Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story
Natalie Meisner, With Contributions by Kevin Allen, Teresa Maillie, and Jason Mehmel
$24.99 CAD / $24.99 USD (T)
128 pages, 8 illustrations
6 x 9 inches
978-1-77385-082-5 (Institutional PDF)
About the Book
Aspiring historian Maxine is researching Canadian social policy when she discovers the story of Everett Klippert – the last Canadian man jailed simply for being gay. Maxine becomes fascinated with Everett’s case and with discovering the man beyond the headlines, a beloved Calgary bus driver on the downtown route who took care to brighten the day of his passengers, who played on the family baseball team and was everyone’s favorite uncle, and who, when he was confronted by police about his sexuality, refused to lie.
Inspired and captivated, Maxine interviews people who knew Everett Klippert. She connects with a senior at a local assisted living facility she knows only as Handsome, one of Klippert’s lovers and perhaps the only person who can truly illuminate the past. At the same time, Maxine is navigating her own new relationship with Métis comedian Tonya.
This absorbing, heartwarming play weaves together past and present in a multi-generational exploration of queer love. It tells the near-forgotten story of one of Canada’s quiet heroes and reminds us all that the past must be remembered as we work together for a better future.
Natalie Meisner is a professor of English and Director of Changemaking at Mount Royal University. She is the author of Double Pregnant
Jason Mehmel is a writer, producer, and director living in Calgary, Alberta. He is the Artistic Director of the Sage Theatre, and directed the premier production of Legislating Love.
The play was originally commissioned by Third Street Theatre with research Dramaturgy by Jonathan Brower. It was researched and developed in conjunction with Tereasa Maillie and Kevin Allen of The Calgary Gay History Project. Subsequently dramaturged by Jason Mehmel who also directed the world premiere at Sage Theatre in Calgary in 2018.
Priase for Legislating Love:
A poignant reminder of a generation of gay men and women whose history has always run the risk of being forgotten . . . a thoughtful, moving, new brand of alternative Canadian historical drama.
– Stephen Hunt, Globe and Mail (On the original theatrical run)