Why I love the 519

There aren’t a lot of spaces anymore that are beautiful and are for everyone. Museums and public galleries have strict entry fees; hotel lobbies, upscale bars, private art spaces and corporate buildings enforce the demographic of those in attendance with sideward glances and the expectation to purchase expensive goods. Community spaces that are safe for … Continue reading

Writer/producer/performer Dainty Smith under stage lights

A moment with Dainty Box

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

Weekend News Roundup: June 1st-5th, 2011

This week, with the Throne speech a-loomin’, we were ready for Big Things politically. The Speech was kind of a load of expected and unoriginal partisan campaigning—Omnibus Bills for some! Cuts to the gun registry for others!—but what’s getting everyone’s attention is how one ballsy page with three weeks left in her contract decided to … Continue reading

Alvaro Orozco hugs his friend outside the detention room

I got a ride with Alvaro Orozco

(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

small child holding bubble gun

Pow Pow!

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

Harding is for lovers?

I’m not sure how I didn’t hear about this until now. But I’m glad I heard about it now: Queer students at Harding University—a conservative Christian university in Arkansas—put out a zine earlier this year about their experiences and personal stories. The zine’s called “The State of the Gay at Harding University,” and the collective … Continue reading

Painting of a woman masturbating

Talking sex… with JJ Steeves

Jei Jei Steeves is a Halifax artist whose stickers of stray kittens have been popping around the city’s streets to say things like “Your lopsided breasts are really beautiful,” “I support the troops but I don’t support the war,” and  “I don’t like the way you’re looking at my tits.” As a fine artist, her … Continue reading

Screening abilities

The internet, for the most part, isn’t accessible. But it can be—and it should be. Here’s how video and the internet have untapped potential. In January, the federal government chose to spend Canada’s tax dollars appealing a ruling that said Government websites must be accessible to people with disabilities. Donna Jodhan, a blind accessibility consultant, … Continue reading

shut out of the party

Lynne is a feminist, blogger and postgraduate student looking for a scholarship. But she worries that because she’s a non-traditional student with a disability, she’s going to be shut out of funding opportunities. “One of the criteria for many scholarships in Canada is “student leadership,” she says. “This has varying definitions, usually to do with … Continue reading