Welcome to Points of Pride!
Points of Pride is a labour of love, and a love-letter of sorts, to Hamilton’s Queer community. We are a close group of friends who, after meeting through Westdale Secondary School in the early 2010s, grew up and came out together. This project initially began as an idea by one of our members who felt distinctly distant from Hamilton’s Queer heritage and history after having lived away for several years. Unlike Toronto or Montreal’s gay villages, Hamilton’s city landscape, like so many other cities across the country is currently devoid of commemorative plaques, panels, guides, or even books outlining the city’s long and colourful queer heritage. After discussing and reflecting on this problem as a group, it became clear to us all that the critical lack of resources through which to learn about and commemorate LGBTQ2SIA+ heritage in the city posed a major challenge in our ability to find and understand our community’s legacies.
A community based project from the start, we started work on this project in the fall of 2020 cooperatively as a way for us to learn about and connect with our heritage and to create a resource and space through which others can do the same.
Armed with a wide range of skills, two spreadsheets, and our friendship we began a deep dive researching places, businesses, events, and areas where our community has been in the city over the last fifty years. We quickly discovered that there are shockingly few resources online, and found critical support from the community caretakers of Hamilton’s 2SLBGTQ+ archive project - Building the Archive. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we haven’t been able to access archival materials curated by our new friends, but as restrictions lift we hope to be able to collaborate to bring more photos, recordings, articles, and letters to our map for you to interact with.
Hamilton has a very long, rich, interesting, heartbreaking, and inspiring 2SLGBTQIA+ history which very few people know about. Through Points of Pride we hope to help bring awareness to our history and heritage in a fun and interactive space.