2018-07-22 Elderberries Salon

pic The July 22, 2018 was the first Salon (def. below) to be hosted by the ElderBerries.

This page contains a link to the audio of the 4-hour event, and a rough subject index so you can skip to that part of the discussion.

The (Queer) Salon, epitomized by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in 1920s Paris, provided a safe haven for queer people to meet and more, to hear stories, entertain each other, and indulge in queer culture in a day when such love dare not speak its name. This event is part historical recreation, harkening to the Paris of the 20s, so integral in shaping the queer culture we know today.

Over a four hour period, broken into 1-hour sessions, participants dropped in for refreshments and the telling of Halifax's rich queer history. They met some warriors who worked hard to make Halifax a Pride-ful place, and did "Ask Us Anything" about what it was like, what it felt like, how we lived and loved and worked to change the world.

Over the course of the afternoon, about eighty people of all ages sat back and listened to the old-timers tell stories about the good, and bad, old days.

The event was generously sponsored by Halifax Pride. Thank you Halifax Pride!

Speakers: JJLyon, RobinMetcalfe, LynnMurphy, BarendKamperman, EricSmith, MikeSangster & LauraShepherd?; Laura was also moderator.

picPhoto by AnitaMartinez

Audience Count

We distributed about 20 copies of ScottMacNeil's ReflectionsInAMirrorBall.

Audio Recording Subject Index

(link to audio recording is below.)

JJLyon autobiography
Also a specific thanks from EricSmith for JJ's time as receptionist at the Persons With AIDS Coalition
0:30 - 0:40
EricSmith autobiography
MikeSangster talks about the early days, naming DaveBragg?, Diane, AnneFulton, TommyBurns, TommyMiller,
RobinMetcalfe talks about the beginning of the Society and activism at about, and Union street
Robin: coming to Halifax and getting involved with GAE, meeting at the UnitarianUniversalistChurch; 1975 The Boys In The Band; NilsClausson's apartment in the GreenLantern; "I plunged into the deep end"
MikeSangster and the whole group, and EdSlade talks about being gay at work and being out. Robin talks about interactions with the CBC and ChronicleHerald with AnneFulton and BobStout and doing a "zap".
Discussions of "VD" - STIs
MikeSangster on being gay, in a hypermasculine trade and working for Westinghouse.
LynnMurphy about being bi making it easier to be in the closet
EricSmith mentions AnitaMartinez, "With her damned camera!"
GaeGala, the club, police, security, violence, gaybashing, ShirtlessnessDebate, Military Police surveilling Rumours, the SIU.
Lynn talks about RedHerringBookstore
How did women meet?
Gay neighbourhoods? Meeting places?
Were there groups of people living together? Enclaves? GreenLantern Building
The beginnings of the AIDS crisis & responses, DrBobFredrickson, the GayHealthAssociation, AnitaMartinez & Eric talk about CraigRobarts? (sp??), the first AIDS patient in Halifax, a real character, the difference between MACAids and PWACoalition, and MortonHouse and the idea of AIDS being a real community. JJ: "All the men that I expected to spend my senior years together are not here. I love these opportunities to meet the ones who survived, because there are less and less."
JJ & Eric: JJ: what MACAIDS was about; "My job was Education Officer" -- I created the "FuckAwareParties". More on the differences between the two organizations.
GaetanDugas, his photo by RandGaynor
Dr WalterSchlech?: Head of Infectious Diseases at the VG Hospital, Ward 8A, living with AIDS, and Dr LynnJohnson?, and the VG Ward 8A, homophobia in the hospital wards
Anita talks about an HIV+ woman named Dineta (sp?), working at a nursing home in Fairview, AIDS-phobia
Bad sex education, Phyllis Sweet at the Red Door in Kentville
Terminology: "Bi", LGBTQ, "queer", terms & language
Vintage Trans Issues. Trans role models.
Different "treatment" protocols for trans folks, changing attitudes towards trans folks
"I'm not an elder but I had my gender affirmation surgery 18 years ago..." The medicalized model made us inaccessible to each other.
MikeSangster, more on coming out, the disease model of homosexuality. "In the Royal Navy, after 40 days, sodomy is legal." Closet cases.
LauraShepherd? on attitudes towards trans
TERF Lesbians, Clove speaks about the olden days radical lesbian feminism; the idea that transphobia is really fear of loss of privilege.
Trans medical issues, hormones, access to doctors, suicidal feelings, other medical issues,
JJLyon story of his prostate exam
Closing, thank you, LynnMurphy introduces the GlitterBeanCafe

Audio Recording

Session 1: 0:00 - 0:43; Session 2: 1:04 - 1:52, Session 3: 2:11 - 2:58, Session 4: 3:18 - 3:51.

The recording is here (mp3).

This page is in the OralHistoryCategory


Colleen writes: It's a really important event to have too. I went to my first Halifax Pride March in 1994. It was scary and angry (rightly so) and there was such an air of uncertainty over whether or not things would be safe and go okay. I was so embarrassed when the news cameras came, worried about what my friends and family might say if they saw me there. Fast forward to two years ago, I came to watch the pride parade with my best friend Crystal (in my profile pic) and was in tears of disconcerted happiness wondering what my life would have been like had this celebration and acceptance been around in my youth. We've come so far. Events like yours keep the focus on where we've been and where we need to be and keep working toward ❤