October 16, 2012

Trouble in (Queer) Paradise: What Does It Take To Be Different After Dark?

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Written by: Ian
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Screen shot 2012-10-19 at 1.26.27 PM

There’s something in the Montreal soil that keeps bearing the raddest fruit.

The newly minted queer collective, going by the name of Trouble is throwing it’s first of many dance party fundraisers for ACCM (AIDS Community Care Montreal) on November 3rd, at Espace Reunion (here is the Facebook event), lying just behind Montreal nightlife’s old favorite Silverdoor. The collective’s parties (planned for every two months) will not only introduce the community to an all new space, but will also highlight the old spirit of queer. The big bang will feature DJ’s Pricilla Pleasant, Many McQueen and DJ Turtillian (made gay famous for four hours of non-stop DJ-ing at Pervers/cité’s Durtbag Fundraiser this summer). Additionally the evening will feature a performance by local (global?) legend Johnny Forever.

“We wanted to make it possible for anyone to leave their house with a twenty dollar bill and be able to get in, have a few drinks and take the night bus home.” – Laura Boo (mother of Pompe Thursdays, Equeerie and the Monster Ball).

Before you scoff at the possibility of this radical new queer dance party being in fact “new”, “radical” or “queer,” I implore you to consider the real actions undertaken and considered by the collective to bring about change in the queer dance party scene:

  • The party is being held in an accessible space. By this I do not mean that there is only a ramp at the front door but the space is FULLY accessible, with wheelchair accessible washrooms on the same floor as the party and an accessible entrance. It should be noted that in addition to these, there are massive washroom!  (No long wait time to powder your nose!)
  • Beyond physical accessibility, the Trouble Collective made it a priority that the party also be financially accessible. It is but ONE DOLLAR before 11PM, FOUR DOLLARS before midnight and if you cannot seem to get it together before the witching hour, it is still only 9$. Beyond entrance the drinks are some of the cheapest you’ll find in this town.

“As an open and changing collective made up of queers, poz people, people of color, and others (we all are many things), we felt it was time to trouble the waters, to break out, to build something new.” 

“As an open and changing collective made up of queers, poz people, people of color, and others (we all are many things), we felt it was time to trouble the waters, to break out, to build something new.”

What does “new” look like in a city seeming to have refined dirty rad queers into a scene? Well they have begun with new strategies at the much lip-serviced, often neglected safe(r)-space commitment using new strategies of active listening. One of the biggest challenges to having active listeners at a party is having them be at the right place at the right time. Often it is difficult to communicate to party-people that there is an active listener at all. Then, if something bad happens and someone wants to access the help of the A.L. (active listener), it is often difficult to find that person in a crowd of 300. TRAUMA! The collective proposes that all AL’s have well advertised cell numbers posted all over the space, concentrated in bad-times hotspots (bathroom, smoking pits etc.) so that through text you can either vent, or decide a meet up spot and find the support you need in that moment.

The Trouble Collective works in the spirit that the community should define the party, rather than the party defining the community. The Donut logo not only takes cues from the rad history of pre-Stonewall queer resistance (also this) but brazenly rejects fashion faggotry, body fascism and classism through its over-indulgence, decadence and crassness.

Tired of never seeing your party photo’s make the official cut? Hit up the photobooth, keep your eyes peeled for a GIANT KNITTED DONUT prop to help you strike the right pose. And as you leave at 3, take the Trouble Collective’s new zine with you on your bus ride home. OK maybe over brunch the next morning.

You may not believe that partying equates revolution but don’t risk missing what promises to be the freshest breath of life Montreal Queerdom has felt in a long time. More than a party, it’s cultural clusterfuck in the best sense of the compound word.  Did I mention it’s on a Saturday. I know, right!?


About the Author

Dancing queen, colour addict, marathon runner. Former nighthawk, I am now dedicated to the infinite possibilities of sunlight. I love rad risk theory, critical theories of health, public health and mental health. Coffee black, apples cored, mostly maple and very uncomfortable.



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  1. A superb and refreshing piece of writing from a darling new voice.
    Also re: Trouble. So real it hurts!

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