Queer organizing from Egale to the Pink Panthers

dragonfly, Dimanche, Mai 18, 2003 - 19:45


This past weekend was a busy one for queer activists and their allies in Montreal. In the downtown end of our city, at McGill campus, the queer rights group Egale held a conference entitled “Rainbow Visions: Building a Pan-Canadian Queer Agenda.

This past weekend was a busy one for queer (queer meaning lesbian, intersexed, bisexual, gay, and transgendered) activists and their in Montreal. In the downtown end of our city, at McGill campus, the queer rights group Egale held a conference entitled “Rainbow Visions: Building a Pan-Canadian Queer Agenda.

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Great article!
Lun, 2003-05-19 01:05

It's only on CMAQ that you can get this alternative view on information.

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Reactions - John
Mar, 2003-05-20 15:22

Hi Andrea!

You said you'd like my reactions to your piece so I'm leaving them here.

First off, thanks for taking the time to cover this. I'm glad to be able to keep up on it in some way as a person who was attracted to both events but couldn't go. Second, there were some typos or choices of words that I thought might be worth pointing out to you. Is it intersex or intersexed? Since not all readers are necessarily familiar with the term 'trans', might it not be better to write it out as 'transgendered'? Finally, I think "...the other govt official that graced the conference's presence..." should read "the other govt official WHO graced the CONFERENCE WITH HIS PRESENCE". Call it patriarchal grammatical colonialist hegemony, but I had to point it out. :o) Otherwise, there were some issues I would have liked you see deal with which you did not. First, you mention "proud moments" in your intro but then do not talk about them in the piece. Were there any remarkable ones that were discussed at either event? Next, Egale billed the conference as "pancanadian" but I wonder how pancanadian it was. Apparently translation was handled in a typically tokenist, "hadiknownyouwerecomingi'dhavebakedacake" manner, or it was used as elimination criteria only when there was need for a translation to English. Deeper still, did the Pink Panther Collective present on the het empire at the Egale conference? If not, why not? In other words, what kind of welcome did Egale offer to anarchist queers? This touches on the last issue for me, which as it turned out was the first one I personally faced with the Egale conference, that of the registration fee. How elitist a space did Egale end up creating by charging 200-250$ to get in? I was going to do something on being a white ethnic and queer, but when I saw the price, I decided I could not afford it.

So there ya go! Thanks for giving us folk who couldn't attend some perspectives on these events! xo

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Mar, 2003-05-20 15:45

Thanks for the comments John. I think that the typos are fixed. (Good grammar is important!)

As for your questions regarding the conference etc.

The Pink Pathers presented at the Anarchist Bookfair. They could have possibly proposed a panel at the Egale conference, but since it was such an anglo, reformist affair, that cost over 200 bucks to attend, I am sure that it is not difficult to see why there were not many radical queer groups there.

The translation at the Egale conference was actually OK, considering there were about 12 workshops happening at any given time, some in French, some bilingual, some in English, with at least 2 having simultaneous translation. Yet, at the Anarchist bookfair every workshop had translation.

That being said, I suppose that the 'proud moments' I spoke of where the obvious. The fact that queer people can be out at all, is a good thing. The fact that homophobia is being addressed, is also excellent. (June 4th is Quebec anti-homophobia day, by the way.) During the conference, the legal battles that queers have won, from the decriminalisation of homosexual male activity to the right to adopt, were mentioned MANY times as examples of victories. It was also mentioned MANY times that we are very close to having gay and lesbian marriage.

There are many important questions that need to be answered with regard to these moments. For some, it is not enough to attempt to reform a system. Seeking inclusion in the patriarchal, heterosexist institution of marriage isn't a wonderful thing in every queer person's mind.

The reform vs revolution debate needs to be furthered... can we have both???

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radical queer encuentro/gathering in Montreal?
Ven, 2003-05-30 00:22

recently, Queeruption 5 finished in Berlin, the semi-annual radical queer grassroots gathering; the first outside an anglophone country, talks of next year's being either in/both Sydney, Australia and Amsterdam. Netherlands, it would be good to have such a gathering (maybe piggybacking off the annual Montreal Anarchist Book Fair) in Montreal in both French/English. the international Queeruption listserve is (send an e-mail to),,

also, a continental wide listserve,

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pink panthers and pride celebrations
Dim, 2003-07-27 11:02

Hi Andrea-
I'm actually working on a piece currently that has to do with
anti-mainstream approaches to Pride celebrations, and was very interested in your article. I wondered if maybe you had any leads/contacts i might be able to follow up with (Pink Panthers , Egale etc.). I want to look at the increasingly corporate nature of Pride and if there are any protests/workshops planned by pink panthers or SHAME members this week during pride in montreal?
so that's it.
hope we can be in can email me at

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