Arts & Culture

Moving forward

RRC celebrates Pride with One Gay City

Red River College will open the 2015 Pride Winnipeg festival with a celebration of Winnipeg’s LGBT history.

On June 11, RRC will host a screen¬ing of One Gay City: A History of LGBT Life in Winnipeg, directed by Aaron Floresco. The film looks at the struggles and triumphs of Winni¬peg’s LGBT community through archival footage and interviews.

Listening to the personal stories of gay and lesbian people in Winnipeg was a deeply meaningful experience, said Floresco.

“It was interesting to hear about the communities they formed,” he said. “Whether it was moving around from seedy night clubs, meetings by the riverbank or going to costume balls in drag, there was a fair bit of gay life in the city during the mid- 20th century.”

It’s the spirit of community building and celebration that prompted the One Gay City screening, said RRC’s Diversity Initiatives coordinator, Bradley West.

“This film celebrates the history of our city and our community,” said West. “It is a story worth sharing. This year’s Pride theme is evolution, and this was a perfect fit for that theme — how we have evolved as a city.”

Evolution is a theme that celebrates the continued development and realization of human rights achievements, according to Pride Winni¬peg’s website.

Documenting the struggles and achievements of Winnipeg’s LGBT community was one of the central motivations for making the film, said Floresco.

“[I wanted] to give people today a sense of how our culture changed from, in a general sense, a homophobic society, to one that is much more open and tolerant,” he said. “The changes didn’t happen overnight, and they didn’t happen without a struggle.”

The screening is the result of a collaboration between RRC’s LGBTT* Initiative and the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association LGBT* Centre.

The screening begins on Thursday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m. at The Roblin Centre, but you can visit the event’s Facebook page for more information about the film itself.

“It will be a fun event to learn about a Winnipeg you might not have heard of,” said West. “The evening is free of charge and a great way to interact with students from other educational institutions and our broader community.”