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Inventory of the Records of The Body Politic & Pink Triangle Press
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Page 30 / Inventory Series 22
Movement liaison
PT

The Body Politic was not only a publication -- or Pink Triangle Press only a publisher -- but a conscious part of the broader gay and lesbian liberation movement.

TBP had been born out of TGA, Toronto Gay Action, a radical spin- off from the city's early umbrella organization, the Community Homophile Association of Toronto. Many gay movement actions were not only reported on in The Body Politic but promoted there in advance, in editorial copy and in ads, the space often donated and the copy often produced at TBP.

During much of its first decade TBP was also one of the only gay organizations in Toronto to have an office, providing a central place to get information, hold meetings and plan actions. The few phones (only one until mid-1977) often served as a community switchboard. TBP also had layout and production facilities and, after early 1977, its own typesetting equipment, often tapped to produce movement material from flyers and posters to major briefs for submission to government bodies.

The Body Politic (later as Pink Triangle Press) was an organizational member of the National Gay Rights Coalition (from 1978 to 1980 the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition); the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario (later CLGRO, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario); the Toronto Gay Community Council (set up after the 1981 bath raids); the largely European- based International Gay Association (later ILGA, the International Lesbian and Gay Association) and the International Lesbian Information Service.

People from TBP attended many of the meetings and conferences of these groups (see "Some major news themes" under News) -- not just as reporters but also as voting delegates. The need to provide fair and balanced coverage of many contentious debates while also clearly taking sides on many issues created obvious tensions -- often explicitly stated in news reports.

But TBP never pretended (as media can only pretend) to "objectivity" on key issues, preferring to be upfront about its own positions -- and held to account (as it often was) for their effects on its reporting.

Most archival evidence of TBP's involvement in these organizations (and its interactions with others) can be found in collective minutes in Series 1 (Polices, planning and budgetting). Much information is also reported in the pages of The Body Politic itself.

A significant later interaction is reported in Xtra. Pink Triangle Press made a substantial donation to the International Lesbian and Gay Association in 1993. ILGA had been granted official United Nations status that year, but under UN pressure later dumped from its membership organizations concerned with intergenerational relationships. The Press criticized the move -- president Ken Popert calling it "utterly spineless and politically unsophisticated" -- and quit ILGA.

From late 1975 The Body Politic was also a member in good standing of one non- gay but politically (and practically) useful alliance, the Canadian Periodical Publishers Association.


87-004 / 17
Media Guidelines. First draft of a proposed pamphlet for the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario, prepared by The Body Politic, Sep 1976.

83-009 / 02
"Doing It!" lesbian and gay conference, Toronto, 1982.

83-009 / 02
Canadian Periodical Publishers Association, 1982-1983 (files collected by Gerald Hannon as a member of the CPPA board of directors).


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