Today in Canadian Queer History looks at “Operation Soap” – the 1981 Toronto bathhouse raids that became our ‘line in the sand’. This was just one in a series of police actions against businesses that were, at the time, a major source of social and sexual connection for gay men. Just as the June 1969 Stonewall Riots were not the first time US queer folk revolted (Comptons Cafeteria, Blackcat Lounge, etc) chance and circumstance led to a particular event to represent others that came before. The post does include links to other posts of mine, as well as websites with more information.
My Coming Out Story was first posted in 2010 in recognition of the upcoming “National Coming Out Day” (celebrated October 11th in the US and October 12th in Great Britain). It happened in the Spring of 1978 and I must confess that I did not do it well; instead of traveling home, or even making a phone call, I wrote another letter.
When We Rise is an imperfect television docudrama that presents an overview of LGBT (but mostly G, with some L and a dusting of T, but no real B) history from the early 1970s through 2013. I came out in 1978 in s/w Ontario before moving to Toronto. I didn’t live in SF or NYC during the worst of the grid/aids/hiv tsunami, but lived through it none-the-less.
Out Of The Closet Players was an actual vinyl album, recorded in Hollywood CA on September 24, 1977. It was produced by Booker/Foster Productions Inc and released by Ariola Records. It included 13 tracks, of which the most well-known is “The Fashion Show” -a staple for lip-synching drag performers for decades.
Pride, Protest, Party from May, 2016; before that fraud got elected.
“While I will continue to argue the importance of we old coots sharing our stories and keeping queer history alive, railing against those who think what we lived through can not ever happen again, I must recognize that these younger queers who see Pride as a party are, more or less, living in the world we fought to bring into being. They are the inevitable beneficiaries of our struggles, our deaths, our dreams.”
Pride 2017- First Thoughts was written right after I marched in the 2017 Pride Parade in Columbus, OH. It was becoming obvious to me that was the last Pride event in which I march. I am not forecasting doom; but the inevitable outcome of earlier behaviours and circumstances. We queers are facing renewed challenges (or perhaps renewed strength in ongoing ones) to our rights, our humanity, brought on by economic stagnation and the rise of old reactionary tactics.
Related Posts and Pages:
List of various Queer Gift Idea posts, including some historical information and stories;
Reminder Of Days Gone By presents 2 anthologies of D&R cartoons from last century;
Various posts related to Romanovsky & Phillips; groundbreaking gay folk duo from 1982-99;
My online archive for the Toronto Order of Perpetual Indulgence (1981-86).