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364 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Dixon felt was justifiable. Persky and Dixon offer no pretence of neutrality on the basic issues at stake. They are both affiliated with the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which intervened in support of the constitutional challenge at both the appellate and Supreme Court level. In their view the law, as it stands to this day, intrudes too deeply into the realm of personal privacy by criminalizing simple possession of materials that have not involved actual children in their production. Whether or not the case they make is persuasive, they have performed a valuable service by providing a rich and well-documented account of the recent legislative and judicial history B one that will assist the interested reader in reaching an informed judgment on the issues. My only serious complaint about the book concerns its title, whose colloquialism threatens to trivialize a serious and controversial issue closely connected to the sexual abuse of children. While the authors disavow any such intent, the excuse they offer for their persistent use of the >kiddie porn= phrase is lame and forced. It is a rare lapse of judgment in a work which I otherwise strongly recommend to anyone endeavouring to define the limits of free expression. (WAYNE SUMNER) Tom Warner. Never Going Back: A History of Queer Activism in Canada University of Toronto Press. xvi, 430. $95.00, $29.95 This unique and comprehensive survey of the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizing in Canada from the 1950s to the 1990s fills a gap in our knowledge of recent Canadian political and social history. The book=s title B Never Going Back B recalls the title of an editorial in the Toronto gay liberation newspaper The Body Politic, published in the spring of 1973, which stated that, with the rise of the gay liberation movement, lesbians and gay men were never going back to the closet. Written by a prominent Toronto activist, who lived through many of the events described in its pages, the book strikes a balance in presenting the scope and diversity of queer organizing. In fact, one of Warner=s main concerns is to demonstrate the depth and range of the lesbian and gay liberation movement and to move away from the dominant picture of the LGBT movement as dominated by legal struggles. Warner focuses resolutely on the agency of LGBT groups as political actors, fighting back against a system of social oppression and state regulation. Based on over a hundred interviews with activists from all across Canada, Warner=s book makes clear his respect for his interview subjects, and their voices come through as they tell the stories of their struggles in different parts of the country. While the media tend to depict the >gay rights= movement as Ottawa lobby groups, this book makes it clear that queer organizing is deeply rooted at the local level and that political humanities 365 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 victories at the centre may not change social practices in local areas. While Pride Day in Toronto attracts thousands and is promoted by the city as part of its tourism strategy, the issue of declaring Pride Day in towns such as Fredericton and Kelowna had to be taken before human rights tribunals after their mayors refused to proclaim it. By exploring smaller towns and cities as well as rural and northern Canada, Warner is the first to offer a picture of lesbian and gay political issues and organizing in these communities . Furthermore, Warner also documents the history of queer organizing among people of colour and Two-Spirited People. This is an important corrective to other accounts of lesbian and gay organizing (such as my own) which neglected to consider the ways in which queer organizing has been racialized. While Warner shows the progress that has been made over the last thirty years by LGBT people in this country, he also shows how social mores and practices across the range of Canadian social institutions continue to stigmatize and discriminate against LGBT people. The sections on recent developments in social...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 364-365
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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