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Love on the Other Side: A Telepathic Investigation of Montreal’s Love Discotheque

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9:30 AM, Saturday 28 May 2022 (20 minutes)

The bar is only a ghost to us now, but it was once printed in the ads of cruising spots as the “Love Discotheque.” Previously located at 1418 Rue Guy in Montreal, Quebec, a building that was demolished and whose land now houses Concordia University’s John Molson Building, the Love discotheque, or also known to locals as the “Love,” is etched in faded blank ink into the pages of the Body Politic magazine from 1973. To partygoers, the Love offered a safe space for dancing, drug use, romantic, and sexual encounters before the fist of government suppression came down under the mayorship of Jean Drapeau in 1975. The Love evades archives, and like its guise of safety for queer patrons, remains readable to only those who know how to find it. In my paper “Love on the Other Side: A Telepathic Investigation of Montreal’s Love Discotheque,” I will navigate the histories of the Love alongside the socio-political histories of 1970’s Montreal to trace a history of queer life in a time of mass police presence, migration to a new queer neighbourhood, and the globalization of Montreal’s culture on the international stage. While the queer histories of Montreal have been codified and archived elsewhere, this paper seeks to explore the avenues of queer placemaking through the space of the Love Discotheque alongside the larger methodological practice of telepathy, a tool which until recently has been excluded from the homophobic hegemony of academia.

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