Monday, February 14, 2011

Why gays are some of the most bilingual Montrealers

I wrote to Gazette correspondent Andy Riga -- whose beat is Montreal's streets, structures and unusual stuff about the city -- to tell him that the newsstand after which he named his column and blog (Metropolitan News) was mentioned by Puelo in his post here, "Jaded Stanley Street Memories." Andy, who used to work at the store, wrote back, "Whoa. I never saw anything like that." Of course he didn't. Straights never did back in the day. We gay men lived in a parallel universe, where we were constantly cruising and having sex while "normal" people never suspected a thing.

He blogged about Montreal in the days of Funkytown, using a 1997 CP quote from a Lime Light bartender, who said: "French-English tiffs in the discos are less common because excess energies and frustrations are usually funneled into dancing." In the gay discos, getting into a tiff was the furthest thing from our minds -- our minds being completely preoccupied by the male pulchritude that surrounded us each and every night. Learning the language of the other solitude was only natural, up until it was time to speak the international language. As I commented on Andy's blog, " Stanley Street is where French boys learned English and English boys learned French. Helps explain why gays are some of the most bilingual Montrealers around." Vive la différence !

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