Brad Fraser is an award winning writer/director/host who has worked extensively in various media. Credits include plays; Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, Poor Super Man, True Love Lies, Kill Me Now, and others produced worldwide, film; Love and Human Remains, writer and Leaving Metropolis, writer director, and television; Queer as Folk, writer, story editor and associate producer and Jawbreaker which he hosted for two seasons on Out TV. He has written a number of projects for radio, CBC and BBC, as well as regular columns and stories for Xtra, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and others. He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, twice listed in Tim Magazine’s Top Ten Plays of the year, and has recently finished his Masters’ degree in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Brad’s play Kill Me Now was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 2016 and is currently filming in South Korea as well as being in development for a film in Canada. His memoir “All the Rage” has just been released by Penguin/Random House. Bradfraser.net
Ahead of his appearance on our virtual stage, Brad shares an excerpt from his just released memoir, “All the Rage.”
One night the three of us had gone for a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant after leaving the club. When we left the restaurant we took a shortcut through the alley that used to run to next to the Odeon Theatre without giving it a thought.
By the time we’d gotten partway up the alley we realized we were being followed by four men of about our age. We shared a quick look and quickened our step. Our pursuers did the same, admiring Tad’s fleece lined leather coat, saying they were going to take if off of him.
Tad said, “Come on guys. We don’t need any trouble.”
They laughed. We could hear them whispering, “… faggot … cocksuckers … why you walking so fast … scared ?”
We were terrified. We were also three guys who worked out and they didn’t look all that big. Just as we emerged from the alley across the street from the Hudson’s Bay store they rushed us.
I could feel adrenaline flushing through my system. My father didn’t teach me much in my childhood but he did teach me how to put up a guard and throw a punch and I started roaring insults at them in my most demonic voice. I blocked a couple of punches and slapped my attacker away just as I heard Tad call my name. Two of them were moving in on him. Richard was holding his own with his attacker, landing a few decent blows, so I punched one of Tad’s assailants in the side of the head. He made a pained noise and amazingly they all took off suddenly.
As we walked up Jasper Avenue we were sky high with our victory, giddy and shaky. We dropped Richard off at his place and continued on to mine. Tad was staying with me while Kate was out of town doing a show as he had someone subletting his place. As we passed under the dark shadow of the old train overpass that used to cross Jasper just west of 109th Street we became aware of footsteps behind us. Our hearts sank. The whispering started again. The quartet was back and now we were just two.
Tad and I began to run. The hoods were hot on our heels. The only place open at that time of night was the Tad’s store up the block. We sprinted toward its bright lights.
We flew into the store and straight to the counter were Tad asked the clerk, a slight gay guy we slightly knew from the bars, to call the cops just as our pursuers entered. The store was moderately busy, mostly with gay guys we’d just seen an hour earlier at the club. As soon as it became obvious what was going down they all cleared out immediately.
I shared a look with Tad. He nodded and turned, grabbing the guy who was right behind him and pushing him to the back of the store. The guy and his friends were so surprised they didn’t know what to do as Tad shoved their buddy into a tall Coke display that toppled, exploding sticky soda all over the store, causing Tad’s target to slip and fall.
I grabbed the guy next to me and ran him to the door, smashing him into it so it opened and meaning to throw him out. Unfortunately his buddy got behind me and pushed me out the door as well. Tad and the third guy followed us and it became a free for all of hurled insults, punches and kicks.
As one guy came at me I grabbed the dark rimmed glasses off of his face, threw them onto the cement and spun him around so his head smacked into the brick wall. I heard someone behind me and turned bringing my elbow up too late. I took a hard one right in the nose. I was seeing stars but still swinging and roaring like a rabid bear. (Tad would later admit I scared him as much as the bashers did.) At that point Tad took a hit and retreated into the store leaving me outside with all four attackers who were moving in fast. I had nothing in my mind except hurting them as much as I could before they took me down. The rage- this wasn’t just a gay bashing- this was reliving every time some bully had hit me- this was standing up to my father- was powerful and frightening.
The likely bloodbath in which I was crippled for life was curtailed by the appearance of the store clerk brandishing a large wooden baseball bat with a couple of nails in the end screaming at the bashers to get the hell out of here because the cops were on the way. The sound of an approaching siren convinced them and they took off.
Brad Fraser visits Brockton Writers Series via our YouTube channel on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 starting at 6:30pm alongside Grace Lau, Rebecca Salazar, and James Lee Lord Parker. Our guest speaker emmy will give us pointers on, “Finding the Right Literary Agent for You.”