Reception date & time:
The practice of everyday freedom is “the means by which people deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” – Pablo Friere
The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives are proud to welcome Richard Hudler and Rupert Raj into the National Portrait Collection.
Hudler and Raj live rich lives in which their everyday actions can be understood a liberatory. Both are trailblazers who have improved the life chances for LGBTQ+ Canadians.
Through artistic interpretations of archival material from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the Pride Library from the University of Western Ontario, The Practice of Everyday Freedom celebrates and explores key contributions, moments, and accomplishments in the lives of Hudler and Raj.
The exhibition features newly commissioned portraits of the inductees by Maya Suess and Matthew Tarini.
ABOUT THE INDUCTEES
Born in the United States in 1942, Richard Hudler is a social worker and an activist who has been working tirelessly to advocate for gay and lesbian rights since immigrating to Canada in 1971.
Working for 5 years in Goderich as a counsellor for the Ontario ministry of Community and Social Services, Hudler moved to London Ontario where he pursued a career as a social worker, entering private practice in 1985.
In 1980 Hudler joined the board of HALO, and starting in 1981, became the long serving board president. He represented HALO through the Project Guardian scandal with the local police, and in 1995 Hudler filed an official complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission against London Mayor Diane Haskett when she refused to issue a Gay Pride Proclamation.
An early member of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario, Hudler continues his activism through Queer Ontario, a provincial network of individuals — and their allies committed to questioning, challenging, and reforming the laws, institutional practices, and social norms that regulate queer people.
He has a BA (Roosevelt University, 1965) and a Master in Social Work (Wilfred Laurier University, 1978).
Born in 1952, Rupert Raj is a Eurasian counsellor/psychotherapist, clinical researcher, educator, lecturer, writer, editor, activist and Gender Specialist. He is a trailblazing activist who has been paving the way to improve life chances for trans people across Canada and around the world since 1971, the year before his own transition.
During the ‘70s and ‘80s, Mr. Raj established and operated three transsexual organizations: Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Transsexuals (FACT), Metamorphosis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF), and GenderWorker. Concurrently, he also edited and published three TS periodicals: Gender Review, Metamorphosis Newsletter/Metamorphosis Magazine and GenderNetworker.
In 1999, Rupert co-founded a peer-support group for transmen and female-to-males (part of the Meal-Trans Program at the 519 Community Centre), as well as a support group for transpeople who use or have used alcohol and/or drugs.
He has Bachelors in Psychology (Carleton University, 1975), and a Masters in Counseling Psychology (Adler School of Professional Psychology, 2001).
Currently Mr. Raj works at the Sherbourne Health Centre as an LGBT Mental Health Counsellor and maintains his own private practice, RR CONSULTING.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Matthew Tarini is realist painter living in Toronto, particularly interested in portraiture. He is actively building a body of work in this genre.
Maya Suess’ work uses playful aesthetics to explore identity, sexuality and practical magic. She holds a BFA in Media Arts from Emily Carr Institute, and an MFA in contemporary performance from Simon Fraser University. Born on a small island off the coast of western Canada, today she lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Canadian born Ted Kerr is currently living in New York City where he is attending the Writing and Democracy program at the New School and working with Visual AIDS. Kerr was a founding member of Exposure: Edmonton’s Queer Arts and Culture Festival.
Aidan Cowling is a Toronto based artist, curator and educator. He has worked closely with the Seoul Museum of Art, The Cheongju International Craft Biennale, and has led various youth art programs across Canada, South Korea and Cambodia. Cowling is currently working as the Communications Coordinator for the Toronto Images Festival. His artistic practice investigates notions of queer space through the use of installation.