Bruce Glawson

Toronto , ON
Ontario CA
Lives in
Toronto , QC
Quebec CA

Documentarist, television producer. York-trained Torontonian Glawson is best known for the pioneering Michael, A Gay Son (1980, 27) An activist hybrid documentary about coming out, the prize-winning Michael was the first major independent queer work of an educational orientation in Canada, and as the first to get TVO broadcast and NFB distribution had an important impact throughout the 1980s. Expanding on the feminist documentary formula, the earnest eponymous hero does c.r. with his peer group and then another peer group role-plays his family members in crisis, an effective trompe-l’oeil strategy that usually had first time audiences thinking they were watching Michael’s real father freaking out and real mother conciliating. The Body Politic critiqued the film’s excessive “typicality” and “talking heads” fixation (Feb. 1981), but this nitpicking underscored the fact that Michael was almost all we had in 1980. In the 1990s, Glawson put his name as producer on much queer programming, such as the queer standup documentary We’re Funny That Way (David Adkin, 1998), and starting in 2001 was briefly a pillar of pre-cutback Pridevision.