A Changed World

“And it happened: the exotic moment—without rush, without engines—when we were, in fact, all together in a sudden strangeness. How lovely. How amazing that the world could be brought to a halt just as we raced to the precipice of disaster. We were given the opportunity to cease the frenzy of getting and spending, consuming and wasting, polluting and destroying.”

Jackie Flanagan – Alberta Views – December 2020

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New traditions

“Esguerra’s ‘new tradition’ concept offers a useful framework for us to reimagine our efforts. ‘To create something new, you have to know where you came from: your past, your roots, and the struggle of your ancestors,’ explains Esguerra. ‘You have to study in order to contribute new elements and fuse it with other styles.’ Taking Esguerra’s lead, we might ask: how can we combine the best of our traditions with new approaches to labour organizing that respond to the changing realities of work?”

Ryan Hayes – Briarpatch – October 2020

And Hot Pink All Over

“The screen embedded in the front of the box digitally flips through old issues of a publication you can’t hold in your hands anymore, its name emblazoned on the top with an exclamation mark: Xtra! The headlines slide by: ‘Pumped for Pride,’ ‘Dyke March Intervention!’ and ‘Hot Attack: Miss Conception Sets Pride Ablaze!’ The newsbox sits in the lobby of the Pink Triangle Press (PTP)—publisher of Xtra—offices at the corner of Carlton and Yonge Streets in Toronto. The tagline on top reads: Toronto’s Gay & Lesbian News. But changes in the industry, and the LGBTQ2IA+ community at large, have forced a reexamination of just who Xtra’s audience is now. In 2015, the print edition closed.”

Sean Young – Ryerson Review of Journalism – July 2020

The Passport

“The document is elegant. No one can dispute that. The deep navy blue of its slightly pebbled cover, the understated gilt imprint of the royal arms of Canada, which somehow looks faded even when new — the passport is a classic. Its cover may be harder, more durable, the pages inside more decorated than when I was a boy, but, in the hand, its familiarity is heavy, anchoring. A passport is a little book printed for a single situation, the condition of being between countries. To hold it is to be going from home to elsewhere or from elsewhere to home. Over time, the booklet assumes the association of distance and belonging, of leaving and returning. This year that association, often subtle, like a half-remembered smell from childhood, clarified itself in the atmosphere of trauma that overtook the world. This was the year when we remembered what it means to hold a Canadian passport.”

Stephen Marche – Literary Review of Canada – July 2020

Perverts Like Us

“There was a time when I had orgasms that had nothing whatsoever to do with fantasies. I had them by accident. I remember having them in gym class all the time. We had to prepare for some Canadian Fitness Exam. We had to take it very seriously. As a child, you are supposed to accept what adults put in front of you and denote as important. There is an element of nonsense in the life of any child. That was why Nonsense Literature is so appealing to children.”

Heather O’Neill – Hazlitt – June 2020

The last straw: How gay bars and other LGBTQ2 businesses are facing disaster

“There’s a lot of talk of resiliency and creativity during the pandemic—entertainers holding digital drag shows, or shops that once focused on analog sales going digital. But while there’s plenty of discussion about financial support for small business owners, queer business owners are finding it difficult to access and are, in turn, imagining what their post-COVID-19 future looks like.”

Rob Csernyik – Xtra – June 2020

The last straw: How gay bars and other LGBTQ2 businesses are facing disaster

The changing face of Canada’s first suburbs

“As Tim VanDewark walks through his Edmonton suburb of Prince Charles one April evening, the “problem houses” keep appearing. Here is one post-war bungalow without curtains and a yard being reclaimed by nature. There is one with a deck that is leaning like it’s drunk. VanDewark stops walking at another, its windows covered in cobwebs. ‘There’s a lot that’s going to be happening in this neighbourhood,’ he says. ‘I would say there are at least 100 homes that haven’t really been well-maintained that will probably get demolished and redeveloped.'”

Tim Querengesser – Canadian Geographic – February 2020

How One Woman Reimagined Justice for Her Rapist

 
Viviane Fairbank – The Walrus – February 2020

Stay Tacky, Niagara Falls

“It was on a chintzy patch of street in Niagara Falls called Clifton Hill that I was first alerted to the possibility that civilization was a mistake. There, in the shadow of an enormous sculpture of Frankenstein’s monster eating a branded Burger King Whopper sandwich, my underage mind muddied on enormous schooners of beer procured with a fake ID from an adjacent Boston Pizza, I watched two other drunk loafers come to blows in that messy, soused, all-Canadian way—where they sort of thrash each other and toss out soft punches, which roll off buttery cheeks gone red with drunkenness, the brawl resolving when one combatant attempts to jersey the other by pulling his shirt over his head like they’re in a hockey fight.”

John Semley – The Walrus – February 2020

Social Media Is Revolutionizing the Way We Protest

 
Janaya Khan – The Walrus – February 2020