Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Golden Boy

Like many other fags I await today with eager anticipation. No it is not take-yourself-naked-to-work day, porn star convention or even Madonna-tries-to-win-us-back release party. Today is Oscar nomination day.

Every since I was a kid I have been in love with the Oscars. Of course when I was much younger I harboured much more romantic feelings towards them and considered the awards themselves to be truly reflective of the recipient’s worth. But even in my more cynical moments (Bud is still furious over the Gwyneth beating Cate Blanchett debacle a few years ago), I still enjoy this contest.

This year I am cautiously hopeful as I found Brokeback Mountain to be a remarkable achievement in film. My first degree before I became a lawyer was in film and so, of course egotistically, I think my taste is valid. And I would truly love to see a gay love story win and reap the financial benefits after. Nothing assists acceptance like recognition.

But the Oscars are also a pleasure at seeing the newcomer overwhelmed by the excitement. For me this is Amy Adams as a supporting actress in Junebug. Haven’t seen it or even heard of it, but I remember her from Psycho Beach Party which I LOVED. And of course the main event is always a good excuse to get drunk while watching television.

Monday, January 30, 2006


58 years ago today, Gandhi was assassinated. He is perhaps one of the most interesting figures in modern history. Called by some, “a little brown man in a loincloth”, he effectively brought the British Empire to its knees in India. He was far from perfect, but his lesson to me has been that even those things that we may take as unchangeable as the setting sun may only require a new form of thinking.

When I was in India before the turn of the 21st century, almost every town that I was in had a statue of Gandhi. His face adorns monetary bills and his presence is everywhere. At the very Southern tip of India lies a small town called Kanyakumari. This is where the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengel and the Indian Ocean all touch one another. Here lies a shrine to Gandhi where his ashes laid for a year after his death before his ashes were dumped in the water to spread throughout the three bodies of water. Above the tiny pedestal that supported his urn there is a hole in the roof that allows sunlight to hit that spot on the anniversary of his death each year on that day alone.

While his message of non-cooperation is not always the path followed, it was a highly effective method of a “weaker” force beating a mighty army. Justice was on his side too.

We as gay people in the Western World also have a struggle to face although nothing compared to what Indians faced in the first half of the twentieth century. But in a time when we argue over the box office performance and award potential of a gay-themed movie it is easy to forget that all is not the same in the rest of the world. And that includes India.

When I was there homosexuality was punishable by 25 years in prison. And I closeted myself in that country for that very reason (also for the fact that blackmail is prevalent due to this prison deterent). Torture, banishment, murder and every other horror conceivable occur every day against gay men on this planet. We remain an acceptable target and no matter what may truce appear possible on the homefront, we cannot forget that an apocalyptic war rages against our brothers and sisters in many lands far worse than anything I can imagine.

And perhaps this planet needs a gay “Gandhi” of our own. Someone who can find a way to change the unchangeable. Someone who can fight a seemingly invulnerable nemesis. Someone who can alter the world.

For like the liberation of India, justice is on out side.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ear Pain

I was out the other night at a karaoke bar.

While to many this would not seem to be anything exciting, those people have never heard me sing. I would be rejected from the America Idol worst of the worst field for fear of scaring young children.

But of course, everyone there was far too good at singing so I decided to get up there any put a little terror into them all. The look on their faces was absolutely priceless as I completely butchered my song. Thank God I lost all sense of decorum and shame long ago…

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Fruits in Suits

So I went to a cocktail party last night. It was for the Gay Chamber of Commerce in Montreal and was held at the investment branch of a national bank. It was announced that the Chamber and TD Waterhouse were entering into a three year partnership. Great news.

The party was pretty decent as well. Wine and food always helps, but I wasn’t in the greatest of socializing moods. Hung out with the bartender for awhile. All of the food was on sticks and I couldn’t (à la Curb Your Enthusiasm) find anywhere to put it after I finished. Darren, the bartender, suggested that they needed a sign saying “Put Sticks Here”. I thought that might not be the wisest saying at a gay event.

Ran into a guy that I see almost every morning at the gym. Needless to say, at 6 a.m. I am not the most chatty person, and after a couple of years of seeing each other, we finally spoke. He is a vice over actor where he does the dubbed French voices for Hollywood films. First time that I had met an actor like that.

When I got home, Bud asked, “Were you drinking red wine?” The stains gave it away. “I thought you were at a meeting for work.” I explained that it was a cocktail party but that it was work related. It is a networking opportunity that has more to do with business than socializing. But he was a bit upset over the fact that I had not included him. But hell, we can’t do everything together.

But Bud has always had a problem with me having friends that he doesn’t know. He went into a fit last year when I suggested that I was going to join the waterpolo team while he was in Australia. I wanted to meet some new people but he didn’t want to come back, join the team and then have to be a friend of my friends, if you get my meaning. I relented. As I always seem to do. And surprise surprise, one year later and neither of us are playing

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I have been thinking a lot about my ex lately.

Not something that I particularly like to admit but nonetheless it is true. Now these are not thoughts of any nature of desire or regret, but more along the lines of “what if”. I have been thinking about what my life would be like if we were still together.

Now it has been almost exactly three years since we split and yet he still has a constant presence in my mind. There are many things that trigger it from the viewing of a certain show or seeing a particular person. But he does seem to find a way to invade my consciousness. And maybe it’s a bit of a closure issue. We never had the big fight to end the deal – I just sort of left without ever really explaining the true reasons behind it all. About a year ago I ran into him and tried to explain, but it didn’t go the way I wanted.

We were in love at one time. He was everything that I wanted and then suddenly he wasn’t anymore. I began to visualize the future without him. When he would mention things about events to come, I would think that we wouldn’t be doing them together. Let’s just say that I checked out long before my body did.

And yet why can’t I seem to be rid of him completely? For one thing, this is his city in many ways. The only reason that I decided to actually stay in Montreal was for him. When I came to school here I had no intentions of staying. And once we got together, he made it clear that he had no intentions of leaving. And so I decided to stay.

And many areas of the city and many things that I have done here were instigated by him. My Montreal identity was shaped through and by my association with the ex. And I wonder why I can’t seem to escape. Every essence of this city permeates with his memory. No matter where I go, I had at one time gone there with him.

But there is no escape … at least for the short term. I’ve got to stay here for at least a few years. Need to build up a reputation and some experience before I can market myself out of this arena. But what kind of living is it when I spend my life wanting to flee?

A Little to the Right

As some of you may know we had an election yesterday here in Canada. And the conservative party won. Well, they won a minority which means that in order to pass anything they will need to co-operation of one of the other parties. And so for the time being I am not all that worried about it. They can’t suddenly outlaw abortion or gay marriage or go completely crazy.

Of course, the fact that they can’t go completely crazy may lead people to give them a majority next time, but I think we’ll just have to hope for the best on that front.

Personally it has been a rollercoaster of a week. In part due to a lack of smoking and a return to the gym I am incredibly moody. And this moodiness makes it extremely hard to get writing here….

But I digress. Have a friend and his boyfriend arriving from Australia today. At least it will get me out of the house.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Funnies

This is proof that speedos are not just not for everyone but also not for every age!

Have a great weekend

The Young and the Geeky

Oh happy Friday. No matter what happens, the day can’t be all bad. Well, as a lawyer it is next to impossible to know if you will have your weekend free. In other words, if I don’t have to work on the weekend, I am never positive of that fact until 5 on Friday.

But so far so good. This week has been amazing actually. Work has been busy but not too nuts and got a little raise of three more grand a year. Well, everyone in my year got it so it was nothing personal but no less decent.

Went to this recruitment event at a local faculty of law. The funny thing about Quebec is that people can go into law school directly out of high school whereas everywhere else in North America you have to do a degree in something else first. So there I was in a sea of French people – well kids actually. They were 18-19 or 20 maybe.

It was not only different to be in the midst of so many straight people but also so many young ones. And the freaky thing was how cute some of them were. Now I was one of those younger guys who always preferred the “older” guy (i.e people who are my age now!) and I often wondered if when I was older I would then perve on the young ones. Well, I can definitely say that isn’t true, but that didn’t change the fact that there were some definite hotties among that group.

Then I got to thinking about preferences for guys last night when Bud and I were watching Beauty and the Geek. Now Bud has a thing for tall geeks. Well, I guess I am one myself in someways, but the guys that Bud thinks are hot sometimes just shocks me. I am obsessed by the buff. I have a friend who is the Asian welcoming committee and another who is absolutely a stalker of big pecs.

Different strokes (or different things to stroke) I guess. But it always goes to show that there is probably someone for everyone. But I have a feeling that if Bud and I ever decide to have someone join us, we're going to have a little difficulty agreeing. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Unintended

After my entry of yesterday, I received an email that made me pause.

While it is always great to get a letter from someone about something that I have written, part of this email really got me thinking. The writer stated to me that he had only recently come out and that he was “surprised by how fickle and tenuous gay friendships can be. […] I am concerned that the immediate gay “family” I find will, unfortunately, also become immediate “dropped” .

And I think that I did a disservice to this man yesterday. Gay friendships are not any less fickle or tenuous than others and no matter who you are or what you are, you can lose friends. Over the past ten years, I have lived in five different cities on three separate continents. That mobility, while fun, is the leading cause of my difficulty in maintaining certain friendships. It is not the gay element.

I have typically found my gay friends to be very un-fickle. Gay people all share many common bonds through the process of coming out and the psychology that goes with that exposure as well as the difficulties in society at large. This is not to say that all gay people should or even could get along. Its not that simple. But we have a starting point.

But like any other relationship, the people in that group inevitably change. What happens when one changes and the other doesn’t? A “break-up” occurs. Also inevitable.

But my tale yesterday was not a condemnation of gay friendships at all. I was merely looking into how I treat people and how that seems to be at odds sometimes with how I treat others. What followed (since I tend to use a stream of consciousness form of writing) turned into a revelation of how hurt I was by something that happened to me.

My bad experience in no way should be construed as some sort of representative global-gay event.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bye Bye Bye

I have been reticent in writing my blog lately for a number of reasons; well two actually, but they are related. The first is that I don’t exactly lead a life of excitement. I read a number of blogs that are written by people with lives that are going at lightspeed with episode after episode of either a tawdry experience or an insightful recognition of the base value inherent in certain encounters. I, on the other hand, exist at present in a all too common trap of routine.

The second reason is that with such a void of thrilling tales to relate, the fact that other people can read these rambling gives me pause. Is this self-censorship or just and acknowledgement of the fact that none of this is all that interesting.

But, what the fuck! I started this for myself as a way of looking back – a permanent cyberspacic (Made-up-Word Alert) diary for me to look back on when I want to find out how I ended up where and whenever I end up there. This is all a journey and the true meaning of a tale can often be found not in the points of greatest conflict but in the casual glance in a languid afternoon.

And so…

I’ve been a little annoyed with myself lately over a mini-snub of an old friend of mine. A high school girlfriend of mine who I haven’t seen in nearly a decade lives in Calgary. She recently got married (I was invited too) and we had planned on hooking up when I was in Calgary over the new year.

But I never called.

And I didn’t forget.

I just sort of decided that I didn’t feel like it. And then I made up some sad story for her that I had problems with my Blackberry and couldn’t reach her as I didn’t know her married name. Complete bullshit.

And I am not sure if there is anything beyond pure laziness that made me skip out. I had one of those email surveys from a friend recently that I couldn’t fill out because one of the questions asked who my oldest friend was. I think that my oldest friend, that I speak to on a semi-regular basis, I met in around 1993 or so in my third year of university.

I drop some due to geography or due to a waning interest. And others drop me. The most recent disposal that I had was with a guy that I have known in Montreal for a few years. But the disposal came from his boyfriend. A number of months ago I was over at their place for a crazy boozy night. The next day I saw them as I had left my wallet there and all seemed well.

Over the next few weeks no calls were returned. Now this was not too strange as I was always the instigator. I called them to do things, never the other way around. For some reason, I blocked my caller id on the next call and they answer. Mike, the bf, answered and I joking asked if they were avoiding me.

“Well ya,” he replied. I was taken aback and asked why.

“You know why.” I didn’t. “Bill and I have talked about it, and we’re over you.” Those words hurt. We’re over you. The bf wouldn’t explain was happened and I never found out. Bill, who was my friend, not the bf, never called to explain or say a word. I had left their home on the last occasion and I hadn’t thought that there was anything wrong.

Could I have done something to offend them in my drunken state? Hell yes. I can accomplish offense drunk or sober. But I was pissed. Hey, if someone drops you, they drop you. There is no fighting it. I’ve been on the other side often enough to know that reality. But after knowing someone for a number of years, if there is some “defining moment” I thought that I at least deserved an explanation. But none was forthcoming and none has come since then.

And I haven’t seen either of them since. I have played out that meeting in my mind and of course it will differ depending on whether it is Bill, the bf or both. No, that’s not true. I’ll play it with complete apathy either way although I am still not sure if I will even act like I know them. But it still smarts.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Buy Buy Buy

As I have noted before, my life has changed quite a bit over the past couple of years from perpetual club kid to a homebody. this transformation had many ingredients. Settling down with a guy exclusively, starting a law career, a shunning from old friends who stayed on my ex’s side of the break-up, and a general lessening of interest in dancing all night long. But with this change in desired action has come a new change as well.

With the increase in my salary beyond anything that I have ever made before, I find myself longing for a few of the big ticket items: car and house. In Montreal it is extremely easy to live without a vehicle and I only really want one for the convenience of other shopping and getting off the island. The house is another matter altogether.

This past year I moved into the first floor of a duplex and left amount a decade of apartment dwelling behind me. The elevators we conspiring against me and I longed to have a yard again. It is amazing how a little patch of grass can provide so much enjoyment (in the summer at least) and it did allow me to get a dog (or two now!). But even that has not satisfied me.

I am feeling the pull towards ownership. The need isn’t coming from any desire to “own” things, but from a desire to change things in my space. Before my cash went towards PARTY PARTY PARTY. But now I want to make my living space better, but who wants to waste money improving a place where they don’t live.

And so the search is beginning for a home. Now Bud and I don’t plan on living in Montreal forever. Sooner or later we will end up back in Australia. But the prices of homes here is so low that I feel I throw money away on Landlords. But getting the money out will be a different things.

And after home ownership all that will be left is a young Spanish Cabana boy when I am older….


We got another Jack Russell puppy. His name is Angus and he's the tan and white one in the middle. Far too adorable. C

Can't write - must play!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I had someone ask me what it was like to be an out lawyer the other day and it got me thinking. Everyone has their own coming out story and the one thing that I hadn’t realized those many years ago was that I would have to continually come out for the rest of my life.

Now, I also don’t necessarily want to be known as “the gay guy” here at work either (luckily I am not the only one), but I understood a long time ago that what is commonplace becomes acceptable. And for that reason, I always let people know that I am gay through casually dropping sentences that can leave no doubt like “My boyfriend and I…”

The road is not always the easiest one. I don’t get work from certain senior lawyers any longer once they found out. I don’t get invited out to the strippers with the younger ones. But at least there is no element of worry about what would happen if everyone knew. Thank God. I don’t need to deal with that! Work is stressful enough.

I was dating a lawyer a number of years ago and he would never kiss me if we were anywhere near his work. He was out but was afraid nonetheless. Of course, living in the decidedly easygoing French culture of Montreal helps too. This is a place where a gay (self-confessed) cocaine sniffing guy is the leader of one of the major political parties of the province! Ah, la belle province!

And finally a big thanks to the voters and the people at Best Gay Blogs for the encouragement!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Passion Play

Well, so begin my first full week of work of the new year. And big surprise, its an onslaught of mandates (and not in the more pleasant sense of that word) to accomplish.

On the brighter side, I received some photos of a friend of mine’s wedding in Sydney. He got married to a guy on a harbour cruise around the beaches of Sydney and I wish that I could have been there. The strange thing is that he has decided to change his last name. Apparently there was a coin flip involved. I asked Kase if he had won the coin toss whether he thought Matt would have changed his name. The answer, “Oh no.”

And so I couldn’t help wondering why he would then. And the answer comes down to the power politics that exist inside every relationship. And these power games, existing as they do in a myriad of different forms and degrees of pervasiveness, are one of the main reasons that I stayed single for so long and remains the largest challenge for me of being in a couple. The name thing is just the larger power game.

The changing of a name upon marriage is akin to a declaration of ownership. Here in Quebec, no one, whether they want to or not, is permitted to change their name when they get married. I shit you not. No woman can become Mrs. X. I have often asked why this occurred without much success in finding out the answer as it happened many years ago. However, one answer that came up was that no woman could therefore be made to feel pressured to change her name if she didn’t want to.

But there are these games of change and pressure all the time. One of the great things about being single is the ability to live a life free of compromise on a personal level. If you don’t like to wash your dishes more than once a week – don’t. If you feel the need to scrub the baseboards every three days – go ahead. If you think that having dinner after 6 is a recipe to a life of flab – eat early.

But once you live with someone else, there is a give and take aspect that has to be contracted between the two of you. And as with any negotiation, one party has more bargaining power than the other. Or one person gets sick of the negotiation and gives in. Or after living with unconscionable terms, one enters into open revolt.

Bud and I have our problems in this way more so because I feel, to paraphrase Rent, I give a mile and he won’t even give an inch. Of course, this probably isn’t completely true. I only notice that he has a problem compromising on the things that he doesn’t. Squeeky wheel and all that.

But it isn’t just that either…I’m lying. Its also that when we first started off he was willing to do anything for me. And that desire has faded as the passion waned. Now we still are madly in love with each other (at least I think we are) but the passion after 3+ years is obviously less than at the beginning. And he was trying to win me. Why train after the race is run?

But I need it still and the craving gets more and more intense. I am starting to feel like a housewife who wishes her husband was romantic and did some “woo-ing”. Pathetic. I don’t get the thrill of sexual conquest any longer where I go after someone. I don’t get the excitement of that first date gone well. I don’t get the ecstasy of an amazing first kiss. I don’t feel the intensity of that first moment. And I do not miss that as what I have is better.

But it is nevertheless, not the best.

Friday, January 06, 2006


A number of years ago I walked into a movie theatre to see a film that I had heard got raves at the Toronto Film Festival. I knew nothing about the film but thought I would give it a chance. What happened next was nothing short of a transcendental experience. I was completely absorbed into a world that resembled my dreams – especially how I fly in them. And that movie was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

It was unlike anything I had seen before. A ballet with swords and a love story of intense longing and unfulfilled passion.

And when I recently saw Brokeback Mountain also by Ang Lee, similar emotions overtook me. While the dancing is gone, the longing and passion remained. This film was devastating to me. Filmed in my home province of Alberta it held resonance for me and my childhood. I experienced and not just watched the torment of feeling one way and being forced to act another. But it was not just the pain of how these two men are unable to find permanent happiness with one another that effected me.

I saw the pain in a woman’s eyes that I myself had once caused.

With the comedy plot of Will & Grace I often forget the real pain that the Graces of the world find thrust upon themselves when they discover that their partner/boyfriend/husband/lover is actually gay. There is a real betrayal there. And that betrayal is magnificently shown in the movie.

I dated women when I was younger and the relationships, no matter how much I cared for them as people, were always predicated on a lie. I was never really attracted to them – they were my beards, my camouflage, my masks. I used them to protect myself, without any regard for what this meant to them. Self centered egotist that considered them more as tools than anything else.

Of course, I didn’t think of it in that way then, but I see it more clearly now. And certain sequences in the film reinforce this. Two woman. One who transforms from the painful attempts to repress the knowledge into the fury of confrontation and confusion. The other, a metamorphosis from the fiery brunette whose colour is slowing drained into an icy shell of emotionless resignation.

Brokeback Mountain shows passion in all of its permutations from the ecstatic to the devasting and it is through this exploration of our impact on each other that it finds its true beauty.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

When in Doubt

While I was in Alberta (aka Canadian Bible Belt) I saw a licence plate frame that said "We believe in life from conception to natural death".

Thought that there should be other available then, like:

"If in doubt - Abort! Abort!"

"When you get sick of sick, or tired of tired, disconnect yourself"

Just balancing things out...

Happy New Year

I must admit that I missed being able to write this blog over the course of my holidays. Many things happened to me and I was able to do next to nothing most of the time, so it was very relaxing. However, it did not start off that way.

I arrived in Edmonton on the afternoon of the 19th and was going to visit my sister about ten hours north of there. My sister, Carlene lives with her husband of ten years and her two kids (eight and ten years old) far in the north of Alberta at a tiny oil town. The highway ends at their little burg of maybe 500 people. When I arrived in Edmonton my sister called and the conversation went to hell.

Carlene told me that she had not explained the situation with Bud and myself to her children yet and she asked me to be discrete.

I was taken aback by this request, but said nothing and for the next 24 hours I was steaming. Now, my sister has every right to decide how, when and if to explain my being gay to her kids. That is completely her decision to make and I have no problems either way. They are her children and I will not tell her how to raise them. But she shouldn’t have waited until I arrived in Edmonton to drop this on me.

What exactly did she mean by discrete? It is one thing for us not to maul each other around the kids and another thing altogether for me to pretend that Bud is my roommate. I was furious. If I had known that this was what was going to happen, I would have suggested that we wait until another year.

I told Bud about this and he felt, quite justifiably, unwelcome. I suggested that we not go up, but Bud thought that we might as well. Of course, my mom and brother were expecting us to go up and assist with the ten hours of driving and the expense. I was kind of stuck.

My sister called me the next day and I explained all of this to her. I said that I didn’t feel comfortable pretending that my husband was my roommate and that my days of lying about it were over. And I explained that she should have given us the option well in advance.

Now, my sister is a wonderful girl and please don’t think unkindly of her for this. She struggled for a long time about how to approach this and she suffered from a lack of consideration of my perspective about it. I told her that I had to discuss with Bud about whether we would go up.

Then she called again. She said that she and her husband decided to “grow some balls” in her words and tell the kids. And to her surprise, but not mine, they reacted nonchalantly. It was a non-issue. When her husband explained to the eight year old that we were two married men, he said, “You can do that – that’s loco!” This coming from the kid most likely to turn out like me anyways!

So it all ended well. We passed a great time up there with the family and even Daniel loved it. Seeing some of the wildlife, like deer, certainly helped.

Hit Counter
Online Degrees