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Queerstory remembers our past

Walking tour app chronicles Body Politic’s beginnings

Lounge singer Jackie Shane at the Sapphire Club.  Credit: Queerstory

We’ve talked about Queerstory before: it’s the self-guided walking tour app that details queer history around Toronto. It highlights important sites around the city and features a series of mini-documentaries about the events that unfolded in the area.

It’s been aptly described as a Jane’s Walk in your pocket. Every important site is marked with a short history lesson and a video filled with archival footage and interviews with prominent figures. 

One of the most interesting series of videos details the beginning of The Body Politic. It quickly leads to the office raid in 1975 after the article “Men Loving Boys Loving Men” was published. Queerstory interviews Gerald Hannon, a collective member of The Body Politic and the writer of the piece.

Former mayor John Sewell, in a video for the 371 Bloor St W site, recalls giving a speech at the Freedom of the Press rally in 1979 where he rallied for the legitimacy of homosexuality.

The series concludes with Hannon returning to detail the 1981 bathhouse riots and the critical role The Body Politic played. 

Queerstory is available free on both Android and Apple devices. Plug in, walk around and learn.