Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

“Tell her that I’m happy, tell her that I’m gay, tell her I wouldn’t have it any other way”

New Book on Queer Toronto

Any Other Way is a new book on the queer history of Toronto. The title of the wide-ranging anthology, which has nine editors and over 100 contributors, is a riff on the 1962 chart-topping hit “Any Other Way” by Jackie Shane, an African-American and pioneering transgender R&B performer. Shane, who was a sensation on Toronto’s thriving R&B scene throughout the 1960s, is the subject of the book’s lead essay by Steven Maynard, who for the past several years has been researching Shane’s time in Toronto. Steven also wrote the introduction to the book and contributed an additional piece from his work on early 20th-century Toronto. Published by the venerable Coach House Books, Any Other Way was nominated for a Toronto Book Award, and Steven represented the collective project by reading from his essay on Shane, recently excerpted in NOW magazine, before a large audience at the award ceremony held in Toronto in October. Shane, whose music has just been re-released by Numero Group, a Chicago-based label that specializes in archival compilations, is enjoying some long-overdue attention, with feature stories appearing in the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, and the Guardian.