Blogs & Columns
4 min

We all know what comes out of a one-way alley…


I'd like to take a moment to take you, loyal Right Up Your Alley: Vancouver's Gay Blog
reader, on a trip back in time to May 2008, when the street people
combing Vancouver's many alleys still had a Spring spring to their
step, when Britney Spears was still riding high on her choice to wear
panties again, when I still thought owning shorts that fell above the
knee was something to be celebrated and/or photographed, when
whoremones were a quality I attributed to the strangers who always ask
"what are you doing after [insert club name here]?" around 1pm on the
dancefloor versus (as I've recently discovered) a quality that most of
humankind seems to inherently possess.

Those were the salad
days. I was younger then. With a one-pack stomach waiting to be mocked.
And my undying love for all things Bai Ling had not yet been quenched.

Ah who's kidding who. My Bai Ling fire will never be put out.

you probably don't know, dear reader, is that I spent 6 weeks (that's
42 days – a long time in a freelancer's life) in negotiation with Xtra!
West and Xtra! Capital over the name for a blog. Sure we dreamed big. I
searched far and wide and then wider for the perfect name to capture
all things queer in Vancouver. From New York to Bangkok to Brasilia, I
pitched friends with blog names designed to fish-hook the eye into a
love affair it would never forget.

Nothing was out of bounds:

Bars, Clubs, Whips and Chains?

Bright Lights, Big Twinky?

Gay Everyday?

Stick It In Me Raw?

compiled a list of 40 names. And then a short list. And then a
short-short list. And then votes poured in from all across the country.
Queers everywhere were uniting in a way I haven't seen since my coming
out party in Victoria back in 2001. There was laughter. There were
tears. Somebody even got laid. But when the dust settled, we chose Right Up Your Alley: Vancouver's Gay Blog as the banner to unite Vancouver queers online.

then we did our homework too: Googled online for blogs of a similar
name and ilk. We even checked BestGayBlogs in case some other crafty
homo had beat me to it. There were no hits to be found and hence, a new
golden age of blogging commenced in this mighty West Coast metropolis
I'm proud to call home.

Fast forward to July 2008, when a woman in Victoria heckled me during a literary reading over the name of the very blog you're reading right now (in case you forgot: Right Up Your Alley: Vancouver's Gay Blog).

Fast forward again to the dizzying highs (John Mayer, Zima) and depth-defying lows (the Jarics' infamous "performance malfunction", Stephen Harper).

And now let's fast forward to the lowest of all lows: there is another Right Up Your Alley blog in British Columbia…and it is not good (…significant pause…) news for Vancouver.

can imagine my surprise opening my email account this morning to find
that the webmaster of that other site had taken the low road and panned
my own career along with this blog. Admittedly (and all high horses
aside), social media equates a loss of privacy, so I'm getting what I
asked for, aren't I?

Yet instead of sending me an investigative email to discuss (like adults) an unfortunate coincidence, he posted this:

although I'm normally not one to stoop down and sling shit (which, for
everyone's reference, is what comes out of the one-way alley), the bar
has been lowered. Thast said, I believe that in the world of blogs, all
publicity is good publicity.

That other blogger also sent me the following rhymes:

How can I express
The profound distress
I experienced this week
When instead of unique…
I discovered my blog name
And yours are the same!
I've been toiling away
Four hundred and seventeen days
To build an identity
With local amenity
But the alias I treasure
Is now contested, I measure
Is there a way to resolve
In some way that involves
A reasonable solution
To this blogging confusion?
The alternative might be
A Kamloops blog eugoogooly

of my suspiscion that is a dig at the fact that I have published a book
through an actual publishing house, I submitted the above poem to
readers who have sent me fashion photos at for comment.

Here's what one Right Up Your Alley: Vancouver's Gay Blog reader had to say: "Rhyming such as this is juvenile and always insulting (especially to anyone with half a brain who enjoys real literature)"

Furthermore, the author of this "poem" should consider submitting it to: because, as another reader informed me, they are looking for literary gems like this.

Thank you, Barry Something-Or-The-Other. I love your stance as the blogger who "loves journalism, is not a journalist. Loves politics, is not a politician." And loved you even more during your stint doing whatever it is you do to make your life work.

assured, my Kamloops counterpart, if I could turn back time and change
this blog handle, I would do so in order to not be associated with you
in any way whatsoever, especially since this posting: attaches my name to homophobic jokes that still–despite years of combatting hate and discrimination–make me physically sick.

since gays haven't yet invented time travel (emphasis on yet), I will
have to console myself with web traffic that has mistaken this site for
yours. Who knows. We may both expose our blog readers to ideas they
wouldn't normally entertain.

Agree or disagree, my Kamloops counterpart, this is a good thing.