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My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

Knives in the back

I adore Michael Musto. The legendary New York gossip columnist dominated the '90s with his brilliant and witty Village Voice column, La Dolce Musto. Around 2005, thanks to David Hawe and Grant Ramsey, I was invited to a house party here in Toronto in which Musto was one of the guests. He, I and Nina Arsenault posed for pictures between cocktails. It was Musto who gave me the name of this column, Bellini's 8 1/2, which, like his, punned on a Fellini movie title.

Later, Musto published two books, both compilations of his best columns. La Dolce Musto and Fork On the Left, Knife in the Back are laugh-out-loud funny. His wit and sharp eye make him a modern day Oscar Wilde. But it wasn't always rainbows and kittens. Recently, Musto wrote an article about all the shit he had to put up from "self-possessed lefties with narcissistic agendas" while at the Village Voice (http://ift.tt/2kcO541). Reading it, I couldn't help but sympathize. Once at fab magazine, I had an editor who corrected the spelling of a made-up word!

But by far the shittiest thing that ever happened was when, after 10 years and over 250 columns, I decided to follow in Musto's footsteps by publishing a compilation of my work. I called it The Fab Columns and released it in July 2012.Drew Rowsome wrote a lovely article about the book, which was set to run the week before my big book launch at Glad Day. I was under the impression that the then-publishers and editors of fab were proud of me. But when the issue came out, the article was not there. I fired off an e-mail to the editor, who told me they decided to push it to the next issue, as they had some leftover pictures of dumb hunks and drag queens from Pride that they still wanted to publish. I explained to him that if it appeared in the next issue, it would be moot, as the book launch would be over by then. They didn't give a fuck.

A year later, fab would be no more, killed by its own publisher. A few of the writers were invited to continue in the pages of Xtra (now also killed by the same publisher), though I was not among them. I was distraught. But then, like a knight in shining armour, My Gay Toronto came to the rescue, offering me a chance to write once more. I couldn't be happier, so long as they don't correct the spelling of made-up words.

La Dolce Musto ; Fork On the Left, Knife in the Back ; The Fab Columns


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