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Pat Murphy (1941-2003)



Dublin Core


Pat Murphy (1941-2003)


Pat Murphy was born in Toronto, the daughter of Marion Roxby and Alphonsus Murphy, sister of Janet, James and Daniel Murphy. Pat was Vice-President of the Community Homophile Association of Toronto (CHAT), where she worked in all aspects of the organization, including counselling, community outreach and public relations. The major risks were those associated with being out publicly and the focus of much media attention, not to mention attacks by The Western Guard, an active right-wing organization. CHAT's main focus was human rights and hopefully to enlighten an unenlightened society at that time.

Pat was also an active member of Toronto Gay Action. A significant event was the arrest and eventual trial of The Brunswick Four, which garnered much media and public attention. Judy Lamarsh, former Secretary of State of Canada, defended Pat and the other women (Heather and Adrian). This trial led to complaints being levelled against the police (see Royal Commission into Police Brutality vs. Pat Murphy). In the late 70's Pat devoted her time to the issues more specific to lesbians and women in general, such as Women Against Violence Against Women. She also managed a popular women's bar "The Fly By Night".

"I have heard that I was courageous. In retrospect, and in the present, it has always been an issue of basic survival - physical, emotional and spiritual. Maintaining one's own integrity and a desire to positively influence the present societal circumstances in which I find myself and others." (Pat Murphy, Toronto, 2000 Induction Statement)

Cofondatrice de Community Homophile Association of Toronto, le premier organisme communautaire de libération homosexuelle au Canada; une des Brunswick Four.


Robert Cooper


Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives




Medium: graphite

Dimensions: 26.5 x 42 cm (W x H)




Robert Cooper, “Pat Murphy (1941-2003),” CLGA Digital Collections, accessed June 24, 2018,