Ten years ago, when I first joined fab, our cover screamed “Twinks on Top.” With all the parties that now cater to more manly men, I declare the era of the twink officially over. Start eating, everybody! One such new party is TUFF at Smith. Apparently, previous parties here were attracting a clientele that was not conducive to business and were given the boot. Sniff, sniff. With DJs Geoff Kelleway and TLA cranking the electro-house, an inflatable penis floating over the dancefloor, a mug-shot photo booth, mashup video projections of wrestling and He-Man cartoons, plus go-go guys straight out of a Cazwell video, 200 men take over the spot for a no-cover, no-holds-barred riot. TUFF stands for “trashy unlawful fearless faggot.” Its cheeky name and vibe are the creation of former fab associate editor Matt Thomas and promoter Ben Gibson. “The circuity scene has been replaced by men who are just average joes,” Thomas says. “But being TUFF is not about being perceived as masculine. Being openly gay is TUFF.”
Ten years ago, the circuit scene was at its peak. Drawing many up the mountain, like Jesus leading the Romans with that cross on his back, was DJ Peter Rauhofer. Tonight he returns like the prodigal son to preach to his worshippers, old and new, at house of worship The Hoxton for an Easter Weekend Prism party. Some have chosen to be blasphemous and are dancing to DJ Shawn Riker’s opening set in furry bunny ears, while others are gobbling up mini–Easter eggs. At least that’s what they say they are. It’s been a long while since Rauhofer has played a party of this size in Toronto. I gratefully enjoy while surrounded by new messes and seasoned pros, including respected business owners Armin Martiros, of Ma-Zone, Paul Smart, of Lo’la, and the Greta Constantine boys, Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill. And then my palms start bleeding. Nope. Nope. Just my nose.
Dinner By Design
Ten years ago, the Casey House AIDS hospice was in great demand. Sadly, it still is. In fact, the board has been feverishly increasing its fundraising efforts in order to build a new, larger facility. Tonight’s Dinner by Design affair takes place at Umbra’s gorgeous downtown showroom, where we sip cocktails, nibble fine finger foods, courtesy of Trevor Wilkinson of Trevor Kitchen, and watch as two cuties create on-demand custom vacuum-form art. Casey House CEO Stephanie Karapita explains that the design community was integral in donating more than $1.5 million in furnishings and services for Casey House’s original opening in 1988. Guests include Philippe Meyersohn, of GE Appliances, and Sonja Bata, of the famous shoe family, who tells me, “It’s important that young people who shop at Umbra get involved with the work that Casey House does.” Sultry singer Shobha channels the vocals of Adele before being joined by Umbra co-founder Paul Rowan, who rocks out on a harmonica. Those lips will make someone very happy tonight.
Ten years ago, all the worldly guys were drinking Carrie Bradshaw cosmos. Tonight, at The Barn’s launch of Dirty Bear, the drink of choice (besides beer and more bear) is rum-soaked snow cones. Like a perfect bowl of porridge, The Barn is an ideal spot for this crowd — not too hot (and shiny) and not too cold (and sterile). Although it’s odd that we are given glow-stick bracelets to wear instead of stamps on our hands, it makes everything — like watching guys hoofing it on the dancefloor to DJ Rob Ladic — much more fun. Some bears are stylish in untucked shirts, while a few have chosen to expose their hairy holes in crack-baring leather jocks. It’s just a little bit raunchy and might make some remember this club’s glory days — when there were actual glory holes above the main dancefloor and you could get a beer, blowjob and greasy fries all for under $10. Now that was a Happy Meal.