OTTAWA — ‘Mark? Is that you under there?’
If it was, the soft-spoken introvert I’d met on Friday night at The Flamingo lounge on Elgin Street had undergone an eye-popping transformation.
Replacing the slim and dapper bald man who’d shyly introduced himself to me two nights earlier was a sultry dark-skinned coquette with flame red lips, a cute blond bob and sporting a head-to-toe, skin-tight leopard print number. I eyed his towering heels and made a mental note to ask where he’d picked them up.
“Nooooo, darling! Not tonight, that’s my boy name. Tonight, my name is …” — pausing dramatically and waving a manicured hand — “my name is Markida Brown!”
It was, after all, Sunday night at The Flamingo, arguably the most colourful addition to Ottawa’s hipper club scene. Branded as a destination for “the gay and fabulous,” The Flamingo actually aims to be much more — the capital’s only truly integrated gay-straight venue that, like Montreal’s Stereo, Piknik Electronik and Marché Bonsecours, offers a place where sexual is more important than orientation.
“It’s really about integration,” says general manager/producer Sebastien Provost, 35, a slight and handsome man with the energy of a fiercely intelligent Jack Russell terrier. “It’s primarily gay, but it’s where the cool, fabulous people come. Like in Montreal and Toronto, we’re non-segregating.”...Cue the Gigi.