Never Going Back: A History of Queer Activism in Canada

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University of Toronto Press, 2002 - History - 430 pages
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Never Going Back: A History of Queer Activism in Canada is the first comprehensive history of its kind. Drawing on over one hundred interviews with leading gay and lesbian activists across the country and a rich array of archival material, Tom Warner chronicles and analyzes the multiple - and often conflicting - objectives of a tumultuous grassroots struggle for sexual liberation, legislated equality, and fundamental social change.

Warner presents the history of lesbian and gay liberation in a Canadian context, telling in the process the story of a remarkable movement and the people who made it happen. His history encompasses efforts to attain legislated human rights for gays and lesbians, significant regional histories, autonomous lesbian organizing, and the histories of lesbians and gays of colour, two-spirited people, and those living outside the urban mainstream of lesbian and gay life. It also recalls the crises confronting the movement: the backlash against queer activism from social conservative 'family values' campaigns, state and police harassment, and the exigencies of responding to AIDS.

Moving beyond the discussions of equality-rights campaigns, Never Going Back delves inside the movement to look at dissent and debates over liberation and assimilation, sexual expression, race, the age of consent, pornography, censorship, community standards, and an identity forged from a common sexual orientation.


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He is very accurate. Toronto is a failure for a moral city.


Coining to Terms
Gays Lesbians
Police Repression and Judicial Homophobia
Raging Debates Elusive Consensus
Backlash and Social Conservative Insurgency
Fighting against the Odds Facing New Crises
Liberating Communities Changing Consciousness
Legal Recognition of SameSex Relationships
AIDS Radicalization Queer Nation and Identity Politics
Queer Community Standards and Queer Spaces
Identity Community and Visibility at the End of
Lesbian and Gay Liberation in the TwentyFirst

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About the author (2002)

Tom Warner is one of Canada's leading gay activists. During his thirty years of activism, he helped found the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario and several other organizations.

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