1978 Pride March

RobinMetcalfe

We had a conference march down Spring Garden to Barrington - it was kind of the reverse of the route today. I think we marched from Dal, where the conference was, to the Turret. It rained cats and dogs, but there were maybe 250 people, which was huge for 1978. Gerald Hannon of the Body Politic took some great photos that day, but mostly of people he knew from Toronto. It was not a "Pride March" - it was before they were a thing - but it was a march, making general demands for gay rights, which nobody had then, in law, anywhere except in Qu├ębec, which had just passed a law in 1977 extending protection to gays and lesbians.

This was the national conference of CLGRC, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition, around the theme of Solidarity Against Repression. The first Canadian gay conference to have professional English-French simultaneous interpretation, paid for by a $6,000 grant from Secretary of State, possibly the first federal government grant to a gay organisation. Georgina Chambers and I were the co-coordinators. It went on for six days, had an art show, a talent show and an original musical produced in the Turret, called The Night They Raided Truxx.