Browse Exhibits (17 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 LGBTQ2+ 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.
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.
A collection of newspaper clippings on LGBTQ+ people as represented in the media of the 1950s and 1960s, including articles and columns discussing the way this community was viewed and the way it was persecuted, ultimately tracking changes in the discourse on sexual diversity.
The National Portrat Collection was established in 1998 with 25 original portraits, and coincided with our 25th anniversary. Since then, the collection has grown to 75 portraits of various mediums that include photography, oil and watercolour. We are committed to continuous expansion of the Collection, thereby actively engaging in the creation of our own historical record. Community members may nominate an individual for the NPC at any time; no more than 3 new inductees are selected each year. For more information, please contact the CLGA directly.
The Collection is regularly exhibited in our home in Toronto as well as at other venues across Canada, in celebration of all LGBT communities. The Collection is also available to organzations and businesses on loan. If you are interested in showing a selection of portraits, please contact us directly to enquire about our NPC loan program.
The Lesbians Making History (LMH) collective came together in the mid-1980s and was inspired by oral history projects of gay lives coming out of Buffalo, Boston and San Francisco. The collective interviewed 9 women about their experiences as ‘out’ lesbians in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.
Collective members included:
Rachel Epstein, Maureen FitzGerald, Amy Gottlieb, Didi Khayatt, Mary Louise Noble, and Lorie Rotenberg
Some of the women interviewed by the collective also appeared in Aerlyn Weissman and Lynne Fernie’s NFB-funded documentary Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives. The 1992 film was out of print for many years until 2014, when the National Film Board released it in digital format.
Although the organizers of Lesbians Making History were committed to keeping the project a community-based initiative, and not one rooted in academic pursuit, they allowed Elise Chenier, now a professor at Simon Fraser University, to use the transcripts of the interviews for her MA thesis. Chenier’s work on lesbian bar culture in the 1950s and 60s is widely taught in Canadian universities. Interview material was also used by Cameron Duder and by Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile.
In 2014 the original audio tapes were given to the CLGA via the LGBTQ Digital Oral History Collaboratory, a multi-institutional research project led by University of Toronto professor Elspeth Brown and funded by a 5-year SSRHC Insight grant.
Embedded at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA), Collaboratory members digitized LMH materials and created new verbatim transcriptions. Original LHM collective members assisted with editing transcripts, identifying key words and writing abstracts for each oral history interview.
A collection of materials relating to the histories of LGBTQ+ people, organizations, and issues at Ryerson university, from the early days of gay organizations to the present. Featured issues include HIV/AIDS, homophobia on campus, the history of RyePRIDE, and the development of a trans organization.