What’s new

The Archives gaies du Quebec are pleased to be partnering with Polar Rainbow, an augmented reality sculpture from Latvian-British artist Kristaps Ancāns, in honor of Pride Month in the United States, from June 1- June 30, 2022. The project is curated by Corina L. Apostol (Tallinn Art Hall).

Ancāns’ project creates a virtual double rainbow stretching between the North and South poles along the 74W meridian line — the most populous meridian in the Americas, which happens to cut right through Times Square along 7th Avenue. Ancāns created Polar Rainbow in support of communities under duress, calling for visions of empathy, awareness and solidarity.

The sculpture will be accessible via the Polar Rainbow app developed by Ancāns in close collaboration with Platvorm a data visualization studio based in Tallinn, Estonia.

Visitors can download the app through the Time Square Arts website App users will be able to capture photos with the rainbow and send personalized “digital postcards” that will be featured online by using the hashtag #polarrainbow.

Polar Rainbow has invited partners from various international organizations and communities to reach out to people geographically located in NYC and all along the 74W meridian line where the rainbow will be visible. The Archives gaies du Québec counts among these partners.

We look forward to seeing your Polar Rainbow postcards on social media!

This upcoming May 17 will be the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Organized by Fondation Émergence, the campaign this year will revolve around the repercussions of violence on the life expectancy of LGBTQ2S+ people.

Recognized in numerous countries, this day is an opportunity to educate the public about the difficulties LGBTQ2S+ people face in their everyday life and to urge governments to consolidate LGBTQ2S+ rights, as well as to put pressure on the 111 countries that are hostile to LGBTQ2S+ people. No one should live in fear due to their sexual orientation or gender. In some countries, murders of LGBTQ2S+ people are far too common, only to be ignored by police and politicians.

A thought for all these victims of hate and intolerance.

In the latest issue of the literary magazine Nuit Blanche, you can find a very interesting article about one of our long-term donors, Bernard Mulaire. This art historian hailing from Manitoba is also an LGBTQ+ rights activist. He has recently donated a photograph to the Archives gaies du Québec, entitled Je m’ouvre au matin comme l’éveil / Et pourtant j’ai le regard figé sur la fin. In the article from Nuit Blanche magazine, we can retrace his life, his work, and his determination to take the road less travelled. To know him better, it is also possible to read his most recent book, Flâneries et souvenances, published in 2018.

From left to right : Isabelle Renaud, Auberge du cœur le Tournant; France Cantin, membre du comité de l’encan bénéfice; Coralie Desjardins, Fondation Mères avec pouvoir; Pierre Pilotte, Archives gaies du Québec; Eric Giroux, Écomusée du fier monde.
Photo : Daphnée Bouchard / Photographie Muséologie

As the Écomusée du fier monde displayed the works they put up for their annual auction on April 27th, Pierre Pilotte, representing the Archives gaies du Québec, made a short presentation of our organisation’s mission in front of approximately 125 people. He also graciously thanked the Écomusée for having offered the Archives gaies du Québec 50% of the sale price of an auctioned work by Québecoise artist Betty Goodwin.

Oeuvre dont l’Écomusée du Fier Monde partagera les profits de la vente avec les AGQ:
Betty Goodwin, Note book’87, 1999
sérigraphie, CA I/II, 57 x 76 cm

Please note that the event in question is a virtual charity auction that will be online until May 8th. Bids will be accepted until 8PM, May 8, 2022.

This auction allows the Écomusée to finance its activities in order to fulfill its double mandate of a history and a community museum. To support the museum’s mission, we invite you to place a bid on one of the works offered here.

To kick off the month of April, the Quebec Gay Archives (AGQ) participated in Concordia University’s History in the Making conference, a yearly event organized by Concordia graduate students. The conference is an opportunity for young university students around the continent and the globe to present their work and receive feedback from experts to perfect their work.

On April 1st, the AGQ opened the conference, before ceding the floor to keynote speaker Ann Cvetkovich, author of An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures (Duke University Press). V. Samoylenko, assistant archivist at the Quebec Gay Archives, presented our organization in French first, then followed with English.

After Ann Cvetkovich’s presentation, a first panel of four university students presented their research, among them Simone Beaudry-Pilotte, our esteemed archivist, as well as Kiersten van Vliet and Mark Hamilton, two researchers who frequently visit our collections. Simone spoke about the AGQ’s VHS collection, encouraging us not only to think about the value of the contents of the cassettes, but also about the value of the physical object itself, and the beauty of its impermanence.

The conference was a success. This first panel received 35 in-person attendees as well as around 20 more through zoom. During the two days, we distributed postcards, copies of Archigai and information sheets.

we wish to thank the organizers of the History in the Making conference for this opportunity, which offered us support and visibility. It was a lovely occasion to share knowledge and to continue shedding a light on LGBTQ2S+ communities in Quebec.

During a short but restful trip to Florida last week, Pierre Pilotte never completely stopped thinking about the AGQ. As an expert in his field, he took the opportunity to network on behalf of the AGQ by, among other things, visiting Fort Lauderdale’s World AIDs Museum. There, he received a warm welcome as well as a guided tour. One day, perhaps, the AGQ will have their own museum!

This March 31st, the Quebec Gay Archives wish to celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility by shedding light on some of our trans archives, which are available on our website as of now.

The archives in questions are issues of the TAMs & Tissues newsletter, which was aimed towards the anglophone transvestite and transexual (TV-TS) communities. This newletter, of which the AGQ has issues dating between 1979 and 1983, was published by TAMs (Transvestites à Montreal), a group comprised of MTF (male-to-female) TVs and TSs. This group offered social opportunities, discussion groups and workshops. Later, the group split into TAMs and WOMEN à Montréal en Neuf, as the latter responded to the specific needs of transsexual women.

The periodical was distributed elsewhere in English-speaking North America, and, though the main language of the publication was English, there were still contributions by Francophones. Although the periodical was primarily geared towards what today we would call the transfeminine community, it contained a few contributions about transsexual men.

Trans history has been for a long time rendered invisible. Today, we wish to show our support for our trans peers by making these archives accessible. The AGQ are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion of all LGBTQ2S+ communities.

You can consult the digitized TAMs & Tissues periodical here

History in the Making is a student run conference coordinated annually by Concordia University graduate students for graduate students throughout the world. The conference provides emerging scholars with a platform to present their research, receive valuable input from panelists and conference attendees and ultimately refine their findings and strengthen their arguments. The conference also provides graduate students with an opportunity to network and forge friendships with other emerging scholars from across the continent and beyond. Founded in 1995 by Concordia PhD student Keith Lowther (lost due to AIDS complications in 1997), HITM 2022 Pandemic at the Disco: Bodies, Disruptions, Transformations marks the conference’s 27th year, taking place at Concordia University’s Webster Library on April 1-2, 2022.

The Archives gaies du Québec is proud to co-present the opening keynote by Ann Cvetkovich, author of An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures (Duke University Press) whose work “argues for the importance of recognizing—and archiving—accounts of trauma that belong as much to the ordinary and everyday as to the domain of catastrophe.” (And incidentally, the Archives’ own Simone Beaudry-Pilotte will also be presenting their latest research on the AGQ’s VHS collection as part of the conference).

Attendance is free, but registration is required via eventbrite, and the conference also invites attendees to make a donation to the Archives gaies du Québec via our Donate page or in person.

For more information visit the official website of the event.

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!