SFU Queer History: The Nineties


Spring semester: GALA is still running ads in The Peak. Dyke Talk meeting Mondays, 12:30, in the Women’s Centre.

February 15: Lesbian and Gay supplement. 5 articles, all local, including one on gay life in Cuba, and an interview with Carla Wolf, an openly lesbian fourth year film student at SFU.

Summer semester: Dyke Talk meeting Mondays, 12:30, in the Women’s Centre.

Fall semester: GALA reactivates, with a new structure. Dyke Talk and Gay Talk (a newly formed discussion group for gay men) are autonomous collectives, with their own activities and causes. GALA proper is now an umbrella organization providing funds and other forms of support, but otherwise not interfering. Gay Talk meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in TC 323, 12:00–;1:30. Each week features a different discussion subject.1

November 9: GALA hosts the San Francisco Dance, in TC 313. The event is free, with donations going to the SFU Foodbank.


Spring semester: GALA weekly meetings Tuesdays, 12:30-4:30, in TC 323. Gay Talk meetings Wednesdays, 4:30–;8:30, in TC 323. Dyke Talk meetings Tuesdays, 12:30 in the Women’s Centre.

February 14: Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Supplement. It contains 6 articles, all locally written, including one on male prostitution and a call for help from Svend Robinson in a campaign to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. It contains also two poems, and a calendar of events for International Lesbian Week.

March 14: The Peak runs a feature entitled “A Gay Man’s Guide to Erotic Safer Sex”. Shortly after, homophobic posters are put up around campus and even slipped under the door of the Women’s Centre. SFSS Forum responds by passing a motion condemning these actions, describing the posters as “hate literature”.2

November 8: GALA hosts San Francisco 2, at Ms T’s Cabaret.3


Spring semester: Dyke Talk meetings Wednesdays 11:30 in the Women’s Centre. GALA meetings Mondays 11:30 (place unspecified).

February 13: Lesbian and Gay Supplement. 5 articles (4 local and one from CUP); one on the discrimination “straight-looking” lesbians face from other lesbians, one on coming out and another on lesbian motherhood. Also several poems, a directory of Vancouver community services and an International Lesbian Week calendar.

Fall semester: GALA meetings Mondays TC 323, 10:30–;1:30, offering “topic discussions, video nights,” and providing “a safe environment to meet other gays and lesbians from the SFU community.” Dyke Talk ongoing.4


Spring semester: Dyke Talk ongoing.4

February 11: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Supplement. 8 articles, all local, one on reclaiming the label “fag”, most of them personal stories.

Summer semester: Dyke Talk ongoing.4

Fall semester: Dyke Talk ongoing4


Spring semester: Dyke Talk meeting every Thursday, 9:30–;10:30. GALA meeting Mondays 11:30–;2:20 in TC 323. First Monday of each month is movie day. New email address: gala@sfu.ca. GALA now advertizes as a “Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual group.”

February 14: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Feature. 3 long articles, on “flaunting”, gay images on TV, and the top 10 movies dealing with same-sex relationships. This issue also features the Peak premiere of Go-Go Boy, a comic strip starring a gay superhero. Go-Go Boy lasts until November of that year.

February 14: GALA presents a free showing of My Beautiful Laundrette at 7:30, room HC 1430 (Harbour Centre).5

Summer semester: Dyke Talk ongoing4

September 21: First(?) general meeting of Out on Campus, the Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay Student Collective. One of their stated goals is to lobby for permanent space. Planned activities include half a dozen groups (support, social, political) as well as many events both on and off campus. Starting in mid-October, meetings are Mondays 12:30–;2:30, WMX 2260.6

October 11: Coming out social, 2:30–;5:00, TC313.

November 23: A special drop-in on coming out, 4:30–;6:30, WMX 3533.


Spring semester: Weekly Out on Campus drop-ins Wednesdays at 1:30, in TC 323. Bisexuality discussion/support group for women, Thursdays 3:30, in the Women’s Centre.

February 9: Janine Fuller, co-manager of Little Sister’s, comes to SFU, to speak about the Little Sister’s court case and the discrimination faced by gay & lesbian bookstores in Canada.7

March 1: Benefit reading for Little Sister’s Defense Fund, 1:30–;3:30, sponsored by Out on Campus and SFP!RG.

Fall semester: First meeting of the semester September 21 in the SFP!RG lounge. Subsequent meetings every Tuesday and Thursday in the SFP!RG lounge.

Fall semester: Discussion/support group for bisexual women every Thursday at 3:30, in the Women’s Centre.

October 26: Out on Campus sponsors a poetry/fiction reading for Gay & Lesbian History Month.


Spring semester: Out on Campus meeting every Tuesday and Wednesday, 1:30–;3:30, first in the SFP!RG lounge, then in TC 3112.

February 12: Two feature articles (locally written), one of them on the “gay gene”. Also, a list of resources for gays, lesbians and bisexuals, on and off campus.

February 12–;16: Queer Awareness Week. Out on Campus has an info table in the South Concourse all week. On February 12, a screening of Deviance by Design: a Queer Pedagogy, by SFU professor Suzanne deCastell and UBC professor Mary Bryson. Valentine’s Day social on February 14, in MPX 7500.8

Late February: Out On Campus Web site is up.9

March 13: Reading by Chrystos, a First Nations lesbian poet, at Harbour Centre, 7:30 (sponsored by the Women’s Centre).10

March 19: Screening of Gay Pride and Prejudice, a two-screen video about the debate on Bill 167 in the summer of 1994. Sponsored by Out on Campus and International Socialists.11

April 3: Forum unanimously decides to give Out on Campus physical space, and a yearly budget of $5,000.12

Summer semester: Out on Campus meeting irregularly in various locations: Halpern Centre, Maggie Bentston Centre, Uncle Charlie’s. The group’s name now includes “transgendered.”

July 31: SFU Pride Day. Out on Campus has an info table in the South Concourse, followed by a social in MBC 2296. Forum allocates us the room TC 3112, with the promise of a larger space in the future.13

Fall semester: Out on Campus meetings September 4, then September 17, then alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1:30–;3:30.14

September: Out on Campus moves into its full-time centre, TC 3112, named “The Rainbow Room” in October.14

September 24: Weekly queer lunch/discussion socials, every Tuesday, 12:00–;2:00, in TC 3112 (this lasts for the rest of the semester).14

October 8: Out on Campus presents “Beyond Homophobia”, a film and panel discussion on gay-positive Christianity. This is in response to “Beyond Homosexuality”, an event from the previous summer sponsored by the Chinese Christian Fellowship and featuring speakers from “ex-gay” ministries.15

October 11-28: Queer History Month film series (Forbidden Love, Before Stonewall, Gay Classics).16

October 24: First meeting of a queer studies discussion group in the Rainbow Room. It continues meeting irregularly in the spring semester. The Out on Campus radio show, “Loud & Queer” starts broadcasting on CJSF. It runs Tuesdays, 5:00–;6:00.17


Spring semester: Organizing meetings Wednesdays, 12:30 or 1:30.

February 10: Peak queer issue: 5 articles (all local), including: a report on homophobia at SFU, book reviews, and a gay man’s personal journey through religion and therapy.

February 10–;14: Queer Awareness Week. Screening of The Celluloid Closet, followed by a discussion. Info table in the AQ.19

March: Film screening series begins, but is cancelled after 3 screenings. Loud & Queer is in a national competition, in the “Best Programming” category.20

April 25: The Surrey school board votes to ban three gay-positive children’s books, as well as any resources from gay and lesbian groups such as Gay And Lesbian Educators of BC. On July 31, James Chamberlain (the teacher who had requested the three books) and others launch a court case against the school board, challenging their authority to override BC and federal law. The case is heard on June 29, 1998.21

Summer semester: Out on Campus moves into its new centre, TC 314N. Weekly meetings Wednesdays, 11:30–;1:30.

July 22: The BC legislature changes the definition of “spouse” in the Family Relations Act to include same-sex couples. The new Act, which goes into effect February 4, 1998, gives same-sex couples the same right and obligations in the areas of child support, custody, and access.22

Fall semester: Weekly meetings Thursdays, 12:30 or 1:00. Loud & Queer ongoing.23

October: Queer history month movie screenings, every Thursday night. This starts a tradition of weekly movie viewings, every Wednesday or Thursday night. At the last meeting of every month, lunch is provided free.24

October 17: The Womyn-Loving-Womyn group (for gay/bi/queer/questioning women) starts up. Meetings are Fridays at 3:30 in the Rainbow Room.25

November 13: New Out on Campus logo: an inverted triangle rainbow background with the corner of the Academic Quadrangle coming out of it with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered symbols in the triangle as well as lettering around the outside of the triangle identifying our group.26

Late November: Women-only social in Rainbow Room for International Lesbian Week.27


Spring semester: Organizing meetings alternating Wednesdays 3:30, Thursdays 12:30. Movie nights ongoing.

January: The Womyn-loving-Womyn group wants to have women-only drop-ins in the Rainbow Room, for an hour every two weeks. There is strong opposition from some collective members. In a meeting facilitated by Darlene Gage of SFP!RG, one member of the Womyn-loving-Womyn group resigns in protest from the Out on Campus collective. The WLW group begins meeting in the SFP!RG lounge. Two workshops are held, in March and April, to clarify issues and begin to resolve them.28

January 23: Author Marc Adams is invited to SFU to speak about his book, The Preacher’s Son, the story of his growing up gay in a fundamentalist Baptist environment.29

February 9: Peak queer issue: 12 articles (9 local, 3 from CUP), as well as an editorial, a poem, book reviews, a piece of fiction, and the Last Word.

February 10: Queer Awareness Week barbecue in the Convocation Mall, 11:30–;2:30.30

February 18: Forum votes to put to referendum the question of entrenching Out on Campus, the Women’s Centre and the Graduate Student Constituency in the SFSS bylaws. If the referendum passes, these groups would be guaranteed continued access to necessary facilities and a stable budget.31

March 30: Entrenchment referendum lost, with almost 70% yes votes (a 75% majority was needed).32


  1. Angles, October 1990 (article copy courtesy of Ron Dutton); Peak, January 31, 1991, p. 6
  2. Peak, March 14, 1991, p. 8; March 21, p. 1
  3. A poster advertising the event can be found in the Out on Campus archives
  4. Regular grassroots ads for the Women’s Centre listed Dyke Talk among the services offered. But since it looks like they reused the exact same ad over several semesters, I do not know if Dyke Talk actually was running.
  5. A poster advertising the event can be found in the Out on Campus archives, courtesy of Ron Dutton
  6. A photocopy of an early Out on Campus brochure (courtesy of Ron Dutton) can be found in the Rainbow Room archive. It includes contact information, services for youth, gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the Greater Vancouver area, and a fabulous-looking logo.
  7. Peak, February 13, 1995, p. 4. More on the Little Sister’s court case
  8. Peak, February 12, 1996, p. 14 & 15
  9. The oldest online minutes are for February 27 & 28, 1996. However, the previous maintainer told me the site had come up in mid-February. The account itself was created on February 10.
  10. OOC minutes, March 5, 1996. For more on Chrystos, see Voices from the Gaps: Chrystos
  11. OOC minutes, March 12 & 13, 1996. Bill 167 was an omnibus bill that would have amended several dozen Ontario statutes to extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples. The debate in Queen’s Park (Ontario legislature) brought to the surface the homophobia of many MPP’s, including New Democrats. The bill was defeated on June 9, 1994.
  12. OOC minutes, March 27, 1996 & April 18, 1996
  13. OOC minutes, July 11, 18 & 25
  14. OOC minutes, September 17, 1996
  15. OOC minutes, August 21, 1996; September 17, 1996
  16. OOC minutes, October 9, 1996
  17. OOC minutes, October 15, 1996
  18. OOC minutes, October 29, 1996
  19. OOC minutes, January 23, 1997
  20. OOC minutes, March 5, 1997, March 26, 1997
  21. Peak, February 9, 1998, p. 10; Antithesis, volume 3, issue 3 (Fall 1997), p. 31. For more recent news, see the GALE-BC Web site
  22. EGALE Canada > The State of the Play.
  23. OOC minutes, September 30, 1997
  24. OOC minutes, October 9, 1997
  25. OOC minutes, October 9, 1997
  26. OOC minutes, November 13, 1997
  27. OOC minutes, November 20, 1997
  28. OOC minutes, January 15, 1998; January 29, 1998; March 11, 1998; April 1, 1998
  29. OOC minutes, January 15, 1998; see also Peak, February 9, 1998, p. 14 for an interview with Marc Adams and his partner
  30. OOC minutes, February 4, 1998
  31. OOC minutes, February 18, 1998; Peak, March 9, 1998, p. 9
  32. Peak, March 30, 1998, p. 11

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