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Gay Pride Flag Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity
Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual Diversity

Celebrating a History of Diversity:

Lesbian and Gay Life in Saskatchewan, 1971 - 2006
A Selected Annotated Chronology

The 1970s


January Regina
The University of Saskatchewan Homophile Association (USHA) formed at the U of S Regina campus. In 1972 a psychology student named Ann Tarjanne had promoted gay awareness on campus. USHA organizers Gary McDonald and Bev Siller reported difficulty in recruiting members. The group helped students come out and made classroom presentations upon request. When the University of Regina was established in 1974 the group became the University of Regina Homophile Association. It ceased operation in 1980.
[Bev Siller, “University Homophile Association (Letter),” The Carillon, (February 9 1973) p. 2.]
January Saskatoon
Members of SGA were guests on CFQC Radio’s Glenys Joyce show.
[ZFS Newsletter, v. 2 no. 2 (February 1973)]
February 24 Saskatoon
Bruce Garman and Doug Hellquist met with the board of the Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights, who encouraged them to prepare and present a brief on antigay discrimination to the provincial government.
[ZFS News, v. II no. 3 (March 1973) p. 3.]
March 17 Saskatoon
Gemini Club entrance A dance was held to celebrate the opening of a new rented facility for the Gemini Club located at 124A 2nd Avenue North. The centre sponsored a library and information phone line. General drop-ins were held on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and a lesbian drop-in was often held on Friday evenings. The group sought new members through newspaper advertisements. The Saturday night dances and socials were popular and profitable providing the organization the financial resources for political and social service activities. The club shared an office floor with the Saskatoon Women’s Centre, which facilitated dialogue and cooperation with feminist women. Several of these came out as lesbians.
[“News of the Gay: Saskatoon: Gay centre opens,” The Body Politic, no. 8 (1973) p. 19.]
July Montreal
Long Time Coming, Canada’s first lesbian periodical, began publishing.
July 17 Saskatoon
Representatives of Regina’s two gay organizations visited Saskatoon to work with SGA on a joint brief to the provincial government.
[ZFS Newsletter, v. 2 no. 7 (July 1973)]
August Saskatoon
Bruce Garman of SGA requested that City Council proclaim a Gay Pride Week, stating that “this week is set apart by gays to demonstrate their pride in their sexuality and their desire to live their lives without fear of discrimination and oppression.” City Council rejected the request and Pride was celebrated with a picnic at Cranberry Flats on September 2.
[“Saskatoon won’t be gay,” Saskatoon StarPhoenix (SSP), (August 14 1973) p. 4.]
August 14 Saskatoon
SGA presented a brief to Ned Shillington, Executive Assistant to Attorney-General Roy Romanow, on behalf of the ZFS and the USHA. The brief called for the amendment of the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights, the Fair Employment Practices Act, the Fair Accommodations Practices Act and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Shillington said the proposed changes were long overdue and that Romanow “felt positive” about the brief.
[Bruce Garman, “The Brief: Another first for Sask?” ZFS Newsletter v. 2 no. 2 (September 1973) p. 1.]
August 25 Saskatoon
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) recommended the expansion of anti-discrimination legislation, including prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. It was the first Canadian human rights commission to call for the inclusion of sexual orientation in human rights laws.
[SSP, (August 25 1973) p. 3.]
October 6-7 Quebec City
The first Canadian conference of gay organizations was held.
November 21-23 Saskatoon and Regina
A prominent American lesbian couple, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, undertook speaking engagements in Saskatchewan. The couple were founding members of the early American lesbian organization Daughters of Bilitis and authors of a bestselling book Lesbian/Woman. They spoke at the U of S Regina campus on November 21st and at the Saskatoon campus on the 23rd and did several interviews with the local media.
[Beth Foster, “Lesbians dispel myths,” The Sheaf, (November 30 1993) p. 3. / Community Women’s Centre Newsletter (Regina) (December 1993)]