Mellos Diner 1982

Mello’s Diner 1982″
{Acrylic and Ink on canvas 6×7 feet/ 2018.02.16}
/ Dalhousie Stroll in the Market, Ottawa, Ontario


I remember vividly the first TransGirls I ever met.

I was just a little kid, I wouldn’t enter puberty for another 5 years at least. My dad had been tasked with taking care of me and my toddler sister by himself and not the most enthusiastic of chefs, he decided to take us to a downtown diner, MELLOS on dalhousie in the Byward Market. Before Id even got my burger and fries I’d become fascinated with the table next to ours. 3 amazing loud talking swearing girls dressed in fabulous outfits incongrously mix matching leather and vinyl and buckles and studs and spandex and fishnets and lace.

The girls were talking fast and animated and swearing and slurring and babbling about all sorts of weird secret goings on of them battling or waiting to meet or spying on some guys or some guys where trying to find them or sumthing.

Shortly GIRL1 leaned to GIRL2 and said “this little kid at the next table is totally checking us out”

“ha, well what would he think if he knew I had a diq ?” GIRL2 squawked.

“Oh I knew that” I blustered. I had suspected somthing was up but now I had a key piece of the puzzel.

The 3 girls fell silent for the first time since we’d got there. All just looked back and forth at eachother.

“I think, wow, thats real neat!”

GIRL1 made exaggerated O! face and GIRL2 wound up like spring. “Omigawd that’s the youngest trick ever !! That’s a new record. OMIGAWD hell no, no kid, come back here and find me in 10 or 20 years!”

They cackled about this lil boy in awe of them. Shortly GIRL3 got in to this whole thing that had nothing to do with me where she was the only of the 3 who ordered food cuz shed just come in to money earlier and I think she bought the others their coffee and let them eat her fries.and for the next 20 minnits she argued with the night manager about if she could take her incongruous shoes off in a restaurant and put her sore feet on the seat or not. before my burger was done they launched back out on to dalhousie street with urgency and didn’t even notice me watching them go.

I was amazed by them, they lived in a secret wild and crazy world right under the surface of my own. they seemed to know lots of people and had a bunch of money they might get at any minute. And they weren’t like any regular boy or girl id ever met or seen ever. at least one of them had mutated secondary sexual characteristics! besides that they seemed like mythical ambigendered fantasy people, their sexy tuff thrift store sex shop style had already left a deep impression on dorky lil kid me.

I wasnt even offended that they had seen me as a boy cuz it was a full decade before I’d ever start having a sex life, let alone an identity more complex than that i liked bed, coloring, and eating lots of hot dogs.

Nor did I identify as one of them. No, I had never seen anyone like this before. I had bumped in to a gaggle of beautiful slightly frightening demon angels who left me in shock and awe. by what leap of my child’s imagination could I have even wished to be them when they had been conjured from beyond my understanding and seemingly Inhabited a secret world just beyond mine.

I went back to Mellos 20 years later after I’d started my own change but I never saw them again. 30 years later Mellos was trying to fancy up for the hipster set, the Tgirls of dalhousie st had moved the T-stroll somewhere else.

33 years later Mellos lost out to the rising rents and closed. The city of ottawa pressed charges when they stole back their own iconic 2 ton neon sign, which had been declared a heritage sight. I hear the 16 foot glass and steel and wires contraption is today in the back of the impound lot.

The identity of the 3 girls is unknown 4evr.


up to 2×2 feet is size

Mellos Diner 1982 // TrOn // 2018 Print Shop

$9.99 – $99.99