VIDEO links

Here is a list of all the video files included on this site.
For information about these videos, please read the introduction to the appropriate section.

Section 1::National Security Campaigns



The "Fruit Machine" (6:17:04)

Narration: "The RCMP developed a research project that devised methods to detect homosexuals among civil servants. Established by the Security Panel, the project proceeded in utmost secrecy during the 1960s. It came to be known as the Fruit Machine.

The project team compiled a program of conventional psychological tests…lists of common words or phrases …and questionnaires intended to identify the homosexual by responses given to everyday choices. One approach was a technique known as pupillary response: the examination of the human eye to measure how the pupil responded to visual stimulation. The subject sat in a chair... above him hung a camera suspended from pulleys and pointed to his pupils. In front was a black box with a fluorescent screen and a projector.

The practice of measuring pupillary response proved to be more complicated than anticipated. A series of technical problems frustrated project leaders… rumors were leaked, participants were wary… and eventually the Fruit Machine project collapsed. "

Section 2: "Out of the Closet"

"Out of the Closet"


Out of the Closet: (2:38:04) Interviews with Denis LeBlanc and John Duggan (Gays of Ottawa), Ken Popert (the Body Politic), Marie Robertson (Lesbian Collective of Waterloo and Gays of Ottawa) and Chris Bearchell (Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario, the Body Politic, Gay Alliance Towards Equality).

Ken Popert: "There was a homophile reform society in the early 60s but they were extremely restricted in what they could think because just by virtue of saying who they were, they would be admitting that they were criminals."

clip3 (we demand)

"We Demand" (2:54:00) Charlie Hill: a spokesperson for the 1971 demo and then a member of the Homophile Association at the University of Toronto:

"Canadian homosexuals are having their careers ruined, being kicked out of their churches, having their children taken away from them and being assaulted in the streets of our own cities. What have we done to deserve this? All we want to do is love persons of the same sex and live our lives as we decide for ourselves."
(August 28, 1971)

Gary Kinsman: Author, The Regulation of Desire:

"The organizers for the 1971 protest drew up a list of demands, called, "We Demand" that included a whole series of demands around human rights, civil rights, immigration… around no longer being considered National Security risks… a whole series of demands that took a long time to be met. Some of them have only been met quite recently, for example the acceptance of gays and lesbians into the military. The 1969 Criminal Code reform had not led to the legalization of homosexuality in any shape or form in Canadian society. It only led to the very partial decriminalization of certain homosexual acts in very limited contexts. And they wanted to remind people that lesbians and gays still had lots of concerns over their human and civil rights, their sexual rights in Canadian society… and that was why the list of demands was developed."

halloween "Operation Jack 'o Lantern"

(due to copyright restrictions this clip is unavailable)

"Operation Jack-o-lantern" (1:24:00) Chris Bearchell (CGRO, GATE and the Body Politic), Ken Popert (the Body Politic) and Brian Mossop (CGRO & GATE), talk about Halloween night in Toronto during the early 1970's, when large crowds used to form to heckle and bash homosexuals. Ken Popert: "One radio show would actually organize people to come down… like it was queer bashing night in Canada".

section 3: "Operation Soap"

" Operation Soap"


operation soap

Peter Bochove, co-owner of the Richmond Street Health Emporium at the time of the 1981 bath raid decribes the arrival of the police:

"They leapt the counter and grabbed the cashier and bust the door open. And the first fifty arrived in the first wave. They spread out and very quickly began running around and rounding people up. And I realized that they had arrived on $3.99 room night. We had no rooms. The rooms were sold out, 104 rooms, every one of them occupied. Most of the lockers were gone. It was a big crowd. over half of the people arrested were at Richmond Street from the four baths. The other fifty officers arrived fairly quickly, I guess they must have had them standing by. And then they went out to their police cars and came in with thier tools. They came in carting incredible numbers of crowbars and sledgehammers. At that point they were offerred the keys ot the lockers and the room. They held up a crowbar to me and said 'we brought out own.'"

Duncan McLaren, charged as a found-in at the Barracks:

"We ended up in the shower room and we were all told to strip... But I think one of the most chilling things was... one of the cops said, looking at all the showers and the pipes going into the shower room; he said 'gee, it's too bad we can't hook this up to gas'."

"Gay Rage"


"Gay Rage" (3:36:25)

On February 20th 1981, demonstrators gave vent to the pent-up anger against the police raids and years of denial of human rights protections. Spokesman, the Reverend Brent Hawkes, Senior pastor, Metro Community Church (MCC): "No longer will we stand idly by while the politicians ignore us, the police abuse us and the right wing lie about us."

glad to be gay

song credit:
"Glad to be Gay" Written and performed by Tom Robinson

Glad to be Gay (1:08:27)

Written and Performed by Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson's wonderfully cynical song best conveyed the mood of the times as the gay community suffered police raids and ongoing homophobia. Special thanks to Tom Robinson.

"and sit by and watch as they close down our clubs
arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs...
lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
put down the queens and tell anti-queer jokes

sing if you're glad to be gay, sing if you're happy this way, hey,
sing if you're glad to be gay, sing if you're happy this way...

section 4: "Human Rights"

"Barbara Thornborrow"



In 1975, Barbara Thornborrow approached Gays of Ottawa and the National Coalition for Gay Rights with her story when she was fired by the Canadian armed forces for being a lesbian.

"They took me away from work one day and asked me if I was a homosexual… and I tried to evade. Then we went over to my room and they searched it. And they found a couple of gay pamphlets in the bottom of a corner drawer and in a little box, they found some old love letters. And they asked me about my relationship with Colleen, who was my girlfriend at the time…and I said, she's like a sister to me, a good friend... They said I had a choice if I wanted to stay in the military: if I sought psychiatric help, I could stay. I said: I don't need psychiatric help."

At that time the Canadian Human Rights Act was being debated. Gay activists asked the justice committee reviewing the Act to take a submission from Barbara Thornborrow. When the committee refused, they set up a press conference. Barbara Thornborrow: "And we did it on Parliament hill right outside the room where they were debating the Bill of Rights. And there I was outside the door, a typical example of someone who needed their rights protected…"

"Our Time Has Come"


"Our Time Has Come" (6:41:05)

The Ontario legislature debated the amendment to include sexual orientation in the Ontario Human Rights Code, for seven days. Here are some excerpts from the debate:

MPP Margaret Marlow (PC):
"They can protect their own interest by simply one thing, by not demonstrating what they choose to be".

MPP Susan Fish (PC):
Picture this…a gay man or woman goes up to a landlord to rent an apartment. And the landlord, apparently the Bishops would have us ask, in the round tones of another fine Roman Catholic of American extraction some 33 years ago - 'are you now or have you ever been a practicing homosexual'? How ridiculous, how damning, how dangerous…"

The Honorable Bob Rae (leader of the NDP):
"Imagine the kind of society that we would be creating if we were to use public policy as a vehicle to express our moral outrage over private acts between consenting adults. We would be living in a snooper state. We would be living in a police state. We would be living in a state in which everyone would see it as his right or his obligation to inform on the sexual practice or otherwise of his neighbor; It is not a society in which any of us in this legislature would like to live."