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DINING OUT Ottawa’s hottest patio spots › 15 OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS

EASY WRITER Daniel Allen Cox merges sex and text › 19

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GAME CHANGER Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke takes on homophobia in sports ›10

COMMENT 4 XCETERA 5 NEWS 7 OUT IN THE CITY 17 XPOSED 23

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Move over, drag divas — Ottawa’s newest drag troupe is ruled by men. Xtra chats with the Capital Kings, a group of drag kings who have taken Sunday nights by storm.

› 17

NEWS

Sex work Sex-work activists and experts have expressed disappointment at the Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent ruling on sex work in the province. Xtra looks at how the decision will affect the most vulnerable sex workers. › 7

EXCLUSIVE

Brian Burke In an exclusive interview with Xtra’s Andrea Houston, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke talks about the death of his gay son Brendan, homophobia in sport and the You Can Play campaign he’s started with his son Patrick. › 10

OUT IN THE CITY

The Lebanese Dishwasher Ottawa writer Sonia Saikaley’s award-winning novella, The Lebanese Dishwasher, explores the life and struggles of a gay Middle Eastern immigrant to Canada. › 18

Daniel Allen Cox The Montreal writer and former sex worker and pornstar’s latest novel follows the life of a 40-yearold Los Angeles actor who becomes paranoid after losing a role to a younger man. Xtra sat down with Cox in Montreal to chat about what he calls his “most mainstreamâ€? book. › 19 COVER PHOTO BY STEVEN PAYNE

ONLINE

Beaver Tales Writer Sanita Fejzic is Xtra’s new Ottawa community blogger. Follow Sanita on Twitter @ottawabeaver and check out Beaver Tales. › xtra.ca

VIDEO

You Can Play Vancouver Canucks stars Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler say gay players would be welcome in their locker room. Check out our video on › xtra.ca/vancouver.

REGULARS

Comment ›4 Xcetera ›5 Xposed ›23 ClassiďŹ eds ›29 COLUMNS

Editorial ›4 LISTINGS

Art & photography ›18 Health & issues ›20 Film & video ›21, 22 Leisure & pleasure ›22 Print & performance ›22

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Comment Inside the locker room Guest Editorial Dave Bossmin

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PLAY ON TWO HOCKEY TEAMS. Members on one team know I’m gay. Members on the other do not. The players on the straight team are of high calibre. I count some of them amongst my closest friends. None has ever given me the impression they would reject me if they found out I am gay. And yet I cannot be sure of that unless I tell them. Before and after each of our games, I sit in the locker room listening to their stories — stories of partners and children and women they are dating. I don’t contribute to these stories. I don’t feel secure doing so. As I have felt a distance growing between these teammates and myself, I thought it might be easier to walk away from them, and the team entirely, rather than risk rejection. But I love hockey. So before giving it up for good, last fall I decided to check out Ottawa’s gay hockey club to see if it could replace what I felt was missing on the straight team. This wasn’t an easy step. Even as a gay man I had reservations about walking into a gay locker room. I felt anxiety, perhaps even fear, of what I would find on the other side of the door. I asked a friend whether that trepidation was rooted in homophobia. He countered, suggesting I hadn’t been fearful of homosexuals, rather I had been fearful of a possible truth: that what I thought could happen in a gay locker room actually did and that the negative stigma toward homosexuals in sport was well-founded and would thus be directed at me. Guilty by association. So let me tell you what I found on the other side of that locker-room door. There were no Speedos or pink boas. Nor were there towels being slapped at exposed body parts. Instead there was just a group of guys lacing skates, taping hockey sticks and telling stories. Fun stories and serious stories — of partners, children and men they were dating. The same stuff straight locker rooms are made of. Game on. Now, after a full season of play with this club, I can honestly say

I am happy it turned out to be great hockey with great people, in a locker room where I can share stories about my life without fear of rejection. However, the original question remains: are my concerns about being openly gay in a straight locker room valid? A recent locker-room experience after a gay hockey league game helped me answer this question. A league official entered while our team was getting cleaned up. His first comment was, “Whoa! Lots of naked guys in here! Too much all at once!” After some additional awkwardness, he concluded, “The good news, though, is that I’m not gay. The bad news is at least one of you might be.” There you have it. Homophobia exists, the stigma is real and the challenges are there. We can speak all we want about how far we’ve come, but the reality is that some attitudes remain an impediment. It is for this reason that the launch of the You Can Play project should be applauded. Its goal — to eliminate homophobia in sport — is a difficult one. Coming out in the locker room is not an easy mountain for any gay person to climb, and the campaign does not provide instructions on how to do this, nor should we expect it to. It is, therefore, unrealistic to expect this campaign will give a gay professional hockey player (or this amateur one) the courage to share that side. Instead, the campaign should be seen as a small but valuable step toward the overall solution, nudging us all in a more positive direction. I’m beginning to believe the day may come when I introduce myself to my straight team for a second time. I will tell them I’m gay because I understand what makes hockey teams great is not the hockey but the camaraderie, friendship and trust that exists amongst its players. And when it happens, hopefully I will discover that having at least one gay player in the locker room isn’t such bad news after all. Dave Bossmin plays for the OG Capitals gay hockey team. For more information, visit ogcapitals.ca.

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INBOX Gay in the army YES, THE CHARTER OF Rights and Freedoms allows gays to participate in the military [“Gay in the Army,” Xtra #241, March 15], but you can’t go running to the judge every time a slur or violation occurs as a result of being gay in the military. The military depends on bureaucratic indifference to bog down accusations of homophobic treatment and keep gays from seeking legal redress concerning employment grievances. As a civilian male employee at DND in Ottawa, I can assure you that gays are no more accepted today than they were in 1991. I always cringe when I see misguided soldiers (if that’s who they are) on the floats at Pride presenting the military as a viable career choice. I have witnessed Canadian and American soldiers probe suspected gays to out them. The Canadian military still despises three groups: gays, blacks and Asians. Potential gay candidates should be advised that posttraumatic stress disorder is rampant in the Forces and most soldiers cannot ever integrate back into civilian jobs afterward. Most will only be security guards chasing kids around the mall. Bryan Charlebois Toronto, ON

Real Women of Canada THE LATE QUEEN MUM loved the gays who worked in her residence and had a goodhumoured rapport with them. Likely her daughter, the current queen, may be similar. While she seems formal, she is not without social grace, as I saw by her formal visit to Ireland and her good effort to speak a few words of Irish, which I could immediately understand. Her pronunciation was precise and clear. She wanted to promote friendship between the people of Ireland and the UK. So, I am hopeful that her general good nature extends also to gay people of anywhere (in this case Canada) and that if she caught wind of this antigay discrimination she would not approve. I am sure that the Harper government would likely make sure she will be protected and isolated from knowing of these potentially embarrassing implications. Morgan Hoover Halifax, NS

Send your correspondence by mail to PO Box 70063, 160 Elgin St-Place Bell RPO, Ottawa, ON K2P 2M3, email comment@xtra.ca, or log on to xtra.ca and comment directly. We may edit letters.


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No discount for lesbian family Two Pennsylvania lesbians are calling out a sports club in their town after they were denied a family discount. Despite the fact the women are in a committed relationship and raising a five-year-old daughter, staff at the club refused to see them as a family, saying the discriminatory decision was based on “economics” rather than politics. So the bitterly married straight couple with the bratty kids? A-okay. But lesbians? Not so much, apparently. PABLOVEYRAT.COM

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Military academy hosts Condom Olympics With the demise of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the States, students at Norwich University, one of the world’s oldest military academies, are honouring their newfound sexual freedom by organizing the Condom Olympics, wherein men and women in uniform compete to win condoms while celebrating gay pride. So far, the games are a huge success, with morale on the rise and STD rates plummeting.

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Upfront

I THINK THE FIRST ATHLETE THAT COMES OUT WILL HAVE A MUCH EASIER TIME THAN HE THINKS. Brian Burke › 10

PROSTITUTION RULING

Sex workers deserve dignity and respect Guest Column Lindsay Blewett

A

S A SEX WORKER I waited in excitement and fear early March 26 to hear the news of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision regarding Canada’s prostitution laws. When it was revealed that the court had upheld the communication provision, while striking down the bawdyhouse law (following a 12-month stay) and modifying the living-offthe-avails provision (which comes into effect in a month), I felt totally deflated. I am a sex worker with a great deal of privilege, something I acknowledge and try to use to help those with less privilege. The court’s decision to uphold the communicating provision means the most vulnerable sex workers are still criminalized; in effect, they are the only sex workers currently criminalized. I am not fighting for some sex workers’ rights; I am fighting for all sex workers’ rights, but especially those who are most at risk under the law. There is currently a predator in Ottawa targeting streetbased workers, as former Ottawa police chief Vern White attested when he warned street-based workers at Minwaashin Lodge, a centre for aboriginal women who have experienced abuse, in early December of last year. Despite impassioned pleas from various community organizations asking police to stop the street sweeps that target these vulnerable women, Ottawa Police Service refused. Now, with the communication law upheld, police are free to continue to harass, abuse and arrest the most marginalized sex workers. This law was upheld by a vote of three to two. The judges supporting the communication law proposed that since the bawdyhouse law was now repealed, outdoor workers would be free to move indoors. This faulty logic assumes that street-based workers will have a) the resources to do so and b) the desire to move indoors. It is ridiculous to deduce that street-based

workers will be able to afford homes or places to work from. I find it strange that workers who quietly ply their trade on the street are considered a nuisance but the many students lining the streets trying to get passersby to donate to Greenpeace, Amnesty International, the Red Cross or many other organizations are not, despite the fact that they solicit pedestrians. The communicating law is also redundant. There are already laws in place to deal with noise, public disturbance and other alleged social nuisances. If police or government have a problem with street-based sex workers, they should address it by providing better social services, which government has instead been slashing. Eliminating one of the few avenues these sex workers have

IF POLICE OR GOVERNMENT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH STREETBASED SEX WORKERS, THEY SHOULD ADDRESS IT BY PROVIDING BETTER SOCIAL SERVICES, WHICH GOVERNMENT HAS INSTEAD BEEN SLASHING. to survive is not the solution. The government must stop cutting funding to community organizations that work with the most marginalized people. Furthermore, in all of these discussions surrounding community well-being it is assumed that sex workers are outside of the community, that we are a nuisance to be curbed. I’ve got news for you: we are part of the community already and we’re not going anywhere. Was the Court of Appeal’s decision a step in the right direction? Absolutely. But we’ve got a long way to go before sex workers are recognized as persons with dignity and respect whose work is considered legitimate and important by all. Lindsay Blewett is an Ottawabased sex worker.

Nikki Thomas, of Sex Professionals of Canada, stands with litigants Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott on March 26. ANDREA HOUSTON

Sex-work ruling flawed: activists Judges retain indecency clause used to target bathhouses Luna Allison WH I L E T H E ON TAR IO COU RT OF Appeal’s March 26 decision to legalize brothels is a landmark ruling that will make life safer for many sex workers, it does little to support those who still work on the streets, say sex-work advocates. The ruling also failed to remove the indecency clause, a provision of the bawdyhouse law that has historically been used to target gay men in bathhouses. Five judges ruled on the appeal of a September 2010 Ontario Superior Court decision by Justice Susan Himel, which struck down three Criminal Code provisions related to sex work. While Ontario’s highest court agreed with Himel on two provisions, striking down the bawdyhouse law as it relates to sex work and modifying a law that makes it illegal to live off the avails of sex work, three of the five judges chose to uphold a law that governs communication for the purposes of prostitution. “I do worry about my street colleagues,” commented Valerie Scott, one of three litigants in the case, at a press conference following the decision. “What are they going to do? We have to figure out something to make these women and men safe.” However, she calls the overall decision a huge victory. “I would like to thank the Ontario Court of Appeal justices for pretty much

declaring sex workers persons today,” said Scott, who has been fighting for the rights of sex workers since the early 1980s. “I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime, but here we are.” The court’s overturning of the bawdyhouse law will make it possible to operate indoor sex-work businesses. Meanwhile,

THIS MEANS THAT THE TYPE OF MAJOR POLICING AND THE SWEEPS OF SEX WORKERS WILL CONTINUE TO EXIST. — Gary Kinsman, Laurentian University professor the modification of the law concerning living off the avails of prostitution makes it possible to hire employees — including drivers, receptionists and bodyguards — without legal consequences or threat of interference from police. “The government lost their appeal,” says Terri-Jean Bedford, another litigant. “The laws are changing, and the authorities are now engaged.”

The decision, which is binding in all regions of Ontario, will likely be used as a precedent for other provinces and territories in order to work toward the decriminalization of sex work. Both sides will be allowed to appeal as the court stayed its judgment for 30 days. Alan Young, who acted as counsel on the case, has indicated that the group will most likely not appeal the decision unless the government does. Meanwhile, Maggie’s, a Toronto-based advocacy group organized by and for sex workers, released a statement calling the ruling a letdown. “The anti-prostitution laws work together to jeopardize sex workers’ safety. It is not tenable to have a safe place to see a client if you can’t screen him first or clearly set out what you offer, your rates and your safe-sex requirements,” says Kara Gillies, a long-time sex worker and activist for legal reform. “Further, many street-based workers don’t have access to an indoor place to work.” Laurentian University professor Gary Kinsman agrees, noting that while the legislation is a step forward for those working in private spaces, it makes life even harder for street sex workers. “For the bottom rungs of sex workers . . . indigenous women and nonwhite women, this means that

› 12

on the web For more on this story, search xtra.ca using the following article title: Police warn sex workers about pattern of homicides.


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NATIONAL NEWS

Nowhere to hide

who’s in need of victim services, and we have a heterosexist assumption of who’s in need of services,” Goodwin says. The Nanaimo Men’s Resource Centre is the closest British Columbia comes to providing a shelter for abused men, financing short guesthouse stays for men escaping domestic violence, says the centre’s Theo Boere. “I have spent a lot of time over the last 10 years lobbying the provincial government for funding to either increase the programs or create a shelter, and I’ve gotten absolutely nowhere,” Boere says, adding that programming has been cut in half due to lack of funding. “There’s no political appetite for funding that.” The situation is similar in Ottawa, with The Men’s Project receiving less provincial funding this year than it has in the past. “Funding tends to be more projectsbased, so there’s not a lot of sustainable funding that exists,” says one source at a local organization that tackles violence against women. With most funds in the sector granted in two- or three-year increments, it’s more difficult to obtain funding for long-term projects, such as domesticviolence shelters, she says. The services that manage to tough it out are valuable, especially to survivors like Smith. Six years ago, he finally came out to his partner about his abuse. “After that night, I spent a year attending group therapy at The Men’s Project, and I will forever be in their debt,” he says. “It is amazing being a survivor, because for a long while, I almost didn’t. Finally getting support not only saved my life, but made me want to live it. I love every minute of every day now, and I love myself.”

Men fleeing abuse have few places to turn Andi Schwartz FOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS, JOHN Smith’s stepbrother sexually assaulted him on a weekly basis. He didn’t tell anyone because, even at the age of seven, he knew it would break up his family and lead to financial crisis for his mother. “This is what masculinity does. It told me that I did not matter; what mattered was that I could protect my mother,” says Smith, whose real name has not been used in order to protect his identity. “I was a man. I wasn’t supposed to hurt.” Smith eventually went to live with his father and spent years using drugs and alcohol to escape constant night terrors. He struggled with his sexuality for years and attempted suicide twice. “I was abused by the one person that was supposed to teach me how to ride a bike and play basketball; instead, he stole my childhood and caused me to grow up with so much hate for myself,” he says. According to Rick Goodwin, of The Men’s Project, one in six men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime, and 80 percent of abuse occurs before the age of 18. Despite this, only 16 percent of male victims will admit to experiencing abuse.

Many factors keep men quiet, Goodwin says. Two basic tenets of masculinity are strength and control over one’s sexual experiences, so it’s often assumed either that men cannot be victimized or that being abused dimishes a man’s masculinity. Homophobia also plays a role in men’s silence, says Ron Couchman, an Ottawa activist and support worker. Since 80 percent of men are sexually abused by other men, the victim fears his sexuality will be questioned if he speaks about his experience. While there are programs in Ottawa that seek to combat these myths and break the si- Rick Goodwin, executive director of The Men’s Project, says one in six men are abused lence around violence against in their lifetime. ANDI SCHWARTZ men and boys, they are generally underfunded and operating at capacity. had experienced some kind of spousal groups have been organizing around When it comes to domestic violence, abuse in the previous five years, com- since the 1970s. “This is almost always some agencies offer support for men, pared with seven percent of women. used by men against women, which is but those fleeing violent partners won’t That translates to an estimated 653,000 why there is a network of shelters for find shelter in the city. “I don’t believe women and 546,000 men. women but not men,” he says. there’s a bed in Ontario for a man who’s Holmes says that when looking at Some research suggests rates of dobeen abused,” Goodwin says. statistics, it is important to be aware mestic violence are higher in gay relaIt isn’t lack of need that stands in the of the type of violence being recorded. tionships, but most services are still way of providing services for abused Coercive controlling violence, a pattern focused on heterosexual experiences, men, gay or straight. In 2004, Statistics of violence used to exert power and con- experts say. Canada found that six percent of men trol in relationships, is what women’s “We have a sexist presumption around

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LOCAL NEWS

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NEWS

Bowl-a-thon record breaker PARTICIPANTS AT THE TEN OAKS Bowl-A-Thon March 31 raised a record-breaking $60,000 for the organization — $15,000 more than the fundraising goal and $15,000 more than the previous record. As they prepared for the eighth annual fundraiser, team members at Ten Oaks announced the organization will welcome a new camp director this year. Marcus Logan, who joined the Ten Oaks team last year as assistant director of operations, will head up the 2012 edition of Camp Ten Oaks. The camp is dedicated to engaging and connecting kids from queer and trans communities through activities rooted in play, and the camp’s director focuses on putting that into practice. Logan, the director of the Positive Space Network of Halton, has 12 years’ experience leading, organizing and working with queer and trans communities. As the father of two children, including one Ten Oaks camper, he plans to bring fun, socialjustice-oriented programming to the fore, along with some operational changes. Sustainability is an important part of the Ten Oaks model, especially when it comes to ensuring accessibility and continuation of its year-round programming. The group achieves this goal, in part, through fundraisers like the bowl-a-thon. —Luna Allison

Ottawa hosts Rainbow Health conference SEX GEEK ANDREA ZANIN RECENTLY found a benign cyst on her kidney, but she didn’t know who to ask about whether she can still wear a corset or if this will affect it. She guesses most doctors would say it’s probably not a good idea, but most doctors also wouldn’t understand how important wearing a corset is to some people. Hers is only one of many possible concerns people in the kink community may have about how to reduce risk in their sex lives and where to get accurate, non-judgmental information. Zanin addressed some of these issues alongside kink-friendly doctor Erin Sandilands in a seminar at the Rainbow Health Ontario queer health conference, held in Ottawa

from March 20 to 23. Their seminar was one of dozens the conference offered, all sharing essential health information and new research tailored to the queer community. Approximately 300 people, including doctors and nurses, attended, says Donna Turner, the communications coordinator for Rainbow Health Ontario. It is the only conference of its kind in Canada. “There are health disparities in LGBTQ communities, and as much as we have the same health needs as other folks, there are some things that are different for us,� Turner says, noting that rates of anxiety, depression, suicide and even smoking are higher among queer people. — Andi Schwartz

Saint Paul’s to screen Love’s Journey SAINT PAUL UNIVERSITY WILL TAKE a close look at the idea of love and the complications it brings to human relationships at a screening of Love’s Journey, a documentary by Rick Bechard that tackles passion, sex, sexuality and spirituality. The ďŹ lm’s “basic intent is to provide viewers with another way of understanding our relationships,â€? Bechard says. “The documentary, be it good or bad, demonstrates that the event most people call love is really nothing more than meeting our ego needs. Yet, we call it love.â€? As a gay man who lived through the 1970s, Bechard says he faced a number of challenges that inuenced the ďŹ lm. “We all struggle for self-esteem, and to have messages of hatred and prejudice permeate the world was not helpful. But as I look back, I see how being gay turned out to be a very important tool for me. It put me in the position where I had no choice but to look and to understand.â€? Bechard says he used to believe straight people had a monopoly on love and normal relationships. Love’s Journey includes interviews with renowned psychotherapist Kenneth Wapnick and Montreal therapist Mylene D’Astous. It will be screened Saturday, April 28 at 2pm in the Saint Paul University amphitheatre. For more information, visit lovesjourney.us. — Sarah Hoy

Proud senior citizens More services available for older members of gay community Luna Allison AS THE FIRST “OUTâ€? GENERATION in Ottawa begins to reach retirement age, there is an increasingly urgent need to build community and develop resources for older members of the city’s gay community. “People don’t need to go back into the closet in their senior years and die like that,â€? says Marie Robertson, 60, who has been an Ottawa Senior Pride Network (OSPN) volunteer since 2008 and, in 2011, became the group’s community development coordinator. “The work that we need to do in residential care facilities and services for seniors, we can’t wait until we’re 70. We need to change things now.â€? Robertson says the ďŹ rst step in improving end-of-life care for Ottawa’s queer population lies in expanding an initiative of the Good Companions seniors’ centre called Seniors Helping Seniors. As of just this month, gay seniors now have more options for volunteer care and support. “Now people can call and say, ‘I want a friendly visitor, and I’d like a lesbian please,’â€? says Robertson. “Some people don’t ask for help . . . because there have been some bad things happen where visitors weren’t trained and were freaked out by the fact that, say, an old guy was a gay man.â€? So far 11 OSPN volunteers have been

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trained and four are already volunteering, doing daily assurance phone calls, visiting with isolated gay seniors, acting as helpers in people’s homes or supporting them in their day-to-day activities. Countless other OSPN initiatives have also come to fruition in the last two years, including a twicemonthly bar night called Seniors’ Night Out, selfdefence classes, a series of educational workshops Members of OSPN march in Ottawa’s Pride parade. and a new event called the Vintage Queers Dance, taking place play in the reception area to ensure at, and raising funds for, the Good everyone knows the centre is intended to be a queer-positive space. Companions. “If you’re an older person, the bar scene isn’t necessarily for you — you For more info, go to ospn-rfao.ca. really feel out of place, says John Richardson, a volunteer with OSPN and the deets a frequenter of Seniors’ Night Out events. “You might see your children OSPN’S there, or maybe even your grandchilUPCOMING EVENTS: dren. This is specifically a seniorVintage Queers Dance Sat, May 12, 8pm oriented event with music of the ’60s, Good Companions ’70s and ’80s. It will hopefully bring 670 Albert St people out who may have been a bit isolated or haven’t been out to bars or Seniors’ Night Out other establishments for a while.â€? First and third Wednesday of each For its part, Good Companions has month, 7:30pm been receptive to queer programming Burgers on Main 343 Somerset St W ideas and even has a pride ag on dis-

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Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

BRIAN BURKE IS SPORT

ONSIDE The president and general manager of one of the most popular teams in the National Hockey League is an unlikely activist by Andrea Houston

EFORE HIS YOUNGEST son came out in December 2007, Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke didn’t know a single gay person. That was about to change. The following summer, Brian and Brendan attended the Toronto Pride parade together. The famous father and son were just two faces among thousands of revellers in the crowd: cheering, laughing and watching the rainbow-decorated floats pass by. Like other dads, Burke worried he would embarrass his son. “I asked him, ‘Who is more embarrassed here? The GM of the Leafs or a kid at the Pride parade with his dad?’” he recalls. “He said, ‘Dad, are you kidding? I’m more embarrassed.’” The experience left an indelible impression on Burke and helped cement a bond with his son that would shape the next four years of his life. Publicly, Brendan was still living with a secret. With the support of his family, he made the decision in 2009 to come out to the world. While the act of coming out, especially under such unwelcoming pressures, was itself an act of rebellion, he went even further, proudly and naturally stepping into the role of advocate for gays in sport. Burke was behind his son every step of the way, appearing on ESPN and challenging anyone who dared contest Brendan’s declaration. Then, in 2010, the unthinkable happened. Just two years after Brendan came out privately to his family, Burke lived through every parent’s worst nightmare. Brendan, just 21, was killed in a car accident in Indiana. Burke’s journey since then is the tale of a man who now desperately wants to make his gay son proud. Brendan did not die in vain and Burke is making sure of that. Brendan, a former goalie for the Miami (Ohio) University hockey team, is now widely credited as the highest-profile player connected to the NHL ever to kick

the locker-room door wide open, forcing professional hockey to address its deeply ingrained homophobic culture. To honour Brendan’s memory, Burke and his eldest son, Patrick, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, now carry on that legacy. Patrick recently founded the You Can Play project and produced a moving video featuring NHL stars. The message is a simple one: it doesn’t matter who you fall in love with. When a player steps onto the ice, it matters only how they skate, how they shoot, how they score. If you can play, you can play. Period. Burke and Patrick say it’s only a matter of time before the first gay NHL player comes out. “I think the first athlete that comes out will have a much easier time than he thinks,” Burke says. “The young generation gets it. It’s my generation that has to change their thinking.”

 Over the last two months, I had met Brian at two public appearances: a Toronto PFLAG awards ceremony and a Canadian Safe School Network luncheon. He

calls me “kiddo” and is always happy to speak with Xtra. But trying to get Brian Burke one-on-one was challenging. He is a busy man. However, true to his word, after eventually agreeing to an interview, Burke came through, and I had the chance to sit down with him at his Air Canada Centre office. The week I met him, Burke and his son Patrick were all over the media launching You Can Play. Burke was also in the news for other reasons. The day of our interview, Don Cherry was calling for Burke’s resignation in the Toronto Sun. The two were engaging in a very public war of words about former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson and whether there are too few Ontario players on the team. Another interview with Newstalk 1010’s John Moore ended abruptly when the tough-talking GM hung up the phone following an unexpected question: Moore asked about speculation that Burke might be fired after failing to get the Leafs into the playoffs. But unlike Moore, I wasn’t going to ask Burke many questions about the playoffs. Our interview ended differently when, standing in the locker room, the sour smell of sweaty hockey socks lingering in the air,

A FAMILY TORN APART The Burke siblings, Patrick, Brendan, Molly and Katie. Brendan was killed in a car accident in 2010. COURTESY OF PATRICK BURKE

Burke leaned in and gave me a big hug. Beneath his rough exterior, I felt a softness, something he rarely shows publicly — and never at a hockey rink. Burke is gruff — he calls himself a “big Harley-riding, sports-playing, tobaccochewing tough guy.” But underneath is a warm intensity. The graduate of Harvard Law School is humble and chooses his words carefully, pausing when tears well in his eyes. He softens when he speaks about his children, especially Brendan, who Burke nicknamed “Moose.” “Brendan was a big kid, six foot four, and a good athlete. Patrick has an edge to him, more like his dad,” Burke says. “But Brendan was a sweet kid. Not a judgmental bone in his body. No temper.” Burke is an unlikely activist, but it’s a title he now wears with pride. PFLAG Toronto’s Irene Miller remembers the day Burke asked her for an application form. Miller, who did not know Brendan personally but had followed his story, says Burke’s message is incredibly powerful, mostly because he doesn’t really consider his work activism; it’s just what every parent should do. “Brendan was someone special, and that’s a testament to Brian,” she says. “He is a loud and wonderful voice that is spreading such a positive message. The sports world is one of the last bastions of society where it’s okay to be homophobic. Brian is saying, No, it is not. It’s not accepted.” Influenced by Burke and his sons, an “all-star team” of straight-ally players is also advocating this message. The You Can Play campaign includes players such as the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Rick Nash and the Maple Leafs’ Dion Phaneuf. Homophobic locker-room bullies, beware. Burke applauds the players and hopes more follow suit. “This is not a popular cause. You can get anyone to march for breast cancer. You can get anyone to march to save baby seals or to fund the United Way. There are all kinds of popular, sexy charities. The gay community hasn’t had that kind of support. I think this is important and that’s why I support it.”

LONELY PIONEER Brian Burke and his son Patrick recently launched the You Can Play project, which combats homophobia in sports. STEVE PAYNE


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XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012



WHEN HE CAME OUT, I SAID TO BRENDAN THAT NIGHT THAT IT CHANGES NOTHING. SO I WAS ESPECIALLY PROUD I DIDN’T HAVE TO TAKE ANYTHING BACK.

While most have heard the story of Brendan’s death, not many know how deeply it affected the Burke family. The father-son relationship, which was on the threshold of a newer, stronger bond, was suddenly ripped apart. As he recalls those difficult days, Burke hunches with his elbows resting on his knees, his tie casually draped around his neck, as if he’s too busy to bother tying it up. He struggles when it comes to discussing his son. “I can’t talk publicly about Brendan too much yet, but I’ll do the best I can,” he says, looking down. The pain is still fresh, and probably always will be. When he speaks about Brendan a wistful sadness washes over his face that forces him to look down at his feet. Burke describes Brendan as gentle, outgoing, cheerful and patient — “nothing like me.” Magnetic and handsome, talented and smart, Brendan was a great hockey player who Burke says probably would have gone into politics. “He wanted to make the world a better place.” That’s a mission Burke now carries on. He is beloved by his team and has their support in his advocacy work, but, in speaking to players, the enormous mountain Burke has set out to climb becomes clear. The willingness to accept a gay player is overshadowed by a hesitation to discuss sexuality, a topic still very much off-limits in the locker room. “As far as athletes are concerned, everyone has their own thing, their own belief. Some choose to keep it personal,” says Leafs’ alternate captain Mike Komisarek. While Komisarek’s heart may be in the right place, his conviction that being gay is a belief illustrates the difficulty of Burke’s task and the battle his son would have faced if he’d lived. But that’s a battle Burke is prepared to fight. Leafs’ defenceman John-Michael Liles admits that the first gay NHLer will face enormous challenges, both on and off the ice. “I think it could be tough. You never know. There are a lot of people in sports that have opinions and some aren’t very welcoming, and that’s not just players.” When Brendan was young, Burke says, he was taught to respect all people. “There was no racial humour tolerated, no homophobic jokes. There were no religious judgments that some kids had to deal with — parents telling them they are going straight to hell. So there was no big adjustment for me. When he came out, I said to Brendan that night that it changes nothing. So I was especially proud I didn’t have to take anything back.”

 Two years after coming out to his dad, Brendan, who was a manager of the Miami University hockey team, revealed his sexuality to his team. Coach Enrico Blasi supported him, telling ESPN at the time that having Brendan as part of the team was a blessing. Burke doesn’t conceal his anger when he remembers the advice he felt he had to give Brendan when he came out. “It took a lot of courage,” Burke says. “I told him, ‘For the next couple months, you have to be careful; keep your head on a swivel . . . I don’t want any Matthew Shepard story here.’ That’s the sickest part of this entire story — I had to give him that advice. That’s the advice a father has to give a gay son. That’s pathetic.” Burke just wanted to keep his son safe. “The pioneer is usually a lonely guy,” he says. While Brendan received immediate acceptance from his father, that’s not the case in all families. “I get these gut-wrenching letters from parents asking me how to deal with their kid’s sexuality. I also get heart-wrenching letters from kids. It’s very upsetting,” he says. He recalls one letter from a fellow hockey dad. In it, the father described driving with his son, who suddenly asked his dad to pull the car over. The son took a deep breath and

11

came out. “The father turned to his son and said, ‘If it’s good enough for Brian Burke, it’s good enough for me.’” Patrick hears them, too: tough stories of kids kicked off sports teams, kicked out of homes. Some contemplate suicide. It’s rapidly improving, but not fast enough. Even one story is too many. “We are losing young athletes; some because we scare them off with homophobic slurs, some because they never get into sports in the first place,” he says. Patrick says the You Can Play project is actually fighting both a reality and a stereotype. The reality is that homophobia has become deeply embedded in the hockey culture. It’s how players bond. Many don’t even realize what they’re saying is offensive: “fag,” “homo,” “sissy.” The stereotype is that players don’t care. “Many people think athletes are these big meatheads who walk around beating people up, never thinking twice. So we are battling that as well. Over the years, straight athletes have been conditioned to think they should not support gay rights. We need to give them a means to support gay players. The vast majority of them do,” Patrick says. The education starts with the hockey parents, he says. The cycle can end in the home. How parents raise their sons will be where the culture of homophobia will finally be broken.

 Burke maintains he would have become involved in the cause even if Brendan hadn’t died. In 2011, the year after Brendan’s accident, Burke was back at the Toronto Pride parade, this time marching with PFLAG. He even tried unsuccessfully to convince Mayor Rob Ford to join him. At his side were Rick Mercer and numerous fellow parents and family members. It was a moving experience, he says. In January, Burke was honoured with the Ally Award from PFLAG Toronto. A man of few words, he choked back tears on stage and muttered, “I’m honoured,” softly into the microphone, before stepping away. PFLAG’s Miller applauds Burke because he is helping young gay athletes feel validated. She hopes that a young athlete in some small Canadian town, who sees Burke standing up to homophobic bullies, may decide to follow his dream into sports. He may come out sooner. He may decide not to commit suicide. “For Brian Burke to be on the cover of Xtra is huge,” Miller says. “That 15- or 16-year-old kid who is questioning and wondering who his role models are, seeing Brian on Xtra tells him he will be okay. “It will also shake up the rest of the sports world. It says he doesn’t give a damn what people think. He only gives a damn about changing pro sports.” Since the release of the You Can Play video, more and more NHL stars are adding their voices to a growing chorus of players pushing to end homophobia in hockey. Patrick predicts the NHL will see its first openly gay athlete in the next two years. “We have hit the tipping point here. We are getting closer and closer to that moment.” When the day comes and a player enters his office to come out, Burke knows just what he will say. “I never had a chance to rehearse this the first time for my son, but I’ll get it right the second time,” he says. “I’ll just say, ‘Welcome aboard.’”

on the web Watch our video interviews with Leafs players Luke Schenn, Mike Komisarek and John-Michael Liles, and Vancouver Canucks players Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler › xtra.ca Check out the You Can Play campaign › youcanplayproject.org


12

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

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› 7 Sex-work ruling the type of major policing and the sweeps of sex workers will continue to exist,” he says. “It is a very incomplete decision.” Kinsman also worries about the continued criminalization of communication surrounding sex work. “There is more vulnerability for sex workers,” he says. “You have to do it really rushed and size up whether a client is safe or not. It is the criminalization of speech surrounding a possible activity that hasn’t yet taken place. It is an incredible violation of freedom of speech.” He says failing to remove the indecency clause in the bawdyhouse provision is another missed opportunity, noting that it has been used by police against gay establishments since the mid-’70s, including during the Toronto bathhouse raids of 1981. Since money is not usually exchanged for sex in gay bathhouses, the “indecent acts” clause has long provided a legal excuse for raids and bawdyhouse charges. “It goes back to when we were fighting against the bawdyhouse laws,” Kinsman says. “We made it clear we wanted to get rid of the section as a whole.” The case has come at a time when at least two major Canadian cities are changing how they police sex work. In Vancouver, a draft policy proposing new policing guidelines was put to the police board on March 21. It would “increase the safety of the workers, reduce victimization and violence and, where appropriate (such as with children and teens), assist with exit strategies.” The policy calls for the appointment of a sex-industry liaison officer in cases involving sex workers and for limiting invasive enforcement such as street sweeps to situations deemed

“high risk” due to human trafficking, violence or the involvement of sexually exploited children or youth. The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) has explicitly stated that invasive enforcement of sex-work laws is now seen as a “last resort.” “The VPD does not seek to increase the inherent dangers faced by sextrade workers, especially survival sex workers,” says a report by the VPD deputy chief, Warren Lemcke. According to the draft policy document, the VPD would also “monitor and maintain intelligence reports to identify and track potentially violent sex industry consumers, exploitive abusers, identify trends and assist in day-to-day operational planning.” Meanwhile, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has also been altering its approach to sex workers following a Dec 9, 2011, announcement of a “pattern of violence” and string of homicides involving sex workers. OPS Chief Charles Bordeleau, however, says he is not willing to commit to a policy that would end sweeps or other invasive strategies. “We are in the process of assessing and evaluating the Court of Appeal decision, but with respect to the prostitution sweeps themselves, we will continue our current practice of only conducting them when we have a number of complaints where we need to be responsive to our community,” Brodeleau says. “[Sweeps] are not our primary focus; they’re not our primary activity. We will continue to work with sex-trade workers . . . to ensure we can better collaborate together.” The government has 12 months to make changes to the laws that have been amended as a result of the case. —with files from Andrea Houston For a video of this story, visit xtra.ca.

NATIONAL NEWS

Ontario Saving budget hurts Montreal’s people living gay village with HIV/AIDS MOTIVATED BY WHAT THEY SEE AS THE MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT’S first budget as a minority government made sweeping cuts to public sector wages, supports for the poor, and culture and infrastructure grants. Part of the government’s move to contain costs includes a freeze on Ontario Works (welfare) rates and the Ontario Disability Support Program, which will affect many Ontarians living with HIV/AIDS who rely on assistance during periods when they’re too sick to work. While these benefit rates are not being cut, because the cost of rent, food and other necessities tends to rise with inflation, recipients will effectively lose purchasing power while the rate is frozen. Activists have long called for these programs to be reformed, instead, so that they wouldn’t penalize recipients who can work in reduced capacity. At present, if recipients receive any income, their benefits are clawed back, reducing the incentive to work. “For a person living with HIV/AIDS on ODSP and struggling with poverty, it’s going to be a real challenge,” says Murray Jose, executive director of the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. “There’s no question it’s going to have a real impact, and it’s going to be a struggle to live in a manner that supports them and meets basic needs.” —Rob Salerno

declining conditions in Montreal’s gay village, a group of activists has created a new campaign in an effort to reinvigorate the neighbourhood. The campaign, titled J’aime Mon Village, strives to make residents of and visitors to the neighbourhood aware of what some argue are underreported acts of intimidation and violence. The campaign has rallied four main spokespeople: prominent drag artist Mado Lamotte; AIDS activist JeanPierre Pérusse; Mr Leather Montreal 2011, Danny Godbout; and art curator Kat Coric. J’aime Mon Village was spearheaded by Ghislain Rousseau, who owns the business Fétiche Armada and who says he was inspired to action by incidents he experienced. “On two different occasions last fall, I had interactions with people outside of my store that could have easily turned violent,” Rousseau says. “Both of the people involved threatened me with violence. One used homophobic slurs. But when I called the police, there seemed little they could do.” Rousseau says he was taken aback when he heard recent statements from Montreal police officers saying things in the Village were relatively calm and orderly. “This does not reflect what we, who live and work in the Village, are experiencing,” he says. —Matthew Hays For more on these stories, visit xtra.ca.


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XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

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HISTORY

Back streets and boarding houses Queer sex part of everyday life in Ottawa’s working-class neighbourhoods by Steven Maynard

I

N 1915, RENÉ L WAS STROLLING along Clarence St in Ottawa’s Byward Market when he noticed another man. Emery L, who lived at 116 Clarence St, had just finished having his supper in one of the nearby Chinese restaurants. René waited until he was certain Emery had seen him and then ducked into a laneway at 108 Clarence. As René told the court, “I went in to the lane and Emery L followed me.” This turned out not to be such a great idea, for in the busy Byward Market there were always police constables on the beat. According to the constable who discovered the two in the laneway, this is what occurred: “Emery L was sitting on a log in a reclining position and René L was astride of Emery L in the act of working Emery L’s privates with his hand.” In my first article (“Naked Civil Servants,” Xtra #241, March 15; online at xtra.ca), I used historical criminal court records to look at sexual relations primarily among the civil servants who resided in Ottawa’s Centretown. But sex between men was not restricted to middle-class professionals and their luxury apartment houses. As René and Emery’s story suggests, a lot of homosexual activity occurred as part of everyday life in the city’s immigrant and working-class neighbourhoods. The Byward Market in Lowertown was a predominantly French and Jewish working-class district. René and Emery’s chance encounter in a Lowertown laneway was only one of many such liaisons. Henry S, who lived at 69 Besserer St, told the court that “the night before last I went to Matthew’s Butcher Shop. I saw the accused Ovila B outside the shop. He said will you come with me? I said where to? He said to my house. He asked me to go to bed with him.” These meet-ups that happened while men were going about their busi-

ness, be it having dinner in a restaurant or shopping for groceries, underscore the way homosexual encounters were enmeshed in the fabric of everyday life. To the west of Lowertown, Irish, French and Italian working-class communities grew up in the LeBreton Flats area. Focused on the Chaudière Falls, LeBreton Flats was an industrial district, dotted with sawmills and factories. Again, the court records suggest that homosexual life was rooted in and reflected the broader character of the neighbourhood. Harry C, for instance, lived at 138 Elm St in 1923, and his sexual encounter took place in one of the district’s paper factories. Both Lowertown and LeBreton Flats played host to the many transient workingmen employed in the seasonal lumber industry. When not living in lumber camps up in the bush, many bushworkers came down to Ottawa for short periods of time. Some men lodged with working-class families who took in borders to supplement their household incomes. The presence of these workingmen and their living arrangements gave a distinct shape to Ottawa’s homosexual subculture. Not surprisingly, sex between lodgers and other male persons in working-class households was a common scenario. In 1927, 13-year-old Sidney S lived with his parents in a house at 63 LeBreton St. That year Joseph B boarded with the family. In court Sidney was questioned by a lawyer: Q: Do you know the accused, Joseph B? Sidney S: Yes sir. Q: I understand he lodged at your father’s place part of the time? SS: Yes. Q: And when he lived there what room did he occupy in the house, or did anybody else occupy the same room as he did?

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SS: Yes, sir, I did. Q: Was there just the one bed in the room? SS: Yes. Q: And you sometimes slept with him in that bed? SS: Yes. Q: Now, did anything ever take place between him and you that should not have taken place? SS: Yes. Q: What was that? A: He always fooled with my privates.

Obviously having little knowledge of working-class life, the lawyer asked Sidney, “Why did you go back to sleep with him on occasions after the first time this happened; you knew what

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he was doing to you. Why didn’t you go to sleep some place else?” “I could not,” replied Sidney, “all the beds were occupied in the house. There was only that bed.” In the early part of the 20th century, in what were often crowded working-class households, it was a common practice to double up. Doubling up placed some children in a potentially dangerous position as the objects of unwelcome sexual advances by male lodgers. At the same time, other boys found ways to turn their sexual vulnerability and cramped sleeping arrangements at least somewhat to their

advantage. When Sidney was asked whether he ever told anyone about having sex with Joseph, he responded, “I did not say anything about it.” “Why not?” asked the perplexed lawyer. “He used to give me things, cigarettes and things.” While some men boarded with individual families, other men set themselves up in all-male rooming houses. With little money and no plans to stick around for long, a crowded, often rundown rooming house was one of the few options available to many immigrant and working-class men. Not surprisingly, under such conditions privacy was hard to come by. In 1915, three Austrian men were among those who lived in a rooming house in Lowertown. As Peter B told the court, “I live at 144 Besserer St. I know both Kosyn B and Oscar M. We were all in one bedroom. I was in the bedroom there that day with Oscar. He asked me to leave the room and he would have fun with Kosyn. Oscar pulled me by the hand and I left the room. After I left the room I looked through the door. Kosyn had his trousers down. Oscar had his shirt and his trousers open. Kosyn was lying on his face and Oscar was on top of Kosyn working himself up and down. Oscar told me before I left the room that he would use Kosyn in the way I saw him do so.” While the case testifies to the potentially disastrous results of lacking privacy (and trusting your friends), the way Oscar felt free to ask Peter to leave the room so he could have some fun with Kosyn suggests there existed a rather frank understanding of sexual relations between men. The case file also noted that the court proceedings were conducted with the assistance of an “Austrian Interpreter,” a reminder that, in addition to the ordeal of a trial on homosexual charges, immigrant men faced additional barriers of language. All of these cases remind us of an important point about queer men’s history. Much gay historical writing focuses on elite or famous (most often AngloSaxon) men, those who were educated and inclined to write down the stories of their lives in letters and diaries, or who were important enough to be the subjects of newspapers and biographies. As a result, we know much more about Oscar Wilde than we do about Oscar M of Lowertown. Hopefully, however, these brief forays into the past highlight the contributions of more ordinary men — the workingmen and immigrants who helped to forge homosexual subcultures in early 20th-century Ottawa. Steven Maynard teaches the history of sexuality at Queen’s University in Kingston. He is completing a book entitled Infamous Men. This is the second in a three-part series on Ottawa’s gay history.

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14

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

DINING OUT

DINING OUT

Contemporary Cuisine A heritage stone building rich with atmosphere. Reservations welcome

The Zen of cooking

ABOVE: Chef and co-owner Caroline Ishii trained at New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute. ABOVE LEFT: Almost everything is local and organic at ZenKitchen.

LOCAL FOOD WITH INTERNATIONAL FLAIR Luna Allison

“

Good italian food at good prices

�

— Ottawa City Magazine

Voted “best italian� — Ottawa XPress

fresh pasta & thin-crust pizzas 25 George St. By Ward Market

241-8656

S

USTAINABLE, HOMEMADE and gourmet is what it’s all about at ZenKitchen — a restaurant that gives vegan food a good, and tasty, name. It’s a friendly place, but this is no bohemian cafĂŠ. Rather, it’s exquisite, diversely sourced cuisine that’s artfully made, with attention to detail, gorgeous plating and imaginative avour and texture combinations that put a twist on traditional dishes like curry, sope and risotto. All that and it’s green, too. Chefs make everything from scratch, using organic, GMO-free ingredients and no preservatives. They source as much as they can locally, with a view to minimizing environmental impact. “When I did my studies at the Natural Gourmet [Institute for Health and Culinary Arts] in New York City, I wanted to create the most sustainable cuisine possible, which is vegan,â€? says chef and co-owner Caroline Ishii, who is gaining great acclaim for her inventive cuisine. “We use as much local produce as we can in Ottawa. We also use many local suppliers. For example, the tables were made by a designer in Chelsea, Quebec. It’s all part of supporting the local economy. You think you can’t make a difference, but you can.â€?

Dave Loan, co-owner and front-ofhouse manager at ZenKitchen, has asked that staff not bring disposable water bottles to work and, instead, take advantage of the ďŹ ltered water available at the restaurant. The kitchen’s cooking oil, which must be disposed of regularly, is given to a local man who makes it into bio-diesel; fruit and veggie scraps are given to a local farmer for compost; and seltzer is made in-house to cut down on wasteful packaging. It’s these little touches that make an impact at ZenKitchen, including peppy background music, friendly and unpretentious staff, and the bright colours. It’s also a queer-friendly spot, with considerate, attentive servers. Even the art is local. In fact, the photos that were on exhibit during our visit were the work of our server. The restaurant, which has been open since July 2009, is a member of Savour Ottawa and Chinatown Remixed. The menu is allergy-friendly, and more than half the items on the dinner menu are gluten-free — and the majority of desserts are, too. While we were there, Ishii left the kitchen to help a patron who has a garlic allergy. In the end, she happily agreed to change a sauce so the customer could order what he had his eye on. Now, allow me to wax poetic about the food. We started out with a creamy edamame dip and roasted papadum,

which was light but satisfying. Then came a sampler of appetizers: salted polenta fries with chipotle-tequila dipping sauce, a skewer of grilled misoand-apple-butter tofu on kale slaw with a tamarind dip, a bowl of the most delicious mushroom tempura I’ve ever had, and a side of homemade pickles, including pickled beets, sweet daikon and a mild but tasty kimchi. Recommendations? Try the sope, which is topped with the best vegan crème fraĂŽche I’ve ever tasted. The Thai-inspired lemongrass curry on kaďŹ r-lime-scented jasmine rice, which has a challenging — but not murderous — level of heat to it, is also to die for. For dessert, the peanut butter and chocolate pie is your best choice. It’s no wonder this restaurant has won the silver medal in Ottawa’s Gold Metal Plates competition two years in a row — beating out a number of foie gras–wielding mainstream chefs in the process.

the deets ZENKITCHEN Open Tuesday to Sunday Lunch on Thursdays and Fridays Brunch on weekends 634 Somerset St W 613-233-6404 zenkitchen.ca

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XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

15

DINING OUT

Summer patio picks WITH WARM WEATHER COMING WE’LL SOON BE HEADING OUT IN DROVES TO park our ďŹ ne queer selves on Ottawa’s sunny patios. But where to go? The city suffered the loss of some great queer-friendly spots in the last year, like Benitz’s and Savana CafĂŠ, but there are still lots of places to choose from. We’ve put together a shortlist of Ottawa’s best outdoor hangouts so Xtra readers have a head start when it comes to sun and (tasty) fun.

The Lookout Bar 41 York St 613-789-1624 thelookoutbar.com The Lookout Bar doesn’t quite have a patio, but we perch on the metres-long balcony like it’s a patio all summer. Lookout is aptly named — it’s a great vantage point to view all of Byward Market. Historically a lesbian hangout, The Lookout has become more mixed in recent years, with gay men’s events such as Thirsty Boy Thursdays and drag shows every Saturday night. But the women’s events are still running strong — there’s a weekly cocktail gathering every Friday night, followed by Friday Fixxx, a ladies’ night featuring reruns

of The L Word on the big screen and special feature events the ďŹ rst Friday of every month. For some mixed fun, hit up karaoke nights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, hosted by Christopher “Dogâ€? Doyle. Just remember — if it gets too hot, you can always cool off outside.

Wasabi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar 41 Clarence St 613-241-3636 wasabisushibar.ca Wasabi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar is a tasty and queer-friendly spot in the heart of the Byward Market that serves up some of Ottawa’s best sushi, as well as various salads, appetizers and

Luna Allison

a selection of cooked Japanese cuisine. Its raised, streetside patio is one of the most charming in the area, with excellent people-watching potential. The patio is large enough to accommodate small to medium-sized groups, but parties of eight or more will probably have to move inside to Wasabi’s spacious dining room. This resto is only steps away from the famed cruising grounds of Major’s Hill Park and a handful of downtown cultural venues: the National Gallery, the National Arts Centre and a few smaller galleries along Sussex. Wasabi also boasts a good selection of wines and cocktails, including delicious lychee martinis.

Centretown Pub 340 Somerset St W 613-594-0233 centretownpub.blogspot.ca Centretown Pub — or CP’s, as it’s more affectionately known around these parts — offers up the quintessential queer patio experience. As the longest-

RYAN FAUBERT

XTRA’S TOP THREE CHOICES FOR FRESH AIR, COCKTAILS AND CRUISING

DINING OUT

Ottawa’s patio scene heats up in May. This is when the beer starts flowing and the boys and girls come out to play.

standing gay bar in the city, the CP front patio is a hub for cruising guys and spontaneous friend catch-ups, but the back patio is where it’s at if you’re looking for a tucked-away nook for hot make-out sessions, wet T-shirt contests, Pride events or howling laughter with friends over a couple of beers. If you’re looking to go inside and get a little

break from the heat (double-entendre intended), you’ve got a couple choices. The main floor of CP’s boasts a pool table and a gaggle of friendly regulars. Upstairs is Cell Block, Ottawa’s only gay men’s leather bar, which features the kink-themed “Bar Knights,� put on by the Ottawa Knights Leather and Denim Club.

For a romantic getaway escape to Brookstreet

Many all inclusive packages to choose from spacious four-diamond guestrooms four diamond dining - newly renovated restaurant and jazz lounge extensive ďŹ tness studio with indoor saltwater pool, whirlpools and dry saunas full service spa with couples massage suite

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16

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

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XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

17

arts › entertainment › leisure

Out City IN THE

DANCE

Check this, Janet

IT’S POSSIBLY THE ONLY CANADIAN NOVEL THIS YEAR WITH A GRAPHIC RIMMING SCENE. Daniel Allen Cox ›19

ON STAGE

Dreams of performing with Ms Jackson helped launch Daniel Harder’s dance career Chris Dupuis

The Ailey School in New York; he joined the company shortly after. Its current show, which restages a number of founder Alvin Ailey’s original choreographies alongside those of newly appointed artistic director Robert Battle and a few guests. It stops in Ottawa and Montreal in April. Of the four pieces he performs, Harder’s biggest challenge will be the lead role in Home, guest choreographer Rennie Harris’s hip-hop infused exploration of the lives of people living with HIV. Created in partnership with drug company Bristol-Myers Squibb, the work began with a call for people living with the virus to submit their stories, which were then used as a creative starting point. While the work is abstract and doesn’t present a specific narrative, creating it allowed company members to connect with the realities of HIV today.

THE COMMON NARRATIVE OF A GAY youth inspired to take up classical dance usually involves alabasterskinned swans, broad-shouldered princes or perhaps a human-sized implement for cracking nuts. But in the case of Daniel Harder, company member with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, it all started with Janet Jackson. Growing up in a suburb of Washington, DC, Harder had a long-time dream of becoming a hip-hop pro. But after he caught the local stop of Ms Rhythm Nation’s 1998 Velvet Rope tour, he realized what it was he really needed to do. “I had already decided in my mind I would dance for Janet someday, and seeing that show made me more sure of it than ever,” he laughs. “But when I did more research after the show I found out her dancers usually studied ballet. I realized if I ever wanted to dance for her I would have to do the same.” Intent on building his technique, Harder took drop-in classes at a local studio. He got a break early on when a friend Daniel Harder still dreams of dancing of his mother’s got a tip with Janet Jackson. EDUARDO PATINO that Debbie Allen (of Fame fame) would be “When I looked at each individual’s auditioning dancers for her academy at the Kennedy Centre. Though he journey, I was impressed by how they didn’t make it through the first round, chose to approach the disease, not Allen approached him after the audi- looking at it as a burden and contion and invited him to attend her tinuing to push forward in their lives summer program in Los Angeles. without letting it hold them back,” Featuring a mix of artists and teachers he says. “At the same time I saw the from across the globe, it opened his amount of stigma around it and realeyes to the possibility of a full-fledged ized the ways that we as a community have failed. HIV is just one facet of an dance career. Returning home, Harder enrolled individual’s life, and our community in a performing arts high school and needs to work harder to reach out to was later awarded a scholarship with each other.” Commitment to a broader community is a key element of Harder’s the deets level-headedness. Though egos can swell with early success (he’s only 24), ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN he remains passionately dedicated to DANCE THEATER ensuring future generations of artists Ottawa will have opportunities like he had. Tues, April 17, 8pm “I’ve been given so much at a very National Arts Centre 53 Elgin St young age, so it’s extremely important nac-cna.ca to me that I can give something back,” he says. “Eventually I’d like to start Montreal Thurs, April 19–Sat, April 21 my own company and help give young Place des Arts dancers an opportunity to develop. 175 Ste-Catherine St W And, of course, if Janet calls I’ll have grandsballets.com to go dance for her.”

ENTER THE

Jasper Cox (centre) is the co-founder of the Capital Kings. KRISTEN COCHRANE

Drag Kings Capital Kings conquer Sunday nights Kristen Cochrane

R

ANDY MARSHALL KNEW that if he wanted Ottawa’s drag kings to leave the sidelines, he had to take the city by storm. He decided this could be accomplished only if the kings had their very own troupe. A year ago, drag queens dominated the scene. Now, Marshall and Ottawa’s drag kings have carved out a niche of their own. Appropriately named the Capital Kings, the group has been performing Sunday nights at The Lookout Bar since January. On a recent Sunday, guests arrive early, taking coveted front-row seats. Others dance and invade the stage. Jasper Cox, co-founder of the troupe, says drag king shows typically involve more audience participation than drag queen performances. “We’ll get off the stage and dance with different members of the audience,” he says. True to his word, Cox seductively approaches members of the audience, gazing directly into their eyes while he sings. One woman says she thinks the shows are an integral part of Ottawa’s

lesbian scene. She comes every week. Cox, who moved to the capital from Toronto, cites Ottawa’s quiet and “conservative” nature as the reason it didn’t previously have a troupe. Contrast that to Montreal, which has had the Dukes of Drag since 2006, and Toronto, which, he says, has four nights of drag king performances every week, each at a different venue. Even Edmonton, with a smaller population than Ottawa, has the Alberta Beef Drag Troupe, founded in 2007. Neil Massey, events coordinator at The Lookout, thinks another reason the scene didn’t flourish until now is that people think drag kings are merely dressing in regular street clothes. “When a drag queen comes in, you know she’s the drag queen,” he says. Ottawa’s drag king scene blossomed after Marshall was crowned Mr Capital Pride in 2011 — making him only the second crowned king at a pageant that has run for 17 years. Marshall recalls a promise he made to himself at the time. “I thought, ‘If there’s one thing I’m going to do, I’m going to start a drag king night.’” Marshall soon approached Cox, who shared his enthusiasm. They met with Massey, who has been organizing The Lookout’s drag queen perfor-

mances since 2005. Despite the long wait, Massey says he always had the drag kings in the back of his mind and wanted to create an event that would involve them. Meetings took place in September 2011, and the troupe was born in December. Massey says he’s happy that local lesbians now feel more included in a scene that had been predominantly male. “It’s cool for the girls — they have a place to come on Sunday now.” Massey says the drag king scene is also more welcoming than the queen scene, which has forced him to draw the line certain evenings. “If they could, the kings would let anyone perform,” he says with a laugh. So is Ottawa really that conservative? “We are more conservative, but it’s obviously working here, and people are enjoying it,” Massey says.

the deets CAPITAL KINGS The Lookout Bar Every Sunday night 41 York St thelookoutbar.com


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Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

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listings › ART & PHOTOGRAPHY Jonathan Hobin at City Hall Little Lady / Little Man is a series of portraits of photographer Jonathan Hobin’s grandparents through various life stages, including death. Fri, March 16–Thurs, April 29. City Hall Art Gallery, 110 Laurier Ave W. 613-580-2424. Free, wheelchair accessible. ottawa.ca/arts

Love, Loss, Sickness & Health A series of Polaroids by New York photographer Devin Elijah, whose mother, a nurse who died at 38, represented one of the ďŹ rst documented cases of a woman with HIV. Tues, April 13–Thurs, April 29. La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St. Free. 613-860-1555. lapetitemortgallery.com

Comix Jam Shake the dust o your drawing pencils at Ottawa’s monthly Comic Jam. Open theme; suggestions welcome. Wed, April 25, 7–10pm. Shanghai Restaurant, 651 Somerset St W. Free, materials provided. 613-863-8264. comixjam.tripod.com › continued on page 20

IN PRINT

Tradition, meet Canada Local author explores struggle of gay Middle Eastern immigrants Layla Cameron

T

HE WINNING ENTRY OF A national literary contest tells a story that is often lived but rarely spoken about. In The Lebanese Dishwasher, local author Sonia Saikaley tackles the taboo subject of homosexuality in Middle Eastern immigrant communities. Her book won the 2012 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. “The Lebanese Dishwasher was selected because of the elegance of its style and the strength of its story,â€? says Luciano Iacobelli, co-founder of Quattro Books, which runs the annual contest. “It concerns itself with two cultures, Lebanese and Palestinian, and it deals with the issue of homosexuality within these cultures. The book is about a minority within a minority.â€? The novella’s protagonist is Amir, a gay man who immigrates to Montreal from Lebanon after suffering through civil war and a traumatic childhood. He ďŹ nds a job as a dishwasher in Montreal but continues to struggle with his past. At work he meets a man named Rami who gives him hope and serves as a companion. “My initial response,â€? says Mark McCawley, editor and publisher of the online magazine Urban Graffiti,

“was that it was a splendidly written, sensitive depiction of a same-sex relationship . . . that avoided both traditional immigrant stereotypes and any clichĂŠd depictions of gay lifestyle . . . It is neither a ‘gay’ book nor an ‘immigrant’ book. The book is essentially a love story and a uniquely Canadian one.â€? While she is not a lesbian, Saikeley knows the problems gay immigrants encounter. She says the reality is that many gay Middle Eastern immigrants remain closeted even after they come to Canada. “In my own community, it’s rarely spoken about,â€? she says. “I grew up in a traditional Lebanese household, and I ďŹ nd the most important thing is marriage and having children.â€? Iacobelli expects some within immigrant communities will be upset by the book’s content. “I’m sure some people will be shocked and morally outraged,â€? he says. However, he says the invisibility of the struggles of gay people is a universal issue. “If these realities are not faced, they lead to ignorance and cruelty, and the result is unhappiness for all,â€? Iacobelli says. “My hope is that some of these people will read the book

“In my own community, it’s rarely spoken about,� says Ottawa writer Sonia Saikaley of homosexuality.

and see that love happens between two members of the same sex in much the same way that it happens between a man and a woman. It’s the same joy. It’s the same loyalty.�

the deets THE LEBANESE DISHWASHER Sonia Saikaley Quattro Books $14.95

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XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

19

IN PRINT

An excerpt

THE INNER LIFE OF

Danıel Allen Cox Montreal novelist launches third sexual thriller, Basement of Wolves

T

Matthew Hays

HE FICTION OF Montreal writer Daniel Allen Cox is almost alarming in its intimacy. He leads readers into the heads of his protagonists, revealing their most private, dark, twisted and intensely sexual thoughts. The result is an unusual validation of his readers’ inner lives. Cox’s universe isn’t exactly comforting, but it’s certainly honest. That quality is again on display in his latest novel, Basement of Wolves. It’s the story of Michael-David, a Los Angeles–based actor who turns that crucial age of 40 and loses a prized role to a younger actor. Desperate to keep working, Michael-David takes a part in a mysterious art film in which he is to co-star with a pack of wolves. But when the project begins to fall apart, he holes up in an old hotel, where he loses his grip on reality and descends into paranoid frenzy. This latest story is distinct from Cox’s earlier novels for its more surreal flavour and its clearer narrative thread. “I guess this is my most mainstream book, whatever that means,” he concedes. “Though it’s possibly the only Canadian novel this year with a graphic rimming scene. And the word fuck appears more than 90 times, double my last book. I guess my vocabulary is getting better.”

Cox gives great quote, so interviewing him is always intriguing. Sitting in a bistro in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood, he sips his Scotch with full, pouty lips. He speaks with a barely perceptible stutter, pausing on the occasional consonant. It’s endearing and ludicrously sexy. “Sex and writing are both always on my mind,” he says. “Text is like fluid, so it’s inherently sexual. When bodies are interacting with text, whether writing, editing, translating or consuming, it’s like the exchange of bodily fluids. In my life, both sex and writing are liberating. So I like to mix them up and see what happens. The results, I hope, are sexy. Whatever they are, I get off on the process.” Cox’s novels seem to lead readers to build imaginary cinematic landscapes. His 2008 debut book, Shuck, feels a lot like an early Gus Van Sant film. The story captures the sleaze of New York’s gay-porn milieu extremely well, probably because Cox actually lived it. In fact, a large measure of his cachet comes from his time as a Manhattan sex worker and pornstar. Cox — yes, that is his real name — says those are defining experiences for him. He fondly recalls, for example, seeing a woman fist a horse in a seedy peep show in lower Manhattan. Sadly, the Manhattan he captured in Shuck no longer really exists. The experience of reading Cox’s 2010 book, Krakow Melt, is also a bit like watching a movie. The story is a strangely revelatory romance among

DALLAS CUROW

IN MY LIFE, BOTH SEX AND WRITING ARE LIBERATING. SO I LIKE TO MIX THEM UP AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THE RESULTS, I HOPE, ARE SEXY.

pyromaniacs fighting homophobia in Poland. “The films of David Lynch have had a huge impact on me,” Cox says. “And Basement of Wolves is my most cinematic book, for sure.” Praise has followed Cox with each new title. He has been shortlisted for an impressive basket of literary awards — ReLit, Ferro-Grumley, Lambda — but has yet to win. “I’m running out of Susan Lucci jokes,” he says. And just as Basement of Wolves launches, Cox reveals his latest bit of news: he’s collaborating with Toronto auteur Bruce LaBruce on a screenplay. The project already has a good deal of buzz surrounding it. Titled Gerontophilia, it’s the story of an intergenerational romance between a teenager and an octogenarian. Cox describes it as “beautiful and fearless.” Still, he has mixed feelings about his growing notoriety. His Wikipedia page was hacked a few times by people with seemingly odd intentions. And a few of his fans seem to have a hard time separating fantasy from reality. “Of course I’m thrilled when someone likes my work,” he says. “It’s such a great compliment. But recently I’ve had some run-ins with overzealous fans, people who have lost a sense of the boundaries between us. There were moments when it was physically threatening. At the same time, of course, the praise from critics and readers is flattering. It’s an odd combination.”

Today is a brand new morning, but my heartburn starts once Tim pulls the chair in front of me and sits at my table. “You,” I say. “Don’t act too excited.” “You ditched me the other day.” I sound upset, but I’m actually happy to see him. “Dude, you were fine. It was a good thing to find your own way out.” Today he’s wearing black jeans and a plaid long-sleeved shirt. It’s wrinkled and smells like sweat. I shuffle my slippers and they bump into skateboard wheels. “What are you doing here?’’ “I could ask you the same question, but I don’t,” Tim says, giving me attitude. Those eyelashes must be two miles long. “I guess I just like it here. And you’re interesting.” It’s the merry-go-round. Young hustler has a tired ruse I decoded two decades ago. Maybe I even invented it. Soon enough, his knee will graze mine. If I move away, he’ll split. If I hold the thigh firm, it’s a clear invitation. Our interaction was scripted before we ever met. Yet, under the table, all I can feel is the skateboard, the edge of the sandpaper grip on the top of the plank against my shin. His long legs have seemingly disappeared. “Wanna go on the roof tonight?” he asks. “Don’t you have any wild parties to attend?” “The Doctor doesn’t call me anymore. We can bring Jack Daniels and Coke up there.” “You want me to buy it, I guess?” “If you want to, that’s cool. I can pay for it.” “No, no, I insist,” I reply a little too sarcastically. I can’t achieve subtlety before two cups of coffee. I take forty bucks out of my bathrobe pocket and slip it to him. “That’s really not necessary,” Tim says. “Don’t be silly. See you at eight.” “It’s gonna be a blast, you’ll see.” After Tim leaves, I realize he’s got me where he wants me. I can’t ask any questions about his life, though I’m dying to know. Does he work? Go to school? Where does he live, and what frees him to spend his days with me? I can’t ask him, because that would license him to probe my hot air balloon. Until pop. Can’t let that happen. Maybe this arrangement is for the better. I prefer silence to lies. My immediate and most pressing worry, however, is that we didn’t set a meeting place, and I’m not sure if he remembers my suite number. —From Basement of Wolves by Daniel Allen Cox

the deets BASEMENT OF WOLVES Arsenal Pulp Press $16 Daniel Allen Cox reads from Basement of Wolves Sun, April 29, 8:30pm Venus Envy 320 Lisgar St


20

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

NEIGHBOURHOOD

Romancing the bike Repair shop keeps the good tires rolling Samantha Everts JENNIFER WEST DIDN’T GROW UP riding bikes. In fact, if you had told her five years ago she’d open Ottawa’s first female-run bike shop she wouldn’t have believed you. “I’d say you were nuts,” she says. However, while living in Germany, working for the US military, West began exploring the countryside by bicycle and took a number of long bike trips throughout Europe. “I’m not much of a city person, and bikes offer that sort of freedom,” she says. West turned her passion into a second career when she retired and moved to Canada, opening Wheels in Motion out of her home in March 2011. Relying at first on the skills she’d developed in Europe, West eventually attended the United Bicycle Institute in Oregon, where she became certified as a bicycle technician. Since then, West has amassed a bike collection of her own. “I have about 15 bikes now,” she says, noting that she may eventually move her shop to a location outside her home. She says she strives to see customers

I WANTED TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR THE BUSINESS, NOT NECESSARILY BECAUSE IT’S WOMAN-OWNED. Jennifer West is used to seeing customers’ eyes “bug out” when she returns their bikes. SAMANTHA EVERTS

excited about getting back their bikes. “The first thing I do when I get a bike is wash it all down. How can you tell what’s really needing repair if it’s greasy and dirty, anyways?” All repairs are done with great affection; in fact, West says, she spends more hours researching than she does on the physical work. “I’m really into colour,” she says, proudly displaying a beautiful orangeframed bike with orange pedals and matching gear casings. She says she’s used to seeing customers’ eyes “bug out” when they see their bikes again. “People don’t recognize

their bikes when I return them; they look brand new,” she says. Aside from her careful handling, repair and restoration, West offers a service unique to Ottawa: “I’m the only one I know of that does a pickup and drop-off service.” That service is included in her affordable prices, and a typical tune-up takes less than a week. West says she prefers working on commuter bikes, although she has experience with mountain bikes and custom-built models. She uses only new parts from a supplier in Quebec when doing repairs. West was cautious at first about joining the male-dominated field. “I wanted to be recognized for the business, not necessarily because it’s woman-owned.” She says she has as many male as female customers, but many women feel more comfortable having another woman pick up their bikes. Now firmly established, West thinks destiny led her to her new passion and her home in the capital. “This shop is where my partner’s dad worked on her bikes when she was little,” she says.

the deets WHEELS IN MOTION Near Carlingwood Shopping Centre wheelsinmotion.me 613-276-5216 or 613-800-9252 Pickup and delivery Monday to Friday, 6:30–9:30pm

listings › › continued from page 18

HEALTH & ISSUES The Living Room A free space for poz people and their loved ones. Food bank, free laundry facilities, internet, counselling, workshops, advocacy and support groups. Contact the Living Room to make an intake appointment. AIDS Committee of Ottawa, 251 Bank St, 7th floor. Free. 613-563-0851. aco-cso.ca

Women for Sobriety A confidential and anonymous self-help recovery program for women. Every Sunday night, 7–8:15pm. Christmas Exchange Program, 1390 Prince of Wales, 4th floor. All women welcome. Free. 613220-3588. w.f.s.in.ottawa@gmail.com

Weekly Yoga at GayZone Free weekly yoga classes for gay men. Open to everyone, from beginners to advanced students. Thursdays, 5:15–6:45pm. Centretown Community Health Centre, 420 Cooper St. Free. aco-cso.ca/gayzonegaie

No More Apologies Ottawa A gathering to discuss romance, dating and the widespread social exclusion facing trans women in the queer women’s community. Dance party to follow. Sat, April 14, 11:30am–2am. Jack Purcell Community Centre, Room 203, 320 Jack Purcell Ln. 613-563-4818. creating.safer.spaces@ptsottawa.org.

Lansdowne Follies This fundraiser for the Friends of Lansdowne legal challenge features Ian Tamblyn, Amanda Rheaume, Tara

The 8th Annual Ten Oaks Project Bowl-A-Thon raised $60,000! Whether you pledged a participant, volunteered at the event, donated a prize for the prize pile, sponsored a lane, or hit the lanes with us, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts – and the soles of our bowling shoes – for your contributions and your support.


more at xtra.ca

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

Holloway and the Just Voices community choir. Sun, April 15, 4pm. Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. Tickets $30, available at the Mayfair, Compact Music and the Ottawa Folklore Centre. letsgetitright.ca

graphics: VARIAL

For more listings, go to xtra.ca

Taste for Life Help stop HIV/AIDS by dining out! Twenty-five percent of total sales from the 45 participating restaurants will be donated to Bruce House and the Snowy Owl AIDS Foundation. Wed, April 25, 5–11:30pm. atasteforlife.org

Post-Adoption Support Group For queer- or trans-identified adoptive parents who want a non-judgmental space to talk. First Thursday of each month. Thurs, May 3, 6:30–8:30pm. Centretown Community Health Centre, 420 Cooper St. Free. For more info, email celeste.taylor@hotmail.com.

Winners of the Gold Medal and President’s Award at the prestigious Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain

FILM & VIDEO Rocky Horror Picture Show Put on your scant, scandalous outfits, grab your gays and come out to this screening of a classic, featuring the Absent Friends shadow cast. Sat, April 14, 11pm. Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. 613-730-3403. $10–15. mayfairtheatre.ca

CO-PRODUCED BY SUBTOPIA, SADLER’S WELLS AND TOHU

JUNE 20–23

Albert Nobbs A touching and well-crafted film about a woman who, for various reasons, has chosen to live as a man. Sun, April 15–Wed, April18, various showtimes. Bytowne Cinema, 325 Rideau St. 613-789-3456. $7–10. bytowne.ca › continued on page 22

NAC Theatre 7:30 p.m. t Tickets $35+ MEDIA PARTNER

nac-cna.ca/presents

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22

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

listings ›

The all new

For more listings, go to xtra.ca

› continued from page 21

FILM & VIDEO (CON’T) Divergence Movie Night May’s movie is Queer China, “Comrade China,” a historical account of the queer movement in modern China. Wed, May 16, 8pm. Shanghai Restaurant, 651 Somerset St W. Free, suggested donation $5–10. divergencemovienight.com

Something for him & him 240 Bank St. r 613-233-1628 r svjewellers.ca

indexdirectory.ca

Ottawa’s Gay & Lesbian Business Directory – is online!

All listings published in Index are also featured on the searchable online version at indexdirectory.ca

indexdirectory.ca y LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

WHERE YOU LIVE OVER 25 MILLION YOUTUBE VIEWS! HUNDREDS OF SOLD OUT CONCERTS!

LEISURE & PLEASURE Hump Night Mid-week debauchery at its finest. I Love 2 Hump features the Eva Darling Drag Show and DJs Martin and Grace. Wednesdays, 9pm on. Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market Sq. 613-789-5324. ilove2hump.com

Rideau Speedeaus Join the Rideau Speedeaus Swim Club Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays for some wet fun! Ottawa U Pool, Montpetit Hall, 125 University St. To register for the Learn to Swim program, email lts@ rideauspeedeaus.com. 613-5625789. rideauspeedeaus.com

Creative Writing Play Date A drop-in writing group facilitated by Sean Zio. Poetry, fiction and non-fiction writers welcome. Tuesdays, 8–10pm. Mother Tongue Books, 1067 Bank St. Suggested $5 donation. creativewritingplaydate.com

Presentation on Wild Women Join members of the Lesbian Outdoor Group for a slideshow presentation on Wild Women Expeditions. Senior guide Ally Lyske will talk about what makes women-only adventures so special and what WWE has on offer this summer. Wed, April 25, 7–8 pm. Trailhead Ottawa, 1960 Scott St. 1-888-993-1222. info@wildwomenexp.com

Gay Volleyball Tournament The 21st annual Gay Volleyball Tournament welcomes teams from across Canada and the States. Sat, April 28 and Sun, April 29. University of Ottawa, Montpetit Hall Gymnasium, 125 University St. $700 per team; maximum seven players. gayottawavolleyball.com

Lesbian Badminton

STRAIGHT NO CHASER MAY 17 - 8PM

CENTREPOINTE THEATRE

TICKETS 613.580.2700 CENTREPOINTETHEATRE.COM

The Lesbian Outdoor Group hosts a number of indoor activities through the fall and winter, including weekly badminton. Drop-in players welcome. Saturdays, 10–11:30am. Jack Purcell Community Centre, 320 Jack Purcell Lane (near Elgin and Lewis). lesbianoutdoorgroup.ca

LIX Monthly Coffee Meeting The Lesbian Information Exchange has revived its monthly coffee meeting for lesbians to socialize, network and connect. Mon, April 16, 6:30pm. Michel-Ange Café, 35 Laurel St. Free. girlswanttoknow.com

The PepTides perform on Sat, April 21.

Frontrunners Women’s Run Join the women’s contingent of the queer running group the first Saturday of every month. Sat, May 5, 9am. Meet at the Lisgar St entrance to City Hall, 111 Lisgar St. Free. ofr@ottawafrontrunners.org

Femme Family Tea Party Ottawa Femme Family is a group for femme-identified people of all genders to talk about all things femme, feminist and fabulous. Wheelchair accessible. Sat, May 5, 1–4pm. Alpha Soul Café, 1015 Wellington St W. Free. 613-761-8000.

Vintage Queers Dance The Ottawa Senior Pride Network presents the Vintage Queers Dance — the first queer seniors’ dance in Ottawa! Enjoy music from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s. All ages. Sat, May 12, 8pm–midnight. Good Companions Centre, 670 Albert St. $20 advance, $25 door. ospn-rfao.ca

Ottawa Knights Bar Night Join the Ottawa Knights Gay Men’s Denim and Leather Club for their monthly night of debauchery. This month’s fetish theme TBA. Sat, May 12, 10pm. Cellblock, 340 Somerset St W (above CPs). Free. ottawaknights.com

PRINT & PERFORMANCE Glenn Nuotio at Black Sheep Local musician and composer Glenn Nuotio opens for Little Scream; one night only. Also appearing: AKUA. Fri, April 13, 8:30pm. The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr, Wakefield, QC. Tickets $12. Available at ticketweb.ca and 1-888-2226608. theblacksheepinn.com

The PepTides at Black Sheep Local lovelies The PepTides open for Samantha Martin and The Haggard. Sat, April 21, 8:30pm. The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr, Wakefield, QC. Tickets $10. Available at ticketweb.ca and at 1-888-2226608. theblacksheepinn.com

Voices of Venus This series showcases women writers, with a focus on spoken word poetry. Organized by Faye Estrella and Allison Armstrong, this month features Toronto’s Alessandra Naccarato. Wed, May 9; open mic 8pm, featured artist 9pm. Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar St. 613789-4646. venusenvy.ca


more at xtra.ca

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

XPOSED

By Michael Burtch

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Balancing breath, mind and body… …in our busy lives ottawamensyoga.ca Live the Outaouais with me. Let me be your personal guide to your new home.

From left, Mr Leather Ottawa 2011, Robert MacMillan; Wicked Wanda; and Mr Capital Pride 2012, Mandy Marshall, pose at Flamingo’s SM Leather Night on March 29. The party is the brainchild of promoter Brenden Johnstone, from Ball and Chain Entertainment, who says it’s “just the first in a series to spark people’s creativity and fetishes, and we’re already starting work on the second edition for this summer!”

Director Seamus McKenzieChapman (left) and cast members Michael Wright, Julien Lavallée, Kevin Keung, Caroline Bowden, Philippe Charlebois, Geoffrey Wale and George Rigby are all smiles after the openingnight performance of TotoToo’s Other Eyes at the Arts Court Theatre.

From left, Mr National Capital Leather Pride 2011, Steve Stewart; Mr Central Canada Olympus Leather, Jean Plamondon; Ms Central Canada Olympus Leather 2011, Bad Schoolgirl; Mr Leather Ottawa 2012, Isaac Wesley; and International Ms Olympus Leather, Kira Morganne (front), represent their titles at SM Leather Night at Flamingo.

From left, Eric Sneak, Andrew Brown, Ahmet Ceviz and Randy Miller at the April 4 debut of Other Eyes.

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From left, Nadia Blasutti, Youth Services Bureau’s Alisa McClain, co-organizer Dillon Black and award-winning playwright/performer Luna Allison celebrate International Women’s Week at Carleton University’s coffee house shindig Oh Ya! Consensuality! on March 12.

From left, Randolph Shannon, Christopher Luesby and Claude Jutras at the premier of TotoToo’s Other Eyes.

Suzy Yim, Zach Zimmel and Zach Ashbee, of Team BeaverTailzzz, at the eighth annual Ten Oaks Project Bowl-A-Thon, where $60,000 (and counting) was raised to help send queer youth to camp.

Ottawa Frontrunners Yannick, Mark, Phil, Joe, Roger, Jean-Claude and Marco are all smiles after winning the best-costume prize at the Ten Oaks Project Bowl-A-Thon at McArthur Lanes. The group of runners raised more than $2,500.

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A World of Gay Adventure

Montreal

The third in a three-part series

The city’s food scene masters cuisine, ambiance and charm Story by David Walberg Photography by Carrie MacPherson

A

DIVINE CONFLUENCE OF traditions blesses Montreal’s food scene. For starters, there is the simple fact of French heritage and the corollary commitment to method, to professionalism and to pride in food well prepared and well served. But other traditions would seem to fly in France’s face. These are the Québécois traits that give cuisine in the province’s largest city its character and charm — traits shared, interestingly, not with France but with Denmark. These two societies, being small and folksy, share a communal culture where everyone likes to be on the same level. They take pride in jolly gregariousness and banishing hierarchies, romanticizing le p’tit gars, the little guy. In restaurants, this means a lovely sense of informal camaraderie, in stark contrast to the serious pecking orders of French cuisine. They also share bad weather. Cold and dark for months on end, both places love comfortable and cozy interiors. Much of the joy of eating in Montreal and Copenhagen comes from warmth: warm and inviting hosts in warm and inviting environments.

IN TERMS OF THE FOOD ITSELF, MONTREAL has become known in recent years for highend reinventions of hearty peasant cuisine: comfort food for foodies. Martin Picard, Quebec’s biggest celebrity chef, is widely believed to have kick-started

Le Gros Jambon, above and top left, opens early and closes late. Left, the Elvis sandwich arrives smothered in chocolate sauce.

the continent-wide fad for gourmet poutine variations. His restaurant Au Pied de Cochon audaciously boasts an entire foie gras menu amongst heaps of meat and offal, including headcheese and a whole pig’s head for sharing. The duck confit comes in a can from which it is famously plopped onto your plate, quivering gelatinously. Fries are cooked in duck fat, piglets are roasted to a crisp and the eponymous pig’s foot is served with still more foie gras. Picard’s latest cookbook includes recipes for squirrel and beaver in which the head, tail or paws are saved for presentation oomph at the table. But times are changing, and other chefs are branching out to include lighter and subtler food. Eloi Dion, chef at Van Horne (1268 Ave Van Horne), is a master of melding delicate flavours into complex symphonies. His panseared pickerel is served in a subtle kombu daishi broth that incorporates the distinct flavours of bacon, soy, mirin and sake. His demi-glace involves roasting bones for three days to ensure all bitterness is banished. It’s a pure demi-glace, without the lily-gilding crutches of tomatoes or cherries. Van Horne co-owner Sylvie Lachance provides the room’s charm. She is an engaging, quirky collector of art and eclectica. The restaurant houses some of her acquisitions, including the doors from the Iran Pavilion at Expo ’67 and a wall devoted to paper plates silkscreened by Roy Lichtenstein. The restaurant is small and intimate. The tiny open kitchen suggests not the presentational pomp of a celebrity chef on display, but rather the sense that no one has thought to put up a door to contain the mayhem. It’s an amusing contrast to the tranquil dining room populated by tony patrons from nearby Outremont. “I THINK IF THERE IS A TREND IT WOULD be simplify rather than fancify popular dishes — that whole purity of the plain-butquality ingredient,” says Patrick Meausette, who owns two restaurants — Cluny ArtBar and Titanic — with Rob Hack. “That is going on in other cities, too, but the Montreal twist is not to get fussy about it, to not keep raising the prices and the fancy names. I hate fancy, long-winded names for dishes — unless they are funny.” Both restaurants occupy funky industrial spaces. Titanic (445 Rue St-Pierre) is in a former fur warehouse in Old Montreal, while Cluny (257 Rue Prince) shares an old foundry building with an art gallery. “The new hit on our Titanic menu is scallopine Milanese,” Meausette reports. “Breaded pork pounded thin and deepfried. We serve it in an onion-bread sandwich with a caper remoulade. No one bats an eye at a fried-meat sandwich. We try to keep it healthier by controlling the frying temperature, so there’s less oil absorbed, and serving it with spinach.”


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Above, Van Horne co-owner Sylvie Lachance poses with a tuna tartare. Right, fish bathes in a delicate kombu daishi as chef Eloi Dion and staff cook up a frenzy in the background. Pastry chef Amy McKinnon, below right, bakes rustic pastries at Olive et Gourmando. Far right, Patrick Meausette (in apron) and Rob Hack have turned a former foundry into Cluny ArtBar.

“We have always done the idea of improving simple, almost ‘home,’ or at least ‘country,’ cooking and using Mediterranean ingredients, sometimes out of context. We take recipes we love and modernize them: bundt cake with olive oil, yogurt and lemon zest. Or I make bread pudding without bread and substitute day-old croissants and add rhubarb or dried cherries.” Lesbian pastry chef Amy McKinnon, of Olive et Gourmando (351 Rue St-Paul Ouest) agrees. “The current trend in Montreal dessert is a combination of high-quality ingredients, unique flavour combinations and a sense of nostalgia. It’s pretty common to see desserts that your grandmother used to bake, only made with a twist. Whether that twist is a high-quality cocoa or an added flavour element, there’s a lot of interesting mixtures of old and new.” “I think we’re all really interested in knowing where our ingredients come from and are willing to put the extra effort into making products completely from scratch. You’ll find a lot of places making their own cheeses, tonics, candies and breads.” “The personal touch with dessert is another trend in Montreal baking right now,” McKinnon says. “It’s common to be served by the person who made your pastry. There are a lot of beautiful shops with a small staff or no staff at all in Montreal. Les Chocolats de Chloé, Cocoa Locale and Patisserie Rhubarbe are some of my favourites.”

THE MONTREAL TWIST IS NOT TO GET FUSSY ABOUT IT, TO NOT KEEP RAISING THE PRICES AND THE FANCY NAMES. —Patrick Meausette, restaurateur At Titanic and Cluny, the personal touch goes on behind the scenes, too. “We have been a haven for many lost souls, people new to the city, people getting their footing,” Meausette says. “Many of our staff are new immigrants, and some of them have come out while working with us, so I guess we are a nurturing environment. I think the most important thing was to show them that it was normal to be gay or not and that they were accepted by their colleagues and the clients. Maybe some of the best thinking we have instilled has been with straight new immigrants who worked with us and who found a new understanding about gay people, which they admit they would never have had in their original countries.”

on the web

New & notable Chuck Hughes is a celebrity chef, host of the Food Network show Chuck’s Day Off. Garde Manger, his inaugural restaurant, quickly became a destination in Old Montreal. Just around the corner, Hughes recently opened Le Bremner, which he describes as a “seafood diner.” Le Bremner (361 Rue St Paul Est) is informal and has a comfy back patio reminiscent of a cottage deck. The restaurant specializes in cocktails and sharing plates, which include giant fried oysters and mackerel escabèche with crème fraîche.

Le Gros Jambon (286 Rue Notre Dame Ouest) is a new hotspot in Old Montreal, open early and closing late. Try the Elvis sandwich: peanut butter and fried bananas inside grilled bread topped with chocolate sauce. Nora Gray (1391 Rue St-Jacques) is a new darling of local food critics. Inventive Italian food and a thoughtful wine selection are wrapped in a sleek minimalist interior. Choose from wildboar ragu over pumpkin ravioli or pistachio-stuffed leg of lamb with a side of kale gnudi.

Be YOU in Manchester

Van Horne ›vanhornerestaurant.com Le Bremner ›crownsalts.com/ lebremner Titanic ›titanicmontreal.com Cluny ArtBar ›cluny.info Olive et Gourmondo ›oliveetgourmando.com Nora Gray ›noragray.com

Find out why YOU should be at Manchester Pride? Voted ‘Best Pride’ for the last five years by the UK’s Pink Paper, isn’t it time YOU booked a trip to Manchester! visitmanchester.com/lgbt


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XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

Vienna

FSKKING

A dynamic city where cultures co-mingle Armando Mendonça with files from Guidemag staff Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two When will you realize Vienna waits for you

T

H I RT Y - F IVE YE ARS AG O, piano man Billy Joel sang those lyrics in the song “Vienna,” on his breakthrough 1977 album The Stranger, celebrating a city where cultures co-mingle. The City of Waltzes retains the elegance of centuries past. It’s a monumental city filled with churches, museums, concert halls and government buildings of such massive scale you can’t help but recall this city was once the centre of the AustroHungarian Empire. Now the capital of the rather small country of Austria, it seems a bit oversized but has regained some of its former importance by hosting a number of international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. Prince Eugene of Savoy, famous for pushing the Ottomans away from the gates of Vienna and back to the Balkans over the course of several wars, was widely known in his lifetime to prefer same-sex intimacies. His mark remains at his summer residence, the two Belvedere palaces. Situated amidst extensive gardens, the palace complex is considered one of the world’s finest baroque landmarks.

This year Vienna’s über-chic arts and culture scene is celebrating the 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt. A pioneer of the Modernist painting style, Klimt spent most of his life in Vienna and is best known for The Kiss, which is currently on display at the Belvedere. Almost 200 of Klimt’s drawings are on exhibit at the Albertina museum. Near the Belvedere, the Museumsquartier (known as the MQ), the eighth-largest cultural area in the world, is a playground for art lovers. The vibrant district is home to the Leopold Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kunsthalle Wien exhibit centre, artists’ residences and studios — as well as a great selection of restaurants, cafés and bars. Cool lounge-like chairs are spread throughout the MQ. Although not as famous as those of Berlin and Paris, Vienna’s gay scene sizzles and goes late into the night. Many of the clubs, bars and restaurants are clustered just southwest of the ring road surrounding the historic city centre, around Pilgramgasse, Neubaugasse, Museumsquartier and Karlsplatz U-bahn stations. There are dozens of major events every year, including film festivals, circuit parties, bear gatherings and, of course, the Rainbow Parade in June. One of Vienna’s greatest events, the Life Ball, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on May 19 at Vienna’s historic city hall, the Rathaus. Life Ball reinvents the great Viennese Ball tradition with glamorous, outlandish performances and inspirational speeches that celebrate the beauty of life and cultural diversity. Organized by AIDS

   PALM

SPRINGS

Vienna trip advisor BARS & CLUBS Mango Bar Red Carpet

LODGINGS BaKul Guesthouse Wombat’s City Hostel

RESTAURANTS & CAFÉS Café Standard Palmenhaus

SHOPPING & SERVICES Löwenherz Sexworld International

SAUNAS & SEX CLUBS Kaiserbründl Sauna Sauna Frisco

CSDVIENNA.AT

At top, a panoramic night view of Vienna. Above, queens strike a pose at the Rainbow Parade, Vienna’s Pride celebration.

Life, Life Ball raises money to support people in areas of the world most affected by HIV/AIDS. Holiday Inn Vienna City is a charming family-owned and -operated hotel with stylishly appointed rooms and a great terrace on which to enjoy breakfast. It is located near the Naschmarkt, a well-known meeting point with more than 120 market stands offering delightful culinary choices, from Viennese to Indian to Italian. The Saturday flea market is not to be missed; relax with a local beer for some great peoplewatching. The Naschmarkt area is within walking distance of many gay bars and Vienna’s most famous street, Mariahilferstrasse, the city’s main shopping avenue. Fleming’s Deluxe Vienna City Hotel, also situated in the heart of the city, opened for business in early 2011. This luxury hotel offers all the amenities you would expect from a deluxe property: multiple room categories, a brasserie and wine bar, fine dining,

Find information on more than 100 gay and lesbian places of interest in Vienna at guidemag.com.

and fitness and wellness facilities. It’s within comfortable walking distance of the underground and many sightseeing attractions. Fleming’s is a classact company that recently supported the CANFAR event in Toronto, Bloor Street Entertains.

on the web Vienna Tourism GLBT ›wien.info/en/vienna-for/ gay-lesbian Holiday Inn Vienna City ›holidayinn.com/vienna-city Fleming’s Deluxe Vienna City ›flemings-hotel.com Life Ball 2012 ›lifeball.org or ›voxtm.ca/diversity

LIFE BALL May 19, 2012 This star-studded HIV/AIDS charity event and fashion show at Vienna’s Rathaus runs until 5am. It should be on everyone’s party bucket list.

VIENNA’S PRIDE & RAINBOW PARADE June 12–16, 2012 Celebrations, including the beginning and end of the parade, take place in Rathausplatz. The parade is June 16. A closing show is held in Rathausplatz. Pride parties are held in clubs scattered throughout the city.

VIENNA IN BLACK Oct 24–28, 2012 A five-day, four-night international leather and fetish event, with dinner and brunch events, a bike tour and much more. The weekend coincides with Austrian National Day (Oct 26), when the Austrian military parades on Heldenplatz (Heroes’ Square).

CLOTHING FREE RESORT WHERE THE MEN STAY For Reservation (800) 445-8916 (760)327.8222 www.ChapsInn.com 312 Camino Monte Vista Palm Springs, CA 92262


Guidemag.com

A World of Gay Adventure

Berlin Germany’s capital is a mecca for gay tourists Armando Mendonça with files from Guidemag staff

B

ERLIN IS ONE OF THE MOST gay-friendly cities in the world. A vast and diverse set of gay scenes, thoughtful civic amenities and tourist-friendly pricing make Germany’s capital a popular destination. The city is a mecca, and not only for gay people. Prices here are reasonable compared

FROM

to other European capitals, and rentrefugees from other EU countries and beyond are flocking in, creating an evermore-cosmopolitan ambiance. English is firmly established as the second language of most people, especially in the west, so English-only tourists will have little trouble communicating. Berlin’s — and the country’s — most notable monument is the Brandenburg Gate. Restored over a two-year period, starting in 2000, this iconic structure, located west of the city centre, served

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HUSTLABALL.COM

Left, the Bode Museum on Museum Island. Above, HustlaBall is one of the most sexdrenched events on the circuit.

DALBERA

as the entrance to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs. The square immediately behind, Pariser Platz, is home to embassies and the luxurious Hotel Adlon Kempinski, which offers a twostar Michelin restaurant, a luxury spa and an outdoor terrace overlooking the gate. Sunday brunch is a sublime culinary experience. Located in the middle of the Spree River, which flows through the city centre, is the famous Museum Island, consisting of five internationally significant museums: the Old Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, the New Museum and the Pergamon Museum. The entire complex, worth a trip for the buildings themselves, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Once you

get through the extensive collections, or if you need to rest, you can escape by way of the charming cobblestone paths to the island’s hidden gardens, quality restaurants and boutiques to recharge. Look no further than KaDeWe for your shopping pleasure. Located in the city centre, close to the Wittenbergplatz U-Bahn station, KaDeWe is Continental Europe’s largest department store. The variety of brand names and quality of product is comparable to Holts in Canada, but bigger. The surrounding area features an array of exquisite shops, wonderful restaurants and quaint parkettes. Other shopping districts include Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Hackescher Markt, Kurfürstendamm, Tauentzienstrasse, Spandau Old Town, Schlossstrasse and Schönhauser Allee. Flea markets are also very popular and can be found throughout the city.

Gay life is easily found in the Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain neighbourhoods. Best known to tourists are the quiet treelined streets of Schöneberg, a little south of the area between Wittenbergplatz and Nollendorfplatz U-Bahn stations. It has a well-established, multifaceted gay community, and you’ll often see same-sex affection and leathermen in full regalia alongside families and kids on bikes. It is also the location of the big summer street events: the Stadtfest lesbian and gay festival and the Christopher Street Day celebrations. Most of the gay bars, clubs and shops are located in Schöneberg, including the gay-owned and -operated Axel Hotel, which offers chic accommodation, outdoor and rooftop terraces, wellness facilities, bars, and a cocktail lounge and restaurant. Christopher Isherwood, who wrote so evocatively of Berlin, lived in this neighbourhood (at Nollendorfstrasse 17) more than 70 years ago. As in other German cities, › continued on page 28

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A World of Gay Adventure

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

Montreal beats

on the web For a full list of Montreal festivals ›tourisme-montreal.org Mutek ›mutek.org Piknic Électronik ›piknicelectronik.com Osheaga ›osheaga.com

Piknic Électronik. MIGUEL LEGAULT

Montreal is now solidly established as a city with a Hot Music Scene — and not just because The New York Times and Rolling Stone say so. During the warm summer months, at the peak of the city’s extensive festival season, there are opportunities aplenty to hear what’s on offer: from big names to small, in a range of genres. Just in time for those making summer plans, the organizers of three key music festivals have revealed their plans for 2012. The five-day, multi-venue Mutek festival (May 30 to June 3) is the main event of an international organization dedicated to promoting cutting-edge electronic music and sound art. Founded in 2000, Mutek has grown steadily in scope to become one of the world’s leading events of its kind, featuring many of electronic music’s most established figures, while providing a platform for new talents. Jeff Mills, Nicolas Jaar and Shackleton will headline the 2012 lineup, which also features Kode9, Jimmy Edgar and Apparat Band. If you like your electronica a little more accessible, check out Piknic Électronik, a weekly outdoor dance party that kicks off May 20 and runs every Sunday through the end of September. Held on Île Ste Hélène in Parc Jean-Drapeau, under Alexander Calder’s gigantic L’Homme sculpture, it’s an afternoon/evening rave that draws clubbers outdoors and away from the heat of the city. It features both A-list and emerging DJs and draws an eclectic crowd of hipster gays, sophisticated professionals and teens too young to get into the clubs. Also held in Parc Jean-Drapeau is the largescale, multi-stage Osheaga Music and Arts Festival (Aug 3 to 5 — conveniently, that’s the Ontario Civic Holiday weekend). Now in its seventh year, Osheaga draws the big-name touring bands, including, in the past, Coldplay, Ben Harper, Sonic Youth and Arcade Fire, as well as less well-known up-and-comers. The recently revealed 2012 lineup includes Feist, Florence and the Machine, Sigor Rós, Snoop Dogg, Metric, the Black Keys, MGMT and The Weeknd, among many others.

Guidemag.com

CARIBBEAN COMFORT

Strolling Lions Dive beach in Curacao. CURACAO TOURISM BOARD

Curacao is gaining recognition as one of the gay-friendliest Caribbean destinations. And with its natural beauty, rich history, stunning architecture and vibrant arts scene, it has something for everyone. Gay-friendly bars and accommodations are plentiful, and many hotels belong to the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association; at 17 members and counting, Curacao has the largest IGLTA membership in the Caribbean. Boston’s Edge magazine has named it the best gay destination in the Caribbean, and Frommer’s chose it as a top destination for 2012, the only Caribbean country to make the list. The island’s big gay celebration is the annual Get Wet Weekend in September, a four-day Pride-ish event filled with parties, cultural events and dances, put on by Curacao Gay Plasa, the local gay community group. Many hotels offer discounts for the event, and the country’s tourist board offers island-wide savings packages for those who book travel during Get Wet Weekend. There’s always lots to do, however, and with its pristine dive sites, secluded beaches and year-round sunshine, it’s a great place to unwind any time. Nightlife is focused in the capital city of Willemstad, a culturally diverse UNESCO World Heritage Site sprinkled with colourful 18th-century Dutch buildings. Visit gaycuracao.com and curacao.com for more details.

Off-season delight Discover Key West’s off-season charms with free accommodation for three nights at the popular Island House guesthouse for gay men. Guests who book a four-night stay at the resort before the end of June 2012 will receive three bonus nights (mid-July to mid-October, weeknights only). Voted best gay resort by Out Traveler and Planet Out, Island House offers a poolside café/ bar that never closes; complimentary happy hour every evening; a health spa with gym, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna; and a naked pool party every Sunday afternoon. Visit islandhousekeywest.com for conditions and details.

Comfort and charm. COURTESY OF ISLAND HOUSE

Berlin › continued from page 27 the straight folks blend right in. A few minutes’ walk from Nollendorfplatz station is Mann-O-Meter, a queer community centre with information on gay Berlin. The U-Bahn will take you from Schöneberg to Eberswalder Strasse and Schönhauser Allee stations, in what was once East Berlin. Around and between the two stations, the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood is full of interesting sights. East German gay society emerged from an alternative art and political milieu, which came of age under the old regime behind the wall. The district retains, almost a generation later, a distinct appearance and atmosphere from that of the former West Berlin. There are gay sex shops, saunas, restaurants and bars here, but gay sensibilities and perspectives owe less to American and Western European models than to their own historical roots. Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain districts also have an alternative feel and are growing in popularity with gay people looking for lower housing prices and a more multicultural mix. There are many beautiful parks scattered throughout Berlin, not least the cruisy Tiergarten, where one can enjoy the summer sunshine without a stitch on and raise nary an eyebrow — not surprising in one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.

GAY PRIDE/ CHRISTOPHER STREET DAY FESTIVAL June 21–23, 2012 Numerous events, a street fair in and around Motzstrasse, Gay Night at the Zoo and festivities along the Spree River, all leading up to a parade.

FOLSOM FAIR BERLIN Sept 8, 2012 Europe’s largest leather and fetish event runs noon until 9pm, with more than 20,000 people attending. The fairground features food and drinking areas, shopping, information booths and live music from Europe’s hottest DJs.

HUSTLABALL CIRCUIT FESTIVAL Oct 19, 2012 The biggest HustlaBall franchise brings together people from around the world who are looking to explore their erotic senses freely without fear of discrimination.

Berlin trip advisor BARS & CLUBS Blue Boy Bar Prinzknecht

LODGINGS Tom’s Hotel Arco Hotel

RESTAURANTS & CAFÉS AndaLucía Tapasbar Maharadscha Indian Restaurant

SHOPPING & SERVICES Mister B Prinz Eisenherz

SAUNAS & SEX CLUBS Apollo Splash Club Treibhaus Sauna Find information on more than 200 gay and lesbian places of interest in Berlin at guidemag.com.

on the web Visit Berlin ›visitberlin.de/en KaDeWe Shopping Centre ›kadewe.de Axel Hotels ›axelhotels.com


more at xtra.ca

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

Ottawa’s online directory of gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses

indexdirectory.ca

indexdirectory.ca ACCOMMODATIONS BRITISH COLUMBIA The Eagle’s Nest B&B

FIREPLACES

1-866-766-9350

ACCOMMODATIONS - ONTARIO Ambiance Bed and Breakfast 613-563-0421 Brookstreet Hotel 613-271-1800 Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre 416-977-6655 The Gilmour B&B 613-236-9309 Trinity House Inn 1-800-265-4871

AIDS/HIV RESOURCES AIDS Committee of Ottawa Bruce House Bureau régional d’action sida (BRAS) Gay Zone

613-238-5014 613-729-0911 819-776-2727 613-563-2437

APARTMENTS Minto Apartments Limited

613-782-2227

ART GALLERIES Cube Gallery Galerie 240

613-728-1750 613-680-0866

613-834-1777

Obsession Lounge

613-288-0506

BATHROOM Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

613-913-9595

BICYCLES Fresh Air Experience McCrank’s Cycles

613-729-3002 613-563-2200

BOOKS & MAGAZINES - ADULT Classixxx Adult Store

Ottawa Diamond Flooring Westboro Flooring & Décor Inc

613-274-3535 613-226-3830

FLORISTS Select Roses Tivoli Florists

613-567-2600 613-729-6911

FRAMING & POSTERS Cambridge Design Gallery

613-232-2787

FURNITURE FoundDesign The New Oak Tree

613-523-2205 613-253-9797

FURNITURE - ACCESSORIES Alteriors Contemporary Furniture

613-722-1661

GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES 613-565-8224

613-523-9962

mother tongue books

613-730-2346

CATERING Epicuria - Fine Food Store & Catering

613-745-7356

CHEESE SHOPS House of Cheese

613-241-4853

CHIROPRACTORS In Balance Chiropractic and Health Centre

613-837-8885

CHURCHES St Luke’s Anglican Church of Ottawa

613-235-3416

CLEANING & MAID SERVICES MetroPro Rent-A-Wife

613-728-5650 613-749-2249

613-726-9200

Pharmacie Dany St-Yves The Ottawa Professional Therapy Centre

819-776-1555 613-565-0763

CONSTRUCTION 613-913-9595

COUNSELLING Antoine Quenneville 613-230-6179 x401 Dr Gordon Josephson 613-862-6902 Dumouchel - Paquette Counselling & Psychotherapy Services Luc: 613-235-9813 Robert: 613-234-0331 Dwight E Thompson 613-220-1265 Gilmour Psychological Services 613-230-4709 Jean Hanson 613-321-2726 Jerry S G Ritt 613-233-9669 Ruth Dulmage 613-731-5454 Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre 613-591-3686

DRY CLEANING

HOME IMPROVEMENT & REPAIRS Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

613-913-9595

Andrex Holdings Phoenix Homes

613-238-1835 613-723-9227 x123

INSURANCE John Shea Insurance Brokers Ltd

613-596-9697

INTERIOR DESIGN cky Design Group Oleander for Home

613-317-0237 613-789-5999

JEWELLERY & JEWELLERS Davidson’s Jewellers Howard Fine Jewellers Magpie Jewellery S.V. Jewellers

613-234-4136 613-238-3300 1-888-9-MAGPIE 613-233-1628

KITCHENS Interiors by Cefaloni Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

613-234-8888 613-913-9595

LASER SURGERY 613-569-3737

Philip MacAdam Law Firm

613-234-6759

Readi Set Go

Mann & Partners, LLP Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP

613-722-1500 613-238-8080

LIFE COACHES Anne Meloche

819-790-7053

MASSAGE CERTIFIED/REGISTERED Serge Houle, RMT The Ottawa Professional Therapy Centre

613-722-1500

EVENT PLANNING & PROMOTIONS confersense planners inc

613-232-4414 1-877-903-3882

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

PSYCHOLOGISTS Dr Lina Charette

613-233-6256

PUBLICATIONS Pink Triangle Press Xtra Ottawa Xtra Toronto Xtra Vancouver

416-925-6665 1-800-268-XTRA 416-925-6665 604-684-9696

J ason Wong Lee Caswell Lu Korte

613-656-3395 905-373-2236 613-884-1311

613-224-4530 x224 613-656-3395 613-612-8400 613-224-7899

MUSIC LESSONS Jamie Anderson

613-761-1138 613-271-1800 613-241-1516 613-234-3156 613-241-8656 613-288-0506 613-233-6239 613-233-6404

SEX SHOPS Wicked Wanda’s Adult Emporium

613-820-6032

SEXUAL COUNSELLING Ruth Dulmage

613-731-5454

SHOPPING Readi Set Go

613-695-8688

SPA SERVICES Sophia Esthetic Spa and IPL Laser Services Spa Homâ

613-233-3366 819-595-3044

SPORTS & FITNESS EQUIPMENT Fresh Air Experience

613-729-3002

THEATRE Orpheus Musical Theatre Society 613-729-4318 Toto Too Theatre tototoo.ca

TRANSGENDER

613-791-3224

Last chance to book!

Deadline: May 7 ƀ When you advertise in the spring edition you will get a complimentary ad in the fall edition at no cost. ƀ All Index ads are provided with full colour — free of charge. ƀ All listings are also featured on the searchable online version at indexdirectory.ca. ƀ Listings are also published on a special Index page in every issue of Xtra Ottawa

613-731-5454

UPHOLSTERY Kessels Upholstering

613-224-2150

WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS Rainsoft of Ottawa - Eternally Pure Water Systems Inc 613-742-0058

WEBSITES

MOTORCYCLES & SCOOTERS Power Sports Canada

613-913-9595

Absinthe Brookstreet Hotel Courtyard Restaurant Giovanni’s Ristorante Mamma Grazzi’s Obsession Lounge Ristorante La Dolce Vita ZenKitchen

Guidemag Squirt

MORTGAGES Evan Weiner, AMP J ason Wong Mortgage Alliance

HIV Agencies AIDS/ ult Adve rtisingAr tis ts Ar ts & Crafts Acco untants Ad lies s pp on Su ati es t od zin Ar ga mm ies Ma Acco ments Ar t Galler keeping Books && Se rvi ce s Resources Aparttcy Bars & Clubs Bicycles Book pp lie s Su s es sin rup Bu nk s tie ocola rs niz ati on Banking Ba Cheese Shops Ch ofe ssional Orga Busin ess & Pr t Cleaning Catering Chat Lines Co ns ultan ts Co ns tru cti on r Butchers Carpe ou ps & Se rvice s Co mp ute etic Services Counselling ntal Services Co mm un ity Gr Renovations Cookwa re Cosm ting Services De Contrac ting & & Shelters Cross-Dressing Da ming & Posters Furniture s Fra ce ts t Even l Hair Stylists Crises Servi ag Enter tainmen ms Hair Remova Dermatology Dric Design Services Grocery Gy& Nutrition Home Furnishings ph Gardening Gra h & Personal Care Health Food rs Insurance Interior Design rs ers ye wy Law nss La en & Barbers Healt nts & Repairs Hotels Illustrato ce Bars che ch K tch rs Kit Ju eellerrss Jui Jewelle y & Jew Home Improveme ellerry elle smiths Massag g ck ew J Jew s Lo s ce ice ce rvi rv erv rvi S Se t Se nt en tme es Movin ousine Inves tm tessens Mortgag gal Services Lim Leather Life Le ered Massage Meats & Delica ists Organic Food Painting etr tom Supplies s Op & cetor Certified/Regist Optical Serviec res Sto a t g & Boarding Pests indexdir Sittiny.c h era py otth ho & Storage Music st s Ps yc h og iist rs Pet Care Pet liti c ho llog yc sy P Ps s ns tments ian cia es t tic Inv oli Personal Traines P P g Po tate ing Es b bin mb al lu lum Re Plu ts rs r e en he ap grrap ura nts & tate Ag tog oto Ph o Es tate Real Es tio ns & Re sto rat ion s Re staTattooing al Re s ns on tio ati ca bli va Pu blic Ou t & Deliveryl Agen cie s fle xo log y Re no Re creati on Re unselling Spa Services Take tio n Trave on s Tra ns po rta ings Women’s Services ati Cafes Sexual Co nic mu om Te lec Wedd s / es S/ S ice Sit IDS b AID rv Se We ies A x ncie ery en Ta Age ing Ag rttisin erti ve phies Upholst ttan Adv lt Ad ult fts du Ad ntttss A ts & Craafts A ts Tree Services Tro coun an t ts Ar Accco e Artis ons A ies io llies t ti ati pp da o od Su t m es mm Ar zin co e es ies cco ga A Ac eri allller ga Y ga Yo nt Art Ga ents me eping Books & Ma rtm art pa p Ap rcess A rce urc R sou Bicycles Bookke & Se rvi ce s H Re HIV tcy Bars & Clubsniz ati ons Busin ess Su pp lie s ocolatiers Banking Bankrup ga Or al ion Cheese Shops Chns tru cti on ofe ss es Pr Lin & s at es Ch sin ing Bu t Cleaning Cater s Co mp ute r Co ns ultan ts CoCo g ling elllin nsse un Butchers Carpe ou ps ces Cou rvice rviice rv Serv tic Se eti me Cossm y Gr ps & Sens e Co arre wa kw ok ntal Services oo Co mm un ity C Co De s s n ce ion tio at rvi va ov Se no g en R g & Re ng tin acti ac essing Datin ntra Contr terrss Furniture osste Po elters Cross-Dr E F ming & P nttss Fra en ve Ev ir Stylists ses Services & Sh Crise Cri E ter tainment cer Hair Removal Ha rnishings g En ag ra ms D Dr Gy y y gy ry l log ce olo t ato Gro ma rm Der De me Fu rvices Ho Se n ion sig trit De Nu & hic D sign or De erior eri Gardening Grap h & Personal Care Health Food rss Ins ce Intte ers ers st ato In uranc ch ye wy te s Illustr ens Laaw & Barbers Healt en rs Hotel airs air pa Rep rs Kit he B rs ements & Re em s Juice Ba ve r rs ller prov pro age elle e mp w ss ew Jew J Ma me Im me & om s y Ho ry ller elle e smith ck ew Jew s Lo s c ce ice ce rv rvi er rvi e Se t Se rage rag ora e Sto ousine I es tmen Inv ess Moving & St age ag rtga gal Services Lim lica sens Mortg tesse tes Delicate Leather Life Letered Me rsonal Trainers & Pe s g ts ats at ing ea int M Pa od ist gis ic Fo eg nic /Re phers gan rtified/R isttss Orga tris Certifi etr tome ptom pplies Photogras Re all all Services Op ica pttic n Rea ns Pet Stores & Su tion Music Op rapy Pu bli ca tio he rap ting & Boardingg ist s Ps otthe Sit ho y t ch yc sy logy log Pe olo P x xo re fle Ca t Re n log Pe on olo ho attiion ati ch ea y yc r cre Ps ec R Re s ns t ts ia nt cia en itic l liti tm stm e Inves i ng Po lling Spa Plu mb ing allNEstate Inv IA Rea Re tsSB LEts Sexual Counse ica &en Ag Y fes e te GA ate Ca t tat s ’S & n E Es l on ion al t tio WA nts e ati ca R Re TA e ni nic ura te ate tOT mun E tat Es Ys Resta OR ion CT s Telecommu rat sto ReRE ns S&DI SIN tioES ing Tax Service ies Upholstery Web BUva tooing Reno Tatttoo y Tat erry live live eliv ph De D & Tro t ut s O Ou ce e rvi Tak Se s 1 cLes vicce rFAL s Tree 201 Servi Travel Agencie Transportation Women’s Services Yoga Sites Weddings

RENOVATIONS & RESTORATIONS

613-565-0763

indexdirectory.ca

ESTATE PLANNING Mann & Partners, LLP

Ottawa Police Service 613-236-1222 x5687

613-837-8885

613-745-8391

613-695-8688

POLICE SERVICES & ORGANIZATIONS

Ruth Dulmage

613-232-5681

ENVIRONMENT/ GREEN PRODUCTS

819-776-1555 613-233-4029

RESTAURANTS & CAFÉS

613-726-9200

EDUCATION & INSTRUCTION Sylvan Learning

Pharmacie Dany St-Yves White Cross Dispensary

HEALTH FOODS & NUTRITION

LEGAL SERVICES 613-747-7800

613-567-0800

PHARMACIES

Rainbow Foods

LAWYERS 613-233-4443

OPTOMETRISTS

Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

LCI Lasercom Clinics

COMMUNITY GROUPS & SERVICES

613-216-6076 613-232-8586

REAL ESTATE

Rainbow Foods

HOUSING

BOOKS & MAGAZINES - NEW

Eyemaxx Optical Studio Optical Excellence Rideau Optometric Clinic

HEALTH & PERSONAL CARE

BARS & CLUBS

Parker Clean

613-834-1777

FLOORING

GROCERIES

Romantic Fireplaces & BBQs Inc

Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

613-728-2693

Jack Of All Trades Design

BARBECUES

Centretown Community Health Centre The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa

OPTICAL SERVICES

Merkley Supply Ltd Romantic Fireplaces & BBQs Inc

29

indexdirectory.ca 416-925-6665 squirt.org

WEDDINGS Cube Gallery The Open Circle

613-728-1750 613-596-2817

YOGA Ottawa Men’s Yoga

ottawamensyoga.ca

Watch for the 2012 spring edition of Index in the June 7 issue of Xtra.

Ottawa’s Gay & Lesbian Business Directory – is online!

For more information on advertising rates and deadlines, contact 1-800-268-XTRA or email: index.ottawa@xtra.ca

indexdirectory.ca y

Call us today to book space or contact us for more information. Phone: 416-925-6665 Email: index.ottawa@xtra.ca


30

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

The all new

Your next hookup is closer than you think. squirt.org


more at xtra.ca

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

31


32

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! APRIL 12, 2012

Pay a little more towards your mortgage each month

Take time off when you want

Find out how to take advantage of new flexible mortgage features today.

Take a Payment Vacation

We know how important managing your mortgage is. We also know how important it is to live life to the fullest. That’s why a TD mortgage offers a range of flexible features that helps you balance both. Take our Payment Vacation. With it, you arrange to pre-pay a little more each month and work towards the opportunity to take time away from your mortgage payments when it benefits you the most.1 Staying at home with a new baby, finishing that degree, taking a sabbatical or something else entirely – the choice is yours. Get in touch with us today to discuss how our flexible mortgage features can help you get the most out of life.

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Subject to approval. Conditions apply. ®/ The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.

1

Xtra - Ottawa's Gay and Lesbian News Issue 242  

Xtra - Ottawa's Gay and Lesbian News Issue 242

Xtra - Ottawa's Gay and Lesbian News Issue 242  

Xtra - Ottawa's Gay and Lesbian News Issue 242