Toronto
2 min

Pussy too

The grrrls plan another bathhouse, but diss police liaison

NYAH NYAH. But next women's bathhouse is alcohol-free. Credit: Mark Bogdanovic

There will be another women’s bathhouse night – but this time, with two organizers still awaiting trial on alcohol charges, there’ll be no booze permit.



“It’s because women want one,” says Pussy Palace spokesperson Janet Rowe. “The charges weren’t going to stop us from holding future events.”



But next month’s bathhouse night won’t include alcohol. “I think it’s – I don’t know if it’s a concession, we want to make the bathhouse as safe as possible for women. Police tend to target gay events that have special events permits. It kind of ruins the evening.”



Adds Rowe: “Women come for the event; alcohol being available is sort of a bonus but [not] essential to a successful bathhouse.”



Back in September, two undercover female officers were sent in to the fourth women’s bathhouse night at Club Toronto, followed by five plainclothes male officers, who spent more than an hour checking out the scene. (Police have since apologized – for sending in too few female officers.)



Two women were charged under the provincial Liquor Licence Act, including accusations of “disorderly conduct,” which appears to occur when nudity is mixed with alcohol. They’ll be in court in the fall.



The organizing committee has been chosen as the distinguished group for this year’s Dyke March – which means its volunteers will lead the Sat, Jun 23 march and carry the banner.



The Pussy Palace grrrls also say they’re not impressed with the new gay community police liaison committee.



Says Rowe: “We aren’t interested in having an active role until the charges are dropped.”



(Some Pussy Palace organizers met with police in March, however, but didn’t admit to it until after a top ranking cop made it public.)



Negotiations between police and the gay community – spearheaded by the 519 Church Street Community Centre – have been fraught. Police insist on background criminal checks for those who are elected, and reserve the right to refuse membership (and have said they’re not keen on sex trade workers).



Elections will be held at 7pm on Wed, May 30. The members will “continue the difficult negotiations with the Toronto Police Service,” according to a press release.



Nomination forms – and you must be nominated by a gay organization – must be submitted to the LGBT Police Liaison Working Group, c/o The 519, by Fri, May 25.



The next Pussy Palace will be held the evening of Wed, Jun 20 at Club Toronto on Mutual St.



Tickets will be $15, but there are as yet no other details. Those who want to volunteer should check out www.pussypalacetoronto.com.