The Pride Report

Rare Footage of Gay Protest in SK Released 37 Years Later

In preparation for the Hidden Histories exhibit launch at the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, the Saskatchewan Archives Board has released a video documenting the first gay and lesbian protest in Moose Jaw in 1978.

While the video is publicly accessible at the Saskatchewan Archives Board, few people have had the opportunity to view it over the last 37 years since its production.

The film was originally made by the Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights to document the protest against anti-gay crusader Anita Bryant’s visit to Moose Jaw. The film’s description on Youtube provides some extremely valuable context as to who these folks are and why they’re protesting. I won’t repeat it here, but be sure to check that out!

With a run-time of only 36 minutes, this film, titled “Gay Liberation,” is definitely deserving of being watched from beginning to end. You can also check out different segments at your leisure. See if you can find these hidden gems in the film:

  • Gay Pride Banners on Main Street, Moose Jaw
  • Doug Wilson, one of Saskatchewan’s gay rights heroes, talking about his discrimination case with the University of Saskatchewan
  • Some wonderful solidarity chants like: “Women, workers, gays unite! Same struggle, same fight!”
  • Rev. Colin Clay talking about God’s love for gay people
  • Miriam Weinstein talking about Judaism and homosexuality
  • A speech by Wiesia Kolasinska, a Saskatoon lesbian feminist, on religious intolerance that is interrupted by a religious zealot who believes that gay people are possessed by the devil
  • A group of persecuted and oppressed people standing arm in arm while singing ‘Love Shall Overcome’

It truly was a very different time.

If you’re not in tears by the end of the video, you probably don’t cry when you cut onions either. All this to say, that the film is really powerful.

  • Do you remember being at this protest or similar protests around this time?
  • Do you know any of these folks today?
  • Is there anything in this film that shocked or surprised you?

Make sure to leave your comments below!



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