Browse Exhibits (4 total)
Oral histories have been a popular way to preserve the lives and testimonies of marginalized subjects who have often been denied access to the historical record. This exhibit is a small selection of the CLGA's collection of oral histories and audiovisual materials relating to LGBT lives in Canada.
Some of these histories have been collected as part of formal oral history projects, while others have resulted from interviews for news articles or other projects. Together they provide a rich picture of life in Canada for LGBT people from the 1950s to the 1970s, covering topics such as interviewees' early lives and coming out, bar culture, social services, activism, municipal and national politics, HIV/AIDS, and intra-community tensions.
These cassette tapes have been digitized by the LGBTQ+ Oral History Digital Collaboratory in order to preserve them and make them available online.
The Foolscap Oral History Project, also known as the Toronto Gay History Project, was undertaken by John Grube and Lionel Collier in order to collect and preserve histories of everyday gay life and social culture in pre-Stonewall Toronto. The project material from John Grube, recently donated to CLGA by James Dubro, includes 42 interviews on 52 cassette tapes that provide a rich picture of the lives and histories of men in their circle.
Interviews took place from 1981-1987, and cover gay life in Toronto from the 1940s until that time. Topics include the men's early life, coming out, relationships, friendships, sex lives, careers, military service, community organizing, political actions, religion, bar culture, and experiences with psychiatry.
The tapes and transcripts comprising the Foolscap Project were donated to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in 2016, and are currently being processed by the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory (Prof. Elspeth Brown, University of Toronto, PI).
Though small, buttons and pins communicated pivotal concerns of the LGBTQ+ community to the world. With the earliest item dating to 1977, the buttons in this collection speak to issues in human rights, health, and politics up to the 2010s.
T-shirts were an important medium of expression for the LGBTQ+ community; allowing subcultures to demonstrate what they stood for and expand their membership, and giving organizations the chance to raise awareness for issues like AIDS and homophobia. T-shirts and dresses also provided a simple but effective way for queers to showcase their pride in themselves and their nonconformity.