IS IT ANY EASIER?
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 looselips.ca.
where he combines the sardonic humour of David Foster Wallace
and the deliciously contrived irreverence of Anthony Bourdain.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
by Chris Barry:
Trip Story: My Inner Idiot
Boxer: Milford Kemp
12-Tone with Patti Smith
Pageants: The Golden Years
Clubs as Safe Zones
- Swinging Ad Extremis