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Vol. 18, No. 6, 2019
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coming out




Former lead singer of the legendary 222s, arguably Montreal's first punk rock band, Chris is now a freelance writer based in Montreal. You can check out his writing at where he combines the sardonic humour of David Foster Wallace and the deliciously contrived irreverence of Anthony Bourdain.

PREAMBLE: Thirty five years after the Stonewall Riots (1969), Chris Barry, circa 2005, celebrated the opening of Montreal's first boutique that catered to transsexuals. Despite significant political gains and the globalization of the LGBT movement, I asked myself while re-reading his 2005 article: has the situation really changed for the better? Is it any easier now than then to come out? Is it really any easier for a woman to come into a store and purchase a one-size fits-all jock strap for her strap-on-penis, or for a man to ask to see the store's pantyhose selection?

From the Chris Barry archives, the unbowdlerlized article.


Okay boys, so it’s Sunday afternoon and you feel like getting all dolled up to go watch your son’s hockey game at the arena. But wait, you can’t find the size 13 pumps you’ll need to be comfortable, let alone the right panties that will both allow your boys to breathe yet still leave you feeling kind of sexy. Sure, you can always ask your wife to lend you some of her gear, but that’s often awkward, and the last time you tried to go shopping for garters at the mall the 20-year-old chick serving you couldn’t stop giggling at how patently ridiculous and perverse you are. I mean, think about it: a man, wanting to dress up like a woman? Oh my goodness, what a strange, wild world some of us must inhabit.

So what do you do in the end? You wind up denying your god-given right to watch your kid’s game in a mini-skirt and, as per usual, attend the event in the same old boring ski jacket and baggy white Fruit of the Looms you always wear to these things. It’s not at all fair, and you know it, but what can you do? No one ever said being a transvestite was going to be easy.

Sound familiar, fellas? Of course it does. But listen, you’re in luck, realizing your potential as a cross dresser has never been easier. Nope, not now that the Jucy Boutique has opened its doors for business on Wellington street in Old Montreal. In fact, the Jucy Boutique is the first and only store in Quebec to cater exclusively to transvestites, drag queens and transgendered individuals.
But wait a minute, you say, surely the farmers out in de Launaudiere must also have a boutique where they can try on ladies undergarments without being judged/mocked by ignorant, insensitive sales help? Well yeah, you’d think so, but apparently they don’t, and according to Madame Jucyfroot, who along with his wife, France, own and operate the Jucy Boutique, there would be a lot more farmers ploughing their fields looking like Ziggy Stardust if there were.

“You can only imagine how much courage it takes for a guy to go in to a boutique with the intent of trying on and purchasing, say, a pair of six inch stilettos in a size 10,” says Jucyfroot. “It’s often just asking to be ridiculed or humiliated. And since a lot of guys are uncomfortable about being transvestites to begin with, they often choose to deny themselves rather than be confronted with this sort of thing. There are a lot more cross-dressers out there than people realize, and most of them, actually, are heterosexual. I would guess as many as 80 per cent of us.”

Hence the modus operandi behind this month’s official launching of the Jucy Boutique. Discreetly nestled on the second floor of an old industrial building at 645 Wellington, two blocks east of, ahem, Queen Street, you can rest assured nobody will be making fun of your peccadilloes here. Staffed primarily by the delectable Madame Jucyfroot herself -- a damn fine looking broad if ever there was, penis or not - the concept behind the boutique is to provide a comfortable environment for boys, well, to dress up as girls. Truth is, the gang at the Jucy Boutique will be nothing short of thrilled to participate in the exercise of helping you become all the woman you could ever hope to be.

“Many people come in here a little apprehensive at first,” claims Juice, “but once they get a sense of the place and see how stunning they look in their new outfits, well, I’m not exaggerating, they literally start shaking, they’re just so excited to be finally indulging themselves.”

“You see, the experienced cross-dresser will stop in, see what we’re carrying, and maybe buy a couple of items,” continues the divine Madame J, “but where I feel we really offer a public service is to those men who might never otherwise realize their desire to wear female attire. And by being able to provide a secure and welcoming place for them to get started, well yes, of course, it makes me feel very good.”

Madame Jucyfroot says he and France are looking forward to conducting “extreme makeovers” for their customers in the New Year. “It should really be something”, says the Juicemeister with all the enthusiasm of a young boy in a dress shop, “ We’ll take all their measurements in advance, do their colour chart, etcetera, so that when they come in we will be able to do a total transformation – shave their legs, eyebrows, transform them literally from head to toenail.”

Marking the official opening of the space will be an on-site fashion show to be held this Friday, December 17th at 8.00 pm. Attendees can look forward to admiring at least three different models, all of differing shapes and sizes, strutting their fine cross-dressed booties down the runway. “I want people to see that you can look beautiful as a woman regardless of your size,” says Jucy, “it really doesn’t matter.”

Those planning on attending should be warned that neither France nor Madame J are quite sure of how many people to expect at the official launch, but it’s probably a safe bet that the place will be packed, quite possibly beyond the legal capacity of their locale. In light of this possibility, the organizers will be giving preferential treatment to those who arrive in drag, so if you don’t want to be left out in the cold missing out on all the action, you’d be smart to at least slap on a wig and a little lipstick before making your way down to Old Montreal. Either that, or try and get there early.

Also by Chris Barry:
Head Trip Story: My Inner Idiot
Ballet Boxer: Milford Kemp
Like Young
Loving Hard Times
Feed Your Head
Talking 12-Tone with Patti Smith
Beauty Pageants: The Golden Years
Swingers' Clubs as Safe Zones
Bust a Move
Trapeze - Swinging Ad Extremis
Hells in Paradise
The Cannabis Cup
Colonic Hydrotheraphy


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