Ring it in: 2018


I love nostalgia. Capturing the moment. Journaling. This site has become sort of a living version of this. I was gifted a supremely awesome new book for 2018: it’s a 5 year journal with a small space for each day of the year, where you can add to each ‘same day’ for the next 5 years in a row. Five years stacked on top of each other with gilded pages; you can scan back and compare at a glance how you were doing on each day. I’m very excited to crack the spine.  Blogger, Danielle at verderamade.com just did a really lovely post about journals, methods and content; check it out!


I started the Style Sa Vie site years ago to indulge my own creativity: I used to draw a picture of my outfit every day in high school, then technology came along and made it so much easier to bring that into sharp focus. Like choosing my clothes, I don’t write this for other people, that’s not why I started. But here, and on my other blog, where I chronicle my fertility journey with my wife, I get so much back from the kind emails, comments and encouragement of an online community. I sometimes wonder why I do this still. I’m not going to be an Alexa Chung or Aimee Song. But that was never the point. I have a life and a job that I love, and I have a hunch that I will like looking back at a snapshot of what life has been like, whether it’s the year in review, or a decade from now. Style Sa Vie is about the words: Style with a possessive adjective in front of Life. I want to own my life and curate it in a way that I find inspiring. A life of style. A style of living. Life that is mine.

In the spirit of hearkening back and looking ahead, a question: Do you believe in resolutions? For me this year will be about intention- being intentional. I want some guiding phrases, not edicts for a new year.

*Joy – be more joyful, rather than shredding joy with the tools of perfectionism, anxiety or guardedness. I am pretty comfortable with living and embracing vulnerability, but I can definitely get mired down, perseverating on things that just aren’t important. I’m going to Marie Kondo my attitude; does it spark joy? No? Then heave-ho!

*Let Go – This time of the physical stuff: of clutter, of things that no longer serve me. But also the metaphysical stuff: of the idea of perfect, or fears like ‘missing out,’ things taking too long to accomplish, or wondering what the next year will hold. Also, I’m getting rid of the self-judgement. I don’t judge the people I love; why do I do it to myself? I love me. But I should do it better.

*Start Now – this is the moment. Don’t wait for a ‘good time,’ or the ‘right’ time. If I see a repair in the house, go get the tools. If I think about a friend, call that person when it pops into your head. If I want something, what will I do to get it?

* Keep indulging and seeking new experiences. Don’t be complacent. If what I want is to savour a new taste and have another glass of wine. I will. If what I want is to get back to the Ballet Barre… I will do that, too. Also, Be creative. Remember how lucky I am. Celebrate my relationships. Take a deep breath. Don’t be frugal with your love and affection.

*Invest in people who invest in you. And invest in yourself!

*Create routines, but only if they help you reach these goals. I did 365 days of Outfits of the Day last year (which you can find in the style heading), so I can definitely do more mindful writing. Starting today: Journalling.

See you on the other side,

The Style Sa Vie

No Filter on Hate: An Open Letter to the New Neighbours

Open Letters

We just got new neighbours and sometimes the internet is the perfect place to share/vent. The very “friendly” family is also latently homophobic. The one son knows we are gay. He was surprised at first. He told us he is ‘fine with it’ but let me know that his parents aren’t. Today’s update: they think you are “rotten”. Awesome. Kid, that’s one to keep to yourself. #nofilter


Welcome to the neighbourhood.

I want to ask them: why did you move to Canada if you were not interested in the values of acceptance and diversity; but there’s the rub, the same freedom that entices, attracts and welcomes a family from Iraq, to move into the sleepy suburbs of the GTA (that’s the Six, for you out of towners) is the same value that allows you to harbour those views. Because it is a freedom to believe what you do. But I have lived here my entire life. My family is not indigenous, and this land never belonged to us; recognizing the gift and privilege of living here, I have always been aware of how lucky I am. As a 5th generation Canadian, I am lucky beyond measure, and spend my days as a teacher, teaching English, Dance, Drama, yes… but mostly, teaching new generations of students to be aware of the value and beauty of their differences; teaching students of diverse religions to know me as a human being; to see the dignity in one another; to know that whatever oppression we have each faced, we should see that pain as something we want to remove for others – not perpetuate.

I spend my entire career, going on ten years now, looking into young faces, teaching them to be proud of who they are. I am a 35-year-old, white, able-bodied, English speaking, educated, queer woman. Most of my classes are students who are born outside of Canada, the majority learned another language before English. Never has a student of mine made me feel that I was less deserving of dignity, respect and kindness; of all those kids who I have gotten to know and love over the course of 90 days together in a semester, none who have looked at my face, heard my stories, shared theirs…made me feel that even though our experiences widely vary they couldn’t see me as a human being.


These are just some of the notes and letters my class made me this June. I tear up just thinking about what an impact it has on me to have a job with this kind of opportunity and reward.

Why come from a place ravaged by decades of war, to a continent rife with intolerance towards immigrants, with new pointed policies that marginalize, only to find a friendly, warm set of neighbours and bring hate with you – hate in your heart for an outstretched hand?

I often think about it this way: I don’t find YOUR wife attractive. I don’t want to imagine the intimacies of 99% of the happy couples I see on a day to day basis (or unhappy, but that’s beside the point); but me not wanting to picture the physicality of your relationship, or not understanding how you get through a day with the people you choose to surround yourself with, or even finding a disconnect in the way you believe that God manifests in your life… doesn’t mean that I should deny you that right, or behave in a way that makes you feel unsafe.

If you don’t understand my ‘attraction to women’ or my ‘lifestyle’… that’s fine. You don’t need to. If I asked you imagine, how does YOUR wife find it in her heart to have sex with a man? You don’t have to understand her attraction. If you find it repellent… not a problem… you don’t have to sleep with yourself. It isn’t your right to condone or condemn the love between other people. Just your own.

It’s a reminder of the privilege some have and some don’t: can you be sure your neighbours will be kind and respectful? I often enjoy the bubble of feeling like so much progress has happened that I’m immune to the bullshit.

This is your home. But it is also my home.

And I won’t let your intolerance and ignorance make me change. I don’t want to view strangers as statistics for religious intolerance, small-mindedness, fear-mongering or stereotypes. You are one person, a few people, who unfortunately don’t have enough love in your hearts to be warm and open to the diversity of people who make up your community. I will not change for you.

 I posted about this on Social Media: because sometimes just hearing the echo of your own community helps put things in perspective. I just need to bask in this before venturing out to my car, for the daily dose of pleasant, but fake waves from the man sitting in a lawn chair in front of his garage. How does someone wave you off for your day, while imagining you burning for eternity. There is something fucked up in that.
* That’s awful. People should be thrilled to live next to your awesomeness.
* Come live next door to us!
* This makes me profoundly sad. Not for you guys. You guys are perfect. And glorious. But for those people and those kids who have just missed out on two of the most glorious people on the planet.
I wanna insert some positive bullshit about how you might change his life with your positive modelling but fml ain’t nobody got time for that and frankly it is not your job to change people’s archaic views. So sorry girl.
* Ugh. I’m so sick of this bullshit. Sorry you have to deal with this at your own house.
* Fuck those people. Sorry not feeling so charitable about the ignorant today .
* ^What she said^ 

* How infuriating. I’m so sorry.
* Address of your neighbours please…. and I’ll bring the carton of ❤️❤️
* You two are more than fabulous
* We don’t think you are rotten. We love your compassion and love of English and dance. We are thankful for your dedication to your students, field hockey players, and the under privileged in all walks of life. And thank you for being true to you and your spouce. Xo
* Ugh! I’m so sorry you have to deal with all that BS. Sending much love your way!
*Have a big PRIDE party … and invite them.
*Seriously… F off anyone who thinks they even have the right to think they get to choose if they are fine with it or not.
* That’s incredible that he could feel so familiar to speak such filth and judgement. Imagine what it would be to have his parents to set such a rotten example. He’s going to have a difficult time adjusting. I wonder if he would say anything if it were my husband or I.
*Do not be so tolerant that you tolerate intolerance !!!

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A long social-media inspired conversation about raising genderless kids, queer identity and… being human

Open Letters

Big Day For #Us


We’ve had a good three years. For whatever reason we are taking over the news and social media (just a little). 

We are front page on Huffington Post Canada. See the whole story at http://m.huffpost.com/ca/entry/16089958

And getting featured with #YYZImports in their promo video. 

Check them out for great, affordable and eclectic jewellery. @yyzimports 

And getting sweet love and shoutouts for our 3Rd anniversary from the talented photographer Kate O’Connor of #

How do you celebrate your #love and your #uniqueself?

Day 308. – a day for…


Lying on the floor.  

Aka. Working on our dance moves to Whitney Houston. 

Making yummy fajitas. 

Looking through old photo albums. 

Reminiscing about high school. 

And how cool we all looked in the early 200os. 

This time of year makes me feel so grateful. So grateful. I’m surrounded by love, support, opportunity and freedom. 

Make sure there people in your life know how much you love them. 


Portugal in Moving Pictures

Indulge, Love

Is it too late for a #tbt? It’s Thursday, and it’s not so far back, after all… Here is a taste of our delicious Portugal trip. A sweet little movie that captures just the cherry of what it’s like to travel with a lovely lady like Allia (@buttonsmcleod  if you’d like to catch more from her on Insta). Feel free to check out the pictures from each day of our journey here (Day 1-15 of our Portugal journey!). It really is a place that you have to see to believe. Around every turn there was something breathtaking, adorable or hilarious.

I hope that voce gosta muito this little vid. I present: a peek into Portugal, from the perspective of two lesbians in love. Tchau and beijos!


Carol / Do I Sound Gay?

Love, Open Letters

While the rest of the Western world was at a screening of the new Star Wars film, I was hearing parts of the film’s sound fx leak through the wall, while watching the film Carol. To round out the day, I also watched the documentary, Do I Sound Gay? 


Photo Credit

For different reasons, each film really brought out an unexpected revelation about their shared subject matter, queerness, and had me thinking deeply about a thing I feel (and have felt for most of my life) that I’ve got a pretty good grasp on.

I’ve been gay (consciously) for half my lifetime. Coming out, as I did, at 16-years-old, means I’ve had lots of time to think about it. Sometimes, honestly, I’m surprised by what I still don’t know. Or haven’t considered.

At Carol, a beautiful film set in the 1950’s, the story centers on two unlikely heroines, and their relationship; the film is spare and haunting. The sole love scene unfolds three-quarters of the way into the movie and is shot with reserve. This was interesting for several reasons. Leave aside that the movie’s leads, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, do an incredible job, conveying the nuances of restraint, fascination, heartbreak and desire, and that the film is up for numerous awards. It’s one of several films out right now (including The Danish Girl, About Ray), that tell the stories of lgbt lives. Despite the trailer that makes it pretty obvious that this is a gay romance (but also a human one), a man got up, amidst grumbles, dragging his wife with him, and loudly protested, “I’m not going to watch this!?!” as soon as a woman’s clothes came off… and she didn’t take them off in order to be the receptacle for some man’s desire or hard appendage.


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Interesting; for once (one time too many, apparently) he had to suspend HIS disbelief and imagine a story that is not designed to reflect his desires; like every queer person who watches a love scene, that does not show their own situation, and still manages to empathize, to have their heart quicken, tears brim their eyes and to feel tenderly towards imagined lives that share the human experiences of love, loss and longing. How many thousands of relationships do we witness and respond to? How many of those are like our own? A mirror to our heart and mind.

So, that happened. One couple walked out. But for many of the rest of us, we watched as something familiar to us unfolded on screen: the closing of space. The moment between two bodies that is transformational. I would wager that every gay person has traversed a great distance, mentally or emotionally, when they took the first steps to close the gap between who they have been and who they are. 

For Rooney Mara, it is the slow motion walk, across a crowded room, where she walked towards the conscious decision to become something else, leaving her old life behind.

I remember that moment, and how conscious it was to cross the distance, weighing the choice to own each step, mind racing as my body moved, knowing that I was changing myself forever, in my own mind and the mind of everyone I cared about… and had never met. I looked at her, and saw the expanse of kitchen tiles stretched out between us, each one impossibly far away from the next, black and white. The kitchen of my host family, in Brazil, at sixteen. She, leaning against the counter, drinking glass after glass of water, stalling. She made me take those steps, alone, coaxing me with her voice, small talk, fully aware of the trajectory of my body and mind; later she told me she didn’t want to be ‘something that happened to me’. She wanted us to be consciously chosen. I remember it all.

The friend who saw the film with us last night joked that she ran across that space. She knew, wholeheartedly, where and to whom she was going. Some spend years circling it. Choosing to change forever – – even if you have known (forever) that you are not what you seem, or that you are…and that everything after this moment will confirm it. Some would argue that it isn’t a change at all – you are who you are. But how many of us have to make a conscious break from the script, read to you and confirmed by everything visible and invisible in your life? You choose to stop lying. To become true. You choose to diverge from the path everyone takes for granted.

The man in the theatre was so sure of that path that he didn’t think it was reasonable that he hadn’t been warned, explicitly, about the detour.

And once we get to the other side – recognizing, to ourselves, our friends, our family, our communities… who we are (sometimes in varying orders and in varying degrees), we have crossed infinite space.

Yes, we all have firsts. But how many share a communal, cultural memory of a (sometimes painful, sometimes terrifying) first step to belonging that is not part of the story we have all grown up believing we will live?


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Which brings me to the next film: Do I Sound Gay? where a documentarian explores the fascination and self-loathing surrounding his voice and its gayness. He asks questions (ones I’ve heard asked so many times) about whether gayness is really a thing, vocally, and why, if it is, there are such strong feelings about it. Is it natural, nurtured? When it is involuntary, how does it impact the person who becomes part of a stereotype that is larger than themself?

Two questions stand out: why do I care if I sound gay? Why am I happy when someone can’t tell I’m gay? I honestly want to know. For queer women, I think, it’s different. We don’t have an audible stereotype. But I can identify with the strange, mystifying pride at being unidentifiable as a ‘gay person’. What does it say about me that I am happy to pass?


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Partly, it means that I can self-define and exist more fluidly, bound only by the rigorous cultural expectations of my gender. Partly, I like playing with and breaking down the stereotype from the inside. We all know what the stereotypes entail, even if we feel that they are mostly ghostly, outdated ‘types’that really describe no one in particular… If I did embody the stereotype, I’d cry. There is some shame. And pride at having escaped a laughable cliche. And then there is privilege. I am aware that, in passing, I have it. It gives me the ability to move between groups, unseen, and to use my words to shape perceptions of myself… and my people. Wink wink.

In sixteen years I have never felt ashamed of who I am, not for my gayness. But I have interesting queries about what our identities and aversions mean for us, individually and as a group. It’s the perfect lead-in to a New Year to embrace some introspection. So I ask: do I sound gay?


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