Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Can Montréal get any Gayer?

Sunday after parade T-Dance (at our age, its more tea than dance)

Summer in Montreal. You can't walk a block without finding yourself in the middle of some Festival. In fact, next year there's a new one; Le Festival des Festivals!

But we're talking GAY here, so as not to be outdone by our neighbours in Upper Canada, we hold two LGBT parties: Divers/Cité at the end of July, then two weeks later, Fierté Montréal Pride.

Hey, he stole my hat!
Hubby and I don't do the "scene" much anymore but we do make a point of participating in these events because:
A: they're fun, especially the T-Dance.  (If you ever want to grab my attention, spin a disco ball in front of me.) and

B: It's important to support these events because a lot of gays and lesbians throughout history have made incredible sacrifices so that we can dance alongside grannies and trannies while shouting out "It's Raining Men!".

Divers/Cité (the July one) is a LGBT cultural celebration.  The focus is on the arts and the contribution that LGBT's make to them.  Thus, we have an open air art gallery stretching for blocks along Ste-Catherine East (Which is closed to traffic all summer!) There are bands, huge outdoor drag shows and smaller cabaret shows spread throughout the city.

Divers/Cité 2010 promo

Fierté Montréal Pride is just that; the Pride event. This takes place next week and climaxes with the parade on Sunday.  The focus is on community and LGBT issues.  On Saturday, community organizations have booths all along the same Ste-Catherine Street strip. 

"The Montréal Pride Celebrations will be held from Thursday, August 12, to Sunday, August 15, under the theme, “Share the Pride”. This theme was chosen to create awareness of the fact that, although there have been significant social and legal advances in Québec and in Canada, many members of the LBGTA community around the world face the violation of their fundamental rights on a daily basis."

Being Montréal, we welcome everyone so Queers Against Israeli Apartheid will be making an unchallenged appearance in the parade."

(For my views on this, check out my post: 30 Years of Toronto Pride: Politics or Party?

When I first moved here (over ten years ago!), it didn't take long to notice that the gay community here was very  different from the Toronto one I was familiar with. Montréal is distinct.  It's edgy, rough around the edges and loves a good time. She's like Auntie Mame only without the money.

You may ask: Why hold two separate festivals?  Couldn't LGBT Culure and Community celebrations be fêted ensemble?

The answer: I have no fucking idea and, you'd think so.

The new party: Bloc Québec-gay! (Look out Harper!)

Maybe it's that separation runs in our blood here; we like to think we're special; have own own slice of the pie.  Or, it could just be a case of someone wanting their own kingdom to rule. Who knows?

As a Montrealer you soon learn not to worry your pretty little head about such things and just enjoy the party(s)!


  1. Paul Meunier-Collins3/8/10 14:01

    We really should try to go one of these years.... have never been......

  2. Interesting post -- I havent been to Montreal Pride since I lived there 20 years ago, and sure need to head back for it again!

  3. Braham, a lot has changed in 20 years. Do come visit us. I hear getting a visitor's permit isn't too complicated and you can apply online at the Québec Consulate site ;)

    Thanks for checking out the blog.


Share It If You Like It