Speaker 0 00:00:12 Welcome to continue
Speaker 1 00:00:14 A stone crop symposium podcast in today's episode, on a Shaw TJ in queer spaces and community engagements with Mickey Bradshaw.
Speaker 0 00:00:26 <inaudible>
Speaker 1 00:00:33 Hi everyone. This podcast series is an extension of, to be continued traveling the queer archive and art exhibit, which is taking place this fall at the Carlton university art gallery. The show in today's conversation, both take place on unceded unsurrendered Algonquin territory and are an extension of a sustained commitment to amplify honor and celebrate the realities of queer trans indigenous black and people of color. My name is Anisha Hawk and I, along with Carra Tierney are the co curators of TBC. So it's been an ongoing process to think about the ways that universities and galleries and our work within them are either complicit and sustaining the existing sort of power structures, but also simultaneously are spaces that are deployed to sort of click creatively and critically to disarticulate them. So as such the show, and this podcast is specifically designed along with the exhibit to think through what intervening or interrupting these processes can look like. We're fortunate. And we have been fortunate to speak with individuals who labor endlessly to dissenter this hegemonic idea of a solo story. So with that said, we're fortunate to have with us today, Mickey Bradshaw and Clyde, the Mussa, two people who were involved in exciting community and scene making and have been doing this work for 20 plus years in community development, some of which has been spent, you know, sort of building on in our local context. So welcome. Hi then Mickey, I'm so excited to have this conversation with the two of you
Speaker 2 00:01:55 Excited to be here. Thank you. Yeah, thanks for having us.
Speaker 1 00:01:59 I was hoping that we can take an opportunity for each of you to introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about who you are, how you came to be in Ottawa. And if you wouldn't mind, Mickey, do you want to start?
Speaker 2 00:02:10 Sure. My name is Mickey Bradshaw also known as Mickey pedia. Um, I've gone by Wikipedia for a number of years now. It's my official artist's name, but I came to Ottawa originally on a teaching gig. Actually I was teaching voice and drama cause I went to Concordia university and I had my own theater company for, um, over, uh, over 10 years. So, um, I had received a position with a private company, uh, in Ottawa and I moved here and they had hired a bunch of teachers and didn't tell the teachers that it was actually hanging on whether or not they got funding or not. They didn't end up getting the funding. And I stayed in Ottawa, um, to see what I can do here actually. So that was wow. That was like, whew. That was 1997, 98 98. Yeah. I'm dating myself
Speaker 3 00:03:09 1997. It was just yesterday.
Speaker 2 00:03:14 Yeah. So, uh, that's uh, that's how I came to Ottawa. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:03:21 Yeah. I actually moved to Ottawa with my family. I was three and a half years old. We moved from Lebanon where I'm from. And uh, after about a year of living with my grandparents and my family and this tiny two bedroom apartment with like six people in it, um, we ended up moving to Elmer Quebec, which is right across the bridge from Ottawa about a 15 minute drive from downtown. And so I did, um, my elementary and high school schooling there and only at about the age of 17, did I start spending more time here? Um, and then I really integrated the queer scene around maybe 2009 actually. So, um, yeah, we'll talk more about that, but I basically, I did that scene through agitate. Okay. Okay.
Speaker 2 00:04:28 It's really funny that you mentioned agitate cause agitate is one of the groups that I was part of and it was one of the first and only, um, groups, uh, for people of color that was around for, for a while in Ottawa, because we saw that there was no representation that we weren't having, um, our own sort of like space. Um, and it was really, really hard. So yeah, a bunch of friends we got together and said, let's do something there's yeah, yeah. Uh, man, that feels like yesterday now.
Speaker 3 00:05:06 I mean, I think that's a really good entry point. So agitate is something that like both of you, uh, was this a point where you crossed paths? Like how long has this sort of relationship, um, like auto such a small, some small scene? So like, do you recall like when you came across each other's way because agitate seems to be a doorway there? Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:05:27 It is somewhat. I mean, um, when you come and people there, cause there were still, um, one or two core people I had left agitate by that point. Um, there were still one or two core people who had actually founded the group that were left. I think when you, when you joined, um, is that true? Huh?
Speaker 3 00:05:44 Yeah. So I was kind of part of the second cohort, if you will. Um, at the time that I started hanging out with people like the DGL Robinson and shisha Nariah, um, I actually a lot of these people at the going away party for one of the core members of agitate. So one thing to know about Korean trends, uh, racialized communities in Ottawa is that like every X number of years, there's kind of a mass migration that happens outside of Ottawa people leaving to Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver. And so I was kind of part of the second cohort, um, eh, after a lot of those people had had left, that seems to be a thing like, uh, in terms of even like who your queer elders end up being when you come newly into the city. And for both of you, I mean, so Mickey, you, you came in, uh, in like the late nineties Haida, you had a tangential like relationship with Ottawa. Can each of you sort of expand a little bit more about what breaking into the Ottawa queer scene felt like? Um, and like what were some of the resources that, um, that were there for you?
Speaker 2 00:07:00 Wow. Um, breaking into the, the Ottawa queer scene for me, it was, um, wow. Uh, it was exceptionally white. Um, there weren't a lot of resources per se for people of color specifically. Um, there weren't a lot of resources in a lot of ways for even just the general population at large of the queer community. Carlton did a pretty good job. Um, uh, as far as well, I say that I'm probably biased cause I was one of the coordinators. Uh, um, there actually it was the coordinator of 98, so it was 98. So 98, uh, in 99 I was the coordinator there. Um, and uh, they had, I don't know if they still have it, but they had a full library of, for not just a use of the students at Carlton, but for the entire community, you could go and borrow books there and, and, uh, volunteer there. And, um, and, uh, they were being supported at the time by the actual administration, the undergraduate administration and actually having a budget. Um, so it was good in that sense. Um, but not every school was that great. I mean, Ottawa, you was okay. And Algonquin was very, very it's to this day. Actually it's, it's, it's always been hard. It seems for, um, uh, an LGBTQ plus community to, uh, to be all right at Algonquin college age. It's always felt like that. So I'm hoping that things are different now, but yeah.
Speaker 3 00:08:43 Mickey, what a organization like at Carlton, what student group was this, that you were coordinator of?
Speaker 2 00:08:49 Oh, it was the, at the time it was, uh, the LGBT center it's name's
Speaker 3 00:08:56 Various times, but yeah. Yeah. I know. What about you? Like what, what was that coming into the Ottawa scene as a teenager versus when you were like much younger? What did that look like? Would that feel like for you? Yeah, so we're talking about 2003. I had just turned 17 and like any other small town kid, I kind of, you know, escaped to work was the closest, bigger city, which was Ottawa. Really. It's kind of funny cause Elmer is really not that far, but I would take the bus from Elmer and it would take me 45 minutes to get downtown. Right. So, um, at that age, same thing, it was very white. Uh, I was the youngest among anyone else I was hanging out around. These were like, you know, white queers in their mid twenties. Um, and I think that it kind of forced to coming out story in my life.
Speaker 3 00:09:56 That was very much a mimicking of what I saw among other like white queers. Right. And so is, uh, looking back on it now, I kind of wish that I had other queer and trans people of color in my life to kind of have more nuanced and complex conversations around what it meant to be racialized and queer and like ties to family and that kind of thing. Um, I did stick around in that scene and like being a teenager basically was more involved in the party scene around, um, you know, my, my late teens and early twenties, uh, and like went to places like icon where I was surrounded by people who were older than me. So I still got in, you know, um, and it was kinda like to, that seems true. Uh, just tagging along older, white queer spaces. Um, and then in 2009, like I feel as more of a, uh, it was like my second introduction to the Ottawa, like queer and trans scene in that I say it's through agitate, but really it's through the people that formed agitate.
Speaker 3 00:11:13 Right. Like I became really close friends first, uh, with the DJ Robinson who we were in a, you know, class together. And then we saw each other again at a party. And at the time, like it was still very much white spaces, but because we had this like tiny group, anytime we saw anyone, uh, who was like black indigenous or a person of color at any party, we would literally like physically surround them, recruit them into our, and so things have very much changed in Ottawa. Uh, in that sense, I think like the, just the amount of youth, and even like, just in general, the amount of racialized people in queer and trans spaces has like definitely increased. Yeah. But that gives you an idea of how, how few people there were, people were leaving too. Right. Like exactly. There would be like, like you said, like kind of, um, like a flip over, uh, of new faces and new people.
Speaker 3 00:12:27 And so at the time I was new and then there were other new people after me and we kind of just tried and like to stick together as much as possible and found, I think a lot of comfort and healing and that, and that's actually probably how I'm trying to think when the first time Mickey and I met. And it's probably through those groups of friends. Cause at the time too, right. Yeah. It was, it was through Kadesia for sure. You mean a DJ? Oh, did I say, Oh yeah, no, it was, yeah, it was through, it was through an ado shit. Absolutely. It was in a DCIS apartment that we met. Okay. It's really funny though, actually, because I was part of that wave that left before and the year you joined agitate is also the year that I came back again. Okay. I didn't know that. Yeah. So what were some of the agitated events, like where did they take place in the city? Uh, and how did people find out? I mean, I'm guessing from the ways that both of you were talking about it, this was strictly like word of mouth. If your friends knew and you knew someone that was your gateway into this world.
Speaker 3 00:13:36 Yeah. I can't really, I know before I joined agitate, I once went to this, to this party that was, um, off of, uh, Nicholas, I guess, uh, kind of where ritual is now, like in that block. Right. Um, and I don't know who organized that, but in the time that I was there, there was this East African restaurant that was on. Yeah. It was on Rido I think probably past shawarma prints it. And so they would let us have parties there. It was, yeah, it was, it was, it was great and shows and then Shanghai obviously has always been a place that people have been able to book and like not have it be so expensive that groups like us couldn't throw parties there and that kind of thing. Yeah. That's something that we've definitely come across in all. A lot of our conversations is just how significant a role Shanghai has played in, in terms of like offering space for like young and, and racialized creatives to also have like a venue to go celebrate and yeah. Yeah. And club saw, I guess she's probably also getting mentioned.
Speaker 2 00:14:58 That's a definite yeah.
Speaker 3 00:15:00 That's actually the first place that Nikki and I DJ together was that club. Yeah. How did that come about? How did deejaying become part of like what attracted you to it or what brought that sphere of the world to your, to your notice?
Speaker 2 00:15:15 Um, there was a show that had, well, I have been doing lighting and sound for a very long time because it's just something I grew up with. Cause I grew up in theater and I grew up in film and I grew up doing radio and all these different things. So I just know how to do lighting and sound. And um, at one point somebody was doing a burlesque show and needed a DJ and needed also a sound person. I said, I can do both. Um, so I started doing these, these sort of like events and then eventually Shelly, was it Shelly? Or was it shoe? One of them came out. There was someone out of VIII, someone out of being this MV came and, and asked and asked, asked you actually,
Speaker 3 00:16:01 Well, it's funny to hear you tell the story. Cause like, you know, we all have our memories of how things happened. The way that I remember it is that the first first show that we did, um, there was a group out of Oak perk perk that was run by Quinn, uh, cobalt, um, and Quinn in that group were throwing a party to launch what was then called, like queer faction. Oh yeah, yeah. Your fraction. That was not the first one that was in my memory. At least that was the first one. There was this launch party for queer faction, which was basically just a group of queer and trans people who wanted to do like more, uh, like political, like activisty type of, um, uh, things together. And so we marched for instance, uh, in solidarity with Palestine doing one of the pride events that year, it kind of fell through pretty quickly.
Speaker 3 00:17:07 Um, but that launch party in my memory, it was the first time that we DJ-ed together and it was at club saw. And so Quinn had asked if anyone knew a DJ and I was like, I've always wanted to DJ. So I reached out to Quinn and I was like, I'll do it. And I had no idea what I was doing. And then I think that Mickey and I had maybe already started our rate radio show at <inaudible> and I was like, Mickey probably knows what he would be doing. So I asked Mickey that we could do it together because our name was the underwear crew. I don't know if you're aware, but yeah. So we already started the radio show.
Speaker 2 00:17:52 Yeah, yeah, no, we definitely had the radio show by the time we started deejaying. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:17:57 Yeah. Tell me more about your radio show. Oh, under what I forgot about that, actually. Um, yeah, that was kinda, that was your brainchild actually, I think so. Cause you came here like, yo, do you want to do a radio show? We can do it on community radio. And I was like, that's a possibility. That sounds cool. Yeah. Okay. What do you want to do it on? Well, we could do it on music and just queer stuff. And it's like, yeah, I'm always amazed at what like 20 year old me has done. So yeah, we basically, uh, like covered a lot of, uh, local and Canadian based music, um, and like music by queer and trans folks. And also we did a lot of interviews with people. We covered some events that were happening in the city. Um, we had like really awesome guests. It was in the basement at Ottawa.
Speaker 2 00:19:17 They're still running my PSA. Right.
Speaker 3 00:19:19 Wow. All right. They'd make us record PSA. And Mickey was like, I like taking care of, of a friend's kid at the time. So we'd have this like toddler with us
Speaker 2 00:19:38 Was brilliant on air. I must say, I must say yes. Much respect to little a
Speaker 3 00:19:46 It's true.
Speaker 2 00:19:48 So that's a, yeah, it was fun. And then, uh, and then we got a little busy and we took on two other people onto the show, um, closer to the end of it. Um, yeah.
Speaker 3 00:20:01 Yeah. They took over the show for a few years actually after we left.
Speaker 2 00:20:06 So yeah. So the, that, that was, it was, it was a fun ride though. It was definitely a fun ride. Learning to DJ was fun. Cause I remember asking, asking you and it's so funny, please. Excuse me, because I'll, it's, it's a matter of, it's so rare that I have actually used your, your full name. Try that.
Speaker 3 00:20:31 Yeah, you're doing good. So I pause everyone
Speaker 2 00:20:36 Cause something else wants to come out and I'm like, Nope.
Speaker 3 00:20:40 Sorry. So like
Speaker 2 00:20:42 A matter of you, I remember saying to you, do you know what BPMs are? No beats per minute. Okay. So do you know what you need to do with beats per minute? No. Okay. So that's where we're starting, right? Yeah. And from there, yeah. You, you took that a very long way.
Speaker 3 00:21:02 Yeah. I've been deejaying for, I don't know when we started probably 2009, 2010. So it's been like about 10 years. Yeah. And I don't know if you remember, but like I was like beyond green about this. Like I had an Excel spreadsheet, like no one in the world has ever deejayed with Excel spreadsheets and really long time. Like I just, yeah. I remember, uh, later on, like after we stopped deejaying together, I'd get invited to do a bunch of stuff. And once I was deejaying at Ross sugar on some reset for a beats and board's event at this time, like it, I had been deejaying for years, but I was still using this like super slow computer because a new one and I was still using, um, that software, uh, DJ Zulu or like something like that. And the other guy that was deejaying and like, I mean deejaying in Ottawa, like very, I mean probably everywhere is very like whites is too like dominated and it wasn't the first time people would laugh at me and be like, I've never seen anyone DJ in public with this software and this IX like Excel spreadsheet.
Speaker 3 00:22:27 Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:22:29 But it worked. That was the thing. And for someone who's super green, then yeah. It works. It's like, but you took that. And then eventually you got into not using it and you were able to use like, you know, actual decks and like that's just, it, you have a, like a solid basis of knowing what a BPM is and how to be able to transition that properly. That, that any DJ who says anything about that, it's going to be like, yo, you can flub up. But this one, I know that Humana does, you will, you will get it dead on. Like, so there you go. That has broken it down to like mathematic preciseness. Right?
Speaker 3 00:23:11 Well, yeah. So it's just, it's interesting because I never took courses around deejaying. And for me it was always about the vibe. It was always about the people and it was always about the music and my skills, even till now, like I don't necessarily have skills, quote unquote, you know, it's just something like, I just enjoy the energy that I get from those parties. And so far, no one's complaints. So you know what I mean? Um, and so a lot of people, I think face a lot of barriers and in doing this type of thing, because they know how, and literally you could just play good music and get away with it. And yeah, I think I'm a testimony to that. What was your DJ handle or what's your current DJ handle? It's always been DJ Yella, Yella.
Speaker 3 00:24:01 I remember coming up with it and I love it. I take a piece of paper and I was like, okay, what's important to me. And they had like this little list of like words that I used often, like things that were important to the end, that's how it came about. So you were mentioning like, you know, I mean the Ottawa landscape has shifted, but not by a whole heck of a lot in terms of like, who gets access into like deejaying gigs for a lot of like clubs and spaces. So when you're first starting out, how did, like, how did you broke? Are those relationships, like what businesses or what spaces supported your growth as a DJ?
Speaker 2 00:24:40 I would say Venus at me. I can't think anything else, but Venus envy the whole, like it literally any, I would say probably good. 95% of the gigs that we got were because of Venus MB, if it wasn't directly because of Venus MB than it was because of somebody knowing someone in Venus envy
Speaker 3 00:25:03 Or someone seeing us at a party or whatever. Yeah. Also like I remember when I started my monthly party Modigliani, I actually went to Venus envy and uh, went to the back room at the old location with Shelley Taylor, the owner at the time and was like, Shelly, I want to do this thing. Do you think it's a good idea? And like in true Shelley Taylor fashion, she was like, absolutely. How can I support you? And that was for me. And that party really took off like, um, yeah, it was a really big deal at the time for someone who was, you know, a bit older than me and who like had resources, but also just believed that it could work. Um, yeah. How does that like, so in terms of access to deejaying, right? Like, uh, DJ equipment is expensive. Um, and like just even spaces that like cater to predominantly racialized communities in the city, what did, what did that look like? How did you, did you have to create those spaces for yourself as you started teaching or was a lot of it just so VIII centric that, um, that it helped sort of pave the pathway for other relationships to come into being
Speaker 2 00:26:23 Personally, I feel like it was so VIII centric that it paved the path. Right. Um, I also know though that having worked at V E w when it even started in Ottawa, I know what the landscape was like. And I know that because of VIII it's helped that, that, that business has helped to change the landscape. That's that's a definite so, um, yeah, but I feel like it was very VIII centric. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:26:55 Yeah. I think, I mean, it's going to be opened a lot of doors. Um, and like I said, like just having, uh, you know, a space for one, or even just like the support from there was huge when you're starting out, when I started Mo dignity, um, I still felt like the only places that you could go dance cause like Venus envy, wasn't throwing parties every month. Right? Like they maybe had one or two a year. They had certain sort for a while. That was pretty huge. Um, I think they were possibly behind the heart on burlesque show and those kinds of things, but it like, I mean,
Speaker 2 00:27:34 That was my group of friends and adjective or the original agitate that was behind hard-on burlesque.
Speaker 3 00:27:40 Okay. Yeah. Um, but yeah, the, you know, the restore, I mean, it's often treated like a community center because it's, it's so core to the queer and trans, uh, the S and M C and et cetera in Ottawa, but it's still, you know, that's not the main thing they do. Um, so when they started modality, I still felt like there were no spaces. You could go that's centered, you know, GT five pot there just wasn't. And it was either white DJs playing black music in a very fast way, or it was like very gay CIS male centric, like the edge, for instance. Um, and so Moe Dee was kind of born during, I was driving alone from Toronto to Ottawa, uh, like right before I started. And when I arrived to Ottawa, I was like, okay, I'm doing this. Um, and so for that, a lot of, uh, places were actually key, like fall down gallery, which like rap is not there anymore, but fall down gallery.
Speaker 3 00:28:49 It was like the skate shop slash gallery, um, uh, run by, um, like POC in indigenous, like guys, uh, Tarik and Robbie were behind that. And they would let us sprint their space. And, um, we're super accommodating around like, you know, how much we had to sell out. Cause that's a huge barrier is how much you have to sell the bar, right. Or what the rental fee is, or if you have to bring your own equipment and those things. So I would say since you're asking like fall down, gallery rush sugar, um, and, uh, I actually, the first mood DVT was at this small bar called avant garde. It's ritual. It's like this kind of like Russian propaganda, it's like super tiny, but they were just, it was easy to throw parties there. Cause it was like small. And one of the main things that I wanted with modality and that I tried to keep with any other party that I organized was keep it small because then you can know who comes in and out super important to me, like both creating a vibe and keeping people safe. So we would fuck up. We could, we would like fog up the whole front window. Um, and it was very packed in there, but we kept it small, you know? Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:30:16 As far as the equipment, um, I think, yeah, DJ equipment can be very expensive, but I think what we've been trying to point out is we both had slow computers. We both didn't really have the money for like, you know, a professional DJ platform. And like, but we still did it cause it's it's about that. Like you may need to, um, organize yourself. It's kind of like, um, it's kind of like what's happening currently in Ottawa. Like the first trans fast, um, is going on and you see a need and you and for, for the space and you create the space and it's not about the resources that you have. Cause it's surprising when you actually believe in a certain vision. It's, it's very surprising about what will happen in what transpires and who believes in you as well. And who's willing to come along on that ride with you. So it's not necessarily about the equipment. People can laugh, but you'll still gonna throw down some dope beats
Speaker 3 00:31:17 Won't show up. Yeah. Yeah. Um, you both have made mention of like the role that agitate has played in sort of ashing you, but also allowing you to build on a legacy that's there. And the auto landscape has continuously shifted. Has, does agitate exist in the same ways or are there other sort of organizations and moments that are there now, and that are doing the work that they did for you back in the past? I mean, they're there it's been really cool. Cause I was gone to Toronto for about four and a half years and then came back about three and a half, four years ago. So during that time I was really surprised as to how much has changed. I know it doesn't seem like it, but yeah, having been there before and then like, I think the first week I was back from Toronto, I went to a concert at pressed and it was like 90% like QT bi-pod.
Speaker 3 00:32:20 And I was like, what is going on? This isn't a cutie Bach, like <inaudible> specific event. It's 90% cutie by pocket. And that was mind blowing for me. I had never experienced anything like that in Ottawa. And I think a big part of how that happens. Like one, I guess the population just increased all their more queer trans people. I'm not sure, but basically shades was huge or maybe, you know, possibly it's that Toronto got so expensive and maybe people are turning to here and moving here, but basically shades. And then what's the name of that party that happens at happy goat, um, the like kid performance space place also. Um, and then I want to admit that I probably don't know about a million other ones that do happen that I'm like maybe have aged out of, uh, or that kind of tell us a little bit about what made me shade since, from what I understand, baby sheets, it was like a, a group of QT bi-pod that were, um, putting on and like hosting a bunch of music centered events. So they were bringing in artists from like, uh, well, like across the country or maybe abroad in we're like creating these spaces where those artists and musicians were able to perform in Ottawa and like have the funding to bring them here. Um, and like that they might not have otherwise. So I think they played a huge role in like shaping, uh, the shift in the music scene in Ottawa and just those spaces existing in the first place.
Speaker 2 00:34:06 Yeah. But, and then again, that also speaks though to, um, the whole, the whole turnover that there is an Ottawa because the organizers of probably shades moved to Montreal. I don't know if they're still here though. Um, I don't know if they've moved back or if they're still here, but yeah, it, and that happens. It's a matter of like people's they come in and they see the need for, for a voice, a space, a perspective, um, a feeling, um, and, and create these spaces and, and, and putting the time and the effort and the energy, and then, um, leaving, because it feels as though oftentimes having lived in Ottawa off and on for like over 20 years, it's like, every time I leave, I'm like, I'm never coming back. I'm not going back. I'm not going back. But then after a while, I'm like, you know, there's certain things about Ottawa that I, that I missed and my chosen yeah. And my children, family isn't there. So it's a matter of, I will always come back. I can't avoid that. And, and the thing about it is when I do come back, it's always interesting to see the ships and where they've occurred, because just walking in Ottawa now is a different vibe, very, very different vibe than it was 20 years ago.
Speaker 3 00:35:38 Yeah. And like, I think the, the heart of Ottawa really is the people in it. And that's what makes me call it home. And that made me want to come back after, uh, being in Toronto and that kind of thing. But I will say that this, these like insular bubbles that we create in order to have community and be safe, like these are necessary, they're created out of necessity and anything outside of that can feel so tiring in Ottawa. And I know that even though things have changed too, in my eye, the people who are younger than me doing those same things are also tired. So like a lot of the quote unquote activism that we did was like take care of each other. Um, and that's definitely a trend of what it means to live here and, you know, through hard winters where you're just really just cooking and talking through the terrible thing that happened.
Speaker 3 00:36:48 And, um, but that being said, I've always loved what Mickey pointed out is that it is a city where if you want something to happen, then there was space for you to do that because there aren't 50 other events that are the same thing. Right. You would find in other big cities, I think there is always like, because of maybe the, the turnover rates and just the migration of people in and out. There's also like a deep hunger that like, um, is there, so when events pop up that are actually addressing the needs of a lot of communities that aren't always readily available on like a constant, um, it's, it's, it's coming out of, there's such a warm reception to that event coming into being, um, yeah. People show up yeah. Will show up and very excitedly. Right. Um, both of your deejaying experiences. I mean, you know, it's, from the sounds of it, there was a lot of like learning together and then sort of moments of being mentored, but also being supported. How does that look like for you as youth mentors, as you are now? Like how does those past experiences influence your current individual activities?
Speaker 2 00:38:03 Um, wow. Uh, well, as a youth mentor currently, I see, I have, for me it's different because when I was coming up 25 and near you're no longer a youth, like my we're not had a funeral company, I started it at the age of, uh, 15. And it was for youth by youth and then 25 I found, um, uh, like I mentored someone else to take over the company. Cause I was like, I'm no longer at youth. And by the government standards, that point in time, I was no longer a year. Right. So it's strange and funny to me because I guess technically under new standards. Yeah. I guess I'm mentoring youth, but it's really just a matter of, I'm not trying to mentor, but more along the lines of just take care of my community. Cause I, and I guess it is mentoring in a sense because when, when I get, I try to give, so what I've learned, I try to pass on. So, but you know, everybody has their own experiences and it gets wherever they need to go in their own time, in their own way. So it's, uh, it's, it's just been something that I know create a, you obviously still remember. And I obviously still remember, so to be able to give that gift to somebody else, that's beautiful.
Speaker 3 00:39:28 Like there's a legacy archive that play, right. There's a living like active sharing that like is both so, um, embedded in care and love. But also when you're coming into the scene relatively, like I'm unaware of, of what support networks are there. They like the framing of a youth mentor. It comes into, um, like a, a real asset. Um, and I think when a lot of folks are moving in and out, like making, you've been involved in the auto scene and then you've, you're currently now based in Montreal. And so those relationships, uh, or the, the value that you have in your experience that in itself is like, it's, it's a, it's an incredible asset to, to share. Right. Um, so I'm just wondering, like, what is, what are you, what are each of you up to now? Like what does your practice look like?
Speaker 3 00:40:22 And I know you mentioned you're deejaying actively. What is, what does that look like for you now? I mean, amidst all the COVID constraints. Um, yeah. I'm actually not deejaying that actively right now. Um, I still do parties once in a while. I, I did feel like when I came back to Ottawa, I'm still trying to figure out like what my places in the city in a big way. Um, just because it's also a lot of my people moved away. Right. So there was this readjustment of like finding out, like, where do I land here? Um, and what role do I play? Uh, who's interested in what I have to offer, who can offer me things, right? So there's this kind of like readjustment period. I can sometimes, um, take, take a while in Ottawa because things happen very slow here. They happen in bursts.
Speaker 3 00:41:21 Um, they happen with a sense of urgency that immediately dies down after there's, uh, like things aren't always super sustainable because like people get a burst of energy and do something and then it isn't necessarily like continued. Right. Um, and so I'm still trying to kind of figure out where I fit in this new landscape that I've rejoined and for a part of my life, uh, I think helped shape in a small way. Um, and I wanted to mention about your previous question. Like, I think that I'm a testimony to the fact that like what Miki knew did get passed to someone else. Right. Like, and Mickey was a huge mentor for me,
Speaker 2 00:42:14 Honest to God, I wasn't trying to be, but I was just trying to be, but that means a lot, you know?
Speaker 3 00:42:21 Yeah. And it's, it's interesting because this migration part that we're talking about often means that like a lot of knowledge gets lost, which I'm not too concerned about. Like what I know or what I did being lost. What I'm concerned about is like people who are younger than us, like us feeling kind of lonely and like nothing. Like they have to create everything from scratch and that like, they don't get to see that whatever they do is a continuity of rather than like, you know, them having to dig a space for themselves. And so that's more my concern. And right now I think a lot of my work has shifted, um, towards being an educator, uh, and like having the opportunity to, to, to do that in other spaces like universities or colleges. Um, and really, I think part of me, like, it's weird when you're queer or trans, like somehow you become some weird meant Illinois, sorry, elder at like,
Speaker 2 00:43:35 Yeah,
Speaker 3 00:43:38 They need an elder, you know? Uh, but at the same time, I think around my age, I don't know if Mickey feels this way. Cause he's a bit older than me, but I, I also don't know that people really care to reach out to me or don't really like see me still close to their age, but kind of older. So it's, I don't know. It's weird.
Speaker 2 00:44:03 Hmm. Well, for me personally, it's it, it is weird because I have never, I've never really looked my age. I mean, I've either looked older than I am or I've looked younger than I am. And currently people have been calling me Benjamin button last two years. Um, cause yeah, I hit 47 this year and uh, I, I am, it's rather hard bodies feeling remind is not, but it's, it's a matter of, uh, I think, I don't know. I agree with a lot that what I said, but I it's it's, I I'm trying to express them, not finding the words. Really. I do feel that, you know, a lot of the youth, uh, I feel bad in the fact that they, a lot of them do feel like, uh, I see that they feel like they have to do it and no one's ever done it before.
Speaker 2 00:45:08 I'd like having the example there for them to see and yeah, with, with those sorts of migrations that come and go from Ottawa, that doesn't always transpire. But the wonderful thing though, is that we do have the internet and by doing things like what you're doing right now and, uh, and just having this interview, it allows for, um, a method and, and align for, you know, youth to be able to listen and hear something that they didn't realize. And so they realize I'm not alone. And yeah, I can do a lot of different things in there are ways and avenues. Um, other than that, it's, it's very up in the air for me. Cause I, like I said, when I get, I give and currently I'm just trying to, uh, give back in a sense of not an official capacities per se. I mean, like I've, I've helped to start a record company here.
Speaker 2 00:46:08 I helped to start a music collective and a media collective here in Montreal and currently I'm going to be podcasting, um, on, uh, one, one of the things I really want to do is, uh, the podcast, one of the podcasts that I'm going to be doing, um, which is going to be called, um, alignment station, um, is, um, about spirituality, not necessarily religion that we will touch on some things with religion. Cause within religion, there are spirituality, but, um, so spirituality of the, uh, artistic communities and the, uh, and the cutesy BiPAP community, because, um, it's not something I feel gets spoken about a lot, but it is something that is prevalent everywhere. So in that, you know, I, I, I'm hoping that the things that I continue to do are just things that, um, cause the use of that are behind me to at least stop and, and think. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:47:08 Yeah. I think like what, going back to the Fido was saying about, you know, um, the, and like w Mickey, you, you were also sort of nodding to this idea of like reinventing the wheel, like, um, in terms of like, I, by like, by no means was a youth when I was wanting to come more into the Ottawa queer scene and like, I didn't have legacy archives to tap into. So it was very much relying on like people that I knew or like, uh, Oregon, like events that I could go attend. So in that sense, I found like Ottawa because of both like the suburban and like sort of center town divide and like what happens in these little clusters? Um, it is a bit more difficult to find out where these spaces are so readily. Like they're not readily available for many reasons, including safety.
Speaker 1 00:47:57 Um, and then the other part of it is like that too. We're not mourning necessarily that the, there is a migration of people in and out constantly, but what happens when the stories aren't necessarily easily there for us to find. Right. Um, and so then it becomes both an independent journey of like DIY and your own adventure of your own queer adventure in the city. Um, but also so important to think about like, what does queer eldership even look like, right. Like, so not necessarily relying on, on a numerical figure, but like the amount of labor and love that a lot of folks put into the community that make it possible to have moments and spaces where we see and like, uh, reflections of each other, you know, and that like ground us. And that's where I think the, both the language and an idea of mentorship and elders come into play because like, as an adult looking for queer mentorship, like that was something that was like, where, and how do I do this when I have this person? Right. Um, yeah. Um,
Speaker 2 00:49:00 I think that happens anywhere, Ottawa, of course it's happening, but I think it happens anywhere. Like even coming to Montreal, you'd be surprised at like two years ago I came and it was 45 and 45. There were people who were like, Oh, you gotta meet this guy. He's 45 and he's a trans black dude.
Speaker 1 00:49:20 The fact of that,
Speaker 2 00:49:22 There's something in their vicinity was like shock. Right. And that's a major city larger. So like, that's like, it's a matter of you, you just have to continue to share your truth. And, uh, to actually like, uh, be visible, I think visibility is, is, is a main component.
Speaker 1 00:49:49 Right? Yeah. Um,
Speaker 2 00:49:53 Sorry, go ahead and go ahead. No, no, I was just going to say, like, I was just going to reiterate yeah. There needs to be definite visibility because I feel like that was ability. That's where the frustration, the lack of hope comes from without hope than, than, than, you know, the death of an idea is easy to, to be put under.
Speaker 1 00:50:14 Yeah, for sure. You know, between the two of you and all of the amazing experiences that you both fostered and unlike have shared with us looking back, like what were some things that you wish had access to
Speaker 3 00:50:28 That like, and that you hope that will be something that you can generate for both like the now and the future? Like what were some tools that you were like, Oh, damn, I wish I had those. And at the president and the tomorrow, what could that look like? What did it, what does it need to look like?
Speaker 3 00:50:47 I definitely needed just QT, BiPAP, QC BiPAP around me. Like I, um, didn't have that. And I don't know that I knew at that age, what that would mean, but now like thinking about myself at that age, like I really needed that and that could have in major ways that I won't go into right now, but actually changed my life. Like, um, yeah, that's just a huge thing to have access to people who might get you, uh, and to take into consideration things that are important to you in making decisions and drying out a life. And all of that would have been so big. And then the other thing is like, um, like having worked on the marvelous grounds project in Toronto and really tapped into just the year ratio of <inaudible> hallmark. History's not only that, Oh, we didn't write those stories. So we weren't in them.
Speaker 3 00:52:02 Like it's an active or race. Absolutely. You can be as visible as you want, but people are still gonna write you out. And so how do we create documents and podcasts and whatever to kind of counteract not only counteract that erasure and be like, actually people were here, people have racialized and queer and trans for a really long time. Like we aren't you subjects. You're not weird because you know what I mean? Like excellently, there's like a big need for that. And the other thing is to, to just kind of call it out how, how often, like our leadership, our brilliance, our wisdom, our like communities are just written out of stuff like actively erased from history that does to a psyche over time to not know that we've led like that. A lot of the things that, uh, white queer and trans people currently enjoy are from, you know, a lot of the things that we did at different periods in time after I moved to Toronto, there was a dance party in Ottawa that started that was basically like a knockoff, more dignity. And I was actually interesting to see, you know, uh, white people just go at it. Right. And, um, I, anyway, that's not the point, but I'm just saying that it's, it's unfortunate that when we're young, we don't get to know how powerful we are, you know? Yeah. For sure you can. Is there anything you want to add? No, I agree with the whole thing.
Speaker 3 00:53:59 Okay. Um, I want to thank both of you for taking time today to hang out, to share, and like, hopefully to have an opportunity to look back at the shared histories that both of you have, um, thanks for, uh, being really vulnerable with me. Um, and sharing some of those experiences that you had in the local context and what that's been like. Um, if, is there any other sort of, uh, things that, um, that either of you want to share, like one thing that Mickey, I was wondering if you feel comfortable sharing, as you've mentioned, and two different projects that you've launched off in Montreal, and can you share the names of these projects? Well, one of them, I care not to, absolutely. There are some, some things going on there. The other one would be the, um, would be the media collective, um, which is, uh, Kuda talk collective.
Speaker 3 00:54:56 And you can find that on Instagram and you can find us on Facebook as well. Sweet. Hi, did you have a handle for your effort or your deejaying practices that you want to share on the podcast? I don't have a handle for deejaying. I have, uh, two handles on Instagram. One of them is Yella eats Ottawa, and just the other one is how a SOA life, um, and on there is, it's kind of more of a, like both life coaching and academic account, um, in writing and that kind of thing. So, uh, but yeah, if anyone wants to check me out there, they can. And I just want to, before we close off, like say, um, to, to you and Carl, like, I'm, I'm happy that this project is in your hands. Um, and thanks for including me and, uh, it's really cool what you're all doing and thanks to fin for the tech support. Thank you. Thank you so much. Um, we're excited to have you be part of this project. It's an honor. So it's deeply appreciated. Thank you
Speaker 0 00:56:15 To be continued. Podcast is produced by Finn on a Shaw music provided by Ben sound.com. Thank you to today's speakers, Mickey Bradshaw and Haida Moosa. The podcast is part of Carleton university art galleries and virtual stone Croft symposium. The symposiums organized in conjunction with the exhibition to be continued troubling. The queer archives, curated by Ana Shaw Hawk and Carra Tierney and presented at the gallery in fall 2020, the exhibition and podcast expand conversations around local queer histories and futures. We are grateful for the support of Carlton university, the Canada council for the arts, the Ontario arts council and the stone Croft foundation for the arts. The stall cross foundation promotes education in the visual arts and fosters the public's appreciation of the visual arts to find out more about the stone crop symposium by visiting quack.
Speaker 5 00:57:23 <inaudible>.