crown on Atwood’s head, it’s clear who the painter considers the heroine, but the overall feeling of the painting is whimsical. In fact, that’s true of the whole collection, from Sir John A Macdonald and Pierre Trudeau floating through the air holding umbrellas like Mary Poppins, to our current mayor brandishing his water

gun atop his Capital Pride float. While taking in Bhat Boy’s exhibition, you’ll certainly notice the gallery itself, especially if it’s your first visit. Located in Wellington Village, the Hintonburg area, like nearby Westboro, is flourishing with foot traffic, local businesses and an artsy vibe. When Ingrid Hollander and her husband, Matt Jeffrey, opened Orange Art

exciting in her life,” MacDonald says. “Having spent half my life in the church, I can understand that process of having your mind opened and realizing there is another way to think of yourself and your purpose in the world.” —Chris Dupuis

Gallery in 2010, the neighbourhood was less established, she says. “When we came here it was not really like the way it is now,” she says. “A lot of improvements have happened, and I think we kind of got the ball rolling.” With its high ceilings and 2,000 square feet, there’s something distinctive about the space, Hollander says, that resonates with artists, art lovers and community members alike. “I think we’ve gotten very, very popular in the arts community,” she says. “Most of the artists, with the exception of one or so, are local, from Ottawa, and about half of them even live in this area.” Carving out their niche in the Ottawa arts community is no small accomplishment, especially since Hollander and Jeffrey weren’t previously known in the arts scene. “We just dove in,” Hollander says. “We weren’t really part of the arts community. Over the years now, I kind of know everyone, but when we first opened, I have to say, everybody kind of wondered who we were. I had never shown in a gallery myself, nor my husband.” In addition to showing art, the gallery hosts events, from fundraisers to weddings and receptions. Hollander and Jeffrey can also help interested clients decide where to hang their artwork in their homes and businesses. There’s probably not a bad place to hang a Bhat Boy painting, but you can come and see for yourself. —Adrienne Ascah OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


Being yourself rings true in Legally Blonde: The Musical ALISON FOLEY HOWARD The upcoming Orpheus production of Legally Blonde: The Musical has many very talented people involved in it. Recently, I had the chance to speak with two of them. Derek Eyamie, known to his friends as DJ, plays Emmett Forrest in the show. Eyamie started his theatre experience in a small way in high school but really jumped into it after he graduated. During the years immediately after high school, he was able to come out as a young gay man, become a dancer and singer through intensive instruction and land a part in the Toronto professional production of Mamma Mia. Life changed dramatically and theatre became his true passion. Eyamie didn’t stay in Toronto; he opted to return to Ottawa and become educated as a teacher. To-

day he teaches at Canterbury High School and likens the experience of getting up in front of a class to performing. He has been at Canterbury for four years now but hopes to take a year off soon to do something professional again. In his words, he “has to perform” — it’s who he is. His most recent role onstage was with Orpheus’s production of Rent, in March 2012, in which he played Roger. He chooses the roles he auditions for carefully and is always happy to be back at Orpheus, where he can be who he really is among a family of people who “get that.” Dean Ross plays Professor Callahan in the show and is delighted to be back onstage because theatre is his passion. He was cast in an Orpheus production of West Side Story many years ago but never got to perform, because of an injury. He came back

to audition at the suggestion of his friend Eyamie and is delighted to be part of the Orpheus family. Growing up in the West Island of Montreal, Ross was in many highschool productions but always felt different and was a victim of bullying. In the 1970s, he moved to Ottawa. He got his degree in fitness and became strong, physically and mentally, by finding a place where he realized he was gay and he was not the only one. Today, Ross works with anti-bullying and hate-crimes groups here in Ottawa. You can see Eyamie and Ross in the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society production of Legally Blonde: The Musical from Nov 22 to Dec 1, 2013, at Centrepointe Theatre. Tickets can be bought online at orpheus-theatre.ca, by phone at 613-580-2700 or at the Centrepointe or Shenkman box office.

November 22-December 1

Alison Foley Howard is the marketing and publicity director for Orpheus Musical Theatre Society and the producer of their production of Legally Blonde: The Musical.

4<:0*(3;/,(;9,:6*0,;@,:; 

Legally Blonde’s Dean Ross and Derek “DJ” Eyamie. COURTESY OF VALLEYWIND PRODUCTIONS

613-580-2700 orpheus-theatre.ca

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin Book by Heather Hach Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture 101 Centrepointe Drive Ottawa

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H&M VIP Party Bayshore Shopping Centre hosted a VIP party for H&M’s grand opening, Oct 15. Invited guests shopped at a discounted rate ahead of the store’s official opening on Oct 17.  1E James Jefferson, left, from Blackbook Lifestyle, and Lucas Nault, from Lucas Nault Hair Studio, in their sharpest threads. 2EPhotographer Mark Brigden on the scene. 3E Dina, from Models International Management, shows off her purchases. 4E Oh Land gives a surprise performance.

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Noah Venkatarangam is a multidisciplinary musician and visual artist. By day, he’s a professional makeup artist and stylist active in Ottawa’s fashion community. On Oct 24, he released his newest collection of songs, entitled Wonderheart. His show featured intense visuals and an unforgettable performance. 5E From left, Laura Webb, Dani Kilpatrick and Mariam Shuck get pumped up for the show. 6E The Peptide ladies — from left, DeeDee Butters, Olexandra Pruchnicky and Rebecca Noelle — sang backup on the final song, “Lucky Baby.” 7EThe man of the hour, Venkatarangam, after his performance.

A classic gem with a luxe ambiance, Giovanni’s is also justly renowned for it’s thoughtful and extensive wine list and wide selection of fine spirits.

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OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


WHAT'S ON

Caravan of Tease — The Mercury Lounge, Sun, Nov 10 DARRYL BLOCK

FOR MORE EVENT LISTINGS, GO TO DAILYXTRA.COM

ART & LITERATURE Call for Submissions Breakwater Books is accepting essays by queer people on such topics as pride, courage and social justice in Canada. Selected essays will be published in a book called Speak Out! For more information, contact douglasg@nipissingu.ca. Submission deadline is Fri, Nov 15. norccrea. nipissingu.ca/submissions.htm

Wonder Women The Comic Book Shoppe screens Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, a documentary about popular representations of strong and healthy women. Sat, Nov 9, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The Comic Book Shoppe 2, 228 Bank St. $5. thecomicbookshoppe.com

Eat Me Art Show Art enthusiasts enjoy music, appetizers and drinks, while viewing Sagine Soul Art’s new collection. Sat, Nov 9, 7:30–9:30pm. Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar St. Free. venusenvy.ca

Reading of Strip Andrew Binks reads from and signs his new novel, about a stripper struggling with substance abuse and regrets about his ruined career. Thurs, Nov 14, 6–8pm. After Stonewall, 370 Bank St. Free. afterstonewallgallery.com

Book Launch for Svend Robinson: A Life in Politics Graeme Truelove launches his biography of the polarizing and controversial Canadian politician, from difficult childhood to the career-ending diamond-ring theft. Tues, Nov 19, 5:30–7pm. Darcy McGee’s Pub, 44 Sparks St. Free. newstarbooks.com

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The Hard Cover Book Club

NIGHTLIFE Thursdays Are a Drag Zelda Marshall hosts a night of drag queens, drag kings and burlesque dancers. Alyna Moore performs and DJ Bill spins progressive house. Every Thursday; music 9:30pm–2am, drag 10:30pm–midnight. Swizzles, 246B Queen St. No cover. swizzles.ca

HEALTH & SUPPORT The Living Room

Addictions Treatment The LESA (Lifestyle Enrichment for Senior Adults) Program provides resources for people 55 and older experiencing issues with alcohol, medications, drugs and gambling. For an appointment, call 613-2335430. Centretown Community Health Centre, 420 Cooper St. Free. centretownchc.org

Men’s Yoga at GayZone This class is suited to both beginners and experienced practitioners. Every Thursday, 5:15– 6:45pm. Gay Zone, Centretown Community Health Centre, 420 Cooper St. Free. gayzonegaie.ca

BiAmore People who are bisexual, polyamorous and bi-curious get together for activities and discussion related to achieving healthy relationships. Takes place the first Thursday and third Monday of each month. Thurs, Nov 7, 7–9pm. PTS, 331 Cooper St. Free. ptsottawa.org

The Ottawa Senior Pride Network holds a special holiday party, featuring dancing to “vintage tunes.” Queer people 50 and over and their friends and family are invited. For more info, contact ospn.rfao@ gmail.com. Wed, Dec 4, 7–10pm. Novotel Hotel, Heritage Room, 33 Nicholas St. Free. ospn.rfao.ca

Offbeat: Strictly Dance DJ Alberto Pérez spins hot beats for sexy revellers. A portion of ticket sales goes to the Ten Oaks Project. Sat, Nov 16, 10pm–3am. Babylon Nightclub, 317 Bank St. $5 before midnight, $7 after. thequeermafia.com

SEX & BURLESQUE Mr Leather Ottawa

Men are invited to gather and discuss Paul Russell’s The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov. Thurs, Nov 21, 6pm. Gay Zone, Centretown Community Health Centre, 420 Cooper St. Free. gayzonegaie.ca

HIV-positive people and their loved ones are welcome to access many resources, including a food bank, laundry facilities, internet, counselling and workshops. Those interested should contact The Living Room for an appointment. AIDS Committee of Ottawa, 251 Bank St, 7th Floor. Free. aco-cso.ca

Seniors’ Night Out Holiday Party

Thirsty Boy Thursday Spectrum This Youth Services Bureau program offers queer and questioning youth aged 12 to 25 a safe space to enjoy each other’s company, discuss sexuality and related topics, participate in workshops, receive counselling and more. Every Tuesday, 7–9pm. YSB, 147 Besserer St. Free. ysb.ca

Pink Triangle Youth Drop-In A peer-led discussion and support group for queer and curious youth aged 25 and under. Every Wednesday, 7–9pm. PTS, 331 Cooper St. Free. ptsottawa.org

QPOC Drop-In Queer people of colour gather for fun, discussion, socializing and support. Open to people of all ages, genders, backgrounds, orientations and abilities. Takes place the last Tuesday of each Month. Tues, Nov 26, 7–9pm. PTS, 331 Cooper St. Free. ptsottawa.org

LEISURE & PLEASURE Rideau Speedeaus Everyone — beginners to seasoned competitors, all gender identities and orientations — is welcome on the Rideau Speedeaus swim

team. Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Ottawa U Pool, Montpetit Hall, 123 University Pvt. To inquire about the Learn to Swim program, contact lts@rideauspeedeaus.com. rideauspeedeaus.com

The boys get sweaty to top-40 tracks at this weekly dance party. The hour before midnight is “pump hour,” when drinks are $4. Every Thursday, 10pm–2am. The Lookout Bar & Bistro, 41 York St. No cover. thelookoutbar.com

Geek Girls Ladies’ Night The Capital Geek Girls present a shopping event for female-identified, transgender and genderqueer customers only. Features discounts, a costume contest, geek manicures, a mini craft fair and more. Sun, Nov 17, 6–9pm. The Comic Book Shoppe 2, 228 Bank St. Free. thecomicbookshoppe.com

Friday Fixxx

Seniors’ Night Out

Sapphire Champagne presents a queer club night with weekly drag shows and a variety of DJs. Every Monday, 10pm–2:30am. Mansion Nightclub, 400A Dalhousie St. No cover. mansionnightclub.ca

Queer people 50 and older and their loved ones are invited to enjoy one another’s company over refreshments. Takes place the first and third Wednesday of each month. For more info, contact ospn.rfao@ gmail.com. Wed, Nov 20, 7–10pm. Novotel Hotel, Heritage Room, 33 Nicholas St. Free. ospn-rfao.ca

Miss Capital Noelle Pageant A Christmas-themed drag pageant with $300 and the title of Miss Capital Noelle on the line. For more info, contact queer.ottawa@gmail. com. Mon, Dec 2, 6–11pm. Mansion Nightclub, 400A Dalhousie St. $20. mansionnightclub.ca

One of the most popular ladies’ nights around, featuring DJ Isabelle Bechamp. Pre-Fixxx drag-king show, 9–11pm; dancing from 10pm on. Every Friday, 9pm–2am. The Lookout Bar & Bistro, 41 York St. No cover before 9pm. thelookoutbar.com

Majesty Monday

We Love 2 Hump Midweek is the best time to hump. Ginette Bobo performs in drag, and DJ Martin spins electro, house and hip-hop mash-ups. Every Wednesday, 5–10pm. Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market Sq. mercurylounge.com

From the introduction of contestants on Friday to the awards ceremonies on Sunday, this is a weekend of kinky festivities. Runs Fri, Nov 8–Sun, Nov 10. St Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, 310 St Patrick St. $25–145. mrleatherottawa.ca

Caravan of Tease Tour 2013 A burlesque tour makes its final stop in Ottawa, with performances by Esther De Ville, Fionna Flauntit and Koston Kreme. Sun, Nov 10, 6–9pm. The Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market Sq. $15. mercurylounge.com

Erotic Talk: Talking Dirty for Everyone This workshop teaches people of all orientations and gender identities how to make talking about sex just as great as having sex. Tues, Nov 12, 6:30–8:30pm. Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar St. $20, $10 sliding scale. venusenvy.ca

Strip Cheese II: Stripped Ottawa Burlesque Playground presents a night of naughty nudity, with performances by Lana Lovecakes, Ricky Menage, Rockalily and more. Thurs, Nov 14, 8pm–1am. Maxwell’s Bistro, 340 Elgin St. $20. maxwellsbistro.com

Movember Brunch, followed by something sweet and steamy. This edition of the Great Canadian Tease Burlesque Brunch features performers Lucky Minx, Bella Barecatt, Sweet Pea and James and the Giant Pasty. Takes place the third Sunday of each Monday. Sun, Nov 17, noon–3pm. Maxwell’s Bistro, 340 Elgin St. $25. maxwellsbistro.com

Submit your event listing to ottawalistings@dailyxtra.com. Deadline for the Dec 12–Jan 15 issue is Tues, Dec 3.

XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 29


E indexdirectory.ca

Motorcycles & Scooters Power Sports Canada 613-224-7899

Optical Services

Hot ’n horny hookups.

Eyemaxx Optical Studio 613-216-6076

LAPTOP OR MOBILE

WE’RE  VERSATILE

THE BEST OF GAY & LESBIAN OTTAWA Accessories — Men MensMarket.com mensmarket.com

Accommodations

AIDS/HIV Resources

Antoine Quenneville, MA, CPsyc Assoc 613-230-6179 x401

AIDS Committee of Ottawa 613-238-5014 Bureau régional d’action sida (BRAS) 819-776-2727 Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance 1-800-839-0369 Gay Zone 613-563-2437

Alternative Health

Art Galleries

Dog Walking

In Balance Chiropractic and Health Centre 613-837-8885

Carol the Dog Trainer 613-729-4808

Andrex Holdings 613-238-1835 John Shea Insurance Brokers Ltd 613-596-9697

Churches The Church of St John the Evangelist 613-232-4500

Mike’s Electrical Service 613-834-4659

Estate Planning

Davidson’s Jewellers 613-234-4136 Magpie Jewellery magpiejewellery. com

Laser Surgery LCI Lasercom Clinics 613-828-8946 613-569-3737

Lawyers Ian Carter–Bayne Sellar Boxall 613-236-0535 Mann & Partners, LLP 613-722-1500 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP 613-238-8080

Legal Services Ian Carter–Bayne Sellar Boxall 613-236-0535 Mann & Partners, LLP 613-722-1500 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP 613-238-8080

Massage – Certified/ Registered

Linda Young Insurance Brokers Inc 613-825-1110

Spa Homâ 819-595-3044

Manotick Insurance Brokers Ltd 613-692-3528

MensMarket.com mensmarket.com

Internet

Evan Weiner, AMP 613-224-4530 x224

Distributel Canada distributel.ca

Mann & Partners, LLP 613-722-1500

Men – Accessories

Mortgages

Mortgage Alliance 613-612-8400

Clothing – Men’s Stroked Ego 613-667-3008

Wise Events 613-656-9466

Coaching

Events

Padraig Coaching & Consulting 855-818-0600

Caneast Shows caneastshows.ca

Community Groups & Services

Tivoli Florist 613-729-6911 The New Oak Tree 613-253-9797

Carol the Dog Trainer 613-729-4808

Pharmacies Shoppers Drug Mart Bank and Gladstone 613-238-9041

Politicians Office of Mayor Jim Watson 613-580-2424 Paul Dewar, MP 613-964-8682

Giovanni’s Ristorante 613-234-3156 La Cucina Ristorante 613-836-1811 Mamma Grazzi’s 613-241-8656 Southern Cross Grill on Queen 613-230-0400 The Foolish Chicken 613-321-4715

Sex Shops Classixxx Adult Store 613-523-9962

Social Groups The Couples Group couplesgroup.org

Spa Services

Prenuptial Agreements

Spa Homâ 819-595-3044

Mann & Partners, LLP 613-722-1500

Tanning Salons

Psychologists Dr Gordon Josephson, Registered Psychologist 613-231-4111 Gilmour Psychological Services 613-230-4709

Publications Pink Triangle Press 416-925-6665 pinktrianglepress.ca Xtra (Ottawa) 416-925-6665 Xtra (Toronto) 416-925-6665 Xtra (Vancouver) 604-684-9696

Recreational Vehicles

iTan Advanced Studios 613-562-ITAN

Theatre Orpheus Musical Theatre Society 613-729-4318

Upholstery Kessels’ Upholstering 613-224-2150

Web Design B2W Design Inc 613-804-2384 Jack of All Trades Design jackofalltrades design.com

Websites Squirt.org squirt.org dailyxtra.com 416-925-6665

Weddings

Power Sports Canada 613-224-7899

Cube Gallery 613-728-1750

Restaurants & Cafés

Ottawa Men’s Yoga ottawamens yoga.ca

Absinthe 613-761-1138

Yoga

THE BEST OF GAY & LESBIAN OTTAWA

Exploring Westboro › 10 Garden and patio tools › 17 High-tech kitchen gadgets › 20 Hidden gems of Byward Market › 32

LAST CHANCE! BOOK YOUR AD NOW!

Florists

Furniture

Pet Care

Courtyard Restaurant 613-241-1516

SUMMER/FALL 2013

Event Planning & Promotions

Centretown Community Health Centre 613-233-4443

Merkley Supply Ltd 613-728-2693

Insurance

Electrical Contracting

Rent-A-Wife 613-749-2249

DTN Contract Services 613-780-7033

Housing

Dental Services

Chiropractors

Healthy Smiles Dental Clinic 613-317-2330

Ottawa Chimney Services Ltd 613-729-1624

Dominion Lending Centre 613-224-4530 x224

Carol the Dog Trainer 613-729-4808

Health & Personal Care

Home Improvement & Repairs

Credit & Debt Counselling

Ottawa Chimney Services Ltd 613-729-1624

Jewellery & Jewellers

Rainbow Foods 613-726-9200

Jerry SG Ritt, MA OACCPP, Psychotherapist 613-233-9669

Dog & Cat Training

Jack of All Trades Design jackofalltrades design.com

Health Foods & Nutrition

Gilmour Psychological Services 613-230-4709

Chimney Repair & Cleaning

Squirt.org squirt.org

Rainbow Foods 613-726-9200

Dr Gordon Josephson, Registered Psychologist 613-231-4111

Healthy Smiles Dental Clinic 613-317-2330

Graphic Design Services

Grocery

Counselling

Cube Gallery 613-728-1750

Cleaning & Maid Services

30 NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 XTRA!

Contracting & Renovations Merkley Supply Ltd 613-728-2693

Power Sports Canada 613-224-7899

unlimited access

The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa 613-747-7800

Ambiance Bed & Breakfast 613-563-0421 1-888-366-8772

Alternative Transportation

Get 5 days

Optometrists 613-567-0800

Scottie’s Spot 613-231-3111

Free to join

Rideau Optometric Clinic 613-567-0800

Allegro Ristorante 613-235-7454

DON’T MISS OUT ON OUR WINTER EDITION!

CANADA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS

CANADA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS

Booking deadline: Wednesday, Nov 20 Release date: Thursday, Dec 12 613-986-8292 or lorilynn.barker@dailyxtra.com OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS


MORE AT DAILYXTRA.COM

XTRA! NOV 7–DEC 11, 2013 31


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Xtra Ottawa #261  

Nov 7–Dec 11, 2013

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