Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

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: