Three Dollar Bill: Crazy like a Fox

Crazy like a Fox

What a Fox
Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Fox

There are so many great new writers in Montreal that I’ve lost track of who’s who, not to mention who’s "post-gay." One writer I’ve no trouble remembering, though, is Matthew Fox, whose fab collection of 11 short stories, Cities of Weather, I’ve read on the beach, on the balcony and over a couple pints at my preferred watering hole, the Copacabana.

Fox’s own favourite neighbourhood bar is Else’s around the corner, which is where you’ll find the Windsor native when he’s not writing. It’s kind of appropriate, really, since Fox is a typical post-gay Montrealer.

"I find Montreal to be a gritty place," Fox says. "It’s not hard to live here on an economic level. But it’s difficult on a political and emotional level. You cannot deny those feelings when you live here. Montreal is constantly challenging. You have to think where you stand all the time. And everybody has an opinion. It’s a town of individuals, whereas Toronto is so excited being itself – as a concept. We don’t do that in Montreal."

There are two things you’ll notice when you read Fox’s stories: He’s in love with this city and he’s definitely gay. But Fox, an associate editor with the award-winning Maisonneuve magazine (move over, Walrus), has been dubbed "post-gay" by literary critics who just can’t get over their own heterosexuality.

"I don’t really think about [whether I'm post-gay] when I’m sitting there writing," Fox, 28, says. "I’m relieved about that. It’s only afterwards, dealing with your publisher, or when you’re doing readings, that you have to think of those things. Almost every interview I do journalists ask me, ‘Are you a gay writer or a writer who happens to be gay?’ And my answer is, I don’t understand the difference. I’m a young writer, I’m Canadian, I’m gay – my market is small enough."

But is Fox post-gay?

"I’m not over being gay and there’s no getting over it," Fox says. "My book has been described as post-gay as just another fact of life. But I’m not wild about that term. It’s just another buzzword that pigeonholes how to think of gay people. It’s more about them [straight people] than about us."

ooo

The Not-So-Gay Games Pretty well everybody knows where I stand when it comes to the lack of leadership at the Federation of Gay Games. Depending on which side you believe, either Montreal bailed or the FGG yanked the 2006 games out of Montreal. Our fair city will now instead host 16,000 athletes at the 2006 inaugural Outgames while the FGG has awarded the 2006 replacement games to Chicago.

Now, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: If the Gay Games are the Uganda of the sports world, than the FGG is Idi Amin.

But things aren’t all wine and roses in the Windy City these days. When Chicago 2006 organizers aren’t battling unjust boycotts by religious fundamentalists, they’re putting up with newsmakers like Paul Weldin, general manager of the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, who was arrested July 21 for possession of 31 grams of crystal meth with intent to traffic.

It’ll be interesting to see how crystal meth warps the Gay Games next summer, what with all the parties and stuff – and that’s if athletes can get into the States in the first place. Earlier this year, Argentine actor and comedian Fernando Peña was denied his visa renewal by the U.S. consulate in Buenos Aires because he is HIV-positive.

While America bans almost all HIV-positive travellers because HIV is classified as a "communicable disease," Canada does not. In fact, the Canadian visa application for temporary residents (which includes short-term visitors) was revised this year and Canada no longer requires disclosure of HIV status on the application form.

Plus, gay foreigners can come here and get married.

Ultimately, the worst thing Chicago has going for it is the President of the United States. As long as George Dubya sits in the Oval Office, and as long as America has troops on the ground in Iraq, then athletes from the rest of the world will choose Montreal over Chicago.

If you don’t believe me, check out NYC’s failed bid for the 2012 Olympics. The city placed fourth in a race dominated by Paris, Madrid and London, the eventual winner (although considering the costs for security in today’s world, who the fuck would want to host the games in the first place?).

Sports Illustrated reports, "While expressing admiration for New York and its bid, many IOC members confessed privately that they could not support a U.S. city at a time when the country’s international relations are so poor."

As Montreal-based IOC veteran Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, pointed out, "It’s a superpower’s fate that there be times when you are not popular."

After the resounding success of the 2005 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Montreal last month, I say you’d better book your hotel room now.

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