Making a Scene
Lesbians and Community across Canada, 1964-84
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.
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