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Social Science Gay Studies

Any Other Way

How Toronto Got Queer

edited by Stephanie Chambers, Jane Farrow, Maureen FitzGerald, Ed Jackson, John Lorinc, Tim McCaskell, Rebecka Sheffield, Tatum Taylor & Rahim Thawer

Coach House Books
Initial publish date
May 2017
Gay Studies, Urban, Social History
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    May 2017
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Toronto is home to multiple and thriving queer communities that reflect the dynamism of a global city. Any Other Way is an eclectic and richly illustrated local history that reveals how these individuals and community networks have transformed Toronto from a place of churches and conservative mores into a city that has consistently led the way in queer activism, not just in Canada but internationally.

From the earliest pioneersto the parades, pride and politics of the contemporary era, Any Other Way draws on a range of voices to explore how the residents of queer Toronto have shaped and reshaped one of the world’s most diverse cities.

Any Other Way includes chapters on: Oscar Wilde’s trip to Toronto; early cruising areas and gay/lesbian bars; queer shared houses; a pioneering collective trans archive project; bath house raids; LBGT-police conflicts; the Queen Street art/music/activist scene; and a profile of Jackie Shane, the gay R&B singer who performed in drag in both Toronto and Los Angeles, and gained international fame with his 1962 chart-topping single, ‘Any Other Way.’

About the authors

Stephanie Chambers is a news researcher at The Globe and Mail and teaches investigative reporting at Humber College. She has been a researcher for many Globe stories, from investigative to business and beat reporting, including some that have gone on to win National Newspaper Awards and most recently a 2015 Michener Citation of Merit. She has a Master of Information from the University of Toronto.

Stephanie Chambers' profile page

Jane Farrow has worked as a CBC broadcaster, City Hall staffer, public facilitator and community animator. She was the first executive director of Jane's Walk and has received numerous community awards from the Toronto Community Foundation.

Jane Farrow's profile page

Maureen FitzGerald is an urban anthropologist and a Fellow of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. She is a co-editor of Queerly Canadian: An Introductory Reader in Sexuality Studies and Still Ain’t Satisfied: Canadian Feminism Today. In the 1980s, she was managing editor of Women’s Press and a member of Lesbians Making History, a collective that did oral history of ‘gay women’ in Toronto in the fifties and sixties. She is fascinated by all things Toronto.

Maureen FitzGerald's profile page

Ed Jackson was a long-time member of the editorial collective of The Body Politic and co-editor of Flaunting It!: A Decade of Gay Journalism from The Body Politic. He was one of the founders of the aids Committee of Toronto, where he managed prevention education in the crisis years, and later served as Director of Program Development at catie until his retirement in 2015. An ongoing supporter of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, his enduring interest is queer local history.

Ed Jackson's profile page

John Lorinc is a journalist and editor. He reports on urban affairs, politics, business, technology, and local history for a range of media, including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Walrus, Maclean’s, and Spacing, where he is senior editor. John is the author of three books, including The New City (Penguin, 2006) and Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias (Coach House Books, 2022), and has coedited four other anthologies for Coach House Books: The Ward (2015), Subdivided (2016), Any Other Way (2017), and The Ward Uncovered (2018). John is the recipient of the 2019/2020 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy. He lives in Toronto.

Karon Liu has been a staff food reporter for the Toronto Star since 2015 and aims to link food with culture, history, identity, politics – anything you can imagine. He's also an avid home cook, and his favourite utensil is a pair of wooden chopsticks his grandma used to use.

John Lorinc's profile page

Tim McCaskell is a long-time gay activist. He worked on The Body Politic, the Right to Privacy Committee after the 1981 police raids on gay baths, the Simon Nkodi Anti-Apartheid Committee, AIDS ACTION NOW! and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. His first book, Race to Equity, a history of the struggle for equity in Toronto public schools, is widely used in teacher education. Tim is also the author of Queer Progress: From Homophobia to Homonationalism.

Tim McCaskell's profile page

Rebecca Sheffield is an archivist and archival educator. She has held teaching positions at the University of Toronto and Simmons College, Boston. Rebecka has worked with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives since 2008, and served as the organization’s first executive director and archives manager. She completed a graduate degree in archives and records management and completed a PhD at the University of Toronto in collaboration with the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies.

Rebecka Sheffield's profile page

Tatum Taylor is a writer and heritage specialist at ERA Architects. She holds a master's degree in historic preservation from Columbia University, where she worked on the editorial team for the Future Anterior Journal. She is actively involved with ICOMOS Canada and the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario's Executive Committee. Her interests include the interpretation of under-documented community histories and the connections between place, memory and language. 

Tatum Taylor's profile page

Rahim Thawer is a registered social worker, consultant, post-secondary instructor, and mental health counsellor. He has worked at multiple hiv/aids service organizations in Toronto as an outreach worker, resource writer, program coordinator, tester, and counsellor. Rahim continues to work in direct practice settings with newcomer, racialized, and lgbtq communities. He is also an active community organizer with Salaam: Queer Muslim Community and is co-founder of Ismaili Queers: Advocates for Pluralism.

Rahim Thawer's profile page

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