Bio

Daniel_G

Daniel Gawthrop was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia in 1963. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Victoria (1987) and a one-year Bachelor of Journalism diploma at the University of King’s College, Halifax (1988), he began his career as a reporter for the Hope Standard and Vancouver Sun. Apart from six months in London in 1992, he spent most of the 1990s as a freelance writer in Vancouver, covering various subjects for periodicals ranging from the Georgia Straight to Quill & Quire and Canadian Forum while doing short contracts for unions and a local current affairs radio program of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Daniel was one of Vancouver’s first “out” gay writers to work in both mainstream and alternative media. The first publisher/editor of Xtra! West, a gay and lesbian bi-weekly, he was also part of a West End writers group that included such authors as Stan Persky, George Stanley, and Scott Watson. In 1990, members of this group launched a literary magazine in satiric response to a Christian fundamentalist protest against the Gay Games. Sodomite Invasion Review lasted six issues over four years, becoming the first publishing venue for a number of young writers.

In the spring of 1994, Daniel achieved brief notoriety for his attraction to National Hockey League superstar Pavel Bure while the “Russian Rocket” and his Vancouver Canucks were competing for the Stanley Cup. An earlier article in the Vancouver Sun, which described Bure’s physical beauty and chided the Canucks for not marketing him in the gay community—combined with a subsequent satirical ‘love letter’ in Xtra! West about his failed attempt to secure an interview with the star—drew commentary in the Globe and Mail when Daniel published another article in the Sun during the Cup final that made reference to the campy wardrobe of CBC Television personality Don Cherry. During the next “Coach’s Corner” segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Cherry himself weighed in with a good-natured response—later wishing Daniel’s gay hockey team, the Cutting Edges, good luck at the upcoming Gay Games in New York. This timely intervention of queer culture with Canada’s most symbolically heterosexual tradition touched a nerve, drawing further coverage south of the border in the Village Voice and LA Weekly.

The same week he was quoted on “Hockey Night,” Daniel won a Western Magazine Award for his Western Living feature on Peter Jepson-Young (“Dr. Peter”) and published his first book on the same subject. Affirmation: The AIDS Odyssey of Dr. Peter (New Star, 1994) is a biography of the CBC “AIDS Diary” host that examines its subject’s life and achievement in the context of the socio-political times in which he lived. Daniel followed this up with Highwire Act: Power, Pragmatism and the Harcourt Legacy (New Star, 1996), a critical account of the New Democratic Party administration of Mike Harcourt, the party’s inner ideological struggle, and the difficulties of governing in the politically polarized province of British Columbia. His third book, Vanishing Halo: Saving the Boreal Forest (Greystone/the David Suzuki Foundation, 1999), is a portrait of the world’s coniferous crown, and a plea for restrictions to the harmful logging and mining practices that have threatened it. His fourth book, The Rice Queen Diaries (Arsenal Pulp, 2005) explores the political and cultural minefields of desire and ethnicity between white and East Asian men on both sides of the Pacific. His latest book, The Trial of Pope Benedict: Joseph Ratzinger and the Vatican’s Assault on Reason, Compassion, and Human Dignity (Arsenal Pulp, 2013), is a lament for the lost opportunity for change that Vatican II represented for the Roman Catholic faith and an indictment of the man who led the resistance.

Shortly after the turn of the millennium, Daniel moved to Thailand where he spent three years in Bangkok working as a subeditor at The Nation, an English language daily. It was there that he met his life partner and decided to return to Canada in 2003. The two were reunited in Vancouver the following year and legally married in 2005. Since then, Daniel has obtained a Master of Arts in Professional Communication (with an intercultural/international focus) at Royal Roads University (2009) while working as a national communications representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Over the last decade, Daniel has published occasional essays online at www.thetyee.ca and www.dooneyscafe.com, as well as in the Georgia Straight.