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Humans are resilient creatures, none more so than our young. Children have an incredible capacity for survival. Violence, disease, hunger… kids keep on living. And that’s the terrifying truth explored unflinchingly by Toronto writer Katja Rudolph (pictured right) in her debut novel Little Bastards in Springtime. The young can survive almost anything, suggests Rudolph, except perhaps betrayal.

This month filmmaker Joe Balass will see his body of work become the first retrospective in the new annual initiative by the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (May 1-11) to showcase a Canadian filmmaker. Three films—Nana, George and Me (1997), 2007’s Baghdad Twist (2007) and The Length of the Alphabet (2013)—will make up the program that collectively works as a rich examination of the many intersecting identities that Balass himself holds. He’s an Iraqi-born, Jewish gay man who lives and works in Quebec.

I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been having an affair for about eight months. It has become clear over the last few weeks that I need it to end. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and realized that this affair was a little bit of a mid-life crisis moment—the guy is younger and makes me feel like I’m young, too. I met him on the heels of my 45th birthday and was feeling especially forlorn about my wilder younger days. I’ve had a great eight years with my husband and have realized just how good I have it with him. I know he would be crushed to discover that I’ve been straying and feel I’ve done a good job of hiding it. I know my lover will be angry that I’m calling it quits, but know this is the right thing to do (though I’ll miss the hot sex badly). I feel horribly guilty about the affair. How do I really move on and do I tell my partner even if it will hurt him terribly?

Felix

Shawn Gibson’s apartment is a scrapbook of memories. The former theatre producer-turned-store owner’s hideaway on Jarvis just south of Bloor, which Gibson has rented for more than two decades, is a collection of keepsakes he’s preserved from his travels and vintage oddities he, by a stroke of designer’s luck, found lying on the street. Everything in Gibson’s home tells a story, much like the items sold at his Teatro Verde stores, a luxury home and garden emporium Gibson has co-owned with his longtime business partner, Michael Pellegrino, for 19 years.

Baltimore may not be one of those cities at the top of everyone’s list to visit, but with two separate pride festivals, a queer film festival, a Miss Gay Baltimore Pageant and a thriving gaybourhood, it’s certainly one that should be. Still not gay enough for you? Oh yeah, it’s also the hometown and stomping ground where John Waters and Divine collaborated on many of their campy films like Pink Flamingos and Polyester.