Item 20.20-27 - Pat Johnson

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Pat Johnson

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CA JMABC A.1971.001-20.20-27

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  • November 19, 2020 (Creation)

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Born-digital audio (1:28:17)

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Interview with Pat Johnson for On The Record: The BC Jewish Queer & Trans Oral History Project in collaboration with JQT Vancouver. Interviewed by Carmel Tanaka via remote Zoom video call. Pat (he/him) is a non-Jewish gay man who is a prominent figure in Jewish journalism in Vancouver. Pat talks about how he was introduced to Jewish culture and community throughout his education, including taking Jewish Studies at McGill, and political organizing on campus. Pat talks about returning to Vancouver, pursuing journalism school and writing for Xtra which eventually introduced him to the Jewish Western Bulletin. He talks about his 25 year history of working for the JWB, now Jewish Independent, including the story of how he came to co-own the paper. Pat talks about the changing attitudes to LGBTQ and interfaith issues within Vancouver’s Jewish institutions, and Jewish institutions participating in Vancouver Pride. Pat and Carmel discuss a vigil Pat organized for Carmel’s cousin who was murdered in Israel for being gay. Pat talks about experiencing anti-Zionism within the Queer Film Festival community. He also talks about Jewish Family Services and their attempts to offer queer programming. Pat closes by reflecting on the most significant works of his career and academics he admires.

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Interview has been transcribed. Interview also available as video.

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Name of interviewer: Carmel Tanaka

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Place of interview: Tsawwassen, BC

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Birthdate: 1964

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Birth place: Vancouver, BC

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Related Materials: Pat Johnson co-owned the Jewish Western Bulletin, now Jewish Independent, with Cynthia Ramsay and Kyle Berger following the Kaplans' sale of the paper and retirement.

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Related Materials: Pat references Jonathan Lerner and Selina Robinson by name in this interview. They were also interviewed within the On The Record project.

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