The Politicos Of It All

(Chapter 1)

picReg Giles (2004) and his pal Mickey

Gae/Gala (THE GAY ALLIANCE FOR EQUALITY at the time) was an organization that was bound to be its own destruction. There were too many minds that were bent on their own ways. I am not saying that the idea was not good or great; there was just too much too deal with under one group. My whole train of thought during the period (as a Gae member,staff member of The Turret Club & Rumours Club) was that the organization needed money to win its battles and buy its stationary and pay for its lawyers. The Turret was the place that I thought that these monies should come from as it had the highest potential for generating income. There were those in GAE that thought that The Turret Club should remain a drop in style centre. The Turret became a constant battleground for most of its days and I think the political battle lost a lot of its focus because of the constant infighting. There were some of us that were not interested (physically or mentally) in the raw politics of fighting government as at the time we had little knowledge of how it worked and that was best left to those that knew that arena. One thing I always did know was how to make money. Ever since I was a little boy; I could make money for people and did. Somehow that never worked in kind but I never had a need or want for a lot of money.

Robin Metcalfe

walks over to me at The Toolbox bar across the street from NRG and gives a big " Hello Reg!" and then the unexpected was a HUG. Even tho Robin and I always (mostly) disagreed on most things dealing with The Turret, he always called me by my prefererred hyphenated name of "Reg." I always despised and still do, the other short form that which most people who knew/know me, insistantly use. I make it a point of calling people by their preferred name.

Back to the hug: I thought that Robin had ignored me as he passed by me at this years' "Pride Celebration," and putting it in perspective, I may have done the same thing although that is not my style to ignore people (never has been.) I have to say that I took most of my disagreements with Robin over the years very personally and I disliked him for that; never hating (I can't hate people.) I did do one thing to Robin years ago that I " hate myself " for though, and I hope that he has or will forgive me for that (it was stupid and niave on my part.) Whether he remembers it or not, I did.

After a bit, some crossed the street to NRG and danced or talked or both. At the end of the night after "LAST CALL", Robin was standing by himself by the bar. I put my arm around his shoulder like an old freind does. I have finally realized that I cannot go on disliking what has happened in the past;

it does not matter anymore.

Decision Time

picTHE TURRET CLUB Top Floor 1588 Barrington Street, 2004

The Turret building was coming up for sale. GAE 1 (Gay Alliance for Equality) had to make a decision to either "buy or not to buy" the building, which if I remember correctly was given "first option" to buy.The meeting was packed and as far as I am concerned also STACKED (but that is just my humble opinion), I felt that the decision had already been made before the meeting. There were the usual debates on the issues and it was heated at times. One of the arguments was that the maintenance of the building would have been too high, to which I tried to argue "What maintenance, we do it all now anyways!". Eventually the vote was cast and the members voted against buying.If I remember correctly, the asking price was 50 to 75 thousand dollars; ironically it sold for 4 or 5 times that price a few years later. It was the worst decision that GAE made in my opinion. There were some arguments made about not being able to use the second floor because of fire codes and liquor codes, but I have always found that there is always a way to conform or make adjustments. I had these already mapped out in my mind but "Reg was either stupid or did not know what he was talking about." Anyhow, the hammer came down and to me that was the beginning of the end. I am quite sure that if "The Minutes" of the meeting were available, it would reflect a different story.

Did I Say Stacked

Yes I did. IT was quite clear to a lot of us (General Members) that there was a group of people who's only routine was to show up at general membership meetings so that they would not lose their standing and or when a very big "decision" had to be made; so that the vote would go the way the extecutive (and or cohorts) had already decided it should go (In my opinion of course). Yes there were lots of little votes that the average member would win, but the grins on the faces of those members faces after a big vote told another story that used to piss a lot of us off. We would often sit there and wonder where all these people came from, because they were not present at any other meetings during the year (and it could be 2 years the way the rules were set up). This is just one of the many things that made people give up on a GAE; people felt that it was owned by a few and not the MAJORITY of the membership ..... ALL HAIL CAESAR

This all I have to say about GAE/GALA. It is all it derserves, it never respected its membership (in my opinion) and I give it none in return.

Some held a funeral for The Turret; it should have been held for GAE/GALA instead and given a decent, deep burial.

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1. At the time the organization was called GAE, the Gay Alliance for Equality; it only became GALA (the Gay And Lesbian Association)sometime after I had moved to Toronto.