Every year in the fall, legions of fresh-faced young blokes head back to schools across the country in the pursuit of higher education, usually coupled with a healthy dose of alcohol abuse and sexual experimentation. But just because you’re too old or sober for College Night doesn’t mean you can’t mix a few new homosexual tendencies into your education. Toronto has a lot to offer when it comes to getting your learn on. Plus, how many great boy-meets-boy stories start with, “So, I was taking this class and that’s when I saw him
. . . ”?
Tales of your own city
Fancy yourself the next Armistead Maupin? Are you sitting on the next great gay autobiography? Toronto writer Brian Francis, the man behind the acclaimed Natural Order
and the hilarious gay coming-of-age novel Fruit
, can help you power through your writer’s block. Geared for beginners and recreational writers alike, this course will take you through the fundamentals of writing, from character development to structure. All you have to do is provide the drama.
Intro to Creative Writing: Presented in Partnership with Authors at Harbourfront Centre, Tuesdays, 6:30–8:30pm from Sept 18–Oct 30. harbourfrontcentre.com/courses
Seduce with taste
While one of the many clichés about gay men is that we make expert entertainers, thanks to our rainbow genetics, there are a lot of boys out there who don’t know their way around the kitchen. If you’re looking to impress your date but aren’t a wiz with a skillet, a session at SupperWorks will do the trick. In just two hours the staff will help you assemble 12 entrées. The ingredients are already sliced, diced and prepared; all you have to do is make the dishes, then take them home. Thanks to their tequila-jalapeno pork tenderloin or the coconut-coriander shrimp, any guy who comes over for dinner will end up staying for breakfast.
Class times and prices vary. supperworks.com
Walk, walk fashion maybe?
It’s not realistic to think you could become the next Tom Ford, Vivienne Westwood or Jeremy Laing overnight, but with the help of Peach Berserk’s Kingi Carpenter you can learn how to silkscreen and then develop you own DIY clothing brand destined for the backs of celebrities. In a one-day workshop, you’ll learn everything you need to know to create and print your very own designs. You can also make some killer posters and club flyers or just manufacture your own one-of-a-kind wardrobe so you can stand out from the crowd.
Hey, Mr DJ
Do you find yourself on the dancefloor at big Pride shindigs or out-of-this-world house parties staring at the DJ, wishing you could hop behind the decks and slay the crowd? The folks at Toronto’s Scratch Lab can help you realize your turntable fantasies with their Ontario Board of Education-certified DJ curriculum. Open since 2004, this school offers beginner, intermediate and advanced courses that will teach you everything you need to know to become a superstar mixer. Hot shirtless promotional photos not included.
$499 per semester. scratchlab.ca
Mapplethorpe or bust
Whether you covet the photographic chops of famous gay artists like Pierre et Gilles and David LaChapelle or just wish you could take nicer Grindr photos, the only way to become a world-class photographer is to pick up a camera and figure out how to use it. Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, located inside the artist haven that is the 401 Richmond building, is a non-profit, artist-run organization founded in 1979 that serves as an educational and gallery space and for some of the city’s most talented camera jockeys. Gallery 44 offers everything from traditional black-and-white film photography to modern digital techniques, with the next set of courses launching in September. So act fast; they fill up in a snap.
John Waters 2.0
Are you sick of watching gay movies where the plot doesn’t resemble anything even close to your own fabulous experience? Does a viewing of Brokeback Mountain
inspire you to make the next great homo cowboy blockbuster? The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto, or LIFT, can help make your cinematic intentions a reality. A member-driven organization that provides affordable production equipment along with a community to bounce ideas off, LIFT also offers workshops in all aspects of filmmaking, from learning how to use all their cameras, to the ins and outs of editing your final product. Remember, John Waters started out with only a dream and a drag queen who would eat a piece of dog poop; just think what you could do.
— Matt Thomas is a writer who thinks a little bit of knowledge goes a long way when it comes to impressing a gentleman caller.