I was in Victoria’s Butchart Gardens Sunday, when I got the news of the attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Michael Platt from the Calgary Sun was calling and looking for a comment from the Calgary Gay History Project: connecting the massacre to so many crimes we have already faced in the LGBTQ community.
The contrast was intense. So many pretty flowers in such a bucolic setting combined with the grim, terrible news of a large tragedy unfolding. After the call, my husband and I just sat there on a bench for a few minutes in silence.
To be honest, I am still processing the news. At times sad, at times defiant, I am particularly piqued by the notion that the sight of two men kissing set the murderous rampage in motion.
However I am heartened to see the strong reaction from the LGBTQ community as well as the support from our allies. Nolan Hill, who volunteers for the history project, was quick to help organize a well-attended vigil at Olympic Plaza on Sunday evening. Steve Gin & Lisa Murphy Lamb spearheaded an artistic response: KISS for Orlando through Loft 112. The City of Calgary lit the Langevin Bridge and Calgary Tower in pride colours.
Calgary Outlink, our city’s LGBTQ community hub, with a large coalition of partners, are hosting a memorial service on Wednesday, June 22nd in the Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby at Arts Commons. The We are Orlando – YYC Memorial begins at 6 PM and will be a remembrance of all of the victims of Orlando.
This memorial is an opportunity for our city to grieve collectively for the lives taken in Orlando. This service is not based on any particular faith. Followers of any faith, or those who do not follow any faith – everyone – is welcome to attend.
My hope is that the Orlando shooting will have a transformative effect on society, shining the spotlight on homophobia and transphobia, wherever it occurs – in our city, in our country, in the USA and in the 70+ countries where homosexuality is illegal and/or carries the death penalty). I also encourage Calgarians to think about how they can support the LGBTQ organizations and services we have here in our city, so that we can maintain and advance our hard-fought human rights victories, as well as foster trust and understanding in the hearts and minds of others.
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, Calgary, Calgary Tower, gay, Gay history, human-rights, Langevin Bridge, lesbian, Lisa Murphy Lamb, Loft 112, Nolan Hill, Orlando, queer, Steve Gin, transgender
It seems you cannot swing a purse these days without hitting someone working with Calgary’s gay history – we think it’s fabulous…
Yesterday, we were interviewed for a queer history documentary project as part of the Fairy Tales Youth Queer Media Program. Tonight, we are at the University of Calgary as part of a public history discussion for the Bow River Graduate History Conference. Tomorrow, we are in East Village’s Loft 112 for the next chapter of It’s Getting Drafty In Here – hope to see you there!
The Calgary Gay History research collective is tossing around other programming ideas for this spring – stay tuned to this website for developments. You might be happy to note our Jane’s Walk is back in 2016. Please join us Saturday, May 7th at 10 AM for the Beltline Gay History Walk. If you have missed earlier iterations of the walk, then we hope you will be able to join us (hopefully it will not snow again on us as it did in 2014)!
May 2014 Jane’s Walk – we had an intrepid crew of 15 walkers, despite snow. Photo: Michael Wright
Posted in Gay history
Tagged Beltline, bisexual, Bow River Graduate History Conference, Fairy Tales Film Festival, gay, Gay history, History Walk, human-rights, It's Getting Drafty in Here, Jane's Walk, lesbian, Loft 112, queer, Third Street Theatre, transgender, University of Calgary, Youth Queer Media Program
The Calgary Gay History Project is happy to be collaborating again with Third Street Theatre to shine a light on our city’s queer history. Third Street Theatre recently commissioned playwright Natalie Meisner to craft a play based on our research.
Going through the Project’s website, she zeroed in on Everett Klippert’s dramatic story and his role in Canada’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality in 1969. Cleverly, the play is titled “69” and Third Street is inviting you to be part of the process!
Join us monthly (January 22, Feburary 19 & March 18) to witness newly drafted scenes by Natalie at Loft 112, the community literary arts space in the East Village.
Enjoy happy hour brews from Village Brewery & The Naked Leaf and seasonal treats from Sidewalk Citizen Bakery as local actors read scenes from the play.
Stick around and let us know what you think, plus collect the scenes and make them into your very own limited edition draft!
Admission by donation. Facebook Event Page: here.