Thousands of years ago, according to the Bible, angels appeared to a righteous man named Lot and commanded him to gather his family and leave, revealing they were sent to destroy the city of Sodom for its “sin is very grievous.” As Lot and his family made their escape, they were commanded not to look back under any circumstances as the metropolis was obliterated by fire and brimstone. Lot’s wife, however, perhaps sad to lose such good shopping, cast one final glance back at her home and was instantly turned into a pillar of salt.
Well former Fab editor Mitchel Raphael and media guru and DJ Daniel Paquette (who writes for Fab, owned by Pink Triangle Press, which publishes Xtra), have been hard at work excavating the ancient city of sin to present Toronto’s latest night of debauchery, the new monthly party Sodom launching Sat, Aug 15. “Sodom has been associated with the greatest parties on earth, Studio 54 and Paradise Garage being the most obvious,” says Paquette. “If your party is not compared to Sodom then it’s probably boring.
“At the same time, there is a constant duality at work as the term ‘sodom’ and more particularly ‘sodomy,’ has been used to oppress queers and queer sexuality. Sodomy laws were disproportionately used against gay men, even though the laws applied equally to heterosexuals.”
“When the religious right attack queers it is the term ‘sodom’ that is used to shame them and incite hate,” concurs Raphael. “It is one the few queer terms that has not been appropriated.”
Creating a party from a word long used to arrest, oppress and demonize homos is the absolute best way to reclaim the term for ourselves in a positive way. And what better place to host said party than at Goodhandy’s (120 Church St), Toronto’s very own den of iniquity.
“The beauty of having this party at Goodhandy’s is that the club already attracts the most eclectic group of people in the city.” says Paquette. “We are really aiming for a mix of people who want to express their inner and outer creativity, whether that be on the dancefloor to vintage and cutting-edge music or through clothes and makeup.” Paquette, who used to write the Cocktail Confessions column in Xtra, is well remembered for his Sissy nights, which ran from 1997 to 2000 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
“If you look at the Sodom Facebook group [Sodom.ca] you will see the fantastic mix we have,” says Raphael. Anyone who’s been to one of Raphael’s famous rooftop patio gatherings or the recent Fab anniversary parties, knows how these two guys enjoy bringing together different elements from queer communities and mixing it up with politicians, business people and scenesters — a sure recipe for excitement.
With a lineup including Daytona Bitch, Mahogany Brown, the debut of Christabel’s “sweetest dress ever” and Donnarama as the Queen of de Nile, herself, I ask for a hint of what we could expect opening night. “Donnarama is almost going blind building some of the props,” says Raphael, with a sly smile.