Before GIRC. YYC gay support in the 70s.

The Calgary Gay History project recently posted about the origins of Gay Information and Resources Calgary (GIRC). However there was an earlier, somewhat short-lived group, “A People’s Liberation Coalition” (PLC), which pre-dates GIRC.

Started in early January 1973, the PLC aimed to serve the local gay community by offering information and counselling: the peer support model which carries through to this day. Their office was located at the Old Y (now CommunityWise) in room 314, and they attempted to have office hours from 7-11 PM, seven days/week.

After its founding,the PLC announced their intention to sponsor “a mixed boogie” at a local community hall.

An Australian gay activist named Brian Lindberg who travelled through Western Canada later in 1973 described the movement in Calgary as going through a difficult period. He wrote:

The gay information centre was staffed by only a few people (one in particular) who continued to maintain the service even though little assistance could be obtained. Considering the population size of Calgary, I was surprised not to find a well organized gay liberation movement.

Some of the people involved, in PLC were activists, Windi Earthworm, My Lipton, Len Girivitz and Jeannie MacKay, who as a group were later responsible for GIRCs founding in 1975. We know that some of the PLC liberationists came from the University of Calgary. My Lipton, a lesbian feminist, was described in the student newspaper, The Gauntlet, as a “militant gay liberationist,” and was involved in the founding of a Gay Liberation Front chapter on campus in the Autumn of 1972.

Gay lib front meeting - first ad_announcement_Sept 1972

Little else is known at present about the PLC. At the Old Y they are not listed as one of the historic groups who had office space there.  If you know more, contact us: here.

{KA}

4 responses to “Before GIRC. YYC gay support in the 70s.

  1. Pingback: No Straights Allowed | Calgary Gay History

  2. Pingback: YYC LGBTQ Legacy Sites | Calgary Gay History

  3. Pingback: Heritage Award & “After Stonewall” | Calgary Gay History

  4. Pingback: Tracking YYC Gay History in BC | Calgary Gay History

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