June 2005: The Alexander Wood statue is unveiled Erected last spring to honour the early 19th-century gay merchant and magistrate of Upper Canada, the Wood memorial on Alexander is believed to be the only bronze historical monument to a known gay figure in North America, and most likely in the world.
May 2006: Recognition of transsexuals by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario Transsexuals won the right last month to choose the gender of the police officer strip-searching them, after a complaint launched against Peel Region police.
June 2006: The Superior Court rules that birth mothers may name another woman on birth registration documents Mum's the word.
June 2006: Official opening of the 519 Church Community Centre expansion The 519 made its name pushing LGBT causes and boasts one of the most activist volunteer boards around.
May 2006: Police Chief Bill Blair tells hoity-toity types in the Beach that he has better things to do than stop gay sex in the bushes at Cherry Beach This chief is hauling ass of a different kind - namely, a commitment to community policing and dialoguing with the gay community. Take that, Julie.
June 2006: Gender-neutral lockable washrooms at City Hall These just opened on the second floor last week after much toing and froing. A welcome addition for trans folk unsure about unlockable gender-specific rooms at the Hall.
December 2005: Elton John marries his Canadian boyfriend of 11 years, David Furnish Although not formally recognized as a marriage, their "civil partnership" marked the first time gay unions in the UK were given legal recognition.
December 2005: Canada's top court determines that consensual sex between adults in private is not a criminal act A majority of seven judges against two opted to use a new yardstick - harm, not community standards - to determine if threesomes or spouse-swapping are criminal activities. Maybe gay bathhouses and strip clubs can now get a reprieve from cops so eager to raid them in the past.
December 2005: Toronto selected to host the XVI International AIDS Conference, August 13-18 Time To Deliver, the theme of this year's gathering, emphasizes the challenge to make HIV treatment and prevention programs widely available.
October 2005: Olympic gold medallist and five-time All-WNBA First Team basketballer Sheryl Swoopes comes out of the closet And in so doing becomes the most famous athlete, male or female, to publicly acknowledge his or her homosexuality while still competing.
May 2006: National Day Against Homophobia becomes World Day Against Homophobia And moves from June 1 to May 17 to mark the anniversary of the World Health Organization's removal of homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
November 2005: Toronto District School Board sticks to its policy of inclusiveness Trustees stand up to Muslim parents' demand that gay-positive teachings be kept out of the curriculum.
November 2005: The Safe Schools Task Force releases anti-bullying initiatives The province is responding to these recommendations with funding for anti-bullying programs and anti-bullying training for principals. Bullying and homophobia, or at least the language of homophobia, are linked.
Spring 2005: The emergence of "Queer West" in Parkdale Two gay ghettos are better than one.
February 2005: YAHAA Scarborough Countering the isolation of young gays in the conservative burb, Yahaa, a "chill" group established last year for young people, offers a gay connection.
December 2005: Alumnus Mark Bonham makes a $1 million donation to U of T's Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies The largest cash gift given to the centre since it was established in 1998.
May 2006: Pride Toronto receives Golden Tupilak Award for outstanding international achievement for lesbian and gay rights and culture Pride Toronto shared the award with Palestinians and Israelis working together on Jerusalem World Pride 2006.
April 2006: Vancouver-based Little Sisters bookstore continues to take the censorship fight to Canada Customs The bookstore wants the feds to pick up the tab for the legal costs it incurred fighting Customs all those years. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling in the case sometime this year.
October 2005: The death of gay pioneer George Hislop The founder of Canada's first gay rights org, whose fondness for gay bathhouses was surpassed only by his commitment to gay causes, including a two-decade-long fight to win survivor benefits for gay couples.
February 2005: Toronto District School Board trustees attempt to deep-six a motion calling for the board's support of gay marriage Get with the program.
May 2006: The PM announces plan to hold a free vote in the fall on whether to reopen the divisive equal marriage debate And he calls himself a progressive conservative.
June 2006: The modern-day crusader, U.S. President George Bush, goes Harper one worse and urges a ban on gay marriage "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..." Ring a bell, George?
May 2006: A committee of the Surrey, BC, school board, which is notorious for its anti-gay fear-mongering, rejects as "too sophisticated" for third graders a fairy-tale picture book about two princes who marry Is Hansel And Gretel "too sophisticated," then, because it deals with a witch who wants to eat children? The Surrey board also cancelled a planned performance of The Laramie Project, a play about the 1998 hate-motivated killing of Matthew Shepard, at one high school. Board officials claimed the play is inappropriate for young people and grandparents.
May 2006: Census Canada instructs married same-sex couples to check the "other" box on the form instead of the husband or wife box Someone should tell the crats at Census Canada that marriage licences have been issued to same-sex couples in much of Canada for three years now.
December 2005: The BC Court of Appeal dismisses the appeal of Kimberly Nixon, who had been excluded from volunteering as a peer counsellor at a women's rape crisis centre because she is transsexual Nixon won her initial human rights complaint before it was overturned by the BC Supreme Court.
June 2006: The Barn on Church closes The granddaddy of gay clubs, known as the last stop for bar-hoppers on the cruise, lost its owner, Janko Naglic, to murder a couple of years back. Then it lost its place at Church and Carlton to the de-ghettoization of the gay village. R.I.P.
February 2006: The virulently anti-gay Focus on the Family opens its Institute of Marriage and Family Canada in Ottawa to lobby the feds IMFC says it's a social policy research org, but it also publishes a glossy magazine, the IMFC Review, to promote its family-values agenda.
February 2006: The appointment of Vic Toews as Justice minister Certain to set back hard-fought legal wins over age-of-consent laws.
January 2006: Fab magazine publisher Mitchell Raphael steps down We'll miss those cover shots, all butchy and bitchy in leather, of local dignitaries like Julian Fantino, Jack Layton, Olivia Chow and David Miller.
Spring 2006: Christian Peacemaker and former Iraq hostage Jim Loney's gay secret The fact that the media had to keep Loney's homosexuality in the closet during his hostage ordeal lest he be mistreated by his captors reminded us that we still have lots of obstacles to overcome.