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The first annual Bi-National Lesbian Conference happened in Toronto in May 1979.

Organizing[edit]

The conference was organized by members of the Lesbian Organization of Toronto (LOOT) in cooperation with members of the Toronto International Women’s Day Organizing Committee.[1] The organizers began planning in November 1978, sent out written questionnaires to lesbians all over the country to determine the content of the event, and also managed to raise $14,000 in conference costs through fundraisers, raffles and other community initiatives.[2]

The organizing collective stated in their conference program that it was their hope that:

The conference[edit]

The conference drew 400 registrants, from Canada, the United States and other countries. Thirty-five workshop sessions were offered at Hart House, on the University of Toronto Campus, on subjects ranging from bicycle repair to discussion-based sessions exploring topical issues in the lesbian movement of the time.[1] All sessions were conducted in English but simultaneous translation was offered for French Language speakers.[2]

Saturday evening featured a live concert with the Toronto band who went on to become the Parachute Club, Mama Quilla II.

In her Lesbian History of the Lesbian Organization of Toronto, The House that Jill Built, Becki Ross quotes conference attendee Naomi Brooks about the ecitement the conference generated in the lesbian community at the time:

After the conference[edit]

The conference spurred on the creation of a Canada-wide lesbian magazine, Lesbian/Lesbienne: the National Newspaper of the Lesbian Movement.

Subsequent Bi National Lesbian Conferences were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Montreal, Quebec, Calgary, Alberta and several other larger Canadian cities.

The 1981 (fifth) Conference in Vancouver has the distinction of launching Canada's first (lesbian pride) Dyke March.[3] In 1982, Toronto lesbian organization Lesbians Against the Right, which grew out of the now defunct Lesbian Organization of Toronto, organized a second Canadian Dyke March in Toronto, Ontario.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ross, Becki. The House That Jill Built: A Lesbian Nation in Formation, University of Toronto Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8020-7479-0, p197
  2. ^ a b Ross, Becki. The House That Jill Built: A Lesbian Nation in Formation, University of Toronto Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8020-7479-0, p191
  3. ^ a b Bearchell, Chris. Lesbian Pride March is a First for Canada, in The Body Politic magazine, June 1981



Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bi-National_Lesbian_Conference — Please support Wikipedia.
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3 news items

 
LBReport.com
Fri, 16 May 2014 06:30:00 -0700

The first two documented "dyke" marches were in both in Canada in 1981. Two hundred marchers marched in Vancouver in May 1981 as part of a Bi-National Lesbian Conference. In October of that year in Toronto, a group called Lesbians Against the Right ...

LBReport.com

LBReport.com
Wed, 15 May 2013 08:14:34 -0700

(May 15, 2013, 7:55 a.m.) -- The Long Beach Lesbian community will significantly increase its visibility during this year's 30th annual Long Beach Pride weekend with an inaugural Blue Party and LGBTQ Historic Pride Bike Ride tied to the first Long ...
 
TheTyee.ca
Fri, 04 Aug 2006 02:36:20 -0700

The fifth Bi-National Lesbian Conference in Vancouver draws women from across Canada, and launches its first lesbian pride march. 1982: The world's first Gay Games takes place in San Francisco. Canada patriates its constitution, adding the Canadian ...
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