Newfoundland & Labrador’s LGBT Lifestyle Magazine
MAMA T CRUSADER IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY PATHWAYS FOUNDATION FINDING A PATH TO HEALING WESTERN PRIDE SCHEDULE
TRADING ONE DREAM FOR ANOTHER A GAY WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD The Outport // September 2014 1
Contributors Writers Darryl Davis @darryl_m_davis DJFabian Newfoundland @DJFabianNL Cara Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Editor/Writer Ryan Crocker email@example.com Publisher Josh Eddy firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Robyn Noseworthy email@example.com Pamela Sheaves firstname.lastname@example.org Karin Power email@example.com Marcela Certuche firstname.lastname@example.org Design & Layout Kimberley Devlin & Perfect Day perfectdaycanada.com
Summer Tunes SUMMER #1. Break Free (Craig Welsh Pop Bootleg) Arianna Grande feat Zedd
TUNES With the final days of summer upon us, I’m sending out a giant welcome to our two newest in-house DJs at Velvet: DJ G-Mak and DJ Hearnia. And now for the music. While Iggy’s Fancy was clearly the song of the summer, here are some of the other tracks that are keeping the dancefloor moving:
#2. Shake it Off Taylor Swift
#3. Fancy Iggy Azalea
#4. Hideaway (Barry Harris Remix) Kiesza
#5. XO / Pretty Hurts (Remixes) Beyonce
#6. All About the Bass Meghan Trainor
#7. Anaconda (Various Remixes) Nicki Minaj
#8. Knock You Out (The Only Extended Mix) Bingo Players
#9. Rather Be (Danny Verde Motivation Mashup) Clean Bandit #10. Do it Again (Issac Christopher Remix) Royksopp & Robyn
2 The Outport // September 2014
ON OUR GAYDAR Photo by Sachan Mital
Laverne Cox made history this summer when she became the first transgender person to be nominated for an acting-related Emmy Award. She was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Sophia in the hit show Orange is the New Black. And all this on the heels of becoming the first transgender person to be featured on the cover of TIME Magazine. Cox and her twin brother were born in the American state of Alabama and she certainly didn’t have an easy time of it growing up. Tragically, she attempted suicide at just 11 years of age as a result of being bullied for not being a stereotypical little boy. Fortunately for us, Cox managed to hold out until things got better. She completed her transition to womanhood and started an incredibly successful career. In addition to Orange is the New Black, Cox
Monday, Sept. 22: Queer Trivia at the White Horse Lounge Tuesday, Sept. 23: Panels on Queer to Peer Networking at 4:30, and Hetero Privilege at 7:30 at Grenfell
Parade will go through downtown
corner brook, going from City Hall, over Main Street, up Mount Bernard then ending at Bowaters. Meet at 11am, march at noon. There will be tables set up with local
has also appeared on I Want to Work for Diddy and even hosted her own make-over show, TRANSform Me. She’s appeared on numerous television froms, including Law and Order: SVU. Throughout her journey, Cox has demonstrated a strong commitment to trans activism. Recently, she praised Orange is the New Black for what she described as an honest portrayal of transgender people. “Sophia is written as a multi-dimensional character who the audience can really empathize with all of the sudden they’re empathizing with a real Trans person. And for Trans folks out there, who need to see representations of people who are like them and of their experiences, that’s when it becomes really important,” she told the media. Cox’s unique background helps the show’s authenticity in another way: her twin brother, and not her, plays Sophia in scenes set before the character’s transition.
business representatives and artists selling their wares, a free BBQ, and then later in the night the party will move up to the Backlot for the Queer Prom with a drag show hosted by drag queen, Irma Gerd.
Wednesday, Sept. 24: Panel with Nancy Nichol Thursday, Sept. 25: Coffee House and Open Mic at Brewed on Bernard Friday, Sept. 26: Queer Monologues at the Backlot Saturday, Sept. 27: Parade, BBQ day in the park, and Queer Prom at the Backlot Sunday, Sept. 28: Hangover Brunch at Tuck-In
Photo by Tom Cochrane
The Outport // September 2014 3
I am loud and proud and I have never had a problem standing up for what I believe in.
MAMA TITS: in her own words Mama Tits couldn’t have imagined the international fame she would earn simply by standing up for herself and the LGBT community.
The fierce drag queen made headlines around the world when she confronted anti-LGBT protestors at Seattle’s annual Pride Parade, one of the largest and most celebrated in the country. Her story was shared extensively on social media, and quickly made its rounds through St. John’s. Mama sat down with The ‘Out’port to share her story and her inspiring message with her LGBT peers in this province. “I always tell people, if Divine, Lady Bunny and Jackie Beat had a sick and twisted love child you would get Mama Tits,” she said. “She is over the top in look and style. She is larger than life, funny, compassionate, fierce, and not one to be messed with. She will stand up for what is right even when it is not popular or easy. She is also a witty hostess, a hilarious improvisational comedienne, wickedly talented performer, and able to command the attention of a room by just walking into it. I have been performing my entire life and this is what I am meant to do, this is why I am here. Give me a stage and microphone and I’m set!” So it was no surprise to her that she simply had to do something when she was marching in the Pride Parade and encountered the protestors.
4 The Outport // September 2014
“The first thing I thought was, “NO NOT TODAY!,” she said. “I was angry these people were not taking responsibility for the words they were shouting. They didnít care that someone in the back of the crowd could hear those words and feel justified to perform a gay bashing or worse, someone hearing those words could be pushed over the edge to take their own life. These hate-filled people are usually corralled in their pen on the side of the route to shout their rhetoric but that day they had actually crashed the parade and were walking the parade route the opposite direction trying to hinder the parade from even starting. All I could think was NOT TODAY! I saw them round the corner up the street and head towards where I was and immediately I went and stood my ground right in their path.” Mama said she looked the man leading the hate group in the eyes and told him he was not welcome with his hate. “He tried to dodge me and I kept getting right in front of him,” she said. “The police eventually asked me to let them pass so I did only to walk over to my sound engineers who were running the PA system for the parade I was there to announce, and asked them to give me a microphone and make it HOT, I want to drown out his puny little megaphone spewing hate with booming amplified sounds of LOVE and Equality, and we all saw how that turned out.” Mama said she has been an activist for many years and has gone toe to toe with these types of people many times. “That day was no different,” she added. “I am loud and proud and I have never had a problem standing up for what I believe in. I also strive to respond to these types of people with LOVE and LOGIC, something that tends to short circuit their minds. They have tunnel vision clouded by darkness and hate. Whenever you shine a light into that darkness it makes them scatter like cockroaches.” Mama said she hopes that’s the lesson LGBT people take from her experience: respond with logic and love. “If you respond to hate with hate, NO ONE WINS,” she explained. “While I was growing up, my family lived in a violent area of the country for many years. While there, I saw many gangs go after each other with hate and violence. One would do something to the other, and then the other side would retaliate with hate and violence, followed by more retaliation, more hate and more violence. It is a dangerous cycle that we MUST break if we want to progress.”
It’s a message that has resonated loud and clear across North America and around the world. Mama has been deeply touched by the outpouring of support she has received. “My Husband and my family are very proud of me for standing up for what I believe in and standing up for those who aren’t able to do so for themselves, they of course want me to be safe but they also know this is who I am and have been this way for my entire life,” she said. “The people in Seattle are also extremely supportive. I used to be recognized on the streets here and there but now, in the most unexpected places, people are asking if I am Mama Tits and, when I tell them I am, the love and support is truly amazing. As for the world response, I never in my wildest dreams thought that my actions at Pride would reach the far corners of the earth and bring hope and positive energy to so many people. I have been inundated by letters and notes from people all over the world expressing gratitude for what I did. It has been extremely overwhelming to have so many people sending such positivity towards me and I wish I could just give every one of those people a big hug.” Mama hopes sitting down with The ‘Out’port helps her let LGBT youth know that there are people out there who will stand up for them. “Yes you are loved and YES there is hope for equality,” she said. “I hope this gives people the strength to face their haters with logic, poise and compassion. I want people to be empowered to choose happiness over sadness and self-loathing. And mostly I want people to know that I stand beside them!” The Outport // September 2014 5
TRADING ONE DREAM FOR ANOTHER My dream of finding a permanent job in the communications/public relations industry in the St. John’s area has died and I, Cara Brown, am okay with that fact. As a former journalist with public relations experience (albeit in a volunteer capacity), I thought it would be a cinch to get a permanent, full-time job in town. Evidently it’s much, much more difficult than I initially thought. I managed to snag some work here and there – volunteering my media relations expertise to St. John’s Pride and even getting a temporary job in Memorial University’s Marketing and Communications division. There was work out there, but they were temporary and budget cuts meant the cushy jobs I was gearing for were rapidly disappearing. Now I’m here. Twenty-nine years old and unemployed. I am sick of telling people I’ve been laid off, my contract’s run up or I’m working at X place for Y amount of months. What am I going to do after that? Keep looking for that elusive permanent job? Not anymore. A few weeks ago whilst contemplating life in the middle of the night, I applied for the Construction/Industrial Electrician program at Academy Canada. A friend of mine in a similar position as me (under-employed Arts graduate) recently completed their program and is now gainfully employed in the second year of his apprenticeship. The kicker? He loves his job. 6 The Outport // September 2014
I had always been under the impression that I couldn’t work in the trades; that my artsy mind didn’t work in a way that was conducive to be successful in that line of work. But if Pete could do it, could I? I did a little research, spoke with friends and family, and realized I could. This September I will be making a drastic career change from the arts to the trades, as I’m sure hundreds have made before me. This is clearly the case given the experience I had bringing my transcripts to the college. When giving admissions my high school transcripts, I asked if they would need my university papers as well. The woman I was dealing with said no and asked what program I had completed. I told her I had an Arts degree and Patsy (who is amazing, by the way) replied, “I’m so sorry for you guys” and said I could probably be exempt from the communications course I needed to complete. Unfortunately I have become accustomed to this kind of pity. It’s rough out there for us Arts grads. I have heard of or talked to countless people who have resorted to the trades and the like to stay in Newfoundland and Labrador. Some held out as long as or longer than I have, some haven’t. Some make it, more don’t. It’s not groundbreaking news. There are exceptions who have eked out amazing careers for themselves and we all hope to be that success story some day; to have made it out there when no one thought we could. More often than not we cave and seek employment in other fields.
Now the reality has set in: I’m about to join a male-dominated field. Not just as a woman, but as a gay woman. Here are some statistics. According to a provincial government labour market report, between the years 2011 and 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador will experience a 2.8% employment increase – that translates to almost 8,000. While the services-providing sector will dominate this growth, the report indicates the trades, utilities and health will expand faster than average and will account for the most new job growth. The report, titled Outlook 2020, states that women are the driving force behind new employment and the labour force growth. This growth has significantly outpaced men – women have accounted for over 70% of all labour force growth and almost 80% of all employment in the past ten years. This sounds great, right? Not so much. Outlook 2020 sites a 2010 Work Activity Survey that found women are still significantly under-represented in skilled trades occupations. Only 5% of women work in the skilled industrial trades. According to the 2006 census, 99,825 women were employed in Newfoundland and Labrador. Using the 2010 labour marketing information, it could be inferred that approximately 5,000 of those women worked in the skilled trades. Using the (most likely wildly inaccurate) statistic that approximately 3-4% of the population is gay, maybe 150-200 of them are lesbians. There could be more or there could be less. I don’t have the resources to be sure. Either way, it looks like it’s going to be lonely out there. Ever the optimist, I am still excited about my career change. It’s a whole new frontier for me, uncharted territory. I have found myself browsing through the tool sections of hardware stores, trying on electrical tool belts and handling cordless drills, gauging the weight of them in my hands and imaging what it will be like to work on job sites. I day dream about what my life will be like in a year when I enter the workforce as an apprentice. I’ll be 30 (eek!) and full of optimism. Hopefully I will finally get that elusive permanent job, benefits and pay off my student loan. I may even be able to finally buy a house and get another cat. Side note: Cats, like shoes, should come in twos. So, what will the future bring? I do not know and I’m perfectly okay with that. All I know is there will be change, and that’s refreshing. Am I scared? Of course. I’m going back to school – back to the classroom, notes and books. The topics? Courses like DC Theory, Single-Phase Motors and Trade Math Fundamentals. I don’t know what any of that means, but in ten months, I will, and I’ll be rocking the shit out of it. I hope I don’t electrocute anyone along the way. by Cara Brown
Resources: Here are links to several information resources and initiatives to bolster women (and other under-represented groups) in the trades: Department of Advanced Education and Skills (NL), aes. nl.ca | Office to Advance Women Apprentices (NL), womenapprentices. ca | Women in Resource Development Corporation, wrdc.nf.ca | Labour Market and Career Information (NL), lmiworks.nl.ca | The Trades Work for Me, tradesworkforme.ca. The Outport // September 2014 7
Theatre review 1 Queer Monologues: Stories of LBGT Youth One of the many highlights of the recent LGBT Pride celebrations that took place in St. John’s, NL during the week of July 14th, 2014 was the staging of “Queer Monologues” at the LSPU Hall. Produced by For the Love of Learning, the show took a form similar to that of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” whereby the actors passionately delivered writings dealing with issues concerning acceptance of sexuality, falling in love, gender identity, body image as well as the responses of those around them. All monologues where dramatized exceptionally well by the actors, writers and public speakers involved. While many of the monologues presented are published by Breakwater in the book “Queer Monologues: Stories of LGBT Youth,” it was definitely an insightful and extremely emotional experience seeing many of the authors who wrote these monologues perform them. The pain, anger and hurt was definitely presented in Robyn Noseworthy’s “It Gets Better”, Paul Fitzgerald’s “First Love” and Noah Davis Power’s “Brother’s Keeper” which at times were heart breaking. Other presenters took a more humoristic approach with their material. Riley Palanca’s discussion of being gay in the Philippines and how it differed from Canada in his essay “Bakla” was hilarious. Another highlight was Philip Goodridge’s “Young”, an exceedingly well written and performed monologue which took the form of a one-sided conversation with an unseen gay youth outside a bar. It quite perfectly encapsulated the generational differences present in gay culture. Then there was the emotional one-two punch of Amy Anthony’s “The Best of the Worst”, where she recounted the last visit she had with her grandmother. Both funny and emotional all while feeling intimate and personal, It conveyed such a strong message of love and acceptance that one couldn’t help but feel moved by Anthony’s words.
8 The Outport // September 2014
Like “The Vagina Monologues”, the show also featured talented actors who performed monologues written by others. All were performed with a sense of honesty and understanding for the material. Renee Dumaresque, recently seen in the Joint Production of “Don’t Dress for Dinner”, performed Jake Cutler’s essay regarding his feelings of being a transgendered individual. While surely not an easy task for Dumaresque, she appeared to relate to the material and performed it with conviction and a furiosity that would have made Cutler proud. Similarly, Tara Bowers take on David Le’s “Sidewalk” and Courtney Fowler’s presentation of Joshua Jamieson’s “Pride” were both performed extremely well with a great degree of empathy. Finally, there was Katy Warren’s extremely charismatic performance of Nathan Downey’s “Jackpot”. The essay is very pointed and well written, but in the hands of Warren the words literally leap off the page and one cannot help but be entertained by her delivery. The show was well directed by Agnes Walsh, who wisely kept the focus on the presenters with minimal distractions. The Executive Director of For the Love of Learning, Gemma Hickey, was also on hand to present her essay “Apples and Oranges”, a piece on her involvement in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada. Both Greg Malone and Robert Chafe were also there to lend their
talents and credence to this event. In all, “Queer Monologues” was an extremely captivating, entertaining presentation which was a success for all involved.
Written by Marc Camoletti | Directed by Agnes Walsh | Produced by For the Love of Learning and Breakwater Books | Starring Philip Goodridge, Amy Anthony, Noah Davis Power, Robyn Noseworthy, Paul Fitzgerald, Katy Warren, Riley Palanca, Renee Dumaresque, & Courtney Fowler | Special Guest Greg Malone and Robert Chafe | Venue The LSPU Hall, St. John’s, NL | Played on July 17, 2014.
Theatre Reviews 1 & 2 (this page and adjacent page) were written by Darryl Davis
Theatre review 2 Alice in Wonderland
With the success of last year’s production of the ugly duckling musical “Honk!”, Best Kind Productions brought audiences of St. John’s another outdoor musical theatre event to enjoy. This time around it was an adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic “Alice in Wonderland”. Unlike other retellings, however, this stage version was full of singing and dancing, all while featuring updated arrangements of classic Disney songs as well as new compositions for the show written by Louiselle and Simpatico. The strength of this particular adaptation is that it doesn’t change elements that are fundamental to this classic tale, nor does it take away from the central message behind “Alice”. What it does do successfully is update the dialogue and humor, making it fun, modern and entertaining for audiences young and old. Characters like the Cheshire Cat (Kiera Fagan, Caroline Keats, and Adam Strong) White Rabbit (Evan Boland), Caterpillar (Mackenzie Drover), as well as Tweedle Dee (Mary Antle) and Tweedle Dum (Ella Antle) are not only reimagined but re-invigorated. In fact, this production had the rather nifty idea of having three different actors portraying Alice at various sizes while in Wonderland. The role is admirably handled by Julia Connors when Alice shrinks, Rachel Cousins when Alice is ten feet tall, and by Clarie Donnan when the character is at her normal height. All three handle the role exceeding well and are able to hold their own when surrounded by several of the shows more eccentric characters. Similarly, the role of the
Cheshire Cat is also handled by three quite gifted comedic actors. Kiera Fagan, Caroline Keats and Adam Strong almost work in unison in terms of creating this madcap and crazy character. Evan Boland has great comedic timing as the White Rabbit, ever late for important engagements, while Matilda Gouldie left the audience in awe of her impressive fiddle playing abilities. Andrew Hepditch and Mackenzie Drover, seen earlier this year in Best Kind’s production of “13”, gave sensational performances as the Mad Hatter and the Caterpiller respectively; demonstrating impeccable singing abilities. Other performers worthy of noting were Mary and Ella Antle, hilarious as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The Girls of the Golden Afternoon, the seemingly perfect but exclusionary mean girls, were played extremely well and with appropriate comedic effect by Emily Dawe, Emily MacDonald, Sarah Drover, Maeve Collins Tobin and Anna James. Nicolas Keough, seen this past year in Atlantic Light Theatre’s “Les Miserables” and TaDa’s “Evita”, was a true scene-stealer as the Queen of Hearts. Whether singing “Who’s Been Painting My Roses Red?”with great conviction, screaming “off with her head “, or mischievously playing a game of “Simon Says”, Keough’s performance is a sheer delight and a triumph. As the King of Hearts, Rebecca Stone’s light hearted performance is a good foil to Keough’s comedic and venomous Queen. All the cast, in fact, exuded talent well beyond their years, and all should be commended for singing and delivering dialogue without aid of a microphone or of sound equipment. Director Kyle McDavid and Choreographer Jane Rideout did a fantastic job organizing the production and its huge cast of young actors. The show was extremely precise and came across as well-rehearsed. The production set pieces and backdrops were sparse, allowing the performances and the
delightful costumes by designers Danielle Antle and Suzanne Borgaonkar to commend the attention deserved. With upbeat and great music to boot, including a rather ingenious take on Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You” and a fun rendition of “Zip-A-DeeDooh-Dah”, this trip to Wonderland was delightful.
Based on “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland”, & “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll | Book Adaptation & Additional Music/Lyrics by Bryan Louiselle & David Simpatico | Direction, Music Direction & Set Design by Kyle McDavid | Produced by Best Kind Productions | Costume Design by Dannielle Antle & Suzanne Borgaonkar | Choreography by Jane Rideout. Starring: Claire Donnan, Julia Connors, Rachel Cousins, Evan Boland, Kiera Fagan, Caroline Keats, Adam Strong, Mackenzie Drover, Mary Antle, Ella Antle, Gabrielle Roche, Ian Williams, Grace MacDonald, Emily Dawe, Emily MacDonald, Sarah Drover, Maeve Collins Tobin, Anna James, Andrew Hepditch, Matilda Goldie, Kate Healey, Mary Grace Ledrew, Annika McDavid, Nicolas Keough, Rebecca Stone, Jack Frew, Sarah Power, Alana Gale, Abi Schwartz, Ava Gogal, Lillian Blain, Lisa Bourne, Madeline Roche, Claire Borgaonkar, Sophie Drover, Grace Keeping, Myah Shallow, Maggie Carew, Claire Dwyer, Emma Schwartz, and Allyson Borgaonkar. Venue: Bowering Park Amphitheatre, St. John’s, NL | Played from August 14-17 & 21-24, 2014. The Outport // September 2014 9
FINDING A PATH TO HEALING Prompted by a perceived gap in services for victims of clergy abuse, local LGBT activist and advocate Gemma Hickey has launched the Pathways Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the healing and prevent harm from reoccurring.
The Pathways Foundation states that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador still feels the wounds caused by the sexual, physical, psychological and spiritual abuse within religious institutions. A number of influences contributed to what has now become a global crisis, according to the foundation, including the underlying systemic and cultural views on power and sexuality. The foundation alleges that since the Archdiocesan Commission of Enquiry into the Sexual Abuse of Children by Members of the Clergy 25 years ago, little has been done to foster healing and prevent misconduct from continuing.
believes the residual effects of the abuse are so great they are now manifesting as substance abuse, mental illness, domestic abuse and family issues because people have not yet come to terms with what happened to them.
“It was about 25 years ago when the abuse came out, especially about Mount Cashel, and still people are suffering from it,” said Hickey in an interview with The OutPort. “Even people who haven’t been directly abused are suffering. Faith communities are in crisis over it still to this very day and there are a lot of cases, like myself, that have been settled silently.”
While the Pathways Foundation will assist victims and their families through the healing process, Hickey says its other main focus is prevention. She says a unique aspect of their services is sensitivity training for clergy and lay officials, as well as facilitation.
Hickey recalls it was isolating not knowing other victims and not having a place to go or having a support network. She feels as if she is finally in a place in her life to be able to assist other victims of abuse, like herself.
“[Pathways] is for men and women who have experienced abuse in religious institutions. So that covers church-run facilities, it covers orphanages, it covers residential schools, and it also covers churches and individual abuse by clergy and lay officials,” said Hickey. All services will be free of charge and will include an array of services – peer support, referrals, educational resources and support groups. Hickey says the response she has received thus far has been overwhelming. “It’s such a wound in our province still, to this very day,” she said. Calling it a “community issue,” she
10 The Outport // September 2014
“Spouses are suffering, children are suffering from what’s happened to people because they haven’t fully come to terms with it,” Hickey said. “It does stay with you for your entire life.” She attributes years of therapy to where she is in her life. “‘I’ve been in therapy for over 20 years just about this particular incident and it’s really helped me come along. And I stuck with it, I worked at it and stayed focused and I’m really happy now.”
“From my own personal experience in dealing with them is that they are not bad people,” she said. “They just really don’t know how to deal with victims. And for the most part, it’s lawyers talking to lawyers and the communication is broken down.” Hickey also says the prevalence of abuse stories in the media can be a trigger for victims. She says it’s an issue that’s still on the forefront. “This is an organization of hope,” she said. “My own personal story is basically a story of hope and possibility and job in lots of ways because you can come out on the other end of this. And it can be okay.” by Cara Brown More information and resources can be found on the foundation’s website: pathwaysfoundation.wordpress.com.
12â€ƒ The Outport // September 2014