It’s Canada Day! This is the fifth Canada Day we’ve celebrated together as a family, can you believe it? Just think it was only last year that Ellen Page hadn’t come out yet.
1. Make Out With A Canadian
You might think that you can only find Canadians in Canada but that’s not true, they’re everywhere! Lots of times, Canadians come to America or other countries for various reasons, like to tell us that our health care sucks, to attend A-Camp, to see the American sights, to work for the Canadian government or to fall in love with a girl who wants to move to Canada. Canadians are super nice and friendly, so it isn’t hard to get to know your local lesbian Canadian and maybe eventually play tonsil hockey! Canadians LOVE hockey.
2. Watch Some Homosexy Canadian Television
Degrassi is a groundbreaking Canadian teen television show that “goes there.” By “goes there” we mean that sometimes girls kiss with a little bit of tongue, sometimes people get shot and then become Drake, and sometimes people come out as trans and then get killed in a car crash. Degrassi‘s featured a lot of lady queers over the years, including but not limited to Fiona, Imogen, Paige and Alex. Plus, it’s the only teen television show that casts actors who are the same ages as their characters, lending the whole situation a much-needed aura of authenticity. The original Degrassi happened in the late ’80s, but Degrassi: The Next Generation (which also airs on Teen Nick) began in 2001 and is still going strong.
Lost Girl is a groundbreaking Canadian sci-fi television show about a bisexual Fae with amazing breasts who hooks up with a lot of girls including a hot doctor and also spends intimate times with this growly wolf-man situation. I haven’t seen the most recent season yet though so I can’t talk about it!
Bomb Girls is a groundbreaking Canadian historical television show that features one of television’s few butch lady characters, Betty McRae, who we love with our whole hearts. Then it got cancelled and we f*cked ourselves in the ear with disappointment, but then they made a movie and Kate recapped it for you. Kate can talk about Bomb Girls for days.
3. Make Poutine For A Girl You Have A Crush On
Canadians are super into this poutine situation, which is basically gravy and cheese curds on french fries. It sounds gross and delicious because it is. Here’s a recipe so you can enjoy some of your very own.
4. Drink Some Beer, Queers
My Canadian roommate Marni recommends Granville Island, Unibroue, Boréale and Sleeman’s. “Keith’s is the most quintessentially Canadian,” Marni told me via text message. “Also Moosehead is the oldest independently owned brewery in Canada.” So there you have it!
5. Read Autostraddle Posts about Canada
We write about Canada a lot because we’ve had a lot of Canadian writers and contributors over the years, including Carolyn, Kristen, Malaika, Lydia and Intern Emily. Also you can’t forget Deanne Smith, who everybody thinks is Canadian because she’s lived there for so long, or Vanessa, who was once Canadian but is now American, or our A-Camp Co-Director Marni, who lives in the US but is very serious about her Canadianness, or our Surveymaster Mere who is Clearly Canadian. Furthermore, Geneva (who is currently enabling our Feminism Editor Carmen Rios to Make Out With A Canadian), who makes a lot of cute graphics, is ALSO Canadian. SO MUCH CANADA.
Here are some of the things we’ve written about Canada:
- A Prairie Homo Companion: How Being A (Very) Mixed-Race Canadian Prairie Weirdo Complicates “POC” For Me – “This is my unique perspective on being a half-black, half-white human who sometimes feels uncomfortable using the term Person of Colour to refer to myself.”
- Sunday Top Ten: Significant Experiences In Canada – “I’m flying to Canada today so this seemed like a good opportunity to think about all the other times I’ve been to other parts of Canada!”
- Snow-Covered Canadian Prairie Queers: A Survival Guide – “There’s not much media representation of the freezing lesbians in the snowy Northern prairies’ demographic.”
- One Canadian’s Mission to Help GLBTQ Refugees Find a Kinder, Colder Home – “David Pepper is traveling around Canada to mobilize the LGBT community to sponsor people being persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender expression.”
- Straddler On The Street: Emily – “Emily lives in Canada and went to A-Camp 3.0, and she shared her feelings about being biracial, getting into roller derby, and having a cat named Barbra Streisand. Also it’s Canada Day so you basically need to shower her with love and maple leaves.”
- 50 Pictures of Ellen Page – “Happy Canada Day!”
- Straddler On The Mountain: Mel – “A third-time camper and longtime reader, Mel talks about Toronto, working at a hotel, her Filipino family, and (duh) A-Camp.”
- A Prairie Homo Companion: 5 Prairie Homo Writers You Should Know – “In which I proudly inform you that the prairie homo literary movement is indeed here, queer, and fantastic.”
- A Prairie Homo Companion: First Nations on the Prairies – “These are three of the amazing Indigenous female writers, activists, and artists I’ve been reading this week. I may not be the best person to write about Indigenous issues, but I can certainly read what I think are some of the best, educate myself, and encourage you to do the same.”
- It’s Canada Day! Here’s 24 Kickass LBTQ Canadians – “Let’s celebrate Canada Day with all the other Canadians!”
- A Prairie Homo Companion: Idle No More and Protest On The Prairies – “From free healthcare, to the suffragette movement, to Idle No More, the following list describes some of the best in radical prairie activism.”
6. Plan a Trip To Canada
Maybe you JUST got back from World Pride in Toronto but it’s never too late to go right on back to Canada. Some of these city guides are a bit outdated, but rest assured you can find infinite gay pleasures in Canada, especially in lesbian hotspots like Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.
- Vancouver – “If you can handle the rain, you’ll be handsomely rewarded by my beloved hometown of Vancouver, one of the gay-friendliest cities in Canada!”
- Halifax – “Halifax is a historic city with the Celtic charm expected of Nova Scotia, overflowing with arts, culture, music and bars, so many bars. As it’s the biggest city in the Maritimes region of Canada, lots of queers from across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI make the pilgrimage to our seaside city.”
- Montreal – “I envision Montréal as some sexy androgyne character with a sweet moustache and a pair of lacy panties.”
7. Cuddle In Some Roots Sweatpants
Apparently this famed Canadian clothing company is super popular… everywhere but Canada.
From a Team Autostraddle E-mail Reply-All that happened this past April –
CARMEN: canadians: can you tell me how you feel about the store roots. are any of you even canadian or am i the worst. riese, ask marni. CANADIAN SOS.
CAROLYN: I am canadian and the store roots mostly reminds me of olympic-themed merchandise and function-over-form mid range leather goods.
RIESE: i am wearing roots sweatpants right now and they are the best sweatpants i have ever owned in my life
i love them so much that as soon as i got home from canada i bought another pair
i am 75% sure that roots is more popular amongst tourists and americans than actual canadians
i have considered team picking roots sweatpants
CARMEN: i will team pick roots socks with you
geneva says only americans like roots but tbh i’m ok with that, more coziness for me.
HELEN: I totally thought only of the movie Roots and imagined sweatpants with a picture of Kunta Kinte on the ass.
RACHEL: i thought riese was wearing the band the roots as a pair of sweatpants
LIZZ: I thought the top of Riese’s hair was super grown out and she was due for a dye job. But, you know, as sweatpants.
RIESE: that’s actually 100% true about my hair though
8. Read a Gay Canadian Book, Eh
We read a lot of Canadian books because there are lots of smart queers in Canadians who write books. Here are some Canadian books we’ve written about lately:
- Diane Obomsawin’s “On Loving Women” – “If you only have about an hour and you’re in the mood for pig-eared coming-out stories and illustrations of naked, horse-faced lesbian lovers lounging on vintage sofas drinking wine, On Loving Women is the book for you!”
- Nancy Jo Cullen’s “Canary” – “Canary, a debut collection of queerish short stories from Nancy Jo Cullen, is all about the everyday. And the weird.”
- Zoe Whittall’s “Holding Still For As Long As Possible” – “Will all these wonderfully complicated characters learn to unravel their complications and fears? Probably not. But will they braid them together to form a community? Don’t you hope so?”
- Darrin Hagen’s “The Edmonton Queen” – “If anything, The Edmonton Queen reads as a triumphant fuck you in the face of death and losing people you love before their time.”
- lex Leslie’s “People Who Disappear” -Leslie’s stories speak to my top interests in life: gay women, the environment, and Canada.
- Ann-Marie MacDonald’s “Fall On Your Knees” – What if the nerdy bookstore owner from “Better Than Chocolate” wrote a book of her own? Oh, wait, she DID!
- We Are Family: S. Bear Bergman’s “Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter” – “Maybe my mom was onto something. Maybe family really is everything, so long as you build it yourself.”
- Amber Dawn’s Memoir, “How Poetry Saved My Life”: The Autostraddle Interview – ““How Poetry Saved My Life” tells Dawn’s story of sex-work and survivorship through poetry and prose. We spoke with her about this latest work, queer writers and speculative fiction.”
- Read A F*cking Book: Rae Spoon’s “First Spring Grass Fire” – “This book will remind anyone who kept going how bittersweet it was to finally get there and serve as proof to the rest of us that it’s never too late to start packing.”
- Read A F*cking Book: Ivan E. Coyote’s “One in Every Crowd” – “Ivan E. Coyote’s new book, “One in Every Crowd” is a short story compilation for LGBTQ youth, outsiders of all sorts or anyone who has a soul.”
Other titles by LGBTQ Canadians to check out:
- 100 Crushes, by Elisha Lim – “100 Crushes compiles five years of queer comics by Elisha Lim, including excerpts from Sissy, The Illustrated Gentleman, Queer Child in the Eighties, and their cult series 100 Butches, as well as new work. It’s an absorbing documentary that travels through Toronto, Berlin, Singapore, and beyond in the form of interviews, memoirs, and gossip from an international queer vanguard. Toronto-based artist Elisha Lim’s work celebrates the dignity and power of being neither straight, nor white, nor cis-gendered.”
- Curious Wine, by Katherine V. Forrest – “Candid in its eroticism, intensely romantic, remarkably beautiful, CURIOUS WINE is a love story that will remain in your memory.”
- Love Cake, by Leah Piepzna-Samarasinha – “In Love Cake, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores how queer people of colour resist and transform violence through love and desire. “
- Prozac Highway, by Persimmon Blackbridge – “Tough, funny and sexy, Prozac Highway packs a sweet punch.”
- Desert of the Heart, by Jane Rule – “In this romantic classic by Jane Rule, readers can discover how Ann and Evelyn’s relationship originally came to pass.”
- Gender Failure, by Ivan Coyote & Rae Spoon – “In their first collaborative book, Ivan and Rae explore and expose their failed attempts at fitting into the gender binary, and how ultimately our expectations and assumptions around traditional gender roles fail us all.”
- Monkeypuzzle, by Rita Wong – “Wong’s poems in the volume address her identity as a bisexual Asian woman”
9. Listen to Some Canadian Music
You are so lucky that Intern Grace (an American) and her pal Cassie Trouble (an Australian) have put together a fabulous playlist for you, chock-full of Canadian feelings.
Call And Answer – Barenaked Ladies
Scott Pilgrim – Plumtree
Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne
Take Me Away – Fefe Dobson
Boys Wanna Be Her – Peaches
Tell Me Does She Love The Bass – Lesbians on Ecstasy
Ulysses – Mélissa Laveaux
Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire
Liar Liar – Hunter Valentine
Limelight – Rush
Someday – Tegan & Sara
1234 – Feist
You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
Hallelujah – k.d. lang
A Case Of You – Joni Mitchell
Connect – Drake
Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
Heart Of Gold – Neil Young
Mirror Me – She King
Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here - Debroah Cox
Sweet Surrender – Sarah McLachlan
Wait Up (Boots of Danger) – Tokyo Police Club
Pow.wow.wow. - Cris Derksen
The Devil’s Paintbrush Road – The Wailin’ Jennys
If I Had ,000,000 – Barenaked Ladies
10. Do What A Canadian Tells You To Do
CALLING ALL CANADIAN STRADDLERS — how do you think a non-Canadian could best celebrate this fine day dedicated to your fine country?