A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘glbt issues

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO notes a controversial condo project on Dupont just east of me, and Torontoist notes a controversial condo project in Yorkville.
  • Centauri Dreams notes preliminary research suggesting rocky exoplanets will be structured like the Earth.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that tightly-packed exoplanet systems are product of gas giants.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the Georgian Orthodox Church has requested police protection for a man who filed a marriage equality lawsuit in that country, since previous gay activists have been publically attacked.
  • Marginal Revolution notes an apparent permanent downwards shift in employment in the United States.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the return of stolen maps of Samuel de Champlain to the Boston Public Library.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if the Democratic Party can shift as far left as the Republicans have shifted right.
  • Peter Rukavina recounts his recent visit to New Hampshire to see the primaries.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • On Livejournal, bitterlawngnome shares some remarkable vintage print ads from the early 20th century.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that robots installed the mirrors for the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the abundant water ice on the surface of Pluto.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad note the imprisonment of Philadelphia gaybasher Kathryn Knott.
  • Language Hat explores college girl fiction.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Marco Rubio’s encounter with a gay man in New Hampshire.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the global market for super-butlers.
  • Steve Munro considers how Smart Track and GO will co-exist.
  • Otto Pohl compares nation-building in Central Asia with that in the Middle East.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes a conference held in Moscow on Muslims and their space in that city.

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto’s Michelle DuBarry on being the oldest performing drag queen”

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In The Globe and Mail, Brad Wheeler interviews DuBarry, the oldest performing drag queen not only in Toronto but the world.

There was a time when it was a drag for men to wear dresses, but times have changed. Last month, Toronto’s Michelle DuBarry (a.k.a. Russell Alldread) was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest performing drag queen. We chatted with the celebrated performer by phone.

It’s improper to ask a lady her age, but is it okay to ask a drag queen?

Of course it is. I’m a man who wears dresses, and I’m 84 now. I don’t feel 84, actually.

Well, you don’t sound a day over 78. Can you talk about your early days as drag queen in Toronto?

Well, it was illegal in the 1950s, of course. We started off having little shows, wearing suits and ties, with a rose in the lapel. We would mime songs. Then we began to wear dresses, which started things. When the police came by to see what was happening, they wanted to charge us. They didn’t, but they did make sure we had men’s underwear on. [Laughs.]

So it was an underground thing?

I never thought of it as underground. I was doing what I wanted to do. In the fifties, I did midnight Shakespeare at the Trinity Quadrangle, where I was on stage with Lorne Greene. I was holding a spear. In the sixties, I got into professional drag at Club 511 [on Yonge Street]. It was all about loving theatre and doing miniature Broadway shows in drag. And, of course, there were Halloween nights at the St. Charles Tavern, where the crowds were out throwing ink and everything else.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Gerry Canavan shares his curriculum for his course on the lives of animals.
  • Centauri Dreams reflects on Pluto.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog notes the predominance of “dead white guys” in sociology.
  • Geocurrents notes the awkward position of Tatarstan, caught between Russia and Turkey.
  • Joe. My. God. notes same-sex marriage will be available in Greenland from the 1st of April.
  • Language Hat reacts to the controversial French spelling reform.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a site of judgemental maps of cities.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the surprisingly strong resistance to anesthesia in the 19th century.
  • Towleroad notes that the time Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana went to a London gay bar will be made into a musical.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one response to separatism in the Russian Far East.

[URBAN NOTE] On the 35th anniversary of the Toronto bathhouse raids, “Toronto’s Stonewall”

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At NOW Toronto, James Dubro commemorates the 35th anniversary of the police raids which kick-started Canada’s gay rights movement.

It was Toronto’s Stonewall, a brutal police raid that brought the many divided elements of the gay community together on the streets to protest in large numbers for the first time.

On February 5, 1981, 150 Toronto police officers armed with crowbars, billy clubs and sledgehammers carried out violent raids on four gay bathhouses.

The cops roughed up and arrested 289 mostly gay men on prostitution and indecency charges or as “found-ins at a common bawdy house.” Twenty more, including owners and staff at the bathhouses, were charged with being “keepers of a common bawdy house.”

Except for the roundup of suspected dissidents during the imposition of the War Measures Act in Quebec in 1970, the raids were the largest police action to that point in Canada.

Operation Soap, the cops’ code name for the raids, inspired novelist Margaret Atwood to wonder, tongue-in-cheek, “What do the police have against cleanliness?” Indeed, the majority of city councillors wanted to know the same thing and ordered an independent review by Arnold Bruner on relations between the police and “the homosexual community.”

Outrage as well as fear of outings, firings and suicides of gay men caught up in the raids led to the largest gay rights demonstrations the country had ever seen.

On the eve of the 35th anniversary of the raids, questions still remain: Why did the police never apologize? Who gave the order?

No one knows, or, at least, no one is telling.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 5, 2016 at 8:39 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly advises readers how to conduct interviews.
  • City of Brass’ Aziz Poonawalla thanks Obama for quoting his letter on Islam in America.
  • Crooked Timber takes issue with The New Yorker‘s stance on Sanders.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the complexity of interactions between stellar winds and the magnetospheres of hot Jupiters.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that ex-gay torturers in the United States have gone to Israel.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the scale of the breakdown in Venezuela.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at changing patterns in higher education.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that carbon capture is difficult.
  • Peter Rukavina shares a preliminary printed map of Charlottetown transit routes.
  • Savage Minds notes the importance of infrastructure.
  • Strange Maps shares very early maps of Australia.
  • Torontoist notes an early freed slave couple in Toronto, the Blackburns.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the implications of global warming for Arctic countries.

[LINK] “Kathleen Wynne honoured at holy Sikh shrine despite same-sex marriage media controversy”

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The Toronto Star‘s Robert Benzie reports on a controversy that, thankfully, never happened. I do wonder what will end up happening in the future, with this and other culture clashes.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was honoured by Sikh leaders at the Golden Temple despite a media-fuelled controversy swirling around her visit to the holy shrine.

Wynne was warmly welcomed Sunday, receiving the “siropa” robe of honour at the Sikh faith’s most sacred site.

A large and aggressive throng of Indian news photographers accompanied the premier — here leading an Ontario trade delegation — as she toured the sprawling temple for two hours.

The second biggest story on the front page of Sunday’s Hindustan Times, one of India’s major newspapers, was about the “pro-gay” premier, who is travelling with her spouse, Jane Rounthwaite.

According to the Times, “the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee … would not welcome her with a ‘siropa’ … during her visit to the Golden Temple as she is a supporter of same-sex marriages.”

But Wynne was presented with the orange cotton robe in a private ceremony at the end of a tour that also saw her preparing chapati in the massive kitchen that serves 70,000 free meals to pilgrims every day.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 4, 2016 at 5:47 pm


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