Today is a holiday for many in the world. From my secular angle, Epiphany, or January 6th, represents the conclusion of the Christmas holidays. In 2015, I wrote: “I just looked up the meaning of epiphany and it means “manifestation” which I think will be the running theme for the Calgary Gay History Project.”
The Calgary Gay History Project has done manifesting well. Check out our top ten list: here.
In 2023, our manifestation priority is developing the Calgary queer archives. Since the Project was founded in 2012, we have been accepting donations of papers and artifacts about Calgary’s 2SLGBTQ+ past. They now need to be accessioned appropriately in a professional archive—likely at the U of C—to be made available to future researchers. (And to free up some floor space in our apartment…)
One of our favourite objects in the archive is Jack’s vest! Jack Loenen was the first Emperor of the Imperial Court of the Chinook Arch (ISCCA), elected to that position in January 1977 to a sold-out crowd at the then-downtown Holiday Inn. He wore this leather vest during and after his reign and placed all the pins he collected from other courts he visited representing the ISCCA.
Although Jack is now deceased, his partner Peter Kelsch made this important donation to the Calgary Gay History Project in 2015. I just met up with Peter again a few weeks ago, who had more archive donations and stories to tell (thank you, Peter)!
We at the Calgary Gay History Project wish you a happy new year, including some epiphanies, manifestations or both.