Capturing And Sharing Edmonton’s Queer History

This Powerpoint style presentation brings the story of the work that has been done to bring the history of the 2SLGBTQ+ community to life over the last 25+ years.

The presentation is about 20-25 minutes and can be done in person or virtually with an optional 10 – 15 minute question period following.

I cover several pieces of written work done by local Queer Historian/Actor/Writer/Producer Darrin Hagen. Also work done by the Edmonton Heritage Council’s Edmonton City As Museum Project (ECAMP), the Edmonton Queer History Project and Rainbow Story Hub.

Also included is a brief synopsis of upcoming projects from these groups as well as an upcoming anthology series based on the Sex Trials Of 1942 in Edmonton, the Telus funded Flashback Documentary film, a new community initiative with the City Of Edmonton Archives, Archive Society of Alberta and the Edmonton Heritage Council as well as Rainbow Story Hub and the Edmonton Queer History Project.

Here are some slides from the presentation:

From Hiding to Acceptance: Uncovering Edmonton’s Queer History

“  I remember a time when there was no place in this town where I could go and come out as a gay man and have a beer with another gay man.  »— A quote from  Ron Byers, queer historian and founder of the Rainbow Story Hub

Check out the full article on CBC Radio-Canada (French)
(Use the Translate feature in Chrome or Edge for English)

Edmonton’s Pride Celebration History

The First 21 years 1980 – 2001

Edmonton’s first recognized Pride event was a Picnic In The Park thought to be held at Camp Harris, home of the 49th Battalion, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Association. It was attended by about 75 people in 1980 to bring awareness to our community and celebrate the decriminalization of homosexuality with a campfire, picnic and softball game.

1982 saw the first Pride weekend – Pride Through Unity which included a drag show and buffet at Flashback sponsored by the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose, a Unity Dance at the Phoenix Hall put on by the Gay Alliance Towards Equality (GATE) and a picnic and BBQ again held at Camp Harris. Organized in part as a reaction to the Pisces Spa raid a year earlier it looked to bring the community together and bring awareness to the challenges they still faced.

Read more here…

Evolution of the Edmonton Queer History project hits the web and city streets

From the audience, Ron Byers said the latest iteration of the project is particularly valuable to future generations who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the knowledge and experience of those who lived Edmonton’s queer history.

“Because it’s all up here,” he said, pointing to his head. “It opens up the history for our younger community … so the kids learn our history because it’s not taught anywhere else.”

A queer historian himself, Byers runs the Rainbow Story Hub, which collects accounts from members of the community — an effort that he sees as complementary to the queer history project’s encyclopedic, research-driven approach.

Edmonton Journal – March 8, 2022

40th anniversary of Pisces Health Spa raids – Edmonton Police Service

2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the Pisces Health Spa bathhouse raids by the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).

To acknowledge the trauma and impact of the raids, and to show their support to the Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Transgender, and Queer (2SLGBTQ+) community, the EPS is releasing a documentary-style video with commentary from local community members sharing their experiences and perspectives.