This exhibit showcases the work of students, faculty, and staff who advocated for increased rights, safety, and places to thrive for LGBTQIA2S+ communities at McGill. The materials highlight activism from the mid 20th century until 2022. In the physical exhibit, the materials are organized around the following themes:
- Queer Joy
- LGBTQIA2S+ Organizations and Clubs
- Discrimination and Backlash
- Academic Programs
- HIV/AIDS and Health
During a period in which there has been increased political backlash against LGBTQ+ communities, it is important that we better understand earlier generations’ activism and community building efforts in order to inspire our own work. We hope that visitors to this exhibit leave feeling inspired to build a more equitable world. The section of the exhibit on LGBTQIA2S+ Student, Faculty, Staff Clubs, Groups, and Organizations seeks to provide resources to help individuals connect with current organizing efforts.
The materials from this exhibit come from: the Queer McGill Archives, McGill’s Union for Gender Empowerment (UGE) Archives, McGill University Rare Books & Special Collections, McGill University Archives, the Archives Gaies du Québec (AGQ), the Archives Lesbiennes du Québec, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), the Internet Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive, the collections of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF), the Black Students’ Network (BSN) of McGill, and the personal collections of Will Aitkin, Deb VanSlet, and Laure Neuville.
View the physical exhibit on the main floor of McGill’s McLennan Library Building during opening hours. The virtual exhibit, available at lgbtqactivismatmcgill.com will be available, at least, until September 1, 2032.
About the curators
Since 2018, Dr. Alex Ketchum has been the Faculty Lecturer of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies of McGill University. She is the Director of the Just Feminist Tech and Scholarship Lab and the organizer of Disrupting Disruptions: The Feminist and Accessible Publishing, Communications, and Tech Speaker and Workshop Series. Her work integrates food, environmental, technological, LGBTQ+, and gender history. Ketchum's first peer-reviewed book, Engage in Public Scholarship!: A Guidebook on Feminist and Accessible Communication (Concordia University Press, 2022), examines the power dynamics that impact who gets to create certain kinds of academic work and for whom these outputs are accessible. Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the trailblazing restaurant Mother Courage of New York City, Ketchum's second book, Ingredients for Revolution: A History of American Feminist Restaurants, Cafes, and Coffeehouses (2022), is the first history of the more than 230 feminist and lesbian-feminist restaurants, cafes, and coffeehouses that existed in the United States from 1972 to the present. Ketchum's interest in past imaginings of utopia through business creation and the implementation of communications technologies has guided her new research and third book project on historically contextualizing the relationship between feminist ethics and AI. You can find out more about her other writings, podcasts, zines, exhibitions, and more at https://www.alexketchum.ca.
Jacob Williams is the principal research assistant to Dr. Alex Ketchum for the LGBTQIA2S+ McGill Student, Faculty, and Staff Activism exhibit. He is a McGill undergraduate GSFS student in his final year. His research interests are in critical studies surrounding youth, feminism, and trans topics, all of which he hopes to explore in grad school. As of fall 2022, Jacob is the Union Representative for the Trans Patient Union, a collective run by and for trans McGill patients that advocates for better standards of care for trans/NB patients at the McGill Wellness Hub, and helps individual trans/NB students better navigate their transitions at McGill.