06 August 2007

Gushing Toronto Star looking for a...

Gay pride-Caribana "feel the love" tie-in... which may just be a bit of a reach.
Now, even the city's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is getting in on the action.

"Busy, busy, busy; I'm going crazy," said Mykel Hall a.k.a. DJ Blackcat as he dashed about a few days ago organizing the three-day Toronto Splash, billed as "The Only Official Gay Caribana Events."
Official?!? Maybe in his dreams...

The thing is, if you go to Toronto's Xtra Magazine, you get the same guy, Blackcat... talking about how threatened he would feel as a gay man at Caribana events.
Blackcat shares Junior's reluctance. "I would feel comfortable as a gay man going down there but I probably wouldn't proclaim my homosexuality," he says.

"I'm not going to a place that's known for gun violence and violence in general and proclaiming my homosexuality."

"You're just looking for trouble doing that."
Which is precisely why Blackcat has created his very own version of "Official (cough, cough) Gay Caribana Events."

It just makes me wonder how everybody in the Star's editorial boardroom, even in their seemingly permanent state of warm, fuzzy-bunny, politically correct zealotry... could have missed this piece in Time Magazine...
"The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?"
Just another conveniently misplaced perspective, I guess.


RELATED: On being gay and black in Toronto

Another angle you'll never see in the Star.
Many have suggested I'd be doing so at my own risk, but, undaunted, I enter Castries Barbershop on Eglinton West, where other Canadians may think the men are arguing, but I know they're just having a debate, albeit a 10-decibel one.

As usual, it's packed, and I patiently wait for the right moment to ask some tough questions. A swirl of Jamaican patois surrounds me, and I hear the word "batty man" (the Jamaican equivalent of faggot, except 10 times worse) repeated again and again: "Him some kind of a batty man, yah know," "She's dating a sort of batty man," "Twaaa! You a batty man or what?"
I'm not sure where the Red Star gets all it's implied "love and acceptance" for gay involvement at Caribana... it's certainly not from Caribana spokespeople, participants, or gays themselves.
After 15 minutes, I'm certain my right moment is never going to come, at least not with this crowd, and I leave.

While a gay man can get his head bashed in just about anywhere, attitudes such as those in the barbershop seem out of step in a city with the largest gay population in Canada.
An exercise in myth and reality... courtesy of the Toronto Star.


Part of the problem is the Canadian gay community itself - I've met gay men in Toronto who refuse to travel to the US because it's run by "homophobic Republicans" but regularly vacation in places like Jamaica & Cuba.

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