Sunday, February 6, 2011

30 Year Anniversary of the Toronto Bathhouse Raids

It was 30 years ago yesterday that the Toronto Bathhouse Raids occurred, and Xtra has put together a great retrospective. From Matt Mills' introduction:

"On Feb 5, 1981, 30 years ago, more than 150 Toronto police descended on that city’s gay bathhouses, arresting more than 300 innocent men. It was part of a deliberate and organized campaign by government and police to push gay baths and bars out of business, to silence the gay press and to remove gay voices from public discourse...Gay people had, of course, previously fought police harassment, but the events in Toronto in the first half of 1981 were watershed for the liberation movement in Canada. The activist chops refined then equipped gay people across the country to fight censorship, win partnership and employment rights, demand reasonable treatment from government, face HIV/AIDS, fight homophobic violence and win marriage rights."

Have a look at some of the film clips and interviews to get a sense of how pivotal this event really was in the Canadian struggle for LGBT equality.

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