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#1 Victoria Watcher

Victoria Watcher

    Old White Man On A Canadian Island

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Posted 14 June 2024 - 04:04 AM

Sidney Museum exhibit looks at queer history on the Peninsula



The display includes records from local publications such as The Review, which was published from 1912 to 1989, and items from the Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria
The letter to the Capital Regional District appeared in The Sidney and Saanich Peninsula Review in March 1987.

The writer had written to the CRD worried that mosquitoes at Island View Beach could be spreading HIV/AIDS.


She complained that the park was “a meeting place for nudist gays” who would sunbathe naked on the beach, which was in an area that had a long history as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

She said she had read “reliable reports” that indicated HIV/AIDS could “most likely” be spread by mosquitoes.


At the time, scientists had determined that the disease, which was first observed in gay men, was spread through bodily fluids — including blood. The Canadian Red Cross had responded two years earlier by testing all its blood products for the virus.


The letter, which came a month after flamboyant entertainer Liberace had succumbed to AIDS, is one of a number of archival pieces that make up Reading Between the Lines for Local Queer History, a new exhibit with a focus on LGBTQ history on the Saanich Peninsula, unveiled at the Sidney Museum for Pride Month.




Edited by Victoria Watcher, 14 June 2024 - 04:04 AM.


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