Cheri DiNovo: “Every revolution seemed impossible until it happened”

Cheri DiNovo is no stranger to revolution. At twenty, openly queer, DiNovo was the only woman to sign Canada’s first gay rights manifesto, “We Demand,” in 1971. Thirty years later, as a minister with the United Church of Canada, she would perform Canada’s first legalized same-sex marriage — risking her license in the process. As a New Democratic MPP for Parkdale—High Park from 2006 to 2017, DiNovo passed more private member’s bills than anyone in Ontario’s history — and more LGBTQ2S+ bills than anyone in Canadian history.

Her latest memoir, The Queer Evangelist: A Socialist Clergy’s Radically Honest Tale, retraces DiNovo’s path from a self-described “street kid” selling LSD; to becoming a socialist and activist under RCMP surveillance; to navigating the corporate world; becoming a church reverend; and fighting for justice in the mess of politics and partisanship.