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What to do with Alexander & Church? ›11

Photo exhibit bares all ›19

The seduction of Spain › 32–35


#718 MAY 3, 2012



New film United in Anger documents early AIDS activism Activist Tim McCaskell reflects on the history of ACT UP





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Pride preparations Planning for Pride 2012 and WorldPride 2014 is picking up pace. So is speculation about whether Mayor Rob Ford will show his face at any Pride events. Xtra brings you news from the most recent Pride community meetings.




On the corner

Comment ›7 Xcetera ›9 Xposed ›30 Index ›36 Classifieds ›36

The corner of Alexander and Church streets is once again in the news, this time accompanied by three designs to improve the public space. Residents are divided on most points, but they have agreed to keep the statue of Alexander Wood. ›11

Touching ourselves A local sex shop is facilitating the annual Masturbate-A-Thon. Participants are encouraged to pleasure themselves as often as possible. Xtra’s Rob Salerno investigates. ›16


Inside Out preview Toronto’s annual queer film festival is back for its 22nd run with a schedule that includes a Scandinavian international focus, a women’s series and lots of great local content. ›21–28


Submission Photographer Drasko Bogdanovic’s new show at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre promises a range of nudity and full-frontal sexual acts. The show is so racy no gallery would host it. ›19




Martha Wainwright The singer chats with Lucas Silveira in an Xtra video exclusive about the death of her mother, Kate McGarrigle, and the upcoming Toronto tribute for her. ›



Perfume Genius

The radical AIDS group is documented in a new film that unearths footage from early collective meetings in New York. Xtra previews the film’s other highlights and looks back on how US activism helped shape the battle for rights in Canada. ›24

The hot indie musician opens up about the music video for his single “Hood.” The video, which featured pornstar Arpad Miklos, was initially banned from YouTube. The decision was later recanted after fans said the ban showed a double standard. ›

Editorial ›7 Toronto at Night ›29 Porndoggy ›38 LISTINGS

Art & photography ›20 Dance ›20 Film & video ›20 Health & issues ›20 Leisure & pleasure ›20 Music ›20, 29 Stage ›29


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Looking Forward, Looking Back: 25 lives 14 years later A retrospective with a twist

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editorial › feedback › debate


Comment Have a vision Editorial Danny Glenwright


HILE I OFTEN ROLL my eyes at many of the inflammatory comments left below our articles on, two this week gave me pause. The first, referencing a story about residents at the intersection of Alexander and Church and their fight to keep benches off that corner, will be a familiar argument to many. The condo-dwellers there have long complained that the street is too noisy. “If you live downtown you get drug dealers, hookers, homos, gang-bangers — a cesspool of humanity basically in all of its lusciousness.” I couldn’t have said it better. That’s why I live downtown. The writer then encourages homeowners unhappy with the evening noise of Church St to pack up and move to Elliot Lake if they don’t like downtown life. But the police and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam have done the opposite; both are looking at ways to further sanitize the area and placate the loudest voices. Indeed, as she has for many other tiny spaces, Wong-Tam has commissioned designs for this corner, including one that would turn it into a mini-golf course and another that would create a gay walk of fame. Where is the vision in this? How can a neighbourhood be built — or improved — one corner at a time, each with a different concept? Wong-Tam has rightly been a great advocate for neighbourhood improvement and action ahead of WorldPride 2014, when Toronto is supposed to finally become that international gay destination we’ve always imagined we are. This type of piecemeal planning doesn’t seem the best way to get us there. Like they have on the waterfront or transit files, city officials working to improve the Church St neighbourhood are limping along haphazardly, with no vision and no backbone. Wong-Tam can host a stakeholder meeting every night for the next year, but at the end of it she surely won’t come up with a grand, exciting vision. She will end up with mini-golf on one corner, a gay walk of fame on another, a 65-storey eyesore condo on yet another and not a shopper or tourist in sight. Which brings me to the second comment, found under a travel story featuring Berlin and referring

to it as a mecca for gay tourists. One reader wonders why Toronto can’t be such a mecca. Good question. The article describes Berlin as “a vast and diverse set of gay scenes” with “thoughtful civic amenities.” Meanwhile, “It has a well-established, multifaceted gay community, and you’ll often see same-sex affection and leathermen in full regalia alongside families and kids on bikes. It is also the location of big summer street events.” Well, that’ll do it. So while the Church-Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area has been busy cancelling the annual Fetish Fair and trying to bring in familyfriendly . . . wait . . . neighbourhoodinclusive activities, other cities get that what makes a great neighbourhood is diversity, sexual expression, street parties and civic amenities. The BIA has also been unable to express a clear vision for the gay neighbourhood in Canada’s largest city. In trying to pander to everyone, it has appealed to no one. Indeed, its members have cancelled a popular, sexy, gay street fair that attracted tourists — the very type of event that should be ramped up in advance of WorldPride — in favour of spending almost $100,000 on two rainbow-swirl street markers. And while it is true that improving gay life does not fall under the BIA’s mandate, turning the gay neighbourhood it serves into a more appealing destination for gay tourists can only help business. Somehow I cannot imagine potential international gay tourists to Toronto scanning the internet looking for a city with the best flowerpots, gayest mini-golf or prettiest rainbow street markers. No, they’re looking for the raunchiest street party, best restaurants and most diverse homo scene (see Berlin). The rest is window dressing. Even Liz Devine, co-chair of the BIA and president of Thomas Cook Rainbow Travel, knows this. While she recently told Xtra the BIA wants to open up Toronto’s gay village to those outside the gay community, she also told The Globe and Mail what makes a great gay travel spot in the rest of the world. She calls Puerto Vallarta a “true gay destination” because it has “many gay-owned and -operated hotels, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.” Curaçao is a hot gay travel spot because of its “gay-themed events,” and Barcelona is Europe’s gay gem because of its “street musicians . . . tapas bars and DJ-fuelled nightlife.” I hope one day Devine’s counterparts in Barcelona and Berlin will be able to say the same about Toronto.

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


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INBOX Rob Ford and Pride I DON’T BLAME ROB FORD for wanting to avoid Pride, and I don’t blame Brad Fraser for his comments [“Rob Ford and Pride Toronto,”, April 18]. After all, it would be pretty hypocritical for leftwing LGBT activists (who control Pride and the LGBT establishment on Church St) to have spent the whole year passionately hating, viciously criticizing and mercilessly ridiculing Rob Ford — and then expect him to show up for Pride! Furthermore, why would Rob Ford want to spend time with LGBT activists who hate him? Ben Judah Toronto, ON

Clearing the Air MANY GAY MEN BAREback, even though they know they will likely get infected with HIV and will have to take expensive anti-HIV medications for the rest of their lives [“Clearing the Air,” Xtra #717, April 19]. Many gay men smoke, even though they know they will likely get lung cancer or other smoking-related diseases. Both cases are situations in which gay men prefer short-term pleasure, despite any long-term consequences. That’s just the way life is — no matter how much money is spent on HIV-prevention campaigns or antismoking campaigns. David Thompson Toronto, ON PREVALENCE OF SMOKING in the gay community is a real problem if one out of three of us are still smoking (almost double the national average in North America today). I think the attitude towards smoking has been too relaxed for too long in the gay community, but this is changing. Smoking is now a mark of the past. It would be weird for a young person to take up smoking now when it’s not permitted anywhere anymore. (The tiny little smokers’ patio outside Woody’s is a great example of how ridiculous and alienating it is to be a smoker these days). I would like to see a more aggressive outreach strategy by health workers in partnership with the gay community to help smokers quit. We’ve forced it outside, covered packs with graphic warning labels and demonized smoking as a society, but still we see very little in the way of reaching out to addicts and giving them the tools to quit. Especially in gay clusters like Toronto’s Village, where the stink of cigarette smoke follows you at every turn. Ryan Francey Toronto, ON Send your correspondence by mail to 2 Carlton St, Ste 1600, Toronto, M5B 1J3, email, or log on to and comment directly. We may edit letters.


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STAGE Dance.Music.Vogue.Drag.Spoken Word. Indigenous Drumming and Creation Workshop

JUNE 30 2012 1pm -5pm Workshop 6pm-9pm Performances 12 Alexander St. Toronto Buddies in Bad Times Theatre & Alexander Parkette Alcohol and Drug free | ASL interpreter | Completely accessible


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Written and performed by PEGGY SHAW and LOIS WEAVER Sound and music by VIVIEN STOLL Choreography by STORMY BRANDENBERGER





Design: Jonathan Kitchen, Artwork by Kate Bornstein


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noteworthy › updates › ephemera


Compiled by Jeremy Feist


In 10 years we’ll be ashamed that this was an issue. – Captain America, Chris Evans (from the upcoming movie The Avengers), talks to Details magazine. “It goes without saying that I’m completely in support of gay marriage.”







In an effort to shake God-fearing couples of their sexphobia, former Christian missionary Marc Angenent has started an online sex-toy store to help his clients put the spark back in the bedroom while upholding their religious beliefs. Which shouldn’t be too hard, since most of them are probably used to being on their knees.

Mice cured of


Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have successfully cured HIV in mice using genetically altered human blood stem cells.

Despite her stranglehold on the pop landscape, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball was met with a less-thanwarm reception in South Korea. Conservative Christian groups held prayer protests to voice concern over her appearance, which is just stupid — if you really want to stop Lady Gaga, just take away her Grace Jones videos!





Gay men pay more for car insurance


In a New York City survey of auto insurance premiums, it was found that gay men pay, on average, $400 more for insurance than straight men. Why the discrepancy? Reportedly, gay men are weak at special reasoning and navigation, which means they get into more accidents. And until recently gay males couldn’t get married, so they weren’t eligible for the lower “married” rate. Makes cycling seem like a good alternative, doesn’t it?




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dispatches › issues › opinion




Changes in the Village Fuzion is now ‘The Old Vic’ Rob Salerno BIG CHANGES ARE COMING TO THE Village, kicking off with the rebranding of Fuzion restaurant as a bistro-pub called The Old Vic, starting May 1. The Old Vic — the name alludes to the Victorian mansion that is its home — will serve food by day, in a price range somewhere between O’Grady’s and the Fox and Fiddle, while at night it will continue to host gay parties. It will also offer 13 different beers on tap, up from its current three. The rebranding follows last year’s drama over a proposed 25-storey condo tower on the site that would have forced out the restaurant, as well as neighbouring businesses and residential units. The develop-

available on the strip in recent years, or it could be split into two smaller outlets. Dane Fader, the building’s property manager, says that he has already received several calls about the property and that it hasn’t yet been put on the market. SPM is looking for a tenant, or tenants, to commit to a five-year lease and will accept tenants with solid plans to pay the rent. That could mean a new restaurant, bar or club in the space. “We would entertain any type of use, really,” Fader says. “I would imagine — typically food and alcohol uses tend to do well in the Village.” One business whose future remains opaque is the Village Rainbow Café. Owners abruptly closed

Fuzion was rebranded May 1 as The Old Vic, with a new bistro-pub menu. ROB SALERNO

While much else about this corner is up in the air, the Bixi station and Alexander Wood statue are not going anywhere. ROB SALERNO

Residents divided over Alexander St redesign Rob Salerno

ers officially withdrew their proposal last year following a massive community outcry. Further up Church St, Java Jive is changing hands after 18 years at the corner of Isabella St. An employee there, Eugene Johnson, is expected to take ownership May 7 and is planning to hold a grand-opening ceremony on June 1. In the intervening period, Johnson plans a total makeover of the café, both inside and out, including a name change. The menu is expected to stay the same. Meanwhile, Strategic Property Management, the landlord of the space that housed Reither’s Market until March 19, is busily preparing to put the space back on the market. The location is likely to be hotly contested by prospective tenants. At 2,400 square feet, it could be one of the largest spaces to become

its doors and papered over its windows in January, leaving a note on the door explaining that the building was being renovated. That note has since been removed. Rumours are swirling around the Village that the café will reopen shortly, having finally paid off months of back rent. But even more people suggest that the café has gone completely bankrupt and the property is up for lease. Rumour has it that former Village Rainbow employees are still owed weeks of back pay. Xtra was unable to reach the Village Rainbow’s owners or the building’s landlord for comment. Another rumour that can be squashed is a persistent story that Flash is going to close and George’s Play will move into its space. Gilles Berthelot, who owns the two clubs, insists they are both staying put.

RESIDENTS APPEARED TO BE BITTERly divided over plans to return seating to the corner of Church and Alexander streets at a private stakeholders’ meeting, hosted by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, at the 519 Church St Community Centre. Four benches belonging to the Alexus condominium and the Bank of Montreal were removed from the corner last fall after residents complained that the benches encouraged drug dealers and sex workers to hang out in front of their building all night long, causing disturbances and harassing residents. The removal surprised community members who enjoyed sitting in the quiet space during the daytime and elicited outrage from some Xtra readers. At the time, Wong-Tam said that the large, wide sidewalk on the corner would undergo a redesign as part of a larger Church St beautification project. She’s now consulting with nearby residents, neighbourhood associations and business owners on design ideas before consulting with the broader public. Robert Mays, from the public realm section of the city’s transportation services department, showed three preliminary designs for the revamped space. One involved new tree and flower beds with raised seating areas, another replaced the seating with two small mini-golf greens, and a third included a double row of trees separated by a decorative walkway with a single bench.

The third option seemed to be the favourite among attendees, but members of the board of the Alexus condominium were strongly opposed to any new seating. “This is not NIMBYism,” said Jamie McLennan. “This is a case of serious concern for physical and mental safety. “Would you want a place for people to congregate night and day in your front yard?” he asked. “Our board is officially against any seating there, even a curb.” But other stakeholders, including some residents of the Alexus, insisted that they want the benches back. Sergeant Craig Summers, of 51 Division, was invited to weigh in on the public safety aspects of the proposals; he also agreed that limiting the new seating was the best solution for the neighbourhood. “The corner causes much less concern now,” he said. “Any new seating opportunities have to be not ergonomically too comfortable or you get people who stay hour after hour. “Long-term police coverage is not the right solution for the corner,” he added. Alternative proposals for the corner included adding large flower planters that would be too tall to sit on or throw garbage into and launching a walk of fame for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community. Liz Hurley, from the Bank of Montreal, suggested that the bank might be willing to contribute to starting up the walk of fame idea, and David Wooten,

from the Church-Wellesley Village BIA, said that Pink Pages publisher Antoine Elhashem is interested in spearheading the project this year. Wong-Tam appeared open to the proposal but insisted that there’s no city money to pay for it or maintain it. The walk of fame would have to be maintained by a community group, as the AIDS Memorial in Cawthra Park is. Wong-Tam also touted a proposal to bring more life to Church St by allowing bars and restaurants to extend their patios out into the curb/parking lane of Church St to create more seating, similar to what has been done with success in recent years in Montreal’s Village neighbourhood. Restaurants would be responsible for paying the required parking fees for as long as their patios are occupying parking spaces. The proposal requires approval from city council. Two features of the corner are going to stick around, whatever the stakeholders decide. The Bixi bike station has proven popular with the neighbourhood, and residents say that the bikes’ placement along the building’s edge discourages smokers from lighting up outside their windows. And despite some rumours to the contrary, there are no plans to remove or relocate the statue of gay icon Alexander Wood that stands at the corner. Wong-Tam says the statue is so heavy that even moving it a few feet is unfeasible. For a look at the proposed designs, visit


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Kirk J. Cooper

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End of antibullying battle? The resignation of MPP Elizabeth Witmer could kill her private member’s bill Andrea Houston

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THE OFFICE OF ONTARIOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EDUCAtion minister has conďŹ rmed that Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surprise resignation on April 27 means her anti-bullying legislation, Bill 14, is dead. The former deputy premier resigned to become the chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no longer a question of battling bills,â&#x20AC;? says Ontario GSA Coalition lawyer Doug Elliott, who has been pushing for the speedy passage of Bill 13, the Liberalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Accepting Schools Act. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are now left with Bill 13, and we want to see it move forward as quickly as possible.â&#x20AC;? But NDP education critic Peter Tabuns, who was studying different scenarios with NDP researchers after Witmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announcement, was more hesitant. He says Bill 14, a private memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bill, has been adopted by the Ontario legislature on second reading and is currently being reviewed by the standing committee on social policy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, one would think that if the legislature endorsed it, it has some life [beyond Witmer],â&#x20AC;? Tabuns says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If someone resigns or dies, is it like a Viking funeral, where everything gets burned along with them? â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a total lack of clarity at this point, with contradictory opinions about what will happen and what will not happen,â&#x20AC;? he says. Tabuns suggests there might be another legislative mechanism in place to allow transference or carriage of the bill to another member. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have seen some pretty weird procedural stuff even in my short stay in the legislature.â&#x20AC;? Paris Meilleur, spokeswoman for Education Minister Laurel Broten, could not point to the legislative rule or a historical precedent but says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Private memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bills must be sponsored by a private member. The private member in this case resigned and so is no longer a sponsor for the bill.â&#x20AC;? Tabuns is not completely convinced and says he will continue to search for answers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If no one can point to a legislative procedure, boy, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s big.â&#x20AC;? For the past several months MPPs have been debating two anti-bullying bills: Bill 13 and the Conservativesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Bill 14, which does not mandate the creation of gay-straight alliances in all schools. Bill 13, however, would make it law that schools establish welcoming environments for queer youth and provide supports, such as GSAs, if requested by students. At an April 19 news conference at Queenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Park, Broten said the PCs have been using â&#x20AC;&#x153;delay tacticsâ&#x20AC;? during the billâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second reading debate to prevent Bill 13 from moving on to committee. Elliott says the reason for the delays have been the explicit protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans youth in Bill 13. Many Catholic parents and religious groups have objected to Bill 13 because, they say, it is radical and tramples on religious freedom. Elliott says the Ontario GSA Coali-

Liberal MPP Glen Murray joined gay-straight alliance supporters at Queenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Park on March 29. ANDREA HOUSTON

tion will look to Broten for clariďŹ cation as soon as possible. With Bill 14 no longer on the table, will the delay tactics stop? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our objective is to see a robust new law in place when school starts in September,â&#x20AC;? Elliott says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This means getting Bill 13 through second reading, committee and third reading in about six weeks. It will be challenging, but it can be done, and we hope that all parties will cooperate in achieving that goal.â&#x20AC;? A key advisor on both bills is Ottawa Councillor Allan Hubley, whose son, Jamie, committed suicide in October 2011 after years of anti-gay

IF SOMEONE RESIGNS OR DIES, IS IT LIKE A VIKING FUNERAL, WHERE EVERYTHING GETS BURNED ALONG WITH THEM? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;NDP education critic Peter Tabuns bullying. Hubley has emerged as an anti-bullying advocate, but he has also actively advised against GSAs. During debate, PC MPP Lisa MacLeod and others have repeatedly referenced Jamie Hubley as inspiration for Bill 14. Yet the fact that Jamie was gay, and bullied because of his sexuality, is often glossed over. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those politicians are really taking advantage of a youth who committed suicide,â&#x20AC;? says Jeremy Dias, the founder and director of Jerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vision in Ottawa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shameful.â&#x20AC;? Hubley, who says he supports merging the bills, thinks student clubs shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be too speciďŹ c. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People are getting too hung up on the name,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The name â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;GSAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; labels kids.â&#x20AC;? Mississauga student Leanne Iskander, who has repeatedly been blocked from starting a GSA at her school, disagrees with Hubley. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that students can choose the name of the group.â&#x20AC;?

Hubleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position appears to contradict what his son wanted, which was a Rainbow Alliance, Dias says, adding that under Bill 14, Catholic schools could continue to deny groups that want to use that name. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wish that Allan Hubley and Lisa MacLeod would go speak to students in a GSA and hear why GSAs are so important,â&#x20AC;? Dias says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Right now we have politicians speaking for youth who have never actually spoken to any youth about this issue.â&#x20AC;? Liberal MPP Glen Murray believes there is now â&#x20AC;&#x153;mounting evidenceâ&#x20AC;? that certain schools â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Catholic and public â&#x20AC;&#x201D; discriminate against queer youth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It cannot be denied that there is a campaign to extinguish the word gay from some schools,â&#x20AC;? he says, noting this is why Bill 13 makes explicit mention of GSAs. Hubley, however, says this is a bad idea because it leaves out the â&#x20AC;&#x153;fat kids, skinny kids, short kidsâ&#x20AC;? and others who are also being bullied. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you name something, you exclude something else. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trying to make the bill about one small section of the school population is disadvantaging the other children to leave them exposed to the problems that are going on in schools,â&#x20AC;? Hubley continues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re only concerned about the GSA piece. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give a crap about the other kids . . . Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re only concerned about gay youth. I am concerned about all youth.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, Dias says Hubleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice is doing more harm than good. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If the bills merge, the worst-case scenario is the silencing of LGBTQ youth,â&#x20AC;? he says. Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi agrees. He has spoken to Hubley and explained the need for queer supports, urging him to get behind GSAs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I always understood Hubleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position to be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Let the kids decide,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Naqvi says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bill 13 allows the kids to decide what to call their clubs . . . The Conservatives got to him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no denying that there is bullying taking place in our schools based on sexual orientation and gender. If we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t address that head-on we are not getting at the real problems. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what Bill 13 is doing.â&#x20AC;?

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Pride Toronto planning two festivals at once Board says excitement building for WorldPride 2014 Andrea Houston PRIDE TORONTO (PT) EXECUTIVE director Kevin Beaulieu says the Pride board has its hands full planning two festivals: this summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pride Week 2012 and WorldPride in 2014. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we are certainly on track for both festivals,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenging, of course, but we put the structures in place to do that and we have people assigned to various tasks. Planning two festivals at once is never easy, but so far so good.â&#x20AC;? PT recently wrapped up three consultation sessions aimed at encouraging more community involvement in planning for the international event in two years. Beaulieu says the information collected was â&#x20AC;&#x153;incredibly valuable.â&#x20AC;? About 70 people took part in the ďŹ rst session, on April 18, at which the strategic plan was also unveiled. Among them was Natalie KouriTowe, who stressed how important it is that PT ensure WorldPride sponsors and financial backers are not connected to any organizations with human rights violations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That kind of contradiction, which

has been known to happen, is a dangerous one,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of risk if Pride doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put a lot of thought into this in these early stages.â&#x20AC;? Beaulieu says PT closely scrutinizes all its sponsors and ďŹ nancial backers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of the work we are doing now with existing partners, collaborators and funders, as we will with any potential new partners,â&#x20AC;? he says. Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn WongTam applauded Kouri-Toweâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice and encouraged her to volunteer for a WorldPride committee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is something very exciting about hosting an international event,â&#x20AC;? Wong-Tam said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is often once in a lifetime that we can be part of something like this. The success and failure of WorldPride does not rest on Pride Toronto. It rests with each and every single one of us.â&#x20AC;? PT member Ross Chapman asked about the new WorldPride logo, which was unveiled prior to the meeting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since Tourism Toronto designed it for free, how much involvement will they have in planning the festival?â&#x20AC;? Board co-chair Francisco Alvarez assured Chapman that Tourism Toronto is a partner but â&#x20AC;&#x153;is not taking the lead

on festival planning. We went with the Toronto Tourism design because we are running out of time. The design had to be quickly undertaken,â&#x20AC;? he said. Alvarez said Pride has spent no money on advertising so far for WorldPride 2014. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tourism Toronto spent $100,000 on out-of-town marketing on our behalf.â&#x20AC;? The board has been busy ďŹ nalizing plans for the local contingent that will travel to London for WorldPride 2012, Beaulieu says. Confirmed members of that committee include Beaulieu, board co-chairs Luka Amona and Alvarez, a delegate from Tourism Toronto, and a potential roster of Canadian artists and celebrities. Beaulieu says any community members planning to attend WorldPride 2012 this summer are welcome to join the PT contingent to help promote Toronto in 2014. PT recently distributed Pride Week 2012 invitations to Mayor Rob Ford and other city councillors. On April 17, Ford told reporters he will once again not attend the annual parade, which is one of only eight City of Toronto â&#x20AC;&#x153;signature events.â&#x20AC;? Ford plans to be at the cottage with his family. He would also not commit to attending any other Pride events to be held throughout the 10-day festival. For more on this story and to see the WorldPride strategic plan, visit

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IN A STATEMENT RELEASED ON April 25, the federal government announced it will appeal a recent Ontario Court of Appeals decision that struck down two sex-work laws as unconstitutional. Federal Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson and Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen made the announcement just one day before the closure of the 30-day appeal window. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is our position that the Criminal Code provisions are constitutionally sound,â&#x20AC;? the statement read. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is important to clarify the constitutionality of the law and remove the uncertainty this decision has created.â&#x20AC;? Alan Young represents the three defendants in the case: Terri-Jean Bedford, Valerie Scott and Amy Lebovitch. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not an unexpected development. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a fairly standard government response because it buys time and maintains the status quo,â&#x20AC;? says Young, who has long been known for his work in appealing laws that govern â&#x20AC;&#x153;consensual crimesâ&#x20AC;? such as drug use or sex work. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve decided we will cross-appeal on the communication offence because it has problems. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to impose a cost on this appeal â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they may lose even more.â&#x20AC;? While the March 26 Court of Appeals decision applies only in Ontario, a Supreme Court decision would apply across the country. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Luna Allison

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out@work2012 FEATURING:

Award-winning Performance Poet/Multi-Media Musician/founder of Ground Queero/fierce campaigner with Nichola Ward 


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Sid Ryan Ontario Federation of Labour [OFL] & CBC broadcaster (Workology), community organizer, city staffer Jane Farrow, moderating a rapid rights Roundtable: s R Douglas Elliott, Legal Council, 2010 Community Advisory Panel s Leonardo Zúñiga, CivcAction/DiverseCity Fellow & Refugee Rights Advocate s Pearl Sawyer, United Food & Commercial Workers Canada 1000A s Nik Redman, Steelworkers 1998 s Joanne Webb, OFL Aboriginal Circle s Ryan Dyck, Egale Canada s Fred Hahn, Canadian union of public employees, Ontario s Pam Dogra, Elementary Teachers Toronto s Tim McCaskell, Toronto writer, activist and educator (OSSTF) A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR CONTRIBUTING AFFILIATES:




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Students asked to support antiabortion motion Mississauga school recently banned gay rights activism Andrea Houston T E ACH E RS AT A M ISSISSAUG A Catholic school are encouraging students to sign a petition that supports a federal motion that could lead to the reopening of the abortion debate, Xtra has learned. In an email sent out to all teachers at St Joseph Catholic Secondary School, teachers are encouraged to ask students to sign. Xtra obtained a copy of the email from a source at the school. Michael Payton, interim executive director of the Centre for Inquiry, says the school is manipulating students to lobby the federal government on behalf of Conservative causes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a clear example of indoctrination and pernicious lobbying that is being funded by taxpayers in Ontario,â&#x20AC;? Payton says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why is this allowed in a publicly funded school? This is not education. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vile and manipulative.â&#x20AC;? The Life Canada petition supports Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Wood-

spoke to students about abortion at an April 19 assembly. Fisher was invited as part of an annual push to get students to sign up for the anti-choice March for Life in Ottawa, which takes place May 12 to 14 this year. Bruce Campbell, general manager of communications and community relations for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB), says Fisher spoke to about 200 students in grades 10 through 12, including 17 students who will attend the march in Ottawa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is very scary,â&#x20AC;? Payton says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These students are not old enough to understand what is essentially an ethical problem.â&#x20AC;? Campbell says thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing inappropriate about preaching to youth in Catholic schools about abortion, adding that more than 700 students from 19 schools plan to attend this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s March for Life. While activism that supports gay students is banned, Campbell says

CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER â&#x20AC;&#x153;Craigâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice was invaluable to me during a time of crisis. He answered all my questions and calmed my racing mind. He educated me about the process; about what could, may, or might happen and my DOs and DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Ts. He gave me a map to work off of and I stuck to it. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no doubt in my mind that I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have been able to deal with the police or the social aspect of my investigation without Craigâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice. I took Craigâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice during that time of crisis and am in a better position for it.â&#x20AC;? Dexter, Bradford (sexual-assault investigation)


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Students such as Leanne Iskander (right) and Taechun Menns (left) have been banned from starting gay-straight support groups because administrators say the groups are too political in nature. ANDREA HOUSTON

worthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motion in the House of Commons to establish a parliamentary committee to study whether human life begins before birth; the motion was debated for the ďŹ rst time in Ottawa April 26. Administrative staff at St Josephâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s previously blocked student Leanne Iskander when she wanted to start a gay-straight alliance (GSA). At one point students were banned from using rainbows in anti-homophobia posters. The principal deemed the rainbow image â&#x20AC;&#x153;too politicalâ&#x20AC;? because of its association with Pride. Nancy Kirby, president of the Ontario Catholic School Trusteesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association (OCSTA), has maintained that GSAs will remain banned at all Ontario Catholic schools because â&#x20AC;&#x153;a GSA signals to students that the group is focused on activism.â&#x20AC;? Payton says the school is abusing its position of power. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no real way a student can disagree if asked to sign a petition by their teacher,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Students get the message that they are expected to take a political stance, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absolutely unacceptable.â&#x20AC;? In addition, the Right to Life Association of Torontoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Debbie Fisher

Catholic activism is okay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Catholic schools there is a culture of faithrelated social justice activism.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Catholic schools donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t support] activism that is not in keeping with the tenets of the Catholic Church,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you come to a Catholic school you would expect that would be something you would be exposed to . . . We believe this is an appropriate use of studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; time . . . A fundamental component of the catechism of the Catholic Church affirms life from conception to natural death.â&#x20AC;? Campbell claims [DPCDSB] administrators did not direct teachers to ask students to sign the petition. Yet at least four teachers have taken the petition to their students, according to Xtraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s source, who also says students are being encouraged to raise $20 each for ShareLife, a Catholic charity that funds the Right to Life Association of Toronto. The school has a goal of raising $17,000, the source says. Payton says the school has moved beyond activism to lobbying. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having hundreds of students sign a petition is a form of lobbying.â&#x20AC;? For more on this story, visit




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COME AS YOU ARE SEX SHOP IS once again facilitating the annual Masturbate-A-Thon to raise money for charity and celebrate the art of self-love. The event, which takes place Saturday, May 26, aims to eradicate stigma around the healthy act of masturbation while raising money for a community group. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recipient is Maggieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: The Toronto Sex Worker Action Project, which provides education, advocacy and support to sex workers. Masturbate-A-Thon is celebrated as part of Masturbation Month (May) in six countries around the world. More than 1,500 people have participated officially since 1998, but it can be assumed that many of the other seven billion people on the planet have celebrated Masturbation Month in their own ways. Participants can sign up and get pledge forms at Come As You Are or from the storeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website. They then collect pledges for every minute or hour they spend masturbating on May 26. The whole event is conducted under the honour system, as there are no judges, and participants will perform their self-abuse in the privacy of their own homes, at roadside stops and in gym steamrooms. But meat-beaters wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be completely alone during the event. Par-

Brent Corriganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fleshjack is one of many solo sex toy options available for Masturbate-A-Thon participants.

ticipants are encouraged to tweet their progress over the course of the day. Come As You Are will be retweeting the best posts (@caya_coop). Sarah Forbes Roberts, a spokesperson for Come As You Are, says the event is open to people of all genders. Participants can use whatever styles and techniques they enjoy best when self-loving, although it is an endurance event, so participants should be careful not to enjoy themselves too much too quickly. So far, the record amount raised

by a single participant is $1,000. The top ďŹ ve fundraisers this year will win a selection of exciting and gratifying prizes from Come As You Are, although clearly, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need the help.

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TWO RECENT STUDIES MAY OFFER more clues into what triggers homophobia, but neither one conclusively explains why some people hate gays and lesbians. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have authored a study that examines the effects of authentic pride versus arrogant, presumptuous (hubristic) pride. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When people experience hubristic pride, they become more likely to be prejudiced towards outgroup members,â&#x20AC;? says Jessica Tracy, a psychology professor at UBC and co-author of the study. In addition, she says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;people who experience hubristic pride tend to be more anti-social.â&#x20AC;? In three experiments with samples of students from Canada and the US, people were given questionnaires that gauged their feelings toward out-group members. Straight people judged a gay person who had committed a crime. Those experiencing hubristic pride were more likely to want to give the criminal a harsher penalty because the criminal was gay. Another study, based on a series of experiments in the US and Germany, has gathered evidence that, in some cases, homophobia can be a result of repressed homosexual desires. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Carly Rhianna Smith


For more on this story, visit

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The great GSA hunt Study will look at experience of student advisors Katie Toth CHRISTINE BELLINI IS ON A HUNT to ďŹ nd Ontarioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gay-straight alliances. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s working with Julian Kitchen on a research project about GSAs in Ontario public schools. Their goal: document the experiences of GSA advisors across the province. Bellini is ďŹ nding it easier said than done. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The ďŹ rst stumbling block is just even to ďŹ nd out who are those GSA advisors?â&#x20AC;? she says, noting no academic discussion has been undertaken with teachers whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve started GSAs in rural or northern Ontario. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are GSAs in Sudbury, North Bay. Has anybody ever talked to those teachers and said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How did you start it, what was the response from the school board, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the response from parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;?â&#x20AC;? Bellini says lots of people are discussing kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experiences in GSAs. She points to Every Class in Every School, a national survey of students done by Egale Canada in 2011. She hopes her study, sponsored by Brock University, will give teachers a voice, too.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are GSAs really doing what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re thinking theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure. Are they social clubs? Are they really helping to control homophobia in schools?â&#x20AC;? she asks. Kitchen says that, judging from their ďŹ rst stages of research, the answer seems to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;yes.â&#x20AC;? While GSAs can make schools feel safer, teachers who advise them donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always have it easy. Kitchen quotes one research participant: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I received anonymous messages regarding my involvement in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Gay Agendaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; as well as Bibles sent to me . . . As we were just establishing the GSA it was very discouraging when we had to continually justify our existence and the need for it. Every activity that we did was scrutinized far beyond how other clubs and groups were.â&#x20AC;? For Bellini, who teaches and works with a GSA at a Toronto high school, these challenges hit home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gay, and he did not have a GSA when he went to high school back in the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But when I ďŹ rst became a teacher, I could tell it was not easy . . . it was a very conservative environment.â&#x20AC;? If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a teacher who advises a GSA you can participate in the survey at gsas-and-homophobic-bullying.



LGBT HEALTH TRANS PRIDE 2012: -AY  PM 3HERBOURNE3T Calling All Trans, Genderqueer & Two-Spirit performers/artists of all abilities and ages! Help us celebrate our communities with pride! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our party! If you have writing, movement, ďŹ lm, skits, art or music that make you proud, this is an event for you! 0LEASEEMAILUSATLIVINGTRANSPRIDE GMAILCOMTOLETUSKNOWWHATYOUDLIKETOSHARE ANDIFYOUHAVESUPPORTANDORTECHNICALSPACEREQUIREMENTS !LLIESAREWELCOME3IGNUPTOPARTICIPATEASSOONASPOSSIBLE3PACEANDTIMEARELIMITED 7EWILLCLOSEREGISTRATIONON&RIDAY-AY TRANS PARTNER NETWORK Is hosting a free 8 week workshops series for partners, lovers, spouse or signiďŹ cant others of transgender, transsexual and gender queer people. )FYOUARE INTERESTEDINMEETINGUPWITHOTHERPARTNERSTOSHARE EXPLOREANDREmECT INASTRUCTURED SUPPORTIVE ANDCREATIVEENVIRONMENTTHENCONTACTUSATTRANSPARTNERNETWORK TRANSPARTNERNETWORKCOM 4HEGROUPRUNSFROM-AYTO*UNE  PM LGBTQ FAMILY PICNIC &/2).4%2.!4)/.!,&!-),96)3)"),)49$!9 A celebration of all people who raise children â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3UN-AYTHFROMAMTOPM. Join us for a picnic at #HRISTIE0ITS#HRISTIEAND"LOOR Face-painting, button-making, eating, and playing. We will take family photos and make frames for them. Bring your own picnic blanket! The LGBTQ Parenting Network will provide pizza, snacks and drinks.

NEW RESOURCE FOR TEACHERS AND DAYCARES In celebration of this International Family Visibility Day we have created a package to help teachers and childcare workers approach Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day with diverse families in mind. You can download it from HTTPLGBTQPARENTINGCONNECTIONCARESOURCES)NTERNATIONALFAMILYVISIBILITYDAYCFM.



HEY QUEER & TRANS YOUTH! PINK INK is an informal creative writing drop-in for queer, trans and 2-spirit youth aged 14-29. It RUNSWEEKLYFROM PMON3ATURDAYS 2OOM 3HERBOURNE(EALTH#ENTRE You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to identify as a writer and you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about spelling. Everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story is important. Nobody can tell your story but you. LEARN solid writing, editing, performance and publication skills. Come have FUN, CREATE, WRITE, and CHILL! Snacks and tokens will be provided. &2%%#ALL  OR EMAILVPINKINK GMAILCOMFORMOREINFO

FRUITLOOPZ PRIDE youth stage is back again this year. We provide a safe space for LGBTQ and differently abled youth to autonomously and creatively express themselves. Come out for an amazing youth showcase! We are also currently accepting submissions for volunteers and performers! 0LEASE DIRECTANYINQUIRESTOFRUITLOOPZSOY GMAILCOM Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s connect. ESSENCE: A youth-centred group where queer, trans and questioning youth gather to uncover, discover and recover our deeper selves. Come learn, socialize and share wisdom through workshops, guest speakers and discussions about different non-denominational and queer-positive ideas and practices of spirituality, faith and community. Facilitated by Adam Benn. 4HURSDAYS  PM #ONTACT  XABENN SHERBOURNEONCATOREGISTER ALPHABET SOUP: If you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, 2 Spirited or Questioning, under 20 years old and in school or planning to return to school, check us out!4UESDAYS  PM 3HERBOURNE(EALTH#ENTRE 3HERBOURNE3T#ONTACT*OHNFORMOREDETAILSATJCAFFERY SHERBOURNEONCAOR  X NEWCOMER IMMIGRANT YOUTH PROGRAM (EXPRESS): A safe and supportive space where newcomer and/or immigrant queer youth ďŹ nd a safe space to gather, share ideas, questions, and most of all HAVE FUN! Interested? 4UESDAYS  PM 3HERBOURNE(EALTH #ENTRE 3HERBOURNE3T%MAIL3UHAILSOYNEWCOMER SHERBOURNEONCAORCALL   BLACK QUEER YOUTH (BQY): A safe space for Black, Mixed, African/Caribbean Youth under 29, who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and questioning. Come chill, learn and socialize, free food & drinks - Spread the word!7EDNESDAYS  PM 3HERBOURNE (EALTH#ENTRE 3HERBOURNE3T%MAIL,ORELEIBQY SHERBOURNEONCAORCALL  



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arts › entertainment › leisure

Out City IN THE




Death in Venice New monograph released in Queer Film Classics Peter Knegt LEGENDARY ITALIAN DIRECTOR LUCHINO Visconti’s 1971 film Death in Venice marks another inspired edition of Arsenal Pulp Press’s Queer Film Classics series, which examines some of the most pivotal films about and by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. The series is co-edited by author Thomas Waugh and Xtra contributor Matthew Hays. Nine of a planned 21 monographs have been released so far, each written by a different leading film scholar or critic. The Venice monograph was assigned to Will Aitken, a Montreal-based novelist, journalist, screenwriter, multimedia director and teacher. Based on Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella of the same name, Death in Venice follows a middle-aged, generally heterosexual German author (Dirk Bogarde) who is vacationing alone in Venice. He becomes obsessed with an adolescent boy (Björn Andrésen) who is staying at the same hotel. As the fixation intensifies, the film makes explicit what Mann’s novella kept implicit: an aesthetically intense depiction of unconsummated, pederastic love. Over 168 pages, Aitken’s contribution to Queer Film Classics delves into all aspects of the film, including its fascinating external narrative. Warner Brothers put up two thirds of the budget for this arty Italian film about a middle-aged man’s obsession with a pubescent boy — a ridiculous fantasy scenario these days. Moreover, and despite mixed and often homophobic reviews, the film became a huge box-office success, the biggest of Visconti’s career. Aitken spends a good third of the monograph on Visconti himself. He writes about how Visconti grew up in a family headed by one of Milan’s most preeminent couples in a grand residence “with so many windows there were servants specifically assigned to the task of opening and closing them”; about how his mascara-wearing father had extramarital affairs with members of both sexes; and — most extensively — about how Visconti handled his own homosexuality, which was an open secret but one Visconti never actually spoke a word about. It’s an engrossing biography that Aitken handles with care, covering well beyond the basics in the tight page count. He also opens with it, which gives the reader a great primer on Visconti’s background and psychology before taking on Aitken’s rigorous analysis of the film itself — a film that stands as one of the most compelling works of one of cinema’s most compelling filmmakers. While many writers have addressed the story before, it’s nice to have Aitken and Queer Film Classics give it such an officially queer look. For more on the Queer Film Classics, search using the following article titles: Word Is Out and Zero Patience.

the deets DEATH IN VENICE Will Aitken Arsenal Pulp Press $14.95

Exhibit promises ‘good stuff’



Johnnie Walker

HOTOGRAPHER DRASKO Bogdanovic’s Submission (part of the Contact Festival) is going to be unlike any art show you’ve ever attended. “We’re turning the gallery opening upside down,” Bogdanovic says. “When you walk in a gallery space, it’s always white walls, it’s always brightly lit, there’s always that kind of chichi cocktail music going on. We’re turning that upside down. We’re having a dark room. The walls are going to be painted black, and people are going to walk in with flashlights.” And what will visitors discover under their flashlights’ beams? Given Bogdanovic’s previous work, it seems safe to assume it will have something to do with naked men. “It’s going to be a whole range of nudity, full-frontal, sexual acts,” he laughs. “The good stuff !” What gallery would agree to such an unconventional exhibit? Actually, no gallery did. Instead, Submission is going to be presented at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre,

a rather untraditional space for an art show. “Buddies in Bad Times is not a gallery space, so it was a challenge,” Bogdanovic says. “They are not designed to exhibit art . . . But on the other hand, it’s a theatre, and we can create whatever we want in there.” It wasn’t just a willingness to turn out the lights and paint the walls black that Buddies brought to the table — it was also a willingness to “submit” to whatever Bogdanovic wanted to show. “It’s going to be very explicit,” he promises. “Lots of the stuff that I do is very raunchy. But Buddies has said that they won’t censor anything. Whatever I decide to exhibit, they’re gonna show it. So for me, it was very liberating. Because I don’t know when I’m going to get a chance like that again.” Over the past several years, Bogdanovic’s photography has become ubiquitous in gay Toronto. He’s a regular contributor to fab, and his homoerotic photos are frequently used in event promotion and advertising. Bogdanovic insists that while it’s great getting attractive guys to drop trou in his studio, he also has

FOR A LONG TIME, THE ONLY IMAGES OF OURSELVES WE COULD SEE WERE IN PORNOGRAPHY. —Drasko Bogdanovic Exhibited photos will include Taste of Toronto, above.

something more political in mind. “We’re so used to seeing the female body naked,” he tells us. “But male nudity — there is still a fear of penis. People are just not ready to see it. They are literally afraid to look at it. Even in advertising, in fashion, in the media, we don’t get to see the same amount of male nudity that we do of female nudity.” While Bogdanovic hasn’t absolutely determined all the photos he’s going to exhibit, it’s clear he won’t shy away from depicting, well, anything. “I think showing explicit work is very important in our queer history,” he says. “For a long

time, the only images of ourselves we could see were in pornography. You couldn’t see a gay kiss on TV or a gay couple in a movie. The only thing you could see in the media were these very sexual images that you had to buy in the back of the bookstore or whatever.” Just how scandalized should those of us with a prudish streak be prepared to be? “With gay people, I don’t think they will be that surprised with what’s in the photographs,” Bogdanovic says. “Because it is our lives. It’s what we do on the weekends — or what we wish we did on the weekends. But considering the exhibit is part of the Contact Festival, I’d like to see more straight people in there and their reaction to it. And then, maybe, their discomfort.”

the deets SUBMISSION Mon, May 14–Sun, May 27 Opening reception and party Tues, May 15, 7pm Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 12 Alexander St


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listings ›

Michael Battista Barrister & Solicitor

ART & PHOTOGRAPHY Its Teeth in His Body, Out of 60 Dogs

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Jamye Waxman hosts Blowjob Bootcamp, May 5.

Benjamin Edelberg’s mixed-media and collage art inspired by porn and vintage car crash photos takes form in a new exhibition. Opening reception Sat, April 28, 7pm. Runs till Fri, May 4. Forgetus Collective, 163 Sterling Rd.

Editions Part Two

160 Bloor St. East, Suite 1000 Toronto, Ontario M4W 1B9

sturbati a o sM

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S o l i c i t o r s Join us for our annual Masturbate-a-thon! Saturday, May 26th, 2012 All proceeds go to Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project. Learn more at


A staggering collection of work from some of Canada’s most gifted and celebrated artists. Featuring Jane Buyers, Miles Collyer, Dennis Day, Tom Dean, Maura Doyle, Fastwürms, Sadko Hadzihasanovic, Anitra Hamilton, Andrew Harwood, Olia Mishchenko, Estate of Will Munro and Sandy Plotnikoff. Runs till Sat, May 5. Paul Petro Contemporary Art, 980 Queen St W. Free.

DANCE Momentum 2012 The School of Toronto Dance Theatre presents its annual showcase of students from all three years of the professional training program. Thurs, May 3– Sat, May 5; Thurs, May 10–Sat, May 12, 8pm. The Winchester St Theatre, 80 Winchester St. $19, $15 students, seniors, CADA members.

FILM & VIDEO Happy, Happy


Out in Schools wants to hear from youth! YAAH we do!

Join our Youth Steering Committee If you are under 25, and want to get involved with Out in Schools, join YAAH

(Youth Allies Against Homophobia) today! Details at

Gathering steam before the official start of the festival, Inside Out presents a screening of Happy, Happy. A woman is forced to examine the notion that her marriage may be a sham. Thurs, May 10, 7pm. Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen St E. $10, $8 members.

Learn in-depth tips on how to give and get the best head with Jamye Waxman. All genders welcome. Sat, May 5, 7:30–9:30pm. Come As You Are, 493 Queen St W. $35, sliding scale available.

Mourning and Celebration Book Signing Author and activist K David Brody meets, greets and signs copies of his award-winning book. Sun, May 6, 1–3pm. Chapter’s, 2901 Bayview Ave. Free.

Uncovering the O Jamye Waxman leads a workshop on the nuances of clitoral orgasms, masturbation, female anatomy and more. I’ll have what she’s having. Sun, May 6, 5:30–7:30pm. Come As You Are, 493 Queen St W. $35, sliding scale available.

Naked Swim Get wet and in the buff with the babes from TNT!Men. Tues, May 8, 8:15pm. Harrison Pool, 15 Stephanie St. $8, $5 members, $4 students.

Gun Hill Road

Gender 101 Workshop

Inside Out presents a screening of Rashaad Ernesto Green’s film about an ex-con who comes to terms with his teenaged son’s comingout experience. Sun, May 13, 7pm. Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave. $10, $8 members.

MCCT Trans Education & Action Team co-chairs Jon and Sara deliver a workshop on the varied language, stories and contemporary notions of gender. Tues, May 15, 6pm. Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, 115 Simpson Ave. Free.

HEALTH & ISSUES Legit Toronto Accessible legal counsel for samesex partners immigrating to Canada. Find options and connect with others. Thurs, May 10, 7–10pm. 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St. Free, donations accepted. 416392-6874.

YOUnique Ties A fund- and awareness-raising event for Jer’s Vision, a program that combats homophobic bullying in Canada. Prizes available for the dandiest tie. Fri, May 11, 8:30pm. The Richmond, 477 Richmond St W. $50.

LEISURE & PLEASURE Older LGBT Social Founding Media Sponsor

Blowjob Bootcamp Workshop

Meet new friends at this afternoon social and practise gentle exercises. Light refreshments, coffee and tea provided. Transportation available. Thurs, May 3, 2–4pm. SPRINT, 140 Merton St. Free.

MUSIC Anna Gutmanis Launch Party The award-winning songstress celebrates the release of her new record, Glimmer in the Dark, with special guest Elana Harte. Thurs, May 3, 8pm. C’est What, 67 Front St. $6.

Momo and Friends Sing Momo sings his cherubic heart out. Featuring Rauf Azimoff and other guests. Fri, May 4, 7pm. The Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament St. $15, $10 advance.

All Strung Up: Unplugged Jen Calder and Amy Lewis host a night of cold drinks and warm tunes. Performances by Mark Brown, Ashley Annon, Kathryn Fudurich and James Mulvale. Sun, May 6, 7pm. The Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament St. Free. › continued on page 29

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In Keep the Lights On, Thure Lindhardt (left) plays Erik, the character based on director Ira Sachs.



Aaron Leaf

RA SACHS CHOSE TO FILM THE first sex scene of Keep the Lights On during the second day of a monthlong shoot. The two leads had just met, and Sachs, who doesn’t rehearse his actors before filming them, was nervous it would backfire. The resulting scene, an anonymous hookup from a phone-sex line, has a tension that is both sweet and painful, introducing us to the characters at their most vulnerable.

Establishing “nakedness and physicality” early on was Sachs’ attempt to liberate the cast, the crew and himself to make a deeply personal film. Keep the Lights On is most definitely liberated. A semi-autobiographical account of a 10year relationship between Sachs and his ex-boyfriend, it’s a relationship drama that, while about gay men in New York in the ’90s, transcends place and sexual orientation. The film’s stars — Thure Lindhardt, who plays Erik, the character based on Sachs, and Zachary Booth, who plays

Danish lead left the lights on for film’s naked moments

Paul — have on-screen chemistry that will hit viewers in the gut. But that pairing didn’t come easily; the part of Erik was difficult to cast. Because it was based on him, Sachs was looking to cast an American, but the actors he liked were scared off by the “nakedness” of the role, both physically and emotionally. Then he was introduced to Lindhardt, the “bravest actor in Denmark,” and knew he had found his man. You start making an autobiographical movie, Sachs says, but “then you cast a movie and you’re Danish.”

“I think in Europe people are less afraid of naked bodies in cinema, in art, maybe in life. We do live in a puritan society,” he says. “I want to work with people who are outside the American system.” Beside Lindhart, the cinematographer, Thimios Bakatakis, is Greek — part of a new wave of Greek cinema — and co-writer Mauricio Zacharias is Brazilian. Keep the Lights On, the most independent of Sachs’ eight films, was truly made continued on page 22›



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The Mountain follows a lesbian couple in search of the remote spot where their son died.

Scandinavian focus promises dark, sexy, mysterious cinema


E FOCUS: SCANDINAVIA Various screenings See for more info

Chris Dupuis HANKS LARGELY TO SWEDISH AUTEUR Ingmar Bergman, the mention of Scandinavian film tends to conjure images of bleak, frozen landscapes and glacially paced conversation. But in composing Inside Out’s Focus program this year, director of programming Andrew Murphy is happy to put those conceptions to rest. With five features and two packs of shorts from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, the lineup includes plenty of mystery, romance and sex, even if there’s not much in the way of comedy. “I wouldn’t say it’s a depressing program, but it’s not exactly light,” Murphy laughs. “In that part of the world the extended darkness during the winter months has a definite impact on the way they produce art. But it’s a beautiful series of works, even if it isn’t exactly a non-stop laugh fest.” Swedish director Ella Lemhagen (creator of the 2009 festival gala Patrik, Age 1.5, about a gay couple whose adopted son

turns homophobic as a teenager) has two films up this year: Immediate Boarding, the Freaky Friday-esque tale of two preteens intent on swapping parents and genders for a summer; and The Crown Jewels, a bisexual hockey thriller. Also on the lockerroom front is Danish director Mette Carla Albrechtsen’s XY Anatomy of a Boy (part of the Boy Scandinavia program), which features six Danish teens hanging out in towels and talking about sex. For those who like the old-school Bergman-esque touch, there’s Ole Giaever’s The Mountain, which follows a married lesbian couple on an epic hike to the spot where their son died years earlier. Murphy was intent on digging into the archives of queer film and pulled out Lasse Neilsen and Ernst Johansen’s seminal 1978 work You Are Not Alone. Seen as a turning point in queer film, it charts the love relationship of two boys in a Danish boarding school. “Watching it now it’s quite shocking to

The Crown Jewels is a drama starring up-and-coming Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård.

see a film that was so honestly and openly made from over 30 years ago,” Murphy says. “It’s a fascinating time capsule of queer cinema that looks at both coming of age and bullying in a time when neither subject was being dealt with in film.” Delving into the past has always been a cornerstone of Inside Out’s programming. In addition to struggling for theatrical releases, queer films have tended to be lost

or forgotten about, especially if they were produced in the pre-video rental era. For Murphy, preserving that diversity of queer history is as important as showcasing the works of contemporary filmmakers. “Looking at these older works can give us a really different take on what queer has meant at different times,” he says. “And, of course, there’s always the plus of that retro fashion.”

Keep the Lights On

dence also allowed Sachs to make the film he wanted to make: a story about his life as a gay man in an urban centre outside the system. A professor at NYU, and “gay identity as it exists within the Sachs sees himself as a community mainstream.” Says Sachs, “The film industry still activist as well as a filmmaker. He runs a queer art-mentorship program and a looks at gay stories as being marginalmonthly queer film night, likening the ized, and I think audiences don’t. And idea to Warhol’s Factory. He noticed that’s what’s exciting about this film, that students of a certain generation that it actually looks more like how didn’t wait around for the industry to people live their lives than the film fund their projects; they did their own industry has yet allowed us to show. Capitalism usually comes a good 25 fundraising. He followed suit. Financed independently through a years after culture.” Framing the story of the relationship Kickstarter campaign and a community effort, the film’s production costs were is a rich portrait of New York gay life in offset by donations from people who the late ’90s. It’s an attempt to tell a wider wanted to see it succeed. This included story about the generation “after Stonesupport from Kodak, the once-mighty wall and before Will & Grace,” reeling film company, which meant the team from the AIDS epidemic and processing could shoot in Super 16. This gives Keep grief through drugs and risky sex. The score, from the the Lights On a grainy, late cellist and disco nostalgic feel, refreshing E KEEP THE producer Arthur Rusin the era of high definiLIGHTS ON sell, gives the film a dark tion digital. The indepenCanadian premiere ›continued from page 21

& Centrepiece Gala Tues, May 22, 9:15pm

Keep the Lights On is a rich portrait of New York gay life in the late 1990s.

and haunting edge. Russell, who died from AIDS in 1992 and whose music has largely been forgotten until recently, was the subject of a 2008 documentary, Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, which charmed Sachs enough

to want the music to be the third lead character in his movie. One of the richest layers in Keep the Lights On is the film within the film, a documentary called In Search of Avery Willard that the character Erik spends

years making. In a fun twist, the film is, in fact, real; it’s a doc that Sachs was working on prior to Keep the Lights On, a collaborative project that will be in festivals this summer. The film is about another lost artist, Avery Willard, who documented gay life in New York through film and photography for decades, starting in the 1940s, before falling off the radar and dying in 1991. It’s when Erik is accepting a prize for this film in Berlin that Paul’s addiction to crack cocaine takes over. Sachs has always been interested in the area where “fiction and documentary merge,” and by using a real documentary he can create “a much more vigorous depiction of filmmaking.” Keep the Lights On’s New York premiere as part of the Tribeca Film Festival was in front of an enthusiastic hometown audience that included New York icon Lou Reed and a multigenerational crowd that lined up around the block to get in.

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XTRA TALENTED Our contributors leap from the page to the screen


Scott Dagostino

OT ONLY IS XTRA COVering Inside Out this year; the festival will also feature two film debuts linked to Xtra staff and writers. Ever since the Halton Catholic District School Board told Xtra writer Andrea Houston about its ban on gay-straight-alliance clubs (“We don’t have Nazi groups either,” one trustee said) in January 2011, she has tirelessly followed the story of GSAs in Ontario, often joined by Xtra video producer/director Frank Prendergast and videographers Scott Humphries and Simon Baker. At the end of 2011, Xtra chose a group of out-and-proud high schoolers from across the GTA as “Newsmakers of the Year” and invited them to the Pink Triangle Press offices for a photo shoot by N Maxwell Lander. Prendergast saw an opportunity to capture the kids’ upbeat energy in a new way as they told their stories directly to the camera. “Andrea’s been the lead on this story,” Prendergast says. “We were happy to piggyback on the work she’d done and the relationships we’d built.” The result, edited down to a snappy three-and-a-half minutes, is Bully This, Prendergast’s entry in the Inside Out festival. “Some of the students had stories that really encapsulated the whole issue,” Prendergast says. “Writers can paint beautiful pictures with words, but video can convey emotion very effectively.” Houston says she’s thrilled to see the students’ stories continue. “I feel an emotional attachment to those first video interviews,” she says, “and any

time there’s an opportunity to open up the GSA issue to a different audience, that’s amazing.” As the story continues to unfold, with the ongoing provincial debate over anti-bullying Bill 13 and wider appeals from students, Houston says, “This could be a full-length documentary.” Prendergast agrees but says the editing (by Humphries) was deliberate. “There’s definitely enough material,” he says, “but we wanted to pack a lot of impact into a piece that would get the story across quickly.” In this case, he says, less is definitely more. Artist and Xtra contributor Chris Dupuis says his Inside Out film could never have been a written article. “It never occurred to me,” he says. “In Toronto, I’m primarily known as a writer, but I knew what to do with this idea immediately.” In his video piece, Just Friends, four men face an off-screen friend who asks them if they’d be interested in turning their friendship into a sexual relationship. Dupuis recruited Cole J Alvis, James McLean, Matthew Romantini and Jordan Tannahill for his film. Two of the men are actors, the others aren’t; the short intercuts their various reactions in documentary style as Dupuis ponders, “How do we preserve a friendship once that bridge has been crossed?” The thoughtful pauses and awkward silences give Just Friends an immediacy that a newspaper article couldn’t achieve, Dupuis says. “Writing is the most fluid way to have output, but doing this as a video piece came as a fully formed idea pretty quickly.” That said, each of the four interviews ran from 30 to 45 minutes, for a final short of four-and-a-half minutes. “Our editing choices were very specific,” he says.

Basketball star Emily Tay is the focus of No Look Pass, a documentary about race and sexuality in America.


Chris Dupuis’s short Just Friends, above, features four men discussing relationship possibilities. Below, the Xtra short Bully This looks at students fighting for gay-straight alliances.

Dupuis is excited the piece was selected to screen at Inside Out. “Finding a home for this kind of work is surprisingly difficult,” he says. “Many film fests now prefer slickly produced narrative shorts. Inside Out is one of very few queer fests that runs experimental work.” Dupuis says his work for Xtra is “driven by seeing other artists I want to talk about,” while his video work “taps into the universality of some life experience I carry around with me.” In his mind, the page and the screen happily coexist.

E BULLY THIS Part of Youth Matinee Fri, May 25, 1pm

E JUST FRIENDS Part of Local Heroes Thurs, May 24, 7pm


BRINGING THE SCREEN TO THE SCHOOLS Advocates hope films will fight classroom homophobia


Katie Toth

HE INSIDE OUT FILM FEStival is taking its mandate to increase youth involvement to the next level, starting with a new free matinee for high school students. The award-winning documentary No Look Pass will screen at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on May 25. The film tells the story of Emily “Etay” Tay, an athlete and first-generation gay Burmese immigrant. Tay struggles to find her place in the worlds of Harvard University, professional basketball and a traditional family — all while coming out as a lesbian. Organizers say more than 100 students are slated to attend the screening, with some coming from as far away as Hamilton. For Scott Ferguson, executive director of Inside Out, the film’s an opportunity to get kids talking about queer issues in a way that isn’t tokenizing. “There’s such a broad range of subjects addressed and brought up in film,” he says. “The things they’re talking about might not necessarily be outright about bullying or antihomophobia, but most of them are just raising awareness of what it’s like to be queer — and the normalcy of LGBT identity.” It’s just one part of the threepronged Inside Out Reach initiative, which festival organizers hope will fight youth homophobia and groom a new generation of film buffs along the way. Organizers also plan to start screening films in schools later this year. In addition, the festival has taken on youth reporters, who’ll be given all-access passes to the films and events. They will then upload video and document their experiences. The queer film festival’s demographic “tends to be a little bit older,” says Diana Khong, Inside Out’s marketing and education coordinator.

But youth reporter Matt Hoffman, 17, is ready to change that. “I want to get people more aware and expand their horizons when it comes to film,” he says. Hoffmann is a Grade 12 student at Thornhill’s Westmount Collegiate. He says that while his own school is generally gay-friendly, friends tell him their schools are more homophobic. “People are being told by movies and TV” that homophobia is normal, he explains. His focus is drawing his peers’ attention to alternative media — and letting those stories fight bigotry. “Everybody loves films,” he says. “One of the biggest issues is that people go to the same kinds of movies and they’re not exposed to different kinds of film . . . I’m hoping people who get exposed to different kinds of movies will have different outlooks on the way they see things.” Leanne Iskander, a Mississauga gay-straight alliance activist who has often been in front of the cameras because of her school’s lack of support for its E NO gay students, took a turn LOOK PASS as a youth reporter at Part of Youth the Inside Out launch Matinee party on April 26. Fri, May 25, 1pm “People spoke about their favourite parts of Inside Out,” Iskander says. “It was great to hear different perspectives and what they liked at the festival.” After the festival, organizers want Inside Out’s screening tour to bring challenging movies into high schools throughout Toronto. Khong says the move out of downtown and into kids’ neighbourhoods is an important one. “I don’t want it to be preaching to the choir,” she explains. “Inside Out does have a great library of films and it’s a great resource. “Wherever you lie, wherever your politics are, just sit down and maybe you will learn something through film.”


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PROTEST Documentary examines early years of AIDS activism


Chris Dupuis HOUGH HE’S CREDITED AS DIRECTOR, Jim Hubbard’s documentary United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is as collective an exercise as the radical AIDS activist group it profiles. Pieced together from thousands of hours of footage shot by dozens of activists over a 20-year span, the work would never have been possible were it not for the happy accident of consumer-grade video cameras entering the market at the same time as the AIDS crisis. “People were shooting constantly at our events,” Hubbard says. “It seemed like everyone had a camera tucked in their

backpack on the way to the demonstrations. This was the first phase of the gay rights movement to be documented like this, and people would make copies of the tapes and send them around the country. In a way, the cameras became extensions of ourselves.” Covering ACT UP’s major interventions at places such as New York City Hall, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute of Health, United in Anger captures the rage of those fighting, literally, for their lives. Whether showing activists chained together in the streets, soaked with fake blood, or being dragged away in handcuffs by the police, the film unflinchingly charts the battle for the benefits many

HIV-positive people enjoy today. Though the organization’s work is so thoroughly documented, this history hasn’t been consistently passed down. Mention ACT UP to the average 20-something gay person and you may well be greeted with a blank stare. “That’s a huge part of why I felt compelled to make this,” Hubbard says. “It’s important to ensure this history isn’t lost to the next generation. But it’s also our intention to force the history of ACT UP into mainstream historical circles.” So what is the history of ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Release Power)? Beginning with weekly meetings at New

York City’s Lesbian and Gay Community Center (they hadn’t added Bi and Trans to the moniker yet), the organization expanded organically to include more than 100 groups with various causes in different cities. Bringing together activists from beyond the gay community — sex workers, intravenous drug users, the homeless and the women’s health movement — the group’s diversity was its strength. “Women were a hugely important part of the movement,” Hubbard says. “They were the ones who had most of the political and organizational experience, because they were already working on issues like reproductive rights. They gave us lessons in

THE WORLD HAD TO NOTICE Activist Tim McCaskell remembers working to make AIDS a political crisis in Canada


NTARIO RESIDENT? NEED an expensive drug but can’t afford it? You can always apply to the Trillium Drug Program to get those costs covered. If you want to know who to thank for that, you need to look back to a scruffy, rambunctious, angry bunch of New Yorkers, most of them queer, who in 1987, in the depths of the AIDS crisis, decided they weren’t going to take no for an answer. They set off shock waves felt around the world. It was October 1987 when I bumped into Michael Lynch on College St. Michael and I had both been members of The Body Politic collective. He was American, regularly back and forth between Toronto and the great gay mecca, New York. “Have you heard about ACT UP?” he asked. I had, vaguely. “We have to do the same thing here. Will you come to a meeting at my place?”

The result of those meetings was AIDS Action Now! We were just one of the many AIDS activist groups inspired by ACT UP NY, nearly 150 across the States, not to mention ACT UP Paris, other European incarnations and even South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign. I just finished watching United in Anger, Sarah Schulman and Jim Hubbard’s new documentary about the early days of ACT UP. It was emotionally draining. It took me back to a time I prefer to block out, when my friends, my fuckbuddies, the cute guys I cruised on Church St, all of us were suddenly dying. And the rest of the world didn’t notice. Or didn’t give a fuck. Or were terrified of us. Or said we deserved it. We had little support, no information, no medicines, no hope, nothing but anger. But what ACT UP did, and showed could be done with that anger, was

nothing short of remarkable. They, we, made AIDS a political crisis and the world had to notice. It’s funny what strikes you when you are looking at footage from the past. There is a brief scene in the film where people are putting away the chairs after a long and raucous ACT UP meeting. I flashed back to stacking those heavy, old, wooden fold-up tables at The 519 after every AAN! meeting. I remembered wondering how long I was going to be able to lift that much. So much of AIDS activism was about meetings. In comparison with New York, our meetings in Toronto were quite restrained. We elected a steering committee to ensure the group was controlled by a poz majority. We elected co-chairs to manage things. On the other hand, ACT UP’s regular general meetings every Monday night at the New York Lesbian and Gay Community Center could involve

several hundred people. They were facilitated, not chaired. I attended at least one while visiting the city in the early ’90s. It was like a very large, unruly orchestra that hadn’t been tuned, with rotating conductors. But somehow it made music. ACT UP brought together people with long political histories: gay liberationists, feminists, those with roots in the left and the civil rights movement, community organizers from poor neighbourhoods, sex-work advocates and others — the “blank slates,” those who had lived private, quiet, “normal” lives until they started getting sick. To channel such diversity, ACT UP organized itself around affinity groups, like-minded people who wanted to do particular actions. If an affinity group needed resources and the support of the whole organization, that was thrashed out by the general meeting for however long it took. In ACT UP affinity groups, ordinary people became experts: on AIDS, immunology and clinical trials; on media, graphic design and video production; on public speaking, banner dropping and civil disobedience.

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civil disobedience and taught us the tactics the police would use against us. ” ACT UP’s diversity was a product of the disease; “AIDS doesn’t discriminate” was one of its mantras and its membership was proof. People who would never have been activists suddenly found themselves in the streets fighting alongside people they would never have met, were it not for one fateful visit to the doctor’s office. “In a certain way, AIDS destroyed the closet,” Hubbard says. “Before that you could succeed in the larger world if you kept your sexuality private. After AIDS, that was not a choice everyone was able to make. It utterly changed the way people


Shots from United in Anger (above) document historic ACT UP protests.

perceived gays, because suddenly a lot of people were forced to come out.” While AIDS united the gay community through shared tragedy and a common fight, Hubbard is concerned that’s begun to dissipate. Despite many advances being made, when it comes to HIV stigma he sees a backward drift. “The idea back then was that all of us were living with it, whether or not we were individually infected,” he says. “You knew you could get it at any minute, so it was impossible to live in an us-versus-them world. We don’t have that same sense of community now, and there isn’t the same political focus.”

ACT UP’s politics weren’t just focused on relief for the sick. It was a pioneer when it came to sex education, distributing condoms and information publicly long before it was a common practice, another area where the gay community has lost ground as safer-sex fatigue grows. “Sex is where you want to lose yourself, and in a way it’s antithetical to being careful,” Hubbard says. “I haven’t been fucked without a condom since 1984 and it still shocks me when I hear people are doing that. The only way it works is if you integrate it into your practice and it’s reinforced by the community. It’s something we all have to work on together.”


Richard Fung, at a Pride event in the late ’80s. right: McCaskell attends the 1996 International AIDS Conference in Vancouver.

ACT UP’s savvy use of media and images is still a model for political art today. It made Silence=Death iconic. The group pioneered the political funeral, and its activists scattered the ashes of loved ones on the lawn of an indifferent White House. They disrupted a mass at New York’s St Patrick’s Cathedral to protest the church’s stand against condoms. They zapped Dan Rather on CBS Evening News. They invented the “die-in” and blocked the streets in acts of civil disobedience. Footage of limp activists being dragged away by police

became a staple of the public’s perception of AIDS. True, ACT UP didn’t always play well with others. Early on there was a nasty name-calling war with New York’s biggest AIDS service organization, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. They didn’t bother to let us Canadian activists know in advance that they planned to seize the stage at the Montreal International AIDS Conference in 1989. (But we did get to go along for the ride.) ACT UP figured its job was to be provocative, not popular.

While at first the concern was “getting drugs into bodies,” ACT UP quickly matured and developed a deeper analysis. It was not just a matter of generic individuals suffering from a virus who needed drugs. AIDS was a social problem. Racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty — all affected who got infected, who lived and who died. A criticism one sometimes hears of ACT UP was that it was just a bunch of entitled white boys. The powerful voices of women and ethnically diverse activists foregrounded in United in Anger give the lie to that

E UNITED IN ANGER Hot Docs Wed, May 2, 9:30pm Cumberland 3 159 Cumberland St Fri, May 4, 3pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 350 King St W Sun, May 6, 1:15pm The Revue 400 Roncesvalles Ave

Inside Out Fri, May 25, 5:15pm

notion. ACT UP took on the sexism of the drug-testing industry, which excluded women from trials; the racism of poverty and homelessness; the for-profit healthcare system that left the poor to die without treatment or care. When George Bush #1 launched his first invasion of Iraq, ACT UP filled the streets behind the banner “Money for AIDS Not for War.” And today, as I’m writing this, ACT UP joined the Occupy movement to block Broadway at Wall St, demanding a financial speculation tax on stock market transactions to raise money to end the global epidemic and provide universal healthcare in the US. And they did all this while continuing to be really sexy. Which takes us back to the Trillium Program. While AAN! never developed civil disobedience to the high art ACT UP did in New York, we did disrupt question period in the provincial parliament. We chained ourselves to the furniture in the offices of the minister of health. We held massive die-ins at the Pride parade. We disrupted the NDP convention when Bob Rae was about to speak. And as a result, we won the Trillium Drug Program so that nobody in Ontario should have to get sick or die because they can’t afford medicine. Without ACT UP’s example, I doubt that any of that would have happened.


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XTRA! MAY 3, 2012


Director Travis Mathews on his explicitly erotic first feature film




Special sneak preview Fri, May 25, 10pm

LOVE Matt Thomas

RAVIS MATHEWS SAYS THAT ALTHOUGH gay cinema has evolved beyond AIDS and coming-out stories, he still finds much of it doesn’t speak to his experience. “I think we’re at a time when gay cinema has matured to a point where it can be more representational of everyday people’s lives,” says the director of I Want Your Love, but “there are still far too few films out there that say a tremendous amount about my life that feel honest, intimate and relevant.” Mathews established his own raw style with In Their Room, a documentary short film series (which screened at Inside Out in 2010) about gay men, personal space, sex and intimacy. The first 20-minute episode, commissioned by Butt Magazine in 2009, featured eight men alone in their San Francisco

bedrooms. When his work came to the attention of Jack Shamama, a producer at the gay adult video company NakedSword, a unique relationship was formed. Pairing with Mathews, NakedSword funded a short film based on a scene from the first draft of a feature film Mathews had just finished writing, called I Want Your Love. “Jack gets inundated with complaints on a regular basis about the fact that porn is detached from feelings, intimacy and real people,” Mathews says. “So many people are turning to free internet stuff that’s homemade, and I think from a business perspective they were looking for something that would fit under the umbrella of things that were still erotic and sensual but not porn. Something that they could align with that would open up new revenue streams or a new audience to their brand.” The short featured two young scruffy friends who hook up after a night of ear-


Canadian director Thom Fitzgerald’s Cloudburst kicks off the Inside Out Women’s Spotlight on Fri, May 25 at 7:15pm. The film stars Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as a lesbian couple. For an interview with Fitzgerald, go to

nest conversation and wine. Thanks to its refreshing mix of realistic chemistry and raw sex the film quickly found an audience, racking up more than two million online hits and screenings at various festivals, including Inside Out in 2011. Following in the footsteps of directors John Cameron Mitchell (Shortbus) and Andrew Haigh (Weekend), whom Mathews counts as friends and supportive peers, Mathews’ work is part of a shift in the way gay male sexuality is represented in film. The short’s success led to a feature version, which follows aspiring performance artist Jesse (played by adorable tattooed newcomer Jesse Metzger) as he counts down his final days in San Francisco before moving back to Ohio. “There are similarities on paper, but that’s not me. But what is similar is that I am from Ohio,” says Mathews of his relationship to Jesse. “I think like most gay people who move from small towns to gay urban centres, there’s always some fear in your adult life that you’re not going to get your shit together and you’re either going to be too poor or not make it work and have to go home and live with your parents.” Featuring a cast of scruffy guys of all shapes, sizes and races who play Jesse’s friends and lovers, I Want Your Love is a loose and easy modern queer narrative flavoured by the very real personalities behind each character. Mathews found most of his cast in New York and San Francisco. Many were already familiar with his work. “I either write for

Mathews found the film’s diverse cast in New York and San Francisco.


people based on who they are or write a part and cast it with a real personality that matches it. It’s more important to feel like the dialogue is naturally coming out of people’s mouths and not just them saying something I wrote,” he says. “At the end of the day, I’m old enough to realize that I’m not special, in that if I have an itch for something I want to see in movies, then there are probably a lot of other people that feel that way too,” Mathews says. “Filming something super titillating that someone could jerk off to was hardly ever something that crossed my mind. I was more concerned with trying to think about sex differently, to think about narrative situations with sex differently, and I hope people will recognize that.”

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XTRA! MAY 3, 2012




JAMES DEAN Film depicts a young actor in a not-so-different time


Alistair Newton

N TRYING TO DEFINE OUTSIDER “gay sensibility” in his imperishable book The Celluloid Closet, Vito Russo invokes the dulcet tones of James Dean. “Poor kid,” remarks Dean’s character, Jim, over the corpse of Plato (Sal Mineo) in Rebel Without a Cause, “he was always cold.” James Dean. It’s a name that has become as iconic as Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley, a kind of shorthand for American culture in the 20th century. Dean, the quintessential outsider, is the subject of a new film, Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean, that explores the early days of an indelible American — and indeed, gay — icon. “One of the things, I think, that’s unique about our film,” explains its wunderkind writer/director Matthew Mishory on the phone from Los Angeles, “is that we don’t focus on the

years of success; we focus on the years that brought him there.” Joshua Tree, 1951 — Mishory’s first feature — brings into focus the paradox of a young actor determined to be taken seriously as an artist who is simultaneously hungry for fame and glory. The film is a blend of history, historiography and speculation. Rising star James Preston, the former face of Abercrombie & Fitch, plays Dean as an acting student at UCLA involved in a complex relationship with a beautiful male roommate in Santa Monica. The film plays out as a dreamlike series of vignettes rendered in sumptuous high-contrast black and white, evoking the highly stylized glamour of old Hollywood. Its distinct chiaroscuro look owes as much to the old masters as to old Hollywood because, as Mishory explains, “The visual reference for me is Renaissance painting.” The cinematography is not the only source of beauty in Joshua Tree, 1951.


Award-winning film shot in Toronto


Shannon Webb-Campbell

OMINIQUE CARDONA AND Laurie Colbert originally aspired for their Toronto-based film Margarita to be like a lesbian Mary Poppins. She may not be able to fly, burst into a dance routine, or sing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” but Margarita is sure to win over hearts. “It’s really about love and family and people loving and appreciating each other. It’s about people really seeing each other,” says Colbert from her

Toronto home, in which Margarita was shot. “We were very inspired by Little Miss Sunshine, but we wanted to make something a little lighter, still with meaning.” Cardona and Colbert are a trailblazing power couple who started making films together 20 years ago. They made their mark with Thank God I’m a Lesbian (1992), a documentary about lesbian identity featuring Dionne Brand, Nicole Brossard, Sarah Schulman and Julia Creet. Their first feature film, Finn’s Girl (2007), is a story of abortion issues, love

Christine Horne (left) and Nicola Correia Damude play lovers in Margarita.

Former Abercrombie & Fitch model James Preston plays Dean in Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean.

Mishory’s film is rife with male pulchritude, from the pansexual exploits of Dean himself to several scenes of clothing-optional pool parties thrown by a wealthy gay Hollywood power broker named Roger. “Like many of the characters,” Mishory says, “[Roger] becomes a kind of composite.” Although based on several people, Mishory points to the radio director and producer Rogers Brackett as a main inspiration for Roger. “He mentored James Dean early in his career, and Dean actually lived with him for a while,” Mishory says. Brackett refused to kiss and tell about his

and teenage angst. It had its world premiere at the Créteil International Women’s Film Festival in France and won eight awards, including the Audience Award. It won the Outstanding Emerging Talent Award at Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The duo recently returned from France, where Margarita also had its world premiere at the Créteil Festival. It, too, won the Audience Award. “We’ll never see a better screening,” Colbert says. “People were just happy. People came back to see it twice.” The film is the story of Margarita (Nicola Correia Damude), a Mexican live-in nanny. Margarita works for a yuppie Toronto couple, Ben (Patrick McKenna) and Gail (Clair Lautier), looking after their teenaged daughter, Mali (Maya Ritter), and all the family’s housework. What Margarita’s employers, and her lawstudent love Jane (Christine Horne), don’t know is that she is living and working illegally in Canada. When money becomes too tight, Ben and Gail decide to let Margarita go. Colbert anticipates a different reaction to the film in Canada than in France, where viewers were surprised at the compassion in the relationship between Margarita and the family she works for. “It’s a very Canadian story. A woman who is in a difficult situation,” she says. “I know friends who have kept their nanny even when the kids have left. It’s not unusual for a certain milieu. They care about the person and have spent the past 20 years together; they end up keeping the nanny. I mean, it’s the bright side of nanny-dom. I know there is a whole other side, but that’s not the film we’re making.”

E MARGARITA Sat, May 19, 7:15pm

time with James Dean, but ultimately, Mishory says, “he did acknowledge the sexual nature of their relationship.” To recreate the gilt world of ’50s Hollywood, Mishory and his collaborators spent time with several people who bore witness to the closeted, but highly active, gay subculture of the period. “I think the consistent theme was this notion that people — especially powerful people in Hollywood — lived exactly the way they wanted to live, at least behind closed doors . . . the sexual extravagance, the extravagance of wealth, the extravagance of lifestyle is something we can barely imagine today.”

Although the level of excess may have withered since Hollywood’s golden age, Mishory speculates that “in many ways, you could draw a straight line from 1951 to 2011, when we shot the film, and the pool scenes that we constructed for the movie could be taking place in the Hollywood Hills with contemporary characters and very, very few changes in clothing and dialogue.” E JOSHUA Joshua Tree, 1951 TREE, 1951: A will have its world prePORTRAIT OF miere in Seattle before JAMES DEAN playing Toronto’s InSat, May 26, 10pm side Out Festival.

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XTRA! MAY 3, 2012


SUBVERSIVE AND SUNNY My Best Day intersperses gay characters and classic American imagery


Call Me Kuchu won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary and the Cinema Fairbindet Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.


Documentary tells the story of David Kato and the fight for gay rights in Uganda


Eva Salinas

G A N D A’ S A N T I homosexuality bill — what a Toronto lawyer calls “the full homophobia buffet” — is quietly making its way back through the system after originally being dismissed by the Ugandan parliament last year. “A lot of people thought we solved that problem, we killed that bill,” says Doug Elliott, past president of the International Lesbian and Gay Law Association. “Previously, people were horrified. They thought this bill was savage, inhumane . . . And now it’s back.” When the bill was introduced in late 2009, it garnered worldwide attention and condemnation. Lawrence Cannon, then Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, said it was “deplorable and disregards basic human rights.” Stephen Harper raised concern over the bill with Uganda’s E CALL ME long-time president, KUCHU Yow e r i M u s e v e n i . Hot Docs Many governments, Thurs, May 3, 7pm including those of TIFF Bell Lightbox the United States and 350 King St W France, spoke out; public protests were held. Sat, May 5, 9pm Last spring, the Isabel Bader Theatre Ugandan parliament 93 Charles St W closed before the bill was passed, effectively Inside Out ending the discussion Sat, May 19, 4:45pm for the year. But it is TIFF Bell Lightbox back, essentially un350 King St W changed, after being reintroduced in February. A committee report is due imminently, and if it passes through a third reading and goes to Museveni for approval, it

could become law by June. “They have introduced every dream provision that they can think of to attack our community, such as the requirement that people turn in their [gay] family members, friends or customers or they can face imprisonment themselves. That is unheard of anywhere in the world,” Elliott says. “It would make Uganda the worst country in the world, in terms of the legal regime, for the gay community.” The bill proposes the death penalty for “aggravated” homosexual acts (defined as when one partner has HIV) and also bans the promotion of homosexuality, a provision the gay community fears will immediately shut down any gay-friendly organization or group. While the bill is debated once again, a documentary following its creation, and those who are courageously fighting against it, will screen in May as part of Hot Docs, the Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, and the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, in Toronto. Call Me Kuchu tells the story of several passionate gay rights advocates, including David Kato, once a schoolteacher and considered to be Uganda’s first openly gay man. A year into filming, in January 2011, Kato was murdered at his home, a heartbreaking turn of events for those who knew him and for the gay struggle at large. “Since his murder, David has been mythologized as a courageous and passionate human rights activist — which is exactly what he was,” says Malika Zouhali-Worrall, one of Call Me Kuchu’s two directors. “However, over the time that we spent filming with him, we also got to know a man who was charismatic and sharp-witted yet vulnerable and

often afraid to sleep alone.” The film also introduces David’s friends and fellow activists, such as Stosh, a transgender man who endured a “corrective” rape at a young age that left him HIV-positive; and Bishop Senyonjo, who has been thrown out of the Anglican Church of Uganda for defending Uganda’s “kuchus.” “There is a reason why people around the world are talking about this issue, and it’s because the kuchus have worked relentlessly to push their movement forward,” says codirector Katherine Fairfax Wright. “We hope [the film] will provide audiences with a new understanding of Kampala’s kuchus as a community that has achieved a significant amount in the past 18 months.” Indeed, despite the bill’s reintroduction, gay rights are far from being a lost cause in Uganda. Some organizations within civil society in Uganda have condemned the bill, and there was quiet lobbying against it from international parliamentarians, including those from Canada, during a recent meeting in Kampala. Also, in the past year, several gay rights advocates have won international human rights awards, bringing their plight to a larger audience, and just last month, one of the prominent gay rights groups there, Sexual Minorities Uganda, or SMUG, filed a lawsuit against US evangelical minister Scott Lively for his involvement in inciting anti-gay sentiments in the country that has led to violence against Kato and other gay people. The successes, and challenges, in Uganda aren’t in isolation, says Elliot. “There’s a lot at stake. It’s not about some crackpots in some other country. This is a threat to our movement everywhere in the world.”


Jeremy Feist

ACK IN 2008, SARAH PALIN infamously visited a small town and praised it for being a part of “real America.” The implication being that her country was divided between two competing factions: those who were “real” Americans and those who were “fake” Americans, and if you weren’t like Palin or her supporters, you were in the latter camp. Erin Greenwell thinks differently. Greenwell is the writer and director of the film festival darling My Best Day, a deliciously quirky and complex comedy about the inhabitants of a small town who are celebrating Independence Day. She believes there is no such thing as a “real” or “fake” American. “A lot of times in our country, being different is for some reason labelled ‘un-American,’” she tells Xtra. The movie is what you would call a comedian’s comedy — there are numerous intersecting character arcs, well-defined protagonists from all walks of life, and sharp, witty dialogue. Not only that, but as an open lesbian, Greenwell says

mind as that. The plot always serves the characters.” One of the strongest elements of My Best Day is the juxtaposition of openly gay and lesbian characters with classic Americana imagery. For Greenwood, the image of motorcycle-riding lesbians alongside waving flags was a serendipitous, but welcome, part of filming. “That was accidental, but after a while it was like, we couldn’t not have an American flag in the shot,” she says with a laugh. “It felt like a magical, Zen thing. It was incredible. [My Best Day takes place] on the Fourth of July, so we wanted to make sure you could tell it was the Fourth of July. But ironically, there were flags everywhere. They just kept showing up in the shot. It was a nice reminder that we all deserve to be American.” As a small-town girl herself, Greenwell knows all too well that the rural parts of America are home to more than just heteronormative WASPs. “I came from the Midwest, and of course, a small town has gay people and a small town has people of colour. So to me, it was exciting to see people who weren’t stereotypically American,” she says. “They’re

Motorcycle-riding Meagan (Ashlie Atkinson, left) helps Karen (Rachel Style) track down her long-lost father in My Best Day.

including gay characters in her usually not given visibility in that work is a logical part of the creative setting.” process. But her proudest moment tour“I would always just write the ing with My Best Day was when characters because they were what a member of the Sundance Film was in my landscape of experience. Festival described her movie as I was none the wiser,” she says. “subversive and sunny.” “People would be like, ‘Oh my God, “To me, that’s why I write comI can’t believe you have all these edy,” Greenwell says. “You can lesbian and gay characters!’ And make something subversive while I’d just think, ‘Oh, yeah, I forgot not shutting out the person you’re about that.’ trying to get in on the discussion. “For me it’s always very natural. It’s funny, but it’s not alienating I never think I’m being provocative anyone. I’m someone who doesn’t by giving a storyline to a lesbian want to take comedy too seriously, or gay character, and, likewise, if but it’s a lot of fun when you can the character is straight, knock out some political they’re straight because issues and make people E MY it just appeared in my laugh about it.” BEST DAY Wed, May 23, 9:45pm

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MUSIC (CONTINUED) M Factor Kim Jarrett and Mike Costantino host a night of musical performance, featuring Melissa Biel and Anna Sudac. Mon, May 14, 7pm. The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave. Free.

STAGE Trans(per)forming Nina Arsenault: An Unreasonable Body of Work The visionary performance artist is joined by editor Judith Rudakoff for the launch of their new book. Featuring an excerpted performance from The Silicone Diaries. Fri, May 4, 7–10pm. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.

Paul Bellini’s Biopic A live show featuring everyone’s favourite troll in a towel. Fri, May 4, 9pm. The Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament St. $10.

XTRA! MAY 3, 2012


That Betty Buckley! holds-barred; it’s what I went to acting school to do. “My favourite actresses were Maureen Stapleton, Gena Rowlands, Kim Stanley, who could play really raw naturalism and realism. I wanted to bring that kind of truth to the musical theatre; those are my favourite kinds of parts. However, once you play roles like that, people project that person onto you, which is part of why I moved back to Texas to ride horses. The majority of my time was spent dealing with that projection, which was really not my reality or something I enjoyed having to confront on any basis.” Fair enough, but Toronto audiences will get that full-tilt-boogie diva. The Buddies in Bad Times up-close venue is an incredibly rare chance to catch an artist who has played venues such as Carnegie Hall. An intimate space like Buddies requires focus, Buckley tells me. “Stepping forward in a state of real courage in the centre of all that adrenaline and remaining focused? Without meditation, I couldn’t do that. I’ll vocalize that day, I’ll work out. Then I’ll put on my makeup and clothes and meditate right before going on.” What can we expect? Buckley’s show will be a gender-bending romp, featuring some of the most gorgeous musical theatre songs . . . for men. “It’s all the songs I’ve wanted to sing but are normally sung by men: ‘Sweeney Todd’; ‘Jet Song,’ from West Side Story;

Toronto at Night Ryan G Hinds


AGGIE CASSELLA IS CURrently my favourite person in Toronto. The lawyer cum comedian cum talk show host cum Flying Beaver owner shocked many a theatre fan recently when she announced that the headliner for the final We’re Funny That Way comedy and music festival would be none other than Broadway icon Betty Buckley. To be honest, at first I didn’t quite believe it. Betty Buckley? That Betty Buckley? At Buddies in Bad Times? Unreal! In addition to a Tony Award and some Grammy nominations, this woman has Andrew Lloyd Webber on speed dial. After performing in Sunset Boulevard, Carrie (on screen and stage, thank you very much), Gypsy and Cats, not to mention the definitive recordings of many songs via her solo albums, her presence on this particular Toronto stage will be an incredible night to remember. Buckley chats on the phone with me from her rocking chair on the porch of her Texas ranch. “I’m not really a diva,” she says. “Diva, for me, is playing a part full-out. Full-tilt boogie. It’s no-

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Although Buckley has visited Toronto, she has never performed here.

an interesting and beautiful song called ‘Venice’ about the relationship between three men, from William Finn’s Elegies.” It is another ambitious effort from someone who’s played some of Broadway’s best women, and even a cat. On her Tony-winning turn as Grizabella from Cats, Buckley says, “We did extensive ensemble work, improvisational theatre games, group improv, literally on

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Toronto Masque Theatre presents two evenings of Renaissance music, dance and theatre with three thematically linked performances. Featuring Montreal dance troupe Les Jardins. Fri, May 11, and Sat, May 12, 8pm. Toronto Masque Theatre, 383 Huron St.

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An all-female cast reinvents the Richard Crane stage adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s final novel. Featuring Melee Hutton, Anita La Selva, Nicole St Martin and Ashley Bryant. Runs till Sun, May 20. Various showtimes. Odyssey Studio, 636 Pape Ave. $29.

our hands and knees. Your upper body is the cat, your lower body more human. Tuck in through the core. During the run of Cats, people always brought me cats’ things backstage, saying, ‘Oh, you remind me of my cat,’ and I was like, ‘This is a show.’ I didn’t get it. Then I saw the show and I really understood . . . they were like creatures to me, not actors. I really wanted to touch them!” Although Toronto audiences haven’t seen Buckley in a role, male or female, on one of our stages, she knows our city. “I’m excited to come. I’ve been a couple of times . . . I like it up there.” Over the years, the We’re Funny That Way foundation has provided money for queer community centres, youth projects and support services, specifically targeting smaller towns and cities across Canada. This year, the Ten Oaks Project, which coordinates summer camps and safe spaces for children and youth of queer communities and families, is the beneficiary.

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Paul Bellini’s Biopic is on May 4.




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XTRA! MAY 3, 2012


Toronto’s gay & lesbian news

Anna Pournikova A

What would this column be without a nod to Sodom? I had to put in this photo from Sodom: Superheroes & Villains. Not only do I love his last-minute hero costume of blue and red lip-liner haphazardly strewn across that gorgeous mouth of his, but in this photo he looks exactly like Agyness Deyn. So his costume could easily be Super Hero Model Agyness Deyn with Mask. I think he can even reuse this one for the next Sodom — Hollywood Gutter & Glam — no problemo. A Taste for Life is a Toronto-wide fundraiser in which participating restaurants donate a portion of one evening’s proceeds to Fife House. The big “do” fundraiser was held in The 519’s ballroom, with Telus and CIBC as the corporate sponsors. I went hunting for “normies” to photograph but was drawn to these dashing babes in the corner. May I present to you Hayden and Brent, drool-worthy suits out for a good cause.

I love craft drag. It doesn’t always have to be slick and tidy and impersonating someone au courant. Sometimes it’s hot uns and when it’s markers and glue guns nk makeout kinda messy, like a living drunk walking around the streets of Queen ca at West. I present to you . . . Bocca p The Beaver. I love her makeup and how it matches her tights,, her plastic gold beads and the granny purse — my God, it makes my loins tingle, that be purse! Bocca is the kind of babe n who makes me proud to live in this lovely city.

Christian Jeffries performed among a plethora of others at the Fife House Taste for Life fundraiser. If you have never heard her sing, put it on your bucket list immediately. The pipes on this one are outstanding, and she is a treat to work with on all occasions. Proceeds from Taste for Life support people living with HIV/AIDS.

I would mention local blogger and social media expert Casie Stewart’s stellar hair, but I’m just too busy looking at her fantastic rack. The shirt, the coat, the leopard-print bra, the necklace: all of it so on trend. She looks like a million dollars you want to motorboat in a penthouse suite all night long. You go, Casie Stewart!

The AGO’s annual sold-out fundraiser, Massive Party, went off without a hitch once again. Eight years young, she’s a beauty of an event. This year’s theme was The Future of Art, which is about as specific as a Pride Toronto theme, and it was carried through with the same treatment as all the other years. I often find it hard to navigate the space, mostly because I don’t know what’s going on where and there’s no usable guide to get there, but thus is the uphill battle of a corporate event. Massive Party is better than your average stuffy event, as evidenced by John and Alexandra here, but it fails to meet our high expectations for such a sexy and forward-thinking venue.

I gotta say that Massive Party kicked Friday Night Live’s ass in the eccentric babe department. I know they are two completely different events, but come on, people — look at Jen McNeely from SheDoesTheCity here! She’s got on some kind of Grace Jones, jungle-cat, jazz-dance-class, lingerieleather outfit like it’s just another stroll to church. This is the kind of brilliant tart of a daughter I can only hope to one day raise.

Not since the revamp of the Harbourfront summer music program a few years ago have I been so thoroughly blown away by a Toronto event as I was at the ROM’s Friday Night Live. From April to June you can go to the ROM each Friday and get your fix of fashion, music, film, photography, gay, straight, eat, drink, dance and everything else they can cram in under the dinosaurus sky. Look how happy opening night made Jenna. She and her girlfriend ran around the museum with this feather stick and a tiny lamp like children at Christmas.

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XTRA! MAY 3, 2012




Northbound Leather Fetish Night, with DJ Jimi LaMort tearing grooves for boys and girls in leather, uniform, drag and undies. Fetish dress code in effect. 9pm. Goodhandy’s, 120 Church St. $5 before 10pm, $15 after.

Naked Swim. Get sticky and wet with the hot and hirsute guys of TNT!Men. 8:15pm. Harrison Pool, 15 Stephanie St. $8, $5 members, $4 students.

Tapette, with DJs Phil V and Diego Armand spinning French pop and disco. 10:30pm. Henhouse, 1532 Dundas St W. No cover. Freshhaus and Aeryn Pfaff’s birthday on May 4.

THURS, MAY 3 Wildness Official Afterparty has hot decks for Hot Docs, with DJs Nino Brown, Produzentin and Katie Stelmanis, hosted by Wu Tsang. 10pm. The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave. $3.

FRI, MAY 4 Gitch: Glitter and Glam, hosted by Mandy Goodhandy, with DJ Kevin Bailey spinning sultry beats. 9:30pm. Goodhandy’s, 120 Church St. $6, $4 students before 11pm; $8, $6 students after. Freshhaus: Aeryn Pfaff’s Birthday Edition, with DJs Chris Abbott and Aeryn Pfaff spinning electro, house, techno and dubstep. 10pm–3am. Fuzion, 580 Church St. No cover before 11:30, $5 after.

SUN, MAY 6 Stage-to-Screen Show, with Donnarama and Daytona Bitch, at 6pm; The Drag Legend Show at 9pm; Georgie Girl and Donnarama welcome Sofonda at 11pm. Woody’s, 465 Church St. No cover. Mr Flash Contest, with host MC Wentworth and Farra-N-Hyte. 7:30pm. Flash, 463 Church St. Members only.

MON, MAY 7 Dirty Bingo, hosted by trailer twins Lena Over and Gloria Hole, with special guest Roxy Rollover. 8:30pm. Zelda’s, 692 Yonge St. No cover. Glitz and Glam Mondays sparkles with Carlotta Carlisle at 9pm; Candice’s Star Search at 11pm. Crews and Tangos, 508 Church St. No cover.

WED, MAY 9 Nicolette Brown and Jada Hudson take the stage at 9pm; Foreplay, with Farra N Hyte, at 11:30pm. Crews & Tangos, 508 Church St. No cover. Snakepit slithers in, with DJ Syd Poppin on the decks. 10pm. Henhouse, 1532 Dundas St W. No cover. College Night, with DJs Sumation and Blackcat spinning top 40 and R&B. 10pm–3am. The Barn, 418 Church St. No cover.

THURS, MAY 10 Pup Night, presented by the Black Eagle Kennel Klub, with Northbound Leather. Hosted by Argo. 10pm. Black Eagle, 457 Church St. No cover. Smirnoff Best Chest Contest, with Sofonda Cox and DJ Mark Falco. $300 in cash prizes. Midnight. Woody’s, 465 Church St. No cover.

FRI, MAY 11 Cub Camp brings out the hirsute hotties, with DJ Sammy Jo spinning. 10pm. The Beaver, 1192 Queen St W. $5.

f-HER-tility sows the love seed, with DJs Cozmic Cat, Max Mohenu and 10:30pm. La Perla, 783 Queen St W (upstairs). $5.

SAT, MAY 12 Cabbagetown Softball League Opening Pitch Party, 5–8pm; Best Men’s Ass Contest, with Sofonda and DJ Chris Steinbach, at midnight. $300 in cash prizes. Woody’s, 465 Church St. No cover.

Black Eagle, 457 Church St. No cover. Play Girl, with Heaven Lee Hytes and Teran Black turning it on at 9pm. George’s Play, 504 Church St. No cover.

MON, MAY 14 M Factor Mondays, with Anna Sudac, Melissa Bel, Kim Jarrett and Mike Costantino playing great music. 7pm. The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave. No cover.

TUES, MAY 15 Michelle Ross turns it on at 9pm; Heaven Lee Hytes gets it on at 11pm. George’s Play, 504 Church St. No cover.

Goth Drag gets eye- and guy-liners nice and thick, with DJs Schramm, Murderess Margot and Christopher Belo Barbosa spinning and Porcelain Desire welcoming the darkness. 10pm–2am. The Beaver, 1192 Queen St W. $5. Tuff gets trashy for fearless fags, with DJs Sumation and TLA on decks. Hosted by Matt Thomas and Ben Gibson. 10:30pm. Smith, 553 Church St. No cover.

For complete listings on the go, scan the QR code below or visit

Business Woman’s Special shakes sweaty hands and hot hips, with DJs Sammy, Nino Brown and Phil V. 10:30pm–2:30am. Augusta House, 152 Augusta Ave. $5.

SUN, MAY 13 Sunday BBQ, with Donny on the grill and Tarna bootblacking. 3–9pm.




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Dirty Bear gets animalistic, with DJ Rob Ladic spinning. 10pm. The Barn, 418 Church St. $5.

Spectra, formerly known as Queer Idol, hosted by Paul Bellini and Mandy Goodhandy. 10pm. Goodhandy’s, 120 Church St. No cover before 10:30pm, $7 after.


The Drag Show, with Heroine Marks and Daytona Bitch. 9pm. Zelda’s, 692 Yonge St. No cover.

Mile-High Tuesdays gets heads between legs during emergencies, with DJ daVinci. 9pm. Boutique Bar, 506 Church St. No cover.

B.East. DJ Cory Activate spins house and top 40. 10pm–3am. WAYLA, 996 Queen St E. $5.


WIN a pair of vouchers to the 22nd annual Inside Out, Toronto’s LGBT Film Festival. Inside Out runs from May 17 - 27 at various participating venues. See for complete listings. To enter, send your name & contact info to by May 11th. Only winners will be contacted.

A World of Gay Adventure


Spain’s dynamic capital Armando Mendonça with files from



ADRID, THE BUSTLING cosmopolitan capital of Spain, offers a breathtaking journey through time with its impressive monuments, palaces, fountains, religious houses and city squares. The city’s architecture is a pastiche of styles and eras; traces of the old Arab and medieval cities remain, mixed in with structures built during the time of the Hapsburgs, Bourbons and King Charles III, known as the “bricklayer king.” The Cuchilleros Arch is the most famous of nine gates into Madrid’s main square, Plaza Mayor. It connects to La Cava de San Miguel, a street full of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a wide range of Spanish culinary delights (see sidebar). Tapas, small appetizer portions of various dishes, is a staple in Spanish cuisine. The locals, known as Madrileños, dine late and commonly have these small plates after work to tide them over until a 10 or 11pm dinner. There are many tapas spots to choose from in the old town, in the Sol, La Latina, Plaza de Santa Ana, Cava Baja, Cava Alta and Plaza Mayor areas. There are a handful of great gay-owned and -friendly restaurants throughout the city, such as Carmencita and Divina la Cocina, in the Chueca neighbourhood; Arroceria Gala and Paelleria Vallenciana, in Puerta del Sol; and Gula Gula, on the Gran Via, to list a few favourites. After a late-night meal, the vibrant club and nightlife scene awakens; the strumming of Spanish guitars echoes in side streets as Euro-pop builds inside the heaving clubs.

Neighbourhoods TOURISM MADRID

Honour guard at the Royal Palace, top. Madrid boys with their dog, left. Above, the Pride Festival on Plaza de España. Below, Plaza de Cibeles and City Hall.


The main gay neighbourhoods are Chueca, in the old quarter, and Barrio, located in the centre just off Gran Via.


XTRA! MAY 3, 2012

Notable places to visit Cuchilleros Arch Neptune Fountain Teatro Real Puerta del Sol Puerta de Alcalá Plaza de Oriente Plaza Mayor Royal Palace of El Pardo

Savour the flavours While in Madrid, sample these tasty Spanish dishes. Tortillitas de camarones: shrimp fritters made with chickpea flour Spicy chorizo sausage and cheese tortilla: delicious hot or cold Costillas: barbecued mini-ribs Ceviche: fish/seafood marinated in lime juice Artichoke-rice croquetas with manchego cheese Prawn croquetas with béchamel Cocido: chickpea stew Torrijas: fried bread with honey or sugar MIKE THOMPSON

Outdoor cafés are great for people watching, above. Calle de Alcalá, right, is Madrid’s longest street. Madrid’s nightlife starts late, below right.

The majority of gay venues are situated in the maze of small streets around Plaza Chueca and onward toward Gran Via. The area around Metro Lavapiés also has a cluster of clubs and restaurants. A number of gay-owned and -friendly bars, cafés, restaurants, boutique shops, clubs and clothing stores are located in both areas. Same-sex kissing and handholding are common sights in these neighbourhoods, and in the city in general. Gran Vía and Paseo de la Castellana are two of Madrid’s most famous streets and offer an unparalleled shopping experience, with Gran Vía known for its antique shops and charming cafés. Paseo de la Castellana is the place to go for deluxe hotels, art galleries and specialty boutiques.

Culture Madrid Gay Pride, or Orgullo in Spanish, is one of the largest Pride celebrations in Europe. It features a massive Saturday parade (this year it takes place on June 30) from Puerta de Alcalá to Plaza de España. Participants and viewers along the two-kilometre route number about 1.5 million people each year. Most of the Pride parties and

celebrations are held in the Chueca neighbourhood, a short walk from the city centre. The Pride Festival, on the leafy Plaza de España, starts after the parade, from about 6pm onward; the Plaza Chueca street parties attract as many as 300,000 people. The Madrid Card is a great option for visitors who want to take in the major tourist attractions. It offers free entrance to more than 50 museums, the Discover Madrid walking tours (organized by the tourist board), the Teleférico cable car, the Real Madrid museum tour, a number of shows, and discounts in various restaurants and shops. Visit for more information. The Golden Triangle of Art consists of three world-renowned museums that are home to some of Spain’s most famous works of art: Museo del Prado, Spain’s main art museum, which houses some of Europe’s finest paintings and sculptures, including works by Spanish artists Velázquez and Francisco de Goya; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain’s museum of 20thcentury art, known for its collections of Pablo Picasso (most famously Guernica) and Salvador Dalí; and Museo ThyssenBornemisza, which fills in the gaps left by the other two.

Madrid GETTING AROUND Madrid is a walker’s city, so be sure to allow plenty of time for strolling. The Metro is big, cheap (1.50 euros per single trip; day passes available) and efficient. English is the second language on the signs and maps are free at the ticket booths. The Metro closes overnight, with most stations opening at 6am. Some stations, such as Puerta del Sol, open at 5am, with commuter lines for the airport or Atocha Station intercity trains. Local buses are also a good option; they operate from approximately 6am–11:30pm and run in special lanes on the city’s main streets. Whiteand-red-striped taxis run day and night; look for the city crest and a licence number on the side. If the green light is on, the car is available.

GETTING THERE More than a dozen airlines service Madrid out of Toronto, including non-stop flights on Air Canada and Lufthansa and one- and two-stop flights through US and European cities. Madrid’s Barajas Airport is about seven miles east of the city. The airport is connected by Metro Madrid Line 8 to the city, with stations at the terminal buildings. It takes about 50 minutes and less than $5 to reach the Chueca station, with two line changes.

Trip advisor BARS & CLUBS Bears Bar Griffin’s Dance Club

LODGINGS Hostal Puerta del Sol Petit Palace Ducal Chueca


Divina la Cocina Momo

SAUNAS & SEX CLUBS Sauna Octopus Sauna Paraiso

SHOPPING & SERVICES Juan, Por Dios! Different Life Book/Sex Shop For information on more than 150 gay and lesbian places of interest in Madrid, visit

on the web Spain Tourism › Madrid Tourism › MIKE THOMPSON

Be YOU in Manchester Find out why Manchester should be on YOUR places to visit list!



XTRA! MAY 3, 2012 Stroll, bathe or dine at Olympic Port, left. Below, the quaint narrow streets of Sitges.


Spectacular beaches and bustling gay scene


Piknic Électronik goes Catalan staff MIKE THOMPSON

ARCELONA IS ONE OF THE MOST VIBRANT AND CELEBRATED tourist destinations in the world; it is particularly welcoming of the gay community. This Mediterranean port city is one of Europe’s busiest and is frequently included in gay cruise itineraries. Located on Spain’s northeast coast, Barcelona is one of the top destinations for gay Canadian travellers.


The L’Eixample quarter — commonly referred to as Gayxample — is the heart of the gay neighbourhood. With its many clubs, bars, restaurants and shops, it buzzes with activity both day and night. Chic and elegant, the gay-owned and -operated Axel Hotel, with its amazing rooftop terrace, pool and cocktail lounge, is a full-service boutique hotel in L’Eixample that delivers superior dining, comfort and style. Also located in Gayxample is H10 Casanova Hotel; it offers all the modern conveniences with class and style and is within walking distance of the hottest bars and clubs. Barcelona is home to some of the best gay events in Europe, with the Pride Barcelona and Circuit Festival showcasing diversity at its best. One of the main events during Circuit Festival is Water Park Day. Check out all the fun at

The beaches along the coast, just minutes from the city, are simply breathtaking; the most popular gay beach, Barceloneta, is considered one of the best urban beaches in the world. Hidden behind a stand of bamboo is Mar Bella, the gay nude beach. The metro is the best way to get to the beaches, but the bus service is a great alternative during off-peak times. The pedestrian zone of Las Ramblas, with its shops, cafés and street performers, is a must-see in Barcelona. Equally important is the work of Antoni Gaudí, the famous Catalonian architect. One cannot leave the city without a visit to Casa-Museu Gaudí and to Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Família basilica. Air Canada and Lufthansa offer both direct and connecting flights from Toronto to Barcelona; seven other airlines offer a range of connecting flights with one or two stops. Barcelona’s El Prat Airport is a short 20-minute train ride from the city.

SEASIDE IN SITGES Sitges is a hidden gem a short 20minute train ride southwest of Barcelona. A beautiful town with narrow cobblestone streets, colonial-style architecture and a breathtaking beachfront that stretches for miles, Sitges’ bohemian history has provided inspiration for such artists and writers as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Tennessee Williams. It is no wonder this resort has become a mecca for gay visitors from around the world. There are three main gay beaches in Sitges: the central Playa de la Bassa Rodona, opposite the Hotel Calipolis; Playa de las Balmins, a 15-minute walk east past the town church; and the secluded Playa del Muerto, a 10-minute taxi ride followed by a 10-minute walk past Terramar Hotel. The latter two beaches are mixed, with nude bathing in designated areas. The centre of town can be best described as a labyrinth, with charming hidden nooks and quaint side streets where you will find designer boutiques, ice cream parlours, martini bars and galleries showcasing work from local artisans. Getting around is easy, as most places of interest are within walking distance.

Nightlife in Sitges, like most Spanish cities, doesn’t get busy until after 1am, and there are plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs to choose from. Spotting same-sex couples holding hands, embracing and kissing is a common occurrence in this live-andlet-live town. The Hotel Calipolis is conveniently located directly across from Playa de la Bassa Rodona. Light sleepers might consider requesting one of the top floors, however, as the city tends to get very festive in the wee hours. Apartments and bed-and-breakfast accommodation are available and affordable if four or more are sharing. Book well in advance to secure your accommodation, especially if you’re travelling during July or August. Visit for more than 250 listings on places of interest in Barcelona and Sitges.

on the web Spain Tourism › Barcelona Tourism ›

The popular Montreal music fest Piknic Électronik will launch a satellite season in Barcelona in July. Fans of electronic music will enjoy 10 dates over the summer at Barcelona’s magnificent downtown Montjuïc Park. Two years in the planning, the Catalan expansion marks the 10th anniversary of Piknic Électronik, a fun-in-the-sun music celebration that is one of Montreal’s summer culture mainstays. Piknic expanded into Canada’s National Capital Region by adding Gatineau as a locale last summer. The Gatineau Piknic will return for a second season at the gardens of the Canadian Museum of Civilization starting June 10. Piknic also hopes to be in Vancouver in June for a third edition and is actively working to confirm summer dates in Quebec City. The complete program for the 10th season of Piknic in Montreal will be announced Tuesday, May 1. Lineups for Gatineau and Barcelona will be unveiled on May 8 and June 1, respectively. Visit for complete details.


Above, a café on the gay beach in Barcelona. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, right, debuted during Expo 1929. BARCELONA TOURISM

A World of Gay Adventure

XTRA! MAY 3, 2012




TAKES SHAPE The lineup for the 2012 Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal is official — and more or less complete — and there are some big names on the long list. Xtra’s March edition of Guidemag featured a few of Montreal’s many summer festivals, including Osheaga, whose lineup was trickling out at the time. At the same time, a fake lineup was making its way around the web, which got people talking but also got them confused, especially since there was some overlap between the prank and reality. Most of the speculation has been put to rest as Osheaga’s publicity machine cranks up to speed. On April 26 it was announced that the previously confirmed heavyweights — including the Black Keys, Justice, the Weeknd, Florence and the

Machine, Sigur Rós and M83 — will be joined by ’80s feedback masters the Jesus and Mary Chain. Also confirmed are Fun, Santigold, Buraka Som Sistema and Wolfgang Gartner. The full roster is available at lineup.; organizers seem to be building and sustaining the excitement by announcing the acts in dribs and drabs, so check back frequently for the latest. Launched in 2006 with the intention of offering Canadians a Europeanstyle music festival, Osheaga is sometimes compared to the multiday, multistage Coachella, which takes place each year in southern California and recently saw the holographic second coming of Tupac. This year’s Osheaga Festival takes place in Parc Jean-Drapeau from Aug 3 to 5.

The main stage at the 2011 Osheaga Festival. OSHEAGOTV


Splash in a desert oasis Palm Springs is renowned as a winter getaway, but California’s gay oasis is also a prime locale for a summer desert vacation, with experiences ranging from adventure to pure relaxation. If you’re looking for a big-city atmosphere with a booming club scene, you should look elsewhere; Palm Springs is a quiet, relaxing resort town. Certainly, there is a thriving nightlife, but that’s hardly the city’s main appeal. Sunshine, swimming pools, world-class golf courses and tennis courts, great restaurants and awe-inspiring mountain vistas are the reasons to visit. With an average of 332 days of sunshine each year, it’s easy to understand the appeal. And while summer temperatures are hot, Palm Springs doesn’t have the energydraining humidity that plagues some Canadian and American cities. One of the season’s big draws is Summer Splash, which runs June 1

through Sept 15. Hotels, restaurants, bars, retailers and entertainment venues band together to create a lineup of special events and discount offers. You’ll find great bargains on accommodations, restaurants, car rentals and local attractions. This summer marks the fifth year of Summer Splash, which is sponsored by the Desert Gay Tourism Guild. For more information and DGTG’s event calendar, visit For more information on Summer Splash deals, visit Air Canada and WestJet offer a range of flight options to Palm Springs, including some direct flights. About 10 airlines service the Palm Springs International Airport, so there may be options for connecting flights from your home city on US carriers. An added bonus: conveniently located in the centre of town, Palm Springs’ airport is one of the most pleasant and manageable on the planet.


Hilton Hotels has launched a new promotion for the 2012 Pride season at 140 hotels worldwide. The “Stay Hilton. Go Out” program offers travellers reduced room rates, double Hilton HHonors points, free high-speed internet, late checkout when available, and a free one-year digital subscription to Out magazine. “Whether attending celebrations close to home or in top destinations around the world, Pride season is a peak travel period for our LGBT guests,” says Dave Horton, of Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “Our offer extends a warm welcome during this special time and is an extension of our presence at top community events.” Travellers can reserve packages at more than 140 Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations properties, including Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and Sydney. Hilton is the official hotel partner for several high-profile gay events, including WorldPride 2012 in London, England, where eight properties are offering the “Stay Hilton. Go Out” package. For more information and travel offers, visit

Hilton Vancouver Metrotown. HILTON HOTELS





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HOT CITIES. HOT PLACES. HOT TIMES. ALL IN YOUR POCKET. Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Montreal, Mykonos, Paris, Puerto Vallarta, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Tel Aviv and more coming!



Toronto’s gay & lesbian news

XTRA! MAY 3, 2012

Toronto’s online directory of gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses ACCOMMODATIONS - BRITISH COLUMBIA The Eagle’s Nest B&B



Crewman & Co


DRAG Take a Walk on the Wildside 416-921-6112/1-800-260-0102


B O Y Electric


FLOORING 416-750-9097



GARDENING Davenport Garden Centre

ADVERTISING Raymond Helkio Advertising /Design

AIDS/HIV RESOURCES Medical Compassion Clinic



Coast Wholesale Applicances

ART GALLERIES Akasha Art Projects


ART SUPPLIES Aboveground Art Supplies


ARTS & CRAFTS Wise Daughters Craft Market 416-761-1555

905-886-3380 x17309



BARS & CLUBS (TORONTO) fly Nightclub Woody’s

416-410-5426 416-972-0887

BOOKKEEPING Account 4it Canada Inc




St Jamestown Delicatessan The Cliffside Carpenter Leslieville Cheese Market


CHURCHES Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto


CINEMAS Rainbow and Carlton Cinemas 416-494-9371


HOME IMPROVEMENT & REPAIRS Bryant Renovations 416-260-0818 G J MacRae Foundation Repair 905-824-2557


COMMUNITY GROUPS & SERVICES AIDS Committee of Toronto 416-340-2437 Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives (CLGA) 416-777-2755 Enterprise Toronto 416-392-6646 Rainbow Ballroom & Latin Dance Club of Toronto 416-779-0662


Ferreira-Wells Immigration Services


INSURANCE Kenton Waterman, Investors Group Financial Services 416-860-1668

JUICE BARS 416-924-4671

LAWYERS Abrams & Krochak 416-482-3387 x22 David M Cohn Harvey L Hamburg 416-968-9054 Ivan Steele Law Office 647-342-0568 Kirk J Cooper 416-923-4277 Law Office of El-Farouk Khaki 416-925-7227 Michael Battista 416-203-2899 Morzaria Law 647-259-1990 Paul T Willis 416-926-9806 Robert G. Coates 416-925-6490 Scarfe Wells Criminal Trial & Appeal Lawyers 416-410-4060 Zubas & Associates Employment Law 416-593-5844



DATING SERVICES Midtown Dental Centre 416-966-DENT(3368)

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LEGAL SERVICES 416-651-8889 416-364-9099

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MENTALIST MOVING & STORAGE Agility Moving & Storage Ltd 416-654-5029 Avery Moving & Storage 416-239-9565 EL Cheapo Movers West 416-599-2728 East 416-463-5779 Manhattan Movers 416-259-2181 Word of Mouth Movers 647-827-2637 Robert Graham

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416-465-4927 416-913-5170

OPTOMETRISTS Dr Jason Hershorn

Commemorate those who have recently passed away. This space is donated by Xtra. Call 416-644-5214 for more information. Please limit text to 50 words or less. Ideally, photos will be digital images at 2” x 3” with a resolution of 250dpi.

TRAVEL › Accommodations

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PEI A PRIVATE, ROMANTIC getaway cottage, ideal for couple. Enjoy panoramic waterfront property on 10 acre compound. June to September. Weekly $950. 401-467-5641

PUERTO VALLARTA MEXICO BOANA-TORRE MALIBU Condo Hotel. Largest pool in gay Vallarta. Located by gay beach. Call 011-52-(322)222-099-9 Direct line Montreal: 514-800-7690 BOANA.NET

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SHOPPING Front Door Organics


SPA SERVICES Glow Medi Spa 416-920-9998 LJ’s Laser Hair Lemoval Clinic 647-971-9855 Hamilton location 289-237-7089 M.E. MaleEsthetics 647-344-1825


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WATERPROOFING G J MacRae Foundation Repair 905-824-2557 The Citywide Group, Inc 416-283-5500


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416-816-0624 416-964-2708 416-975-1867 416-927-1735 416-922-2526




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AIDS Committee of Toronto 416-340-2437 Change4U2 416-827-7578 David W Routledge 416-944-1291 John Montague 416-523-6449 Phillip Coupal Counselling 416-557-7312

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Porndoggy Jeremy Feist


â&#x20AC;&#x2122;M NOT ON FACEBOOK THAT MUCH anymore. This is mostly because, as far as social networks go, I never really got the point. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just something innately weird about giving a website all of your personal information just so you can get all your friends to like a picture of a cat wearing a jaunty hat. Well, that and play Scrabble. Scrabble is totally the shit. But thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another reason to avoid Facebook: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not exactly tolerant of gay sexuality, especially when it comes to porn. At least once a week on Twitter, a porn model calls out Facebook for deleting his proďŹ le for no discernible reason. On Facebook, you can have pages for hate groups like the National Organization for Marriage, but God help you if you happen to be a gay porn model who wants to throw a couple shirtless pics up. Hell, Courtney Stodden â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a girl whose sole claim to fame is that she married a 51-year-old man at age 16 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has her own page on which she posts bikini pictures of herself. Yes, let that sink in: grown adult men sharing shirtless pictures of themselves with other like-minded adults? Unacceptable! A teenage girl acting like a 40-year-old Vegas stripper? Go right ahead!

This photo by David J Romero was recently deemed too racy for Facebook. Xtra editors received a stern warning from Facebook staff, who removed the photo.

A cursory glance at Facebookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stance on adult content isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exactly what you would call enlightening. The statement I found on its help page does note that adult content is not allowed, but even thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rather vague at best. According to Facebook, adult content â&#x20AC;&#x153;may include nudity, sexual terms and/or images of people in positions or activities that are excessively suggestive or sexual, or provocative images.â&#x20AC;? And when Facebook happens to be the judge, jury and executioner on this bylaw, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a certain amount of leeway there with which you can get completely screwed. Look, I get it: you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t post actual porn on Facebook. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s their rule, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pretty easy one to follow.

The problem is that most of the pictures that get models and studios kicked off the site are not porn. Most of them are just random, candid photos from their day-to-day lives. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the thinking becomes troubling: the idea that anything porn models do is porn. The idea that every aspect of their lives is sexualized because of their career. Facebookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s policy on banning gay porn models for arbitrary reasons is reďŹ&#x201A;ective of the way those in the business are generally seen by the public: you work in porn, therefore everything in your life must revolve around sex. You know, because someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personality is entirely composed of his or her mode of employment. I have no problem with the owners of a website implementing their own rules for the sake of maintaining a sense of order, but only if they make sense. But hey, if Facebook wants to take a stand, why not? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not like you can ďŹ nd porn anywhere else on the internet, right? Jeremy Feist is a Toronto pornstar. Porndoggy appears in every issue of Xtra.

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Xtra, Toronto's Gay and Lesbian News  

Xtra, Canada's Gay and Lesbian News, Toronto Edition, Issue 718, May 3, 2012