Buttons from the Mirha-Soleil Ross fonds, The ArQuives, Canada's LGBTQ2+ Archives

What’s it like to be LGBTQ2+ in Canadian suburbs and edge cities? For the most part, scholars couldn’t tell you since there has been so little research on the experiences of those living outside Canada's major cities of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. But as activist and curator Anu Radha Verma has argued, “there is long, complicated history of queer and trans organizing in the burbs” (Verma, Any Other Way, 228). Yet this history is mainly invisible and inaccessible except to those who have experienced it personally. We can't write new histories of Canada's LGBTQ2+ past without primary sources; in order to create these sources, we need to collaborate with narrators willing to share their stories with us.

The Queer Peel Oral History Project is a student-driven initiative that emerged from a 3rd year history course at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, in early 2020. In this exhibition you will discover 25 oral history interviews with LGBTQ2+ activists, students, alums, and residents of the Peel region. To learn who was involved, please consult the ‘credits’ page.

We hope you enjoy the exhibition!

For more information about the project, please consult the following media coverage: Blake Eligh, "Queer in the Suburbs: Hidden Histories of Peel Region," UTM News, March 9, 2020, which was republished in the Mississauga News and the Brampton Guardian.