Fonds F0117 - Christine Bearchell fonds

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Christine Bearchell fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Reference code

CA ON00047 F0117

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1971- 1990 (Creation)
    Christine Bearchell

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Physical description

145.5 cm of textual records
44 photographs
11 slides
1 audio cassette

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1952- 2007)

Biographical history

Chris Bearchell's career as a dyke dynamo covers nearly three decades, two of which the archives holds. Chris began writing for Toronto's Body Politic (TBP) in 1975, often as the 'only lesbian'; she joined the governing collective in 1978 and stayed until the paper's demise in 1987. In 1987 she helped found Epicene, a gay news magazine that only published for the year. Hugely influential, and an unrelenting activist, she was a key player with the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario, and acted as Chair of the Committee to Defend John Damien, a racing steward fired in 1975 solely for being gay.
Even after the newspapers demise, her influence did not wane. An astute analyst of pornography, she made her own - and passionately opposed censorship. She has consistently fought for the rights of queer kids, whatever their orientation. Unrelenting, loud, and infinitely proud, Chris' influence continued to be felt in Canada's queer community until her untimely death in 2007 (Portions taken from the National Portrait Collection induction statement).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the records created by Bearchell during two decades of her work in gay activism. This includes her work with two publications: The Body Politic (TBP), Canada’s gay liberation newspaper, from 1976-1987, and her work with Epicene in 1987, a gay publication following the end of TBP. The fonds also includes her work with other organizations, most notably the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario (CGRO), the Committee to Defend John Damien, and the Young Socialists/League for Socialist Action. There is correspondence, research notes, notebooks, news clippings, manuscripts, newsletters, reports, press releases, research articles, and inter-office memos.

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Immediate source of acquisition


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  • English

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    Most of the records are open. Any restrictions are specified in the access field of the file.

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    Records were re-housed in acid free folders. All staples and metal clips were removed.

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