Glenn Dwyer

for there is no one on earth like the true shepherd and there is nothing in heaven like the suffering of real life.

Patti Smith, Rockaway Beach, from Year of the Monkey.Sep. 24, 2019

Glenn Dwyer died on Saturday May 8, 2021 in ICU in a Toronto Hospital. There I said it. The finality of actually putting it down on paper while thinking of the statement’s awful reality. Glenn has left us, he has left me, it’s personal. 

I am writing about a life, Glenn’s life as I saw it and felt it. Anyone’s life is like a kaleidoscope when it’s held up to one person’s eye they see something completely different than someone else sees. Let’s say we were to sit down over a couple of shots maybe a tequila or a Jack Daniels or of course a Glenntini (Glenn’s infamous shooter creation) and talked of who he was and how we remembered him. There would be the mention of kindness, big hearted, sweet, smart, an asshole, a wonderful asshole though, prideful, humble, handsome, sexy, and so forth and so forth. A good man in his early 50’s far too young to die.

I must mention a hard fact here that not everyone is born to live to 70 years old and reach old age. It just isn’t so. Oh but these individuals who break our hearts by leaving all of us so soon, burn so bright so strong that they accomplish more in their short lives than many could accomplish if they lived to 100.

The fact is Glenn was a true fun loving adventurer, a pirate, a kind open-hearted man of strong values, and a fully realized and unabashedly gay man. He loved being alive, he loved the world and all its diversities. So I’m going to end this little thing with a personal experience and one that I will always hold dear to my heart.

Once, coming in to work I was in an emotional state and obviously distressed. It doesn’t matter why but what matters is he stopped what he was doing as I came around the bar to greet him at the start of our day and looked at me deep into my eyes. He said “Patricia what’s the matter?” in two steps he was in front of me locking our eyes together and he  put a hand on each shoulder and said “it’s ok, let it out, I love you and am here for you now and until you say you’re good.” That is one of my strongest memories of him and one of my biggest regrets. I never should have told him I was good. Perhaps he’d still be with us today.

Patricia Wilson

Patricia Wilson was born on the same day Elvis Presley recorded and sparked the rock and roll era with That’s All Right (Mama). Since then she has been chasing the roll wherever she can find it. Buddies’ bar manager and a stalwart of Church Street, she is the author of Musings from the Bunker and Slouching Towards Womanhood.

Read all posts by Patricia Wilson

41 Responses to Glenn Dwyer

  1. Casey Watton says:

    My Dear Glenn. My partner, my best friend, my drinking buddy my soulmate. Omg how I miss you… Coming up on a year and a half and still cant believe you left me and our baby Dean. I cant possibly miss you more…As I sit in our apartment and look at all our knickknacks, I cant help but to tear up daily. I love you now and always….

  2. Evelyn Shaller-Auslander says:

    Reading your unequivocal words and all of the kind responses, with his sly smiling face in my mind, the fact that I still say “good morning” in the evening because I loved that about him and I never even realized it’s our own inside thing that I can’t possibly explain to anyone who didn’t know him. How can you explain. He was sunshine in a grr arrgh poise.

  3. Derek says:

    I met glen the year I came out. Buddies was the first place I went to dance during my first week visiting the village. He saw me acting all awkward and nervous as I stumbled up to the bar trying to order a drink to calm my nerves. The first thing he said was “Sweetie, just breath. You’re going to have a great time tonight. Then winked.” In that moment I felt that we as gay men and queer people, we get each other. What a stunning and sweet man. I’ll cherish my last glentinni.

  4. Madison Frith says:

    I was incredibly sad to find out about Glenn’s passing. He was always so kind and fun to be around. As great as Buddies will always be, it will not be the same without him.

  5. David Gale says:

    Oh Patricia,
    A giant virtual hug is coming your way. So sorry. I can’t imagine the bar without Glenn.
    No matter how many people were jammed up behind and beside me wanting a drink (the opposite of social distancing…) Glenn always had a smile for me.
    My heart goes out to you and the whole Buddies family.

  6. Alan McGinty says:

    Beautiful tribute to a lovely man Patricia. I was so shocked to hear of Glenn’s passing, and you’re right: it was way too soon. I was always happy to see Glenn at Buddies all those years ago and i really only remember him smiling and being nice. RIP dear Glenn.

  7. Sheila M says:

    So friendly.. so approachable.. and so hard to believe I’ll never see him behind the bar again.

    A beautiful soul.

    Next time I visit buddies – the first thing I’m getting is a “Glenntini” … but it won’t be the same as he will not be making it ..

    RIP Glenn ❤️

  8. Sedina Fiati says:

    So sorry to hear about this. Glenn was a wonderful soul, a genuine and steady presence at Buddies. Thank you for this beautiful tribute Patricia.

  9. Karen says:

    It’s heartbreaking to hear of Glenn leaving this world so soon. I didn’t know him personally, but I remember seeing him during the many shows I volunteered to help out at. From what I remember, he appeared to be a decent soul. Rest in peace, Glenn.

  10. Heath V. Salazar says:

    Thank you for sharing your words Patricia. Glenn will be beloved always <3
    My heart goes out to his loved ones during this time.

  11. Denise Dwyer LeGrow says:

    Hi Patricia. I’m at a loss for words still, so I’ll just say thank you, (although I have alot of stories about my brother)
    Denise Dwyer LeGrow

    • Patricia says:

      Darling he had lots of wonderful proud stories about you. I can’t imagine how devastating this is for you, your parents and all those who loved him. Xoxo❤️

  12. Tony Sheepwash says:

    What a wonderful tribute. Though the pain never does leave us the fond memories are there as well. Keep them closest to your heart as you and others go through this time of sorrow.
    My heart and love goes out to you my friend.

  13. Waawaate says:

    This is heartbreaking. Very kind, sweet, and gentle when we crossed paths. My nervous frantic awkward self trying to appear calm and cool, but he would notice and offer me a beverage to take the edge off.

    Your tribute is beautiful.


  14. Thank you Patricia
    For your words about this wonderful man. We only knew him behind the bar, but he always had a smile and a meaningful greeting. You mention his special shoot but not exactly what it was. Can you let us know it’s make up so we can toast Glen appropriately .

  15. Thank you, Patricia. Your words are especially necessary in this context where we can’t get together. Sending big love to all my buddies in Toronto.

  16. Damien says:

    Thanks Patricia, this a beautiful remembrance. Safe passage, Glenn.

  17. Veronika Hurnik says:

    Thank you Patricia. What a beautiful memory to share with all of us and add to our own memories of Glenn behind the bar. Always welcoming, always kind. He will be missed by many.

  18. Franny says:

    Glenn made my time working at Buddies better and I doubt he knew how important he was, just being there and being himself. I trusted him and I’ll miss him. Thanks for writing this, Pat.

  19. David O says:

    I miss him already. Pour us all a shot of turkey. Much love and rest in peace, dear Glenn.

  20. Brawk Hessel says:

    Glenn was a sweetheart with a twisted sense of humour with a brilliant signature deadpan look that cut through the BS. Will him. Beautiful tribute, Patricia <3

  21. Jake Pyne says:

    This is beautiful Patricia. Safe passage, Glenn.

  22. Diane Flacks says:

    Thank you, Patricia. I still can’t believe it. Let’s always remember his kindness and sweetness and that beautiful smirky grin. Love you

  23. Karie Johnston says:

    Glenn was always so kind and friendly and that smile of his was delightful. Sincere condolences to you Patricia and Glenn’s family and friends. ❤️

  24. Rikki Ellul says:

    May we cherish our memories of sweet Glenn forever ♥

    Thank you for sharing xo

  25. pam Bartholomew says:

    Such lovely words Patricia . Buddies will never be the same without Glenn , He was always very nice to me , when going to Rikkis shows. I will miss him very much but not as much as you will. Aunty Pam

  26. keith says:

    A beautiful tribute Patricia. Rest in peace Glenn. You will be missed.

  27. Trevor McNaughton says:

    Oh Patricia, that was beautiful. Glenn was such a lovely soul, and your words make that fact so much more bittersweet. He will be sorely missed.

  28. Mike L says:

    I can’t say I knew Glenn well, but of course our paths crossed countless times I visited Buddies. He was efficient and pleasant…and even though we didn’t know each other well at all….he was always that familiar comforting person behind the bar. He will be missed greatly by so many no doubt.

  29. Andy says:

    Glenn was always a part of being at Buddies. Always kind, patient, gentle, welcoming. His quiet presence will be missed.

  30. Suzie says:

    Beautiful words Pat, I know how hard this was for you to write so thank you for reaching deep inside and for the wonderful tribute.
    I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to have a smoke at 6 on those steps without him.
    Big love to you and to the whole Buddies family

  31. Shane Gramlich says:

    Thank you for sharing Patricia. Glenn’s compassion and kindness will be deeply missed.

  32. Barry says:

    Such beautiful, tender words, simply put, he was unabashedly Glenn!

  33. Beautifully written, Patricia. You briefly brought Glenn back to life.

  34. Ryan says:

    So beautiful. Thank you. <3

  35. Susan Gapka says:

    Sadly, and with proud remembrance .

  36. Charlee says:

    Awwww ..dammit. started to bawl again while reading this.

  37. John says:

    My god Glenn was always so much fun to be around and work with. I never told him that though and maybe I should have. Rest In Peace Glenn. You’re missed by so so many.

  38. Ritchie Doucet says:

    Thank you

  39. Alex says:

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute Patricia. I loved Glenn’s company at the bar.

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