For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017.
Here is the second one, honouring Elsa Gidlow.
Elsa Gidlow, born December 29, 1898 and died June 8, 1986, was a Canadian-American poet, journalist, and philosopher. She is best known for On A Grey Thread (1923), possibly the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry published in North America. In 1917, she co-published Les Mouches Fantastiques, one of the first gay magazines in Canada. In the 1950s Gidlow helped found Druid Heights, a bohemian community in California.
She was the author of thirteen books and discussed her life as a lesbian and artist in the 1977 documentary, Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives. She completed her autobiography Elsa, I Come with My Songs, just before her death, and in it she gives a detailed account of seeking, finding and creating a life with other lesbians. Gidlow’s extensive personal papers are now archived at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco.