History Slam Episode Twenty-Seven: Heather Murray and LGBT History

By Sean Graham

This Friday, Capital Pride kicks off its ten days of festivities in Ottawa. With film showings, pub nights, and, of course, the parade, the event seems to get bigger and garner more attention each year. This growth has been mirrored in the historical literature on LGBT communities. Over the past couple of years, Active History has contributed to this with a number of terrific articles on LGBT history. These include Mathieu Brulé’s examination of the history of pride, Donald W. McLeod’s look at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, and Krista McCraken’s recent study of LGBT advocacy in the United Church.

One of the works that has pushed the historiography further by taking a different look at LGBT history is Heather Murray’s Not in this Family: Gays and the Meaning of Kinship in Postwar North America. In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Professor Murray about concepts of family, evolving notions of sexuality, and questions of community. We also chat about the idea of private as public and public as political.

Sean Graham is a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa where he is currently working on a project that examines the early years of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has previously studied at Nipissing University, the University of the West Indies, and the University of Regina and like any red-blooded Canadian his ultimate dream is to be a curling champion while living on a diet of beer and poutine.

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