Kim Chee Lee

"I am an active volunteer with The 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto for their older lesbian, gay, bi and trans persons' drop-in program. I often help out in the kitchen, chopping and cooking. I stuff condoms for the Aids Committee of Toronto (ACT) which are then delivered to schools, public places and bath houses."

Kim Chee Lee

Photo by Kourosh Keshiri

What's your name? Kim Chee Lee How old are you? 82 What do you do? I am an active volunteer with The 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto for their older lesbian, gay, bi and trans persons' drop-in program. I often help out in the kitchen, chopping and cooking. I stuff condoms for the Aids Committee of Toronto (ACT) which are then delivered to schools, public places and bath houses. I write stories and will be a reader at Queer Confessions: An LGBTQ Memoir Reading Series in January and February at The 519. Currently, I am making a documentary about LGBTQ community leaders and activists for the Inside Out Film Festival. Four times a year I volunteer for the Counterpoint Orchestra by helping to provide snacks and beverages during intermission to the attendees, and I collect donations for the orchestra. I was recently asked to hand out certificates to students graduating from a community studies program. I've participated in the LGBT Seniors Speakers Bureau where I educated management and staff on how they can make nursing homes more gay friendly. Why is community involvement important to you? Community involvement keeps me healthy, young, and busy. It is nice to recognized by people. My family lives in British Columbia. The LGBTQ community is a part of my family. I also attend a seniors drop-in program at the Toronto Reference Library and the intergenerational programming at Sunshine Centres for Seniors. How have you seen the community change over your life time? We have come a long way but we still have a lot of work to do. The world is beginning to accept us and understand a little bit about us. In so many ways we are still struggling. Gay people need to be kind to one another.


At 81 I might be old I still have feelings I still enjoy looking at beautiful flowers sexy men I still feel sexy in my mind in my own world I will never get old I will just end up in the Happy Hunting Ground ~ Kim Chee Lee


Kim Chee was featured in the Grid's Tales From the LGBTQ Trenches, an article examining the diverse experiences of Toronto's LGBTQ population. Kim Chee also has a website.