The Love Booth Exhibit at Congress 2023

Project Leader: Tara Goldstein
Project Coordinator: Jenny Salisbury
Love Booth Team: Mitzi Badlis, Lindsay Cavanaugh, Margot Huycke,  Anya Shen, Ty Walkland, Vivian Wang.
Film by Pam Baer
Music by Kael Reid
Visual Art by benjamin lee hicks

Every year the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funds an academic conference for social science and humanities scholars across Canada. The conference is called Congress, and in 2023 it was hosted by York University.

To share the research that was undertaken to create its verbatim theatre project The Love Booth and Six Companion plays, which was presented at the Toronto Pride Festival in June 2023, Gailey Road created an exhibit called The Love Booth in the Exhibit Hall during Congress at York University.

The Love Booth exhibit replicated, in a contemporary way, the exhibits lesbian activists Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen created in the 1970 at the American Psychiatric Association conferences. Their activism led to the delisting of homosexuality from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual. Once it was delisted, homosexuality was no longer considered a mental disorder and this helped change the lives of countless people who no longer felt they needed to be cured of the feelings they had for the people they loved.

Here is Pam Baer’s documentary film about the building of The Love Booth exhibit. The film includes interviews from the team that hosted the exhibit at Congress.

Citation:

Baer, P. (Director). Goldstein, T. (Producer, Project Leader), Salisbury, J. (Project Coordinator). (2023). The Love Booth at Congress 2023. Toronto: Gailey Road Productions.

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