The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions

Interview with Don Franco

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Interview with Don Franco.JPG
Franco, Don Foolscap Interview Transcript 2016-034 016T.pdf

Dublin Core

Title

Interview with Don Franco

Subject

oral history, sm, psychiatry, bathhouse raids

Description

Don Franco, in his 60s at time of interview, discusses his youth, family and premature exit from school to enter the workforce. Don Franco attended Victoria College at UofT at the time of World War II, but was refused entry into the Air Force due to ‘psychological troubles’. In this interview, Franco recounts his experience seeing a psychiatrist due to his gay desires, and ‘emotional instability’. Later working as a teacher, Franco also discusses sublimating his sexuality into his work. Franco was associated with various important political organizations (including the CCF, NDP and CCYM) and important political figures. The interview also covers Franco’s interest in and experiences with S&M culture, and various encounters with the police as a result of this interest. His activism for the gay and S&M communities led to his arrest in the first Barracks raid, and his house later being raided on June 6th, 1979 (having been accused of being a ‘bawdy house’). Franco expressed his gratitude that the superintendent of the school board assured him he would not lose his job after these arrests, and for receiving financial support from other members of the community to assist with legal fees. Franco’s also discusses experiences with a manic depressive lover, and the subsequent depression he fell into. Franco contrasts the differences between S&M subculture and ‘Woodshed’ scene, particularly discussing ‘Woodshed Magazine’ and the prevalence of drag in the Woodshed scene.

Creator

Foolscap Oral History Project

Date

1984-1-5

Contributor

John Grube

Rights

CLGA

Format

PDF, WAV

Language

English

Type

sound and text

Identifier

2016-034

Coverage

Toronto 1960s, 1970s, 1980s

Hyperlink Item Type Metadata

Citation

Foolscap Oral History Project, “Interview with Don Franco,” The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions, accessed February 27, 2024, https://digitalexhibitions.arquives.ca/items/show/803.

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