Wallace Addison White, aka Scotiabear

pic Hey fellow queers, I am Addison White, some may remember me when I went by Junior. Like most good boys of Scottish descent, I was named after my dad, and Addison was my paternal grandfather’s name. When I turned 30, I started using Addison instead of Junior. Some still call me Junior and that’s ok. My pronouns are he/him/Daddy, I consider myself queer.

My involvement in the community started back when I went to my first gay bar circa 1994. Shortly after, I started working at Reflections as a bouncer. There I met so many different people, including my future roommate and drag mother, Studio X Noir. After my time at Reflections, I spent some time working with a trio of drag queens at the Velvet Olive doing shows, and I was their DJ / security person. I believe this was the first time drag shows were performed on a regular basis in a straight bar.

In the fall of 1995 (if I recall correctly) I started working at Buddies Bar which was located in the old Studio space on Barrington Street. Buddies was one of my favourite bars to work in. There was a restaurant area and bar in the front section and a dance bar in the back with pool tables in the basement.

It was a lot of fun in that bar and people used to come in to see me as I worked the door. I was in my punk phase and would wear punk makeup with my mohawk and my big black boots. It was one of those bars where straight people knew when they came in not to make trouble because occasionally I had to throw some people over my shoulder and put them out the door or in a taxi.

Once I left Buddies I went to work at Millennium which was at the old Rumours location on Göttingen St. Now keep in mind this bar was only open for a short time, which was sad because it was an excellent location. As most people would remember from the Rumours days, it was a huge location with an amazing stage in the old movie theatre. Unfortunately, due to mismanagement it had a short life span.

picca 1996 Buddy's also saw the birth of my drag persona Kuntella. The first show I ever performed was a fundraiser for a trans person who was going for their surgery. At that time there was no coverage for the surgery so it was paid out of pocket. As it turned out the person who we were raising the funds for was someone who lived near the small community where I grew up in Hants county.

picAs Anna Conda, ca 2000 I performed a song or two that night by the ultra famous Divine. Well, I can tell you I performed divinely and my career in drag began. I did end up having to change my name to Anna Conda, as in those pre-internet days we had to advertise shows in the local newspapers. They refused to advertise me as Kuntella . So I had to change my name in order for them to create ads in the newspapers but I was still the trashiest drag queen in the city and people loved it!

Shortly after leaving Millennium after they closed, a close friend and I formed a duo and did regular gigs at the Eagle and later the Toolbox which was over a restaurant on Göttingen St. That used to be the old location of the Rainbow Room which was one of my favourite little bars to visit.

Once Millennium closed I was asked to start DJing at Club NRG. I also hosted a bi-weekly karaoke and we also performed as a duo doing open mic on Wednesday nights for a time period. Karaoke was on Tuesday and Thursday nights. So most of my week was at Club NRG as I was the weekend DJ for Friday, Saturday and when there were drag shows on a Sunday.

As a DJ I loved the job. I used to pack that bar every night on the weekend where there is barely room to stand. I was the first queer DJ to be featured in the Coast newspaper. I did DJ the bar until 2003 when I left after a disagreement of what I could and could not play even though the crowds that came every weekend were huge. Unfortunately, the bar did not stay open very long after I left.

This is around the time that I quit doing drag and the bars stopped really paying drag queens, only providing them with drink tickets for the night they performed. Unfortunately, drink tickets did not pay the bills and did not pay to buy makeup, nor to enhance your career as a drag queen. So at that point I decided to stop working in the bars. My life as being 'Halifamous' came to an end. Do I miss it? I do miss it. I loved the attention. I loved not waiting in lines to get into venues. Did I mention I loved the attention?

One thing I did realise is once you are no longer popular you know who your friends are. I realised a lot of my friends were not really friends but just wanted to be in that circle to feel popular and get into the venues with me and make them feel special.

From 2003 until 2011, I moved from the city to Truro and started working for a call centre. During this time I was in a toxic relationship which was mentally exhausting and my partner was mentally abusive. I started working on the road as a buyer and appraiser of antiques and collectibles for a company out of Ontario. It was during this time that I broke up with my ex and basically lived on the road living out of hotels.

Also during that time period is when I met my current partner who I had originally met back in the 90s. Ironically it was a night that my ex partner took me to Menz and Mollyz, and my current partner Frank Lively walked through the door. We recognized each other right away and I followed him outside for a cigarette and he took my phone and put his phone number in it. It was 2 weeks later, if I remember correctly, that I left my mentally abusive ex: I filled a suitcase with my clothing and drove off in my car.

When I stopped working on the road I moved in with Frank here in Halifax - that would have been around 2012, in the spring, shortly after my father passed away. I started working at Menz & Mollyz as a bartender. I was very popular as a bartender, but regretfully I ended up leaving because I was not getting enough hours to make a living. I did meet a lot of customers there that I still see socially.

Fun fact! While working at Menz and Molly’s one night I got a call to be on a television show. Frank and I, along with other local bearlike people, were asked to be on Call Me Fitz, starring Jason Priestley. In one scene, Frank and I ended up doing a gay kiss on television! Can you imagine, the show was directed by Jason Priestley himself!

picca 2015

As of now I work for a UK car insurance company working with vulnerable customers, such as customers who have passed away or are going through a difficult life. I do have a large following in the bear community and the leather community. This is essentially a continuation of when I worked in the community back in the 90s and 2000s.

Most people know me from my online persona Scotiabear. I do take part in bear and leather events in the city but my following tends to be worldwide.

In November, 2023 I was featured in the Bear Plus International magazine -- here's the link. As far as I know, I'm the first person from Halifax or even Nova Scotia to be featured in the magazine. It's an accomplishment that I was very proud of. In the early 2000s, I posed for the German magazine, Bear, but never received a copy of it.

I hope to get more opportunities such as this to promote my community as a queer person. As an older queer person I could be called an elder, but you're only as old as you feel. In my head I still feel like I'm in my twenties, but my body tells me otherwise. I've embraced my daddyness, I've learned a lot over the years and I've discovered who I am. I'm starting to love who I am.

Thanks for reading and I will see you all soon!