Clap, clap. It’s fantastic that all the films at this year’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival are efficiently screened in one convenient location — the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The many parties, however, are still scattered to the four corners of the city like a schizophrenic cab driver. Tonight’s Closing Gala, like last year’s, takes place at Hotel Ocho. Awards are given out, or at least they’re announced — most winners aren’t present to collect them. I presume they are off celebrating elsewhere, perhaps one-on-one. But the party continues as guests, including Ryan G Hinds, Scott Ferguson and Nik Red, bust moves on the dancefloor to DJ Cozmic Cat as some tragically juiced-up white girl attempts the upside-down bumba-whine. Toronto filmmaker Mark Pariselli, meanwhile, is talking shop with director Dominic Haxton, a hot young nerd from Los Angeles. Haxton may not have won an award for his film — Teens Like Phil — but I try to present him my own little statue.
Bear Code/Bar Code
A late thaw has taken place, and “real” men have begun to prowl our urban landscape in hopes of finding sustenance, nourishment and entertainment. Yes, Goldilocks, best eat that porridge before it’s all gone, because even more bear parties have been born. This time Luis Amaral and Eric Desbiens (straight out of Quebec) have set up camp with Bearcode (a social bar night every Friday) and Barcode (a more clubby night every Saturday) at The Vic. Tonight is a perfect picnic basket of men who, like Yogi, are indeed finer than the average bear. “Instead of complaining that there was no events that interested us, we’re doing something about it,” Amaral says. “It’s for the crowd that used to go to The Barn back in the day. The, um, non-Byzantium crowd.” The patio is full, the draft is flowing and the kitchen is open late. No, porridge is not on the menu.
The Beaver is an industrious little creature building on a solid foundation by adding monthly parties that give it even more stability. One of these shindigs is Fit, which tonight celebrates its second anniversary. Sporting some sexy athletic gear, we reach into our spandex shorts, adjust our bats, spit into our catchers’ mitts and make a run for the door. But my fave door guy, Ricky Kruger, isn’t here. He’s one of the reasons I came. He’s like a living rainbow who always gives me a massive unicorn. The other reason to go is to get down to the freshest tracks on Queen, courtesy of DJs Kris Steeves and (fab editor) Phil Villeneuve. The DJ booth sits under a canopy of happy birthday balloons. The tables inside are strewn politely with fruity lollipops. Miss Fluffy Souffle performs later, and all is right in this locker room.
In celebration of the Inside Out festival and all things utterly wrong and wondrous with Tinseltown, the theme of our current favourite dress up and be loud, proud and wowed monthly, Sodom, is Hollywood Gutter & Glam. The regulars embrace the gutterish quality of the evening but also pull off the glamour (like Myles Sexton) before they get hammered. Of course, Goodhandy’s is decorated to the nines again. Tonight is a mix of old and new Hollywood, as artist Jason Wells’ glamorous life-size Marilyn Monroe paintings radiate, while his huge portrait of a crazed Britney Spears (the night she shaved her head, attacked a paparazzi’s car and changed the way we view umbrellas) keeps watch over the dancefloor. Onstage, Judy Virago channels the queen of the Academy, Meryl Streep, portraying Margaret Thatcher in a montage of songs and vignettes that culminates in a flashy dance finale. Is Meryl doing The Dougie or is it Margaret? Who cares. Here’s your Grammy — I mean Oscar. Clap, clap.