Ricky Martin Gives a Damn


The Give a Damn Campaign has released a new message, which premiered Monday night on CNN’s Larry King Live during an episode featuring the topic of anti-gay bullying.

In this clip, Ricky Martin joins Elton John, Idina Menzel, Rachael Harris and Wanda Sykes — all speaking out to end these senseless acts of violence and intimidation.

My personal feelings towards M. Martin is that he should have given a damn many moons ago, when his presence was oh so much bigger. Ricky could have and WOULD have made a much more lasting impression using his star influence on this campaign to end bullying.

Stan Lee: Comics characters tackle bias (Advocate, October 18th)

If comic book characters like the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, and Spider-Man seem a tad different, their creator, Stan Lee, says that’s the point. ”The thing I had in mind was to make it a story against bigotry of all sorts, because here were people who were certainly different than everybody else, but they were good, they were trying to do the right thing,” Lee told the San Francisco Chronicle in Sunday’s editions.

”But as so often happens in real life, if you have a different religion, a different country, a different sexual orientation, whatever the difference is, people—not all people, but it happens—are going to dislike you, distrust you, fear you.”

Lee, 83, who developed characters for Marvel Comics during the 1960s and now is busy developing projects for film, TV, and the Internet, says his heroes have an enduring appeal. ”People enjoy seeing stories of colourful characters who are in situations they can relate to. People have always been fond of stories that were high-concept, where the stakes were bigger than anything in real life, the characters were bigger and more exciting.” (AP)

Happy Pride


David Miller and the City of Toronto kicked off Pride week here by raising the rainbow flag up in Nathan Phillips Square yesterday.

I often hear people tell me how much they hate Pride, because it’s too crowded, commercialized, stereotypical, “insert excuse here”.

I only came out to myself around the age of 28. I’m 35 now. I think I had been aware for a few years prior that I was at the very least, bi…. but hadn’t really been able to focus my thoughts and actually give it a name. I just knew it to be wrong.

Growing up in the 70-80’s and being beaten, humiliated, ostracised, my personal property as well as my parents vandalized, led me to deeply bury whatever notions I may have had about myself.

It was only when I moved away from Montreal, and started over here in Toronto, that I began exploring and to discover who I really was. It’s seven years later, and I’m still coming to terms with some stuff.

Intimacy/sex is a major one. I wasn’t sexually active as a youth, and the few relationships I had, with girls, never progressed beyond the best buddies stage (duh, you think I would have clued in there). So I was never really prepared for how much sex is linked to, at least, the gay part of the LGBTQ community, but let’s not get into that.

What I did learn was to like myself for who I was, to stop hiding, and just accept. It’s easy here in Toronto, and now when I go back to Montreal, I don’t live in fear either, of what people may think. But what about the smaller communities, that may not have well established LGBTQ communities, and no outlet for people to be themselves? Are these individuals doomed to download gay porn or surf gay chat lines so that they can link up quietly with other individuals? To pretend to be something they’re not so that they can just get through the days?

Canada has now celebrated it’s 3rd anniversary of gay marriage. On June 10th, 2003 Ontario made marriage available to anyone, no matter their sexual preference. The rest of Canada’s provinces have since followed in those steps, but that doesn’t mean that the fight for acceptance isn’t over.

There are a lot of places where being LGBTQ just isn’t talked about yet, outside the major metropolises. For these people, Pride isn’t about the big Unity-type parties, or getting laid. It’s about being allowed to celebrate themselves, even if it’s only for one day.

In London, Ontario, which does have a Pride parade, the onlookers are separated from the parade by a fence that’s been put up along the side walk, just in case some rowdies decide to storm the floats of people just having a good time.

In Russia, the first EVER Moscow Pride parade, which went on despite Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s banning the event, was overwhelmed in violence by ant-gay demonstrators. 75% of the attendants were hurt.

In China, a number of gay websites have been shut down. There are an estimated 48 million LGBTQ people there, and regretfully little is being done to help them in stopping their isolation and coming out. China is also woefully behind the time when it comes to addressing the prevention of HIV.

Approximately 35% of gay teens attempt suicide before coming out in North America.

Pope Benedict and the Roman Catholic church, are still spewing their filth that allowing us marriage or the right to adopt is a sin. Because of Rome’s proximity to Italy, it’s recently elected leftist government may decide to backtrack on their electoral promise of bringing to the table the right for LGBTQ marriage.

Here in North Am, there are portents indicating that there may be a theological war, as many Catholics and Clergy disagree with Rome’s stance. The end results may wind up being similar as to what’s going on with the Episcopalians and Anglican church.

In New York City, Kevin Aviance, a popular drag queen, was beaten horribly by four individuals, one of them 16 years old.

in 2002, Gwen Araujo, a transgendered teen, was beaten to death by some “friends” when it was discovered she was previously male.

There are a million other tragic stories, and more, occurring daily.

This is why we should celebrate Pride. It is defiance of those that want to push us back into the closet, or into an early grave, and to give hope to those who have yet to come to love themselves just for being who they are.

Forget about the commercialism and crowds. If that bothers you, grab your car or bus and go and celebrate Pride in one of the smaller rural communities instead. Stop being such cynics and remember that if it weren’t for Stonewall and a bunch of drag queens, you wouldn’t have the guts to even have that cynicism.

Me, I going to celebrate this year by being in the Pride Parade Sunday, on the TCHC float. Seven years ago, I couldn’t walk around without wondering what people were thinking of me. Now, I’m going to be in front of close to a million.

Happy Pride!!!!

Goodnight George R.I.P.

Canadian businessman and pioneering gay activist dies

George Hislop

Saturday October, 2005. According to close friends, George Hislop died today, at approximately 6pm. George was in Grace a palliative care hospital, suffering from cancer.

Hislop, born in 1927 was a Canadian businessman and pioneering gay activist; co-founder and president of the Community Homophile Association of Toronto (CHAT), one of the major lesbian and gay organizations in Canada during the Seventies; an organizer of the first gay rights demonstration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on August 28, 1971; co-founder of the Toronto Lambda Business Council; in running for alderman in the City of Toronto election in 1980, he became the first openly gay person to run for public office in Canada. In early August this year Canadian Feds offered Hislop some pension money after a class action suit.

Good night George. Your memory will shine on.

Calling all Queers!!!


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.

519 AIDS Memorial in Cawthra Parkcorner of Church and Wellesley Street Westrainbow flagRainbow Village flagSailorThe Barn-StablesToronto Pride


Cannot recommend this webpage at all. There doesn’t seem to be anything there beyond the sign in, and once you get past that, all I ever seem to encounter is this “Webpage out of service for maintenance. Please try again later” note.

I would be ok with this. manaddict.com is after all just another cheesy hook up site for men, except this message is the only one I’ve seen in well over a week. normally i would care less except i won a gold card membership from www.mancandy.ca. YAY!! problem is, i can’t use it, damnit!!

and as for contacting CSR at www.manaddict.com, don’t even bother. they don’t return emails. www.manaddict.ca tried to help. their employee Marc was even able to access my account, but he’s the only one. even after I started over with a new account, all i experienced was the same thing.

so, big thumbs down to www.manaddict.com. You Suck!!


Conscientious Objection and the Law

Conscientious Objector” is another word for criminal.

I don’t really care to go into semantics, but if I disagree with something, that doesn’t give me the right to ignore it. An example would be a highway limit. I could “conscientiously object” on the grounds that the speed is too slow, and that I know I’m an excellent driver, so WHY should I obey it then?

The answer is because IT’S THE LAW!

Those that are in a position of being the law, have no right to sit there and pick and choose which laws they’re going to follow. They are the Law’s representatives, and as such the public looks to them to follow through on that and to enforce it.

If Registrars and Councils are going to disobey these laws, then they, like their fellow citizen should be punished to the fullest extent of the law for doing so. They are not above it just because they are in a position of power. They need to go through legal channels to promote disagreement, and to see if others agree. This is part of the democratic process to an extent (exceptions should be made to safeguard human rights however).

If the will of the public and the current government is such that the law the Objectors disagree with is approved, then the Objectors either need to suck it up or get out. Stop living off the public’s money if you’re not going to do your public job!! See if you can function in the business world with that type of attitude


*** This also goes to the morally reprehensible behaviour of doctors in the U.S. (big surprise there) who are using this “conscientious objection” as an excuse to not treat LGBT people. What happened to the Oath you swore?!!Thought you wanted to help people when you chose that as a career.

You should all be stripped of your licences to practice medicine, and we should open the doors to all those immigrants who can’t work in their chosen profession right now due to those same licences