Everett Klippert was the last Canadian to be jailed for homosexuality. Above he is pictured in the late 1970’s. A Fernie historian has helped to tell his story in a documentary to screen at the Elk Valley Pride Festival. Photo supplied

Everett Klippert: the last Canadian jailed for homosexuality

“Injustice and human rights struggles can teach us a lot about our humanity,” - Kevin Allen, historian

Human rights struggles are continual, an ongoing process. In Canada, a certain social issue is continuing to improve and has improved greatly in the past 70 years.

Nowadays, Canadian society is much more accepting of the LGBTQ community than it has ever been. But not long ago, things were very different.

In a moving short documentary film, titled Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story, historian Kevin Allen of Fernie, B.C. dives into the history of a mysterious man who played a pivotal role in LGBTQ history.

Everett Klippert was a Calgary bus driver and he was also the last Canadian to be jailed for homosexuality.

Back in the 1950s and 60s, the charge given to those found guilty of homosexuality was gross indecency. If you were found guilty of this, often your charge, name, address and occupation would be printed in the local paper.

“Former Bus Driver Jailed Four Years For Indecency” read the title of the article in the March 23, 1960 edition of the Albertan. Despite moving from Calgary to the Northwest Territories, Klippert was labeled a menace to society.

What follows in the film is more discovery by Allen about who Klippert was, the struggles he endured and the lessons that his story teaches society, even today.

Before this short documentary was made, Allen, a historian, had been researching Klippert for some time. He was drawn to the fact that this man had been almost forgotten by society.

In 2016, after reading some of Allen’s posts and findings online, Globe and Mail reporter John Ibbitson met Allen in Calgary to discuss the story.

“He gave the story national attention and asked the prime minister to apologize to the community as a result, and that’s when we got the apology last year, in November,” said Allen.

The historian says he believes Klippert’s story had a role to play in making that happen. He also says he wants Klippert’s story to be remembered in Canadian history.

“Injustice and human rights struggles can teach us a lot about our humanity,” said Allen.

Klippert died in 1996.

Gross Indecency: The Everett Klippert Story, directed by Laura O’Grady and produced in collaboration with Telus’s STORYHIVE, was released in July and is now available online. It made its theatrical debut on Saturday at the Calgary International Film Festival.



editor@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Everett Klippert shown after being released in 1964. Photo supplied

Just Posted

Lacombe Composite High School Cosmetology students hosts Hair Massacure

Fundraiser supports kids battling pediatric cancers

Lacombe Council asks for answers regarding Police Service deficit

Lacombe Police Service ran a $238,627 deficit in 2018

City of Lacombe releases 2018 Audited Financial Statements

City had an operating surplus of about $318,000

Wolf Creek Public Schools board meeting – April 18th, 2019

Board approves international field trip; deliberates budget; discusses dangers of vaping

Lacombe Generals honoured by City for winning Allan Cup

2019 Allan Cup champs celebrated after successfully hosting tournament

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

Calgary woman killed in B.C. highway crash

Crash closed highway for hours

Assessment says Alberta woman facing animal abuse charges fit to stand trial

April Dawn Irving, 59, is charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Provinces, Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Oil and gas company confirms death of one of its employees in Yoho avalanche

Dana Coffield died when he was skiing in the Rocky Mountains

Cenovus CEO estimates production curtailments will deliver billions to taxpayers

The curtailment program started Jan. 1 was designed to keep 325,000 barrels per day off the market

Most Read