When Kerry Beckett moved from Smiths Falls, a small town just outside Ottawa, in the 70's, she was already an out dyke. According to Kerry, back then there was no doubt about how to find like-minded women... she found a softball game and joined. She was already visiting Ottawa to play hockey, go to the Coral Reef and to date women.
Kerry had never been a political dyke, but she was always involved in the social aspects of the community. It wasn't long before she was volunteering as a bartender at one of the first Gays of Ottawa, much to the amusement of fellow jocks. She met Judy Girard and nothing was ever the same for her again. Judy took Kerry to her first Gays of Ottawa AGM, and having been raised to be involved in things that matter by her father, she left that meeting as a board member. This set the course of Kerry's involvement for the next 30 plus years.
As a board member and later as President, Kerry made it her mission to make sure GO had a home and a social space. GO moved to a bigger space were they could have meetings, house the GO Info publishing branch, and create a bar for men and women, raising much needed funds.
In the early 90's after the formation of Pink Triangle Services and the growth of community organizations and bars, it became clear to Kerry and the rest of the executive that GO had become irrelevant. Kerry made the difficult decision with the board to put GO into permanent hibernation. Kerry then moved to the PTS board initially as board liaison to Pink Triangle Youth and spent many years there.
Kerry joined the staff of Capital Xtra and for the next 12 years continued to sit on the PTS board, working on behalf of the community by promoting events like LGX and the Capital Xtra Achievement awards. It was a perfect fit for her. As one of the co-founders of the Lesbian Information Xchange, with a small group of women, Kerry provided a variety of events and information for women until 2014.
Kerry established a volunteer group of women called Kerry's Krew to provide bar service for Ottawa Senior Pride events and to other women's events. In addition, Kerry currently sits on the Social Spaces committee of OSPN.
Kerry writes: "I am honoured to be part of this Legacy Project and have a banner on Bank Street. While I have always be in awe of my fellow honorees who have fought so hard and achieved so much in the political arena, those of us who are apolitical have provided a safe, fun, relaxing space to come home to after the fight.
"You can always find me behind a bar at a women’s event, carrying a banner in the Pride parade or participating in a queer event on behalf of our community. If that fails you can find me on the golf course, or hanging (literally) with my fellow Legacy folks on Bank Street."