Gratitude for Toronto launch of Wild and Beautiful is the Night

Over ninety people attended the Toronto launch for Wild and Beautiful is the Night , which was held October 18th 2018 at Queen Books in Leslieville.

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Marc Côté described the novel as “a work of extraordinary empathy.” John Miller spoke about the long and interesting route that led to the novel’s publication, did a short reading, and then expressed his gratitude to the Cormorant team and to Queen Books for putting on a wonderful and celebratory evening.

Unforeseen hazards

With my friend Yves, there’s always an adventure. It shouldn’t have surprised me, then, when I joined his gay aerobics team on an excursion last March to a cabane à sucre outside of Montreal, that a year later, he would talk me into a costume party.

So much about that last sentence amuses me. First, if you’re speaking of men, saying gay aerobics is mostly redundant. Secondly, has nobody mentioned to Montrealers that aerobics hasn’t been a thing since the early nineties? At least where I live, in Toronto, it hasn’t. Have Montrealers been aerobicizing all this time, or, like the trend-setters they often are, are they at the forefront of a neon spandex revival? Who knows. Also, they don’t just do aerobics, they’re a team! Finally, just the idea of dozens of gay aerobic dancers swarming a maple sugar shack, well, who would say no to such an invitation? Continue reading

Eluding (fake) rebel gunfire on Yew Tree Farm

International work has sporadically taken me to areas where poverty and politics—and sometimes conflict or terrorism—keep safety and security top of mind. I am not an inexperienced global traveller; my first real experience in the global south was on Canada World Youth in 1985, several months spent in a rural village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, back when it was called Zaire and under Mobutu’s military dictatorship. Since then I’ve backpacked in South America and Asia, done a degree in international development, and for the last ten years, global work in HIV has sent me on over seventy trips spanning every continent. Continue reading