Tag Archives: Montreal

Gay History – October 23: Almost Forgotten Gay Activist Harry Hay and Quebec’s Gay Club Raid Protests

harry-hay

October 23.

1766: Christoffel Bosch van Leeuwarden, a seventy year old porter in the Netherlands, was convicted of seduction to sodomy and sentenced to three years of prison labor.

1977: Two thousand people demonstrated in downtown Montreal to protest October 22 bar raids. Police attack the demonstrators with motorcycles and billy-clubs and made further arrests.

Truxx and another bar, Le Mystique, were simultaneously raided on Oct. 22, 1977. Fifty police officers wearing bulletproof vests and carrying machine guns conducted the raid, charging 146 patrons as “found-ins” and Truxx’s owner as a keeper of a common bawdy house. Detainees were held for eight hours in crowded cells, subjected to venereal disease testing and denied the opportunity to call their lawyers.

Community response to the raid was quick. The night after the raid, two thousand people blocked a downtown intersection in protest. When police tried to break it up by driving their motorcycles into the crowd and clubbing people, protesters threw beer bottles. Hundreds turned up at a public forum, organized by l’Association pour les droits des gaies du Québec, and a defence committee for the found-ins was formed.

It took five years for the charges against the Truxx patrons to be dropped.

1979: Former Winnipeg Free Press publisher Richard Malone pleads guilty to charges of buggery and obstructing justice. He is given a one-year sentence, following a “juvenile sex ring” investigation in February 1979.

1993: In Helena Montana the state supreme court ruled that “transvestitism” is not a sufficient reason to deny a father joint custody of his 3-year old child.

1998: The Los Angeles City council condemns the “Making Sense of Homosexuality” conference, organized by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, otherwise known as NARTH saying that claims of “curing” homosexuals creates an atmosphere that can lead to anti-gay violence.

1999:  Religious right leader Rev. Jerry Falwell and evangelical Christian supporters met with Rev. Mel White and gay Christians for an anti-violence forum.  Shockingly, it did not stop the violence.

2002:  Pioneering gay rights activist Harry Hay (photo above)  dies of lung cancer in hospice care.

A  founder and architect of the modern gay rights movement, in 1950 Hay and four others formed one of the nation’s first gay rights organizations the Mattachine Society. Hay’s believed in the cultural minority status of homosexuals which led him to take a stand against assimilation.

In June 1969, the Stonewall riots in New York marked a move toward a more radical and militant approach among gay rights activists; Hay however stated that “I wasn’t impressed by Stonewall, because of all the open gay projects we had done throughout the sixties in Los Angeles. As far as we were concerned, Stonewall meant that the East Coast was catching up.” The riot led to the emergence of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), with Hay involving  himself in the early development of its Los Angeles chapter.  In December 1969. Hay was elected its first chairperson, organizing pickets of homophobic establishments, holding a one-day “Gay-In” in Griffith Park and “funky dances” at Troupers Hall to challenge the legal restrictions on same-sex dancing

“We pulled ugly green frog skin of heterosexual conformity over us, and that’s how we got through school with a full set of teeth,” Hay once explained. “We know how to live through their eyes. We can always play their games, but are we denying ourselves by doing this? If you’re going to carry the skin of conformity over you, you are going to suppress the beautiful prince or princess within you.”

Hay would later go onto help create the Radical Faeries whose first conference was held on Labor Day 1979. The term “Radical” was chosen to reflect both political extremity and the idea of “root” or “essence”, while the term “Faerie” was chosen in reference both to the immortal animistic spirits of European folklore and to the fact that “fairy” had become a pejorative slang term for gay men.

In the 1980s, Hay involved himself in an array of activist causes, campaigning against South African apartheid, Nicaragua’s Contras, and the death penalty while also joining the nuclear disarmament and pro-choice movements and becoming a vocal critic of the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

Hay came to be viewed as an elder statesman within the gay community, and was regularly invited to give speeches to LGBT activist and student groups. He was the featured speaker at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade in 1982, and Grand Marshal of the Long Beach Gay Pride Parade in 1986. In 1989, West Hollywood city council awarded him an honor for his years of activism while that year he was invited to give a lecture at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, which he turned down.

Bit in 1983 Hay courted controversy. 

He remained highly critical of the mainstream gay rights movement and joined several other early gay rights activists in protesting the exclusion of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) from participation in on the grounds that such exclusions pandered to heterosexual-dominated society.  NAMBLA had marched in the previous Pride parades. But morality was changing.  In a New York University forum, he remarked “If the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world”, highlighting his own relationship with an adult man when he was .  At the 1986 Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade he courted controversy by carrying a banner with “NAMBLA Walks With Me” written on it, after organizers banned the group from joining the march and organizers complained to police and Hay narrowly avoided arrest.  These events overshadowed Hay’s previous legacy so much that today he is all but forgotten and purposely left out of many LGBT historical writings.

Hay refused to participate in the official Heritage of Pride 1994 Pride Parade in New York City commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots because of its exclusionary policies. Instead he joined an alternate parade called “The Spirit of Stonewall”.  As late as 2000 Hay continued to speak out against assimilation, saying, “The assimilationist movement is running us into the ground.”

Harry Hay passed away on October 24, 2002 at age 90. His ashes, mingled with those of his partner John Burnside, were scattered in the Nomenus Faerie Sanctuary, Wolf Creek, Oregon

THIS is our history.

Don’t forget it.

Gay History Month – October 22: The Brutal NYC Gay Bathhouse Raid of 1916 and Lord Alfred Douglas the Original Evil Queen

Gay/LGBT History Month - October 22nd: The Tragic Lafayette Bathhouse Raid of 1916 and Lord Alfred Douglas the Original Evil Queen

October 22, 

1870: Lord Alfred Douglas is born near London on this day. Forever known as Bosie, the lover of Oscar Wilde. becomes an author, poet and translator. Much of his early poetry was Uranian in theme. He was regarded at the time as a “mean spirited mincing queen intent on self-destruction” and later in life, tried to distance himself from Wilde’s name.

In 1891, Douglas met Oscar Wilde; although the playwright was married with two sons, they soon began an affair. In 1894, the Robert Hichens novel The Green Carnation was published. Said to be a roman à clef based on the relationship of Wilde and Douglas, it would be one of the texts used against Wilde during his trials in 1895.

In 1916  Winston Churchill sued Douglas over allegations that he had taken part in a Jewish-financed conspiracy to have Kitchener ‘murdered’ in 1916; Douglas received a prison sentence. Like Wilde, Douglas wrote while in prison – In Excelsis – which his Douglas’ s  bigotry began to be exposed with lines such as ‘The leprous spawn of scattered Israel/Spends its contagion in your English blood’,

After his release in 1920 Douglas co-founded a fiercely antisemitic magazine, Plain English, on which he collaborated with Harold Sherwood Spencer. They printed numerous anti-Jewish diatribes, made claims of “human sacrifice among the Jews,” and publicly advocated The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Douglas died of congestive heart failure in Lancing, West Sussex on March 20th. 1945.

Lord Alfred Douglas will go down in gay history as the original “evil queen”.

1916: Police in New York City raid the all-male Lafayette Baths after agents from the New York Society for the Prevention of Vice, who had infiltrated the establishment, and filed a detailed report about “homosexual degeneracy” happening in the establishment.  

The book Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World describes the raid:

Layfette 1916 Bathhouse raid

Thirty-seven men, including the manager, were arrested. Twenty-five of them were convicted and sentenced to prison. Manager Frank Terwilligar, committed suicide one month later.   

The Lafayette Baths stayed in operation under another owner well into the 1920’s and was American precisionist painter Charles Demuths favorite haunt.

Incidentally, the new bathhouse was owned by Ira & George Gershwin’s, father and both boys were involved in the business.  At the time Ira was age 20 & George was 18. 

1977:  Montreal Police raid gay bars Truxx, and Le Mystique and charge 146 men with being found-ins in common bawdyhouse. More than fifty uniformed and plainclothes police in bullet proof vests from the divisional morality, mobile and technical squads carried off the raid. It was the largest mass arrest since War Measures Act during the FLQ Crisis. The 146 men arrested were held for up to 15 hours at police headquarters “while ‘compulsory’ VD tests were administered

1986: United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released his first report on the AIDS epidemic in America, two years before mailing information about the disease out to every American household. He reportedly waited four years before speaking publicly about the disease on this date.

1992: A report on hate crimes in Michigan was rejected by the US Civil Rights Commission because it included documentation of anti-gay hate crimes.

1993: United States Air Force Lt. Heidi De Jesus dropped her lawsuit that attempted to bring charges against the military for her dismissal based on her sexual orientation and the ban on gay and lesbian military personal. The legal battle had literally left her broke.

1999: Boeing announced that it would extend health benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of their employees. However, the company explained that unmarried heterosexual couples would not receive the same benefits because they had the option of marriage, angering the union.

1999: San Francisco Archbishop William Levada announced he would make a $30,000 contribution to a California ballot initiative to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite sex couples.

2009: The Lutheran Church of Sweden voted to allow same-sex marriages by a vote of 176 of 249 voting members. The decision came just days after the 30th anniversary of when Sweden stopped classifying homosexuality as a disease.
 

NYC: Anti-Vaxxers Battle White Supremacist At Pfizer Office Protest

Montreal’s Gay Village Erases The “Gay”

Montreal’s famous LGBT neighborhood, known around the world as Le Village Gai (The Gay Village), wants to drop “gay” from it’s name.

On Wednesday, the neighborhood business association that represents more than 250 businesses in the neighborhood wrote on it’s Instagram page that from now on, the area wants to be known by a more inclusive — if slightly more generic — name. So from now on, the LGBTQ neighborhood in Canada’s second-largest city, Quebec, will be simply known as “the Village of Montreal, the largest 2SLGBTQ + village in the WORLD!”

By dropping the “gay” from its name, the association wants the area to reflect a more inclusive view of different nuances of sexual orientations and gender identities.

Said longtime gay rights activist Jacob Carter: “Erasing Gay visibility after decades of hard work is one truly fucked up notion of ‘progress.’ We don’t have to go back in the closet.”

Montréal’s Gay Village gets its name from gay businessman Bernard Rousseau, who in 1984 opened the “Cinéma du Village” porn theatre, which today is the Le National concert venue (1220 Sainte-Catherine Street East).

First Gay Fraternity In Canada Delta Lambda Phi Opens At McGill University In Montreal

Canadian LGBT history was made today as the first “official” gay college fraternity in Canada opened today at Montreal’s McGill University.

The new frat, Delta Lambda Phi, will accept gay and bisexual men as well as any other men that want to join. It is one of 32 chapters and colonies of Delta Lambda Phi but is the first born outside of the United States.  And surprisingly Delta Lambda Phi is not under fire by conservatives on campus but by McGill’s University own LGBT group over the wording of an email sent out by DLP to recruit members and the frat invited all males or individuals who self-identify as male to join  which Queer McGill told the Toronto Star it believes the language separating “males” and “those who identify as male” implies that transgendered individuals are somehow not real men.  (OH PLEASE Trans-activist get a fucking grip already!)

Regardless, DLP is actually a US college fraternity with a membership of gay, straight and bisexual men. Otherwise it’s similar to other Greek college frats. It was founded in 1986 by Vernon L Strickland III in Washington, DC. DLP is ast-growing in the US, where there are 28 gay fraternities on various college campuses. McGill is the first DLP chapter to be chartered outside the US.

Like other fraternities DPL will do charitable works, although drinking is put off until after meetings and members are discouraged from dating one another

But I am sure Rush Week must be sinmply FABULOUS!

Go DLP!  Rah Rah Rah!

Watch the CTV News Report – First gay fraternity in Canada launches at McGill | CTV News

LGBT History: 7/15/1990 – The 20th Anniversary Of The Raid Of Montreal’s "Sex Garage" (Video)

Sex Garage © Linda Dawn Hammond / IndyFoto.com ’90
20 years ago today a series of events that unfolded in old Montreal when Montreal police raided a gathering spot called the Sex Garage which are likened to what happened in NYC following the Stonewall raid of 1969 in French Canada’s LGBT history.

Canada’s  Xtra online:
Police then herded the crowd, which chanted “Gay Rights Now!” along Boulevarde de la Gauchetiere toward Beaver Hall Hill where another wall of police officers stood stroking their night sticks in mock masturbation.

“When cops couldn’t find any cash behind the bar, they shut the party down anyway. ‘Everybody out!’ they screamed. So 400 partygoers — mostly gay men, lesbians and drag queens — filed outside like they were told. Some drag queens climbed out the windows and crawled across century-old rooftops to avoid the cops. They were used to it, too. After all, Montreal police had been raiding and harassing gay spaces for decades, only this time no one was going home: Outside stood 16 police cruisers and 40 officers wielding billy clubs. What no one knew, though, was that history would be made on this morning, at 4am, Jul 16, 1990, and it all began when the cops took off their name tags. ‘We were scared when the police got into battalion formation because we knew then that we were going to be beaten,’ said Montreal photographer Linda Dawn Hammond, now based in Toronto.”

“Suck my cock, faggots!” the cops taunted.

 Bruce Buck, returned to the loft to get his leather jacket. Buck never made it back to the loft. He was dragged behind a police cruiser and beaten to a pulp by six officers.

The next day on July 16 over 150 gays and lesbians staged a sit-in at the intersection of Ste-Catherine and Amherst streets to protest the brutality at the police bust-up. They demanded a public inquiry, that all charges be dropped and that the gay and lesbian communities each hold a seat on the Montreal Urban Community’s minority-relations committee. Everyone went home after being told that then-police chief Alain St-Germain would meet them at downtown Station 25 the next day. Come the next day, ‘of course, St-Germain wasn’t there,’ veteran activist Douglas Buckley-Couvrette, who would die of AIDS in November 2002, told me afterwards. Douglas, along with CBC journalist David Shannon and Paula Sypnowich, represented over 400 protestors at a ‘kiss-on’ outside Station 25. When their demands were dismissed and they were locked out of the precinct, the protestors demanded to meet with then-mayor Jean Dore, locked arms and occupied the intersection of St-Mathieu and Boulevarde de Maisonneuve. This time the Montreal media was out in full force and the police, armed with latex gloves and billy clubs, didn’t disappoint.”