In the style and spirit of Jane's Walks, using the Airbnb Experiences platform, I'm welcoming people from around the world to join me and learn more about the LGBTQ2S community in Montréal and Canada. I have developed a series of queer-walk-and-talks, a blend of campy highlights and historical anecdotes that help illuminate the community and our struggle for our health, rights and recognition.
(Afterwards, I record one sentence - a memory - about each person in reflection of our time together. The full project report and the one-liners .. many in the style of Dany Turcotte, le fou du roi from Tout le monde en parle, will be published in 2019.)
During the daytime experience/walk-and-talk "Walking & Shopping in the Gay Village" I take visitors to the places where Montréal gays, lesbians and transfolk have lived, loved, worked (and partied!) since the late 1970's. Beneath the brightly coloured balls and past the rainbow stickers there is a deeper story of why this "village" is home to so many in the LGBTQ2S community. Our daytime story and walk is constructed to help queers and straight folks alike understand what gentrification's effect is on this vibrant neighbourhood. I talk about the socio-economic reality of our borough, queer resistance and the history of policing queer spaces and sex. We talk about why we are here. No topic is off limits: best sex shops, where to eat, homonationalism, gentrification. You name it.
At night ... our neighbourhood and our stories truly come alive in "After Dark in the Gay Village". The best stories happen at night. We walk-and-talk through the entertainment district of our very, very busy queer neighbourhood. It's an incredibly sex-positive low down on all the bars, cafés, drag clubs, restaurants, adult venues, strip clubs, XXX cinemas, sex shops/theatres and saunas/bathhouses. I help folks understand each of the Village venues and connect them to parties and a crowd they are sure to love. I make sure that folks know that no topic is too risqué, and it's advertised as a "sure-to-scandalize night time wander through the crowds. 18+ and open minds only please," to keep the prudes away.
And, as you explore the city be sure to check out Queering the Map, a community-generated mapping project that geo-locates queer moments, memories and histories in relation to physical space.