KEEPING OUR STORIES ALIVE

What’s New in the Archives: Monica Forrester Shines A Spotlight On Trans History

What’s New in the Archives: Monica Forrester Shines A Spotlight On Trans History

What’s New in the Archives: Monica Forrester Shines A Spotlight On Trans History

 

By Ami Powell

This month, in observation of December 17th – International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, The ArQuives would like to highlight a generous donation from Monica Forrester. Monica herself is a living archive. She is a Two-Spirit trans woman, a community activist, a sex worker, and an important piece of Toronto’s LGBTQ2+ history. Monica has an ongoing and intensive life of advocacy work in Toronto. She is the Executive Director and founder of Trans Pride Toronto. She formerly worked at the 519, where she contributed to Trans Programming and was the outreach worker for the Trans Sex Worker Outreach Programme. She is currently the program coordinator of the Aboriginal Sex Workers Education and Outreach Project at Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.

Monica Forrester styled as Lady Justice on a 2012 cover of Xtra Magazine, taken by photographer N Maxwell Lander.
Monica Forrester styled as Lady Justice on a 2012 cover of Xtra Magazine, taken by photographer N Maxwell Lander.

 

Photo of Monica Forrester
Photo of Monica Forrester

Monica’s collection not only contains activist and community organization materials she has contributed to, but also content that illustrates a rich personal story. The activist artifacts include copies of interesting zines, copies of speeches she’s given, and multiple newspaper and magazine articles she has been featured in. These materials highlight the incredible amount of activism she has contributed to Toronto, especially within the numerous and overlapping intersections of her identities as a trans woman of colour and a sex worker. In addition to this important collection of activist work, her donation also tells a unique story through personal documents- including her journals, poems, photos, and postcards from friends.

a hand drawn cover of the 2011 Sex Worker’s Resilience and Resistance Zine, created by Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.
a hand drawn cover of the 2011 Sex Worker’s Resilience and Resistance Zine, created by Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.

 

Her donation adds a unique personal narrative to The Archives, providing rich context to stories that can sometimes be overshadowed by mainstream narratives of loss – trans women of colour and sex workers are disproportionately subject to violence. In the Sex Worker’s Resilience and Resistance zine, she writes, “I credit my survival to the women, men, trans sex workers that I’ve met, worked with, lived with and call family.” Monica’s work adds crucial stories of strength and determination alongside these themes of loss, giving voices to many who have been silenced.  Monica’s collection is only the beginning of the archive of her notable role in Toronto’s LGBTQ2+ history, a role to which she is still contributing her incredible activism and experience.

article, Revolutions in Sex Work
article, Revolutions in Sex Work

 

This generous donation has not yet been processed, but is available at The ArQuives to researchers upon request.

 

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

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What’s New in the Archives: Monica Forrester Shines A Spotlight On Trans History

What’s New in the Archives: Monica Forrester Shines A Spotlight On Trans History

 

By Ami Powell

This month, in observation of December 17th – International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, The ArQuives would like to highlight a generous donation from Monica Forrester. Monica herself is a living archive. She is a Two-Spirit trans woman, a community activist, a sex worker, and an important piece of Toronto’s LGBTQ2+ history. Monica has an ongoing and intensive life of advocacy work in Toronto. She is the Executive Director and founder of Trans Pride Toronto. She formerly worked at the 519, where she contributed to Trans Programming and was the outreach worker for the Trans Sex Worker Outreach Programme. She is currently the program coordinator of the Aboriginal Sex Workers Education and Outreach Project at Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.

Monica Forrester styled as Lady Justice on a 2012 cover of Xtra Magazine, taken by photographer N Maxwell Lander.
Monica Forrester styled as Lady Justice on a 2012 cover of Xtra Magazine, taken by photographer N Maxwell Lander.

 

Photo of Monica Forrester
Photo of Monica Forrester

Monica’s collection not only contains activist and community organization materials she has contributed to, but also content that illustrates a rich personal story. The activist artifacts include copies of interesting zines, copies of speeches she’s given, and multiple newspaper and magazine articles she has been featured in. These materials highlight the incredible amount of activism she has contributed to Toronto, especially within the numerous and overlapping intersections of her identities as a trans woman of colour and a sex worker. In addition to this important collection of activist work, her donation also tells a unique story through personal documents- including her journals, poems, photos, and postcards from friends.

a hand drawn cover of the 2011 Sex Worker’s Resilience and Resistance Zine, created by Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.
a hand drawn cover of the 2011 Sex Worker’s Resilience and Resistance Zine, created by Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.

 

Her donation adds a unique personal narrative to The Archives, providing rich context to stories that can sometimes be overshadowed by mainstream narratives of loss – trans women of colour and sex workers are disproportionately subject to violence. In the Sex Worker’s Resilience and Resistance zine, she writes, “I credit my survival to the women, men, trans sex workers that I’ve met, worked with, lived with and call family.” Monica’s work adds crucial stories of strength and determination alongside these themes of loss, giving voices to many who have been silenced.  Monica’s collection is only the beginning of the archive of her notable role in Toronto’s LGBTQ2+ history, a role to which she is still contributing her incredible activism and experience.

article, Revolutions in Sex Work
article, Revolutions in Sex Work

 

This generous donation has not yet been processed, but is available at The ArQuives to researchers upon request.

 

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

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CONTACT US


Telephone: 416-777-2755
Email: queeries@arquives.ca

Street Address:
34 Isabella Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1N1

Mailing Address:
The ArQuives
P.O. Box 699
663A Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z9

PUBLIC HOURS

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Friday

NOTE TO RESEARCHERS:

Some of our materials are stored off site. Before visiting the archives, please send us an email at queeries@arquives.ca listing in detail the topics and sources that you wish to consult and we will let you know when they will be available. We aim to respond to email inquiries within 4 business days.

CONSTRUCTION NOTICE:

As we continue our efforts to make The ArQuives more accessible, we are renovating the front of the house to add a ramp to the front entrance. Please note that there will not be any construction work done during public service hours. Should there be any disruptions affecting our access to the front door and/or work in the house during this process, we will post a notice as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we try to make The ArQuives more accessible to all. If you have any questions/concerns, please contact the Executive Director, Raegan Swanson, at executivedirector@arquives.ca


The ArQuives is located on the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnaabe and the Huron-Wendat. Today, Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

The ArQuives strives to gather the stories of the unheard and silenced voices of the 2SLGBTQ+ first peoples of this land. We acknowledge that some stories have already been lost, and we aim to ensure that those that remain and those that are to come are preserved for the future.