Seducing Whistler’s gay community 

Three local residents are seeking to “out” Whistler’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transexual (GLBT) community with a monthly club night starting Thursday.

It’s called “Seduce,” a monthly event at the Savage Beagle nightclub that’ll give people from Whistler’s sizable GLBT population a chance to network and socialize in an open and safe setting.

Seduce is the brainchild of three locals; one of them is Stephen Greig, a 27 year old who runs a ski school program at Whistler Kids. He’s lived in Whistler for the past seven years save for one he spent in Australia.

After trying out for September’s Mr. Gay Canada competition, an annual event that seeks out people who can advocate for equal rights for gays, he and friends Kate Grinter and Lottie Barnes got together to mull over the idea of a regular gay night in Whistler.

“We were just thinking about it… things I could do in the community here for our gay community,” Greig said in an interview. “It’s still pretty hard to meet the new people who come into town who might be gay, they don’t come out right away or they don’t know if they can.”

Whistler already has a gay night with Whoosh, a monthly event that takes place at the Southside Diner. While Greig and Grinter appreciate that it’s there, the event only goes until midnight — and it’s not the same as a nightclub.

“There’s already a gay night in Whistler but not in the nightclub setting,” said Grinter, a ski instructor and tennis coach. “We thought it would be fun to create it first to get employees out. Obviously a lot of people are here for working holidays and they are here for a short period of time.

“We also want to bring a diverse crowd from Vancouver and Squamish and Pemberton, so (we’re) trying to promote in those areas as well.”

The night works like this: five bucks gets you in the door of the Savage Beagle. There, in the intimate space of the nightclub near the Body Shop, attendees will find go-go dancers, prize giveaways and tunes by DJ Delux, a three-year performer at the Shambhala Festival, and DJ Cherchez la Femme, a Vancouver-based DJ.

It’s a “high quality, energetic night” that organizers hope will provide a safe, secure environment and promote “awareness and understanding” within Whistler’s straight and GLBT communities.

“Hopefully they’ll realize, holy cow, Whistler is a fine place to come out of the closet and be openly gay,” Greig said. “They’ll obviously be able to talk to people like me and my friends who will be like, oh my god, you’ll have no issues here.”

The organizers came up with the name on the fly. Grinter and Barnes were sitting together one night and they wanted something “sexy and classy.”

“We didn’t want something tacky,” Grinter said. “We wanted our club setting to be sexy and a little more classy.”

Soon they thought of “Seduce” and pitched it to Greig. He accepted it immediately.

“You can really play with the word seduce and make different nice titles,” Greig said. “Like ‘Seduce Whistler,’ or ‘Seduce My Long Weekend,’ stuff like that, you can really change the title to each party so you can kind of have different themes.”

The first Seduce will happen Thursday night at the Savage Beagle, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets can be bought at the door.

After that, the organizers hope to keep it going as long as they can.

“We just want to keep going and keep going,” Grinter said. “Hopefully it’s successful here.”


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