Montreal Culture: A Short Story
It was a typical Saturday night at one of Montreal's more frequented nightclubs-it was, until three alpha males began to pick on a little guy who I'll call Damien. They had mistaken his overly graceful, effeminate and artistic dance moves as a come-on. To look at Damien, sinewy and stylishly dressed in fitted digs, one would be uncertain about his sexual orientation. Is he or is he not gay? That's irrelevant, especially when you visit a city with one of the largest gay and lesbian populations in North America where it's common to see androgynously dressed men, gay or straight.
Montreal is a relatively small city that boasts a vibrant, diverse and exciting nightlife. It possesses a distinctly Euro- multi-ethnic-lingual-sexual-culinary and musical flavor. In Montreal, people kiss each other twice (once on each cheek) to greet each other and brazenly walk through red lights unconcerned about oncoming traffic. Here you will surely notice that the men are a little leaner and trendier; the women a little more beautiful; the people a little more inviting; and that there's something for everyone. Crescent street, The Main, the Gay Village, jazz, hip-hop, local fetish and swinger's clubs … a determined soul can start the weekend at a cinq à sept and drink until 3a.m., move on to an after-hours club and dance until tomorrow afternoon all in a convivial atmosphere-that's Montreal.
As the confrontation intensified, it became glaringly obvious that these macho types were oblivious to the spirit and social mores that make Montreal. To their surprise, the club-goers, staff, bouncers and none other than the owner rallied to the side of this regular on Montreal's club scene. The instigators succumbed to a bout of verbal diarrhea in an uninspiring attempt to appease Damien's booze-fueled rage. The night could have ended on a sour note, but Damien took the high road by turning the other cheek-the sheer embarrassment of their groveling was punishment enough for these proud men. Their lesson for the night was a simple one: don't interfere with the indigenous dynamic of the feel-good night vibe, gay or straight, because in Montreal, it does not matter.
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