What’s new

Last week, that is, from March 14 to 18, the École Polytechnique de Montréal held the 2022 edition of its diversity week in engineering.

At the request of the Poly-Out 2SLGBTQIA+ committee, the Quebec Gay Archives lent the panels of our Histoires des communautés LGBTQ2S+ au Québec exhibit for the event, which were displayed in a high traffic space called the tunnel.

We are happy to have contributed to the success of this event. This is in line with the AGQ’s mandate to: “disseminate any record that documents the history of LGBTQ2S+ associations and individuals, to fight discrimination and prejudices against LGBTQ2S+ communities, and to promote the diversity and inclusion of LGBTQ2S+ people” (article 1.6, General regulations of the Quebec Gay Archives).

Once more, the Quebec Gay Archives can claim loud and proud, “Mission accomplished!”

Between March 10 and 12, The Richmond salon in Montreal hosted the PaykanArtCar exhibit.

he Quebec Gay Archives were invited and our coordinator, Pierre Pilotte, represented our organization. This travelling exhibit, moving from city to city and country to country, seeks to raise awareness among the general public about the violence and abuses to which LGBTQ+ people in Iran are subjected.

The exhibit showcases a Paykan limousine, which Iran’s Shah gifted to Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1974 when he became the president of Romania. It must be noted that the Paykan was Iran’s national car brand until its manufacturing ceased in 2005. Alireza Shojaian, an Iranian activist and artist, used this car as a setting to depict the tragic story of two lovers. This is an original and spectacular way of denouncing human rights violation of LGBTQ+ people in Iran.

To learn more about this travelling exhibit, you can consult the following website : www.paykanartcar.com

We wish to express our solidarity with Ukrainians, who are currently going through a difficult time.

Though in Ukraine, LGBTQ+ rights are not recognized to the same extent as here, LGBTQ+ people still have a legal status since the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1991. Despite many obstacles, LGBTQ+ people have some legal protections.

Since 2013, there is a Pride march in Kyiv. This will all be brutally taken away if the Russian government’s iron fist takes hold of Ukraine, as under Putin, LGBTQ+ people are persecuted, imprisoned, or worse.

Last week, on February 25th, the Quebec Gay Archives welcomed the assistant mayor of Paris, Mr. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel.

A gay rights activist, very involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, this elected official from Paris visited us to observe how our organisation functions. He would like to see a similar organization in Paris.

Jacques Prince, president of the Quebec Gay Archives, accompanied by Pierre Pilotte, our coordinator, welcomed him and talked to him about our organization, which has now existed for 39 years. Our assistant archivist, V. Samoylenko, gave him a guided visit of our location. Also present at this meeting were Denis-Daniel Boullé, journalist for the magazine Fugues; Jonathan Proulx-Guimond, our communications assistant; and our intern, Marie-Lou Piché.

From left to right : Marie-Lou Piché, Pierre Pilotte, Jacques Prince, Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, Denis-Daniel Boullé, Marine Perrin. Collection des Archives gaies du Québec.

For over an hour, Mr. Romero-Michel and his aide Marine Perrin asked us questions and showed great interest in our work. We are very happy to have met with a sympathetic politician, and not to mention an engaged writer responsible for human rights, integration, and the fight against discriminations at the Paris city council.

He is a candidate for the Parti Socialiste at the next legislative elections in France, which will take place in June 2022.

We wish him good luck!

The Quebec Gay Archives just acquired two (2) brand new flat file cabinets for a discounted price, which we will use to store nearly 500 posters. These posters had remained rolled for far too long, which is detrimental to their preservation. Up until now, we did not have enough funds for such a purchase.

2022 is starting on a good note. Thank you to all our donors.

On February 11th, we acquired an important addition to our collections.

It consists of many publications, donated by Robert Schwartzwald, professor at Université de Montréal’s Department of littératures et langues du monde.

Many of these archives are related to gay theatre, a subject not widely documented at the AGQ.

We would like to thank Mr. Schwartzwald for this precious addition to our collections.

The Quebec Gay Archives are welcoming Marie-Lou Piché, a student at Université Laval pursuing a certificate in archival studies, for an internship starting this month and lasting five (5) weeks. She will be working with our team to process the posters donated by the Montreal LGBTQ+ Community Centre. She will be, as well, writing fonds descriptions to make them more accessible and thus more helpful for researchers.

Our organization is very happy to host this young intern. Welcome, Marie-Lou!

In the February 2022 issue of the magazine FUGUES, one can find an article recounting JOHN BANKS’ life.

An activist for the recognition of gay rights from the very start, he is today a dedicated volunteer at the Quebec Gay Archives. Serge Fisette’s article traces key moments in his life. For example, he was the initiator of the first Pride march in Montreal in 1979 and was the private secretary of the legendary icon Marlene Dietrich for a dozen years.

Before the pandemic, he regularly visited the Quebec Gay Archives consultation room to work on his archival fonds.

We are very happy to have him among our members.

On Friday, 21 January 2022, we proceeded with the draw for Francoise Sullivan’s work in the presence of witnesses to close our fundraising campaign.

CHARLES LAPOINTE is the happy winner. M. Lapointe is a longstanding donor, who we have reached out to Florida to announce the happy news.

We want to take this opportunity to thank Françoise Sullivan once more for having graciously offered her work Murmures for the draw.

A very big thank you to all our donors, because with your help, our 2021 fundraising campaign has broken a yet unmatched record.

We have collected nearly $40 000! This goes to show that the greater LGBTQ2S+ community supports the mission of the Quebec Gay Archives. As such, we can work on projects that have been delayed due to lack of funds. Despite the prevailing gloom, the Quebec Gay Archives are radiating joy.

To each of you, we wish A VERY HAPPY 2022!

Due to the takeover of the omicron variant and the sanitary measures in place to prevent its spread, the Quebec Gay Archives consultation room will be closed to all visitors and researchers.

Our employees will be working from home whenever possible. We hope this interruption will be brief.

Despite the difficult circumstances, we wish all our loyal supporters health and happiness for the new year.

Please take note that the Quebec Gay Archives will be closed for the holiday season starting the 17th of December 2021, and will only reopen on Tuesday, January 4th, in the new year.

For now, the archives can be consulted by appointment only, with a maximum limit of four (4) people at a time, including personnel. Sanitary measures, including hand washing and masks wearing, are enforced. Each person is encouraged to keep a safe distance as much as possible.

The board of directors and the employees of the Archives all wish you a very happy holiday season.

In accordance with Québec public health measures, the AGQ require any visitor to wear a face mask and keep a distance of over a meter for the duration of the consultation. It is also highly recommended to be adequately vaccinated against COVID-19. Any person presenting COVID-19 symptoms will be invited to leave the premises.

Considering the damaging properties of certain hand sanitizers on archival documents, visitors will be asked to wash their hands with soap and water before any handling of the documents.