Opinion
2 min

Keep calm and carry on — slowly

An editorial about summer in the city at a sloth-like pace

Regina the Gentlelady. Credit: Alejandro Santiago
Summer is finally here, and since we’re in the thick of it, I want to keep things light — literally. Light, breezy clothes, short haircuts, upbeat summer jams and no strict schedule.
 
Leaving one’s calendar open to whatever comes up is a great way to transform a summer. There’s nothing wrong with planning the odd barbecue in advance, but that’s as far as it should go.
 
I’ve been trying very hard not to make plans after leaving the Xtra offices every day, just going with the flow, and it’s led to a lot of fun. 
 
A random trip to Toronto Island, tall cans in a park, heading down to Echo Beach (along with an army of gay men and women) to watch Björk with some last-minute tickets, sneaking into a public pool or just riding my bike very slowly and absorbing whatever is happening around me (I caught a screening of Jurassic Park on a hill in Trinity Bellwoods a few weeks back!) is calming and refreshing.
 
Like a tall glass of watermelon-tequila punch (which I stumbled upon the other night at the new El Catrin in the Distillery District), slowing down the pace and mixing things up is key.
 
Our cover story came about this way. Regina the Gentlelady has been popping up at parties and in Facebook photos around the city, spreading her unmistakable 1990s, sexy-secretary look and breath-of-fresh-air attitude. She’s a fascinating work in progress and still homing in on her look and drag craft, but she’s got the music side of things down pat. And it was the simple fact that Regina was out and about and having a good time that I discovered that her band Light Fires has a debut album coming out and that they are launching it in August with a high-energy release party. 
 
All those details equalled summer cover feature to me. A good look, an interesting story and an electrifying new dance record from a Toronto duo? Yes, please!
 
I’ve always been an advocate for Toronto’s gay cultural scene, which is why I’m harping on about it now. In this issue, we have pieces on the new production of Angels in America, the launch of a book about some of Toronto’s early activists, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. On our new website we have features about Leather Pride, which is hosting its first-ever Toronto Leather Pride march (see our event Listings section for details), gay gamers, trans programming at the SummerWorks Theatre Festival, and all things gay at this year’s Caribana. 
 
There are spectacular events being thrown all over the city, and now that we can wear stretchy, flow-y clothes, let’s get out and take it all in — at a slothlike pace.