Why Calgary?… with Chris C

Ok, so I’m aware it maybe verges on cheating to have included Chris C in the latest Elska issue, since he doesn’t actually live in Taipei anymore. He is a native though, and only moved fairly recently from Taiwan to Canada, but does he still qualify as a ‘local boy’?

I met Chris while he was back home visiting for the Chinese New Year holidays. He was kind of a last minute addition to the roster, following several cancellations of other guys. So at the time I was willing to overlook his residency status ‘cos I just needed someone, anyone. Then after meeting him in person, there was no way I would even consider cutting him from the issue. I really liked this guy, so I made an executive decision and declared him a ‘local boy’.

We kept in touch after the shoot and I was curious why he chose to move to Canada. And why Calgary? I’d only ever spent one night there, just passing through on a road trip. It had some tall buildings and a Tim Hortons or twelve, but that’s all I really found out about it. I also had heard it was the Texas of Canada, though, so I wondered why a gay man would choose to move here out of other places in Canada.

For Chris, the decision was about learning English and integration. There was no way he was going to move to Vancouver or Toronto, he told me — there were too many Chinese people there. Indeed the proportion of Toronto’s population with Asian heritage is 35%; of Vancouver’s it is 43%. That makes Vancouver the most Asian city outside Asia (data found here). So I fully understand and admire his choice.

And actually it makes me curious about Calgary. I even was thinking of doing an Elska issue there so I could get a closer look (and perhaps meet Chris again). In the end, I did decide to shoot the future Elska Issue (08) in a Canadian city. I won’t reveal which one it is yet, but it isn’t Calgary. There’s still time for that one day though.

Originally published at www.elskamagazine.com.