This is pretty tragic people.
Although I have always sworn that people who live, breathe and die in the Village are pitiful, and don’t really know how to survive in the outside world, I also think that without the Village, there would be no outlet for discovery for newcomers to the Queer Community.
Yes, I am aware of Qwest, and to my shame, I have yet to venture down that direction to take advantage of it, mostly because I don’t know how/if I would be treated or accepted there. After all, I don’t want a repeat of the last several years of the Village, which had it’s up and down. Mostly downs though, and they weren’t pretty either.
What really gets me though is how complacent today’s Tdot Queer is though. Montreal has a thriving and much more dynamic Village. There isn’t a day in the week that you cannot find one bar or club packed for some reason or another. And it is not because of some out-dated drag queens doing the same numbers over and over again like at Tango/Crews. Montreal’s Village also has coffee shops that do not close at 11pm at night, and their beer is only $2.50 in the bars, so it’s obvious they’re not being killed through heavy taxing.
What does Toronto’s current Village have? 3 bars with dance floor licences, 2 clubs, one of which is only open on Saturdays, and that’s about it. Even the Steps are gone, and the Cup will be up for lease at the end of 2005 (Good!!). In the past year we have lost the Barn, Carringtons, Slack Alice, the Looking Glass, Babylon, Cube (although this may reopen as Trax VI), It, Lust, and the list just keeps growing.
When is it going to be enough? When will the lemmings stop following the rest off the cliff and start taking note of their shrinking world. When will todays fag stop their bitching and whining and pick up a pen, or sit at a keyboard, and write their city councillor (which can be found at www.toronto.ca) and demand that something be done. It seems that the residents at the Alexander Woods Co-op have had no problem in doing this. They are the responsible for the largest number of complaints that have lead to fines and closures of many of the places mentioned. Of course, these hypocrites also are the ones spending a good portion of their lives in the Village, which they moved to so as to be closer to the LBGT community.
Who doesn’t remember the petition that was going around from the townhouses across from the Barn to have it closed after 29 years, just before Jonka, the Barns owner, was suspiciously murdered? I signed the one going around to prevent that from happening. Did you?
So paging all queers. For once in your lives, stop talking about Madonna or the latest sale at the Gap, and take some responsibility. The Village has given us all something in one way or another, and like good friends and loved ones, we need to come to it’s defence. Take 5 minutes out of your time and write/call or email the City of Toronto and ask that something be done to prevent the last of the Village from going down to the tubes, or in 5 years we may not even have a Village to take Pride in June with.
We just may be left clutching our bags.