Historic apology from federal government receives mixed reaction from Saskatoon's LGBT community

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to LGBT Canadians on Tuesday people were gathered at OUTSaskatoon to bear witness to the historic apology.

Community gathers at OUTSaskatoon to listen to PM

People gathered yesterday at OUTSaskatoon to hear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliver an apology to LGBT Canadians. (CBC)

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to LGBT Canadians on Tuesday people were gathered at OUTSaskatoon to bear witness to the historic apology. 

It really touched my heart.- Marilyn Neudorf  

Trudeau expressed shame, sorrow and deep regret to the civil servants, military members and criminalized Canadians who endured discrimination and injustice based on their sexual orientation.

CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning was at OUTSaskatoon, to hear more from people who have waited decades for the government to right this wrong.

Peter Lippman

Peter Lipmann says he will not forget the government's inaction in responding to the AIDS Crisis that claimed so many of his friends. (CBC)

"I'm not totally happy with it. But I will take what I can get," Lippman said.

Lippman said he lived through the AIDS Crisis and will never forget the government's inadequate response.

He watched 18 people die in 16 months.

As he witnessed the Prime Minister deliver the apology, Lipmann said he couldn't help but wonder why those who were complicit in state-sponsored oppression where not standing beside him.

"The people who are still in parliament, in the senate, who were passing laws, who were enforcing laws in the military, in the RCMP, if they were part of it, then perhaps I would feel more comfortable with it."

Lipmann, himself did not work in the civil service. When he was "outed" Lipmann said, he was working in religious circles, and when he refused to stay silent as a gay man, he was ostracized.

"You were on the outs and that was the way it was."

Marilyn Neudorf

Marilyn Neudorf was excited for the apology but says it opened up old wounds. (CBC)
Neudorf came out as a lesbian 45 years ago, and welcomed the apology.

"It really touched my heart," she said.

Hearing Trudeau stand-up to say sorry also opened up a lot of old emotional wounds for Neudorf who recalls violence and suicide in the LGBT community.  

"I was around when a lot of us got beaten up."

Neudorf also felt the grief of a family lost. She's has never felt the level of acceptance

"Most of my family is fundamentalist, and very religious…I still don't have that acceptance."

with files from Saskatoon Morning