Thanks to our 2020 summer YCW student Subhanya Sivajothy, we now have a Digital Exhibit for We Demand! The We Demand March in August of 1971 was the first recorded political action taken by queer folks in Canada. The Parliament Hill rainy-day affair is known as one of the pivotal turning points in Canadian LGBTQ2+ history and is often aligned with the Stonewall riot in New York.
The march was in direct protest to the supposed ‘reform’ of the Canadian Criminal Code, which had little practical impact on the level of policing and surveillance experienced by queer folks. The 10 Demands included the removal of criminalizing and dehumanizing language from the Criminal Code that limited queer rights, freedoms, and equality within Canadian society.
This August 28th we will be celebrating 50 years since the march, recognizing how life has changed for many LGBTQ2+ folks in practical and legal ways, but also how it has not in so many respects.
Photograph by Jearld Moldenhauer