Come Out, Come Out

Curated by Sonya Jones and Lucas Cabral

Related Public Programming: Keeping Our Stories Alive: Webinar with Raegan Swanson, Executive Director, The ArQuives
Thursday, May 28, 2:00PM (EST)

In November 2019, the RMG invited members of the community to share photographs that represent LGBTQ2+ histories and stories for inclusion in the Thomas Bouckley Collection. This project, presented in partnership with the AIDS Committee of Durham Region and The Totally Outright Program, is part of an ongoing effort to address the lack of diverse representation in the collection, and in historical accounts of Oshawa and Durham Region as a whole. While the Thomas Bouckley Collection has over 3,500 photographs that visualize Oshawa’s history, the collection lacks the stories and perspectives of many marginalized communities. This exhibition, featuring a selection of the submissions, celebrates these underrepresented stories and addresses the omission of LGBTQ2+ representation from institutional archives by adding these contributions to the Thomas Bouckley Collection for future generations.

Currently, the Thomas Bouckley Collection contains images of everything from plane crashes and floods, to snowy backyards and family picnics, capturing a wide spectrum of life in Oshawa. Similarly, the photographs in Come Out, Come Out comprise a range of images from vernacular snapshots of loved ones, to more documentary-style images of community outreach and events, most of which were taken in the last ten years. When Thomas Bouckley gifted his collection of historical photographs, he did so with the intention that the collection continue to grow and document Oshawa’s ongoing evolution. Because history is being made every day, we hope these new additions to the collection will allow future viewers to look back on the Come Out, Come Out contributions and have a better understanding of Oshawa’s shared history.

The need to collect LGBTQ2+ histories and stories does not end with this online exhibition; there is more work to be done. We continue to encourage the public to share stories and photos with us by using the hashtag #ComeOutComeOutRMG. We hope to build upon the images we have already received to continue this important project.

Marc Hall and Jean-Paul Dumond attend prom at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School in Oshawa, 2002. Marc Hall successfully sued the Durham Catholic District School Board for the right to bring his boyfriend to his high school prom. The case made international headlines and Hall’s story has been featured in documentaries, television movies and his story adapted to stage. His efforts were supported by various community organizations, and as a result, he became an icon for LGBTQ2+ rights in Canada.

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Presented in partnership with the AIDS Committee of Durham Region and The Totally Outright Program