Prairie Pride: How Winnipeg became a hub of queer history
If you were asked to name a Canadian city with a rich queer history, would you think of Winnipeg?
If the Manitoba capital doesn't quite top your list, the latest episode of The Secret Life of Canada — The Golden Boy —just might change your mind. Co-hosts Falen Johnson and Leah Simone-Bowen dig deep into the University of Manitoba's Gay and Lesbian Archives to unearth some truly amazing material, including a "green book" style guide to gay Winnipeg.
They also explore the history of the city's queer spaces, interview historians and trailblazers, and reveal how the winged Greek god perched atop the Manitoba Legislature became a beacon for so many gay men.
What you'll hear this episode
- A brief snapshot of Canada's queer history, from coast to coast. Plus, a note on the umbrella term "queer" and why we're using it.
- The grave fates that befell queer folks in Canada before same-sex relationships were legal, and how a mechanic's helper became the last man to be imprisoned in Canada for being gay.
- A very abridged history of the Red River Resistance. (Also: which Canadian rock legend most resembles legendary Metis leader Louis Riel — at least, according to Leah.)
- How gay men and Chinese-run businesses developed a symbiotic relationship.
- The importance of safe gathering spaces, house parties and the secretive spot known as "homo heaven".
- A first-hand account of Winnipeg's first pride parade, and why "turning up" was so important in the early days of the movement.
- What the First and Second World War have to do with queer culture in the Prairies.
- Why Falen's new favourite tune is a cable access theme song from the 80s.
- The origins of the term two-spirit, and why non-binary Indigenous folks felt the need to carve out space for a spiritually-rooted and culturally-informed identity.
- An archival interview with Glen Murray, the first openly gay mayor in all of North America.
- Facts about the Golden Boy. An article by the Winnipeg Free Press.
- Golden Boy. A factsheet from the Government of Manitoba.
- How we got gay. An interactive timeline of gay rights in Canada by CBC Doc Zone.
- A Brief LGBTQ+ Canadian History Timeline by HIV North.
- Everett Klippert: The last Canadian to go to jail simply for being gay. Article by Hilary Bird for CBC News.
- Everett Klippert: An unlikely pioneer of gay rights in Canada. Article by Nikki Wiart for Macleans.
- 'There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.' Video clip of Pierre Elliott Trudeau from CBC Digital Archives.
- Interview with Valerie Korinek, author of Prairie Fairies: A History of Queer Communities and People in Western Canada, 1930-1985.
- Interview with Margo Charlton — the Research and Impact Manager of the Toronto Arts Council — about her experiences in Winnipeg, including the city's first pride parade.
- From speakeasies to theatre cocktails: Manitoba's liquor law history. Article by Lara Schroeder for Global News.
- A (Brief) LGBT History of Winnipeg. An interactive article by Tourism Winnipeg.
- 10 Years Before Stonewall, There Was the Cooper's Donuts Riot. Article by Evan Moffit for Out.
- Don't Let History Forget About Compton's Cafeteria Riot. Article by Neal Broverman for Advocate.
- Before Stonewall, there was the Black Cat; LGBTQ leaders to mark 50th anniversary of protests at Silver Lake tavern. Article by Hailey Branson-Potts for the Los Angeles Times.
- Winnipeg Gay & Lesbian. An informational booklet from the Guides and Directories Collection from Manitoba Gay and Lesbian Archives, University of Manitoba.
- Same-sex Winnipeg couple won't quit fight to have 1974 marriage recognized. Article by CBC News.
- Coming Out. Episode featuring Ken Delisle by The Gay Media Collective.
- Interview with Albert McLeod, co-director of the Two-Spirit People of Manitoba.
- One Gay City: A History of LGBT Life in Winnipeg. Documentary by Aaron Floresco.
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