At The Gay Flambé, men are actually there to support the movies

At The Gay Flambé, men are actually there to support the movies

Ryan G. Hinds and friends at the Gay Flambé (Photo by Fraser Abe)

Arriving at the Gay Flambé—the Inside Out Festival’s 20th anniversary celebration at the National Ballet School—we felt like we were walking into a pickup joint. The school had a large number of single men drinking beer and perusing the available talent. DJ Deko-ze (who most Toronto gays will remember from sweat-soaked Saturdays at Fly) played house music; a small group of boys danced while a larger group watched them from the sidelines.

To us, it seemed like a standard, fun night out in the Village—an extension of Woody’s, albeit better lit and more spacious—but once we talked to people, we discovered that they were actually there to support Inside Out. It is a cause they believe in, with most patrons telling us something along the lines of, “Of course I’m here for Inside Out! It’s really cool for queer cinema to have an event like this.” One guest told us that “most of the people I see here I also saw at the Inside Out opening party.”

“Gay Flambé is better [than TIFF] because everyone is here to have fun,” said guest Ryan G. Hinds of the event, which is held annually during the Toronto International Film Festival. “At TIFF parties, everyone is there to wait for someone more famous.” He also told us that the Flambé has seen its share of famous faces in the past. “Tilda Swinton has been here before.”

This year, celebs in attendance were more on a local level, like Elvira Kurt (PopCultured), Mathieu Chantelois (So Gay TV), Peter Fallico (Home to Flip) and Adamo Ruggiero (Degrassi: The Next Generation). Chantelois said he was off to more parties, “a TIFF party at Remington’s, then the DSquared2 boys are having a party.”

What did Ruggiero think of the event? “I dunno, it’s pretty gay,” he observed. “Really gay.”

Remember when that used to be an insult?