The fonds consists of the records created by Bearchell during two decades of her work in gay activism. This includes her work with two publications: The Body Politic (TBP), Canada’s gay liberation newspaper, from 1976-1987, and her work with Epicene in 1987, a gay publication following the end of T…
145.5 cm of textual records
1 audio cassette
History / Biographical
Chris Bearchell's career as a dyke dynamo covers nearly three decades, two of which the archives holds. Chris began writing for Toronto's Body Politic (TBP) in 1975, often as the 'only lesbian'; she joined the governing collective in 1978 and stayed until the paper's demise in 1987. In 1987 she helped found Epicene, a gay news magazine that only published for the year. Hugely influential, and an unrelenting activist, she was a key player with the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario, and acted as Chair of the Committee to Defend John Damien, a racing steward fired in 1975 solely for being gay.
Even after the newspapers demise, her influence did not wane. An astute analyst of pornography, she made her own - and passionately opposed censorship. She has consistently fought for the rights of queer kids, whatever their orientation. Unrelenting, loud, and infinitely proud, Chris' influence continued to be felt in Canada's queer community until her untimely death in 2007 (Portions taken from the National Portrait Collection induction statement).
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of the records created by Bearchell during two decades of her work in gay activism. This includes her work with two publications: The Body Politic (TBP), Canada’s gay liberation newspaper, from 1976-1987, and her work with Epicene in 1987, a gay publication following the end of TBP. The fonds also includes her work with other organizations, most notably the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario (CGRO), the Committee to Defend John Damien, and the Young Socialists/League for Socialist Action. There is correspondence, research notes, notebooks, news clippings, manuscripts, newsletters, reports, press releases, research articles, and inter-office memos.
Most of the records are open. Any restrictions are specified in the access field of the file.
Records were re-housed in acid free folders. All staples and metal clips were removed.
Original order was maintained where possible. Materials which were not in folders or which had been housed in untitled folders had order imposed where necessary to make the records more searchable. The records in each series were arranged alphabetically.
Contains 4 series:
3-The Body Politic
3.3-Correspondence and Manuscripts
3.4-Research and Notes
4.1-Governance and Subscriptions
4.2-Issue Plans and Drafts
4.3-Article Research and Drafts
Includes bibliographical references and directory.
Contents : Forward / by Karla Jay [p. 1-2] -- Part 1: Join us! an introduction to gay liberation [p. 3] -- Christopher Street liberation day, June 28, 1970 [poem] / by Fran Winant [p. 4-6] -- Out of the closets, into the streets / by Allen Young [p. 6-31] -- Gay is good / by Martha Shelley [p. 31-34] -- Dear mom / by Virginia Hoeffding [p. 34-37] -- My soul vanished from sight : a California saga of gay liberation / by Konstantin Berlandt [p. 38-56] -- Part 2: Gay people vs. the media [p. 57] -- The Closet syndrome / by Stuart Byron [p. 58-65] -- A Gay critique of modern literary criticism / by Karla Jay [p. 66-68] -- An Open letter to Tennessee Williams / by Mike Silverstein [p. 69-72] -- Queer books / by John Murphy [p. 72-94] -- Part 3: The Man's law [p. 95] -- Happy birthday, baby butch / by Jaye V. Poltergeist [p. 96-99] -- Sissy in prison / an interview with Ron Vernon [p. 99-112] -- Rapping with a street transvestite revolutionary / in interview with Marcia Johnson [p. 112-120] -- Part 4: Gay people vs. the "Professionals" [p. 121] -- Lesbians and the health care system / by Radicalesbians Health Collective [p. 122-141] -- Gay liberation meets the shrinks / by Gary Alinder [p. 141-145] -- A Lesflet for the American Medical Association / by Chicago Gay Liberation Front [p. 145-147] -- Surviving psychotherapy / by Christopher Z. Hobson [p. 147-153] -- The Orderly / by Robbie Skeist [p. 153-157] -- The Anthropological perspective / by The Red Butterfly [p. 157-165] -- Gay bureaucrats : what are they doing to you? / byMike Silverstein [p. 165-170] -- Part 5: Lesbians and the Women's Liberation movement [p. 171] -- The Women-identified women / by Radicalesbians [p. 172-177] -- Realesbians and politicalesbians / by Gay Revolution Party Women's Caucus [p. 177-181] -- A Letter from Mary / by Mary [p. 182-185] -- Take a lesbian to lunch / by Rita Mae Brown [p. 185-194] -- Hanoi to Hoboken, a round trip ticket / by Rita Mae Brown [p. 195-201] -- Lesbians and the ultimate liberation of women / by Gay Liberation Front Women (New York City) [p. 201-204] -- Part 4: Cuba gay as the sun [p. 205] -- The Cuban revolution and gay liberation / by Allan Young [p. 206-228] -- On the Venceremos Brigade : a forum [p. 228-244] -- Letter from Cuban gay people to the North American gay liberation movement [p. 244-246] -- Declaration by the First National Congress on education and culture / excerpted from GRANMA, daily organ of the Communist Party of Cuba [p. 246-250] -- Part 7: Sex and roles [p. 251] -- Gay revolution and sex roles / by Third World Gay Revolution (Chicago) and Gay Liberation Front (Chicago) [p. 252-259] -- Smash phallic imperialism / by Katz [p. 259-262] -- On sex roles and equality / by N.A. Diaman [p. 262-264] -- Cruising : games men play / by Perry Brass [p. 264-265] -- The Fairy princess exposed / by Craig Alfred Hanson [p. 266-269] -- The Politics of my sex life / by Mike Silverstein [p. 270-275] -- Portrait of the young lesbian as a young dyke / by Karla Jay [p. 275-277] -- Will you still need me when I'm 64? / by Ralph S. Schaffer [p. 278-280] -- Part 8: Moving together [p. 281] -- My gay soul / by Gary Alinder [p. 282-283] -- Looking at women [a poem] / by Fran Winant [p. 284-290] -- Leaving the gay men behind / by Radicalesbians (New York City) [p. 290-293] -- Notes on gay male consciousness-raising / by A Gay Male Group [p. 293-301] -- Somewhere in the right direction : testimony of my experience in a gay male collective / by John Knoebel [p. 301-315] -- Problems of an inter-racial relationship / by Marlene [p. 315-317] -- Epistle to Tsha / by Rita Mae Brown [p. 318] -- Elitism / by Del Whan [p. 318-323] -- Viewpoint of an anti-sexist Marxist / by Sandy Blixton [p. 323-328] -- Part 9: Manifestos [p. 329] -- A Gay manifesto / by Carl Wittman [p. 330-341] -- Gay Revolution Party manifesto [p. 342-345] -- Working paper for the Revolutionary People's Constituional Convention / by Chicago Gay Revolution [p. 346-352] -- I.D., leadership and violence / by Charles P. Thorp [p. 352-363] -- What we want, what we believe / by Third World Revolution (New York City) [p. 363-368] -- A Selected gay bibliography [p. 369-374] -- An international directory of gay organizations [p. 375-403]