101 Dewson St Commune

Community Space

QueerEvents.ca - queer history - creating spaces 101 dewson st toronto
Creators: Makeda Silvera & Stephanie Martin

The Story...

This large house on Dewson Street in the west end of Toronto was owned by a lesbian couple from Jamaica, Makeda Silvera and her partner, Stephanie Martin. In 1983 they leased and transformed this house into a Caribbean feminist commune that was the starting point for black and Caribbean lesbian and gay organizing in the city.  The organizations that emerged from the house on Dewson Street were formed in response to rejection by their families and respective communities as well as feelings of alienation from the white gay and lesbian community.

"The house was traffic central, with folks dropping by to borrow a book, drop off flyers, attend late-night meetings about a protest or rally, or an editorial meeting for one of the many feminist publications at the time. We talked about how to discuss gay and lesbian issues within the Black community - very serious conversations about how to open up spaces in organization like the Congress of Black Women and other Black, women of colour, and immigrant women's organizations. Some of our politically active older folks doing Black community organizing were not open or tolerant of those of us who they saw as going against Black community values as they existed at the time."

Debbie Douglas.
Food for Queers Community Program

Food for Queers
Stay Safe. Not Hungry

Providing support for 2SLGBTQ+ folks experiencing food insecurities within the city of London

No questions. No contact. Just Support!

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