Thom Vernon
thom vernon is a writer, actor, educator and queer exile.

Entries by Thom Vernon

Toronto Has An Affordable Housing Crisis. Parkdale Has An Emergency

(7) Comments | Posted May 18, 2017 | 1:39 PM

Like many parts of Toronto, Parkdale is changing. Fast. While a Starbucks-on-every-corner is being kept at bay, many of the area's residents are being squeezed out. Fast. They aren't the first.

In 1878, long after the Mississauga peoples were pushed out, Parkdale was incorporated as a village. It became populated...

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If A Man Were A House

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2017 | 2:24 PM

For Toronto-based landscape architect and filmmaker Joseph Clement, the man makes the house -- but the house reveals the man. Several years ago, Brigitte Shim, one of the two architects of Integral House, a Toronto architectural and cultural masterwork, visited the New York office where Clement was working. The visit...

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Who Says Art Can't Make Change?

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2017 | 5:56 PM

HIV has lost its steam. With access to medicine and treatment slowly increasing for many (but not all), a world without HIV is in our sights. Hallelujah. Maybe. The virus may be losing its steam but its stigma is destroying lives. Especially in Ontario. Our dirty little secret is that...

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Are You For Or Are You Against?

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2017 | 6:14 AM

At the Women's March in Washington last weekend, an activist handed my friend a sticker against fascism. She took it. But then said, I don't want this. I said, give it to me. I'm against fascism. But my friend planted a seed which I've seen echoed in D.C., NYC and...

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How Literature Finally Lets Queers Speak

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 5:25 PM

Coming up in a heteronormative world can be crushing to anyone who doesn't fit that mold. A lot of us who knew early that we were different also knew whether that difference was welcome -- or was to be removed. Queer writers have mined, and are mining, the insights that...

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Being Told I Would Die From AIDS Taught Me How to Live

(12) Comments | Posted October 26, 2013 | 3:26 AM

As I was saying in Part 1, I'm bringing 'The Drifts Live: the novel onstage' to NYC (United Solo Festival, Nov. 6, 7 pm) and have been asked a lot about my longevity in show business. There are thousands of people like me, in...

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Stay Interested. Eyes Open. (Part 1)

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 11:21 AM

As I get ready to bring The Drifts Live: the novel onstage to NYC (United Solo Festival, Nov. 6., 7pm), I've been getting asked a lot how I've stayed in show business so long. When people ask that, they also usually want to know which Seinfeld...

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Women are the Bellwether of Global Rights

(2) Comments | Posted December 19, 2011 | 7:34 AM

A chance meeting with a person who works on the religious fundamentalisms project at Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), in the midst of the local assault on social services has helped me to see more clearly how Mayor Ford's locally proposed cuts reflect global trends.

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What Happened to Aid for AIDS?

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2011 | 9:19 PM

A lot has happened since I began typing. Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Canada's Minister of International Cooperation, announced that Canada will fulfill the commitment it made to the Global Fund in the fight against AIDS. That is welcome news after a too-long struggle to do our part. Wish...

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Occupy Toronto: We Know What We Mean (Even if We Haven't Said it Yet)

(2) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 9:24 AM

I've just come back from St. James Park where Occupy Toronto and the 99% is in full-swing. Entering off of Jarvis/Adelaide, I passed a logistics table, a library, a legal tent, a medical tent, a 'club' for dancing and a sacred space for prayer and sitting....

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Death and AIDS Action at Toronto City Hall

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2011 | 4:33 PM

If somehow you have gotten through the last 30 years without HIV/AIDS impacting your life, kudos to you. For the rest of us, it's been different. My sister-in-law, Susan, whose wry grin pushed through a determined exterior, who could get in and out of a grocery store like nobody's business...

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Resisting Ford's TO: Coming Together at Dufferin Grove

(1) Comments | Posted September 15, 2011 | 4:09 PM

Walking into Dufferin Grove Park on Saturday (Sept. 10, 2011), a bright sunny afternoon, the last thing I expected to see was over a thousand Torontonians huddled over ideas, policy choices and alternatives for the direction of a city under siege. These people couldn't all be here for the

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Toronto's Water: A Reservoir of Ideas and Innovation

(2) Comments | Posted August 17, 2011 | 2:03 PM

Yesterday, I visited Water: the Exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum here in Toronto. The exhibit is educational and tactile. It inspires awe. I was there with my friend, Marjorie Ryerson, whose book, Water Music accompanies the exhibit. In the book, world-renowned musicians (Dave Brubek, Renee...

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Rob Ford's Jig

(2) Comments | Posted August 2, 2011 | 12:35 PM

I have been at this dance before.

Rob Ford, Toronto's recently-elected mayor, danced into office promising to "stop the gravy train" at city hall. Problem is, he and his strategy are still dancing but there is no gravy. After stacking the City Council Executive Committee with like-minded councillors, the...

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