All posts tagged: foolscap

Foolscap Sheds Light on a History of Anti-LGBTQ Police Violence

Foolscap / gay history
foolscap-blog-pic

The Foolscap Oral History project is a rich collection of over 100 interviews recorded with gay men throughout the 1980s that tells the story of LGBTQ life in Toronto in the pre-Stonewall era. The interviewees of this project cover a wide array of topics in their narratives such as activism, relationships, and social life; together, these stories serve to set the scene for gay Toronto in a time when queer identities were much more marginalized […]

Digitizing Archival Cassette Tapes: A Brief How-To

Uncategorized
Image caption: Interview with John Nixon, one of the cassette tapes housed at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in the Foolscap fonds. Cassette label reads “Toronto Nov. 7/1982 side one of 1st taped interview with John N., convicted boy lover & homosexual”.

Between 1981 and 1986, The Foolscap Gay Oral History Project collected over 100 oral histories with Canadian gay men born in the first half of the 20th century. These interviews, conducted by John Grube and Lionel Collier, were informed by conditions contemporaneous to the project: Operation Soap (police harassment of gay men), HIV/ AIDS, and the proliferation of queer community spaces and groups in Toronto. These interviews were originally recorded on cassette tapes, which have […]

Foolscap Oral Histories and Gay Bar Culture in Toronto and Mexico City

Uncategorized

For the past few weeks I have been reading transcripts of the interviews that John Grube conducted in the 1980s with Canadian gay men born in the first half of the twentieth century. One of the most interesting topics in the interviews is the experiences that these men had with the gay bar culture in Toronto during the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. Going to bars or “beverage rooms” was instrumental in their coming out experience, […]

Foolscap: The Social Responsibility of Digitizing Erasure

Uncategorized

Listening to the Foolscap interviews, it seems impossible to have been in Toronto in the 1960s without realizing that the St Charles Tavern was a hotbed of gay activity. However, researching press coverage of the bar, it’s clear that this watering hole’s queerness was fairly hidden from most of the public in the 1960s. A brief review of Globe and Mail articles between the 1940s and 1960s rarely link homosexuality to the St. Charles Tavern. It’s […]