2018 has been quite the year for the Calgary Gay History Project. A film. A book. A residency at the new Central Library. Thanks to Calgary readers, Our Past Matters hit the number two spot in the Calgary Herald’s best-sellers list this week.
Calgary Herald Non-Fiction Bestsellers: Dec. 22, 2018
I am truly grateful for all of the support of the History Project and the warm reception the book received. I am wishing everyone a joy-filled (and restful) holiday season and a very Happy New Year.
As a final website post for 2018, I thought I would share some images of Calgary gay history in Christmases past. It evokes for me, a line I used in the book: “We were here, and we always have been.”
- Myrt’s was a gay bar located at 808 9 Ave. SW
- Modern Pink was a publication that grew out of Lesbian and Gay Youth Calgary (LGYC)
- Clue! Magazine was published in Calgary from 1992-1995.
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Calgary Herald, Christmas, CLUE Magazine, gay, lesbian, Modern Pink, Myrts, New Central Library, Our Past Matters, queer, transgender
As Historian in Residence at the New Central Library, I serve tea weekly (weakly?) on Thursdays from 5-6 PM in room 414-A on the 4th floor. Last night we had Lois Szabo discuss the origins of Club Carousel, Calgary’s first gay bar. Lois was one of the club’s founders in the late ’60s and has been an active member of the community ever since. She was chosen to be our Pride Parade Marshall in 2017.
Lois Szabo at the 2017 Pride Parade: Calgary Herald Photo
Next week, on Thursday, December 20th, we have local representatives from the el-Tawhid Juma Circle, Calgary’s inclusive mosque space also known as Unity Mosque. The queer affirming mosque space was founded in Toronto almost ten years ago and has since spread to other Canadian cities. Their mission is to be compassionate, inclusive, gender equal and LGBTQ affirming. Please join us for tea!
El-Tawhid Juma Circle Website
The library residency has proved to be very fruitful for research. I have been combing the pamphlet and clipping files in the library in the new Calgary’s Story section on the 4th floor.
For example, I discovered the story of Mark Perry-Schaub who was diagnosed with AIDS in July 1987 and subsequently lost his volunteer job with the Calgary ’88 Olympics Committee. He had been a volunteering for three years prior to the diagnosis and fought publicly to be reinstated. He was successful in his fight and despite struggling with three successive bouts of pneumonia he was strong enough to work throughout the Games. He died two months later.
This week I met with three nieces of Everett Klippert whom I had not interviewed before. They shared stories of their Uncle Evie which were new to me, including a wedding with a woman whom he ran away from – the day before the wedding!
Last week, I interviewed Joey Sayer, who was instrumental in founding Lesbian and Gay Youth Calgary (LGYC) in the ’80s, as well as significant gay publications Modern Pink, and Alberta Gay & Lesbian Press (AGLP). Oral history interviews like these, are key sources for future stories on the Calgary Gay History Project website.
- Kevin and Joey at the Historian In Residence Studio at the New Central Library
Posted in Gay history
Tagged AGLP, AIDS, bisexual, Club Carousel, El-Tawhid Juma Circle, Everett Klippert, gay, Historian in Residence, Joey Sayer, lesbian, LGYC, Lois Szabo, Mark Perry-Schaub, Modern Pink, New Central Library, queer, transgender, Unity Mosque
As part of the Library History Residency, we are having tea and conversation every Thursday from 5-6 PM in room 414A at the new Central Library. Tomorrow’s topic is Calgary’s asexual and aromantic community. Members of local social group YYCaroaces will be present to chat, and we are providing the tea!
The book, Our Past Matters, is picking up momentum. Yesterday we were the cover story in Calgary StarMetro, and last week Kevin got up early to do a spot on Breakfast Television (fortunately they had endless tea in the studio).
Our Past Matters author Kevin Allen stands in front of Shelf Life Books on 4th St. S.W. — once the location of Calgary’s most successful gay commercial bar. (CHRISTINA RYAN / CALGARY STARMETRO)
In addition to Shelf Life Books, you can find Our Past Matters at Pages on Kensington too – more bookstores to come.
Happy sipping, chatting and reading this December!
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Breakfast Television, Calgary StarMetro, gay, lesbian, Our Past Matters, Pages on Kensington, queer, Shelf Life, transgender, YYCaroaces