Pride 2014 is upon us, and the Calgary Gay History Project is busy. We hope you can join us for our NEW downtown walk on Wednesday, August 27th. Check out Ted Henley’s interview with me on City TV’s Breakfast Television as a preview of the some of the stops.
Alyssa Quirico wrote this week’s FFWD cover story, Pride in a conservative culture, featuring highlights from an interview she did with the history project.
Look for us at various Pride events throughout the week, culminating at our Festival Information Booth on Parade Day, August 31st. Come by and ask us questions, or share your story about Calgary’s gay history. You can even buy a t-shirt in support of the project.
Also, watch next week for the launch of the Writing Calgary Gay History Kickstarter Campaign (we are writing the book)! You will be able to pre-purchase it while at the same time commissioning the publication.
As Calgary gears up for Pride, local media has been lining up at the Gay History Project’s door this week to get the skinny on Calgary’s past relations with the gay community! Phew, I am getting interviewed out…
Next week keep your eyes out for a website refresh, as well as the launch of our Kickstarter campaign in support of the Calgary Gay History Book!
And if that was not enough, we now have a facebook page and twitter account – which go live now. If you want to potentially win a newly printed Calgary Gay History T-shirt, we will randomly give one to a new facebook follower and one to a new twitter follower (sign up by September 1st).
Finally, don’t forget the new Downtown Gay History Walk we are doing in partnership with Calgary Outlink, on August 27th at 7 PM. The post-walk reception hosted by Outlink will be in the lovely back patio of CommunityWise 223, 12 Ave. SW.
Keeping with the Pride theme this month in Calgary, we would like to take you back to 1980, when Mayor Ross Alger wrote to Gay Information Resources Centre (GIRC), president Bob Harris.
Mayor Alger declined Harris’ request to formally declare June, 27, 1980 Gay Pride Day in Calgary. Unlike other politicians in his day who tended easily to casual homophobia, he wrote, “I fully respect the rights and freedoms of your organization and its members.”
Obviously, a political hot potato at the time. Alger in 1979 dodged Harris’ previous request for a proclaimed Gay Community Day on November 24th by alleging a crowded calendar, booked up into December of that year. Mayor Alger’s Executive Assistant, John Gray, was on the record saying “if GIRC resubmits its request at a later date the mayor’s office will be pleased to consider it.”
Alger’s diplomatic letter on April 2, 1980 was the conclusion of that consideration. Ross Alger died in January, 1992 from cancer. His obituary in the Globe and Mail praised him as “a gentleman politician who never stooped to low blows.”