Written by Diane, August 18, 2006:
I realized I was gay in 1966, when I met the love of my life AnnMacMullin. I had been married for three years and had two children, Marjie and Eric. In 1968 Ann and I had a daughter TaraLynn, who became the darling of our close knit gay community. In 1971, I became involved with the HelpLine? and found out that there was a gay community in Halifax!
We went to our first gay club (TheeKlub) owned by DavidGray in the GreenLantern Bldg. We were one of the first lesbian couples to go there! It wasn't long before we realized that things were tough for gays in the Halifax area. There was no police support, we weren't allowed newspaper or telephone advertising! The gay men especially were put out of bars etc; if they were thought to be Gay. Many of our friends and acquaintances landed up at the V.G. emergency!! They decided to do something about it, and the Alliance for Gay Equality was formed.
I decided to join in 1972, but personality clashes were causing dissension within the group, culminating in the chairman's castigating, "If I am the cancer destroying the group, then I must be removed" speech. I was elected Chairman and we fought long and hard for registration with the Joint Stock Companies as charitable non-profit organization, finally won in either October or November 1972 or 1973! We held protests at businesses that discriminated against us, we went on Radio shows, went to Universities to speak, became involved in the HelpLine? training sessions, enabling their counsellors to be more empathic toward Gays. On incorporation we changed our name to The Gay Alliance for Equality. We felt at the time that this would encompass all gays male and female. It should be noted that there was still hostility between male and female gays!!
When denied the use of The Club for our meetings, we met at my home, many hours were spent there drafting petitions and letters for things we wanted changed or done to enable us to be recognized as normal, self-respecting, human beings and not as the deviant, aberrant creatures society felt and or wanted us to be!! As we grew, a larger space was needed and the UniversalistUnitarianChurch on Inglis St. in Halifax allowed us to meet there. Once again personalities began to cause problems. We had our right-wingers; left-wingers; middle-of-the-road; and our out & out vocal militants; our internal problems began to overtake the objectives that we had set out at incorporation!
In 1974, I went back to University, and due to my expanded workload and the changes in ideology that were occurring, I resigned as Chairman of GAE, and gradually lost touch with what was happening. I graduated from MountSaintVincentUniversity with a BA in Early Childhood Education; we opened our own pre-school, which we operated until I had to retire for medical reasons in 1982. Ann and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary on May 16, 2007; we have three children, Marjie; Eric and TaraLynn; seven grand-children; two step-grand-children and one step-grand-son. After living in Cape Breton for 24 years, we have just moved to Brantford, Ontario, to live with Tara in a "granny suite." Anyone who remembers and wants to contact me may do so at Lionrora55@hotmail.com
I will try to remember more for future up-dates!!!
Before Diane wrote her biography, above, JohnMarr wrote: