Toronto
4 min

Cocktail confessions

CIRCA LOCO. Some brought it, some didn't.

What does a material girl have to do to grab a few pretty leather goodies in this town? Surely that’s what poor Paris Hilton, in Toronto shooting Repo: The Genetic Opera, must have been thinking throughout her recent failed attempts to get to a private shopping appointment she’d set up with Northbound Leather.

The problem? Papparazzi had her trapped in the building she was in. From one prison to another, I suppose. In the end, I’ve been assured Hilton managed to get her hands on a number of sexy pieces.

The heiress has been hired to host a party at the Guvernment on Sat, Oct 20 where Blank & Jones will spin (132 Queens Quay E; $20 cover) and is said to be planning to drop in at Northbound Leather’s Switch party later the same night at The Docks (11 Polson St) once her hosting duties are done. (Switch tix are $40 in advance at Northbound Leather, 586 Yonge St, $50 at the door.)

No leather fashion show this year at Switch, instead the party’s the thing, with ongoing eye-candy on a new three-stage format. Performers scheduled include Hangtime Circus, Nina Arsenault, Lena Love and rope bondage expert Midori. Dark and dirty beats will be supplied by DJ Jimi LaMort, with one of my faves, Dwayne Minard, opening. Do be sure to pop into Canada’s largest dungeon on the venue’s second floor; perhaps even Paris will be in there for a flogging. That’s hot.

Also at Switch, and for the first time ever in Canada, pornstar Buck Angel will perform; he’s the man with a pussy. I first interviewed him a couple of years ago when he was fresh off performing at New York City’s legendary Black Party. Of that experience he told me, “I was worried about how they would treat me, but the guys were extremely respectful of who I am. A live sex show in front of 6,000 men — wow! I would do it again in a heartbeat. I literally had the dancefloor stopped — a first time in the history of the Black Party.”

Knowing what Buck is capable of getting up to (remember the scandalous act one Leather Ball years ago where the dude pulled a Tinky Wink out of the other guy’s ass?), I can’t wait to see if Switch gets stopped in its tracks that night (for more Buck, see page 37).

Back to the Guvernment for a moment. Let’s give props to CEO Charles Kabouth, who, after being made aware of the gay hate lyrics in the music of Jamaican dancehall acts Elephant Man and Sizzla booked to perform in his space recently, cancelled both concerts. Props, props, props.

Wise though, given the brewing controversy being stirred by coalitions like Stop Murder Music and queer community members including Daniel Bellavance, who told me he also called Kabouth for some action. Bellevance estimates he’s spent $500,000 in rental fees at the venue over the years as a producer of Pride events such as Unity and Prism. I expect Kabouth did take a cash hit by cancelling contracts with these lovely lads, but my guess is he will enjoy increased loyalty from the queer community for a while to come as a result. (For more on the controversy see page 7.)

Speaking of Pride, I know it now seems like a donkey’s age has passed, but you do recall the headlines made when cyber-celebrity Jeffree Star dealt with bottle-throwing hecklers during his performance on Pride Day by punching one of them, a girl, in the face? I chatted with Star just last week. He disputed the popular version of the story that the girl in question actually never threw a bottle. ‘She did, it hit me, so I hit her back,’ said the fuchsia-haired cyber-brat with the JonBenet Ramsay tatt. There you go.

I also spoke with gay rapper Cazwell (both internet celebs were in town for the grand opening of Circa over Thanksgiving weekend). He’s about to release a song based on his run-in with the overexposed Beyoncé at a Burger King where, he says, she asked to borrow $10 to cover her meal. A collaborator with trantastic Amanda Lepore on her upcoming album, Cazwell says it’s almost finished, but pinning down the constantly on-the-go star long enough to work on the project is a massive undertaking in itself.

Back to Circa for a moment. Hmmm. First, attending the invite-only VIP bash last week was a blast. Congrats to my pal Deb “Lebowitz” Pearce, who snapped a fun shot of Mena Suvari making out with some lad, his hand up her skirt. What a space, what a space, what phenomenal potential. Sure it still has typical opening issues to contend with, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. What was surprising was how very few in attendance rose to the occasion to bring their own fabulousness into the $6.5 million of fabulousness Circa offered up. What’s up with that, Toronto? A Whores-R-Us 905 contingent acting like it was March break in Fort Lauderdale? Dudes in Teva motherfucking sandals? Was it laundry day all ’round so that so many couldn’t look the part?

Not to be all fashion police, but what brought the night completely down was that a huge percentage of attendees just couldn’t make the effort. Likely the same contingent who complain about the death of our nightlife scene.

Naturally, the queer and art set didn’t disappoint on that front. Rolyn Chambers in a fabulous blue fright wig! Maha in a French-fry outfit! Sofonda, a golden goddess! The fashion problems were more a straight phenomenon, but imagine if everyone wore J Crew to Fashion Cares? As one editor of a local queer mag said to me, “If these are the VIPs, I’d hate to see a regular crowd.”

Oy. The bridge and tunnel is that way kids, don’t hit your head on the way under. Chatting with Steve Ireson late into the night, we both agreed it was likely going to take the queer community to really get the space and lead the rest of Toronto in showing how it’s done.

As Shirley Bassey would sing, all just a little bit of history repeating.