Last night, June 24, Michael Lyons received an award at Youth Line’s Youth Awards Gala
. When he invited me along for moral support, he did not know I would be fab
’s double agent, gathering information for this article. I was in frequent peril of having my cover blown, as I paid just a little too much attention to the program and repeated aloud such lines as “fab
’s own stalwart contributor Michael Lyons . . . ”
Michael’s award is for Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture. Some of the accomplishments listed in the program were Lyons's contributions to fab
, TOZ (Toronto OUTwrites Zine
), and Excalibur
; his involvement with Buddies’ queer youth arts program; volunteer facilitation with Planned Parenthood Toronto’s teen education and anti-homophobia program; and his efforts in developing programming around Trans Remembrance Day.
The tone of the ceremony was downright gushy until Michael mounted the stage. His speech began in a refreshingly bold and honest tone. He told us he’s a pessimist and there may be no meaning in the universe. However, to applause and exclamations of awe from seats behind me, he artfully tied it all together, stating, “If the universe is meaningless, then art is a search for meaning,” and then “I’ve always believed that queer people are the gatekeepers of culture. Time and time again, the greatest minds have also been the queerest.”
The ceremony ended, I bullied him into posing for pictures outside the CBC building, and as we walked off into the night I was fairly certain he was still unaware of my mission. The story’s out now, and I’ll probably get slapped.
*Congrats, Michael! We're very proud.
*Congrats, Jeremy, on not blowing your cover!