Radio — Uncovering Calgary’s queer history


On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Teresa Maillie and Kevin Allen talk about their efforts to unearth the histories of queer lives and struggles in Calgary, and why that history matters for the future.

Calgary is a somewhat newer city than many of the other major cities in Canada. It is also a distinctively conservative one. And yet, the tides of struggle and profound change in gay, lesbian, bi, and queer lives over the last 50 years — profound even if much less evenly distributed across queer lives than more privileged observers often care to acknowledge — was no less generated from and experienced in queer communities in Calgary than anywhere else in the country. The local manifestations of this history are not, however, well known, within Calgary or without.

Maillie and Allen are both involved with the Calgary Gay History Project, a community-based effort to try to change that. Mailie is one of its researcher-volunteers and Allen is its research-lead and founder. They have been interviewing LGBTQ community elders, pouring over archives both private and public, and bringing their findings to audiences online and in person. They talk with me about how they’re doing this research, about what they’ve found, and about why knowing where you came from is key to facing the struggles yet to come.

To learn more about the Calgary Gay History Project, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit its website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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