Q is the big letter on the edge of downtown, all lit up at night and shining over the Village.
Q is for queer. Where same-sex partners can get married in an art deco museum that was once a bathhouse. Where visitors learn French the very best way—from that special guy or gal they meet and spend some time with. Where there’s a “lesbian haircuts and bike shop” at one end of Amherst Street and a lesbian fashion boutique at the other.
Q is for queer-friendly. Maybe because Montréal is a city of artists, or because eccentricity and flamboyance are considered normal. Like biker-type guys laughing with drag queens—and not at them. Montréalers are so laid back about who zooms whom that it’s often hard to tell who’s gay and who’s not! Maybe that’s one reason why in 2007 Montréal received the Best International Destination Award from PlanetOut.
Q is for quirky. Like drag shows in French, franglais (our mixture of French and English) and heavily accented English. Like a shop in Old Montréal with the title “Fairyland” carved in the 100-year-old stone over the door. The words “Gay Love” spray-stencilled onto a Village sidewalk in the Village, or a pansy growing out of a crack in another—and thriving!
Q is for quisine [sic!], as in Village restaurants are no stranger to the excellent food Montréal is renowned for.
Q is for queer partying: gay and non-gay partiers together, at clubs and major events. The Village has the regular line-up of bars both small and large that cater to all genders, together and/or separately. Dance clubs, including afterhours, are generally mixed.
Q is for queerly—or queenly—divine Divers/Cité—eight days long this year, from July 27 to August 3, with events taking place in outdoor public spaces as well as indoors. At the same time, the big BBCM event of the summer, Twist, is happening from July 26 to August 3. Célébrations LGBTA, from August 14 to 17, is bigger and better this year, with Community Day on the 16th and the parade on the 17th.
Q is for Qu’est-ce que vous attendez ? (What are you waiting for!)