Cover stories

Leo Mantha’s last gasp

Leo Mantha’s last gasp

Xtra, May 7, 2014

How homophobia fuelled BC’s final execution 55 years ago. Leo Mantha was the last man executed in BC. Would a straight man have been spared?

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Leo Mantha’s last gasp

Less than half of BC’s school districts have homophobia policies

Xtra, April 10, 2014

Fewer still have implemented them well. Almost half of BC’s school districts have now passed homophobia policies, but some are stronger than others

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John Kozachenko

A lone activist relives the defiance

Xtra, March 24, 2011

Twenty-five years after the Vancouver Persons with AIDS Coalition was founded, John Kozachenko is the lone survivor of its 15 original members. In this feature he recounts the harrowing story of HIV/AIDS in Vancouver’s gay community and how people went from dying of AIDS to living with HIV.

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1 in 40

One in 40 gay guys in Vancouver don’t know they are HIV positive

Xtra, Dec. 2, 2010

One in 40 gay men in Vancouver are HIV-positive but don’t know it, says a ManCount report released in late 2010. The report also confirms earlier estimates that one in five gay men in Vancouver are HIV-positive overall. “That’s a number you can visualize in a gay bar,” says Dr Terry Trussler, who helped prepare the report. “If there are 100 guys in a gay bar, at least two of them won’t know they are HIV-positive.”
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Gay Rights vs. Religious Rights

Gay rights vs religious rights

Xtra, 2011-2012

Gay rights and religious rights faced off in Oct. 2011 when the BC Human Rights Tribunal heard a case in Kelowna about a couple denied a room by Christian bed and breakfast owners.

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Vision lost votes in West End

Vision Vancouver lost votes in West End

Xtra, Nov. 28, 2011

Support for Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Vision Vancouver slate in the West End took a noticeable dip as it was eroded by competition from the Green Party, independents and Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver in the civic election held on Nov. 19, 2011.

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HIV-Positive Gay Man Acquitted

HIV on trial

Xtra, 2010

In 2010 a gay man stood trial  for allegedly failing to disclose his HIV status to his partner. His trial and subsequent acquittal helped clarify Canada’s vague HIV non-disclosure laws.

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Comedian vs Lesbian

Comedian vs lesbian

Xtra, 2010-2011

Comedian Guy Earle called it free speech but Vancouver lesbian Lorna Pardy insisted it was discrimination when he directed a tirade of homophobic and sexist slurs at her during a 2007 performance. She took her complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal which heard her case in 2010 and eventually ruled in her favour. This story touched off a national debate about the role of human rights tribunals in Canadian society.

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Nanaimo Gay Bar Seized

The last small town gay bar

Xtra West, 2007-2008

These articles chronicle a prolonged battle between the owners of a Nanaimo gay bar and their landlords. The landlords petitioned B.C. Supreme Court to prematurely terminate their lease citing a laundry list of complaints including: on-site kink, drugs and excessive noise. The bar owners, however, claimed the landlords were motivated by homophobia.

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Over the rainbow

Over the rainbow

BCBusiness Magazine, Sept. 2007

Thomas Dolan, a gay businessman in Vancouver, discusses his his views on the marketing strategies that companies should observe if they want to tap the increasingly remunerative gay and lesbian market. According to him, companies should first build trust with the GLBT community and show visibility. The gay and lesbian community’s needs are not that dissimilar from those who belong on the mainstream and just like everyone else, they would want a good location and customer service.

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Russia's distant American shore

Russia’s distant American shore

Russian Life Magazine, May-June 2008

In centuries past the Spanish and British Empires jostled for control over the lands and waters that would eventually form British Columbia. The colonial mark of both Spain and Britain survive in the place names, institutions and culture of this land. But if history had taken a different turn, today’s western reaches of British Columbia might instead be the southeastern tip of the Russian Federation. On British Columbia’s 150th anniversary I explored the impression Russia left behind in this region.

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Yoko Ono

Yes, I am a Witch

Xtra West, Jun. 21, 2007

An interview with Yoko Ono about her 2007 album “Yes, I am a Witch”.

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At home with Jane Rule

Xtra West, March 29, 2007

In 2007 I spent the afternoon with iconic author, educator and activist Jane Rule at her home on Galliano Island. In one of her final interviews she reflects on her life, career and the future of gay rights in Canada.

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My File

My File

CBC Radio One, Jan. 23, 2008

This is a 14 minute radio documentary I did about my experience in foster care that aired on national radio. Every child in foster care has a file. It’s an ominous collection of all the interactions between the child, social workers, teachers, foster parents…all care providers. When I was 25 I obtained my file and searched for the one family I loved.

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