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Someone messaged me about being a mentor to youth.

I have been mentoring people I have met through my programs since they began in the 1960s.

I prefer people who come naturally into my life, find value and decide they want to be part of it.

Official mentoring programs are, like everything official, out.

In my youth I had several mentors. They were all tough which was great.

That kind of toughness is not welcome in official circles where paying lip service to much more important than paying due.

Alexandre Hamel was mentored here: .

Petunia was mentored here: .

Andre Skinner (Slow Death :Lights) was mentored here: .

Emo Philips was a regular at my programs. He sent me a postcard on which he wrote, “I honestly believe you are the greatest teacher I know,”

There are lots more. This has been and continues to be the real work of my life. Gay guys tend to give me attitude. They look at me (as they do many) and say, “Wrinkle queen.”

I brought Grim Natwick to Toronto in 1980 and 1982. He became one of my best mentors as did Shamus Culhane: .

Of course, Jane Jacobs and Judith Merril mentored me. Jane I met in my programs in 1968 when she and her family came to Toronto. “I had wonderful teachers in the first and second grades who taught me everything I know. After that, I’m afraid, the teachers were nice, but they were dopes…I have a lack of ideology, and not because I have an animus against any particular ideology; it’s just that they don’t make sense to me…they get in the way of thinking. I don’t see what use they are…University and uniformity, as ideals, have subtly influenced how people thought about education, politics, economics, government, everything…We are misled by universities and other intellectual institutions to believe that there are separate fields of knowledge. But it’s clear there are no separate fields of knowledge. It is a seamless web.”-Jane Jacobs. Over a few beers in her home Mrs. Jacobs said to me, “The best part of what you offer is what you have to say.” Contrast that to Gordon Bowness who wrote in XTRA, “Reg Hartt talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks…” That’s pretty much been the reaction from the queer community which for the most is nothing if not restless.

When Judith Merril died one person after another at her memorial spoke of how hard she was to love and of how she could suddenly (and for it seemed no reason) shout, “GET OUT!” She was a hard teacher. I loved her for it.


The core of masculinity does not derive from
being male, nor friendliness from those who
console. Your old grandmother says, “Maybe
you shouldn’t go to school. You look a little
pale.” Run when you hear that. A father’s
stern slaps are better. Your bodily soul wants
comforting. The severe father wants spiritual
clarity. He scolds, but eventually leads you into
the open. Pray for a tough instructor to hear and
act and stay within you. We have been busy
accumulating solace. Make us afraid of how we were.
-Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks).

Judy was that tough instructor. I loved her for it.

Today kids call the cops on tough instructors.

When I first came here in the mid-1960s I ( was wonderfully mentored by a man named Billy Veltzel as well as by the great John Herbert (Fortune And Men’s Eyes). If we are receptive life provides much better mentors than does any sort of official program. Bruce Simpson was homeless when I brought him into my home. He asked what the best course was to follow for building a career in animation. I told him to stay away from Sheridan College, find a studio that was hiring and would train on the job and earn while he learned. He went out that day and came back with a job at one of the best studios in Toronto: .

Stedmond Pardy was and is being mentored here:  .

WizTheMC chanced by. We talked. He came in. He’s doing incredible work: .

The best thing is that the people I am mentoring are also mentoring me.

It’s a two street.

The young have much to teach when they meet an open heart. Trouble is, they don’t meet them often enough.–Reg Hartt

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