Recently I was in the gay villages of both Montreal and Toronto and neither town’s leather haunts were worth the price of a beer – or the cost of going there. For what I spent on these trips, I could have had the best rentboys in Lauderdale – in my bedroom.
Certainly St. Catherine’s, the main drag in Montreal’s Gay Village, looked festive on my last visit in May of 2012. A vast stretch of the street had been transformed into a pedestrian promenade which I found out later they did every spring. All the bars and restaurants had decks jutting out onto the carless street, which was already brimming with people though I couldn’t help but be bothered by the fact that Montreal’s legendary leather bar, Eagle Noir, was populated not with rough and tough levied leather boys but tired old middle aged men there for happy hour.
After and so so stint at GI Joe’s, the Village’s butch bath house, I returned to Black Eagle at about 10, ready to strip my shirt off in the still comfortable high sixties temperature, I found the crowd non-descript and young, not leather at all. Had things changed here, too, as they had in almost every guy and leather haunt in the U.S.? I decided to keep my shirt on.
Two French Canadian twinks were standing by the pool table blocking the way to the upstairs bar. “Excuse me,” I murmured. The taller of the duo stared at me menacingly. “Excuse mois,” he repeated sharply several times. OK, first I’m stood up, then I come up almost empty at the bath house, and now I got a Frenchie scolding me in a bi-lingual country and a tourist section that lives off Americans and other Canadians. Somehow, this trip wasn’t working out.
Even on Friday and Saturday night, the guy bars, crowded with older men in the afternoon, were now populated mostly by the young, and the streets were spilling over with str8 twenty somethings either visiting the str8 clubs that had popped up in this once very gay neighborhood, or just milling around, in a menacing gang-like fashion, that put me a bit on edge.
About the only real fun I had was back at GI Joe’s on Saturday night where a fuck/suck fest reminiscent of the bath houses of the ‘70’s awaited me. I must have sucked or gotten sucked by at least a dozen guys in the five hours I was there, fucked a few more, and finally blew my load with a very, very burly furry guy who, like me, was into heavy nipple play.
As for Canada’s other gay hot spot, Toronto, unlike in Lauderdale where you find a mix of ages in most of our bars, T-Town’s scene was classic Generational Divide. All the young, mostly girly guys with their faghag girlfriends hung out in Woody’s, hands-down T’s most popular bar, which served as the Pittsburg hotspot in “Queer As Folk,” while the over 40 crowd huddled like refugees in Black Eagle, T’s leather bar.
In fact, while Woody’s was hopping almost every night I was in town, Black Eagle was – shall I use the politically correct term? – “quiet” Thursday and even Friday night. Saturday night, however, was the exception. The bar had just re-opened its lower renovated level and I was enveloped in the kind of masculine crowd I craved for. A few guys I had chatted with on line or had seen my profile on one of the hook-up sites came up to me and made me feel welcomed. One even bought me a beer – NSA. And this shirtless, rapidly aging exhibitionist still turned a few heads while I strolled around, so no complaints.
One thing Black Eagle has over our Ramrod here in Lauderdale is a rather large lightless backroom, which was sweaty wall-to-wall Saturday night. Sorry, but I need the visual to get my motor running.
Sunday afternoon I returned to the Eagle for its fabled afternoon barbeque in its huge upstairs sun-bathed outdoor patio. Ah, it was like that scene in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” when Bette Davis slowly comes out of the
shadows into the light. They were old, all so old, you know at that stage where guys are using their harnesses as brasseries. And who should this gayboy who spent a small fortune to come to T to meet hot guys strike up a conversation with than who I thought at the time was a leather lesbian. That is until “Sal” corrected me by informing me that she, who had been married and had a 25 year old son, was in the final stages of reaching a life goal as a he. Sal flashed the hair growing on his forearm as proof he was on his way.
Next time: OK, So What About The Other Side of the Pond?