pic2008. Photo by JimMacSwain

Robin Metcalfe

Robin Metcalfe (he/him) is a Canadian writer, curator, and Queer community historian of Acadian and Newfoundland ancestry. He has been a gay activist locally, nationally and internationally since the mid-1970s. Over half a century, Robin has assembled one of the largest archives of 2SLGBTQIA+ cultural and organizational material in Atlantic Canada. His archiving has always been an engaged community practice, inseparable from activism. In 1979, on his initiative, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition proclaimed February 14th a Queer holiday, Pink Triangle Day. Halifax Pride named him honorary Grand Marshall in 2010.

Writer, activist and art professional


Robin has been a human rights advocate, writer, humourist, revolutionary, student, traveler and Via Rail porter. Active in GaeGala, curator and editor of QueerLookingQueerActing, creator of PinkTriangleDay, and much more.

Living in Halifax.
January, 2005
delivered public lecture Light in the Loafers: The Gaynor Photographs of GaetanDugas and the Invention of Patient Zero which had just been published in Image and Inscription, An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Photography. The essay discusses themes in the photo GaetanDugas taken by local graphic artist RandGaynor (designer of The Turret logo and many many posters and promo items.) The best-known of the photos also appears in Robin's historical art show catalog, QueerLookingQueerActing.
Halifax Pride Grand Marshall
February, 2011
received an Atlantic Canada Craft Award for Excellence as an industry leader/supporter (for Studio Rally, Art and Craft of Nova Scotia ?)
May, 2024
Presenter at the National Queer & Trans Community History Conference, "It flows wildly: Towards an embodied archives"

Robin's website is here.

AnthonyWallace writes: I first met Robin Metcalfe in October,1976, before I came out. The Dal'Gazette was supporting a CBC boycott, and featured an issue about the gay community in Halifax, and the CBC's refusal at the time to advertise the GayLine as a public service. Robin and BobIsnor? helped with The Dalhousie Gazette's production night.

I shared a small second floor flat with Robin on Lawrence Street in 1979 and 1980. He had a great little library of gay literature. and left-wing as well as gay and lesbian periodicals.

He was very tuned in to anything political.He seemed to observe everything around him, and yet was very focused. One evening Robin invited LynnMurphy to have supper with us. They discussed politics, and who was boycotting what. Well! A very heated disagreement evolved, and I high-tailed it out of there for a couple of hours until they cooled off. Robin's intensity amazed me.

Online queer journalist Rex Wockner quotes Robin, he says, from the GAEZETTE: "I've connected with men for sex on Citadel Hill at one in the afternoon and at one o'clock in the morning. I've met men on the Triangle, on Bell Road, around the museum, in the Public Gardens, in front of the hospital. I've picked up men on trains, in department stores, at art openings, on the Halifax-Dartmouth ferry, at Ben's delicatessen in Montreal, outside Hart House at the University of Toronto, and on the steps of a youth hostel in Stockholm. Sometimes I've led these men back to my place, or been led to theirs. Other times we've enjoyed each other's bodies in whatever provided the most convenient shelter: a car, an abandoned building, a washroom, a changing cubicle, an overhanging rock, a stand of trees."

This page is part of the HistoryProject.


1. February 14, 2024 from his website