The Really Gay History Tour

Last updated on
Tuesday, January 16th, 2024
Experience type: 
Program Description

Vancouver’s Davie Street is home to one of North America’s most vibrant gay villages. The city’s annual PRIDE parade draws crowds in the tens of thousands. Our city has openly gay politicians and monuments to gay activists. But it wasn’t always this way…

Before decriminalization queer people lived in fear of being “outed” and risked losing their jobs, families, and even freedom. Canada routinely imprisoned people for homosexuality. Many of the leaders in the struggle for queer liberation in Canada were from here in Vancouver. People like ted northe, who had the bravery to campaign for queer rights back in the 1950s.

Vancouver has played a larger-than-life role internationally in the struggle for equality. We had the world’s first openly gay church minister, St Paul’s hospital opened one of the first dedicated care units during the AIDS crisis, and we had Canada’s first chapter of the Imperial Court System. We also had bookstore bombings, some of the country’s first PRIDE marches, and a transgender campaigner who blew the whistle on the biggest crime in the city’s history.

The experience was researched, designed, and is guided by Forbidden Vancouver storyteller Glenn Tkach. It’s perfect for any secondary or post-secondary social justice, gender studies and civics courses, student groups, GSA groups and more.

  • Duration – 2 hours
  • Start Point – Trees Organic Coffee at 930 Burrard Street
  • End Point – Davie & Bute streets at Jim Deva Plaza, by the rainbow crosswalk 
Big Ideas
  • Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.
  • Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.
  • Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.
  • The physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.
  • COVID Precautions
    • Max group size of 20 guests per guide *Please Note* we only have one guide that leads this tour so if you have more than 20 guests attending you will need to arrange multiple tours.
    • Walking tours will take place completely outside.
    • Mask wearing optional for students that prefer to wear masks.
    • Anyone feeling ill, or who has been in contact with anyone ill in the previous two weeks, should not attend.
    Trip Details
    For Grades: 
    See notes. minutes unless otherwise stated.
    Maximum Students: 
    Offered In French: 
    Also Offered For: 
    Adult Groups, Daycamps, Guides
    Packages Provided: 
    No Packages Provided
    Fee Details
    Cost Per Student: 
    Cost Per Adult: 
    Fee Notes: 

    With a minimum of 20 students, we can offer you the discounted rate of $19.00 per student including GST.

    If you bring 19 students or less, then the price per student is $31.50 including GST.

    If you have any teachers or staff joining as chaperones, they attend free of charge!

    Additional Notes

    Duration: 2 hours