One of the events the Summer ’99 Project will be re-creating is the We Demand march, which took place on Parliament Hill on Aug 28, 1971. In 1969, Canada amended its Criminal Code to decriminalize homosexual acts, “but instead of that being the end of the struggle for the queer community,” says Jefferson Guzman, 23, “that was just the beginning.”
Frustrated by the lack of progress made by the government in recognizing their rights, gay and lesbian activists wrote up a list of demands on banners and took it straight to Ottawa.
Feeling that many of those demands have yet to be addressed and recognizing that their generation has its own specific needs, the youth in the Summer ’99 Project created their own “we demand” posters, which will be on display at the 519 Church Street Community Centre. Some demands include:
That lesbian and gay literature be a mandatory part of school curriculum;
That a face is put to queer history, that older gay men and lesbians be recognized for their achievements;
That resources be put towards stopping abuse in same-sex relationships;
That gay men and lesbians be better represented in the media;
To be viewed as a person, as an individual, and not as a gender;
That “obscenity” be specifically defined;
Greater respect for women in the community;
Greater self-respect and self-acceptance in the community;
Greater respect for transgendered people;
Everyday pride in being queer;
Full equal rights on a national and local level.