Mass.Queer.Aid is a special event happening at the Beaver on Friday Sept. 27th, it is a masquerade themed dance party with proceeds going towards queer charity Supporting Our Youth. We sat down with mysterious DJ The Generalist to ask about the upcoming party.
What inspired you to want to organize an event like this in the first place?
My pal Lobodotcom (Adam L) and I have DJ’d at several venues in different cities – from the basement of a soccer club to art battles to wine bars and pubs. But we’ve never played a queer positive bar before, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while. Well.. to be honest, I’ve specifically wanted to play at the Beaver for a long time – the dance parties are top notch!
Why a masquerade theme?
Because it’s fun. It can be mysterious, or fun, or scary, or sexy – you can be whoever you want for the evening and really escape your day-to-day. I admit it was my pal Lisa’s idea, but I just ran with it.
Do you think queer homelessness is an issue we don’t talk about enough?
Absolutely. Like so many others, I grew up as a queer person in a conservative environment. I felt like I was constantly checking over my shoulder and watching how I acted at home and in public. I even decided to ‘run away’ to university in another country, just to be able to be myself, as a queer person, for the first time. And I have great parents. I can’t imagine what life must be like for any young member of the LGBT community, who feels they either have to leave home because of their sexuality, or are forced to. It was actually an article in the Toronto Star that I read a few years ago that really got me thinking about it. I was happy to learn that an agency like Supporting Our Youth (SOY) is out there specifically working to help queer homeless youth.
Has it affected your life personally or someone in your life?
Not directly, but there were times when I was younger that I really thought about it. Could I make it on my own if I came out to my parents as a teenager? Where would I go if I had to leave? These kinds of things crossed my mind a lot.
It was that article in the Toronto Star that alerted me to their existence, but it was a general feeling of being able to relate to the condition that helped me decide on it.
What makes a great dance party at the Beaver?
It needs a great theme. It needs a certain style of music to stick to. It needs a certain style of attire to stick to. And it needs to be sure of who it’s audience is. The bartenders have a lot of personality too which is always fun, ask Adam Cowan about his upbringing on a pagan grapefruit orchard in Texas for instance. It also helps that the Beaver has a great patio and bar, and the perfect size dance floor – large enough to have a great time, but small enough to never lose your friends.
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