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Toronto police baffled by death of gay man founded brutally
slain in west end of city
Outexpressions: Saturday March 5, 2011. Allan Lanteigne was found slain
in his west-end home at 934 Ossington Ave. police said it's believed he was
killed a day earlier.
"We really don't know at this point what happened," Det.-Sgt. Dan
Nielsen said What is known, he said, is that Lanteigne was last seen alive as he left his
job as clerk in Ancillary and Capital Accounting at the University of Toronto
around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said that Allan Lanteigne 49 was discovered with obvious signs of trauma
to his body last Thursday at about 3:20 p.m. Detective. Sgt. Dan Neilson could
not yet release more details on his cause of death.
Lanteigne lived alone, he
ended a same-sex relationship “quite some time ago” and his former partner is
now living outside the country, Nielsen said, adding the former relationship
doesn’t appear to be a factor.
According to Neilson, a friend of Lanteigne’s hadn’t heard from him in a day
and got worried when he didn’t show up for work. The friend went over to Lanteigne’s
house and then called police.
Neilson said that His death was initially declared suspicious and then upgraded
to a homicide after a post-mortem examination Friday.
Police are looking for any witnesses who might have spoke with Lanteigne or seen him with another
person last Wednesday.Investigators are anxious to speak to anyone who saw him
walking home or arriving at his residence. N Anyone with information should call
Nielsen at 416-808-7398, or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
Toronto gay village hate crimes escalating?
Outexpressions: Sunday January 30, 2011. On January 27th. A confused
new Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam told Xtra gay and lesbian Newspaper,
there has been no escalation of reported hate crimes in the area. “Consensus
was reached and everyone reported the same thing. There’s been no spike in reported
activities,” she says. “It’s something that’s been really blown out of proportion.
Ryan Lester, 30, was kicked in the face and called “faggot” while getting a
post-bar snack at Mehran Restaurant on Church St. early Saturday Jan. 22. His
24-year-old brother, Ben, suffered has deep bruises on his back and had to go
to the dentist to repair a broken molar.
Toronto Police are calling a recent late-night assault in the Gay Village a
hate crime, stoking concerns the neighbourhood is no longer safe.
The beating comes on the heels of allegations that local students have been
hurling slushies, ice and homophobic slurs at residents in the Gay Village.
Eoin McManus, 21, and Benjamin McCall, 21, both of Toronto, have each been charged
with two counts of assault and one count of mischief after breaking the restaurant’s
front window. Toronto Police Det. Chu Chang categorized the attack as a hate
Your safer living in the queer west end of city where there hasn't a reported
gay bashing or murder, since teacher Kenneth Zeller was kicked to death over
35 years ago in High Park.
Toronto Police recorded 174 hate crimes in 2009, the most recent year for which
statistics are available. Twenty six of them were related to sexual orientation.
Jarivs Collegiate hooligans roaming in the Toronto Church
St gay village
Outexpressions: Saturday January 22, 2011. A few bad apples apparently
are from Jarvis Collegiate (495 Jarvis Street), are travelling in swarms at
lunch hour and after school. They hurl slushies, snowballs and ice. And slurs,
including “faggot”, which, to say the least, is vexatious in the Village. Toronto
Police have beefed up patrols and will meet school officials this week about
“how to put an end to this foolishness,” says Staff-Sgt. Rudy Pasini at 51 Division.
The “slushie facial” is a popular form of bullying on the musical TV series
Glee. We need to remind the kids it may be funny on the TV show Glee, but in
reality, it’s not funny at all.
Gay bashing is no stranger to the Church Street Village, of course. Even in
the Age of Everybody Get Along, yahoos still drive through some summer nights,
tossing drunken insults. Eggs were once the gay-bashing missile of choice. Tossing
eggs at drag queens on Yonge Street in Toronto during Halloween in the early
70's in front of the former Charles Street Tavern
The fear is “slushing” will escalate to something more solid. Already, chunks
of ice have been added to the arsenal.
The latest slushing happened at noon last Monday Jan 17. Local florist Paul
Winsor, 49, was walking on Alexander St., headed to the gym. “How about him?”
said a kid in a passing pack of about 15. And he let fly. Winsor took a full
Coke slushie dead in the back of his winter coatt.
It appears they’re just randomly picking out people in the neighbourhood. Not
all targets have been gay. These include a middle-aged woman and, repeatedly,
the crossing guard at a Church St. public school, who also has filed a police
Police increased patrols in the area after a crossing guard was also targeted
by students. School principal Elizabeth Addo said she’s working with police
in their investigation. “Students who engage in gay-bashing or homophobic behaviour
will have consequences,” she told The Toronto Sun. “It’s not in the spirit of
the school or the spirit of inclusivity.”
Village activist Enza Anderson, who works in a bank near the school crossing,
has not been slushed, though she did dodge an old shoe tossed by some punk.
“I’ve seen them harass people and one of them threw a snowball at some guy who
was dressed very flamboyantly. “When I walk to work, they cross the street and
say ‘faggot’ or ‘hello, sir.’”The 47-year-old transsexual has lived as a woman
for more than a decade.
“I wonder if this is the next generation of gay bashing. And in our own neighbourhood.
It sets the gay movement back 30 years.” But the slushings sure have the Village’s
attention. Other incidents are being reported on Facebook. Enza has called a
February 9th meeting to discuss the “Jarvis teens of terror.” as she calls them.
Enza's action title seems to brand them all as teens of terror. It may be helpful
to address it as a few bad apples in a school of mostly decent, respectful people.
The dust up will likely be settled by Toronto Police and Jarvis Collegiate
fairly long before tourism season goes into full swing in the spring and summer.
The Battle for Queer Culture in Toronto
Wednesday January 5, 2011 Toronto ON. Written by Siobhan McGuirk
(UK) Research and collaboration by Michel François Paré (Toronto)
10 years was a landmark for the Toronto Queer West Arts Festival in August
2010. The first Pride event in Toronto took place 30 years ago. It shows how
much the visibility and public acceptance of LGBTQ has grown, and how quickly,
that Pride Toronto and to a lesser degree Queer West Arts Festival are each
as popular as they are now.
Of course, there was always a gay scene in Toronto long before then, with bars
and cafes situated between drag shows, fetish clubs, alternative nights and
cabarets – the type of event now more likely termed queer than synonymous with
‘gay culture’. These still attract audiences year-round, but have shifted further
out of the spotlight. They have become niche. The scene, it seems, has been
It follows a common trend in which liberation rallies commemorating the Stonewall
Riots have become Pride parades with organisers able to erect fences and charge
entry fees. Pride movements have emerged to bite back, with radical politics
and declarations of inclusivity. For its part, Queer West Arts Festival proudly
proclaims that only 50% of its audience is defined as lesbian or gay. It is
a celebration of diversity.
Queer West Arts Festival celebrates and supports artists who create work on
their own terms; in their own way… here they can make the work they’re burning
to make. They can risk and they can play.
Of course, queer movements in general have faced backlash: some see the term
“Queer” as offensive rather than reclaimed. Others assert that their sexuality
should not be presumed to dictate their politics.
Yet queer arts festivals such as Queer West Arts Festival, Edmonton’s Exposure
Arts Festival and Montreal’s Divers/Cité among others, at the very least, make
space for important questions to be raised. They also offer a platform to unpopular
or extraordinary responses. They demonstrate that to be L,G,B, T and/or Q is
still seen subversive, even if you don’t want it to be. No matter how “pink”
mainstream political parties have become, or acceptable gay marriage or civil
partnerships are, society still insists on its norms.
The arts can explore the boundaries of equality debates and reveal the tension
within them, highlighting the prejudices that persist, both on and off “the
scene”: sexism, transphobia, body fascism, ageism, and racism only scratch the
surface. When a polyamorous, asexual, mixed race, gender queer artist announces
that they will vote Conservative because they, too, believe in “family values”,
the audience laughs, recognising that the joke is on us
Many are self-defining queers who feel “the scene” does not cater to their needs
or outlooks and see Queer West Arts Festival as an annual highlight. Paradoxically,
another chunk of friends have no idea the festival even exists.
Pride Toronto, too, splits opinion. Overly commercial and frustratingly political
for many, it is the high point of the year for some. There are overlaps between
the two camps, of course, but there is still a discernable divide between the
“gay” and “queer” scenes, and the gulf between them seems to be widening.
It will be interesting to see the results, and by the close of the festival,
how far the gay / queer divide has been addressed and whether new ideas will
emerge over what it is to be L, G, B, T, I, Q in Toronto 2011.
Why a queer arts festival in Toronto when the city has
Queer West's Philosophy
Why should there be only one ten day gay
festival (Pride) in the City of Toronto? We believe there is room for
us too. Queer West has been here ten years, quietly working away with little
or no money and an organization unknown to many.
Our founding organization, Gay West Community Network starting holding its
own Pride Toronto West Festival, as one day event from 2001 to 2004. We changed
the name in 2005 to Parkdale Pride Party (it became 3 day event) and in 2006
(7 day event), and dropped the word Pride.
We incorporated the Network as not-for-profit charity in 2008. The Queer West
Arts & Culture Festival (Queer West Fest.) was also incorporated as special
event of the Art Centre. Our mandate is to produce performing arts festivals
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.
We believe we hosted the best alterna-queer ten day festival to Pride,
the City of Toronto has seen in 2010. To us its not about being the largest
or making the city economy grow. Its about you and making sure you enjoy our
festival. If your not completely satisfied, we're not happy. We care about creating
a quality festival. We won't settle for anything less than excellence.
We just happen to believe we are holding exceptional and fun queer art
festivals, every year for the past ten years. We're constantly focusing on being
innovative, we added a film festival in 2008 that is starting to grow, from
a backyard to a 244 seat theatre in 3 years. Throughout the year we hold other
quality queer cultural events, everything from youth art workshops to young
adult UnConferences to nights of poetry and spoken word.
Our arts festival use to precede Toronto Pride Week, in June. The Queer West
Board of Directors and Arts Collective thought Toronto's LGBTQ fabulousness
shouldn't all be jam packed into that month. The annual arts festival has now
moved to AUGUST and become A WHOLE DIFFERENT FESTIVAL, ON ITS OWN, to showcase
queer culture in a better light. We believe there are tourists in the
city all summer long, especially in August; they will be looking for something
different than, PRIDE
We believe we are making a significant change, how people view gay and