Fonds - John Alan Lee fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John Alan Lee fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1974-2003 (Creation)
    Alan Lee, John 1933-2013

Physical description area

Physical description

1.95 metres of textual records (includes 368 photographs: 145 black and white prints, 223 colour prints)

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

John Alan Lee (1933-2013) was professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. Prior to his academic career, Lee was a labour organizer, journalist and educator.

Lee was born on August 24, 1933 in Maxville, Ontario. Lee received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto (1956) and his PhD. from the University of Sussex (1971). In 1971 he became a U of T faculty member, where he worked until his retirement in 1999.

Lee was one of the first professional Canadian's to come out in public, he did so on TVOntario's 'The Judy LaMarsh Show' in 1974, after a decade of working as an undercover gay activist, where he wrote to protest discriminatory depictions of the LGBT community members. Lee was actively involved in a gay sit-in at the Ontario Attorney General's office, as well as a gay kiss-in in the Ontario Legislature. In 1975 he was the inaugural chair of the Gay Academic Union, and elected chair of the Right to Privacy Committee after the 1981 Toronto bathhouse raids.

Lee wrote extensively throughout his life publishing 300 articles and books, including: Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973); Getting Sex: A New Approach (1978); RCMP vs. The People: Inside Canada’s Security Service (1979); and Gay Midlife and Maturity (1991). In 2004, Lee published his autobiography on consisting of 26 chapters. Over the next 8 years Lee added six additional chapters, two appendices and a bibliography of his publications.

Along with his LGBT activism he also advocated for multiple organizations and causes, including socialist groups, trade unions, anti-war movements, Amnesty International, the Sierra Club, and in later life he became an advocate for the right-to-die movement and helped found the organization Dying with Dignity.

In 2005 Lee was inducted into the CLGA's National Portrait Collection. He fathered two children.

Lee chose to end his life on December 5, 2013 in Toronto.

Custodial history

Fonds was donated to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives by John Alan Lee in November 2013.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created and accumulated by John Alan Lee.

The fonds has been arranged into four series based on the types of record: scrapbooks, correspondence, publications and journals.

Records of the John Alan Lee fonds relate to his career as a professor of sociology, his personal life and social causes he supported or maintained an interest in.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

Preferred citation: John Alan Lee fonds, 2013-107, Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres