Q Hall of Fame recognizes individuals for their significant contributions to the struggle for human rights and equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Canadians. These individuals are honoured at our annual celebration Q Ball and their membership in the Hall of Fame is housed online here.

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Gilbert (Jack) Layton

Jack Layton was a long time supporter of LGBT Human Rights in Canada, and was perhaps the most outspoken party leader in our history in protecting and enhancing these rights. Jack dedicated his political life to equality for all minorities, but for many LGBT Canadians he was a knight in shining armour.

His unabashed support of equality legislation, his public support and attendance of LGBT Events, and his leadership in the fight against AIDS in Canada place him as a true pioneer.

In his early political life Jack would weather numerous death threats, and challenges in his career due to his support of LGBT Rights. Most in political life would have back off of their support, but with Jack it seemed that this only fueled his passion and desire to stand up for LGBT Equality.

For the entire length of his career Jack Layton was an ardent supporter of equal rights for all Canadians. He staunchly believed that as human beings we all have the inherent right to experience equality under the law and he aggressivly defended these rights.

In the 1980’s at the height of the AIDS Epidemic Mr. Layton served as the chair of the Toronto board of health, and his work resulted in enhanced education and services for all.

Layton founded the Green Catalyst Group Inc., an environmental consulting business. In 1994, he returned to Metropolitan Toronto Council, succeeding Roger Hollander in the Don River ward, and he resumed his high profile role in local politics. He remained on Toronto City Council until pursuing the leadership of the federal New Democrats. He also came to national attention as the leader of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In June 1999, as chair of Toronto's environmental task force, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, he was instrumental in the preliminary phases of the WindShare wind power cooperative in Toronto through the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative.

In 2003 he ran for and was elected the leader of the NDP. For the next seven years he would lead the party and re-engage Canadian youth in politics. In the May 2, 2011, election, Layton led the NDP to 103 seats, more than double its previous high. This was also enough to make the NDP the Official Opposition in the Commons for the first time ever.

His passion for all Canadians was inspirational, and was sadly taken from us far too early. Mr. Layton has left for all Canadians a true sense of what being a Canadian is, and it is his legacy of standing tall in the face of adversity that has inspired a generation of our youth to embrace the impossible and created a future that is worthy of us all.

Barbara Snelgrove

A long time advocate & volunteer in Vancouver’s LGTBQ community, Barb is renowned for her community work. She has been a Board member or volunteered for various charitable organizations such as the Vancouver Pride Society, Qmunity and The Gathering Place.

Barb sits on the City Hall LGTBQ Advisory Committee, Vancouver Police Department Diversity Advisory Committee, is a member of Positive Living BC’s Red Ribbon Advisory Panel & the 2013 Scotiabank AIDS Walk For Life Advisory Council.

She is a mentor with The Diversity Project and sits on the selection panel of the LOUD Foundation, which provides scholarships for LGBTQ youth.

The Owner Operator of megamouthmedia consulting, a boutique communications company catering to the LGBTQ market, she is the former Communications Director of the Vabcouver Pride Society, the GLISA 2011 North America Outgames and is currently the media liaison for the Vancouver City Hall LGBTQ Diversity Committee. Through her P.R. Company (and popular on-line social media moniker “megamouthmedia”) Barb provides pro bono publicity services and lends her voice to grass-roots non-profit organizations and international LGBTQ human rights campaigns.

Barb is a regular fixture in the LGBT Community in western Canada and is known for her vibrant personality and her “can do” attitude. She has been instumental in raising funds for several organizations and she has volunteered tens of thousands of hours working for many of Vancouver’s various LGBTQ community organizations and charities.

Barb is Co-Host of QueerFM RELOADED on 101.9FM (Vancouver radio program with a large international podcast audience), a Reporter for Outlooks/OutTV, and writes for publications such as LOV Magazine, The Huffington Post and

Always willing to help out wherever she can, be it working behind the scenes, up front coordinating events or hosting from centre stage, Barb has donated her time, resources and knowledge to numerous community events over the years. Truly embodying the volunteer spirit, Barb's undying enthusiasm and selfless commitment to her community inspires many others in Western Canada to stand up and take action.

Barb was awarded the 2008 VPS Outstanding Community Member award, 2010 Citizen of the Year Award from the Rhinestone Charitable Foundation and was the 2010 Vancouver Pride Parade Grand Marshal in the “Local Hero” category. She has made the lists of Out TV’s “Top Ten Queers” &’s “Ten People Making A Difference” and was recently awarded the 2013 TELUS Pride Legacy Award as Community Superstar.

Harold Desmarais

In 1972 when Harold Desmarais was first involved in gay liberation through Windsor Gay Unity (WGU); he had been working at Ford’s Windsor Engine Plant for over two years. The U.A.W. (precursor to the C.A.W.) had a contract with Ford that included a “sexual orientation” clause prohibiting them from discriminating based on sexual orientation. Although he did endure harassment, it was this job protection that allowed him to be a very open and public spokesperson for WGU. Most other members would have put their jobs at risk if they spoke out publicly. It would take another 14 years before Ontario amended its Human Rights Code to provide that same job protection to all.

In 1975, Harold was a founding member of the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario (now the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario). In 1980, seven of Toronto’s gay businesses agreed to fund a full-time paid employee and Harold became Executive Secretary. His primary role was to solicit support for an amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code. When he returned to University in 1978, Harold founded Gay Students on Campus (University of Windsor) to address specific needs of students and educating people about the reality of being a lesbian or gay living in a homophobic society. In 1982, Harold assumed the job of Recording Secretary for the GCDC (Gay Community Dance Committee) and continued on in that capacity for the next 12 years. During its existence the GCDC raised over $400,000.00 and distributed those funds to over 40 groups and organizations

Harold was very involved with Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal (now Community One Foundation) and chaired both the Projects Selection and the Projects Monitoring Committees. In 1983 they underwrote a Vaudeville-style show, Fruit Cocktail, to raise funds and showcase LGBT talent. It became a biennial event between 1983 and 1995 and Harold was cast in all seven shows as “The Grapes” in 1983-85 and “The Pineapple” from 1987 - 95. The Fruit are now a popular ‘brand image” for the Community One Foundation. In 1994, Harold was awarded their prestigious Outstanding Community Achievement Award and three years later, their Outstanding Volunteer Service Award.

Harold also had a public persona as Sister Atrociata von Tasteless, a nun in the Toronto Chapter of “the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” from 1981-86. Committed to a philosophy (the promulgation of joy and the expiation of guilt) and dedicated in their service to the community, they have been instrumental in supporting the community over the past several decades.

Harold served as the Master of Ceremonies for Pride Day festivities from 1986 thru 1989, was an active member of the Board for the PWA Foundation, and a volunteer for the Aids Committee of Toronto. In 2003, Harold was inducted into the National Portrait Collection of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. He continues to work as a volunteer helping various community organizations including the 519 Community Centre, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, TICOT and others.

Marie Robertson

Marie Robertson is an outspoken lipstick lesbian. A community activist since 1970, Marie has never been afraid to rock the boat and challenge both those within and outside the LGBT community. For many years she was one of the few publicly out lesbians within the gay liberation movement in Canada. She’s been referred to as a ‘pioneer of the gay movement in Canada’ and ‘Ontario’s first lady of queer liberation’. For more than 40 years, she's been a leader in the fight for LGBT liberation and advancement in Ontario.

Marie was one of the founding members of the Hamilton McMaster Homophile Association in 1970 and also of CGRO (Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario) in 1975. CGRO (later changed to CLGRO) was a group that was instrumental in achieving the addition of the term "sexual orientation" to the Ontario Human Rights Code in 1986. Over the years, she has added her strong voice and energy to many organizations – Waterloo University’s Gay Liberation Movement, Gays of Ottawa, Lesbians of Ottawa Now (LOON), the Toronto Counselling Centre for Gays and Lesbians, the Lesbian Speakers’ Bureau of Toronto, the Supporting Our Youth project at Central Toronto Youth Services, and the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives.

Marie worked as a counsellor at the AIDS Committee of Toronto from 1987 until 1993 at a time when six people were dying of AIDS each week in Toronto’s gay community. After a brief period of recovery from burn-out, she opened her own counselling practice, a practice that continues today.

In 1994 Marie was awarded the Canadian Lambda Award for Excellence in Human Rights. As one of the supporters for Marie’s nomination put it, “As an educator, counsellor, advocate and role model, her commitment to the lesbian and gay community is unwavering. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this commitment is the fact that Marie doesn’t see it as unusual. It is simply part of her everyday life. Marie does more community outreach on a trip to the grocery store than many do in a lifetime. She’s proud of who she is and she shares that pride and strength with everyone she comes in contact with”.

In 2002, a portrait of Marie was inducted into the National Portrait Collection of the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives in recognition of her contributions to the LGBT community. In 2004, Marie moved to Ottawa and immediately became involved in helping to energize its queer community once again. She co-founded the Lesbian Information Xchange (LIX) in 2005. LIX is still going strong and has a membership of close to 600 lesbians.

Since 2008, Marie has also been very busy with the Ottawa Senior Pride Network (OSPN). She is currently the Community Developer for the project. The Network’s goal is to create safe, LGBT-friendly seniors’ services and residential environments and to build a strong, connected, visible senior queer community in Ottawa.

Darrin Hagen

Darrin Hagen is an award-winning playwright, composer and drag artiste. He moved to Edmonton in 1982, and was immediately hypnotized by the glamour of the world of Drag, and with his mentor/dragmother, took the nightclub scene by storm, being crowned Mz. Flashback 9, Entertainer of the Year, and Entertainer of the Decade. He then moved his skills into the world of theatre, television, music and literature, where he has worked and created ever since.

He is the author of The Edmonton Queen: The Final Voyage, which won a Sterling Award and was published in book form by Brindle & Glass Publishing. The Edmonton Queen details the life and times of Edmonton’s Underground drag scene in the turbulent 80’s, and has been taught in universities across North America ever since its 1997 publication. Hagen has become a much-sought after speaker for classes that focus on Queer rights and gender diversity, and has donated his time for almost 20 years to speak to classes studying those themes.

Darrin is the Artistic Director of Guys In Disguise, which recently celebrated a quarter-century of creating drag comedies that have toured across North America. Since its inception at the infamous Flashback nightclub in 1987, Guys In Disguise has become Canada’s most enduring Drag Theatre company, with over 36 productions to its credit. He has received 7 Sterling awards for his work in the Edmonton theatre scene, and 30 nominations. Other plays by Darrin include Buddy (nominated for Outstanding New Play); With Bells On (nominated for Outstanding New Play); BitchSlap! (which recently wowed West Hollywood); The Neo-Nancies: Hitler’s Kickline; Tornado Magnet: A Salute to Trailer Court Women (published by Brindle & Glass); PsychoBabble and Dragula (both co-written with Trevor Schmidt); Typhoon Judy (co-written with Christopher Peterson); PileDriver! (co-written with Wes Borg); Men Are Stoopid, Women are Cra-azy (co-written with Chris Craddock).

Guys In Disguise productions, and plays by Hagen, have been viewed in Vancouver, Whitehorse, Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Fort McLeod, Regina, Meacham, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, Orlando, Seattle, Rehoboth Beach, Key West, and West Hollywood.

Darrin has also directed and curated the legendary Loud & Queer Cabaret, which recently had its 20th anniversary, and is the editor of Queering the Way: The Loud & Queer Anthology, a collection of many of the writers that had been mentored by this unique event.

In 2005, Hagen was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century. To the best of his knowledge, he’s the only Drag Queen on that list.

Jane Rule

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, Jane Vance Rule was the oldest daughter of Carlotta Jane (Hink) and Arthur Richards Rule. She claimed she was a tomboy growing up and felt like an outsider for reaching six feet tall and being dyslexic. When she was 15 she read The Well of Loneliness and wrote later, "suddenly discovered that I was a freak."

Rule studied at Mills College in California. She graduated in 1952, moved to England for a short while and entered in a relationship with critic John Hulcoop. She taught at Concord Academy in Massachusetts where she met Helen Sonthoff and fell in love with her.

Rule moved with Hulcoop to work at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1956, but Sonthoff visited her and they began to live together.

In 1964, Rule published Desert of the Heart, after 22 rejections from publishers. The novel featured two women who fall in love with each other and caused Rule to receive a flood of letters from "very unhappy, even desperate" women who felt they were alone and would be miserable. The novel caused her to be sought out by Canadian media, and Rule later wrote, "I became, for the media, the only lesbian in Canada. A role I gradually and very reluctantly accepted and used to educate people as I could." In 1976, she moved to Galiano Island and remained there until the end of her life. Rule's novel was later made into a movie by Donna Deitch, released as Desert Hearts (1985), which quickly became a lesbian classic. The Globe and Mail said of it, "the film is one of the first and most highly regarded works in which a lesbian relationship is depicted favourably."

Rule served on the executive of the Writers' Union of Canada. She was an outspoken advocate of both free speech and gay rights, included in the various controversies surrounding the gay magazine The Body Politic.

In 1989, Rule donated a collection of her writings to the University of British Columbia.[3] Rule was inducted into the Order of British Columbia in 1998, and into the Order of Canada in 2007, both award ceremonies taking place, at Rule's initiative, in her home community. She remarked, "I chose Canada over 50 years ago. So it is very nice to have Canada choose me", about receiving the latter honour. Memory Board (1987) and After the Fire (1989) were both nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Rule and Sonthoff lived together until Sonthoff's death in 2000. Rule surprised some in the gay community by declaring herself against gay marriage, writing, "To be forced back into the heterosexual cage of coupledom is not a step forward but a step back into state-imposed definitions of relationship. With all that we have learned, we should be helping our heterosexual brothers and sisters out of their state-defined prisons, not volunteering to join them there."

She received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle in 2002.

Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes C.M.

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes is a native of Bath, New Brunswick and a graduate of Mount Allison University.

Rev. Hawkes has been the Senior Pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto for 35 years.  As the Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Rev. Hawkes has been at the forefront of ministry to the Gay & Lesbian Community in Toronto. He serves as spiritual leader to a faith community of more than 600 congregants at regular Sunday worship. As well, he has served the community at large with distinction, championing several Human Rights initiatives, especially benefiting the Gay & Lesbian Community.

In 1994, Rev. Dr. Hawkes received the City of Toronto Award of Merit, the highest civilian award given by the City of Toronto. In 1995, he received a Global Citizen Award from the United Nations Toronto Association, for his work in advancing human rights in Canada.  Rev. Hawkes has also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Metropolitan Community Churches.

On January 14th 2001 Rev. Hawkes officiated at the first legal marriage of a gay or lesbian couple in the history of the world. The province refused to recognize the marriages, so the church sued the city, the province and the federal gov’t. Ultimately these court cases would be successful, making Canada the first county in the world to have had a legally wedded gay and lesbian couple.

In 2007 Rev. Hawkes was appointed to the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada for his stand on Social Justice and Human Rights within the L.G.B.T. communities. In 2009 Rev. Hawkes was presented with an award from the American Psychological Association for exemplifying the values of freedom, fairness and equality under the law and clarity of leadership in advocacy for LGBT people and their families.  The New Brunswick Human Rights commission bestowed the honour of “Pioneer of Human Rights Award”, In 2009 York University presented Rev. Hawkes with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree, In 2010 he was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Mount Allison University, and in 2011 received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from The University of Trinity College.

On August 27, 2011 Rev. Hawkes officiated over the state funeral for the Honourable Jack Layton, Leader of Canada's Official Opposition and head of the NDP, at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. He spoke highly of Layton who had touched the lives of millions of Canadians and had been a vocal supporter of AIDS initiatives and LGBT rights.

In the fall of 2012 mate magazine out of Amsterdam and berlin named rev. Hawkes as one of the 500 most influential gay men in the world ever.

Rev. Hawkes lives with his husband of 31 years, John Sproule, in Toronto, Canada.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau

“I believe a constitution can permit the co-existence of several cultures and ethnic groups with a single state.” – Trudeau, September 30, 1965

Pierre Trudeau held his philosophy of one Canada and a strong federal government before he became prime minister and he maintained it throughout his political career.

In April 1967, Trudeau became Minister of Justice and within the year, introduced Bill C-150 that led to the decriminalization of homosexuality in the landmark legislation dubbed “1969 Omnibus Bill”. In addition to decriminalizing Homosexuality, the bill also liberalized laws on abortion and reformed the nation’s divorce laws. When Lester Pearson resigned as prime minister in 1968, Trudeau became the next Liberal Party Leader and subsequently called and won the June 1968 election . In addition to the Omnibus Bill, one of the most important bills passed by Trudeau’s government was the Official Languages Act, guaranteeing bilingualism in the civil service.

Further, Trudeau dedicated himself to patriating the Constitution and drafted a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1980. After eighteen months of highly contentious federal-provincial negotiations, consent was finally achieved in 1982, but without the cooperation of Quebec Premier René Lévesque. In a ceremony on Parliament Hill, the Queen signed Canada’s new Constitution Act on April 17, 1982.

Having accomplished his goal of strengthening Canadian federalism, Trudeau turned his attention to international affairs, campaigning for world peace and improving the relationship between the industrialized nations and Third World countries.

After a total of sixteen years as prime minister, he resigned from politics in 1984. He returned to practicing law, travelled extensively and published his memoirs. His death on September 28, 2000, just short of his eighty-first birthday, prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from across the country.

Ted Northe

Ted Northe was born in 1937 into a military family from Cooking Lake Alberta, and raised in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. From these humble beginnings came someone who would spend all their adult life advocating for the rights and equality for all people.

Mr. Northe has spearheaded a plethora of actions that were monumental in achieving the rights and freedoms for many in the Queer community. From the early days of handwritten letter-writing campaign that fought for the decriminalization of Homosexuality, to organizing events in support of the right to have a gay business or belong to a gay organization without government interference, Mr. northe has spent many years working with others to ensure the rights of the LGBT community are fought for and defended. Moreover, Mr. northe has carried his passion to improve the quality of life for others in his many works with the Canadian Red Cross and the BC Cancer Society.

In 1964, Mr. Northe founded the Imperial Court System in Canada and in 1967 became the Empress of Canada. Through this organization, Mr. northe perfected his powerful ability to raise funds and awareness across Canada, and as a result, many current LGBT organizations were born from his support and energy. Mr. northe created the Imperial Court System in Canada, the first Community Christmas Dinner, and the first gay community disaster relief fund in Vancouver. He collaborated with business owners to develop the first Gay Businessmen’s Guild and worked with the lesbian community to host the first openly gay Breast Cancer fundraiser. Ted Northe also sponsored the first gay sports leagues (Bowling, West End Softball), the first Vancouver Pride Parade and supported the creation of the Grater Vancouver Native Culture Society for 2 spirited people. Finally, Mr. northe hosted the first three boat cruises to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital and the Easter Seals campaign.

Mr. Northe has been honoured with the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian and Distinguished Citizen Award; British Columbia Cancer Society Citizen’s Award for Fundraising; the Governor General’s Special Service Medal for Distinguished Citizen and Humanitarian; Certificate of Special USA Congressional Recognition; the Saskatchewan Canadian Award; Rita Rhinestone Pegasus Humanitarian Award; 1st recipient of the Jose’ Sarria Award; Key to San Francisco; Key to Portland; Citizenship Award (Bay Area Reporter); Honorary Empress of Ensenada Mexico and many others.

Janine Fuller

Janine has worked as manager at Little Sister’s Bookstore for 17 years, during which time she has fought on the front lines of the store’s epic battle against Canada Customs. She co-authored Restricted Entry, Censorship On Trial, which chronicles Little Sister’s battle against censorship and discrimination in Canada. Restricted Entry was the 1995 Editors Choice, Lambda Literary Award winner and in 1998, Little Sister’s won the Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada from the Canadian Literary Association in recognition of the leadership shown in promoting and defending the principles of intellectual freedom.

In 2004, Janine was presented with an honorary doctorate degree in Laws from Simon Fraser University, for her “leading role in an historic legal battle against censorship in Canada.”

Photo Courtesy of: Shona Dion, Sweet Earth Photographic.

Mark Tewksbury

In 1992 Mark Tewksbury burst onto the international scene following a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. This gold medal performance capped a remarkable 16-year athletic career which included three Olympic medals, seven world records, a cover appearance on TIME Magazine and inductions into three major Halls of Fame.

Today Mark is a recognized as a leader of social change. Author of three books, including Inside Out: Straight Talk from a Gay Jock, Tewksbury is one of the few openly gay Olympic champions in the world. With other leading Canadian advocates and athletes, Mark co-founded OATH to take a difficult but necessary step to hold the International Olympic Committee accountable to its own ideals. In 2006, he was the president of the 1st World Outgames held in Montreal, was recognized as one of OUT Magazine’s top 100 people, and in 2007 was named Fondation Emergence’s person of the year for his fight against homophobia. For his active humanitarianism and ethical leadership Mark was awarded an honorary doctorate of Laws from the University of Western Ontario.

Photo Courtesy of: Shona Dion, Sweet Earth Photographic.

Joan-E (Robert Kaiser)

Joan-E is the creation of entertainer and philanthropist Robert Kaiser. Joan-E began performing on Vancouver stages in 1990 after relocating from Calgary to BC’s coast. Over the years, Joan-E has earned various titles such as Imperial Crown Princess, Entertainer of the Year, and XXVIII Empress of Vancouver. Joan-E has devoted much of her energy towards advocacy and philanthropy for those who live with HIV and AIDS and in the promotion of the LGBT community. To these ends, she has served as the MC for various community events including Art for Life, Davie Days, Gay Ski Week, The Leo Awards, Starry Night, Fit for a Queen and Queens’ Care.

Joan-E hosts “Bingo for Life” which has raised over a quarter of a million dollars for “Friends for Life”, a charity committed to assisting those who live with life-threatening illnesses. She continues to host “Feather Boa Sundays” which has become the longest running drag show in Vancouver.

Joan-E’s film and television appearances include Connie and Carla, Fetching Cody, Davinci’s Inquest and The Collector, which earned her a Leo Award nomination. For her incredible work in the LGBT and Greater Vancouver community, Joan-E has been awarded Citizen of the Year, Drag Queen of the Year (WE magazine), Hero Award (XTRA West), Friend Indeed Award, U.S. State Congressional Award and the Golden Jubilee Award of Merit from Queen Elizabeth II.

Photo Courtesy of: Shona Dion, Sweet Earth Photographic.

k.d. lang

Lang, who came out as a lesbian in a 1992 article of the LGBT news magazine The Advocate, has actively championed gay rights causes. She has supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research. Her cover of Cole Porter’s “So in Love” (from the Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate), appears on the Red Hot + Blue compilation album and video from 1990 (a tribute to Cole Porter to benefit AIDS research and relief). lang is considered to be the most influential international LGBT artist of her generation.

Lang was born in Edmonton, Alberta, the daughter of Audrey and Adam Frederick Lang. She is of English, Irish, Scottish, German, Russian Jewish, Icelandic, and Sioux ancestry. When Lang was nine months old, her family moved to Consort, Alberta, where she grew up with two sisters and one brother on the Canadian prairie. Her father was a drug store owner and left the family when she was twelve.

Lang, who came out as a lesbian in a 1992 article of the LGBT news magazine The Advocate, has actively championed gay rights causes.

She has supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research. Her cover of Cole Porter’s “So in Love” (from the Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate), appears on the Red Hot + Blue compilation album and video from 1990 (a tribute to Cole Porter to benefit AIDS research and relief). Her 2010 Greatest Hits album, Recollection, also includes this cover of “So in Love”. Lang also recorded the song “Fado Hilario,” singing in Portuguese, for the 1999 Red Hot AIDS benefit album “Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon,” a traditional fado from Portugal.

She is an animal rights activist. Her “Meat Stinks” campaign created much controversy, particularly in her hometown, in the middle of Alberta’s cattle ranching industry.

Lang appeared on the cover of the August 1993 issue of Vanity Fair. The cover featured Lang in a barber chair while model Cindy Crawford appeared to shave her face with a straight razor. The issue contained a detailed article about Lang which observed that she had thought that she would be ostracized by the country music industry when she came out as a lesbian. However, Nashville was accepting, and her records continued to sell. When she appeared in an ad for PETA however, Nashville was less impressed, owing to the relationship between country music and cattle ranching.

In April 2008, Lang spent time in Melbourne, Australia, as a guest editorialist for The Age. This was in connection with her support for the Tibet human rights issues. On April 24, 2008, she joined pro-Tibet protesters in Canberra as the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay made its way through the Australian capital.

Rick Bébout 1950-2010

Arriving in Toronto as an American immigrant, Bébout joined the Body Politic in 1977. He spent considerable time and energy to chronicling the history of both the paper and the gay rights movement. In 2000, he published Promiscuous Affections: A Life in the Bar, 1969-2000. He has also been involved in writing much of the history of the Body Politic, which he has published online. Bébout was a central figure through much of the early Canadian LGBT Human Rights Movement, and was considered to be one of Canada’s finest LGBT journalists.

Dogwood Monarchist Society

The Mother Court of Canada, was originally founded in 1964 by ted northe, as the Imperial Empire of Vancouver, a chapter of the Imperial Empire of Canada. The Imperial Empire of Vancouver was later re-named the Dogwood Monarchist Society in 1971 as a registered society to allow for elected ‘monarchs’. The DMS has had a long and very proud history of serving their community and in 2011 celebrate their 40th year. They are the longest continuous running LGBT organization in Canada and has been the spearhead of many human rights actions in Canada, including HIV/AIDS awareness.

Gens Hellquist

Gens Hellquist is a pioneer of gay liberation, a counselor, gay activist and editor, Perceptions newsletter; co-founder of the Gay Students’ Alliance (the first gay & lesbian organization in Saskatoon, 1970 – now called the Avenue Community Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity) and executive director of Gay and Lesbian Health Services. Gens is considered by many in the Saskatchewan LGBT Community to be a gay ‘icon’ and one of the forefathers of the community.

Kevin Dale McKeown

Vancouver-born Kevin Dale McKeown has enjoyed a varied career in journalism, media relations and event management, a career launched in 1970 when, at 19, he became the *Georgia Straight’s* gay columnist and Canada’s first “out” gay journalist. For most of the 70s, in the *Straight* and other publications, QQ chronicled the early days of gay Vancouver’s political, social and business community, while to many readers his most important contribution was his colourful reporting on the clubs, pubs, tubs and thriving drag scene.

Garth Wiens

Garth Wiens aka Ivana B. Alone has been performing for years; organizing shows and raising funds for the local gay organization in the days when there was only 1 (GALA-North) , and for the 5 (GALA, Prism Film Society, PFLAG, Pride Prince George, Pride UNBC and PALS) that now exist. Developing and supporting a Royal Family ( a northern and independent version of the court system), speaking at schools, providing safe haven for youth, raised funds for, and continues to act as an advocate for the LGBTQ Community in Northern B.C.

Cynthia Petersen

Cynthia Petersen has argued a number of prominent cases on behalf of gay men and lesbians, including the watershed Supreme Court of Canada cases James Egan and John Nesbitt v. Canada, (fighting the opposite sex definition of “spouse” in the Old Age Security Act), Delwyn Vriend v. Alberta, and Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Canada. Ms. Petersen has represented a number of transsexual and transgendered individuals in cases involving discrimination and harassment in employment.

Jeremy Dias

Jeremy faced extreme cases of discrimination and violence by students and school staff after coming out. At 17, he began a legal case against his school and school board; and at 21won Canada’s second largest human rights settlement. This included required training for all the staff of the school board, new resources and the early retirement/firing of a number of homophobic educators. in 2006 he used the money won to found Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative and later began the International Day of Pink in Fall 2008.


Born 1966 in Yorkshire England in 2000 she moved to Victoria B.C. and ‘came out’ after her second marriage ended. She soon launched herself into the GLBTQ Community with passion, creating Victoria’s lesbian buddy program, a board member of Victoria Pride, and using her power as a performing artist to raise funds & awareness with shows like the Vagina Monologues, Lez Girls, Queerly Canadian and many others. NiQ is an inspiration for many throughout the pacific Northwest, her talent has inspired the lives of many.

Mihra Soleil-Ross

Since moving to Toronto in 1992, she has produced over a dozen videos which have been internationally acclaimed. As an activist, she worked from 1997- 1999 with the staff at the 519 Community Centre to develop Meal- Trans, Toronto’s first publicly funded, multi-services program for low income and street active transsexual and transgendered people. In 1997, she created Counting Past 2, a multi-disciplinary art festival dedicated to the promotion of work produced by local and international transsexual and transgendered artists.

Prof. Karen Busby

In 2001, Prof. Busby was a founding member of: Group Organizing on Same Sex Issues and Principles (GOSSIP). She was also an active member of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) during the 1990s. Prof. Busby served as lead counsel on a Supreme Court of Canada case dealing with a shipment of books destined for Little Sisters, a Vancouver GLBT bookstore, that was seized at the border by Canada Customs. Prof. Busby is active in the local Winnipeg GLBT community, and sits on the board of directors for Egale Canada.

Delwind Vriend

Vriend was fired from his job with the Christian King’s College in Edmonton in January 1991 after confirming that he was gay. Vriend was unable to complain through the Alberta Human Rights Commission since the Human Rights Code did not prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The lawsuit and the photograph of Delwyn and his partner, kissing in front of a crowd celebrating the Supreme Court decision, has become one of the iconic images in the growing treasury of lesbian and gay legal and Civic victories.

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