Posts Tagged ‘liberation’

Resistance and Resurgence: Queer Liberation in Canada

February 12th, 2012 Comments off

The following link is a presentation on the development of queer liberation as a theory partially based on Queer Ontario’s Queer Liberation Theory Project, as delivered by Nick Mulé, Queer Ontario’s Chairperson, at the “After Homosexual: The Legacies of Gay Liberation” Conference in Melbourne, Australia. The conference was held to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Dennis Altman’s seminal 1972 book, Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation.


Categories: Presentation Tags: ,

Transcending the Provincial: LGBT Liberationist Activism in Ontario – From CLGRO to Queer Ontario

September 1st, 2011 Comments off

A presentation given by Nick Mulé, Chairperson of Queer Ontario, at the We Demand: Sex / Activism / History in Canada Conference that took place in Vancouver, BC from August 25 to August 28, 2011.

A mere three years and four months following the 1971 “We Demand” demonstration in Ottawa, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario (CLGRO) was founded. Very much based upon the principles of the “We Demand” document, over the next 34 plus years CLGRO was at the forefront of the lesbian and gay movement in Ontario. This paper examines how CLGRO was influenced by the “We Demand” action and how it in turn became an influential forerunner within the LGBT movement not only provincially, but nationally and internationally. Underscoring the work of CLGRO and its successor Queer Ontario is the politic of queer liberationism. As such, a queer liberationist perspective has and continues to distinguish the work of CLGRO and Queer Ontario. In a climate in which a neo-liberal, mainstreaming, assimilationist approach dominates both from within and without the LGBT movement, the work of queer liberationists is compounded and multi-layered requiring a critical discourse that questions and challenges on all fronts including within the movement itself. With the number of political LGBT groups decreasing across the country, and fewer and fewer of those remaining undertaking a liberationist agenda, the movement is at risk of sliding into a heteronormative and cisgendered worldview. Queer liberationists, as exemplified by CLGRO and Queer Ontario, through principled work based on the integrity of the original “We Demand” calls for change provide a progressive, alternative voice to the status quo, towards ensuring diversity both within LGBT communities and in broader Canadian society.
The PowerPoint Presentation:

We (Still) Demand!

August 30th, 2011 Comments off

On August 28, 2011 Queer Ontario graced the steps of Parliament Hill in Ottawa to commemorate the 40th anniversary of We Demand, the first nation-wide rally in Canada where gay men and women got together to demand legal and social reforms from the federal government. As John Wilson, an original member of the rally, noted in his keynote speech on Sunday: while a number of reforms have been achieved in the 40 years since 1971, there is still a lot of prejudice that needs to be challenged and abolished, particularly on the part of government. This includes the government’s refusal to extend human rights protections to transsexual, transgender, and intersex individuals, as well as its insistence on criminalizing HIV transmission.

Indeed, it is worth remembering that the extension of marriage rights to same-sex or same-gender couples did not finalize the struggle for queer and trans rights but, rather, re-invigorated it, as we now fight for the rights of those who are marginalized by the expectation to marry and privatize our sexualities; and those whose identities, relationships and livelihoods have yet to be recognized and accommodated by government.

Special thanks go out to Susan Gapka, Michael Burtch, Melanie Pasztor, and Brent Bauer for lending us their voices and their words of inspiration in highlighting all the work that needs to be done to create a trans-embracing, queer-loving, and sex-positive Canada. A very special thanks to A.J. Lowik for giving voice to our Demands list; as well as the over 100 people who attended the rally and shared their demands and their experiences of discrimination with us.