Younger folk here at Calgary Outlink have asked me what the environment was like for queers in Calgary when I was their age. [For the record I am 42.] I often reply that there was an element of danger being out, going to clubs, and in associating in general. I remember nervously looking over my shoulder around the Beltline, and knew of people who had been bashed.
However, combing through the archives at the University of Calgary this morning, I found this poster in a 1992 file from the Gay and Lesbian Academics Students and Staff Society (GLASS) that gave me a jolt.
A U of C undergraduate student at the time, I have a distant memory of this event. On June 17, 1992 this exact poster was found tacked to the door of GLASS – the invitation to a gay bashing to be held at the same location at an upcoming rally for gay and lesbian rights.
In a press release the next day, Greg Lane, Co-chair for GLASS wrote, “Lesbians, gays and bisexuals live in a continual climate of potential violence. I am deeply concerned about these tools of oppression.” He noted that it was not the first time that GLASS had been targeted on campus.
In a move of solidarity, student politicians from the Students’ Unions of U of C, SAIT and Mount Royal College, all swiftly and publicly condemned the action of the unknown poster author, who to my knowledge was never caught, despite police involvement.
[Special thanks to Karen Buckley at the U of C Archives for research assistance.]