Making a Scene

Lesbians and Community across Canada, 1964-84 a scene - liz milward
328 pages Canada
ISBN: 9780774830676
Language: English
Publisher: UBC Press
Find Local Bookstore Buy at UBC Press Buy at Chapters Indigo


Starting in the mid-1960s, Canadian lesbians started leaving their closets en masse to find each other and build community. After decades of having their sexuality pathologized, disparaged, or erased from public view, these young women were ready to make a scene – both by bringing attention to themselves in order to challenge prevailing stereotypes and by creating physical spaces and opportunities for lesbians to get together.

Making a Scene documents the lesbian movement that developed in Canada between 1964 and 1984. Not just a story of big-city life, it chronicles the spaces lesbians created across rural and urban Canada, from physical locations – such as lesbian and gay centres, drop-ins at women’s centres, communal houses, bookstores, bars, cafés, and private members’ clubs – to the ephemeral sites women travelled to in order to meet each other – such as conferences, workshops, festivals, and Dykes in the Streets marches.

Enriched by interviews and a wealth of primary sources, including diaries, letters, newsletters, reports, and minutes, Making a Scene brings to life the exuberance of these young women and the challenges they faced during this transformational period in Canadian history. It consolidates existing work, introduces new research and insights, and is bound to inspire future studies of lesbian geographies.

Scholars and students of gender and sexuality studies, women’s studies, cultural geography, and critical geography will welcome this book, as will anyone interested in lesbian and women’s history.


Liz Millward

Liz Millward is an associate professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Manitoba. Her work on lesbian place-making has been published in Gender, Place and Culture, Feminist Media Studies, Women's History Review, and Australian Feminist Studies. Her book Women in British Imperial Airspace, 1922-1937 won the Canadian Women's Studies Association Annual Book Prize in 2010.

Food for Queers Community Program

Food for Queers
Stay Safe. Not Hungry

Providing support for 2SLGBTQ+ folks experiencing food insecurities within the city of London

No questions. No contact. Just Support!

Future is Queer! #QueerEvents