Alternative Pride events in Montreal

Pervers/Cité, Queer Between the Covers, Qouleur and more radical festivals, events and parties for the LGBT community this month.

Perverscite screening
Still from Lucid Noon, Sunset Blush, screening as part of Pervers/Cité
August is Pride Month in Montreal, so it’s time to whip out your hot pants and rainbow flags and celebrate the ever-growing acceptance and inclusiveness for the diversity of sexual identities, orientations and expressions that exist across our communities. Of course, the big event of the season is next Sunday’s official Pride Parade (part of Fierté Montréal Pride’s week of programming), but if you like your parties with a healthy side of bar-raising social critique and political action from radical and marginalized perspectives, you’ll want to check out some of Montreal’s parallel alt-pride activities, many of which are already in full swing.

To help you organize your rad pride agenda, we’ve compiled a handy round-up of highlights to check out over the next few weeks.

Al Pacino in Cruising
Al Pacino in Cruising

The largest of the alt-pride events is Pervers/Cité, a 10-day long fest that runs until Aug. 16. Today, Tuesday, they team up with Cinéma Out of the Box to screen two films under the stars at Beaver Lake including the “radical Afro-futurist hyperreal queer fantasy” Lucid Noon, Sunset Blush and 1980’s gay-sploitation thriller Cruising starring Al Pacino. Beaver Lake, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 8:30 p.m., free [See the Facebook event page for news about a location change or postponement due to rain.]

On Wednesday, check out Sick, Sad Summer, an evening of music and visual arts from the margins with performances by Winnie Ho, Iqrar Rizvi, Jilted X, j0j1 and Wives, with visual arts from Zuzu Knew and Starchild Stela. 185 Van Horne, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 9 p.m., $5/PWYC

Thursday, head to QPIRG Concordia for Assimilated Brown Folk, a conversation between Malek and Sanjeevan, two queer persons of colour dropping some truth bombs about the challenges of existing squarely in the crosshairs of racism, sexism and homophobia. 1500 de Maisonneuve W., #204, Thursday, Aug. 13, 4:45 p.m., free

On Friday, Pervers/Cité joins forces with the FOFA Gallery’s current exhibition Visitations by putting on the all-inclusive interactive drag workshop and party — Chaturhonda — an event which will also be broadcast over the expo’s affiliated radio frequency 104.4 FM, POE. 1515 Ste-Catherine W., EV 1-715, Friday, Aug. 14, 8 p.m., free

Also Friday, you can get yourself inked by the experts at Two Horses Tattoo, where Jessi Preston, Vinny Ramone and Bellows Tattooer will be hosting a flash tattoo day with proceeds supporting the Prisoner Correspondence Project. 170 Jean-Talon W., #306, Friday, Aug. 14, 12–7 p.m. $80–$150 tattoos, $30–40 haircuts with Julia Dyck.

Saturday belongs to the Queer Between the Covers book and zine fair, where you’ll find more than 50 vendors like Fight Boredom zine distro, Metonymy Press, Metatron, Justseeds Collective and many more. 1700 Amherst, Saturday, Aug. 15, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., free

The other big alt-pride festival going down this month is Qouleur, with programming by and for queer and trans persons of colour, Indigenous and two-spirited people, running from Aug. 12–23. This year’s fourth annual edition is centred around the theme “Rage and Love.

From 'How I Learned to Serve Tea' by Shaina. Photo by Amanda Greeson.
From How I Learned to Serve Tea by Shaista Lateef. Photo by Amanda Geensen

Highlights include the Rage and Love art exhibition at the MAI featuring works by Võ Thiên Viêt, Dayna Danger, Candace Mooers, Shaina Sarah Agbayani and more. A vernissage will take place Wednesday featuring a performance by Shaista Latif. 3680 Jeanne-Mance, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 5–11 p.m. with performance at 8 p.m., free (donations welcome)

On Saturday, check out Brilliance, a performance night at Café l’Artère featuring spoken word, music and performance art with melodic post-rock from Bronx native bell’s roar (Sean Desiree), performance art from Mette Loulou von Kohl — focused on famous Palestinian fighter (or terrorist, depending on who you ask) Leila Khaled — readings from author Kwame Stephens from his book Dark Hard Chocolate, and a whole lot more. 7000 Parc, Saturday, Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m., $5–$10 suggested

From there, head to Félix in the St-Hubert Plaza for one of Cerise sur le Gâteau and Dayna Danger’s epic Bow Down Beyoncé-themed parties, with a special performance by Strange Froots plus DJs Lykx, Hua Li and Pablo Montoya. 6388 St-Hubert, Saturday, Aug. 15, 10 p.m., $10/$7 in advance

Qouleur’s keynote panel takes place on Monday at the MAI with the discussion Emotions in Motion, hearing from panellists Ed Lee, Rachel Zellars, Kai Cheng, Kama la Mackerel and Dayna Danger on the role their emotions play in the social justice work. 3680 Jeanne-Mance, Monday, Aug. 17, 8 p.m., free (donations welcome).

Next Thursday, check out Contained Emotions, a night of film screenings guest-curated by Queer Rebels, a collective of queer and trans artists of colour who have chosen nine short films that touch on themes from exploration to aging, from a wide range of perspectives. Concordia University EV Building (1515 Ste-Catherine W.), EV 1.605, Thursday, Aug. 20, 8 p.m., free (donations welcome)

The Rage and Love exhibition will close next Friday with a finissage at the MAI featuring a performance by Chilean and French artist Rodrigo Ramis that examines the work of Spanish writer Frederico Garcia Lorca. 3680 Jeanne-Mance, Friday, Aug. 21, 8–11 p.m., performance at 9 p.m., free (donations welcome)

In addition to the Qouleur events highlighted above, all of which are open to the general public, the festival is also offering workshops and social events that are geared specifically towards queer and trans persons of colour and are open only to members of those communities. For full programming details, please see Qouleur’s website here. ■