Church, Wellesley, Alexander and Dundonald Streets, Saturday, June 30/2012. TORONTO (1.2 million attendees) has the third largest Pride celebration in the world – after SAO PAULO (3.2 million) and RIO DE JANEIRO (1.5 million). TORONTO will host WORLD PRIDE in 2014. Way to go!
From TORONTO’s Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archive, The Pin Button Project, is available on the internet. Check it out at http://www.clga.ca/thepinbuttonproject.
‘The Ward’, formerly St. John’s Ward, occupied several blocks bounded by Bay, University, Queen and College Streets. It was vast and ugly – largely populated by successive waves of new immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Refugees from the Irish Potato Famine, the Underground Railroad, various European wars and uprisings, Chinese railroad builders all settled here. For a while, it was home to TORONTO’s Jewish community.
Picturing Immigrants in the Ward – has opened at the City of Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road. Curator – Susan Dobson
Photos of The Ward from City of Toronto Archives. In two of the pictures, you’ll see Old City Hall. Parts of the slum occupied what is now Nathan Phillips Square – the forecourt of New City Hall.
What better time – Gay Pride Weekend – to hang up a painting of Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont. We can’t say whether or not he was gay, but the Chevalier d’Eon certainly enjoyed dressing up in women’s clothing.
The chevalier had quite a career – French diplomat, spy, soldier and Freemason. His first 49 years were spent as a man, the last 33 years as a woman. Upon death, a council of physicians discovered that d’Éon’s body was anatomically male.
This 18th century painting was sold in New York to a British gallery as a “woman in a feathered hat”. Not so. It turned out to be our chevalier, the earliest known painting of a transvestite.
The portrait now hangs in the British National Portraits Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square.