This remembrance of Trevor is a joint effort by Colin Lawrence, Sabrina Olender, Nancy Irwin and me, Steve Munro.
We invite readers to leave their own memories via the comments section. These are moderated and will usually appear publicly in short order.
On May 22, Trevor Jacques died of a heart attack at the age of 64.
He was predeceased by his parents Roland and Marie-Louise (YouYou) of whom he was particularly fond, and is survived by siblings Gerald, Jacqueline and John, and many other relatives.
Trevor was born in England and moved to Canada in 1981.
Trevor had two families: his birth family in England and Belgium, and his adopted family among Toronto’s LGBT and leather SM community including his partner, Colin Lawrence.
His degree in Physics from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London only hinted at the career to follow. It included field seismology, avionics, infra-red sensing, computer systems engineering, database marketing, and authoring a web-based survey creation tool. At his death, he was Chief Information Officer for a Toronto fitness equipment manufacturer.
Trevor was an avid outdoorsman. His website included the line “If I’m not home, you’ll likely find me on water, on blades, or on skis.” Cycling was another passion, and at the end he was riding through the University of Toronto grounds clad as was his wont in black super short shorts, flip flops and a wee t-shirt.
And his Apple watch. For years, Trevor mocked those who were slaves to their phones, but Apple won out.
Classical music was another love, although that ebbed for composers much past the mid-19th century. At concerts, opera and ballet, Trevor could be found in leather with ostentation matching the occasion. One memorable Dancers for Life gala saw him sporting a metal studded cod-piece to the surprise and delight of many in the house. For occasions such as Pride, he would sport rather less.
Trevor played a major role in Toronto’s gay leather community. During the early years of the AIDS crisis, a major concern was how SM play could be done safely. Collectively Trevor, the late Dr. Dale McCarthy, Mike Hamilton and “Sniffer”, hatched the idea of a health and safety seminar for SM players over drinks at The Toolbox, then a well-known watering hole on Eastern Ave.
These original four volunteers, known as the FourSM, first presented the seminar nine months later. This became Toronto’s Safer SM Education project, part of ACT’s Talking Sex project. It was the longest running of all Aids Committee of Toronto’s projects, making it to more than 14 years.
The seminars were designed for the gay male community, but in time audiences grew to a wider range as interest in SM play grew beyond its closeted origins.
The FourSM put their seminar knowledge into print with On The Safe Edge: A Manual for SM Play.
A pamphlet on SM safety started out as a simple foldout but grew over the years to a glossy 40 pages with editorial work from Trevor and many others.
Trevor was twice honoured with the Pantheon of Leather award for the Canadian Region. In November, 2000, he was presented with the Francis Robichaud Memorial award for long-time service by a member of the leather community to the gay and lesbian community. In 2002, Trevor received a volunteer award for his many years of service to ACT.
Trevor’s kitchen had a prodigious stash of tea, much obtained from Fortnum & Mason’s on his trips back home. His forté, however, was chocolate truffles produced in a dazzling array of flavours for the year end holidays. His annual fête would have been a grand post-pandemic celebration.
A celebration of Trevor’s life will be arranged when circumstances permit.
Trevor and his truffles will be sorely missed.
Out On The Town: Enroute to the Northbound Leather Bash 2017
It is so overwhelming that Trevor is gone, but I am also buoyed by the impact he obviously had on so many lives. This wasn’t supposed to go live until Saturday morning, but through a slight miscue it spread through the community like wildfire. How wonderful.
I will miss all the actions and conversations I was hoping to have with him that are no longer possible. And will revel at the horizon this man created for me. He took risks for me and my growth that changed my life forever. And for that I will always adore him.
I love you Trevor
I had first met Trevor briefly, some 15 or more years ago, in and around the Ms. Black Eagle contest here in Toronto. I met him again years later in a much more significant way, at one of the Northbound meet n greet events, 8 years ago. Trevor quickly became part of our family. He was a generous, fun-loving and horizon-opening partner to Colin and quickly became a good friend to me.
Trevor was always quick to smile, and quick to mischief! And every time I think of Trevor I of course also think of his truffles and related truffle parties, which I immensely enjoyed. Trevor had such a wide and varied social circle! I was always meeting someone new and interesting through him.
I am honored to have known him and to have had him as part of our family and am deeply saddened that our time with him was so brief.
Thank you for bringing such light to us Trevor. You are greatly missed.
I first met Trevor at a workshop at Ryerson University. There were straight jackets involved. My girlfriend at the time went up front to try one on. That was 1992, and the scene in Toronto was flourishing in an underground way. The Betty Page Social Club had already begun in 1989.
Years later I attended and then was asked to join the Safer SM Education Project that did maybe 8 full day sessions a year. Fact was, they needed a woman. By then I was on par with Steve and Trevor, comfortable enough with our kinks to be sharing information.
I had co-founded the SM Women’s Discussion Group in 1999 and we were having parties. We often co-ordinated with those Safer SM events that, by then, had moved to the Manulife building’s party room. He was brave to host those very kinky workshops in the place where he lived. He was not in the closet! And he delighted in wearing his fetish outfits in the elevator or on the street.
He was overjoyed when our practices no longer had us listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM as mentally deranged. Like losing that status as queer here in 1969, these changes happened in his lifetime. It took many like Trevor to make those changes.
It happens with queer and kinky folk that we end up crossing all sorts of social divides because we are a minority within a minority. Just being queer used to be enough to bring people from all walks of life together. Queers met at a bar or a party. Kinky queers dared enter a leather bar or a dungeon party.
Trevor and I came from very different backgrounds. But that did not stop us from debating on so many levels, covering subjects that could have easily had us walk away. Instead, we challenged and educated each other.
I felt a certain joy when it was he who sent me an article on racism. Ever since BLM stopped the Pride Parade in 2016 we had been defending our stands. It was only a couple of months ago when I thought, wow, he learned. I was so pleased. And this is the man who told me that the education system had failed me. Took me two decades to understand. But it did not take that long to know I had a chosen brother.
He indulged me in window shopping around Yorkville, looking at high heel shoes! We met for tea. We bicycled and roller bladed together. Skied. And we spent countless hours trouble shooting his system that hosted my email. It kept us connected if all else failed!!!
Gone are the days I would call him from my warehouse to his Ivory Tower to ask what the weather was like, and he would tell me what people were wearing so I would not have to climb back up 5 flights of stairs. Lately, he sent me photos of sunsets. Now what?
I am grateful for his speedy exit, sudden and painless. Bravo! But those of us left behind have a hole that will not be filled. Just last week I texted, asking what those little bears were called … and he said Tele-Tubbies. Right. Those of us at that MLT dance will recall that scandal!!!
Trevor, you will be forever missed – in my lifetime and beyond. Your activism changed our world!
Trevor’s path crossed mine back at the outset of the SaferSM series when a friend invited me to attend. Not long after, as a volunteer, I turned into something of a House Manager and willing demo model for sessions.
But for me, Trevor was not just about the leather scene and SM workshops. He was also someone with overlapping interests in the arts, technology and politics. Our conversations would wander through many threads, and already I have bumped into “I should talk to Trevor about that”, only to remember his absence.
The idea that play could be, should be fun, hit a high point during one workshop when we presented a highly modified version of the ten plagues in a decidedly non-Biblical context. As the hapless Pharaoh, all ten were visited upon me. The things we do to serve our community!
The Ten Plagues
- Darkness [blindfold]
- A plague of frog [a toy frog that croaked when squeezed used as a gag]
- A swarm of gnats [pinching and pulling of hair]
- A swarm of flies [clips modified to have small cardboard bugs on them]
- Dead cattle [floggers and rubber chicken]
- Boils [cupping]
- Lightning [violet wand]
- Locusts [threatened shaving]
- Blood [the plague of condiments]
- Death [mummification of the Pharaoh with condiment preservation]
Grey Poupon mustard of course!
This site exists as my personal blog, and from 1996 to 2014, it was hosted on Trevor’s small server farm. Now I am returning the favour.