Montréal Hub

News: Burger King, Alek, Keshishian, Rugby, Cuba, Kevin Spacey

road.jpg Cuba to offer free gender reassignment surgery under national healthcare plan: "Cuban doctors are currently training with Belgian surgeons, said Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raul Castro and director of CENESEX, Cuba's sex education center, who also said that 28 people are seeking the procedure, last performed in 1988 to massive public protest."

Rugbyroad.jpg Dublin bookies taking bets on Bingham Cup gay rugby tournament.

road.jpg Robert Downey, Jr.: Burger King saved my life.

road.jpg World Health Organization says threat of global heterosexual AIDS pandemic over: "Dr De Cock, an epidemiologist who has spent much of his career leading the battle against the disease, said understanding of the threat posed by the virus had changed. Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients."

Gerard Butler to star in stage sequel to Phantom of the Opera?

road.jpg New Philadelphia police commissioner Charles H. Ramsey implementing policies to make officers, community, feel safer: "My goal is to create an environment where officers don't feel intimidated in any way. If they want to acknowledge [their sexuality], they should feel comfortable doing it." Also, "[LGBT people] don't have faith that the police will do something (if a hate crime is reported). We want to make sure they feel comfortable telling us about any issue that needs to be addressed...We need to be very sensitive to that."

road.jpg Olivia Newton-John headlines Gay Pride in Los Angeles.

Jaranroad.jpg New Provincetown police chief walks daily Commercial street beat: "We’re going to take an aggressive approach, and hate crimes will not be tolerated on any level...Certainly [I haven’t worked in such a heavily gay community] to the extent that I have here in Provincetown, but I’m not shy about it. I feel we need to provide a safe haven, a safe environment. I know there have been a few incidents over the years that have given the community of Provincetown a black eye. I don’t want to see that continue. ... We’re going to take an aggressive approach, and hate crimes will not be tolerated on any level. But I do try to put a positive spin on things, and a lot of good things have happened as well."

road.jpg Shots ring out in Montreal's gay village. Four arrested.

road.jpg 250 same-sex couples signed up so far to marry in San Diego County in June: "The most popular location is the County Administration Center in downtown San Diego. There are 186 wedding appointments at the center so far. Clerk Greg Smith is shifting employees around to meet the demand and said he will be able to handle about 300 weddings a day."

Madonnatruthroad.jpg Filmmaker Alek Keshishian on board for sequel to 1991's Madonna documentary Truth or Dare: "And the film will act as a reunion for Madonna - she has reportedly signed up most of the original production team for the new venture. Keshishian is set to film the superstar over three weeks as she goes about her day-to-day life in London, according Britain's The London Paper. A source tells the publication, 'It's like an In Bed With Madonna but made for today. She leads an amazing, high-paced life now and Alex thought the time was right to do another documentary of her life and career.' The original documentary followed the star as she embarked on her hit 1990 Blonde Ambition tour, and proved a hit with fans, grossing £29 million (£14.5 million) at the global box office."

road.jpg Heatherette to design costumes for "Sticky and Sweet" tour?

road.jpg Dina Matos McGreevey jealous that her daughter is enjoying the good life?

road.jpg Kevin Spacey refuses to travel light: "He's got bodyguards, several publicists, a makeup artist, a personal hairdresser, someone who's styling him. There are so many people, it's ridiculous."

Flagroad.jpg Binghamton, New York mayor raises gay flag for first time.

road.jpg Melbourne gay rights activist and author Dennis Altman becomes Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday honours list.

road.jpg Genre editor Neal Boulton takes on homophobic bully: ""I was at my bar American Trash last night and Neal Boulton was there. One of the usual meatheads got wasted and picked a fight with a guy he thought was a fag. He called him a fag. and some guy who we figured out later was Neil stepped in and gave the guy who called the gay guy a fag a major pounding out on the sidewalk. Boulton got hit pretty hard but slugged back big time. It was nothing till we realized who was fighting who and that Neal is gay and all. Dude had balls."t

Canadian Woman Settles Complaint with Montreal Gay Bar

You may remember in May of last year I posted about Audrey Vachon, a Canadian woman who filed a complaint after being thrown out of Montreal's Le Stud bar because it has a "men only" policy.

StudThe Canadian Press reports that the bar and Vachon have settled the discrimination complaint: "Bar Le Stud and Audrey Vachon, the 21-year-old woman who launched the complaint, agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential. Quebec's human rights commission says businesses have the right to attract a particular clientele but not to discriminate by excluding other customers. Vachon sat down at the bar with her father for an afternoon beer a year ago when staff told them women were not allowed. Le Stud owner Michel Gadoury said at the time women had been banned most nights since the bar opened 11 years ago."

Quebec on Alert After "Barbaric" Anti-Gay Beating

The victim of a vicious anti-gay attack in Quebec City on July 1 has come forward, the Canadian Press reports:

Quebeccity"Philippe, who did not release his last name, says four men with shaved heads followed him after he left the Le Drague gay bar in downtown Quebec City on July 1. After calling the 24-year-old man derogatory names, the assailants knocked him to the ground. In a melee lasting less than 60 seconds, the men punched and kicked him repeatedly. The victim spent two days in hospital and doctors needed eight screws to reassemble his jaw."

The attack has prompted gay rights groups to hold a brunch "to condemn homophobia" during upcoming gay pride festivities. The brunch will be held at a venue at Place d’Youville in Quebec City, where the man was targeted.

Said Olivier Poulin, president of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Quebec: "This man who was attacked is not alone. He has a community with him. He wanted to make sure other young people would not have to face attacks such as this. It’s very symbolic to hold [the meeting] a few steps from the (provincial) national assembly, a few steps from city hall and a few steps from where the young man was attacked."

Outgames AIDS Awareness Spot

COCQ, a Quebec-based AIDS awareness group, created this spot to run at the Montreal Outgames, instructing athletes to protect themselves during extracurriculars.

(possibly NSFW, and you also might want to turn your volume down before watching)

Club Unity Burns in Montréal


Montréal's largest gay club, Unity, was badly damaged by a fire that broke out on Friday when the nightclub was closed. Firefighters battled the blaze for four hours.

Fire Department Chief of Operations Michel Denis says the fire, which apparently began on a rooftop terrace, was "probably an accident." Employees of Unity watched Friday as their workplace burned. Said performer Mathieu Montpetit: "I was woken up today by a call from my manager telling me not to come to work tonight, so I came to see if it was really true."

The three-level nightclub sustained at least $1 million in damages.

Above photo by Yannick et Francis (flickr)



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