Toronto
3 min

One more for the road

Hey homos! Here’s what I love about the homos in this city: I’ve been writing this column on and off since 2003 and, after all these columns, I’ve got not one letter of lesbian complaint. Not one enraged letter to the editor. Not one “You suck!” yelled out from a passing car. And, frankly, in Canada that’s tantamount to zeal.

When I started I approached then-publisher David Walberg and said I wanted to write a funny homo column to uplift and entertain. He not only said yes and believed that I could do it, but the only parameter he put around the column was that it had to be gay. What a dream! I practically see the world through big rainbow goggles!

I wrote for Canadian television for 14 years before starting this column and I was totally terrified that the experience of putting a humour column out there, with my face on it no less and written in my voice, would be greeted with the same “enthusiasm” that being a TV writer brings.

But it wasn’t like that at all. I put out my first column, bought some Imodium and waited for the criticism. You know what happened? People stopped me on the street! Handsome waiters said they read my column. Someone else told me they clipped the column and sent it to a friend. What a dream come true.

Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to take things that were infuriating and find a way to laugh at them. I’ve been able to reach further into the ridiculous than I knew that I could go and know that some fabulous gay guy would sit in Starbucks with his coffee and his Xtra and totally get it.

I have always tried to think of the one person reading this column: the lesby lady who just needs a laugh or who’s feeling low; the good-hearted person who’s just been dumped or who’s lost someone they loved; the wonderful gay fellow at the job he hates who takes his ciggie break with an Xtra; the gorgeous and totally hot co-ed waitstaff at our local watering holes who all read Xtra while standing at the bar in their last peaceful minutes before their shift begins and we come in and make their lives hell. I guess what I want to say to you — my friends, the homos, GLBT community (Look! I learned the right letters!) here in this wonderful city of ours — is thank you. See, I’ve written this column for a few years now, with a little sabbatical in between to work on my Japanese fan dancing and geisha skills at my Lowly Lady School of the Arts in Niagara Falls. Now we’ve reached the time neither of us expected. No, it’s not my new bangs. Although that’s true, as well. Who could’ve seen that radical move coming?

No, it’s time for me to shut down the Jane Ford column and say goodbye or à bientôt. (I’m pretty sure à bientôt means see ya soon. A sexy French girl said that to me and I was all, “Me love you, Frenchie!”)

Yes, Jane’s moving on, my friends. Frankly, the fan-dancing championship trophy isn’t going to win itself.

I didn’t want to write one last column about how I love Kate Winslet or your gay-man-and-poppers reference here and not get a chance to tell you how incredibly grateful I am for the privilege of writing this column. I never took it lightly. In fact I actually finished one column the night before my wedding. Don’t tell my wife. I told her I was fondly looking at her baby pictures.

It has been a pleasure and a half being able to share a reading/writing/sensory experience with every single person who’s read this. I hope I’ve offered you a bit of a laugh or distraction or a tiny imperceptible uplift in this world.

I want to thank David Walberg, who I’ll love eternally for this opportunity, and also Paul Gallant who served as my valiant editor up until a few months ago. Paul taught me I could express myself without capital letters (although he allowed me a few exceptions for comic effect). Thank you to my most recent editor, the lovely and brilliant Julia Garro (yes, girls, she’s as smart as she is pretty and vice versa). And thank you to Xtra’s arts editor Gord Bowness for believing I could do all this in the first place.

Truly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for allowing me to spend a few minutes with you every couple of weeks. It’s been a privilege. I wish you all light and love and laughs. Go be fabulous!