1. Dan says

    Please consider changing the title to “Montreal’s Stonewall”.. or maybe “French Canada’s Stonewall” – the bathhouse raids and subsequent riots in Toronto in 1981 are more widely known to be the flashpoint for many gay orgs for gay civil rights in Canada.

  2. BaoPhac Do says

    I was in the after protest protest on de Maisonneuve and St-Mathieu. People were handing out stickers that said “Do the police a favor and beat yourself up”.

  3. Smokey says

    I second Dan’s motion, above.

    The Toronto bathhouse raids of February 5, 1981 is more widely recognized as the event that pitted the gay community against the Police, resulting in a number of marches that live on (even though it organizers would rather it didn’t) in today’s insanely popular Toronto Pride Parade.

  4. says

    Sex Garage was definitely a watershed moment, but I agree with Dan and Smokey — please consider changing the headline!

  5. Mike says

    I agree with the two comments that suggest the 1981 Toronto bathhouse raids are more analogous to NYC’s Stonewall. I live in Winnipeg, consider myself a gay activist but I had actually never heard of the Montreal incident until today.

  6. Randy says

    I agree with previous commentors. The 1981 bathhouse raids are Canada’s Stonewall. I had never heard of this more recent event until today.

  7. richard says

    MAJOR pet-peeve – why does everything have to be reduced to some “amerikun” phenomenon, irregardless (wink) of the truth, context and historical accuracy.


    Montreal equivalent to Stonewall (if you insist at needing this analogy ) is widely considered here as the raid at a gay bar name Truxx

    not 20 years ago but 32 years ago.

    There is long history of oppression in Montreal and Quebec politics, clubs and gay hanging places were targeted and cleaned up in the 50s, before Expo 67 and also before the 1976 Olympics.

    Much of this is well and thouroughly documented in recent Québécois history books on Montreal Red Light district, etc.

  8. Mona says

    It really doesn’t matter who when and where a raid happened. Which one was bigger, which one was more known, the importance here is that anytime violence happens against people because of their sexual orientation, religious believe or race is a tragedy and shows us how small minded and fearing people are. This happened 20 years ago. Not that long…and some people still live in ignorance and some still encounter homophobia…

  9. Strepsi says

    I was at SexGarage.

    1) It was a great party – I still remember the contortionist…

    2) The police not only closed the party, they chased people who were on foot with police cars and beat them for blocks. It is the only time I have been physically threatened in Montreal and it was by police.

    3) re: American analogy, this must be said: “Montreal’s Stonewall” was thanks entirely to the U.S. and anglophone community of the plateau (in the era when bars like Mecano and Business were on St-Laurent, as an alternative to the franco-sovereignist village). The franco gay community (which still is perversely sovereignist) used to hold Pride on St-Jean Baptiste day, and all you’d get were 20 french homos waving fleur-de-lis flags… it had nothing to do with gay pride. The new Divers-Cite, founded post SexGarage, on a new date AWAY from St-Jean Baptiste day, was the birth of the real gay pride movement in Montreal, and the gay positive village we know and love today. A big thanks to the short-lived QUEER NATION and ACT-UP Montreal folk.