Hello, summer assignments.

Usually as a journalist, I like to keep myself busy in a dark basement, wading through reams of tax forms, looking for something suspicious. But once in a while, I’ll get a request to get out of my house and take some photos of patios. “Why not?” I say. “I hear vitamin D is good … Continue reading

A Monday News Roundup: Slutwalk, Catholics, and Pizza

Good-day, tired and slightly ragey cubicle dwellers, and those of you still eating Pillsbury Cookies at home in your PJ’s like you have no more hope for the future. It’s Monday. I was hoping to write this a few hours ago, but I wasn’t expecting this weekend to be so slut-tastic. Slutwalk Toronto took the … Continue reading

Queer movie fest brings the party to schools

Scott Ferguson and Diana Khong stand in front of a plant.

Inside Out Film Festival is ready to bring its youth involvement to the next level, starting with a new free matinee for high school students. The award-winning documentary, No Look Pass, will play at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on May 25. No Look Pass tells the story of Emily “Etay” Tay, an athlete and first-generation … Continue reading

Clearing the air: getting gay folks talking about tobacco

photo of Rowsom and Sampath in front of a series of posters designed by the Public Studio

Queer people smoke tobacco at over double the rates of the general population, according to a new Toronto campaign. Experts pointto stigma, stress and targeted marketing campaigns towards queers as the cause—and they hope that by getting people talking, they can get people quitting. That’s why members of Rainbow Health Ontario, Smoker’s Helpline and Toronto … Continue reading

Occupy Saturday: Not the faces you’d expect.

The slowly building movement is gaining strength. On Saturday, about 3000 people filled the streets, marching past the Market Exchange and back into the park. It’s been a particularly surprising mix of people new to activism and lefty veterans. The usual descriptions of “anarchist hippies” aren’t really fitting the people who’ve hit the streets. That’s … Continue reading

Occupy Camera?

Torn banner reveals protesters

 Whatever Occupy Toronto was lacking in, it certainly wasn’t photo opportunities. Samantha Durnford and I hit the street and had a Time. She also offered me some wise tutelage on photo-taking. If you weren’t at Adelaide and Yonge this weekend, here are some of the moments you missed. Photos with silly captions are my own, and Samie’s … Continue reading

A moment with Dainty Box

Writer/producer/performer Dainty Smith under stage lights

Dainty Smith by Day, Dainty Box by night: I sat down with this badass writer, dancer, & producer of local gender-performance showcase Colour Me DRAGG. She talked about her own experiences making burlesque, and why she experiences it as a political, empowering act. “I started burlesque just a few years ago…my inspiration [comes] from Josephine … Continue reading

I got a ride with Alvaro Orozco

Alvaro Orozco hugs his friend outside the detention room

(After Alvaro Orozco’s Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds application to stay in Canada was approved on Wednesday, Alvaro, his friend Suhail, and I talked in the car about what it’s like to be out of detention and what he wants to see in his future. Here’s a selection from our interview, just minutes after his release.) … Continue reading

Pow Pow!

small child holding bubble gun

A flash-mob hoping to stave off the imminent deportation of Alvaro Orozco blocked the intersection of Church and Wellesley for a time on May 20. It was a festive atmosphere, with about 150 spilling into the intersection, dancing, singing an impromptu rendition of “We Are Family” and chanting “Justice for Alvaro; no more deportations.” Some … Continue reading

385 Rexdale

(I wrote a story for Xtra! recently about a gentleman, Alvaro Orozco, who is facing imminent deportation. Some people have asked me what that was like. Here, I took some time to answer.) At 389 Rexdale, a ragtag market stand full of undetonated explosives advertises its “Fireworks Blowout Sale.” Tinsel and flags line the thin … Continue reading