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One of my ancestors has been Honored here in Canada !

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  • scott
    This was my Grandmothers Great Great Great Great Great Uncle I had no idea he also was Gay ! My Grandmothers name was Minnie Beatrice Wood I am a direct
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2005
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      This was my Grandmothers Great Great Great Great Great Uncle
      I had no idea he also was Gay ! My Grandmothers name was Minnie
      Beatrice Wood I am a direct realation !

      Toronto Unveils Statue To Gay Colonial Settler
      by Jan Prout 365Gay.com Toronto Bureau

      Posted: May 29, 2005 12:01 am ET




      (Toronto, Ontario) A bronze statue honoring what is believed to be
      the first openly gay man in Canada was unveiled Saturday in
      Toronto's gay village.

      Alexander Wood moved to Upper Canada, now Ontario, in 1793 from
      Scotland. He settled in the town of York which became modern day
      Toronto. His sexuality was never a secret and even in repressive
      colonial times he was a respected merchant.

      He was later appointed the growing town's magistrate and in 1826 he
      purchased 50 acres of land on the northeast corner of Carlton and
      Yonge streets.

      But, Wood was forced to leave Canada after a scandal during a rape
      trial he was conducting. The woman who made the charge claimed that
      she had left a scratch on her assailant's penis. When Wood
      proceeded to inspect the man's organ in the privacy of his office
      the townsfolk were outraged.

      The forested area around his homestead was dubbed "Molly Wood's
      Bush". At the time Molly was a slang expression for a gay man.

      Local historians say that despite Wood's hasty departure back to
      England there has been at least one gay man living in the area ever
      since.

      Today that area is Toronto's gay village, the third largest LGBT
      community in North America, and three streets are named for Wood -
      Wood Street, Alexander Street, and Alexander Place.

      A gay pipe band led dignitaries up Church Street to the unveiling of
      the statue on the corner of Alexander Street. The memorial cost
      $200,000 and was paid for by the community business council and the
      City Of Toronto.

      The eight-foot solid bronze statue was created by renowned Canadian
      sculptor Del Newbigging.

      The Alexander Wood statue is one of just a few significant gay-
      focused monuments in the world - and is thought to be the only one
      dedicated to a specific gay hero.

      "Alexander Wood's story is an important part of our city's history
      and our gay community's history. The statue is an important symbol
      to show our lesbian and gay youth that we have a history. Wood was a
      great citizen of Toronto. A great, gay citizen active in politics
      and community," stated Mr. O'Connor, chair of the Church Wellesley
      Business Improvement Association.

      ©365Gay.com 2005
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