Toronto
4 min

Cocktail Confessions

Summing up Pride's hits & misses

BALLS & CHAINS. Mr Leatherman 2005 Sean Cribben got married Jul 1.

Sean Cribbin, Mr Leatherman Toronto 2005, is the new Katie Holmes. But unlike Tom Cruise’s newest 10-year contract, our local bad boy (in a good way) was proposed to near the Art Gallery Of Ontario (outclassing that Danielle Steele-y Eiffel Tower stunt) by Mr San Francisco Leather 1990 and international poet laureate Ray Tilton. Right on time, with the passing of same-sex marriage legislation in Canada, the two were married on a village rooftop Canada Day afternoon, exchanging vows they’d written themselves.

“I consider myself privileged to have met Ray Tilton, but it is my honour to become legally married to him,” Cribbin wrote recently on his blog. “I further feel proud that I live in a country where I can celebrate this union with the same legal rights and respect that all citizens gay or straight deserve.” In-fucking-deed.

Like a scene from that great Scott Thompson TV show on Global, My Fabulous Gay Wedding, guests ranged from full leather dudes to drag queens to immediate family from far and wide; a far better reason to be jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch, if you ask me. End credits – Cribbin’s kilt: Farley Chatto. National anthem: Miss Conception. Performances of “For Good” and “Stand By Me:” David Connolly. Officiating: Ms Canadian Leatherwoman 2004 Jayne Schmid. May they live happily ever after.

At police chief Bill Blair’s Pride reception last month, the unsolved murder of nightclub owner Janko Naglic was noted as a continuing priority for the force. Nice to know, but meanwhile, Naglic’s pride and joy recently had its doors locked up amid rumours of ongoing nasty in-fighting between interested parties. May both matters be put to rest sooner than later.

En route from my pot dealer the other day I was lapping up Larry Kramer’s words from his recently released The Tragedy Of Today’s Gays (“I think we’re better than other people. I really do. I think we’re smarter and more talented and better friends. I do, I do, I totally do”). Wouldn’t you know that’s precisely what I was reading when a hearty “You fuckin’ faggot!’ was hollered at me from a passing jalopy loaded with unattractive people not of this area code. Faggot? What gave it away? My fluffy little dachshund? How it seems I can read? Larry Kramer, we are better. I agree, I totally do. Homos, do yourselves a favour: Buy his book.

Gavin Bradley, local songwriter to the likes of The Philosopher Kings, is admirably shameless enough to self-promote his own upcoming CD. When we ran into each other Pride Day, he just happened to have a three-song teaser on him. The sexy track “In The Way,” remixed by DJ/producer and righteous Righteous partner Dwayne Minard, makes me want to grab my guy and make out. More at Gavidbradley.net.

Speaking of Pride, time for some hits and misses, in no particular order.

Miss: The horrid man at the Home Depot booth in the parking lot across from Wellesley subway. Barking interminably into a mic that, “Home Depot’s celebrating [pause] Pride! With free! Water! For everyone! Hard to believe, I know!” he demonstrated exactly how corporate Canada (and America) so badly wants our gay dollar but is so clueless about how to ask for it.

Hit: Prism Weekend. Considering the number of fags still harbouring bitter grudges after the 2004 Pride Ball mess, Daniel Bellavance’s parties ended up well-received, especially Joy. Boot Camp drew out an eager crowd in leather and camos ready to play Friday night, while loyalists of all that The Docks offers made the late-blooming Aqua low-key but crammed on Saturday afternoon. And despite the talk for the past few weeks that Joy headliner Boy George couldn’t be relied upon to play a Pride-ish set, it seemed to me that the smiley stoners filling the dancefloor were quite thrilled grooving out to the chain-smoking Brit music legend, currently a redhead. As for Sunday night’s Revival starring Peter Rauhofer, that party can be summed up with these words: sauna and sardines.

Miss: Lena Love at Aqua. She’s one of the hardest working artists I can think of, but this time Love hurt at the party once known as Squirt. The arrival was great (via helicopter) and so was the exit (the requisite flashing of her tits), but a flat-sounding performance in between made it seem like I was sitting through Batman Begins all over again, not caring. As Kamal Al-Solaylee likes to say in his theatre reviews: two and a half stars. Or, as the jaded 20-year-old behind me said, “She should have stayed in the helicopter.” Ouch.

Hit: Rise. First-year efforts for a new series of Pride parties were a first-year success for Gairy Brown and Jason Ford. They pulled a respectable crowd out to Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion for their Heat party, and, at a full house at Lucid, Kristine W and Manny Lehman worked the crowd Sunday night, surely putting a smile on these two promoters faces. As the guy at the bar who bought me a water said, “It’s great that we have a city that can support two parties like this.” And without War Of The Worlds decimation between party promoters, either. Props to both camps for coexisting and succeeding.

Finally, a special Pride hit mention to the ever-watchful Alexander Wood, surely the most photographed party boy over Pride. Diana would have been jealous. By the way, her brother Charles was just in town hawking reproductions; he’s now selling off furniture found at (brace yourself) Althorp. However, no questions about his sister or the Royal Family, please.

Nearly as gross as the guy at the Home Depot booth.