If you're unfamiliar with the name barbara findlay, or have heard of her but don't know a great deal about her role in LGBT rights, there's an opportunity for you to get up to speed on this groundbreaking figure in Canadian history.
Writer-director Becca Plucer created the bio-documentary in particular, barbara findlay about findlay's lifelong fight for LGBT equality in Canada as an activist, feminist, lawyer, and pioneer.
In the documentary, findlay relates how she was locked up in a psychiatric ward during university in the late 1960s for admitting she was attracted to women. It was a time when being a lesbian wasn't talked about and many didn't even know what it was.
But she wasn't just up against homophobia. She also talks about how she faced numerous sexist barriers, including being one of the very few women who were in law school.
Pivotal points in her life included meeting her thesis advisor, feminist UBC professor Dorothy Smyth; meeting her partner Sheila Gilhooly (who is featured as an interviewee); and attending a racism-awareness meeting in Vancouver, in which she learned about the dynamics of privilege and oppression.
When then–Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau brought the Constitution home to Canada in 1982, she became aware of how LGBT people were left out of the human rights code.
She continued on through the AIDS crisis when parents were denying partners from visiting the hospital beds of their loved ones.
findlay has been interviewed by, quoted or named numerous times in the Georgia Straight over the years, including a cover story about a controversial legal battle over Vancouver Rape Relief's rejection of Kimberly Nixon as a volunteer counsellor because she was transgender.
While the film is about findlay, it also provides a comprehensive retrospective of the LGBT rights movement in Canada over the past few decades—illustrating how much things have changed.
The film will be screened at Queer History Night at the Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway) on Thursday (April 28) at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Half of the proceeds will benefit the Queer Homeless Senior and Raincity's LGBTQ2S* Youth Housing Project, while the other half will go to indigenous lesbian artist Ferron, who is living in poverty.
Here's a trailer to get a glimpse of the film: