Join us at Shelf Life Books on Thursday, February 14th, from 7-9 PM for an exciting event with Kevin Allen as he reads from his new book, Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary.
Kevin Allen’s Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary walks the reader through the back alleys and underground gathering spaces of the city’s early gay community. Meet the characters, martyrs, and heroes who helped forge the LGBTQ2 human rights we have today. This entertaining and authoritative account of a Calgary few know is a major addition to the many-hued and complex tales of the city. He reveals: “We were here, and we always have been.”
Shelf Life Books resides at the same address as former gay bar Parkside Continental, which operated from 1973-1986. At the reading, former patrons and staff of the Parkside will be invited to share their memories of this much-loved gathering place.
If you are unable to attend but would like to share a memory to be read: email Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share the love of history!
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
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Our Past Matters book launch last night at the New Central Library. It was quite a full house and quite an evening. The library’s Rosemary Griebel, before she introduced me, advised me to savour every moment: “you only have your first book launch once.” It was good advice, and I felt so proud and honoured to present my work.
Calgarians come out for history! Photo: Noel Begin
We also screened Laura O’Grady’s Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story, to large applause. Afterward, we floated the idea of a gay history feature film – stay tuned!
Book signing fatigue? No, it was a delight. Photo: Laura O’Grady
People have been asking where to buy the book now that it is out. Shelf Life Books, one of Calgary’s finest independent bookstores, has it. As we add more booksellers we will let you know. Next week, you will also be able to buy it online through the Calgary Gay History Project Website.
Thank you, Calgary for coming out yesterday!
Posted in Gay history
Tagged bisexual, calgary public library, gay, gross indecency, Laura O'Grady, lesbian, Noel Begin, Our Past Matters, queer, Shelf Life, transgender