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Research Guides

Sexual and Gender Diversity Studies

Resistance Timeline

1965 - U of T student David Sector uses St. George campus as they background for his black-and-white romantic drama, Winter Kept Us Warm. The film explores the relationship between two men as they meet on campus and their friendship blossoms into love. 

1969 - Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau amends the Canadian Criminal Code to decriminalize homosexuality throughout the country


1969 -  U of T lab assistant Jearld Moldenhauer placces an ad in The Varsity to find other LGBT people at the university.  

1971 - University of Toronto student Charlie Hill delivers a manifesto, “We Demand,” written by himself and another U of T graduate student, Herb Spiers, during Canada’s first large-scale gay and lesbian rights demonstration at Parliament Hill. 

1971 - Jearld Moldenhaur establishes the Community Homophile Association

1971 - First Pride event held in Toronto is a Gay Day Picnic at Hanlan’s Point

1973 -  “New Perspectives on the Gay Experience” is held as the first gay studies course to be taught at a Canadian university.

1974 - Adrienne Potts, Pat Murphy, Sue Wells, and Heather Beyer — now known as The Brunswick 4 — attend an open mic night at the Brunswick Tavern, a popular Friday night spot for U of T students. Adrienne and Pat take to the stage to sing “I Enjoy Being a Dyke.” They are immediately told to leave the bar and, when they refuse, are harassed by bar staff and other patrons, physically assaulted, and arrested, charged with instigating “a lesbian riot.” 

1975 -  The U of T Gay Academic Union is founded to support faculty and graduate students.

1977 - UTHA changes its name to Gays at U of T (GAUT)

1980 - Gays at U of T renames the semi-regular LGBTQ dances held on campus as “Homo Hops.” Homo Hops are still held each year during Queer Orientation Week.

1981 - Police raid four of Toronto’s gay batthouses, smashing doors with crowbars and sledgehammers, dragging people out, and arresting 266 people.

1981 - In a demonstration against the Toronto bathhouse raids, Gays at U of T enlist five gay couples to attend and dance together at the Trinity College Formal. They rip swatches from a white bath towel to put in their boutonnieres as an expression if anger over the raids. 

1981 -  The first Gay Awareness Week is held at U of T's St. George Campus

1984 - U of T opens its Peer Counselling and Sexual Education Centre 

1989 - Political science professor David Rayside establishes an ad hoc committee on homophobia at U of T

1990 - GLAUT launches an Ontario Human Rights complaint against St. Michael’s College newspaper after it twice refuses to publish advertising for the Homohop

1991 - U of T extends employee benefits to same-sex partners (1991)

1991 - City of Toronto officially proclaims Pride Day for the first time

1995 - Creation of Lesbian and Gay Positive Space campaign 

1998 - Sexual and Gender Diversity Studies undergrad program first established

1999 - Establishment of LGBTQ Resources & Programs Office 

1999 -  LGBTOUT stages a kiss-in protest on the steps of Sidney Smith Hall to protest homophobia on campus after LGBTOUT’s posters were defaced and transphobic and homophobic vandalism was found across campus. 


1999 - LGBTOUT leads the Toronto Pride March as a honoured group, marshalling the largest Pride Parade in Canada in front of roughly 1 million spectators. They were joined by many other U of T groups. 

1999: LGBTOUT presents the first Bisexuality Awareness Week at U of T

2002: LGBTOUT protests anti-gay Peter Kreeft speaking at St. Michael’s College

2003: -Ontario begins marrying same-sex couples

2004 - LGBTOUT leads rally at Queen’s Park to demand reinstatement of OHIP funding for gender affirming surgeries. They hold the rally in honour of the Transgender Day of Remembrance 

2005: Canada becomes the fourth country to officially sanction same-sex marriage nationwide

2005: U of T’s governing council unanimously approves a diversity statement that explicitly support equal opportunities and fairness for sexual minorities

2006: First LGBTOUT Student Awards recognize outstanding volunteer contributions to equity and anti-oppression

2006: LGBTOUT officially changes its name to Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transpeople of the University of Toronto

2008: Centre for Women and Trans People passes its firs Trans Inclusion Policy

2008: Sexual Diversity Studies graduate program created by the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity

2009: U of T changes policy to allow students to change their name and gender designation on files without needing legal documentation

2010: Office of LGBTQ Resources & Programs renamed Sexual & Gender Diversity Office

2015 - Trinity College students fight to change a policy that segregates students by gender during meetings. They pass another amendment to change the phrase “men and women” in the student government constitution to “members” to be more inclusive to students who do not identify beyond the gender binary. 

2016 - Black Lives Matter TO activists stage a sit-in in the middle of Yonge St. during the Toronto Pride Parade in protest of police officers wearing uniforms and carrying guns in the parade. Members give speeches on the importance of fighting for marginalized LGBTQ2S+ communities.

2016 - Toronto's Trans Pride March breaks a world record for largest Trans Pride March in the world

Further Reading

This colourful list of books can help you to unlock further research into LGBTQ2S+ history and theory:

1. JUV FIC H179R

2. PS648 .H57 A4 1995

3. PR6073 .I567 O7 1985

4. PN1995.9 .H55 T755 2016X

5. VideoDVD 752981