Saturday, July 21, 2012

The CLGA mourns the loss of Kyle Scanlon

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Kyle Scanlon, a talented and passionate advocate for Toronto’s LGBT community. Kyle served as the Education, Training and Research Consultant at The 519 Church Street Community Centre, where he had worked for more than ten years. 

Originally form Hamilton, Kyle moved to Toronto in the late 1990s and quickly found work with the Lesbian Gay Bi Youth Line, where he became the first trans person to serve as an Executive Director of an LGBT agency in Canada. At the same time, he began working with The 519 to consult on a variety of projects that were under development to address the needs of transgender people. Eventually, Kyle committed himself full-time to the emerging Trans Programming at The 519, and participated in a number of programs such as Trans Access, Trans PULSE, Project Open Door. 

Kyle always envisioned his work as something much bigger than providing a safe space for trans people coping with marginalization and violence; he believed that Trans Programming not only offered opportunities to find peer support, but also achieved political goals, such as as helping change public health policy at the municipal level, and working toward amending federal human rights legislation to include gender identity as a protected category. Kyle firmly believed that social transformation is not possible without first transforming service users into service providers.

The Board of The 519, in partnership with Kyle’s family, has established a Kyle Smith Scanlon Fund. While the exact purpose of this fund has not yet been decided, money donated to this fund will be used to support projects and services that were important to Kyle. To make a donation, visit

Our thoughts are with Kyle’s friends and family. Kyle, you will be deeply missed. 
Kyle Scanlon was inducted into the CLGA’s National Portrait Collection (NPC) in 2005.
The NPC is a central part of our archival holdings. Established in 1998 with 25 original portraits, the collection has grown to more than 70 portraits of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the growth of diverse, out and proud lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LBGT) communities in Canada. Learn more about the NPC at

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pride 2012

This year the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) celebrated Pride in a variety of ways. A troupe of helpful volunteers remained at 34 Isabella Street to host tours, explaining to visitors the holdings and history of the Archives. The Community Engagement Committee (CEC) and friends took to the streets for the Dyke March. No doubt, revellers and participants alike experienced the blazing sun and incredibly hot weather. Nevertheless, the flotilla of CLGA volunteers persevered and, while I can only speak for myself, I do think everyone enjoyed a proud and celebratory Dyke March experience. Flanked by participant groups such as the Derby Girls who wore big smiles and generated positive energy, all told it was a wonderful day. Thank you to the Dyke March volunteers and supporters who help make such a wonderful event happen. Pride also involves a crowd of merrymakers to cheer people on, and visitors to 34 Isabella Street who care to learn about the significance of the Archives. Thank you friends for taking part in the festivities of Pride 2012. See you next year!