Category Archives: Queer stuff
This morning I passed a porn star on the street. Not just any porn star, mind you. No. I passed a porn star I came dangerously close to stalking when I was in my early 20s.
Back then, I gravitated towards a specific porn director that made a splash on the world of porn by carefully choosing and grooming his models meticulously (man-scaping and tanning were a must. Not one hint of body hair – hey I was in my 20s and didn’t know the whole bear scene, ok?) to his design and desire. His name was Kristian Bjorn and his impact on gay pornography has not been surpassed.
Not that I follow gay pornography much these days. That’s another post entirely (that would probably freak out my straight readership, but hey).
I’m getting side tracked. Back then I had a thing for big, beefy blond dudes. One model Bjorn would use was a massive chap by the name of “Paul” who had a striking resemblance to Brock Samson of The Venture Brothers cartoon (I think that’s why it grabbed my attention in the first place). He had shoulder length blond locks that even then, at that time, was a bit ridiculous. But he had a look of stupid hockey jock so the hair was forgivable. In my head we enjoyed long walks on the beach, working out together and fine wine during a azure sunset while dining on a tiki encrusted patio located somewhere tropical. Then I would finish up and put the magazine away.
Jump with me in time to 1997 when I got a job at The Black Eagle, working as a bar back, delivering beer to the various stations in the bar. My first weekend there I came into work to discover that the very same pornstar “Paul” had been hired as bartender. Impossible! I thought he was some Brazilian or some angry lout from Los Angeles, but then again, that’s what I had constructed in my head as one does, when using someone for intimate, personal pleasures. At first I was shy and would not talk to him much but after a while we passed a few comments. However, we worked together for almost a year and I never once asked about those photos or his past career as a porn star or his background at all. I guess I didn’t want to spoil the fantasy.
Or I never asked because he was as dumb as a cedar plank. Typical “Paul” conversation (not an actual one as that I can’t recall the horrid details from 13 years ago, but you get the gist):
Me: Oh hey! You’re playing The Pet Shop Boys! I like how they write their lyrics to be ambiguous commentary across straight and gay relationship boundaries.
Me: I like how they don’t actually come out in their songs. But their lyrics can mean they’re gay or straight.
Me: Pet Shop Boys funny!
Paul: … (Stares. Goes back to trying to pick up some sugar daddy at his bar)
Not a mental giant. Our time together as co-workers was spent in a curious state of stand-offish-ness. I didn’t want to learn anything about him lest I spoil years of built up fantasy and he wasn’t interested in me at all since I didn’t have a condo in Palm Springs that he could visit and sunbathe during the long Canadian winters. He was fired from the bar for some suspicious reason – Stealing? Stupidity? I don’t recall. One day he was working, the next he was across the street at the old queen’s bar chatting up the older guys with the expensive shirts.
This morning he passed me on the street as I wandered into work. His face was scraggly. His hair was buzzed down, the long golden locks forever gone into history. The body he once used for money was now soft. Pudgy. The glory and strength was bled from him, gone from him, and I wondered what he was doing these days. I imagined he was like a soccer coach set out to teach kids his skill, but winding up just boring them with stories of glory days.
I tend not to deliver in bed.
I can hear SharkBoy’s spine compress and extend simultaneously as he reads that so I better explain myself.
On many occasion during my formative youth I had a tendency to attract guys who thought I would be something I completely wasn’t. I would often find myself stupefied at suggestion that would fall from my various date’s lips as the night progressed into the boozy, flirty time. Suggestions of violence or odd behaviour that would kill my desire just to cuddle or have plain, vanilla sex, of which, I’m utterly satisfied to have 90% of the time.
I’ve always dressed a bit rough. I’ve been told I have expressive eyes and combined with a shaved head and goatee since I was 21, I would often have to suggest to my date that discussing my next attack on their genitals while actually clothespinning various flaps of skin, probably wasn’t going to be as much fun for me as it would be for them.
While living in Ottawa, I purchased a motorcycle jacket at Costco. Yes. A full on, Marlon Brando bad ass motorcycle jacket that despite it’s purchasing origins, suggested that I rode a steel horse around town. I didn’t – In fact I was driving a 3 year old rusted out K car for the company I worked for. To add to this image of manlyman testosterone, I purchased a pair of engineer boots on sale at Filene’s Basement in Boston ($60!). Coupled with a tight tee and jeans, I looked pretty bad ass. One night I met a guy dressed similarly, but he was 6 foot, 2 inches, Germanic handsome, blond shock hair and muscular. When we got back to my place (I guess I looked good because he was blinded to the fact that we drove home in a K car) we discovered that we were essentially both wanting each other to do stuff to each other that we wanted each other to do to us each.
In short: we were both bottoms.
Discovering that you’re something you’re not while a god of a man stands before you is pretty tough on the self esteem. I did try, but I couldn’t be the guy he wanted me to be. We had a great friendship after that but I was still very attracted to him, which killed the whole friend thing eventually. I did learn about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford from him, for which I will be eternally thankful.
While working at a leather bar during Media School, these kinds of encounters were commonplace – I recall taking home one guy I thought was tall and handsome and clever but after we messed around a bit he stopped what we were doing (I thought it was going fine…) and said that we weren’t going to be compatible in bed and that the reason why was over in the corner of the room, in an old steamer trunk. I left shortly after that not knowing what was in that trunk. It haunts me to this day. Was I suppose to go open it? Was it full of dresses? Of knives? Weasels?
The weirdest was meeting someone who wanted me to physically abuse him (no surprise there, considering where we met. I was pretty open minded at that time and thought it wasn’t outside my realm of comfort) while talking about the sexiness of another bartender that I worked with (okay, first warning sign) and then crossing the conversation over to a fantasy where he is introduced to my actor brother in a professional, career building manner.
Seriously. He wanted me to twist his nipples off while fantasizing about my brother advancing his acting career.
After this incident I’ve come to believe that S&M and all that sub-culture paradigm was extremely reliant on damaging egos and breaking down self esteem. This was just weird. So as I lay there considering what he just told me I decided that one kidney punch wouldn’t hurt (me) and we were done.
Thing is, in this experience (and others) I’ve drawn from the experiences and molded myself. No, I’m not a bottom exclusively. No I can’t imagine inflicting extended amounts of pain on someone during sex. No I’m not going to introduce you to my brother. Or his agent.
On a ship of 3300 passengers, you’d probably think that some were gay. If you subscribe to the 1 in 10 theory then there should have been at least 300 gay people. Three hundred butch fems or flamboyant floaters should not be hard to find in two weeks of sailing.
As we were in line for embarkation in Bayonne, I scanned the crowd to see if any sisters were coming on board with us. PING went my Gaydar and I spied two gentlemen travelling together and wearing near identical jeans, t-shirts and male pattern baldness. Dead giveaway. As our line to the check in desk snaked by them a couple times I made three official efforts to catch their eye and smile, with the hopes of striking up a conversation.
All three times was met with them turning their back to us after a cautionary glance. Snubbed, but not let down I started to look around for more family. Fuck you, dudes, we’re not cruising, we’re being friendly!
Our first breakfast in the main dining room had us randomly seated with two women in their 70s on a bus/cruise tour who asked me outright if we were brothers. SharkBoy was not part of that conversation so I said “Yes,” and proceeded to let that lie fester in their heads a moment. I wondered if they wondered what the hell two brothers in their 40s were doing out on a cruise…
Two other occasions we were asked if we were brothers by passengers. I would say yes and hold onto SharkBoy’s arm in a confusing/awkward display of affection.
By day 7 I had given up looking through the crowd for possible homo contact and turned off my Gaydar. SharkBoy says there were at least two other couples on board that he could tell (I never saw them) and one lovely lad who was taking his mother on a trip (questionable at best but that just stank of a Tennessee Williams play). There was a bespectacled lesbian we sat with a couple times at breakfast (rainbow tattoos on her forearms!) but she refused to offer up anything other than “hello” and “see ya!”, but I expect she was painfully shy. The two guys spied at the top of the cruise still refused to make eye contact and I decided that they were on some sort of relationship rebuilding vacation after one of them admitted to a terrible admission to sex addiction.
Not that I wanted to be on a gay cruise. If I wanted to be surrounded by my own I would have booked an all exclusive vacation but to tell the truth, I have no desire to run with my own. Sorry StevieB, but I’m what The Advocate calls “Self Hating”. After years of working in a bar I can’t imagine an all gay vacation let alone being trapped on a boat for any amount of time with rainbow beaded, whistle blowing, Aussie Bum wearing party queens. Sure I’ve travelled en mass with other gays and have even done Gay Days twice at Disney World but, for me, to “travel gay” is like living in the gay village – ghetto gets you nowhere. You really need to get out there to experience other things. That being said, I was missing a bit of the old catty banter that comes with a fruity drink in your hand and a good gay by your side. Especially since we were in such a ripe environment for ridicule.
As we left Antigua (after the Prickly Pear Island) SharkBoy and I were up on the top deck watching the boat leave the island. SharkBoy says “This is a really good vacation, considering.” I know he means that despite the uncooth masses, he (we!) were having a good time. And I thought to myself “It is. A bit lacking in the gay companionship department…”
Suddenly a crew member came and stood beside us at the railing. We started to talk and within moments he revealed that he had a boyfriend on another ship within the fleet and that they were considering moving their home to Toronto. We spend a very long time talking as the ship sailed out and he told us a lot of stories which I will not repeat here to keep his anonymity. Not that he was shy about his status and his partner, he offered first, but I’m not one to leave trails of career shattering evidence all over the internet. He had us fascinated and laughing at the same time with stories of ship operations and shenanigans. It was a nice gay island in the vacation of gaylessness.
I present to you Cindy St Pine Costa Del Sol:
Via Just a Dude
I just finished Ender’s Game a week ago and thought, ok… I can see how this would rile up some people. Kids being killers, unrealistic portrayal of child geniuses, ends justify the means, bla bla bla. But I thought the newly revised forward was much more interesting, where Mr Scott Card (Or is it just Card?) rants on for page after page of how much trouble his book stirred up and how many people responded saying he was a literary god. I swear to you it’s 40 pages of ego masturbation that crosses over the borders of embarrassing into megolomanialand. Much like a blog, really.
I know. I shouldn’t pay this homophobe any attention other to mock him with signs that say “I Have a Sign!”, but I got caught up in the hype and thought I should read one from him, if just to figure out what makes him so controversial. I can assure you, after gnawing through that forward alone, I’ll never bother again. No the book wasn’t that shocking – maybe it was in the 70’s, like a meddling John Hughes film, but it doesn’t stand the test of time in a post 9-11, liberty eroded society. What actually made me think this man a dork was his comments about same sex marriage, utter flabbergasting and so tired (open the link, read the first paragraph and die a little inside. That’s all you need.).
Take heart in knowing there are people out there who can make light of the whole “Should an avid gay gamer buy an amazingly developed game that puts money into a homophobe’s pocket?” conundrum. HAWP’s “Ash” has impeccable comic timing. I wish she was my best friend.
When I lived in Ottawa from 1994 to 1996, I was dating a Big Steel Man store manager.
I know, right? Big Steel Man. Who remembers those chrome and glass and NuWave consumer fortresses to men’s 80’s fashion? For my non-Canadian readers, Big Steel was a chain store that tried to usurp Le Chateau as a safe place for men to buy shoulder padded bolero jackets. It smelled like the death of the 80s when you walked in. I think Big Steel Man morphed into a trimmer, 90s-named “Steel” and then sold their last shiny suit in ’94.
I still have a Big Steel Man belt. Is that wrong?
I digress. His name was Marty.
And Marty loved to Party.
*sigh* Yes. Yes he said that when I met him. When he said that I should have collected my shattered self respect and run the other way, but I didn’t. You see, Ottawa in 1994 was a gay wasteland with gay tumbleweeds and gay desert horizons. When you did hear of a gay in Ottawa they were one of only two types that populated our nation’s capital: Dinner Party Gays and Centretown Pub Trolls. I’ll explain:
The Dinner Party Gays were never EVER seen in a gay bar, purely because they held public servant positions and would never sully their reputation to be seen in career-killing establishments. It was like they were living in a Soviet Era spy novel. Like lava tube-hugging sea urchins at a great cold depth, DPGs would go from house to home and dine with political elites. They would skim the Ottawa gay barrel and invite the common gays into their realm every so often for amusement or scandal. If you were lucky to be invited to one of these parties and yet subsequently dumped by your invitee, it was impossible to stay within this realm, unless you suddenly sprouted a government job from your ass. I was dating one of these DPGs the first 3 months of my Ottawa occupation (a federal archivist with a hobby for poetry – yawn) and attended a couple parties where I was paraded as the “quaint new Torontonian”. When we broke up I was banished to…
The CentreTown Pub Trolls. These were your basic bar flies – but due to the hierarchy the DPGs created, the clique system within the CPTs was tight, savage. If you thought making friends in Toronto was hard, try chatting someone up in a gay bar in Ottawa – when a CPT found out you wern’t a DPG, slumming it for the night (or god forbid a snobbish ex-Torontonian) you were promptly branded and ignored. I didn’t seriously meet anyone for 6 months after my break up and when I did start to get into this fortress of gay, I was finding a castle full of queens and fools. No kings.
Marty… right… back to Party Marty.
He was dressed in a suit – which immediately made me think he was an extricated DPG, banished for some reason to CPT status. Today I realize Marty probably wore a loud suit of sorts but back then I was suit-blind. To me, a guy could be wearing a white suit with big lapels and cuffs on pantleg and sleeve, while it was October 12, and I’d only see “a guy in a suit”. I know better now. Marty was in a suit. I thought a suit in the Centretown Pub was classy. Memory fails but I am sure the suit was a big old shoulderpaddy monstrosity.
Hi… Marty… Party… Yes. The personal slogan tripped alarms off in my head. Instead of running, we grabbed a drink. And another. And… you get the drift. We closed the bar and managed to get back to his place. To my horror, his small apartment was decorated in Big Steel Man shop racks. I kid you not. Chrome and steel and glass clothing racks dominated the room. As store manager he was pilfering all manner of product and store display to bring home. It was like Hoarders, but with Confessions of a Shopaholic and Devil Wears Prada thrown into the mix. I swear we actually had to push through racks of poly-cotton blends to get to the bed.
Where nothing happened. We were too drunk.
Repeat three times. Three drunken dates where I tried to keep up with him, liquorly, but he was from the East Coast, where liquor is like air. I failed miserably but thankfully kept it all in and did not throw up on his massive collection of clothes. To this day I think I only ever saw Marty with his shirt off. We would collapse onto his futon fully dressed, pass out, and not do anything.
The upside was that I had fabulous clothes to wear home the next day. No walk of shame for me!
Dear drunk yobbos on the streets of my brother’s current home town, Swansea:
Be careful who you gaybash. The drag queen you punch just might be a cage match fighter:
Video via I Am Stockier via Twitter via Towerload.
When I lived on Gloucester and Church a few years, I didn’t mind Pride at all dumping portapotties on my front lawn. I didn’t even mind the constant thumping of disco from beer tents. Nor did I mind the crowds just outside my door or the late night revelry.
The biggest problem I had was lesbian poetry at 8am the Saturday of the dyke march. One Pride they had a “morning ritual” where some flowerchildren decided to greet the dawn of a lesbian new day with a bull horn and uterus filled lyrical (?!) poetry. At 8am. When the night before I got home at 5am after a bar shift.
Behind the South Stage at Mutual and Wood Street sits a poor lowly Co-op that we walked by every day of the celebrations this year. For the most part, people were hanging out on their front door step and partying right along in their own manner (one unit had their music so loud, it nearly drowned out the stage act in the parking lot).
Today, all around the co-op someone is playing scrouge:
Judging by the usage of Comic Sans, redundant hand written “Sign our petition!” and the use of “ipetition” it’s a straight person.*
*I’m kidding. For all I know it could be a tranny who needs her beauty rest.
SharkBoy and I relied on the zen approach to Pride celebrations: walk, wander, observe and listen to our bodies. If we got a text to meet up somewhere we did. If we wanted to sit on the wall outside the 519 Community Centre and just watch the flow of people, we did just that. Couple of observations:
Public drunkenness skeevs me. A lot. Especially when the drunks have a heightened sense of “celebration” than myself. And look kind of “just off the subway” suburban. Mostly the drunk people were (I assume) were straight Ryerson students flowing up from the university. Not sure if Pride is in talks with Rye security…?
When you’re so drunk you can’t walk, transporting a 6-er of glass beer bottles is probably not a great idea. A poor chap fell face first onto the sidewalk with a beer-popping SPLAT, tried to get up and slammed face first into The Ladybug Flower shop’s window, which miraculously stayed intact. It was comical and frightening at the same time. Being right across from the Volunteer centre (the beer store parking lot) you’d think the security would be more attuned to open, public drinking.Bunny ears were in vogue this season. Light up ones even more so. I mused to myself that a cart of souvenirs of nothing but light up crap would make a mint. Much like at the Disney night time parades.
We got to Church and Bloor at about 11:45am for the 2pm parade. Our group of 8 all got a spot on the fence. Of course it got busy and the 8 of us compressed to 5 of us on the fence, 3 taller ones in behind as the place filled up. Remember, it’s raining and miserable, but we stuck it out for all that time. Now, at ten minutes before the parade starts we had to fend off three different sets of people who thought it was ok to just show up and shove to the front of the barricade. At one point I very uncharacteristically told a woman to chew my dirty ass because I had been waiting for almost three hours and there was no way she was going to get up to the front just by showing up as the parade started. This has happened to me at other events too, like The Santa Claus Parade and St Patricks as well as past Prides.I took my own advice and managed to only spend money on water and drinks. Lots of drinks. After the parade we wound up racing to the Black Eagle with Jack and some of his friends and had a burger on the patio and a few beers. And a few more. It was nearly embarrassing. SharkBoy and I have not drank like that since the campground. The pictures are self explanatory.
And My Pride Miracle, you ask? Lean in close. Here it is:
The parade is underway. We’re standing right up against the barracade at Church and Bloor where the vehicles and walking divisions merge and go on their merry way, parade-ready. Various floats are tossing freebies into the crowd with gay abandon, mostly condoms and cheap plastic beads (which the people behind me thought was mana from the gods for some reason and kept slamming into my backside) so being a the “beginning” of the parade they were tossing a lot.
As the mayor’s float went by, there was the usual hootering and hollerin’ but I took it upon myself to get into the original spirit of Pride and get political:
“STOP THE STRIKE! STOP THE STRIKE NOW!” I shout this a few times in the general direction of the City of Toronto float, much to the horror of SharkBoy. You could feel him shrink.
Suddenly I make eye contact with Mayor David Miller just as he’s tossing beads into the crowd. I breathe in and shout at the top of my lungs while locking eyes: “STOP THE STRIKE!!!!”
He reels back and like some star Blue Jays pitcher, and beans me with a set of purple beads. Bong! Right in my forehead. I shit you not.
“Thanks!!!” I yell back with utter honesty and a smile!
Celebrity negates .