Editors' Picks: LGBT
Best B&B for intimate gay weddings
Although gay weddings, like all weddings, can range from lavish ones at the River Rock Casino to traditional ceremonies at the University Club’s Gazebo Garden to high-camp capers at Davie Street venues, there also are subdued but elegant functions. Gay weddings at Ten Fifteen West Sixteenth Avenue Bed & Breakfast—a heritage-award-winning Arts-and-Crafts-style house—are strictly by invitation only. The house, replete with wooden floors, wood panelling, and stained-glass windows, is partly hidden by a lush, manicured garden. The entire house can be reserved for accommodation, pre-wedding parties, wedding ceremonies, receptions, and morning-after celebrations. It’s owned by former Hong Kongers Philip Seth, an Asian choreographer and former ballet dancer, and Peter Eastwood, an English photographer and former hairstylist and art director, who are both experienced caterers. Attention to detail is evident in everything from linen sheets and cotton robes to multicultural breakfasts (Macanese congee, croissants, and more). It’s no wonder that gay couples from Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the U.S. have all been married here.
Best hear, hears for queers
Q Hall of Fame
After a year marred by vicious homophobic attacks, it’s about time that Vancouver’s LGBT communities had some uplifting news. Qmunity (1770 Bute Street; formerly known as The Centre) will become host to the national Q Hall of Fame, which will showcase the shining lights of Canadian LGBT communities. The first five inductees, honoured at the first annual Q-Ball on September 19 at the Westin Bayshore, are: Pierre Elliott Trudeau, for decriminalizing homosexuality in Canada; local drag queen and philanthropist Robert Kaiser (Joan-E); Janine Fuller, author and manager of Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium; ted northe, founder of the Imperial Empire of Canada Foundation and the Dogwood Monarchist Society, who has contributed more than 50 years of community service; and Olympic gold medallist swimmer Mark Tewksbury, who established the World OUT Games. Congratulations to all involved, and here’s to all future inductees in the making.
Best free LGBT reading list
This past year, Out in Canada—a nationally distributed LGBT travel magazine with a Vancouver-based editor and sales office—folded. Yet defying the dismal economic climate, several new LGBT magazines sprung up. Lifestyle magazine LOV, or Living Out Vancouver, released its first issue (July/August), with former Georgia Straight contributor Guy Babineau as editor. The free glossy covers everything from local, national, and international news and social issues to sports, fashion, and entertainment. Also in July, V-Rag (VanRagazine) made its debut. The focus of this free pocketbook-sized publication is much more specific: the gay arts and culture scene in Vancouver. Thus far, it’s covered performers like Wiggle-icious local drag star Michael Venus of House of Venus, Canadian indie band the Hidden Cameras, and Vancouver electronic artist Circlesquare. Meanwhile, Vancouver’s Health Initiative for Men, a community organization devoted to gay male health and wellness, is going multimedia with HIMtv (an animated soap opera), HIMradio (podcasts), and HIMmagazine, all in various stages of development. With this plethora of material, LGBT communities certainly have a reading rainbow to enjoy.
Best new nightclub keeping the beat on Davie street
1138 Davie Street
While some Davie Street clothing stores and neighbourhood haunts like Davie Village Café fell victim to the economic downturn, one venue bucked the trend by relaunching itself. The Majestic, a drag queen–themed resto-lounge, reinvented itself in January as Pulse Nightclub, much to the partygoing pleasure of West End clubbers. With go-go boys dancing above the bar, events like Jell-O wrestling and a live dating-game show, hot local and international DJs, and a parking lot turned into a tropical-beach scene for Pride Week celebrations, how can one not have a heart-on for this booty-shaking spot?
Best Halloween party to bid adieu
East Van’s annual Odd Ball party began as a Halloween celebration for the misfits and marginalized. It soon exploded onto the scene and became one of the hardest-to-get-into parties. Held at the WISE Hall, the event was host to ghouls and goblins, who lined up for the privilege of partying with some of the coolest kids around. It truly was a mixed bag of gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, and trans folk, which made the costumes that much more interesting. This past year bore witness to a birthday girl (who was actually an unshaven Filipino man in a party dress and balloons) smoking a cigarette outside, two “wild things” (from the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are), and something that resembled a cross between a vagina and a giant hat. Sad to say, that was Odd Ball’s last hurrah, and it will be sorely missed. However, if you believe in the living dead, there are rumours of Odd Ball Resurrected, so let’s hope this will be a Halloween treat, not a trick.