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Newspaper from the 1970s

Public Talk: Unsettling the Myths of the 1969 Criminal Code Reform

Thu July 18, 2019 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Part of the Community Arts Space: What we long for
Transformative Justice Project
Co-presented with The 519, Salon Noir, and YYZ Artists Outlet

Please note: This event is now sold-out. We unfortunately cannot accommodate any walk-ins. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Omnibus Bill, which led to the so-called “decriminalization” of homosexuality in Canadian law. In conjunction with the Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories project, historian-activist Gary Kinsman will present his research around the mythologies of the 1969 Criminal Code reform, considering the broader contexts of the bill and the subsequent histories of policing downtown Toronto’s queer communities.

ASL interpretation will be available.

Gary Kinsman is a queer liberation, anti-oppression, and anti-capitalist activist in solidarity with Indigenous struggles. He is currently involved in the AIDS Activist History Project, the No Pride in Policing Coalition and the Anti-69 Network against the mythologies of the 1969 Criminal Code Reform. He is the author of The Regulation of Desire: Homo and Hetero Sexualities, co-author of The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation, and most recently of the book chapters “Policing Borders and sexual/gender identities: queer refugees in the years of ‘Canadian’ neoliberalism and homonationalism” (in Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights) and “Forgetting national security in ‘Canada’, Towards pedagogies of resistance” (in Activists and the Surveillance State). He is Professor Emeritus in Sociology at Laurentian University.

About Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories

Inspired by the ‘cruising’ histories of nearby Queen’s Park, Intimate Encounters ~ Animate Histories considers the diverse ways in which culturally-specific experiences of desire, physical expression, and social connection take up space across Toronto, and how this is complicated by an increasingly gentrified urban landscape. Led by artist Abdi Osman and curator Ellyn Walker, this project makes visible the dignity, love, and generative practices embedded in local Black, Trans, and Queer histories through community art-making workshops, programs, and a cumulative exhibition. Learn more

About Community Arts Space: What we long for

Grounded in the ability of clay to transform, the Community Arts Space is a platform for experimentation and socially-engaged art. Established in 2016, the project connects artists, makers, organizers, and residents through the creation of public projects that inspire social action. This year, the Gardiner is showcasing four public projects inspired by the theme “What we long for.” Learn more


The 519 is committed to the health, happiness, and full participation of the LGBTQ2S community. A City of Toronto agency and a registered charity with an innovative model of Service, Space and Leadership, The 519 strives to make a real difference in people’s lives while working to promote inclusion, understanding, and respect.