The Body Politic, Glad Day, GATE by Ed Jackson

(generous email sent to Mike Hoolboom, 2010)

Amerigo Marras and his lover Don Corley bought a little house at 4 Kensington Avenue, where they remodeled the first floor into an art gallery in the early 1970s. Jearld Moldenhauer and the two of them lived upstairs. Glad Day Bookshop was in a little drafty shack at the back of the house and The Body Politic was put out of there for several issues. I remember Gerald Hannon and I used to go there to work on it every day with Jearld (we didn’t have jobs and this was all volunteer). It was really cramped and cold in the winter and cheek-by-jowl and really hard to work on the layout there, but we managed. Jearld couldn’t keep personal papers, Glad Day papers and The Body Politic papers apart and it was really annoying, I remember, because of the jumble. GATE (Gay Alliance Towards Equality) had some of its first meetings there as well, with people sitting on benches in the half-finished gallery front part. If I can remember the sequence right, we finally moved the office of GATE and TBP to the Ontario and Carleton Street storefront, and it was there that the big confrontation happened with Moldenhauer about continuing to have the store mixed in with the paper. He and John Scythes also bought a house on Seaton Street around this same time too. We said the Glad Day-TBP marriage couldn’t work any more and he stormed out, taking it as a personal attack and never forgave many of us, especially Ken Popert. However, Amerigo was never on the TBP collective. But he and Don Corley did provide free space for all of these things to happen, though.

In terms of the claim of ‘born,’ TBP was published before this, but out of various temporary places (when I first got involved, we met in Jearld’s apartment in the Annex) and Glad Day operated out of Moldenhauer’s backpack at first. Still, it would probably be correct to say that it was the first physical home for all three of these: TBP, Glad Day and GATE. Note also that Toronto Gay Action was an activist organization that predated GATE, so the ‘first Canadian Gay Pride organization’ is stretching it, and there was CHAT (Community Homophile Association of Toronto) and UTHA (University of Toronto Homophile Association) as well (still using the antiquated homophile word in their names but they were post-1969 organizations)