Happy Pride Calgary!
Today, Global Television airs Brave Beginnings of Calgary Pride and the Gay Rights Movement, as part of their Pride 2019 programming. A part of Club Carousel still exists! Thank you, Jill Croteau, for embracing yycgayhistory (and maybe saving that wall)…
Club Carousel Founder Lois Szabo back at 1207 1 St. SW!
Last week we wrote incorrect dates for this weekend. The upcoming Calgary Gay History Project events are:
Saturday, August 31st:
12:00-4:00 PM – Join author Kevin Allen for a book signing of Our Past Matters Stories of Gay Calgary at Chapters-Indigo Dalhousie or just stop by to say, “hi.”
Sunday, September 1st:
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM – Pride in the Park. After the parade, stop by the Calgary Gay History Project’s History Booth. Share your own stories and learn more about Calgary’s LGBTQ2 Past.
Jeremy Klaszus, editor and founder of The Sprawl, invited us to write an essay about gay history. We used the opportunity to mark the 50th anniversary of Bill C-150, the decriminalization of homosexuality coming into force, and the Calgarian who precipitated it, Everett Klippert. You can read it: here. After reading the essay, CBC Radio requested a live radio interview about the anniversary too.
Consider being a Sprawl supporter yourself – pop-up journalism may be a unique model for news, but the Sprawl has an impressive track record of insightful and meaningful local reportage. We love it.
Another highlight of the week was RISE. The audience at the Plaza Theatre was honoured and moved by the passionate recollections of two heroes from the gay rights movement, Ruth Coker Burks and Cleve Jones. Afterward one Calgarian exclaimed: “It was one of the most inspirational evenings I have ever attended.” I was very grateful to have MCed the event, which was manifested by Twisted Element’s Keon Brawn. Thank you, Keon, for showing the community such inspired leadership.
Posted in Gay history
Tagged Bill C-150, bisexual, Calgary Pride, CBC, Cleve Jones, Club Carousel, Everett Klippert, gay, Global TV, Jeremy Klaszus, Jill Croteau, Keon Brawn, lesbian, Lois Szabo, queer, RISE, Ruth Coker Burks, Sprawl Calgary, transgender, Twisted Element
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 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
We are over the moon. On September 30th, we learned that our film, Gross Indecency the Everett Klippert story won the Best Alberta Short award at the Calgary International Film Festival. Congratulations are due to the talented director, Laura O’Grady and Spotlight Productions for making this film.
Our film gets laurels at CIFF
The long-awaited book Kevin has been working on is almost complete. The content is done and it is in the design phase. Here is a sneak peak of the cover, a woodcut by the accomplished Calgary artist, Lisa Brawn. It is her take on the iconic Club Carousel logo.
Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary should be on sale November 21st – we are much looking forward to sharing it with you.
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, CIFF, cinema, Club Carousel, gay, Gay history, gross indecency, Laura O'Grady, lesbian, Lisa Brawn, queer, Spotlight Productions, transgender