SOSC 2350 Note 18
Movie about Gay Rights – Stand Together
- There’s no room for the state in the bedroom of the nation
- Gays were a big part of the youth culture, as opposed to most traditional
protests of older
o They were younger so they didn’t have much to lose.
- Most people didn’t know that gay rights would be achieved so quickly
- In Canada, there were similar quite campaigns because the government
didn’t want to engage in risks
o Homosexuals were risks because they have something to hide and are
therefore dangerous to governments
o Therefore, there was a national security campaign that tried to
blackmail gays into giving up other gays.
- The government tried to find or presume gays – it was however hard to find
o The RCMP was out of record in terms of procedures and guidance and
what the police tried to do, there was limited knowledge of what was
- In 1958-9 homosexuality was a bigger concern in Canada in terms of security
- Thousands of people lost their jobs in the military and social service, as well
as demotions and ending careers due to homosexuality.
- The RCMP developed a research project to detect gays amongst civil service
o It proceeded in secrecy– The fruit machine
It was a psychological test – list of words and questionnaires
used to identify gays
Pupillary response depending on how the subject responded to
images on projectors
The project was harder to establish than expected
- In Ottawa they would do park-sweeps where homosexuals met up.
- The RCMP kept a map of Ottawa where homosexual activity was found, and
was marked with red dots
- David Stutsman was in Ottawa used to go to a tavern (a bar near a hotel).
o The RCMP followed him indiscreetly.
o Being followed didn’t bother him, but the interrogation got to him –
they wanted to interview him on matters of national security.
o The first interview wasn’t bad, but on another occasion they took him
to a padded cell.
o By this point in time there was enough group solidarity in gays and
would turn to individuals and snap pictures
The undercover agents got a feeling that gays weren’t scared of
o There was a report where some gays demonstrated their
homosexuality at any opportunity – there were certain lesbian crimes
as a common cause - The gays were always aware that they were under surveillance.
- In a free country, they took it for granted that the police would be there,
constantly watching them – for their protection.
- There was a demonstration where there were several hundred individuals
who stood up with gay slogans
o The majority of demonstrators then dispersed for a beer, not being
aware that most of them would be fired.
- There were attempts to identify key individuals to silence the gay movement.
- The government used national security as an excuse to hide behind their
hatred and fear of homosexuality.
o If you were on display then you embraced your possibility of
blackmailing the government
o However, if you were in hiding, then you were also possibly
o Either way, the government had a win-win situation.
- All homosexual activity made people vulnerable and characterized to have a
- In 1971 August homosexuals made a demonstration from all over the
country – this was the first major demonstration of lesbian and gay pride and
o Homosexuals have been assaulted on the streets for no reason – what
did they do to deserve it?
o The organizers had a list of demands that included human rights, civil
rights, immigration, no longer being considered national security
risks, that have taken a long time to be met
Some of them have only been recent.
o This led to a very partial decriminalization over homosexuality
o The list of demands was developed to remind homosexuals that they
still had some rights in Canada
- They had 30-40 couples that would go to specific societies and find people to
transform and inform them in universities to acknowledge the presence of
- Homosexuals tried to recruit most of Canadian society to their cause
- Two men who were part of an alternative education published an article
o It depicted two gay men kissing in a public area, and being arrested by
- Some people still thought that homosexuality was disgusting – they even
thought that homosexuals should be arrested for their conduct.
- There weren’t many gay bars or clubs in Toronto causing people to being
very secluded and forced into the closet
- One of the objectives of the gays were to reach other gays to let them know
that they weren’t alone.
- The gay community would write letters to editors and kept their gay-line
working - One of the regular features of homophobia in Toronto were appearance of
crowds on Halloween
o Crowds would form on groups of homosexuals and demonstrate in
bashing against homosexuals.
o There was a hate crowd that mocked people outside the gay taverns.
- They wanted to make homosexuals visible to make sure that the media
recognized them as an up-and-coming group.
- 1974 there was a joint homosexual rights movement that there was an
archaic gay movement centered in Germany
o There was a gay-rights movement in Europe that way put in a political
o The gays were victims of Nazis, and the collective movement found
out that the community went beyond Canada, and they had to focus
on a global level.
- The Civil Rights strategy:
o There was a need to change the legal environment to counter
discrimination, as well as the need to do with public education on
homophobia and education
o There was a huge social pressure to stay in the closet
o In 1974 there was the first demonstration calling for a commiss