The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions

Interview with William (Bill) Atkinson (1983)

Files

Interview with Bill Atkinson.JPG

Dublin Core

Title

Interview with William (Bill) Atkinson (1983)

Subject

Navy, gay men, oral history

Description

In this oral history interview, Bill Atkinson, a 67 years old gay man, describes the traumatic experience of being cashiered from the navy during a period of gay witch-hunts beginning in the late 1950s. Bill describes his life before, during and after being discharged from the Navy. He was born in England in 1916 to a middle class family, and discusses a difficult childhood. During his time in the Navy, Bill moves between Ontario and the Pacific Northwest, occasionally travelling to Detroit to meet gay men at Bar 1011. After his career in the Navy, Bill took up modelling and acting to support himself, as well as managing a restaurant for a period of time. Bill discussed his involvement in the gay political community in Toronto, working for George Hislop’s political campaign in the 1980s. Topic discussed include the experience of being gay in the Navy, sexual harassment, mental health, financial insecurity, and gay politics in Toronto.

Creator

Foolscap Oral History Project

Date

1983-07-28

Contributor

John Grube

Rights

CLGA

Format

PDF, WAV

Language

English

Type

Sound, text

Identifier

2016-034

Coverage

Toronto, Vancouver, Detroit; 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s

Citation

Foolscap Oral History Project, “Interview with William (Bill) Atkinson (1983),” The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions, accessed October 27, 2021, https://digitalexhibitions.arquives.ca/items/show/691.