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OUR ANNUAL PRIDE GUIDE Who to do and what to see › inside

CHANGES IN CENTRETOWN Increasing rents cause concern › 10

OTTAWA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS

UNPACKING WASHINGTON A new era for AIDS activism › 13 #246 AUG 16, 2012

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COMMENT 6 XCETERA 7 NEWS 9 OUT IN THE CITY 17 XPOSED 25

THE PEPTIDES DISH IT OUT AT CAPITAL PRIDE ›18

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Comment In youth’s image INBOX ACO Naked Eye Gareth Kirkby

T

I M E TO G E T OU T T H E short-shorts and strut for Pride. We’ve got a lot to celebrate. Many of our goals from the last two generations can now be checked off, human rights laws for gays and lesbians chief among them. I’m most impressed with the new generation of activists, many of them still in high school, increasingly members of cultural minorities. They’re using cogent, often sophisticated arguments to persuade others, including school board trustees, to help them build a better world. Even when that world conflicts with their own parents’ views. I had trouble arguing against my parents at home as a teenager, let alone taking on their views at a school-board meeting. The new activists have their own priorities, as should each generation of active citizens, though it’s also important that they learn from our collective history. They want to change the world to reect their views of freedom and equality, adding new layers of esh to the bones of Canada’s great Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Yet, perhaps in keeping with our time, most I’ve spoken with don’t even consider themselves activists but rather just people caught up in something they consider important. Of course, that’s exactly what an activist is — and why so many in our community have always been activists regardless of our individual comfort with the label. So, yes, we’ve made much progress for many in our communities to live comfortable lives. And yes, the next generation continues to make its own progress. But our struggle for our day in the sun is not over. Until kids grow up not being bullied, until students are routinely taught a gay-inclusive curriculum, our battles will not be over. Until gay teachers are not under pressure to remain closeted. Until Vancouver’s King George Secondary School is renamed after Jane Rule. Until the “homosexual panic defenceâ€? can no longer be used to get a light sentence for murder. Until police and the Crown vigorously investigate and prosecute gaybashings and routinely invoke the hate-crime designation at trial.

Until trans people have recognition of their rights and free access to surgery. Until threesomes are legal. Until Canada Customs loses its power to seize anything it wants at the border (even material that would be legal if produced in Canada). Until government stops trying to censor or control every new technology, including the internet. Until there is a free vaccine for AIDS. Until rational science and harm reduction is at the heart of all health policy and practice. Until seniors’ residences respect sexual orientation and allow residents to have sex. Until government funding treats gay tourism and queer arts and culture as worthy. Until society embraces sexuality and gender as just facets of who people are — admittedly complicated, but desirable facets that pose no risk to anyone. Until, in short, church and state have been pushed back from regulating people’s choices and imposing morality, and the Christian heritage is wiped from our legal codes. And until countries around the world, including the particularly homophobic former British colonies, recognize sex- and genderbased rights and freedom for all — our work will not be done. This will take a while, of course. Gays and lesbians, and others who bend the borders of desire, will not be free until people overcome their individual and collective fear of sexuality. Fear of sexuality, and gender difference, is deeply wired in Western culture and the world’s three major religions. Gays and lesbians, speciďŹ cally our sexual expression, are the personiďŹ cation of that fear, the monster under the bed if you will. I know this work will continue here and internationally as successive generations engage with our issues, add to the list, and go about changing the world in their image. And that excites me, not least because after 15 years at Pink Triangle Press as an editor, publisher, producer and engagement director, I’m moving on in my day job, seeking and welcoming new challenges in meaningful work. I move on with the spirit of Pride: celebrating who and what I am — who we are — and at the same time committed to doing my bit in my spare time to continue building community. Happy Pride, Ottawa! See you around. Gareth Kirkby is a former managing editor of Xtra and senior manager of Pink Triangle Press.

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

IN WHAT UNIVERSE IS THIS going forward [“ACO Moves Forward,� xtra.ca, July 17]? A nonHIV “poz� guy has four directives, and not one includes full and active or meaningful participation of those with HIV? Fuck core values. He is a living, breathing example of a total breach of those “core� values. And the ACO is a signed supporter of the criminalization of HIV. Could you tell me please why you’ve written this article? What are you trying to sell here? Kyle Toronto, ON

Bill 13 B R ADL E Y T U RCOT T E’S editorial illustrates an unfortunate hidden reality in our education system [“When Teachers Are the Bullies,â€? Xtra #245, July 5]. I come from a teaching family, and though I love my family, they are still human and fallible as teachers. Over the last 20 years, I have been privy to so many conversations recounting how they dealt with LGBT youth, and in my opinion they failed miserably and were indeed bullies. It is my hope that the passing of Bill 13 will ďŹ nally make a difference. At the least, it will allow the kids to be able to do something to empower themselves, because teachers, unfortunately, can’t be counted on to act in their best interest. Marc Ottawa, ON I CAN TOTALLY RELATE TO this editorial, but my bullying didn’t come from my youth days during my school years; it was more as an adult in the workplace. Having gotten a job with the provincial government I felt I was safe, and with all the human rights and the Charter of Rights, I thought it was a safe place for me to work and not have to worry about my sexual orientation. I was wrong. My bullying started a year after I was hired in 1992 at the age of 31, and to this day I ďŹ nd myself still ďŹ ghting for my rights. It seems like an endless task with no solid protection. At 51 I can say it hasn’t gotten better and seems like it never will. Some 20 odd years of ďŹ ghting for what should have been, has never been. It has changed my chosen career and the very person I have become. If not for ourselves, then maybe we can support others in making a difference for the future generation in not having to endure the torture of being bullied, harassed or discriminated against. Robert Ranger Ottawa, ON Send your correspondence by mail to PO Box 70063, 160 Elgin StPlace Bell RPO, Ottawa, ON K2P 2M3, email comment@xtra.ca, or log on to xtra.ca & comment directly. We may edit letters.


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EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE Luna Allison, Kandace Blaker, Michael Burtch, Ray Chaaya, Jeremy Feist, Andrea Houston, Gareth Kirkby, Lauryn Kronick, Justin Ling, Tim McCaskell, Armando Mendonça, Meghan Pearson, Katie Toth, Laura Zahody

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Roundup #246

AIDS ACTION NOW

AUG 16, 2012

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ANALYSIS

Acting up in Washington The 19th annual International AIDS Conference in Washington may not have revealed any new information in the global fight against AIDS, but long-time activist Tim McCaskell says it did encourage the reemergence of activism that holds intransigent leaders to account.

› 13

NEWS

ONLINE

Gallery closure Bowing to pressure from the city, the LCBO and neighbours, Patrick John Mills has chosen to close his homebased Hintonburg art gallery. › 9

Gay couple denied apartment A Brampton, Ontario, couple is filing a human rights complaint after a rental agent refused to show them an apartment because they are gay. › 14

OUT IN THE CITY

Gay gamers Get out your joysticks and check out forallgamerssake, a Pride installation in the gay village dedicated to all things queer in the world of video games. › 17

COVER STORY

Threeway in Taiwan Taiwanese director Yang Ya-che’s new film, Girlfriend Boyfriend, is a study in just how different the genesis of gay identity can be. › xtra.ca

VIDEO

David Rakoff The award-winning Canadian-born writer died Aug 9 in New York City following a long battle with cancer. In an Xtra video interview from 2010, comedian Elvira Kurt chats with Rakoff. › xtra.ca

REGULARS

Comment › 6 Xcetera › 7 News › 9 Xposed › 25 Index › 26

The PepTides

COLUMNS

Ottawa’s most colourful collective will headline this year’s Pride festivities. Xtra chats with group members Claude Marquis and DeeDee Butters about their latest project and why they love cock. › 18

Editorial › 6

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! ›twitter.com/xtra_canada

LISTINGS

Art & photography › 20 Film & video › 20 Print & performance › 20, 26 Health and issues › 20 Leisure and pleasure › 26 COVER PHOTO BY JONATHAN HOBIN

Win 2 tickets to Laugh Out Proud VIII on August 23rd courtesy of Jer’s Vision! Email the answers* to the following questions to lorilynn.barker@xtra.ca. 1. Name 1 of the 2012 Youth Role Model’s of the Year 2. Name 2 of the Youth & School programs and services offered by Jer’s Vision 3. Name an upcoming event being hosted by Jer’s Vision Winner will be notified by email on August 21st. *Tip: find the answers at http://www.jersvision.org/en

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noteworthy › updates › ephemera

Xcetera

Compiled by Jeremy Feist and Bradley Turcotte

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PACK Pride is here and it’s time to prepare for the onslaught of partying. And what better way than to assemble a Pride survival pack to help the week go smoothly?

Bottled water is a rip-off, so save money and the environment with a reusable water bottle.

DIAL-BUDDY Need a quick escape from an awkward encounter? Team up with a friend who will send you a text to bail you out if you need an exit plan (and return the favour, of course).

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Even if you don’t smoke, someone’s going to ask for a light eventually. Having one handy is a nice way to segue into a conversation.

CELLPHONE CHARGER All that time on Grindr is going to suck your phone dry, and fast.

CALLING CARDS Whether you’ve just met your new best friend or your future ex-husband, a calling card is a lot easier than shouting your digits over a noisy crowd or loud music.

CONDOMS AND LUBRICANT Chances are you’re going to get lucky, so be sure you’re ready with protection.

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Number of times Claude Marquis and DeeDee Butters said “cock” during the interview for Xtra’s Pride cover story

WATER BOTTLE

It’s summer and you’re probably going to be shirtless for most of the week. Avoid sunburns and melanoma with a little SPF 15.

You’re going to be shaking a lot of hands out there, so you’d better have something to kill the bacteria on your grubby mitts.

Pride condensed

COMFORTABLY NUMB DEEP THROAT SPRAY

The cost of attending every event in Xtra’s Ultimate Pride Guide:

DOGGY STYLES

Which dog will land you a date? Yes, we all know that dogs are man’s (and woman’s) best friend, but did you know they’re also your best wingman? According to a survey released by Klooff, an app for pet lovers, the type of dog you own can help get you a date. If you’re a man, get a German shepherd; they make you seem gruff and in control. For women, a golden retriever makes you appear sunny, loyal and loving to potential hookups.

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dispatches › issues › opinion

Upfront PRIDE NEWS

I FIND IT REALLY PROBLEMATIC WHEN DAVID WEX SAYS HE BUILDS ON EMPTY LOTS BECAUSE IT’S SIMPLY NOT TRUE. Priscillia Mosher, anti-poverty organizer › 10

COMMUNITY NEWS

Pride bypasses Parliament again Parade route past Centre Block too expensive, organizers say Bradley Turcotte

sent. This silencing tactic needs to be challenged systemically THE RISING COST OF POLICING and creatively,” Mulé says. But Capital Pride chair Loresa and road closures means this year’s Capital Pride parade will Novy says the board of directors once again not pass in front of is happy with the current route. She says the parade’s route down the Parliament buildings. Some community members Laurier Ave makes for an equally say this is a missed opportuni- powerful experience. “While it’s nice to pass Party to pack a political punch by demonstrating in front of Centre liament Hill because it’s such a large space, it tends to get lost,” Block. “It is really unfortunate that she says. “We found that going economics is being used to over- down Laurier, you can feel the ride the very integrity of why energy from the people and it’s a we gather to celebrate Pride, very powerful experience.” Past chair Doug Saunders says and that is to politically assert ourselves. Particularly at the rising police costs meant Capital Pride could not afford to continue making the journey past Parliament. “It cost too much money. It was going to cost about another eight to nine thousand dollars to close off both sides of the street in front of Parliament Hill,” he says. “You have to pay for policing; you have to pay for road closures . . . It was just too expensive.” In 2010, the last year the parade did venture by Parliament, police implemented a rolling closure of Wellington St. One side Queer Ontario’s Nick Mulé says it’s a missed opportunity not to remained open to traffic while include the Parliament buildings the opposing side, from west to in the Pride parade route. east, was closed. As the parade ANDREA HOUSTON made its way down the main very symbolic location at which drag, one section of the street decision-making is carried out was closed at a time, with the in this country: the Parliament police “rolling over” each other buildings,” says Nick Mulé, the to shut down the next section. However, in a 2011 interview chair of Queer Ontario. The Capital Pride parade with Xtra, Saunders said somemarched in front of Parliament one was almost hit on Wellington St during the 2010 parade when a until 2011. “The right to freedom of rolling closure was in use. The Capital Pride parade speech and expression and the right to assemble should not be kicks off at the Garden of Provtrumped by barriers, whether inces Sunday, Aug 26 at 1pm. they be economic or the Harper See the Ultimate Pride Guide for government’s distaste for dis- more details. SU

The Capital Pride parade route. XTRA FILES

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Parliament Buildings

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Ottawa City Hall

Patrick John Mills poses in front of his piece Family. Mills’ last event, Art Is Dead, will be held on Aug 18. BRADLEY TURCOTTE

Art is dead in Hintonburg Patrick John Mills bows to pressure and closes his home gallery Bradley Turcotte IT WAS ONCE A SANCTUARY FOR alternative art, but now the Patrick John Mills Gallery is a ghost of its former self. The smell of sawdust hangs in the air and the residence on Hinchey Ave is virtually empty, although works by queer artists such as Andrew Gayed and Mathieu Laca and trans artist Lilly Butter still hang on the walls. Bowing to pressure from the city, the LCBO and neighbours, Mills has chosen to close his home-based Hintonburg business. Although he never incurred an official fine, Mills says the forces working against him have made it impossible to continue to run a successful art gallery. Originally from St-Jérôme, Quebec, Mills lived in Vancouver and England before settling in Ottawa eight years ago. His passion for painting was born when a university classmate introduced him to the art form, and after the monotony of self-promotion wore thin, Mills opened his gallery in 2007 as an outlet to showcase other artists’ works in addition to his own. When Mills officially opened the gallery, he says, one anonymous neighbour ripped up his posters and complained relentlessly for the first six months, but then the complaints trickled off.

Events at the gallery grew steadily over the years, and Mills built a stage in the backyard to accommodate musicians and theatre performances. The success of the gallery’s events allowed Mills to donate thousands of dollars’ worth of art to local charities, including Bruce House, Rideauwood and the Elizabeth Fry Society. Mills says that when attendance at the gallery’s art shows ballooned to more than 500 people, municipal red tape began to strangle his business. “I had the head office of the LCBO call, then I had undercover police come to my openings. I got an audit from Revenue Canada, food health and safety said I couldn’t serve hot dogs because I wasn’t a caterer, and I had the liquor inspectors come by, so I finally said fuck it,” he says. According to Mills, the issue with the LCBO stemmed from its position that his gallery is also his home, so he was not allowed to sell alcohol. He applied for a special-events permit, which was denied. Ottawa bylaw officers became involved when it was brought to their attention that hundreds of art lovers were congregating at Mills’ gallery. According to the zoning laws of his neighbourhood, a home-based business cannot have more than two people, or customers, on its premises at one time. Mills says he was informed that he can have massive house parties, but the

parties cannot be in any way affiliated with his business. “How can you honestly run an art gallery if you can never have an art opening?” he asks. “You’re never allowed to have a vernissage, never allowed to have any special activities or presentations. It’s a waste of time. So the city didn’t necessarily close me, but they made it impossible to run a business.” Jeff Leiper, with the Hintonburg Community Association (HCA), says many in the neighbourhood are sympathetic to Mills’ situation. “We’re not protesting the city’s decision to essentially ask him to shut down, but nor do we entirely support it,” Leiper says. “We think it should be possible to run a gallery from a private home. Artists don’t necessarily fit within one economic model. It’s not right to ask artists to just stick to the model of working in a private space and then display in a gallery that may be in an area zoned for commercial. We think there needs to be a lot more latitude granted with respect to running a gallery.” Leiper says the HCA can also see the city’s point of view, as laws are implemented for a reason, but he admits that the absence of Mills’ gallery will leave a gaping hole in the cultural landscape of the neighbourhood. Mills hasn’t decided where his new gallery will be located. He is in the process of chopping the property in half and plans to sell a portion of the land. The last event to be held at 286 Hinchey Ave will be Art Is Dead, on Saturday, Aug 18.


10

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! AUG 16, 2012

NEIGHBOURHOOD

The changing face of Centretown Residents apprehensive about high cost of gentrification Luna Allison TO THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWN IT FOR years, Centretown is a very different place than it once was. More polished and posh, it now offers chain stores and hip cafés, more gluten-free products and soy milk, more police officers doing booze sweeps in parks and an abundance of well-dressed people with furrowed brows complaining about the need to clean things up. As market prices have been rising in Centretown, concerned residents and community-service providers have also been warning of a growing problem of access to affordable housing in the neighbourhood, which is home to social and healthcare services for some of Ottawa’s poorest residents. “We’ve always been concerned with gentrification in Ottawa,” says Priscillia Mosher, an organizer with Under Pressure, a local anti-poverty group. “In 2009, there was an Ottawa neighbourhood study that was published in conjunction with [the University of Ottawa’s] Institute of Population Health, and even there it stated that, within Centretown, 30 percent of folks felt that they couldn’t afford to live in their own neighbourhood. The rent was just too high.” It’s often argued that the process of gentrification is set in motion when gays and artists move into a particular neighbourhood looking for cheap rent or property. The initial demographic shift turns the place into a hip destination and then boom, prices skyrocket. Patrizia Gentile, the director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University and a queer resident of nearby Hintonburg, says safeguarding affordable housing in Centretown is a critical issue. “Gentrification causes an incredible displacement of people that would have had access to low-income housing and their part of the city, where a lot of the services that they need are provided.

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There’s this idea that high-income housing is the only kind of housing that is legitimate. It means that the actual culture of Ottawa, of Centretown, will change. At the moment, there’s a lot of diversity.” The most recent flare-up in the gentrification debate was sparked when Urban Capital, a Toronto-based development firm, pushed a proposal through Ottawa City Council to rename a stretch of Bank St. The group wants to name the area that runs from Catherine St to Gilmour St South Central Ottawa. It’s part of the company’s three-building development project and revitalization plan for Centretown. “We’re the ones that started the current condominium boom in Ottawa,” says David Wex, a partner at Urban Capital and the project manager for the Centretown project. “This is just another area that we identified as being good for development. Something that we thought had potential and was sitting, like all the other sites, as empty parking lots that could use some development.” Mosher disagrees. “I find it really problematic when David Wex says he builds on empty lots because it’s simply not true. For example, the condo that now resides on the corner of Gladstone and Bank — that was not an empty lot. That had two buildings on it that were demolished to make it into an empty lot. The church relocated two years before the building was demolished. What I find shameful is that this building, which was really big, was left empty for two years. The city did nothing with it. That building could have been used as a community centre or a recreational facility.” But Mosher also thinks the problem is larger than Wex and Urban Capital. “This has been happening for years. I want to be very specific and say that we’re against unaffordable, inaccessible housing. Whether it’s a rental unit with a landlord who raises the rent unreasonably or developers from

other cities coming in, taking over a neighbourhood like Urban Capital is attempting to do, rebranding it as this kind of upper-class urban hotspot for young professionals. Their condos are selling at prices that are unaffordable to the majority of people.” Currently the gayest neighbourhood in Ottawa and the home of the nascent Village, Centretown is an important area for Ottawa’s gay community. The rebranding campaign is seen by many as a slap in the face, especially since the establishment of the Village was met with such resistance, even though there is a long history of a gay presence in the neighbourhood. Rob Giacobbi, owner of Wilde’s, opened the gay sex shop in the neighbourhood in the mid-1990s. “Our data-

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base was showing that 99 percent of our customers were from this corner, around Bank and Gilmour. So we moved and opened up here,” he says. “That was 17 years ago. It was a very seedy area of town: drug deals on the corner, low rent. That’s where most gay ghettos start. Then the condos move in, like what’s happening now. “I’m for development. I believe people who buy these condos pay taxes. I know there’s a fear that if it’s a more middle-class neighbourhood it might kick some people out. And that fear could be warranted. It could happen to Wilde’s. What bothers me, though, is that the Village had to take so much time and effort to brand from the bottom up and get businesses to put up Pride flags and stickers — they were told they had to go by the [Bank Street] BIA. They did it properly. And then all of a sudden, this developer comes in and wants to call the area South Central Ottawa. I don’t understand how the city can have one direction with the Village but has no problem with this.” The point person for Urban Capital’s development projects at city hall is Diane Holmes, who was unavailable for comment on the rebranding efforts at press time. Meanwhile, Wex has indicated that he’s willing to drop the rebranding campaign if people don’t like Urban Capital’s South Central Ottawa idea. “We were attempting to give some profile to the part of Bank between Catherine and James. The area doesn’t have a lot of profile, even though it is part of Centretown. The idea of coming up with a sub-brand — something for that strip — came from us. The name, South Central, also came from us. But we’re not beholden to it.” After sitting down with Wex, Ian Capstick, chair of the Village Committee and a member of the Bank St BIA, says he hopes the rebranding idea is dead. Capstick says he’s interested in having a very different conversation. “We had an interesting conversation about his top-down approach on the name, and it opened the door to have a discussion about affordable housing,” he says. “The Centretown Community Association, myself and some others have committed to providing David with a considerable amount more information than we think he has right now about how residential neighbourhoods like Centretown need to include mixed-use housing and how that can be a benefit for people who want to purchase a condominium and, of course, to the neighbourhood. “His development isn’t the problem; it’s what his development does to the surrounding residential mix.”

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SPORTS NEWS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Root, root, root for the queer team

Queer Canadian couple attacked in Paris

Baseball games to raise money for Bruce House Bradley Turcotte THE BASES AT RIVERAIN PARK WILL be loaded with men in skirts and girls in greaser jackets on the afternoon of Aug 25, when the third annual Divas versus Dykes charity baseball game takes place. Organized by Marshall Rowat and Bobby Dagenais, this year’s Divas versus Dykes is hosted by the Gay Softball League and promises to redefine what it means to be a pitcher or a catcher. In addition to the showdown between drag queens and lesbians, there will also be a game that pits bears against twinks and trans players, ensuring there will be plenty of high drama on and off the field. The day includes a barbecue and a 50/50 draw, and all funds raised will benefit Bruce House. The theme of this year’s match is an old gay favourite, the musical Grease. The Divas team will be decked out in their best poodle skirts, while the Dykes will be doing their best John Travolta impersonations. The Divas have won the last two years, but Dagenais says the queens should be running scared this year, practising by gripping hard wood and keeping their eyes on those balls. “I think it will be pretty close,” Da-

TWO CANADIANS WERE ADMITTED to a French hospital after being targeted in an attack that has been described as transphobic and homophobic. Montrealers Marie-Eve Baron and Claire Giroudeau were in Paris for a two-week vacation with their young girls, one six, the other seven, when they were attacked by two motorists. In an interview with French gay and lesbian website Yagg, the couple said the incident started after a car cut them off in downtown Paris. Baron, who was driving, honked in surprise. The other car pulled alongside them and the couple inside spat on the Montrealers when they rolled down their window. The two started

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spouting anti-gay and anti-trans slurs, calling Baron “a man with his balls cut off ” and insulting the couple because they are Canadian. Baron got out of the car, and as Baron and Giroudeau’s children watched from the backseat, the man kicked Baron violently in the face. He threw her to the ground, punching her in the face, then rounded on Giroudeau when she tried to intervene. The attackers also rolled down the windows of their car so their pitbull and rottweiler could threaten the couple. Baron and Giroudeau fled before the police arrived. “Nobody came to help us!” Baron posted on her Facebook page. —Justin Ling

Ugandan lesbian granted stay of deportation The Divas won the charity baseball match in 2011, but organizers say there could be an upset this year.

genais says. “The Dykes might make a run for it this year. They’re training hard already, and they are coming back with a vengeance. I’m not sure the Divas have it in them to win.” The idea for the game came from an East Coast league, Rowat says, noting he jumped at the chance to bring it to Ottawa. “One of our coordinators had mentioned it and we just sort of took it on.

It’s a fun thing to do in conjunction with the Capital Pride health and wellness day. And it shows that we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” he says. The first pitch will be thrown out at 1pm. “We hope for a great turnout with generous givers,” Dagenais says. “We encourage the pup community, the bear community and the trans community to come out and have a blast.”

JUSTICE ROBERT BARNES ON AUG 2 granted Leatitia Nanziri a stay of deportation after considering her case. It means Nanziri and her two children will be able to remain in Canada and bring forth an appeal of the original decision. The Toronto-area lesbian has been fighting to stay in Canada since she arrived here from Uganda in 2004, escaping years of abuse, torture, threats and rape. Nanziri made claim after claim and was denied each time; she received her most recent rejection letter in July. The letter informed her that the Refugee Board officer working on her case does not believe she is telling the truth about her sexual orientation.

It set her deportation date for Aug 4. “The circumstances facing these children in Uganda are dire,” Barnes wrote. “The balance of convenience clearly favours the applicant. She has been in Canada seven years. She is gainfully employed. There are no significant problems with her immigration history or with her personal conduct in Canada.” “I can’t go back to my country; I’ll be killed,” Nanziri told Xtra before the hearing. If Nanziri’s appeal is successful, she will have an opportunity for a new hearing. If the appeal is not successful, she will most likely be deported. —Justin Ling and Katie Toth

LOCAL NEWS

Carleton students uphold blood-drive ban AFTER A TEARFUL YET RESPECTFUL debate Monday, July 9, Carleton University’s student association, CUSA, voted 13 to 11 to retain a policy barring Canadian Blood Services (CBS) from hosting blood drives on property owned by CUSA. The CUSA policy was implemented in 2003 as a response to CBS’s refusal to accept blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM). CBS does not currently accept blood donations from any man who has had sex with another man since 1977. The concern is that blood infected with HIV in an undetectable state will be donated and transfused into recipients. CBS also refuses donations based on what part of the world a donor has lived in, where a donor was born, and

National Capital Leather Pride adds new titles ON AUG 17 STEVE STEWART WILL relinquish his title as Mr National Capital Leather Pride and vie for the new title of Mr National Capital Rubber. Stewart began attending leather events in 2008, but he says he was always subconsciously drawn to subgenres in the queer scene. “I’ve always stood out and marched to the beat of my own drum. It was very refreshing to meet so many like-minded people who share the same interests as me,” he says. Now in its third year, the National Capital Leather Pride Weekend takes place at Centretown Pub from Aug 17

whether a donor has ingested certain types of medication. The motion was brought forward by student council member Gina Parker, whose brother has been diagnosed with leukemia. Although she was pushing for a change to CUSA’s policy, Parker and all council members agreed that CBS’s policy is discriminatory. Parker says that although the motion wasn’t passed she’s pleased with the opportunity she was given to discuss the contentious issue. A similar ban on blood donations from MSM has been lifted in Britain, yet CBS and its Québécois counterpart, Hèma- Quebec, have committed only to a review of this ban. — Bradley Turcotte

to 19. In addition to the newly added Mr Rubber category and mainstays Ms Leather and Mr Leather, this year will also include a new National Capital Leather Puppy title. Stewart entered the first Mr National Capital Leather competition in 2010, placing third. He persisted to take last year’s title and says he’s seen the event flourish in the three years it’s been held. The addition of a rubber title is something he says the city needs to keep pace with larger cities’ leather scenes, which have had Mr Rubber titles for years. “Rubber is a really big passion of mine, and I think it should be promoted and shown awareness. I cannot be happier to see a rubber title coming to this city. I look forward to competing in it.” — Bradley Turcotte

Swirl and Twirl’s cup runneth over MEMBERS OF SWIRL AND TWIRL’S organizing committee and event sponsors gathered at the RBC building on Sparks St July 18 to present cheques to the beneficiaries of the May 31 night of wine and entertainment. “We had a fantastic event this year; it went really well. We broke our record on how much money was raised,” Denis Schryburt, Swirl and Twirl’s chair of sponsorships and communications, said. “We’re very excited about that.” The $10,000 raised at this year’s affair went to Capital Pride, Pink Triangle Services and the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument. Capital Pride chair Loresa Novy said she applied to ensure the Picnic in the Park and Capital Pride Youth events would have the opportunity to flourish. Richard Rutherford, president of the board of directors for the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights, complimented Swirl and Twirl’s pragmatism and said it was “overwhelming” for the monument to receive the charitable donation. “We’ve been trying to finish the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights for about 25 years, and it is still not finished,” he said. “It’s a small group of citizens who started it, take care of it and are trying to finish it. This contribution is exceedingly appreciated.” — Bradley Turcotte

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ANALYSIS

AIDS activism shifts gears Taking stock following the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington Tim McCaskell “MEDICALLY AND SCIENTIFICALLY, nothing spectacular,” said Dr Philip Berger over the phone from Washington toward the end of the 19th International AIDS Conference, held July 22 to 29. It was perhaps this lack of hard news that made the major story coming out of the conference that of Timothy Ray Brown, the “Berlin Patient.” Brown, who had leukemia, went through the dangerous, last-resort procedure of first having his immune system wiped out with chemotherapy, then getting a bone marrow transplant to reboot it. The procedure also managed to kill off his HIV. That’s not exactly practical for those of us living with the virus. Brown was very lucky to survive it. As well, for anyone who has been paying attention, this was old news; Brown spoke about his experience in Toronto at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network research conference back in 2011. So does all this mean the conference was a flop? I didn’t go this time, but I’ve been at the last three, and I’ve heard the grumbling: it’s increasingly about photo ops for stars and politicians; it’s just a PR and advertising moment for big pharma; it’s a playground for activists; if there is a medical breakthrough, nobody waits for a conference; it’s all over the web in minutes; it’s a colossal waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere. On the other hand, my inbox has been filled with reports from AIDS Action Now and others. They denounced US immigration rules that prevented sex workers and drug users from getting to Washington and wrapped the Canadian booth with yellow caution tape labelled “Harper Government — Evidence Free Zone.” Then there were the images of Berger being hustled away by a burly security guard after he confronted Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq about federal government cuts to health services for refugees; the massive “We Can End AIDS” march to the White House demanding economic justice and human rights, including a “Tobin tax” on financial transactions to pay for global health; and Aglukkaq again, this time framed by a huge banner declaring “Harm Reduction = Life,” as Canadian activists turn their backs on her speech at the regional session. While some complain that the “decline” of scientific and medical news shows that the conferences are becoming less relevant, I would argue that it reflects a deeper shift in what is relevant in ending AIDS. When we seized the stage at the fifth International AIDS Conference in Montreal in 1989, we needed medicines to keep us alive. Today we have medicines that (imperfectly) do that, but around the world, people continue to die. We know how to keep people well. We just don’t do it. Medical science grinds on, producing its incremental knowledge, but increasingly, social issues are coming to the fore as key to ending the epidemic.

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Activists wrapped the Canadian booth with yellow caution tape labelled “Harper Government — Evidence Free Zone.”

Even at the conference-opening session, which featured luminaries such as Anthony Fauci and Hillary Clinton, it was pointed out that we already possess the tools necessary to end the epidemic. And the talk about finding a cure that used the Berlin Patient as a springboard was more about marshalling the political will and resources to speed up research than about research itself. So it isn’t surprising that Dr Eric Mykhalovskiy was more upbeat. He’s a sociology professor at York University, and much of his recent work has focused on criminalization of HIV. “AIDS 2012 saw the emergence of a global movement against the criminalization of HIV. We had a fabulous meeting organized by Edwin Bernard, with activists from Canada, US, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, England and elsewhere sharing for the first time political and other strategies for stopping the criminalization of HIV nondisclosure.” AIDS Action Now’s Alex McClelland said he found the conference “quite inspiring for once.” He noted the development of a critique of the acronym MSM, more attention paid to gay men, and more talk about how homophobia is driving the epidemic. He was also happy to see indigenous people’s issues much more present, with the firstever main conference session bringing together indigenous leaders on HIV from Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico and other countries, and an “amazing” Decolonize HIV networking zone. If many of the key issues about AIDS have now shifted from the medical to the social, activism represents the political muscle to actually demand implementation. Conferences have become an opportunity to hold governments accountable and embarrass them on an international stage when they screw up. When AIDS Action Now chanted, “Harper Equals Death” and wrapped the Canadian booth in caution tape, when activists interrupted

Aglukkaq’s speech, they were conveying an important message about the implications of government policies and undermining the rigid Harper party line that everything is just fine in Canada. “Harper’s agenda is to dismantle our country’s health and social safety net. His moralistic and criminalizing policies on drug use and opposition to harm reduction are creating a perfect storm for HIV and hep C infections to explode,” explained Zoe Dodd, a harm-reduction activist and member of AIDS Action Now. The other major buzz that built since the last conference in Vienna was talk about “Treatment = Prevention.” Those of us under successful anti-viral treatment are largely uninfectious. So the idea is that the spread of HIV can be stopped if everyone is on treatment. But Dr Alan Li, known for his frontline HIV work among immigrants in Toronto, pointed out it’s not nearly that simple: “The treatment-as-prevention bandwagon has left the station and is proceeding full force, with very limited analysis and discussion on the feasibility, practicality or ethical implications of its implementation. The increasing emphasis on biotechnical/biomedical interventions for prevention versus behavioural/educational approaches brings both promise and huge warning signs to the frontline.” Thanks to Washington, that questioning has begun. Medical science must listen to social science. Since the emergence of AIDS activism in the late 1980s, we’ve always known the path to ending AIDS was as much political as scientific and medical. And as medical science has advanced, policy decisions about how that knowledge gets deployed — as well as the social science research that should inform those decisions and political pressure by activists to see them implemented — have become even more crucial. That’s what AIDS conferences increasingly need to be about.

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Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

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TECH NEWS

NATIONAL NEWS

Remembering the Holocaust on Grindr Justin Ling YOU MIGHT NOT IMMEDIATELY recognize Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. But you may soon be seeing it on Grindr, if Zion Afuta and Boris Cukierman have their way. It seems that the grey slabs of the memorial are a prime location for guys to take their Grindr display pictures. A post from Totem and Taboo. “Remembering those who cannot text anymore,” reads one blog.

No one may have been the wiser to the trend were it not for Afuta and Cukierman. The two started a blog, called Totem and Taboo, in 2011 to compile the pictures. They did not respond to requests for comment. The site captures instances of guys using the memorial in their Grindr images, framing it as a queer commemoration of the Holocaust. “Remembering those who cannot text anymore,” reads one blog, featuring fit 20-something Schulle1986 leaning against one of the pillars, shooting a steely glance into the distance. “In an age when ignorance is prev-

alent [sic] than ever,” reads the blog, “[Grindr] has wowed its members in relentlessly promoting the memory of the Holocaust.” The blog has garnered a spectrum of responses — everything from confusion, to disgust, to acclaim and praise. “This is bizarre,” was the first reaction of Jeffrey Freeman, media and traffic manager for Pink Triangle Press, Xtra’s publisher. “I don’t get the significance of it.” Freeman, who works with Squirt — a rival of Grindr — says he’s never seen anything “glib and throwaway” like this.

New app aims to connect women Lauryn Kronick AS MANY SMALL-TOWN GAYS AND lesbians know, finding other members of your community is not easy. With apps like Grindr, gay men have an easier time meeting and cruising each other. After speaking with other lesbians in her network, Krysten Milne realized she didn’t know of any similar app for women, so she decided to create one and called it Girldar. Milne, a marketing consultant who is president of her own company, Mint Consulting Group, hails from Sarnia, Ontario — whose gay scene, especially for women, could

hardly be called vibrant. “When I was talking with other [queer] girls, I came to the realization that there was no app out there for allowing us, in this community, to connect with each other on a locationbased platform,” she says. “It was a spur-of-the-moment type of decision to make the app, and as a member of the queer community I wanted to get this program out there.” Although Milne’s company is based in Sarnia, GirlDar can be used internationally, acting as an integrated Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare application that allows users to “shout out” to each other, check in and con-

AS A MEMBER OF THE QUEER COMMUNITY I WANTED TO GET THIS PROGRAM OUT THERE. —Krysten Milne nect with others in the same location, and add friends. Milne says GirlDar is not designed to be a cruising or dating app; she wants mainly to connect queer women for networking and friendship purposes. For more on these stories, visit xtra.ca.

Krysten Milne says queer women are looking for an app to help them connect, especially in smaller towns.

Gay renters target of discrimination A GAY COUPLE IS FILING A HUMAN rights complaint against a rental agent in Brampton, Ontario, after she blocked them from applying for an apartment because the landlord does not want to rent the property to gay people. After searching several weeks for an apartment, Thiago Derucio and his boyfriend, Chris Prentice, found a place using an agency called Rental Diva and called to book a time to look at the space. When Prentice called, Juliet Stewart, the agency’s operator, said the apartment was still available. When Stewart asked who would be renting it, Prentice replied that he’d be living there with his partner. “She said, ‘You and your partner. What does that mean? Are you gay?’” Derucio says. “So he said yes.” Stewart then told Prentice the landlord had said explicitly that the apartment should not be rented to gay couples. She then ended the call. Once the shock wore off, Derucio says, he phoned back. “I was pissed and hurt. So I called her back. When I asked if she is denying apartments to gay people, she said, ‘That’s right. My client doesn’t like gay people, and we have every right to decide who lives in the apartment and who doesn’t.’” When Derucio reminded her there are protections in the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) to ensure landlords can’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, “She said, ‘Don’t go all gay rights on me. Get off my phone.’ Then she hung up the phone on me.” —Andrea Houston

Inside Out returns to Ottawa! Visit us at Capital Pride’s Info Fair on August 26, 2012 for all the latest news directly from our Executive Director, Scott Ferguson.

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MEDIA

Queering the airwaves Gay radio show created after string of suicides Meghan Pearson FROM BOOBIES, TO BREAKUPS, TO drag queens and immigration law — 3 Gays on the Radio covers it all. Operating out of CKCU-FM 93.1, Carleton University’s community radio station, the Ottawa program is a new radio show whose hosts discuss a wide range of topics with a gay perspective. “Usually when there’s queer-themed stuff going on, it’s either for entertainment purposes, and they’re playing up laughter and they’re playing up sexuality, or it’s for something political,� says Sebastien Plante, one of the hosts. “You rarely hear gay men talking about wedgies or haircuts or bad food experiences or sleeping badly because their mattress is stupid.� The show is hosted, produced and written by Plante and fellow Carleton University students Luke Smith and Beth Thompson. Heather Montgomery is a regular on the show. Smith and Plante began talking about putting the show into production after a rash of suicides happened in September 2011, including that of Jamie Hubley. “It would be great if he had something to listen to, if he had something so that he didn’t feel alone,� Plante says. “Jamie Hubley is our target audience,

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fundamentally.� 3 Gays on the Radio has been on the airwaves since November 2011 and is also available online. Each episode runs an hour. “We get an average of about 30 [listeners],� Smith says. “We have a small listenership because we’ve been promoting just online.� Audiences might be small at the moment, but interest in the show is geographically widespread, with listeners in Holland and Wales. The hosts say they make an effort to incorporate personal experiences into their subject matter, which is not necessarily queer. “We did an episode on masturbation, and we had some people saying, ‘You just ruined your career,’� Smith says. “But we had a lot of people saying, ‘No, this is something I’ve been wondering about, which nobody talks about, and this is the first time I’ve had anyone actually discuss the topic.’� So far, reception to the show has been mostly positive. However, as with all radio talk shows that deal with controversial topics, there has been some criticism. “Because there’s such a diverse range of topics, not every episode is going to be everyone’s cup of tea,� Montgomery

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Luke Smith, Heather Montgomery, Sebastien Plante and Beth Thompson in the studio. “I think part of the strength is the diversity of topics that we’re covering,� says Montgomery. KRYSTAL CARING

says. “I think part of the strength is the diversity of topics that we’re covering. We’re not shying away from hard-todiscuss topics.� The hosts say they each aim to bring something unique and genuine to the show. “I think they do a great job of creating a dialogue on important queer issues,� says Riley Evans, a regular listener.

“They’re such dramatically different people with different interests; whether they’re talking punk rock, intersectionality or boobs, they’ve all got a different opinion. The way they express it, along with their different personalities interacting in general, makes for very compelling radio.� Although the show is just getting started, the team has already man-

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PRIDE INSIDE

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PRIDE?

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“I hate to say it, but I don’t have a favourite Pride year. Pride used to mean (in my relative youth) a joyful celebration of community and aďŹƒrmation of our existence in a society that pretended, or wanted to pretend, we didn’t exist.â€?

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arts › entertainment › leisure

Out City IN THE

Recreating prom

PEOPLE HAVE CALLED US A LESBIAN BAND; WE JUST TRY TO ALWAYS KEEP THE FOCUS ON THE MUSIC, BUT WE NEVER DENY OUR IDENTITY IN ANY WAY. Hunter Valentine lead singer Kiyomi McCloskey ›23

INSIDE

PRIDE

An unabashed celebration of femme LAURA ZAHODY

to heterosexual norms in society, but making it her own, is a radical OTTAWA’S FIRST FEMME-CEN- act,” she says. Although the event is femmetred prom will bring a hint of glitter centred, it’s open to everyone. and rouge to Pride weekend. The night is a fundraiser for the Femme Family Ottawa, a dropin discussion group for femme- Dyke March, which Allison says identified people, is hosting the she’s thrilled to support. “With we, as femmes, at the Femme Formal at Raw Sugar Café centre of a funding effort I think in Chinatown. Part of the mission of the event is it makes the point that we’re an femme visibility, or getting people important part of this community to see that femmes are here and and that we’re there for our comqueer, says organizer Luna Allison. munity,” she says. A few years ago, there was talk “It’s a common complaint that people assume we’re straight,” she about hosting a slow-dance party for femmes, but it didn’t happen, says. The evening is meant to be an Allison says. The idea for this summer’s prom unabashed celebration of femme. There’s a problematic notion, which came to her a few months ago, when exists even in the queer community, she was gingerly unpacking her forabout what queer looks like and is, mal dresses — from pink and pouffy, to sleek and black — after a move. Allison says. She posted on Facebook that she “In a community of queer women, it seems that masculine signi- needed somewhere to wear them. “Then 50 people responded about how there should be a party and how that would be great, and the idea was born,” she says. “I’m not sure if we have a big enough community to have a monthly event or even a quarterly, but it could become a yearly thing,” she says. The soundtrack to the party will be femme-oriented music: some old Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Bitch and Animal, she says, but she notes that people who embody the fighting, feminist spirit of femme Clockwise from bottom right: Angie will be featured, Renwick, Luna Allison and Kristin Bell-Murray too. There’s a bestof Ottawa Femme Family pose with Sarah dressed competition Manns (top right) at Raw Sugar Café. LAURA ZAHODY in the works and fiers are more valued,” adds Kristin likely some other surprises, as well. Although she has a formal dress Bell-Murray, a Femme Family Otof every colour, Allison says she tawa member. People think that being feminine doesn’t know yet what she’s going is conforming to gender norms, says to wear.  “I might give the dresses equal Angie Renwick, another Femme opportunity by wearing each one, Family Ottawa member.   “That puts people off,” Renwick doing several changes throughout says. “Just like butch dykes putting the evening.” some people off because they think they’re catering to stereotypes.” FEMME FORMAL Allison emphasizes that femmes Fri, Aug 24, 9pm–1am are not conforming to gender Raw Sugar Café norms. 692 Somerset St W “The idea of a woman who’s queer $10 occupying a gender that’s similar

A scene from Condom Corps, a game in which players shoot condoms at gay men so they can have safe sex.

If Mario shagged Luigi Installation uncovers queer world of video games LAURA ZAHODY A PRIDE WEEKEND ART EXHIBIT WILL feature video games that take queer up a level. Titled forallgamerssake, it showcases games culture’s relationship with queerness, artists with strong queer visibility, and artists who include queer content in the games they develop. People will be surprised by how much queer content there is in video games, says curator Jaime Woo. He notes that despite this, many view video games as immature and not welcoming of queer content. “I’ve heard over and over that queer people playing video games think they’re alone out there,” he says. Woo wants the video game industry to expand its idea of who a gamer can be. “Games, when the industry started, were created by young, heterosexual white males. They created games they liked to play, which drew young, heterosexual white males. We’ve seen this industry continue to cater to young, heterosexual white males.” But, as more people play video games, the industry is forced to change its idea of who gamers are. Hence the inclusive name — forallgamerssake. At Pride in particular, it’s important to show queer people they’re reflected in areas they didn’t think they were reflected in, Woo says, drawing a connection between gaming and queerness. “Games are about play — about try-

Jaime Woo’s exhibit features video games with queer content.

ing on something different. Is that not what queerness is about — trying on something different?” he asks. The show has been presented just once before, in Toronto in February. Woo says he’s looking to bring in new artists to keep the show fresh for Ottawa Pride. Ian Capstick, principal of the communications firm MediaStyle and chair of Ottawa’s Village committee, is hosting the show in his office. “My ulterior motive on this one is to bring more Pride activities back

to Bank St,” Capstick says, adding that he wants the parade back on the street by 2015. The exhibit will be set up in a way that gives even people unfamiliar with gaming an opportunity to enjoy the show, Woo says. Most of the games are video installations of big moments in game history, not obscure references that only gamers will get, he says. For instance, the role-playing game The Sims is featured. “One thing people don’t realize about The Sims is that it was one of the first games to get women to play games because it presented gender in a way that was inclusive,” he says. “It was also one of the first to incorporate same-sex couples.” So the show may include, say, a video clip of a same-sex marriage from The Sims. There will also be an area where guests can play the games, some of which are less mainstream than The Sims, Woo says. One game featured at the Toronto show is called Condom Corps, a sexpositive first-person game in which players shoots condoms at gay men so they can have safe sex. The right size condom must be shot, and players judge size based on the men’s bulges. “First-person shooter games are usually really heteronormative, so this one is really taking this genre and flipping it on its head,” Woo says.

FORALLGAMERSSAKE Thurs, Aug 23–Sat, Aug 25 MediaStyle 131 Bank St


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INSIDE

PRIDE

Dig in BRADLEY TURCOTTE PHOTOS BY JONATHAN HOBIN

The PepTides lead with their cocks and boxes

IF THE MEMBERS OF THE PEPTIDES HAD THEIR way, when the apocalypse comes the avant-garde nonet would watch the world burn while harmonizing in their signature mashup style. The Ottawa band has set the city alight since its 2010 debut, For Those Who Hate Human Interaction, was named best album of the year by the Ottawa Citizen’s Peter Simpson and its live show was voted the most engaging stage performance of 2011 by XPress readers. Adam Bunch, of The Little Red Umbrella blog, calls The PepTides a swirling kaleidoscope of retro influences. “On the surface, they seem completely earnest about their sound: unselfconsciously joyful in their throwback horns and sweeping, Shirley Bassey–style choruses,” Bunch writes. “But, as you listen to them or watch their mashup YouTube videos, it doesn’t take long to realize that there’s something more going on. That they’re subverting the very influences they’re citing, tongue firmly in cheek. Take the lyrics to the ’80s-ish pop number “Homme Love Whore” (“boy dick spurt / girl clit squirt / homme mount femme / woman straddle man / ejaculate!”). Or the fact that they dedicated an entire album — For Those Who Hate Human Interaction — to ‘exploring the colossal theme of hate.’” Band leader Claude Marquis and lead vocalist DeeDee Butters bring energy to each song they create, melding modern tones with smooth ’60s cool.

PRIDE INSIDE

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PRIDE? Oh, the best were the 2002/2003 Prides held as street parties on Bank St. They had a real sense of celebration and community. And that is what Pride means to me, a celebration of community. Who is my queer hero? Every little boy or girl or trans person who stands up to bullies and stares them down. — David Rimmer, owner of After Stonewall

My favourite year of Pride was when Elaina Martin ran it. I think that was 2004. It was my fave because my band, Sonic Aria, got to open for Melissa Ferrick, Tegan and Sara, and Kinnie Starr. All in one weekend. It was also the year Pride took over Bank St, right down to Gladstone. Plus, that was

also the year I and eight other people won the case challenge of the Charter of Rights for queer people to be able to get married. — Mikki Bradshaw, musician

In May of 2011, Egale announced the findings of their first national survey of homophobia and transphobia in schools, which revealed that 64 percent of queer students felt unsafe in school and 21 percent had been physically harassed and assaulted. Cut to four months later, and the OttawaCarleton School Board responds by marching in the Capital Pride parade for the very first time! With a giant

yellow school bus in tow, teachers, administrators and parents hung out the windows and all beamed at the crowd, expressing to media a commitment to making things better for the next generation. I had been out of school for almost a decade at that point, but the gesture actually made me misty-eyed, and I was caught off guard by how impacted I felt by their show of solidarity and support. — Michael Burtch, community activist


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The PepTides will perform at three delicious Pride events.

Marquis and Butters are equally tantalizing and along the way. Not so, insists Butters, who says delightfully raunchy: their favourite words include Marquis lays the groundwork for each track and then allows each member to contribute. “cock” and “box.” “He’ll sketch the picture but then say, ‘I’m going They say the formation of their band came naturally and can be traced back to Marquis’s Chinatown this way, but do whatever you want. I’m looking for apartment, where he first recorded and mixed the this general kind of sound, but do whatever you group. He knew then The PepTides would eventual- want to do.’ He’s very open creatively. Claude is ly blossom into an ensemble brimming with talent. definitely the musical master painter, the master Butters says the group picked up members in a cock. Actually, Claude does paint cocks,” Butters variety of ways. They acquired vocalist Olexandra says with a chortle. “Every person is allowed to Pruchnicky when the duo appeared on the radio bring their flavour to it and make creative decisions show Pruchnicky hosted with Danniel Oickle, during the recording process.” Going back to the beginnings of The PepTides, Anything But Vanilla. The remainder came to the group through a combination of chance, personal Marquis admits that when he finished recording For Those Who Hate Human connections and auditions held Interaction he knew he had auacross the city. ALTERNATIVE STAGE thored something special. How“Our first album was very theSat, Aug 25, 9:30pm ever, the praise for the album atrical, and by nature DeeDee is Marion Dewar Plaza did come as a surprise because theatrical — she has a background 110 Laurier Ave W the band is a true do-it-yourself in theatre,” Marquis explains. “So HOMME LOVE indie outfit; they didn’t rely on a it was a great combination of my WHORE label or PR maven to push their dark songwriting and her magic.” Sat, Aug 25, 11pm music on the press. Their sound Meanwhile, Butters credits MarMercury Lounge speaks for itself. quis’s animal magnetism for the 56 Byward Market Sq, $7 The PepTides are also an awegroup’s success, adding “he leads MAIN STAGE somely visual band, as XPress with his cock.” Sun, Aug 26, 3:30pm readers noticed. Their theatreWith so many members in one Marion Dewar Plaza in-the-round live show highlights 110 Laurier Ave W band, some might assume the their vintage clothes and allows songwriting process gets muddled

EVERY PERSON IS ALLOWED TO BRING THEIR FLAVOUR TO IT AND MAKE CREATIVE DECISIONS DURING THE RECORDING PROCESS. —band leader Claude Marquis each member to convey his or her personality to the crowd. Butters says the band meticulously conceptualizes each concert, taking into account the stage they will perform on. When they played the main stage of Ottawa Bluesfest last month, Butters says, the size of the platform was a definite challenge. “We have a different configuration for when we play the Black Sheep Inn or other venues in town. We will look into space and say, ‘Okay, what do we want to do?’ The Bluesfest stage was just so ginormously big, cockfully huge, so we really had to think about how we were going to arrange ourselves. We’re a big band and it was a big space, bigger than some of the houses I have lived in. So we were really excited about that; it was a rush,” she says. Marquis adds, “We got great feedback,” before Butters interrupts with a laugh, “From the fans, not the microphones.” Looking ahead, Marquis and Butters say their upcoming album, Love Question Mark, will continue their mashup style. The first single, “I’m in Love,”

sounds as if Petula Clark got hold of a drum machine. Marquis says fans can also expect a shift toward electronica, something completely new for the group. “We’re always trying different styles — blues, jazz, pop. We’re doing a whole bunch of stuff, but I like to keep it cohesive within a narrative or a theme,” he says. “So that being said, the Love album [will have an electronic theme] because I’m into electronica dance stuff right now, which I haven’t done in the past. There will be a lot of that, and under the theme of love, but then still going off in the directions of jazz and ballads.” Marquis and Butters say fans can expect a Capital Pride live show that’s even crazier than a typical PepTides show, if that’s possible. Marquis is thoughtful when asked what Pride means to him. “Gay pride to me means support, not only for the community here, but for our brothers and sisters all over the world. To me, I think it’s important that we celebrate here to maintain that Pride for the ones who are being ostracized and killed.”

PRIDE INSIDE

WHO ARE YOUR PRIDE HEROES? Hands down, my queeroes definitely are our badass youth! All those young people who keep fighting, resisting and staying true to themselves. They are just so, so resilient, and we never give them enough credit. Their voices count the most, from the

elementary school playgrounds, to high school GSAs, to Project Acorn’s youth leadership retreat, to the YSB drop-in, Pink Triangle Youth group, and especially out on the streets, queer youth inspire me each and every day, and I can’t imagine our communities without them.

They make me want to keep fighting and to make it better . . . plus, a lovely six-year-old boy was the first person to understand and not put up much of a fuss when I told him that I didn’t want to be a boy or a girl. All he told me was ‘That’s cool, but Dillon, let’s keep making paper airplanes.’ If only the world were that simple! Happy Pride, lovely folks! — Dillon Black, student activist

Heroes tend to be thought of as famous people who have done big and dramatic things, but I think my queer heroes are the people who do things to make Ottawa a better place to be queer. All the people who started groups, who work the booths and tables, sit on panels, throw parties, who educate, make art and make spaces safer and more welcoming and generally walk through the world thinking of others and trying to make a difference. I’m completely in awe of people who speak their minds in compassionate

ways, who make me want to be a better person through their commitment, strength and caring. — Shelley Taylor, owner of Venus Envy


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PRIDE INSIDE

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PRIDE?

listings ›

For more listings, go to xtra.ca

ART & PHOTOGRAPHY Moveable Feast

Rocky Horror Picture Show screens Aug 18.

This group exhibit features 20 guest curators, 20 invited artists and 20 works of art created from 20 different perspectives. Runs till Sun, Aug 26. La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St. Free. 613-8601555. lapetitemortgallery.com

Fashionably Late

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Help us fight the targeting of our boxes! If you see an emptied window, please replace the missing display paper. To report vandalism or targeting please contact Craig Palmer; craig.palmer@xtra.ca

My favourite Capital Pride was definitely 2011 because I was the grand marshal, which was such an honour! And I loved the theme of Capital Pride that year: The Courage to Be. That spoke to me, because it wasn’t just about the courage to be specifically this or that but just for everyone to have the courage to be themselves and take pride in who they are. And of course, I loved riding in that lead car of the Pride parade, which was a 45th-anniversaryedition Chevrolet Camaro, with Ottawa transgender pioneer Joanne Law as my driver. I, of course, removed my high heels before stepping into the car. Zelda Marshall, 2011 Capital Pride grand marshal

These new paintings by Adam J Ansell are of misbehaving latecomers. Vernissage Fri, Aug 17, 7–10pm. Exhibit runs till Thurs, Aug 23. La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St. Free. 613-8601555. lapetitemortgallery.com

Comic Jam Shake the dust off your drawing pencils at Ottawa’s monthly Comic Jam. Wed, Aug 29, 7–9:30pm. Shanghai Restaurant, 651 Somerset St W. Free, materials provided. 613-863-8264. ottawacomicjam. blogspot.ca

FILM & VIDEO Derby, Baby This documentary is about “the adrenaline, love and pure addiction that drive women around the world to don fishnets and pseudonyms for the privilege of kicking one another’s asses.” Licensed for alcohol. Tues, Aug 14, 9pm. Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. 613-7303403. $8–10. mayfairtheatre.ca

Rocky Horror Picture Show Wear your scant, scandalous Rocky Horror outfits with pride to this screening of a classic, featuring the Absent Friends shadow cast. Sat, Aug 18, 10:30pm. Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. 613-730-3403. $10–15. mayfairtheatre.ca

Framing Lesbian Fashion Join LIX for a special screening of a fun film about the relationship between lesbian attire and identity: butch/femme, flannel, androgyny, drag, queer fluorescent, SM, leather, lipstick and more. Mon, Aug 20, 6:30pm. Café Michel-Ange, 35 Laurel St. Free. girlswanttoknow.com

Village Movie Night The Village Initiative presents a community barbecue and outdoor screening of Rent. Join in for a very gay night at the movies! Wed, Aug 22, 7:30–11pm. Corner of Bank and Gilmour streets. Free. villageottawa.com

HEALTH & ISSUES The Living Room

The

Pin Button Project pinbuttons.ca

twitter: @pinbuttons www.facebook.com/ThePinButtonProject

An interactive online exhibition and oral history project featuring pin buttons from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Have you told your story?

The Living Room is 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 selfhelp recovery program for women with addictions. Every Sunday night, 7–8:15pm, at the Christmas Exchange Program, 1390 Prince of Wales, 4th floor. All women welcome. Free. 613-220-3588. 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

Queer Liberals Ottawa Join other queer-identified Liberals for the launch of a fun, after-work gathering aimed at creating a local hub for queer Liberals and allies. Wed, Aug 22, 5–7pm. The Buzz, 374 Bank St. For more info, contact chaffe.alan@gmail.com. twitter. com/ottqueerliberal

QPOC Drop-In PTS Ottawa has just launched a monthly drop-in group by and for queer people of colour. Drop by for fun, discussion, socializing and support. Last Tuesday of each month. Tues, Aug 29, 7–9pm. Pink Triangle Services, 251 Bank St, suite 301. ptsottawa.org

PRINT & PERFORMANCE Repo! The Pride edition of Repo! The Genetic Drag Show features the Necromerchant’s Payment shadow cast performing this show full of the delightfully unexpected. Fri, Aug 17; doors at 8pm, show at 9pm. Club SAW, 67 Nicholas St. $10. galeriesawgallery.com

Mary, Mary The eighth-longest-running play in Broadway history, Mary, Mary is the perfect comedy on marriage, divorce, second thoughts and second chances. Half the show’s proceeds will be donated to Pink Triangle Services. Sun, Aug 19, 2–4pm. Mason Theatre, 13 Victoria St. ptsottawa.org

Little Shop of Horrors The Capital Kings present a drag rendition of Little Shop of Horrors, the musical. A guaranteed night of goofy, sexy fun. A fundraiser for Capital Pride. Sun, Aug 19, 9pm– midnight. The Lookout, 41 York St. Cover TBA. thelookoutbar.com

Voices of Venus This series showcases women writers, with a focus on spokenword poetry, and is organized by local queers Faye Estrella and Allison Armstrong. Wed, Sept 12; open mic at 8pm, featured artist at 9pm. Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar St. 613-789-4646. venusenvy.ca › continued on page 26


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INSIDE

PRIDE

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PRIDE INSIDE

Ink king

Crystal Balser, tattoo artist and acclaimed gender bender

WHAT DOES PRIDE MEAN TO YOU?

BRADLEY TURCOTTE

reached out to those who want to come along for the ride. Any aspiring king WHETHER IT’S A DORITO CHIP OR A who would like to try his hand at perhalf-naked man, tattoo artist Crystal forming can take part in her fresh-meat Balser is happy to ink customers with nights. “I’ll have them come and do a song the artwork of their choice. Balser runs Mod Tattoo, a Bank St shop operating with me and then do an applause meter, and if the crowd likes them they get the out of Wicked Wanda’s. Balser is also a member of the Capital ability to perform again that night.â€? Balser says kings shouldn’t be Kings, an Ottawa drag-king troupe. Her alter ego, Frank N Beans, is the lewdest thought of as comparable to drag and crudest of all the kings. And that’s queens but rather as separate genderbending performers. exactly what Balser set out to create. “I don’t think we are overshadowed; Last year, while attending Randy Marshall’s Drag Idol event, Balser no- I just think people don’t know about us. ticed that many of the kings and queens It’s such a fresh thing in the community. didn’t infuse much humour into their I would say drag kings try twice as hard performances. When she offered up a to get out there and be entertaining. “ Marshall says he knew when he inbackhanded comment to that effect, she was dared to do better. Frank N troduced Balser to the performance art that she would create something Beans was born. Bean’s ďŹ rst song was Richard Cheese’s unique. She now considers him her drag cover of System of a Down’s “Down with father. “Frank is absolutely insane,â€? he the Sickness,â€? an unconventional song says. “I knew she would do something crazy.â€? for a very unconventional Balser’s other talent is drag king. “I started out tryMOD TATTOO more reďŹ ned. A seasoned ing to look just like a man in In Wicked Wanda’s 382 Bank St artist, she made the switch a leisure suit,â€? Balser says. modtattoo.ca from pastry chef to tattoo “You know the kind of man expert armed with only who sits at a bar stool, kind of creepy. Then Frank N Beans went in her training as a visual artist and acute a more silly direction, with outrageous, observation. “I noticed how much tattooing was mismatching, tacky clothes.â€? Balser says that because Ottawa’s like painting,â€? she explains. “And I drag-king scene is still nascent, she’s thought to myself, I think I’d like to

Balser is a tattoo artist by day and the crazy Frank N Beans by night. BRADLEY TURCOTTE

develop that. So I found a job being the counter-girl at a tattoo studio.� Balser then used her connections to secure the proper equipment and found willing friends to practise on. After years of running an at-home business, she found employment at Bar Kitty, an all-female shop in Gatineau. She made the move to Wicked Wanda’s last month.

“I want people to know that if they feel uncomfortable getting tattooed at different places, they can come to me,â€? she says. Mod Tattoo will offer a Pride special Fri, Aug 17–Sun, Aug 26. For $60, patrons can pick their choice of Pride-themed ash designs. A portion of the funds will go to Capital Pride.

For me, Pride is intrinsically political. While it is certainly a fun party and a week spent celebrating with people, it is ďŹ rstly about my politics and taking a stance. It is about being a ďŹ erce presence in resistance to a wide range of realities, such as the criminalization of HIV, a police service that is furthering the risk of violence faced by street-based sex workers, and the Harper government’s cuts. I believe Pride to be a time to be together, dance, chat and party while being, at the core, about opposing discrimination that marginalizes LGBT people in our society. — FrĂŠdĂŠrique Chabot, member of POWER and ACO employee

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PRIDE

KANDACE BLAKER

IN PRINT INSIDE

Bits and bites

Danniel Oickle’s poetry has teeth

KANDACE BLAKER DANNIEL OICKLE IS A FIXTURE IN Ottawa’s art scene. Now 32, Oickle says he was just five years old when he fell head over heels into the abyss of creative arts. A man of many talents, Oickle’s passion for the written word has propelled him this month to launch his second book, My Heart Has Teeth, a poetry collection written over two years. Xtra chatted with Oickle ahead of the launch to learn more about his latest project.

Xtra: What is the main message you want to share in My Heart Has Teeth? DANNIEL OICKLE: I would love people to walk away from this book with a deeper connection to the world around them. As for an overall message, I would hope people will understand that we are small in the expanse of our universe and thus our understanding is small. 

What was your process while writing this book? Did you have a routine? It was a focused process, taking up much personal time, and I worked mainly at night. I find nighttime to be invigorating. As for a routine, I’d pour a nice glass of wine and close the door, blare some music and tunnel in. I wanted to create something I wished I had been able to read when I was first

starting my artistic creative process, something that will grow with you as you age. What is the underlying theme of the book? Though there are distinct themes, the poems are not directed exclusively toward one subject or one emotion. There are works directed toward lovers, strangers and institutions on many topics and, of course, all the emotions that such a dialogue would entail.  What inspired this creation? My Heart Has Teeth really started as a collection of independent works but grew to be more. I was inspired by William Blake and his use of both images and words to convey ideas. I was also inspired by the Brontës and wanted to open dialogues that are forbidden to me as a man, both sexually and spiritually. Who is your book written for? The overarching themes and work in the book will interest a wide variety of readers. I believe that anyone who picks up My Heart Has Teeth will be able to glean something poignant from the pages. I do not intentionally desire conflict but am aware that my work tends to cause wide ranges of emotions in my readers. There will be offence, but I don’t think that will stop any readers. I would certainly be convicted of heresy

PRIDE INSIDE

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PRIDE?

if the charge still existed. I think the [queer] community will enjoy it, but I don’t feel it will be limited to any niche market. Why do you write? I have tried over the years to tell people why I write, but to be certain, I have no choice. It is something that I do without force. I have used this in the past as a form of catharsis and creative outlet. Writing is a great way to bleed my emotions out onto a page, release what I cannot say. Do you believe it’s important for everyone to create, in some way, as a means to reflect, to grow stronger as individuals? Absolutely! People need to create, even those who are not so-called creative. It is an emotional outlet, a physical ritual of growth and a direct mental exercise. As a queer youth raised in a stifling Baptist upbringing, I used creativity as a form of solace and the expression of emotions I was too afraid to express for fear of ridicule. Creativity saved me. If you had to pick one creative outlet, what would it be? If I had to weed out my creativity and pick only one outlet, I would surely wither and die. They are so ingrained. I find that I need all outlets to fully realize my work. 

“If I had to weed out my creativity and pick only one outlet, I would surely wither and die,” says Danniel Oickle.

MY HEART HAS TEETH Lulu Publishing $25 Book launch Sat, Aug 18, 8pm La Petite Mort Gallery 306 Cumberland St dannieloickle.com

IN PRINT

Former Ottawa gay bar owner publishes e-book Bradley Turcotte

Last year was my favourite year of Pride because it was the first time that the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board marched in the parade. We had the biggest contingent and we were so well received, it was an amazing experience. Pride, for me, is an opportunity to celebrate diversity and acceptance. — Donna Blackburn, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board trustee

EVERY YEAR NUMEROUS SMALLtown gay men flock to Toronto in search of more exciting lives. Yet many will find that our nation’s largest city can be treacherous for naive and trusting boys. This easy-to-relate-to situation is the jumping-off point for Karldon Okruta’s debut novel, Kaz. A young man from small-town Ontario makes the move to Toronto only to come into contact with a psychotic hustler and is driven to take actions he never dreamed of. Okruta may be familiar to Ottawa queers, as he worked at the now-defunct gay haunts Club 363 and Briefs before opening his own establishment, Franky’s on Frank, which closed just after the new millennium broke. The newly minted author describes his debut work as romantic suspense and says he used his extensive experience working in Ottawa’s gay bar scene as inspiration for the novel. “The experience of being in the hospitality industry allows me to recognize certain characters, certain personalities that stood out a little bit more than others that I was able to incorporate to build my own characters.” However, Okruta says that while the novel may be semi-autobiographical, he guarantees that no one in Ottawa should be afraid to find themselves in his book’s pages. “Nobody here needs to hire a lawyer,” Okruta says with a laugh. “Now that the story is written, quite funnily, I’m

Karldon Okruta’s debut novel is about a young gay man’s move from rural Ontario to Toronto.

finding my real life getting into what Kaz is going through. I’m thinking, ‘Oh my god, did I just write out my whole fate?’ There are elements, of course, with the main character and the subsequent characters in the book, where there are personalities of people I’ve crossed paths with. I’ve taken certain elements of characters,

but it is all fictional.” As for his readers, Okruta invokes one of his favourite sayings to express his gratitude. “If people could love each other as much as I personally love my readers, then I think we would definitely have a more peaceful world to live in.” Kaz is available on Amazon, Smashwords or by direct link from Okruta’s website, karldon.ca.


more at xtra.ca

XTRA! AUG 16, 2012

INSIDE

PRIDE Hunter Valentine’s Kiyomi McCloskey on The Real L Word, a new album and Pride

Conquering the queer music scene BRADLEY TURCOTTE FORMED IN TORONTO CIRCA 2004, HUNTER Valentine has quickly become a favourite of hardrocking Canadian queers. Recently, the all-girl band joined the cast of Showtime’s The Real L Word. Lead singer Kiyomi McCloskey spoke with Xtra in advance of the group’s Capital Pride concert about everything from the unreality of reality shows to what gay pride means to her. XTRA: So we’ll start with the topic that’s currently on everyone’s lips: the band’s appearances on Season 3 of The Real L Word. How did Hunter Valentine become involved with the show? KIYOMI MCCLOSKEY: The casting team of the show contacted our agents. Originally, we thought they just wanted to shoot one scene of Hunter Valentine for the show. So we were down for that, but then we realized they actually wanted us to be on the show as cast members. We were a little bit in shock at ďŹ rst, and then we thought, What better platform to promote the band on than national television that is syndicated in over 20 countries?

What was the casting process like? I think a lot of people went through a different process than we did. A friend of mine is a really great videographer. She followed us around for a week and knew how to show our personalities. She knew what was going to y in the editing room. She cut it all together nicely and sent it off, and they loved it. The next thing we knew we were ying into LA. On the topic of editing, sometimes when people appear on reality shows, they don’t feel they are represented accurately. Now that you’ve had a chance to see the show, what is your opinion of the ďŹ nished product? I think that it’s accurate, but you’re not going to be able to portray someone’s full personality within a couple minutes of a scene. A lot of my scenes airing right now are when I’m in high dramatics. There are conicts, and that’s what is interesting to the general public. They don’t want to watch me laughing and having breakfast with

my friends; that’s not really interesting to them. It doesn’t mean that I have that much conict in my life every day. You have to accept that it’s television, and television is meant for entertainment. Hunter Valentine is completely original, yet if I were forced to make comparisons I would say you have a sound reminiscent of Joan Jett or Brody Dalle. Are there any musicians you claim as inuences? DeďŹ nitely, Brody is a huge inuence. The Distillers are one of my favourite aggressive rock bands. Coral Fang is one of the best punk-rock albums I’ve heard in a really long time. I’m still listening to it. I wish that they would get back together. Joan Jett is obviously a great female performer and is an idol. So you’re pretty much dead-on. Your sexuality, of course, is secondary to your music, but has the band ever come into conict due to your sexual identities? People ask us about getting pigeonholed all the time. Sexuality plays a huge role in rock and roll music. You know, you look at Mick Jagger and David Bowie; their sexuality just oozes from their music. It’s a huge part of it, not just for queer bands. It’s about representing yourself and being able to expose that. People have called us a lesbian band; we just try to always keep the focus on the music, but we never deny our identity in any way. We’re proud of our community and proud of our identity. Hunter Valentine was formed in Toronto and has a long history of success in the US. Have you noticed any remarkable dierences between the Canadian and American music scenes? It’s hard to say, because when we were touring Canada the most it was at the beginning of our career. We’ve learned so much since that time. We still tour Canada, but we haven’t gone all the way across the country in one shot since the beginning of our career, when we were touring with bands like Sam Roberts. It seems like we’ve learned so much since then, so it’s kind of hard to say. I’d love to get the chance to go back across Canada now. You’ve said that as a teenager the songwriting process intrigued you. Has your process changed since then or have you stuck with the

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initial songwriting process you ďŹ rst learned? As a songwriter I think it’s always important to be open to growing and expanding your craft. If you don’t, you’re just writing the same song over and over again, and I deďŹ nitely don’t want to do that. The biggest way that I’ve grown is allowing myself to be more collaborative. I think in the beginning it was very personal for me. I would want to shut myself out and be alone in a room, be able to pour my emotions out in a song. I’ve grown up a lot and I’ve learned other outlets to do that. What can you tell me about your forthcoming album, Collide and Conquer? It’s all about that. Adding a fourth member and being united as a band. To be able to tackle any obstacle that comes our way. That’s really what I feel the band had to do in order to get this record done. We’ve seen record labels come and go; we’ve seen managers come and go. At the end of the day, it comes down to the band sticking together in order for us to make music. It is the Xtra Pride issue, so may I ask, what does gay pride mean to you? Pride to me means community. The celebration means coming together to celebrate the community and the pride that you have for that community. Do you have any personal Pride heroes? Lorraine Segato was one of my early musical mentors. She’s deďŹ nitely someone that I’ve always looked up to. Another Canadian queer idol would be Carole Pope. I love what she’s done for the community. She’s still hammering away at her career, and I can appreciate that a lot, that kind of long-standing career. Who else? Peaches is pretty cool. Hunter Valentine’s new album, Collide and Conquer, will be released in September. After each episode of The Real L Word, the band streams a single on huntervalentine.com.

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WE TRY TO ALWAYS KEEP THE FOCUS ON THE MUSIC, BUT WE NEVER DENY OUR IDENTITY IN ANY WAY.

HUNTER VALENTINE Sun, Aug 26, 4:30pm Marion Dewar Plaza

23


24

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! AUG 16, 2012

PRIDE INSIDE

The all new

2012 EDITION

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PRIDE?

Ultimate

pridEe GUID

THE DEFINITIVE DIRECTORY OF WHAT’S ON WHERE ! OTTAWA’S GAY& LESBIAN NEWS

12-08-02 2:46 PM

Download our Ultimate Pride Guide at xtra.ca to help you plan your Pride Week! CANADA’S GAY & LESBIAN NEWS

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

The evolution of the Dyke March over the past few years makes me hopeful. The Dyke March is exactly what I think Pride needs to be: grassroots, political, defiant and fun. It has me seriously considering coming out of Pride retirement, so I guess my favourite year is the one coming up. — Adam Hodgins, queer activist and president of COPE Local 225


more at xtra.ca

XTRA! AUG 16, 2012

25

XPOSED By Michael Burtch

From left, Dillon Black, Ashley Palen and Eva Darling pose at the Mercury Lounge on July 25.

Vaseline Champagne (left) and Bambi Van Boom kill time backstage at the Mercury Lounge before taking the stage to announce promoters House of SAS’s Pride schedule. To learn more, visit houseofsas.ca.

DIFFERENT? SO ARE WE.  By youth for youth. Free, conďŹ dential and anonymous.  Support, information and resources in your area.

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us toll-free from anywhere in Ontario. TTY is available. with us online. Add askus@youthline.ca to any IM program. us your questions or concerns at askus@youthline.ca.

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Montreal’s DJ Rush’n Noiz (left) and Ottawa’s DJ Yalla Yalla entertain at the AIDS Committee of Ottawa’s Magnet Party, a party for poz guys and the guys who love them, on Friday, Aug 10.

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From left, Spencer Jay-Leafloor, Jazleen Fierce and Joseph Jacques hit it o backstage at the Magnet Party. Partygoers pack the dancefloor at a crowded Centretown Pub during the Magnet Party.

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Patrick Koch and fiancÊ Roman Kaufman show their cards, while in the background, Angelo Russo and Chris Grant gloat about the hands they’re holding at Centretown Pub.

Performance artists Matt Miwa (left) and Maxime Huneault strike a pose on the steps of Centretown Pub after a victorious showing at the Magnet Party, where they sang a salute to fisting, danced on the bar, and explored the relationship a poz man might have with his HIV status.

Only on YUSBDB. Your news, your way.


26

Ottawa’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! AUG 16, 2012

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

indexdirectory.ca ACCOMMODATIONS BRITISH COLUMBIA

ENVIRONMENT/ GREEN PRODUCTS

The Eagle’s Nest B&B

Readi Set Go

1-866-766-9350

MUSIC LESSONS 613-695-8688

ACCOMMODATIONS - ONTARIO

ESTATE PLANNING

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

Mann & Partners, LLP

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AUTOMOBILE SALES & LEASING 1-866-581-5047

Romantic Fireplaces & BBQs Inc

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BARS & CLUBS Obsession Lounge

613-288-0506

Tivoli Florists

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FRAMING & POSTERS Cambridge Design Gallery

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FURNITURE 613-523-2205 613-253-9797

FURNITURE - ACCESSORIES Alteriors Contemporary Furniture

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GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES

Classixxx Adult Store

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Pharmacie Dany St-Yves The Ottawa Professional Therapy Centre

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CHURCHES St Luke’s Anglican Church of Ottawa

613-235-3416

CLEANING & MAID SERVICES MetroPro Rent-A-Wife

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CONSTRUCTION Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

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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

CRUISES CruiseshipCenters

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DATING SERVICES Pink Planet

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DRY CLEANING Parker Clean

pinkplanet.ca

EDUCATION & INSTRUCTION Sylvan Learning

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HOME IMPROVEMENT & REPAIRS Eco Ottawa Windows & Doors Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

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PSYCHOLOGISTS

Pink Triangle Press Xtra Ottawa Xtra Toronto Xtra Vancouver

REAL ESTATE J ason Wong Lee Caswell Lu Korte

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

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SHOPPING

INSURANCE

SOCIAL GROUPS The Couples Group 613-596-9697

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Davidson’s Jewellers Howard Fine Jewellers Magpie Jewellery S.V. Jewellers

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KITCHENS Interiors by Cefaloni Laurysen Kitchens Ltd Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

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SPORTS & FITNESS EQUIPMENT Fresh Air Experience

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

TRANSGENDER Ruth Dulmage

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WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS

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

LAWYERS Philip MacAdam Law Firm

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Readi Set Go

John Shea Insurance Brokers Ltd

WEBSITES

LEGAL SERVICES Mann & Partners, LLP Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP

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LIFE COACHES Anne Meloche

819-790-7053

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

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Guidemag Squirt Xtra.ca

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Power Sports Canada

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416-925-6665 squirt.org xtra.ca

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YOGA Ottawa Men’s Yoga

MENTALIST

Evan Weiner, AMP J ason Wong Mortgage Alliance

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ELECTRICAL CONTRACTING 613-834-4659

POLICE SERVICES & ORGANIZATIONS

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JEWELLERY & JEWELLERS

COMMUNITY GROUPS & SERVICES Centretown Community Health Centre The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa

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Rainbow Foods 613-730-2346

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CHEESE SHOPS House of Cheese

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HEALTH & PERSONAL CARE

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GROCERIES

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BOOKS & MAGAZINES - NEW mother tongue books

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Dr Lina Charette

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Fresh Air Experience McCrank’s Cycles

Pharmacie Dany St-Yves White Cross Dispensary

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

613-226-3830

For more listings, go to xtra.ca

› continued from page 20

PRINT & PERFORMANCE (CONTINUED)

kd lang at NAC The legendary kd lang performs in Ottawa with the Siss Boom Bang. With special guest Lindi Ortega. Tues, Sept 18, 8pm. Southam Hall, National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St. $62.50–122.50. Available online, by phone at 1-888-991-2787 or in person. nac-cna.ca, kdlang.com

613-567-0800

PHARMACIES

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BATHROOM

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Rideau Optometric Clinic

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Panoramik Home Improvements Inc

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POLITICIANS

Ottawa Diamond Flooring Westboro Flooring & Décor Inc

FoundDesign The New Oak Tree

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confersense planners inc

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ART GALLERIES

Capital Fiat

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APARTMENTS Minto Apartments Limited

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Jamie Anderson

listings ›

ottawamensyoga.ca

Now booking for our fall edition, don’t miss out. Call today for booking and rate information. For more information, contact 1-800-268-XTRA x214 or email: index.ottawa@xtra.ca

LEISURE & PLEASURE Hump Night Mid-week debauchery at its finest. Promoted by Laurie Hawco and Ricky Alvarez, I Love 2 Hump features the Eva Darling Drag Show and DJs Martin and Grace spinning hip hop, electro and house. Wednesdays, 9pm on. Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market Sq. 613-789-5324. facebook.com/welove2hump

Friday Fixxx

Sean Zio hosts Creative Writing Play Date every Tuesday. KANDACE BLAKER

Pride Prom The second annual Pride Prom is a fabulous masquerade dance party co-presented by Capital Pride Youth and Jer’s Vision. Open to all youth, 13–19. RSVP at youth@ capitalpride.ca. Fri, Aug 24, 8pm. Fall Down Gallery, 288 Bank St. Free. jersvision.org

The Oh My Jam

Friday Fixxx is the number-one ladies’ night in the region, featuring the most popular female DJ in Ottawa: DJ Isabelle Bechamp. Pre-Fixxx, 8–10pm. Dancing from 10pm on. Every Friday, 8pm–2am. The Lookout, 41 York St. thelookoutbar.com

The Queer Mafia presents the Oh My Jam, featuring the Yes Yes Y’all crew (Toronto) and A Tribe Called Red. Proceeds go to the Venus Envy Bursary Fund and Families of Sisters in Spirit. Fri, Aug 24, 10pm. Babylon, 317 Bank St. $10. Tickets at Venus Envy. babylonclub.ca

Rideau Speedeaus

Certain Sort Party

Join the Rideau Speedeaus Swim Club on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays for some wet fun. Ottawa U Pool, Montpetit Hall, 125 University St. To inquire about or 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 spoken-word artist Sean Zio. Poetry, fiction and non-fiction writers welcome. Tuesdays, 8–10pm. Daily Grind Art Café, 601 Somerset St W. Suggested $5 donation. creativewritingplaydate.com

Seniors’ Night Out Pride Party Join this 50-and-over group on the first and third Wednesday of the month for conversation and laughter. In August, there is a special pre-Pride party with a buffet and live entertainment. Wed, Aug 15, 7:30pm. Burgers on Main, 343 Somerset St W, second floor. Free admission, cash bar. ospn-rfao.ca

A Certain Sort presents WERQ! — a Pride dance party for all kinds of queers. Featuring DJs Meera and All-Star Aga. Photo booth and other flirty fun. 19+. Proceeds to the Venus Envy Bursary Fund. Tickets available at Venus Envy. Sat, Aug 25, 10pm–2am. Fall Down Gallery, 288 Bank St. $10. venusenvy.ca

Capital Pride Parade The Pride parade travels from the Garden of the Provinces and ends at city hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Ave W. This year’s grand marshal is T Eileen Murphy, a dedicated member of the Ottawa queer community for more than 40 years. Sun, Aug 26, 1pm. Stepoff at Garden of the Provinces. capitalpride.ca

Frontrunners Women’s Run Join the women’s contingent of the queer running group, Frontrunners, to get your body moving. First Saturday of every month. Sat, Sept 1, 9am. Meet at the Lisgar St entrance to city hall, 111 Lisgar St. Free. ofr@ottawafrontrunners.org

Sex Toys 101

Femme Family Tea Party

This intro to sex toys is designed as a starter workshop to familiarize folks with what’s out there when it comes to girls’ and boys’ sex toys. Girls’ workshop: Mon, Aug 20, 6:30– 8:30pm. Boys’ workshop: Tues, Aug 21, 6:30–8:30pm. Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar St. Free. Call 613-789-4646 to pre-register. venusenvy.ca

Ottawa Femme Family is a group where femme-identified people can talk about all things femme, feminist and fabulous. All genders welcome! The café and its bathrooms are wheelchair accessible. Sat, Sept 8, 1–4pm. Alpha Soul Café, 1015 Wellington St W. Free. 613-761-8000.

Thirsty Boy Thursdays

Ottawa Knights

Come get sweaty with all the boys at this weekly gay dance party at The Lookout. The Pride edition features a best chest competition. Hosted by the legendary Dixie Landers. Thurs, Aug 23, 9pm– 2am. The Lookout, 41 York St. thelookoutbar.com

Join the Ottawa Knights Gay Men’s Denim and Leather Club for their monthly night of fun and debauchery. The monthly fetish theme is Sports Gear. Wear your favourite jock strap. Sat, Sept 8, 10pm. Centretown Pub, 340 Somerset St W. Free. ottawaknights.com


A World of Gay Adventure XTRA! AUG 16, 2012

27

Lisbon Coastal culture rich in music, cuisine and architecture

P

Armando Mendonça

ORTUGAL’S CAPITAL CITY of Lisbon (Lisboa in Portuguese), situated at the mouth of the Tagus River on the Atlantic coast, is Europe’s second-oldest urban centre. An important city in Europe’s Age of Discovery, it was the departure point of the great explorers Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. The city is an intriguing combination of two contrasting and unique architectural styles: the 16th-century Manueline, of the Belem district, and the 18th-century Pombaline, of downtown. The Belem district, on the north bank of the Tagus River, is home to a trio of must-see landmarks: the BelÊm Tower, one of the city’s most photographed sites; the JÊronimos Monastery, which, along with the BelÊm Tower, is a UNESCO World Heritage site; and the Monument to the Discoveries, which marks the point from which the famous explorers set off on their voyages.

The backdrop of Lisbon consists of the gorgeous palaces and old churches typical of any great historical capital, with contemporary architecture giving the city a touch of modernization. Its back streets and narrow passageways have long been one of the city’s most charming characteristics; a simple and satisfying pleasure is to wander and take in the streetlife and atmosphere of the old quarters. On June 5, 2010, Portugal became the eighth country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage, and its people have embraced a new era of equality and inclusiveness. The districts of Bairro Alto, Chiado and Principe Real all have thriving gay scenes. Bairro Alto is a picturesque 16thcentury-accented district that has traditionally been the city’s bohemian quarter and is a popular hangout for artists and writers. By day it’s quite calm; at night it’s transformed by its vibrant nightlife. With its graffiti-clad façades, › continued on next page

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Clockwise from top left: small street celebrations are a common sight in Lisbon; Orient Station is one of Lisbon’s main transit hubs; named after a native-born patron saint, the Santo Antonio festival honours the summer solstice. JOSE MANUEL

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Lisbon › continued from previous page

the area offers a variety of excellent traditional and international restaurants, fado houses, upscale bars and designer shops that stay open late. Next to Bairro Alto is Chiado, a posh district that delights the senses with old-style cafés, theatres, boutiques, jewellery shops and brand-name boutiques such as Cartier and Hermès. Ranked among the top 10 international metropolitan districts, it’s often compared to Fifth Ave in New York, Oxford St in London, and the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Principe Real is known for its antique and interior design shops on Rua Dom Pedro V and Rua da Escola Politécnica, and also for being the city’s main gay quarter, with numerous bars and clubs. Every year more gay establishments open in this area, offering both locals and foreigners a place of welcome and acceptance. As in many European capitals, the nightlife starts very late and can last until sunrise. Fado houses — an absolute mustvisit during your stay in Lisbon — can be found throughout the city, especially in the Bairro Alto, where local artists sing to a style of music that dates back to the 1800s. The word fado translates as “fate,” and the beautiful lyrics tell of

sorrow and destiny. This style of singing can be heard only in Portugal and is a sound as authentic as the locals. Lisbon has some of the largest shopping malls in Europe. The most central is Armazéns do Chiado; the largest is Colombo. If you’re looking for more traditional markets, head to the downtown Mercado da Ribeira or the flea market of Feira da Ladra in Alfama. Avenida da Liberdade is Lisbon’s main boulevard; it runs north

for a mile, from Restauradores Square to Marquês de Pombal Square, and is home to a plethora of boutiques, cafés, luxury hotels and designer shops. It’s also where you’ll find the Monument to the Heroes of the Great War, a tribute to the 50,000 Portuguese soldiers who died in World War I. Lisbon is a city best explored on foot, but there is an efficient public transit network. The GoLisbon website has good transportation info. More unusual

Houses of the Culture Department, part of Lisbon City Hall. ANTONIO SACCHETTI

modes of transportation include funiculars that take you directly uphill, and an elevator designed by Gustave Eiffel (he of the famous tower in Paris). Carris is the transportation company that runs buses, trams and funiculars. The most convenient and affordable mode of transportation is the Metro, which runs daily from 6am until 1am. Beigecoloured taxis are available throughout the city and rates are very reasonable. There are five railway stations; check the Comboios Portugal website for info. The main departure point for international destinations is Santa Apolónia Station, located on Avenida Infante. Along the railway line that links Lisbon to Cascais are several broad beaches that attract locals and tourists, including Guincho, known worldwide for its surfing. All are within 20 to 30 minutes of the capital. There are two main gay beaches: Costa da Caparica and Beach 19 (also known as Praia de Bela Vista). Portuguese cooking is heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and fish and seafood are staples. Be sure to try arroz de marisco, a rice and shellfish dish, and the many different styles of fish stew. As for meat, there is one true national speciality: the renowned cozido à Portuguesa blends meat and vegetables into a richly flavoured stew. Pastel de nata, an egg custard tart served with a sprinkle of cinnamon, is best enjoyed with a strong cup of espresso.

Be YOU in Manchester

From left: the renaissance-style St Vicente de Fora church houses a number of royal tombs; the Glória funicular links Baixa with Bairro Alto. JOSE MANUEL

Trip advisor BARS & CLUBS Clube da Esquina Portas Largas

LODGINGS Hotel Métropole Pensão Residencial Gerês

RESTAURANTS & CAFÉS Les Mauvais Garçons Tavares Rico

SAUNAS & SEX CLUBS SaunApolo 56 Trombeta Bath Read more about Lisbon at guidemag.com, where you’ll find listings for more than 40 gay and lesbian venues of interest.

on the web GoLisbon ›golisbon.com Carris ›carris.pt Comboios Portugal ›www.cp.pt

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


XTRA! AUG 16, 2012

Porto

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World Heritage site the birthplace of Port wine — and Harry Potter Armando Mendonça

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ORLD RENOWNED FOR its eponymous wines, the northern Portuguese city of Porto is located on the Douro Valley estuary and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon. Known by the locals as Oporto, which translates as “the port,” the city dates back to the fourth century. Its gorgeous Romanesque and baroque architecture makes the city centre a visual delight for history and architecture buffs.

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The charming district of Ribeira, situated on the river’s edge, is very picturesque, with its medieval houses, outdoor cafés, bars and such important landmarks as the Bolsa Palace, São Francisco Church, Caso do Infante and Porto Cathedral, one of the most important Romanesque monuments in Portugal. The bustling Avenida dos Aliados, Cordoaria and Boavista areas are rife with cafés, boutiques and charming shops. If you’re in need of retail therapy, check out the local and international shops on Rua de Santa Catarina, where you’ll also find the Via Catarina shopping mall. High-end boutiques can be found on Avenida da Boavista, while Rua do Almada is the street for alternative shops relating to music and urban culture. A must-visit for bibliophiles is the Lello Bookshop, considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Other notable landmarks that adorn this medieval city include the Clérigos Tower, a baroque-style bell tower that can be seen from various points of the city; and Casa da Música, a major concert hall that became an instant icon when it was completed in 2005. Unlike Lisbon, Porto has no gay neighbourhood, but there are a few gay bars in the city centre. The club scene is concentrated west of the city, in the

upscale Foz district. Porto’s inaugural Pride celebration was held in 2001, and the first Pride march took place in 2006. Pride is celebrated the first week of July, and the parade usually makes its way down the main street of Avenida dos Aliados on the first Saturday in July. Porto is the birthplace of two worldrenowned figures: Prince Henry the Navigator, responsible for the early development of European exploration and maritime trade with other continents; and Harry Potter, the fictional character created by author JK Rowling, who was living in Porto and working as an English teacher when she started writing her first book. The Port Wine Museum offers interesting insight into the origins of Port wine and how it became Portugal’s most famous export. Produced exclusively in the Douro Valley, port is typically a sweet, red fortified wine. Guided wine-tasting tours of the Douro Valley and the famous producers’ cellars are a must when visiting the region.

on the web Visit Portugal ›visitportugal.com Accord Tours ›accordtours.com Transat Holidays ›transatholidays.com Sunwing Vacations ›sunwing.ca

JOSEP RENALIAS

Top, the historic city of Porto, seen from Vila Nova de Gaia, on the other side of the Douro River. Above, the Clérigos Church and bell tower. Far left, an Ângelo de Sousa sculpture.

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A few of the bargains Splash Pass offers:

Summer splash in

LODGINGS › Escape Resort: third, fifth and seventh nights free › INNdulge: weekday nights starting at $69 › Inn Exile: third night free

Palm Springs

Seeing

ATTRACTIONS

Splash Pass, which is valid until Sept 15. A promotion run by the Desert Gay Tourism Guild, the Splash Pass gets you dining discounts, drink specials, free gifts at bars, shopping deals and attraction coupons. It’s available at most gay hotels, bars and businesses.

While summer/early fall is the slow season for tourism in Palm Springs, the city is far from dead. Hot, dry days are ideal for sun lovers, and the warm sultry nights are perfect for skinny-dipping at one of the many clothing-optional gay resorts. You’ll find many accommodations clustered in Warm Sands, the neighbourhood that has been the epicentre of gay lodging since the first gay resort opened in 1975. Most resorts are within a casual stroll of Palm Springs’ historic downtown and its great restaurants. There are also amazing summer deals to be found, including the free

› Palm Springs Art Museum: free admission and 10 percent off in the museum store › Desert Adventures: $25 off three-hour or longer tours › Elite Land Tours: 10 percent off all tours

DINING OUT › Encore restaurant: 20 percent off entire bill › Azul restaurant: buy two entrees and get a free appetizer › SpurLine Bar: two-for-one drink specials

on the web Find information on more than 140 gay and lesbian places of interest in Palm Springs at guidemag.com. For more travel deals and upcoming events, go to visitgaypalmsprings.com or facebook.com/visitgaypalmsprings.

For more deals, check out palmspringssummersplash.com. PSDRCCVA

London like a Queen

If the festivities of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee earlier this summer swept you off your feet and left you wanting more, England’s capital awaits. Indulging like a monarch is a London trademark; this is a city that really knows how to pamper. And whether you’re searching for theatre, spas or fine dining, there’s a tiara for every queen.

DRAMA QUEEN

QUEEN BEE Nestled in the city’s most posh neighbourhood, The Mayfair Hotel and its bustling lobby attract celebrities and party-seeking Londoners. The Mayfair spa’s dark marble interiors and dim lighting lend a nocturnal feel

It’s pinkies up these days as afternoon tea experiences a renaissance at

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landmark hotels across the city, each with its own take on the traditional lunch-to-dinner tide-over. The Lanesborough Hotel’s sophisticated and opulent dining room is balanced by the airiness of a vaulted

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KNOW WHERE TO GO! University of Ottawa

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Download the Out In Ottawa Map on xtra.ca

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ceiling with skylights. A tea concierge will guide your selections, matching the perfect cuppa to each savoury or sweet bite-sized snack. Up from the Lanesborough, along Park Lane, the Dorchester hotel serves up tiered tea in the opulent promenade. Amongst the feminine touches of pink draperies and silk cushions, it’s difficult not to cross your feet at the ankles and take small, ladylike bites. But those with healthy appetites will be more than satisfied by the all-you-can-eat replenishment of the carb-heavy courses. The Langham hotel’s lavish Palm Court is a fitting backdrop to an afternoon tea that chefs have taken up a notch in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee. Enjoy foie gras sandwiches, chocolate scones and jewel-inspired pastries, all perched decadently in tiers, to the sound of a live pianist. For more information on London, go to visitbritain.com.

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This queen opted for a doubledecker tour. COLM HOWARD-LLOYD

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CONTEST Visit the xtra.ca contest page for your chance to win two round-trip economy tickets to London. Hurry! The deadline for entries is Aug 18.

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Though New York City may be the international capital of stage productions, it can’t top London’s pedigree. The incubator of such playwrights as William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, London boasts an impressive playbill. The city’s mix of old and new, Broadway and British, fills theatres from Leicester Square to Victoria Square. In the West End, audiences queue around the block for such timetested favourites as Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables and new blockbusters Matilda: The Musical and War Horse. During Priscilla’s two-anda-half year run, the Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Ave was the place to be for gays local and visiting. While the flamboyant show’s queer successor is yet unknown, Matilda: The Musical has turned a few heads since its October 2011 opening. The charming tale by Roald Dahl is highlighted by the brilliant casting of Bertie Carvel as the

cantankerous Miss Trunchbull. His drag performance steals the show. Since its world premiere last summer, Ghost has been giving goosebumps to both romantics and thrill-seekers. Its illusions, tricks and special effects generate more than a few “How’d they do that?” headscratching moments. After the show you can rest your head in a distinctly queer site, synonymous with scandal. Many sleeps ago, Oscar Wilde was arrested at The Cadogan hotel for “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons.” The Oscar Wilde Suite features a velvet smoking jacket in the closet, silver bling wallpaper and violet feather accents.

to this subterranean oasis, which features a relaxation room, complete with heated hammam beds, a steam room, sauna and cold-plunge shower. The hot-stone massage, which includes a head-to-toe coating of warmed oil, is a special treat. For spa services catered to men, Londoners turn to the Nickel Spa in Covent Garden. “We’re able to tailor our treatments for men,” says massage therapist Zach Taljaard. “Our massages are generally deeper and target the bigger muscles of the male physique.” The stainless steel features, slate flooring and indigoblue walls add to the masculine aura. When you’re ready to shed the scruff, Gentlemen’s Tonic, tucked away on the second floor of Selfridges department store, is worth the search. Reclining in barber’s chairs, stubble-sporting clients soak under hot towelling, the first of many steps in the wet shave. The salon’s secret to a knick-free treatment is its signature pre-shave oil (available for sale, along with a full product line).

by Ray Chaaya

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Side effects affecting your plans? Talk to your doctor about managing your HIV. Visit the Canadian AIDS Society at cdnaids.ca/CanWeTalk to learn more.


Xtra, Ottawa's Gay and Lesbian News  

Xtra, Ottawa's Gay and Lesbian News, Issue 246. Release Aug 16.

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