Monday, May 30, 2011

Bent Aging panel

Bent is a monthly event that showcases community members who discuss their
knowledge and expertise on various chosen topics that change each month. A
one-hour moderated panel discussion is followed by a one-hour open format Q&A
with the audience, creating an educational and interactive experience.

This month we present Bent Aging looking at how the LGBT community adapts to
ageing. Do queer people have different concerns on ageing compared to
heterosexuals? Are resources in place to accommodate queer individuals as they
reach retirement age? Should an exclusive queer seniors residence be an option?
Do queers have health issues more specific to themselves as they age? How does
our current government infrastructure facilitate the transition into elder
care? What resources and counselling are available for queer seniors? Let's
talk about sex!

Drop by, listen in, and have your say.

John Gaylord - AIDS Committee of Toronto
Ernie Lacasse - PFLAG
Paul Cogan - Gray Queers Association
Herbert Harms - Long-Term Care Homes and Services, City of Toronto

Contact the administrator if you are interested in video recording our monthly
series for podcasts. Intern or students preferred, but will consider all.

Moderator: Andrew Vail, writer, The Middle Edge,

The Details - Tuesday May 31, O’Grady’s Bar, 518 Church Street, 7pm to 9pm, Free
Admission - All Welcome -

Facebook Event Page -

Future Topics – Theatre, Astrology, Body, Travel, Fashion, Design, Cuisine, Art,
Youth Culture

Join our Facebook Page and be the first to know -

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), Southern Huron District High School

For the second time this month I was treated to the enthusiastic company of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) chapter, this time from the Southern Huron District High School, Exeter Ontario. The troupe -- comprised of six inquiring youths and Chuck Mallette, an English teacher and GSA representative -- were such keeners they arrived early despite the drizzling rain. Throughout the visit we discussed CLGA concerns such as the conservation of queer heritage and public outreach to the extent that after sharing time together we ultimately went for lunch to further the conversation. Prior to their arrival, the GSA visited the Glad Day Bookstore and upon leaving they moved onwards to the Central Toronto Youth Services and the 519 Community Centre on Church Street. Once again, friends from the GSA, you made our day and we very much look forward to seeing next year!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ALMS 2011

Rebecka Sheffield presented on the CLGA at the recent 
ALMS conference in Los Angeles. 
Photo Credit: Don McLeod. 

The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives hosted the Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections (ALMS) Conference, held in West Hollywood, May 12-15, 2011. Billed as an international academic LGBT conference with a grassroots flavour, ALMS attracted 125 delegates. The featured keynote speakers were noted historian Lillian Faderman and activist Cleve Jones. Numerous simultaneous sessions featured academic papers, panel discussions, performances, and films. Highlights of the conference included visits to local archives and libraries to examine LGBT collections, including those at the Mazer Archives, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC, and the Young Research Library at UCLA,
Three volunteers from the CLGA were able to attend (Don McLeod, Alan Miller, and Rebecka Sheffield). Rebecka’s presentation, “Sustaining Passion and Encouraging Diversity: Community Engagement at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA)” was well received.
ALMS 2012 will be hosted by the Internationaal homo/lesbisch informatiecentrum en archief (IHLIA) in Amsterdam the first week on August 2012, and will coincide with Amsterdam’s Gay Pride festivities. 

Don and Alan at the conference. 
Photo Credit: Graham Willett.
Written By: Don McLeod

National Portrait Collection Induction Ceremony

Click here for tickets 

Join us as we celebrate the induction of Sky Gilbert, Jearld Moldenhauer and Nancy Nicol with a ceremony and reception to unveil their newly commissioned portraits. For more information about the new inductees visit:

An exhibition these portraits and a selection of past inductees will open in the Archives Gallery Saturday, May 28 10-4.  The exhibition runs May 28-July 14.
For more information about the exhibition click here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pride Toronto will be funded by the city

It has been an interesting time for the queer community in Toronto.
After heated debate and a report advising that QuAIA's name isn't hate speech, today city of Toronto council voted unanimously to fund Pride Toronto this year.
Apparently out of the debate (and real examples of homophobic hate speech from councillors like Mammoliti and others) came a requirement of Pride Toronto to give QuAIA the boot if they show up at official Pride festivities.
It is a victory to be sure, but it is a bitter sweet victory.
I am glad to see that PT will get funding and live to fight another year, and happier still to see the solidarity of the community with QuAIA voluntarily abstaining from official PT some weeks back.  The bitterness comes from the fact that the Fordite sect (that has gained increased power and visibility since Ford became mayor) have been emboldened in their regular expression of homophobia.
I can't help but feel that though this year's Pride is safe, we have uncovered a tolerance for homophobia that I used to think Torontonians found distasteful at the very least.

Somehow hearing Mammoliti saying "QuAIA had better stay away...they can't just do what they want" sounds like a challenge and borders on the kind of censorship that can cause real division in the queer community.
Continued solidarity in the face of such opposition is challenging so let's hope we can keep it going.

For this year at least we can all look forward to a happy Pride in Toronto in just a few weeks!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Awfully Devoted Women - Author Talk and Book Signing

Author Talk and Book Signing
Awfully Devoted Women: Lesbian Lives in Canada, 1900-65 (UBC Press) is the
first book-length study of lesbian sexuality, relationships, and community
in Canada before 1965. Awfully Devoted Women has been selected for the 2011 Over the Rainbow Book List, a Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association.

Vancouver based independent researcher, historian and author Cameron Duder
will give a talk at 6.30pm on Wednesday June 1st, Toronto Women’s Bookstore,
73 Harbord Street, Toronto. Free and open to the public.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Anti Homophobia and Transphobia Rally

Pearse Murray - Director, Dennis Findlay - Vice- President,
CLGA Board of Directors in the Rotunda
This is a busy week!  On Monday after giving tours to GSA students two of our board members and I headed down to City Hall for the Proud of Toronto, Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia rally.  This was a chance for community groups to show our solidarity and support for Pride Toronto which is facing threats of defunding.
A great turn out including several city councillors (and notably missing Mayor Ford!) and sponsored by our own Kristyn-Wong Tam.
Some of my favourite moments from the night include Wong-Tam's "if you wear leather or nothing at all" speech about inclusiveness and the GSA from a catholic school in Mississauga - it was great to see such courage and commitment to tolerance and equality in the face of such opposition.  It gives me hope as we collectively face strengthening opposition from increasingly right wing governments.

Andrea Houston from Xtra was tweeting out the highlights as they happened - read the full article.

The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) tour the Archives!

On Monday May 16th, 2011 the folks at the CLGA enjoyed the honour of meeting over 40 enthusiastic students from the GSA chapter of Richmond Green Secondary School. The Springtime showers didn't hold these kids back as they eagerly toured the premises asking thoughtful questions along the way. The CLGA was but the first stop on a fieldtrip led by activist Enza Anderson. In my experience as a volunteer, the Richmond Green group was the largest student turnout the CLGA has seen and it was great to see such a rallying of interest. Upon leaving the Archives the students visited the George Hislop Park, Glad Day Bookshop, Pride Toronto, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, Proud FM, the Bank of Montreal and Woody's. The fieldtrip was coordinated by the GSA representative Tiffany Cece and I would like to say thank you for connecting the Archives with Richmond Green students. You guys were great!

Pearse Murray -
"Everyone loves a hero, George Hislop was one of ours,
I hope you find your hero"

So many students! 
Andrea Houston of Xtra caught up with the tour and wrote a very nice article which really captures the energy and engagement of the students.

Friday, May 6, 2011

CLGA is a community sponsor for Inside Out film festival

The Sons of Tennesse Williams
By Tim Wolff

International Premiere Wednesday, May 25, 2011 5:15pm
The Bell Light Box Cinema

The Sons of Tennessee Williams documents the story of the men in late 1950s New Orleans who brought the first drag balls to Mardi Gras and who paved the way for people's freedom to perform in the fabulous pomp and pageantry that is enjoyed today.

At a time when police raids on gay bars, violent hate crimes and public shaming of known homosexuals were commonplace behaviours, a handful of gay men pushed back against those systems of oppression by forming underground drag crews and hosting lavish secret balls. Originally conceived as a political send-up of their mainstream straight society counterparts, these drag crews persevered and eventually became a hallmark of modern Mardi Gras.

The Sons of Tennessee Williams interweaves powerful archival footage of New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and the journey of drag balls with contemporary interviews with key players and historians. This tremendously rewarding film is entertaining, captivating and joyful in its celebration of one of the most valuable stories in gay history.

Director and special guests in attendance.

International Premiere

This program is rated 14A

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Doors Open Toronto 2011

The CLGA is open for Doors Open Toronto 2011.
We will be open May 28-29, 10:30-4:30 Saturday and Sunday offering tours of our facility throughout the day.
In the Archives Gallery will be the newly unveiled portraits of this year's National Portrait Collection Inductees.
On the 3rd floor is an exhibit from our photographic and poster collections around early Pride celebrations in Toronto.
See you there.
for more information about Doors Open Toronto 2011 visit: