A love letter to Buddies

A love letter to Buddies

Buddies holds a special place in so many Toronto queer hearts. For some, it's a place to dance, get messy and watch some amazing drag every Saturday night. For others, it's a place to create, test, and witness some of the country's most creative stage works. Since 1978 the theatre has been pulling strings, pushing boundaries and most importantly giving a home to the city's creatives, artists, drag kids, queens and kings, actors, singers and promoters.  

Under the watchful queer eyes of its artistic directors or Patricia, Buddies is an anchor not only in the city's gay village but in this country. To help celebrate the theatre space, one of our fave drag kings - Gay Jesus - has written a love letter to show just how the space affected them.


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I've been spending a lot of time at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre over the past couple of months and especially so over the last few weeks. One of the elements that most fascinates me about being there has been the changerooms. As drag kings, our changerooms range from tents hosting asphalt as carpet to bar basement hallways. But when you come to Buddies, there's a history that lives there that's unlike anything I've ever experienced. I wanted to honour that with a love letter to the East and West Wings.
- Gay Jesus aka Heath V. Salazar

A love story

by Gay Jesus

Romance lives as a fly on the wall of an empty changeroom
The giggles its hosted vibrate everlasting in the tin buzz of its bulb-lined mirrors
Scuffed concrete massaged by stiletto & sole upholds the trunks of face painted worktables Glitter, a sleeping beauty between show night and sundowned coffee cups develops the freeze frames it took while pressed against the exposed skin that lingered alongside last call
A single tassle wedged in the crevice separating pre-show jitters and backstage susurrus, listens
Secrets exchanged between echoed stairwells entangle a crossover of quick fix stitch solutions and liplocked bliss
The code at the door seals off with a heavy metal trim
This vault holds anonymity for the transfiguration between showstopper & late night cab flagging suitcase bearer
Pleated and interwoven by the likes of eyelash glue and sale rack lipliner, the minds that have wandered through the dressing rooms of Buddies In Bad Times Theatre are shapeshifters
Tectonic plates in perpetual motion between sectors too squared off to honour triangles and love letters dedicated to the realphabetization of our love songs
Declarations of thanks, elation and home cascade into the oxygen via dual purpose piping lined with the eyes and names of those who stayed the night.
This is a strong room
A safe
A sanctuary
A wing so sacred it flutters within multiple realities at a time.

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