Queer West - Serving West Toronto, Ontario



December 2007 to January 2008 - News Archive

Queer West Community Network

OUTeXpressions enewspaper

OUTEXPRESSIONS newspaper is a not for profit publication of Gay West Community Network Inc. (Masthead) Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved. We have been bringing news & event listings to readers since 1995. OUTexpressions, is one of Gay Toronto's leading media publications, with the hottest happenings in the coolest places. We are not an exclusive gay publication. Queerwest.org family of websites receives 40,000 hits a day, from within Canada and abroad. Queer West is consistently ranked #1 (Page One) in Bing and Google, for most search returns. Outexpressions on Twitter Thank you for your interest in QueerWest.org For Event Submissions, Email: outexpressions@gmail.com 416-879-7954

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“Buddies & Bad Times to open theatre in Toronto's trendy Queer West Village?

Outexpressions, Wednesday January 30, 2008 by Michael F. Paré Through a number of experiences this year, we have recognized the greater need for Buddies’ raison d’etre – as a force of enlightenment and change, not just within the theatre community, but in the world outside our walls. Beginning in 2007/2008 "We will take Buddies' unique brand of creativity and community-building beyond our home at 12 Alexander Street in Toronto traditional gay neighbourhood." (or so says artsexy.ca the Press Office for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre website.)


As we become more involved in producing Performance Creation based work, our need for a rehearsal and workshop space will continue to grow and become critical in a few seasons.

The need to connect with the edgy Queen West queer crowd suggests that acquiring a second venue in the Queen West area would open us up to a whole new audience base who would certainly click with the new directions of creation which we have been exploring.

In 2007/2008 we will be looking at ways to take the Buddies' concept to the west end bringing a whole new dimension to what we do.

Gays move out as Toronto neighbourhood gentrifies.

First Church Street, then the Queer West Village - as gentrification expands, where will Toronto's next gay enclave be? Can the gay community (and the city) survive without gaybourhoods?

This was special presentation of Java Knights Public Forum - Hosted Gay West & ACT Toronto. Some of the 50 people from Toronto's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community, that jammed a small lecture room, that has a capacity of about 28. Cheri DiNovo MPP Parkdale-High Park and Glen Murray, formerly the mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba, attended the forum. He was the first openly gay mayor in a large North American city (1998-2004). Murray nows lives in Toronto See What the (Toronto) Star said on Tuesday January 29, 2008 - Somewhere beyond the rainbow

The closest most gays and lesbians ever come to finding a promised land is moving to a Gay Ghetto -- an urban neighbourhood that is populated by, and reasonably tolerates, a large number of queers. For years, Toronto's Traditional gay village was kept lively and relevant by a constant stream of young queer migrants arriving from uptown Toronto, rural Ontario, and new Canadians. And for years, young queers moving there could rely on three things: cheap apartments, low-paying retail jobs, and lots of other young queers with cheap apartments and low-paying retail jobs with whom they could swap spit and various sexually transmitted diseases.

The decline of the gay ghetto also may have political implications. In the past, gay activists had a critical mass of young people who could be organized to protest abuses. It is much more difficult to convince older wealthy gay people to hit the streets chanting slogans.

As the ghetto becomes more exclusive, regular gay and lesbian Americans and Canadians are forced to search for new neighbourhoods that are inclusive. For gays who enjoyed living in the traditional gayborhood, moving dramatically changes their quality of life.

This was a philosophical discussion on GLBTQ new homesteads in city. The Q & A discussion followed, with the audience asking serious questions, trying to finding out why this is happening, and is it a good thing or bad thing from the panelists?

Guest Panelists:

Kevin Stolarick, (biography) PhD., MaRS Centre, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, former Pittsburgh resident now living in Toronto. Long-time research associate of Richard Florida (author of the Creative Class), collaborator of several projects with Dr. Gary Gates co-author of The Gay and Lesbian Atlas who is widely acknowledged as the nation's leading expert on the demography and geography of the gay and lesbian population. Stolarick is current Associate Director of the new Martin Prosperity Institute, Toronto.

John Colautti, presently, consultant to the Parkdale Village business Improvement Area (BIA). John has been living in the Parkdale-High Park area for over 25 years and has been an active member of the community working with diverse interest groups. A candidate in two Municipal Elections. His background includes Alternative Dispute Resolution in Urban & Community Planning. John is a former president of the Parkdale Village Resident’s Association, and was former constituency assistant to a Toronto City Councillor (Ward 14 Parkdale-High Park). John sits on a number of community boards including Art Gallery 1313 and is an active member on the Parkdale Housing Committee.


Dawn Chomitsch: While Dawn Chomitsch's roots are in northern Ontario, she now considers Queer Toronto her home. Educated in classical music performance, Dawn has been a percussionist in musical theatre and orchestras for over 15 years. Her love of film and desire to highlight women's contribution to the medium, as well as her determination to be active in the queer community came together with the opening of West Side Stories. Dawn lives with her partner, Nicole and their plants.

Tanya White: Tanya was born and raised in Sudbury Ontario. Worked in the Tattoo industry for 7 years moving on to become a certified Forklift, Reachtruck, Electric Pallet Jack, and Order Picker driver. After spending 34 years living in a small town decided to move to Queer Toronto. After a few months of living here decided to open up West Side Stories Video with business partner Dawn Chomitsch. West Side Stories Video is Toronto's first video rental store catering to WOMEN and the LgbT community, 1499 Dundas St. W., Queer West Village Toronto, Ontario

Michael F. Paré - Grew up in Parkdale High Park, Bloor West Village in the early 70's. Michel has been instrumental in establishing the Queer West Village and helping to establish a nine member Board of Directors to govern The Network. He has been a gay rights activist in Toronto, for close to 25 years. He is a former director of the Fort York Food Bank. Former president of Gay Equality in Mississauga and Gay and Lesbian Association West, both of which have long since gone in the history books. Paré now works part-time as an web editor for a Canadian Environmental Policy Institute.

Moderator: Rui Pires, AIDS Committee of Toronto Hosted by Gay West Community Network and ACT Toronto. Held at the historic Gladstone Hotel Art Bar - 1214 Queen St W Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario.

“Do Shy LGBTers have a new place to call home?”

Outexpressions: Sunday January 20, 2008 by Michael F. Paré, Out Of The Closet Onto The Web: Internet social networking with an 'LBGTTQ' audience in mind. ga' eh has arrived! or so states the Press Release

The official Press Release (issued by gaeh.ca on 9th Jan 2008 at 13.25) states that this is "A social network built with Canadians in mind, this online community targets a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and queer (lgbttq) audience. Ga'eh is a dernier cri (www.derniercri.ca) production that provides its site members with a customized venue to engage in similar social networks activity and online dating/interactive services."

The Press release goes to to say "Available FREE OF CHARGE, gaeh.ca is packed with many features for its members, including the ability to create a personalized profile, upload multiple photos, showcase favourite videos, post topics and engage in discussions via forums, write and subscribe to personal blogs, publish events, create and interact in site groups, organize and submit polls, and best of all, communicate through private messaging with other sitemembers."

But lets look at the facts: You must be 18 or over to register as a member of gaeh.ca or use the web site. Unlike MySpace where you can view anyones web site and listen to some tunes. Somewhere down the road gaeh.ca , will be charging a fee to use their services, what they now refer to in Lost Leader Advertising language as "For a limited time, all new ga'eh membership registrations will be upgraded to a 'super user' account." Super User Account" presumably being the paid version? I checked out their other client "bikerbabesonline.com" looks like only 55 people sign-up as of Jan 20, 2008. It also doesn't appear that this is a gay owned and operated company. The contact information is just an email java script form, there is no proper address or employees listed. So the company could be operating in North York condo for all anyone knows

“New Numbers Support Healthy Choices for the New Year”

Outexpressions: Tuesday January 15 , 2008. By Stephen J. Fallon, Ph.D. Are your New Year’s resolutions wavering? You planned to take better care of yourself in 2008, but temptation and habit keep getting in the way. Three new studies have just delivered surprising results that could provide the motivation you need to keep to your healthier plans.

If you’re HIV negative: keep using condoms.

A new study published in the journal Cell identified a protein in semen that makes HIV up to 100,000 times more infectious, much more contagious than you might have expected. In laboratory studies, researchers have always found HIV very inefficient at infecting white blood cells. Scientists typically have to attack a blood sample with 1,000 to 100,000 particles of HIV to create a successful infection. If HIV is so inefficient at infecting cells, why are our gay communities hit with so many new HIV infections each year?

Many gay men believe they could only get infected if lots of sexual fluids get inside their body, for example by “bottoming” and allowing a partner to climax inside. Some surveys have found that many gay men only put condoms on after first penetrating their partner during foreplay. Meanwhile, many “tops” feel invulnerable to HIV because the urethra does not let much fluid in.

The new study found that HIV infection can result from exposure to as few as three particles of HIV because it is carried amidst proteins found in semen, which scientists termed “Semen-Derived Enhancer of Virus Infection.” This low threshold for infection means that HIV can take advantage of almost any exposure during sexual penetration—a little leakage during foreplay, or a little blood or secretion that gets down the urethra. So keep the condoms handy in 2008.

If you’re HIV positive: take Your HIV treatment as directed.

Take your treatment on time, and it will last, according to a new study in The Lancet. Researchers tracked 7,916 patients and found just 167 who had developed major resistance to all three of the most generally prescribed classes of HIV treatment. Those starting their treatment before receiving an AIDS diagnosis faced only a 5.5% chance of failing on three classes of treatment after 10 years.

p> Doctors have long debated when is the right time to start taking HIV treatments. Starting too late means the medicines can’t help as much because there’s not enough immune system left to hang on to. Starting early brings other risks, such as cumulative medicine toxicities. Up until now, earlier treatment also seemed to start a countdown toward inevitable treatment failure. Many patients worried that they would “use up” their best treatment years too soon because the virus always outsmarts the medicines.

That risk, at least, seems largely refuted by the new study. Researchers found that, with the advent of improved medicines, the risk of triple-class failure has been declining by about 14% per year.

Even with this good news, it’s important to take all of your doses on time. Other studies have found that those who miss too many doses, or who take them at times much different than prescribed, have triple or even quadruple the chances of treatment failure.

For everyone: Exercise, quit smoking, drink only moderately, and eat your fruits and vegetables:

A huge study in last week’s Public Library of Science journal Medicine erased any last excuses for sticking to unhealthy habits. Researchers tracked over 20,000 adults age 45 to 79 in the United Kingdom, and concluded that following the simple four rules of good health adds an average of14 years to a person’s expected life.

Participants were first selected for the study in 1993-1997. Any resident fitting the age range was eligible if they did not already have diagnosed heart disease or cancer.

The researchers then tracked participants through to 2006, an average follow up of 11 years. After ruling out other factors that might account for differing rates of death (age, sex, body mass, social class), researchers found that having any of the healthy habits provided a longevity dividend. Those who did not have any of the four healthy habits were four times more likely to have died.

So eat right, exercise, quit smoking, and watch your alcohol intake. It’s not too late to make it a whole New Year for your health.

Stephen Fallon is the President of Skills4, Inc., a healthcare and disease-prevention consulting firm that specializes in gay lifestyle and health issues by providing treatment education workshops, prevention programming assistance, and grant writing services to community organizations and health departments. Visit his website at www.skills4.orgIf you need sources for any medical information cited in his columns, e-mail him at sfallon@skills4.org.

10 Reasons to Have Sex over the Holidays

by Michael F. Paré, Outexpressions, Thursday December 27, 2007 Even though we've devoted our work lives to sex, like most people, there are times when life takes control of the wheel and our sex drive shifts into low gear. The holidays are a major cause of this sex neglect. Surrounded by family, crowded by obligations, we tend to stop taking care of ourselves, and sex is often the first thing to go. So to celebrate our 10th holiday season with you, here are our top ten reasons to have sex over the holidays.

10. Holiday sex is a great escape. Keep your sanity over the holidays and book in time to get away, whether that's a night off from family festivities or a quickie in the bathroom before everyone arrives.

9. Holiday sex is nature's defense against sickness. Research shows that people who have frequent sex live longer and are happier and healthier. Over the holidays your defenses are down. Think of holiday sex as chicken soup for the genitals.

8. Holiday sex is something for you. The holidays are about giving, and giving, and giving. Taking a moment for some solo sex is one easy way to give yourself the gift of love, and orgasms.

7. Holiday sex is something for your partner. Looking for the perfect extra present for your lover this holiday season? We promise you that a surprise quickie or a carefully planned candlelight bath goes a lot farther than a scarf or pie dish.

6. Holiday sex re-energizes. Contrary to superstitions held by many professional athletes, sex does not deplete your power or energy. Good sex can recharge your batteries and give you the extra boost you need to make it through the holidays in one piece.

5. Holiday sex is the gift that keeps on giving. Every sexual encounter is an opportunity to learn, and connections made in the intensity of holiday emotions can open up sexual opportunities for the rest of the year.

4. Holiday sex can be a tiny political action in the midst of a consumer nightmare. Taking time for great sex during the holidays is a reminder that the best gifts don't come pre-packaged from the store, they come from our hearts and minds, and they don't have to cost a thing.

3. Have holiday sex and be a role model. We are not encouraged to take sexual time for ourselves over the holidays. But doing so is a good thing, and when you do it, you send the message to others that it's okay for them to do as well. It's good sex karma.

2. Holiday sex is naughty and nice. Sleeping in your childhood bedroom, dressing up as Santa, having a few extra days off. These things all add up to lots of opportunity for kinky sex, and the sense of holiday excess doesn't hurt either.

1. It brings you closer to the holiday spirit. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as sexual spirit and it's not that different than the holiday spirit. Taking pleasure in giving to others, taking time to connect with others - these are things that are good for our sexual souls.

'Pink Flight' to Sydney, Australia Sold Out?

by Michael F. Paré, Outexpressions, Wednesday December 19, 2007 - Attention passengers, Air New Zealand is now boarding rows one through FABULOUS, on a Boeing 777 from San Francisco International Airport . . The Sold Out, February 26, 2008 first North American "Pink Flight," is in celebration of the 2008 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Pink Flight party passengers were encouraged to show up at the airport in their most extravagant Mardi Gras costumes, and Air New Zealand threw a "Get-Onboard-Girlfriend!" Going away bash at the departure gate as publicity stunt.. View the staged Pink Flight Video Party:

Once onboard, the special February 26th., Pink Flight will boast a full program of entertainment - such as live performances, on-board music, contests and screenings of classic gay-themed films on Air New Zealand's digital in-flight entertainment system (IFE). Because it is an overnight flight, there will also be a period of scheduled "Beauty Sleep." Additionally, passengers will enjoy pink-themed food, cocktails, goodie bags and a "Party Party Wake-Up" before landing.

There will be regular Pink Flights after the 26th via Air New Zealand, open to anyone who wants to jump start the revelry of the 2008 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. Pink Flight ticket sales

PASSPORT Magazine and Air New Zealand teamed up to launch a contest adding additional prizes to the Air New Zealand Pink Flight
contest courtesy of Olivia Newton-John and her partners.Gaia Retreat & Spa, Nestled amongst green valleys & undulating hills in the subtropical Byron Bay hinterland NSW Australia, is Gaia retreat & spa, Olivia Newton-John's secret haven.

A new Toronto queer film festival coming soon

Outexpressions, Friday December 14, 2007 With over 150 queer-themed film festivals happening around the world, Canada boasts a diverse crop of its own. And with movie events throughout the year from sea to sea in a country renowned for its queer-friendliness, LGBT festivals spotlight innovative work by new directors and rediscover the classics.

Metropolitan Toronto’s large, thriving gay community and the city’s festival-friendliness make it a natural fit with a queer film fest. Toronto’s Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival has grown to the point where Variety recently named it the third biggest queer culture film event in the world. The festival’s programming is diverse; in recent years they’ve featured series devoted to LGBT cinema in various parts of the world. A highlight of the 2006 festival was its Latin American focus, and the 2007 event (which ran in May) included a focus on East Asia, with screenings of new films like Tsai Ming-liang’s I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone and classics like Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together. 2008 will spotlight the cinema of the South Pacific, and though it doesn’t kick off until May, year-round programs include the Queer Youth Digital Video Project, in which half a dozen or so young people make shorts to be presented at the festival.

Gay West Community Network in Gay Toronto's Queer West Village will soon be hold all sorts of queer festivals. In 2008, will begin producing performing arts festivals (including annual Queer West Fest), for the purposes of educating and advancing the public’s understanding and appreciation of performing arts and to educate artists through participation in such festivals and related workshops.

There is certainly no reason, why queer west Toronto, one of the fastest growing gay villages in North America can't hold it's own Film Festivals as an alternative to Toronto's Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival.

[Update Friday January 4, 2008 - Plans are in the works to make Queer West Film Fest a reality Queer West Fest The 1st annual QWFF will take place in Queer West Toronto, June 2008.]


Gay & Lesbian community attractive to online advertisers

Outexpressions Toronto, Monday December 10, 2007 - There are around 12.1 million gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Internet users in the U.S., says Ben Macklin of eMarketer in a recent report. That’s 7.9 percent of the total number of U.S. adults online and a large chunk of the total 15 million in the U.S. and their annual purchasing power of $660 billion.

The GLBT market is particularly attractive to marketers as it generally represents a group with larger disposable incomes and discretionary time than their heterosexual partners, mainly due to the prevalence of relationships with two incomes and no children.

GLBT Internet users conduct much of their travel arrangements online and many travel websites provide specialist information and itineraries. Blogs and social networking sites are also popular with the GLBT online community.

Previous analysis has indicated that the GLBT community online spends more time connected and has a propensity to purchase from advertisers with “gay-specific” campaigns.

Other GLBT consumer include:

- Over twice as likely as national index to be professionals or managers

- Average household income over $85.4K

- Are 3.4 times more likely to have household income over $250K

- The 2000 Census showed gay men and lesbians living with partners in 99.3 percent of all U.S. counties

- Twice as likely to have graduated from college

Gay men and lesbians go out more, buy more, have more disposable income and are extremely loyal consumers

Gay and lesbian consumers purchase from companies/brands that advertise in gay media, deliver product messages in gay-specific advertising, support gay and lesbian community causes and are good to their own gay and lesbian employees

Twice as likely to spend $250 on cellular service

Over 90 percent took a domestic trip this year

60 percent took a foreign trip in the last three years

57 percent "prefer to buy top of the line"

59 percent buy themselves whatever they want

New York City to spend $30 million to promote gay and lesbian tourism

Outexpressions: Tuesday December 4, 2007 - The New York Post has reported that City officials for the first time are specifically targeting gay and lesbian travelers, to help meet Mayor Bloomberg's goal of drawing 50 million visitors to the Big Apple by 2015.

NYC & Company, the city's tourism arm, took out a three-page ad in the December/January issue of Out, a popular gay- and lesbian-interest magazine.

The agency also has launched a $30 million, 19-country campaign called "This is New York City."

Commercials have also been placed on LOGO, a national cable network that tailors its programming to gay viewers. They will be aired over the coming weeks.

There will also be ads on similarly themed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Web sites - and advertising will be stepped up next year around Valentine's Day.

NYC & Company said it is reaching out to the demographic because it contains a large number of big spenders, usually with two incomes and no children. They are "highly desirable and considered a dream market due to high incidence of travel and discretionary income," said one Bloomberg administration official.

"What we're saying is, 'This is New York, and it's for everyone, whether you are a family or you're just here with your lover.' "

Similar campaigns have been successful in Philadelphia, Chicago and Phoenix. Airlines and hotel chains have used advertising targeted at same-sex couples.

That the Big Apple had not previously advertised to gays and lesbians "is obviously an omission that has hurt the city," Christine Quinn, the City Council's first openly gay speaker, told the networking group Out Professionals last week.

"Tourism is money, and that's a good thing so were working right now with NYC & Company to fix that omission and come up with a good . . . outreach plan, and we'd love for folks input and advice on that." frankie.edoziennypost.com

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