Sixty Seconds, Sixty Second discussed on Q: The Podcast from CBC Radio


That a brand new canadian heritage minute gets everybody talking that is in fact what is happening right now don't get me wrong heritage minutes are great those are the sixty second vignettes that tell you about an important moment in canadian history there produced by historic canada for a long time you saw them on tv or sometimes before a movie in the theater and these days are all on youtube and who can forget right let me take you down a couple of who could forget who is so the guy was so worried about his peach baskets that he almost stopped james naismith from inventing basketball or how about those four words i smell burnt toast charming stuff but the brand new heritage minute released yesterday is something really special i never thought i'd know that feeling to be in love because for us it was a crime well we didn't wanna give the whole thing away but the new heritage minute tells the story of john egan he was a pioneer for gay rights in canada and it is the first lgbtq to heritage minute and it drops right in the middle of pride month it was directed by steven dunn who joins me now on the phone from rome congratulations steven thank you so this heritage minute it's it's pretty big news and candidates week the prime minister's tweeting about it you're taking it all in from rome right now you're getting a feel for how big this is in canada you know i'm i'm kinda surprised that it's blowing up the way that it is i mean i knew if it's really important to me but it's really inspiring to feed now so many people across canada learning who jin egan is and in fact like i think like my like a lot of people i actually didn't know jim was when i worked start looking project so this is this is something that is particularly important to me can you tell us the story of this particular person for those who don't know yeah i think this is the case of the lot of queer heroes and and i call and we've never quit history and well documented and jim egan is one of canada's tinier activists he began in the nineteen forties writing letter letters to the editor of tabloid and actually like signing his name and this time when you gave the legal homosexuality wasn't criminalize until nineteen sixty nine so he doing was extremely risky and putting him and don't like them danger but also because you've spoken it was turning his own phone line into kind of like a personal hotline for queer youth and clear like a queer crisis hotline and i think jim is really known for though all the active in the forties with he was the first person to take an issue without queer equality in front of supreme court when he fought for spousal benefits for his partner jack knifed that they unfortunately lost the case but they kind of sad they lost the battle but they won the war because as part of their case homosexuality was protected under the charter of rights and freedoms in nineteen ninety five and this one one of the key pieces that the groundwork for marriage equality and and now that all the things that have followed sure yeah they lost five votes to four but but felt that they opened up the door to so much more success after the after the fact i'm ali hassan in for tom power on to i'm speaking of canadian debtor director steven done he's twenty fifteen film closet monster won the canadian feature film award at the toronto international film festival and he made the brand new canadian heritage minute celebrating the life of gay rights pioneer jimmy now by their very definition stephen these things have to be done in sixty seconds how do you approach that create creatively as you've just told me it is such a big story it was still hard i really like i feel incredible about june story and the the amount of time that he put into them like he he was he there's so much out and what i really love about the fact that this has been bought delighted that now so many people are talking about jim and learning more about what he contributed to history of of lgbtq poss right in in canada and for me.

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