2 min

Toronto gay nightlife roundup

THE BOMB. Pick up one of John Webster's uncut retro-chic V-day cards at The Melissa (1080 Queen W) until Feb 14.

We’re in the dead of winter and spring seems years away. Will we ever get out of this?

Valentine’s Day is skulking around like a desperate ex, knocking on your door, posting on your Facebook wall, begging for attention. What to do?

Being single on Valentine’s Day is kind of like being gay on prom night: You might tell others you have a valentine, but on the day, you stay home wiping away lonely tears and stuffing yourself with comfort food. But life is what you make of it, so let’s look at the upside.

Single ladies, rejoice! There is much to be thankful for. This year Valentine’s Day falls on Ontario’s Family Day long weekend. Am I the only who sees the irony/creepiness in that? But a long weekend means that this year TiVO isn’t the best option for members of the lonely-hearts club. We can go out, drink ourselves into a stupor and join all the other Valentine’s outcasts in glorious debauchery. There are plenty of parties to choose from, each with a different flavour.

On Sat Feb 13, my anti-Valentine’s contribution has a bit of pop fun and sweaty mayhem with There Goes the Neighbourhood: Bad Influence Edition at the Barn. I’ve lined up an all-star combination of queer west-end djs: Kris Steeves from Eva Christina Presents, Phil V from Big Primpin’, Miss Margot from Covergirl and the infamous ViVi Diamond. Come out and boogie with me.

If you’re looking for something with low-key but still-dancey fun, the Mansion Entertainment Group is throwing Heartless at Upper Lavish, a hidden, intimate speakeasy-like bar in an unlikely central location: right above Lavish and Squalor. The night starts early with live jazz by Reposado’s Tim Hamel Quartet followed by a special disco house set by Chris James and Derek W to keep your feet moving till the wee hours.

On Sun Feb 14, the party flavours continue with Sophisticated at the Drake Underground. It’s a female-run mixed-media event. Each month DJs Barbi (Syntonics) and Lucie Tic (Swaguar) bring together a roster of hair- and makeup-artists, fashion designers and dance crews. This month is the Valentine’s edition with Cherry Bomb’s Cozmic Cat and Denise Benson.

Cherry Bomb was voted Toronto’s hottest and best-loved queer women’s party by Xtra readers in 2007, 2008 and 2009. So all you lesbians looking for love or fun better believe Sophisticated will showcase its creators’ much-loved style and musical taste. It will be a cool, cool crowd.

Down the street at the Bovine, the legendary queer-influenced Thunderpussy party is being resurrected for the long weekend with Betti Forde from Stinkmitt fame and DJ Fathom from the New Kicks parties. A little birdie tells me, incidentally, that Stinkmitt may be performing in Toronto again soon. Until then catch Betti’s Beats and Fathom’s hip hop at the Bovine.

Finally, for all you fist pumpers and house music fanatics, all you Guidos and Guidettes, bathhouse betties and after-hours gays, the Guvernment has the answer to your late-night-party needs. Ink opens up the main room and the gallery for Family Day with DJs Dubfire, David Squillace, Deko-ze, the Junkies and Carlo Lio, just to name a few.

This ain’t no regular fam jam — it runs 10pm–7am — so be sure to pack sunglasses and an “I Love CZ” shirt.

Whether you’re single ordering in and TiVoing, going on a bad date or just trying to make it to spring, there are plenty of places to get a taste of fun on the long weekend. So do not despair, do not be sad: Throw on some glitter and get out on the town.