Genderqueer in Canada exhibition screenshot

Genderqueer in Canada exhibition launched

When I was an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, I interned at the ArQuives (formerly the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives). They were kind and generous enough to allow me to create my own project to work on during my time there, and allowed me to put together an digital exhibition of materials found within their archives.

At the time, I wasn’t very familiar with queer history in Canada, but digging into the archives there gave me a much broader sense of what happened here, who was involved, what survives, and where the gaps are in the material collected and preserved.

I put together a digital exhibition that I called Genderqueer in Canada about what it means to be outside the gender binary in a Canadian context. ((I have a strong aversion to defining myself through negation, which is why I prefer the term “genderqueer” over “nonbinary.”))

The exhibition looks at the coining of the term “genderqueer,” the queerly heterogenous array of terms used to describe what it meant to be the “other” and (sometimes) third gender in Canada, and slow progress for legal recognition (still incomplete).

The OMEKA software used for the exhibition does not allow for footnoting, so additional documents have been uploaded with the sources for my claims properly sourced.

It’s a small thing, but I hope Genderqueer in Canada provides some context for those who want to know more about the histories of this identity group and its place in Canada.

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