Queer quips: Pride 2018 performers sound off

Catherine Hernandez, Monét X Change, Elvira Kurt, Anders Yates and others on Pride fails, sex ed, reality shows and Roseanne


Elvira Kurt

Appears at Church Street Comedy Supes Spesh Pride Edish, June 17, 8 pm, at Pegasus Hutch & Friends, June 22, 8 pm, at Majlis Art Garden QAPD Collective, June 25, at Pegasus.

How do you identify? Lesbian Collectible or Elf on the Shelf, but dyke-ier, like if they made a limited-edition Dark Version™ where I just glare at you from the mantelpiece, calling you out on your privilege and entitlement. Teacup Butch also totally works.

Essential Pride accessory? Hand sanitizer and a thunder blanket.

What advice would you give someone experiencing Pride for the first time? March like everyone’s cheering, hydrate like you’re on drugs, love like your ex is watching, and live like it’s all of us or none of us.

What was your biggest Pride fail? San Francisco Pride, 1999. I got dumped that morning but spent the whole day with her anyway. #ouch #loser I did start therapy the next day so it wasn’t all bad. #lying #stillmad

Sex education is a big topic in Ontario politics. What do you wish you had learned in sex ed class that took you years to learn? Two things: a) None of the other girls in the class were drooling over the gym teacher as she gave us the, ahem, ins and outs of the uterus – it was just me and b) so, obviously, DUH.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is still going strong. What should be the next queer reality TV format? Survive Her: 20 of our people on an island for 39 days. One outfit, no Uber Eats. DRAH-MAH! Or: Bachelorthem: genderless dating and relationship show. Most mindful rose ceremony ever, including compostable, scent-free, all-hemp roses.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to spend $4.5 billion to buy Canada an oil pipeline. What would you spend that money on? Vibranium.

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Marko Kovacevic

Catherine Hernandez

Headlines Creme De La Femme: Gettin’ Wet cabaret at Buddies in Bad Times on June 14, 8 pm, and appears at Playwrights Canada Press: Spring Launch at Buddies in Bad Times on June 21, 7 pm.

How do you identify? Queer brown femme.

Essential Pride accessory? Sunscreen. People keep asking to borrow mine. I challenge you all to get your own bottle and stop bothering me. Stop asking femmes to hold your crap.

What advice would you give someone experiencing Pride for the first time? You don’t need to do it all to have a great time. Stick to one thing/place that helps you feel alive, seen, loved. The less you have that “gotta get laid face” or “gotta live my gayest life face,” the better your time will be.

What was your biggest Pride fail? Doing an outdoor literary reading at 5 pm on the Sunday. At that time of day, no one cares about art. They only care about getting laid. During my reading, two lovers screamed at each other, rolled around on the grass, and made out just inches away from my podium. It was painful.

Sex education is a big topic in Ontario politics. What do you wish you had learned in sex ed class that took you years to learn? As a survivor, I wish I had learned about consent. I grew up Catholic and all I was taught were strategies for abstaining from sex. I never learned what consensual sex looked like. I never learned those beautiful possibilities.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is still going strong. What should be the next queer reality TV format? For those who are masculine of centre to learn how to be soft, how to be vulnerable and how to reframe masculinity in a healthy way. It would be called Boi School.

What’s your advice for Roseanne Barr? It is never too late to learn anti-oppression. You have the time now that your show is cancelled. Google it. Take workshops. Better yourself.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to spend $4.5 billion to buy Canada an oil pipeline. What would you spend that money on? An Indigenous-led initiative to create industry around alternative energy resources and clean water access.

What’s a fun sober activity to do during Pride? Every year I host a sober pre-Pride get-together at my house by Lake Ontario in Scarborough. Most of the attendees work tirelessly on the front lines of Pride while the rest of us are lining up for corn dogs. It gives me joy to offer them a moment of respite.

If you joined the Queer Eye cast, what would your area of expertise be? Femme realness.

Fill in the blanks: If I hear the song ___ during a Pride festival one more time I’m going to ___. If I hear the song Believe by Cher during a Pride festival one more time, I’m going to snap every gay man’s bikini underwear within a 20-metre radius. And I won’t do it playfully. I will snap it with seething anger. I cannot stand the uptight side-step and shoulder-pump people do to that song. You cannot in your right mind risk this song being THE song you heard when you locked eyes with your future lover. You cannot make this the soundtrack to your grinding or cruising.

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Monét X Change

Performing at Starry Night as part of Green Space Festival at Barbara Hall Park on June 20.

How do you identify? Single and desperate.

Essential Pride accessory? Definitely a hand fan and a bucket of ice.

What advice you would give someone experiencing Pride for the first time? Go out in your loudest and proudest attire – whatever that means to you. The first year I did Pride I went in full drag, with heels and all! I walked the entire parade and felt so loved by every single person I saw along the route. Little did I know that love and acceptance would be a catalyst to start my drag career.

What was your biggest Pride fail? Walking the entire route in six-inch heels!

Sex education is a big topic in Ontario politics. What do you wish you had learned in sex ed class that took you years to learn? Always carry lube! So-called “lubricated condoms” aren’t always adequate and can be a wet blanket on what should be a joyous occasion.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is still going strong. What should be the next queer reality TV format? A late-night pop culture/interview talk show hosted by yours truly. This is Canada… you guys are open-minded! I’ll move, girl.

What’s your advice for Roseanne Barr? To delete her fucking account and go back to obscurity where she belongs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to spend $4.5 billion to buy Canada an oil pipeline. What would you spend that money on? Some NOT pussycat wigs! Just In case Mama Ru calls for an All-Stars.

What’s a fun sober activity to do during Pride? Sex.

If you joined the Queer Eye cast, what would your area of expertise be? Proportionizing, of course! Teaching straight men how to pad their undies to give the perfect silhouette.

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Judy Virago

Appears at Screen Queens presents The Birdcage at the Royal Cinema on June 17 at the House Of Filth Family Showcase at the Beaver on June 18 at the Bovine Sex Club’s Pussy Whipped Wednesdays on June 20 at the Alternaqueer stage on June 22 and at the House of Filth’s #TrashCabaret at Cherry Cola’s on June 24.

How do you identify? Fabulously, as a pansexual transsexual woman (or PanTran for short).

Essential Pride accessory? My husband and entourage of drag queens.

What advice would you give someone experiencing Pride for the first time? Hydrate, don’t forget your sunscreen and use hairspray to set your makeup.

What was your biggest Pride fail? My first Toronto Pride. It was the first year we did the House of Filth Trash Cabaret on the stage outside Buddies. With performer passes, we seemed to have access to an unlimited supply of alcohol. I was eventually removed from the premises after rolling around in the basement with broken glass. A friend had to carry me out and accidentally dropped me on the concrete out front. I have a scar on my shoulder blade to this day. That’s when I learned the importance of hydration!

Sex education is a big topic in Ontario politics. What do you wish you had learned in sex ed class that took you years to learn? As a full-time sexuality educator, the key issue we need to be addressing is the prevention of sexual violence through candid discussions with young people about what healthy relationships look like, how to recognize and communicate consent, and understand how to set boundaries. I don’t think I really mastered the art of saying “NO” till this year. I just wish more people understood what NO actually means.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is still going strong. What should be the next queer reality TV format? Teams of drag queens competing to build affordable housing for homeless queer youth, doing the interior design, coaching the youth and giving them makeovers. Like Queer Eye meets Drag Race meets Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

What’s a fun sober activity to do during Pride? Doing someone else’s makeup!

Fill in the blanks: If I hear the song ___ during a Pride festival one more time I’m going to ___. If I hear the song Pynk by Janelle Monáe during a Pride festival one more time I’m going to death drop.

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Anders Yates

Hosting and performing in the queer improv troupe Kinsey Fail, at Proud + Funny, June 15-16 at Bad Dog Theatre and The Stoner Queer Comedy Fest – Straight As a Circle, June 22, 9:30 pm, at Underground Cafe

How do you identify? Gangly queer.

Essential Pride accessory? A charming friend who knows how to cut in line.

What advice would you give someone experiencing Pride for the first time? Be safe around all those big banks. Don’t let them sign you up for any credit cards.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is still going strong. What should be the next queer reality TV format? Grindr Wars: a group of gay men say “hey” at one another until one of them falls asleep.

What’s a fun sober activity to do during Pride? Getting a nice, full-body sunburn at Hanlan’s Point.

If you joined the Queer Eye cast, what would your area of expertise be? Eating ass.

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Leila (aka Izad Etemadi)

Performing at Leila Live!, June 20, 8 pm, at Buddies in Bad Times.

How do you identify? [In character] Persian Princess

Essential Pride accessory? Water. You must stay hydration or you will get sick.

What advice would you give someone experiencing Pride for the first time? Put the bass in your walk. Head to toe, let your whole body talk.

Sex education is a big topic in Ontario politics. What do you wish you had learned in sex ed class that took you years to learn? There is a bird. There is a bee. Where is Leila?

RuPaul’s Drag Race is still going strong. What should be the next queer reality TV format? Leila’s Best Friend Race. In my show, everyone will win because they get to be friend with me!

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to spend $4.5 billion to buy Canada an oil pipeline. What would you spend that money on? Prada. Prada. Real estate. Gold. Prada. White Mercedes for my mother. Zac Efron for me.

What’s a fun sober activity to do during Pride? Tinder.

If you joined the Queer Eye cast, what would your area of expertise be? Talent! I am not just a triple threat. I am just a threat.

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DJ Tamika

Playing at Chunk at the Black Eagle on June 21 Yohomo Pride stage on June 23 Soso Food Club on June 23 Blockorama on June 24.

How do you identify? As a lesbian sissy-stud butch-queen woman.

Essential Pride accessory? Anything meshy, gauzy or otherwise sheer. I like to be seen yet hidden. Anything camo and a fresh pair of sneakerhead-approved kicks.

What advice would you give someone experiencing Pride for the first time? Bask in the pure number of us. The visibility and togetherness can be overwhelming and amazing! Also, consume responsibly.

Sex education is a big topic in Ontario politics. What do you wish you had learned in sex ed class that took you years to learn? Consent should be at the core of sex ed! We touch on it as kids but it’s not until we’re adults (and even then we’re still learning) that we really begin to understand the nuance, subtlety and language of it – especially as some of us travel along the spectrum of sexuality.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is still going strong. What should be the next queer reality TV format? As a bit of a jock, I would love to see a queer Ultimate Beastmaster/American Gladiators: crazy obstacle courses, form-fitting outfits, mind-blowing athleticism, but exclusively queer.

If you joined the Queer Eye cast, what would your area of expertise be? I would use my Black, gender-non-confirming-yet-female-identified-lesbian perspective to be the privilege monitor/confidence booster. Like, “Okay, fellas, pull them bootstraps up. Some have it ‘worse.’”

Fill in the blanks: If I hear the song ___ during a Pride festival one more time I’m going to ___. If I hear the song I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross during a Pride Festival one more time I will get super-hyped, but then super-disappointed once I realize it isn’t Mo Money Mo Problems.

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Sylvia Pereira

Chantel Marostica

Appearing at the QAPD Collective, June 17, 8 pm, Pegasus Bitch Salad, June 22, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Tell Em Boobs Bye! The Roast Of Chantel Marostica’s Boobs!, June 30, 9 pm, Comedy Bar.

How do you identify? Trans – F to X.

What advice you would give someone experiencing Pride for the first time? Glitter and sand are the exact same. Expect to find it literally everywhere for months.

What was your biggest Pride fail? I slept in one year and missed the parade back home (Winnipeg) so I went for soup, salad and bread sticks at Olive Garden with my queers. It was still really fabulous though.

Sex education is a big topic in Ontario politics. What do you wish you had learned in sex ed class that took you years to learn? I wish my school, and all schools, taught sex education keeping all genders and identities in mind. I wish they’d taught us that the stigma behind AIDS was garbage – an HIV+ diagnosis doesn’t make someone less than. We lost so many of our voices to HIV, but more to the stigma surrounding it, in and outside our community.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is still going strong. What should be the next queer reality TV format? The bachelor. Me. I am the bachelor though.

What’s your advice for Roseanne Barr? Try NyQuil.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to spend $4.5 billion to buy Canada an oil pipeline. What would you spend that money on? Clean drinking water for all Canadians. Our Prime Minister was legit moved to tears apologizing to our LGBTQQI2SAA community. I wish our government could show the same respect, emotion, sympathy or decency to the Indigenous population of our country. They deserve better.

What’s a fun sober activity to do during Pride? Soup, salad and bread sticks at Olive Garden.

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