Author Archives: calgarygayhistory

A Black Orchid in YYC

Heritage Calgary commissioned a research project on a historic house known as the Arthur Bishop Residence in Crescent Heights. From 1995-2000, it was also known as the Black Orchid Manor, one of Calgary’s few gay-friendly B&Bs. 

Researcher and writer Kerri Rubman discovers the hidden history of the house, in this Heritage Calgary blog post, featuring an interview with Don Bastian, an influential figure in Calgary’s gay history and one of the owners of the former Black Orchid Manor.

Don Bastian, Winner of the 1995 National Leather Association’s top title: Mr. NLA International. Photo: Stevie Anderson in CLUE! Magazine, November 1994.

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Beltline Gay History Walk

A stroll through history from Lois Szabo Commons to Club Carousel. This year, the Calgary Gay History Project has time for only one event during Calgary Pride.

2018 Beltline Gay History Walk. Photo: Gary Evans

On Sunday, August 29th, join Kevin Allen for a gay history walk through the Beltline and learn about the City’s LGBTQ2 past. The walk begins at 5 PM from the new Lois Szabo Commons. At 6 PM we arrive for a reception at Home & Away, the site of Calgary’s first gay bar, Club Carousel (appetizers provided)!

The event is free but we are collecting donations for Outlink: Calgary’s Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Book your tickets online: here. The suggested donation is $10. Spaces are limited and masks are encouraged.

Happy Pride!

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Reading History for Calgary Pride

Wordfest kindly asked Calgary Gay History Project’s Kevin Allen to participate in their Community Book List series. The task was to come up with a list of 20 books that were meaningful to him. It proved challenging to limit the list to only 20! So, he chose his favourite theme—queer history!

Kevin writes: ““One can learn a lot from reading historical queer fiction to see how the LGBTQ2S community has evolved over the decades. This list includes some of the most celebrated, award-winning novels from our community, plus a few of my fan favourites. On this list, I have included some Calgarian authors as well as a couple of non-fiction historical surveys—one Canadian, one American—for those looking for an accessible and comprehensive understanding of our human rights struggles. I can read any of these books over and over and over; they have a special place on my bookshelf.”

Wordfest cleverly has included links to where readers can find the books (or e-books), through the Calgary Public Library as well as local independent bookstores. As we approach the season of Calgary Pride, consider a read from Kevin’s curated list.

Bonus: yycgayhistory project links for further reading/watching on six of these authors: Hall, Maupin, Cullen, Highsmith, Baldwin, Forster.

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