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 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

gay prideHistorical eventsLGBTQ

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Everett Klippert shown after being released in 1964. Photo supplied

Everett Klippert shown after being released in 1964. Photo supplied

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

BGC Cranbrook will renovate a facility to relocate 24 existing spaces and add 24 new spaces with support from the Trust. Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust.
Grant funding to help create new childcare spaces in Cranbrook

Columbia Basin Trust providing $10,000 to BGC Cranbrook to help renovate new facility

Earlier this spring, the City of Cranbrook started positioning components of the Stormceptor system to carry storm runoff to Elizabeth Lake from the Innes Avenue neighbourhood. Photo submitted
Stormceptor will bring clean run-off to Elizabeth Lake

The City of Cranbrook is installing new infrastructure to handle the Innes Avenue neighbourhood, but go easy on Elizabeth lake

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read