Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Tristan Harris at Leg Work on The Main (Photo from Facebook)

Some years ago, the term "post-gay" was coined to describe a world where Gay Pride and Gay Villages no longer matter. Well, in North America, that day is upon us. Pride parades and "gaybourhoods" are redefining themselves and what it means to be gay in urban centres.

Just look at the evidence.

In a widely published 2007 Associated Press story headlined "Gay Villages disappearing," NYC author Don Reuter, researching a book on the rise and fall of a dozen U.S. gay neighbourhoods, rhetorically asks, "What makes these neighbourhoods gay? Not much."

Reuter predicts that outside New York, San Francisco and a handful of other gay meccas like Montreal, neighbourhoods with a significant gay presence will not survive - including, Reuter contends, gay communities in New Orleans, Philadelphia and Seattle.

North American gay communities have managed to save several iconic gay bars from closing in the last few years - like NYC's Stonewall Inn, originally slated to close in August 2006, 38 years after it became an international landmark following the 1969 Stonewall Riots! Others like the famed Boom Boom Room in Laguna Beach and New York's famed Roxy have already closed.

The reason? Entire cities have finally become our playgrounds. Nowhere is that truer than Montreal which because of its enormous number of gay citizens, has both a healthy Gay Village and bustling gay scene outside the Village. Here are some choice events in the coming days:

POMPe Thursdays Montreal's newest monthly dance floor sensation continues to get bigger each month. 300+ homos crammed the ballroom at Espaces des Arts in April! Classic Montreal loft party meets queer club scene, and all on a radical queer budget. Next edition: May 19 with DJ Aleks C and DJ JONNY BONNY ROCK at Espaces des Arts (9 Ste-Catherine E., corner St. Laurent). Metro St.Laurent. Doors at 10:30 p.m. $5 cover before 11:30pm, $6 after. 

BCBG | Beaux Célibataires Beaux Gais | Édition 2011 Montreal's annual gay men singles bash in the Opus Hotel's stylish Suco Lounge (2108 Saint-Laurent, corner Sherbrooke) on The Main. Must come accompanied by another single male. May 20. Doors at 9 p.m. $10.

MEOW MIX - Queer SLOWDANCE Mimproductions and Slowdancers of the World Unite team up for a special Meow Mix edition of Queer SLOWDANCE. You get a dancecard-booklet to set up dances in advance, and Slowdance Night has all slow songs all night long. Designated dancers (10-11pm): Miriam (Meow Mixtress), Ian Poe Kerr (Dukes of Drag), Julie Matson & Dave Landry of Salon Identité, Emilie Leggs (dancer extraordinaire), MJ, Johanna, Anthony Johnson (dog warrior) V. and others TBC! (I was supposed to be there but am attending opening night of L'Opera de Montreal's new million-dollar production of La Boheme. So see you at the next Slowdance!) At Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent) on The Main. Doors open at 9:30 pm. $10. Profits will be donated to a local no-kill cat shelter.

MEC PLUS ULTRA is an out-of-the Village gay event that takes place twice a month to make it easier to meet new people. MEC's get Lucky edition features guest DJ Hatchmatik. Artists that have played at MEC include Diamond Rings, We Are Wolves, Frigid, Mary Hell, Plastik Patrik and B'ugo. Free drink before 11 pm. May  21 at  Le Belmont (4483 St-Laurent) on The Main. Doors open at 10 pm 

GLAMARCHIST LOOKFAIR IV: LIVE FREE/GLAM HARD is a regular benefit queer dance party presented by QTEAM, a radical queer collective/ working group of QPIRG McGill and QPIRG Concordia that came out of the Anti-Capitalist Ass Pirates. At bar Il Motore (179 Jean Talon W), May 21 beginning at 10 p.m. $5 or pay what you can. Wheelchair accessible. 

FAGGITY ASS FRIDAYS Head & Hands and the Playhouse present Faggity Ass Fridays: CAMPING SAUVAGE! Edition, May 27 beginning at 10 pm, with midnight performances by Miss Cookie and Sublimes Rondeurs (Fringe 2011). FAF recently awarded Montreal Mirror's 2011 #2 BEST CLUB NIGHT and was a fave with Village Voice gossip columnist Michael Musto when he was in town a couple of years ago. At The Playhouse (5656 Parc  Ave).  $10 suggested donation; all money goes to the Sense Project which provides safer sex education in Montreal-area high schools.

IlluZions The renowned Montreal gay choir Ensemble Vocal Extravaganza presents songs from the Middle-Ages through the writers of the Renaissance up to the extravagant Lady Gaga - a show where masks, costumes, and looks will only be IlluZions, at Montreal’s glorious Centre Leonardo Da Vinci (8370 Lacordaire) in St-Léonard. June 3-4-5. Tickets $15-$25 available through LaVitrine Culturelle.

PEOPL is a weekly Sunday party for music lovers presented by Gotsoul & Man Claudy featuring resident deejays Angel Moraes, jojoflores, Robert Ouimet and Christian Pronovost. It really doesn’t get much better than this, folks.

Legendary Montreal DJ Robert Ouimet - house DJ at the Lime Light from 1973 to 1981 - recently told me, "The Lime Light really was better than Studio 54, and that’s [mostly] because it was a fun place for everybody – men, women, black, white, straight and gay... There are really only three [discos] that changed this city – the Lime Light, Business [in the 1980s] and Stereo. But we’re recapturing that vibe at Peopl Sundays where [dance diva] Ultra Naté not only spun [recently], but sang four songs!"
Usually held in Club U.N. (390 Notre Dame W, entrance on Rue Ste-Helene, in Old Montreal), Peopl switches to it’s summertime outdoor venue at Terasse Bonsecours beginning May 22.  It starts at 4 p.m. each Sunday, until 10 p.m. GUESTLIST ENDS 7PM AND MUST BE SUBMITTED B4 3:30PM TO MANCLAUDY@GMAIL.COM.

Leg Work Queer-friendly Tuesday nights at The Blue Dog Motel (3958 St-Laurent) on The Main -- disco, cheap drinks, dancing & debauchery with hosts SASS and Tristan Harris. Free cover, cheap booze. Their motto is the Donna Summer quote, "But I think that I'm just a normal girl, you know."


  1. I always felt that the scene was shifting out of the Village. I think a lot of it has had to do with the fact that a lot of us don't identify with the Village, where there is a lot of sameness to everything, and we've started not only to look for alternatives, but also to create them for ourselves. Add to the fact that a lot of us don't live in or near the Village anymore, and you have a perfect storm for new scenes to pop up. I think the Village is still vital and necessary in a lot of senses, but it's no longer the be all and end all. I hope the Village manages to figure out hot to recover some of its cachet, as I've noticed a lot of business closing down in recent months. It needs to stop trying to be hip and current and just "be".

  2. GAYBASH is also a very popular party! and it's been going on for over 3 years. more info :

  3. i'm happy that there are so many events, one offs, monthly's going on in the city...The big machines that have taken/symbolize the village do not represent the true nature of our/any gay community. We're talented individuals...instead of grouping us into a ghetto and feeding us what we should like or be like, let's spread out and let every corner of the city see how much we contribute to this city's essence.

  4. Nice write-up Richard! Long live the Three Dollar Bill ! And don't forget our friends at GayBash.
    While it was about time, the creative minds in our community get to express themselves and create the great events mentioned, let's also not forget that 1-there is power in numbers and 2-the village remains a safe heaven for some folks yearning for a same-sex only environment. Diversity is key in this matter.

  5. Jamie O'Meara19 May 2011 at 03:09

    Well done, Bugs! The migration - which I wishfully prefer to interpret as external socio-cultural assimilation (I just used up my big-word quota for, I think, the month) - is a fascinating and, I hope, with reservations, a progressive process. I wonder how much of this has to do with, for lack of a better expression at the moment, the mainstreaming of gay culture with respect to us straight folk. And I'm not talking about me hanging out at Bar Normandie either. I happen to like like geriatric karaoke... Anyway, nice job bro!

  6. (Jamie just likes to "insert" the word "ass" into a sentence. Meet you at the Normandie, kid.)
    Anyways, thanks for the rundown, Bugs. While the Gay Village keeps getting more mixed, the city as a whole keeps getting even gayer. Watch to reflect those changes -- as well as for a new look and other developments. -- John