The conference is asking this question: “as the urgency increases to advance decolonization and anti-racism, take bold climate action, and redress economic and social inequity, are heritage principles and heritage places in step, or stuck in the past?”
Specifically relevant to queer history, they are exploring the idea of a social-cultural reset. How can the heritage community embrace a fuller story and confront exclusion?
It’s a good question. Locally, has Calgary’s heritage community done enough to protect queer historic places and spaces in the city? The answer of course, from our perspective, is “no.”
Earlier this year, the National Trust hosted a webinar on this very subject with Andrew Dolkart from the inspiring NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. We encourage you to watch it.
In the next year, this will be a thrust of the Calgary Gay History Project. To date, we have been active in building the Calgary queer landscape through mapping projects and walking tours. It is time to agitate for queer inclusion in Calgary’s built heritage inventory.
History can be problematic. Kevin explores these issues in an essay composed for the Lougheed House. The House is a National Historic Site and Museum which is undergoing a process of reimagining its programming and permanent exhibitions.
The Lougheed House is a Calgary gay history site as well, being the former location of the notorious Fruit Loop—Calgary’s gay prostitution stroll.
Read Kevin’s essay, here. “What you ‘know’ today might be different tomorrow. The truth can be a moving target.”
The Calgarian is a new podcast, produced by freelance journalist Taylor Lambert, featuring in-depth interviews with notable, creative and interesting people in Calgary. Last month, Kevin Allen and the Calgary Gay History Project were featured (episode #7). It was a wide-ranging discussion from politics to book publishing to chicken-crossing-the-road jokes.
Kevin Allen in-studio at the new Central Library with Taylor Lambert, for The Calgarian Podcast
Finally, it is the last week of ROAR at the Lougheed House. Their queer programming has been exceptional, and the current Outliers exhibit, curated by the Calgary Queer Arts Society is a must-see if you are interested in gay history. Sunday, June 9th is Outliers’ final day.
Eleven weeks of Queer Programming at Lougheed House ends June 9th.
After a busy May, full of Calgary Gay History events, we are having a quiet June. Look for new gay history posts in July. Enjoy these long days while we have them!