"Forty short years ago this summer, the RCMP questioned Everett George Klippert, a mechanic’s assistant from Saskatchewan, in connection with an arson investigation while he was working in Pine Point Northwest Territories.
Although Klippert had nothing to do with any fires, he did admit under coercive questioning to regular sex with other men. He pleaded guilty to four counts of gross indecency and was convicted on the sole basis of his own admission. He was sentenced to three years in prison. It was not the first time he’d served time for being gay."
Matt Mills is a new writer at Xtra! West and he uses this story to go onto the issue of a a home for the GLBT community in Vancouver. Vancouver has The Centre, a dark and small place on the second floor of a building on Davie and Bute.
Two weeks ago another regular contributer to Xtra! West, Philip Banks asked why he had never been asked to donate money for a "GLBT Centre" for Vancouver.
I recall how many years ago as a young gay man from Likely BC going to Vancouver for the first time to meet other gay men, I had no idea where to start. Being new I walked by many men on Davie street that I now know were gay yet in 1979 I wasn't toatally sure nor did I know how to approach them.
My resource turned out to be Little Sisters book store. They has a wall of posters of events and places in Vancouver. That gave me my start in the big city. Today it can still be an intimindating situation for many gay men of any age coming out and headed to Vancouver to meet other gay men.
A GLBT Centre would be ideal, a welcoming place that you can enter and feel at home. A place with information that I can pick up without feeling threatened. So who is starting a the campaign to get a new Centre? Who will get this off the ground?
Maybe this could become the GLBT communities number one effort. I am encouraged to see Xtra! West spend so much ink on this, now we in the communities across BC need to support an effort to get this on a roll.