One Day from GAYDAYS, 1978A part of Gaydays was the Aug.26/78 Fair, a takeover of Queen's Park north of the Legislature. It was described this way in the Gaydays program:
"This is the one part of GAYDAYS that has been designed for all the gay people of Toronto, and their friends and loved ones gay or straight. Over forty organizations are active in Metro right now, and they'll all be at the fair to talk about what the gay community is doing these days. As well be continuous music from talented singers and musicians (including FERRON, and BOO WATSON, a local feminist singer/songwriter), arts and crafts in exhibition, a poetry corner, clowns and mime artists performing throughout the park. Box lunches will be available close by, so you can spend a couple of sunny hours getting to know the organized gay community, and each other, a little better.
QUEEN'S PARK, NORTH OF WELLESLEY 11:00 AM TO 5:00PM"
See the Gaydays section of Toronto Gay Pride Weeks for the complete Aug.24-27, 1978 Gaydays program.
Alvin Wagner on the right, and Brian, with whom he lived for many years. Alvin was caretaker of Holy Trinity Church in downtown Toronto, where the first gay organization dances were held. I'll indulge myself with this first photo, but that's not why it's placed here. It's here because Alvin was somehow always a presence. Over the years Charlie and I walked home with the two of them many times, after dances there and elsewhere. For a number of years in the 1970's there were several houses in south Riverdale where gay activists lived together. It's not a clear memory but I think Alvin and Brian lived in the Boulton house, 203 Boulton. For a time Ron Dayman lived there, also Bruce Eakin, Stephen Quagliariello, possibly others. Stephen got an Opportunities For Youth grant in 1975 to make a documentary on gay people living in an urban environment. Don't know what happened in the end. A couple of blocks up was the BP house on Simpson, and a couple of blocks further north was Charlie's and my place at 108 Langley, where lots of TAG things happened and where Harvey Hamburg eventually moved in. I wasn't in the BP house much, maybe for a party or two, more often had reason to drop in on Boulton. When we moved to Seaton in Cabbagetown, in the late 1970's there was the same kind of cluster, with Richard Fung, Tim McCaskell et al in the same block and Jerry Moldenhauer, John Scythes and others one block down. Didn't end up in those places more than once or twice either. Alvin was in TAG with me and Charlie, one of the original members. But even after that when we all lived elsewhere, Alvin and Brian on Rose Ave., we somehow still ended up on these long walks. Alvin was the gentlest of souls but every now and then something would get his dander up and out would come this roar. Everyone would sit up and attention would be paid. After many years Brian decided to head back to Alberta, Calgary I think. Alvin always missed him terribly.
A gay/lesbian cable TV show in Toronto in the late 1970's. I think it was subsequent to Gay News And Views. This is the first time I've noticed that poster to the left. It's based on a photo of (l & r) Michael Pearl and Herb Spiers in front and me (Peter Zorzi) behind them. I've got no idea who took it. But the photo has seen the rounds, Rick Bebout also made use of it on his website many years later. It originally appeared in a student handbook put out in 1973 by The University of Waterloo and the Waterloo Universities Gay Liberation Movement. Dennis Findlay had much to do with that.
LOOT aka Lesbian Organization of Toronto was active 1976-80
That would be Jan Grygier in the centre of the trio, John Wilson with hands on hips in left background, other faces are familiar but . . .
A sweet guy and a familiar figure in the community, Elgin Blair at the Gay Equality in Mississauga booth. A long-time activist, among many other things he co-founded the Unitarian Universalist Gay Caucus, was later a Green Party federal election candidate and I think was active with Gays And Lesbians Aging (GALA).
Out Of The Closets -- Edward VII on his high horse
John Forbes, aka Twilight Rose. John wrote for the The Body Politic, appearing in its first issue and afterwards. He also wrote for Two Magazine, another gay mag, in the mid-60's, was part of The Ephemerals in Vancouver, a radical drag/street theatre group circa 1970-71 modelled after the Cockettes, etc, etc. My favourite quote from John comes from a 1973 CBC-TV short, Drag Queens on Halloween, where he complains "It's getting so you can't even freak people out anymore."
John K., Frank Hutchings our occasional housemate, a fellow who did the laser shows and was DJ on the main floor at GCDC dances (Ilona was basement DJ), Denise Hudson of TAG
Harvey Hamburg, another sometime housemate of ours, at the Gay Community Calendar booth. Started by Harvey and possibly Jim McNeil, 923-GAYS was a recorded calendar of gay community events, phone the number and find out what was happening that week. It was also another of the ways people who didn't know the Toronto gay community or closeted people discovered the existence of groups and organizations. The 923-GAYS telephone was in the TAG office, Harvey being among the people who started TAG. A main force behind Gaydays, along with Gordon Montador and Val Edwards, he was also the instigator of the Gay Community Appeal (now the Community One Foundation) pulling together the people who launched it. He was one of the people who occupied the downtown office of the Attorney General of Ontario for three days in 1979 to protest harassment of the gay community. And I could go on and on. He's been a lawyer to the community for decades now, was heading into law school at this point.
Denise Hudson on the left, smiling, Bruce Glawson with his back turned, Paul Endicott between them in the distance, Ed Fontaine to the right of Bruce. All were at one point or another in TAG (Toronto Area Gays) except Ed. Ed and Harvey, above, were among the group who occupied the Ontario Attorney General's office for three days in 1979 over various gay issues.
The TAG booth, Carl Bognar on the left with the mustache, David Sanders on the right standing and looking on
Bill Conklin, on the left, with his lover David Hallman. David was program director with the United Church, specializing in environmental issues. Among other things I think he was the major co-ordinator of the international committee that organized the Nestle boycott over their sale of infant formula in Africa and elsewhere.
Danny Gerrard blowing up balloons, bouquets of balloons being the Gaydays symbol
Danny again. He was part of the original social service project attached to CHAT, the phone lines, public education etc. That looks like John Scythes, later of Glad Day, on the left working on a balloon
Two more TAG people, Barry Blackburn smiling at the camera, Ian Turner on the left in cap
Ed Fontaine in the yellow shirt and me carrying a Gaydays banner in the 1978 NY Gay Pride parade. Andrew Mullin in the centre is getting leaflets to hand out and Harvey Hamburg is somewhere working the crowds with the leaflets, drumming up business for the Toronto event.
Carl Bognar, Gerry Oxford, David Sanders, . . . Ian Turner gets caught on the tag end of the film . . . So many mustaches, so many T-shirts . . .
A very poor image of Charlie, whose photographs these are. He switched cameras so I quickly took this with the one he'd been using.