Our workshops

Nearly 60 workshops will be proposed during these 3 days of exchange and sharing

WORKSHOPS IN ENGLISH

1. At the Intersection of Homophobia and Islamophobia: LGBTIQ Experiences in Canada in the Global Context

Presented in English

by Momin Rahman, Sébastien Chehaitly and Michael J. Bosia

The presentation will begin with an overview of the interconnections between homophobia and Islamophobia and the positioning of Muslim cultures within this contemporary politics. It will then present a global comparison of homophobia and responses to it. The final two papers will present interviews from LGBTIQ Muslims in Canada.

BIOGRAPHIES

Momin Rahman is a professor of Sociology at Trent University and is currently researching LGBTIQ Muslims in Canada. Michael Bosia is a professor of Politics at St. Michael’s College in Vermont doing research on the intersection of state homophobia and LGBTQI rights. His current project compares sexual diversity politics in Uganda, Egypt and France. Sébastien Chehaitly has been an activist in the Arab Queer/LGBT movement in Montréal for 10 years and he is completing a BA in Sociology at Université du Québec à Montréal.

2. “It's embarrassing to go meet someone who may judge you as the cliché trans sex worker”: Trans Women in the Sex Industry

Presented in English 

by Leon Laidlaw

Despite the fact that trans women have long ties to the sex work community and have been prominent in activism, their voices remain largely unheard in academia and historical retellings. The normative and dominant image of sex workers has overshadowed the special experiences of trans women. Seeking to create a socially correct representation of their experiences, this research addresses the effects of cisnormativity and cisgenrism in this exploration of trans women’s work practices in this area, the systemic oppression that hinders the ability to obtain Important social and health services, as well as the denial of legal rights and protections as a result of stigma and criminalization.

BIOGRAPHIES

Leon Laidlaw is completing a Master’s degree in Criminology and Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. In the fall of 2017, he pursued post-graduate studies at Carleton University. Leon’s research interests fall within the scope of feminist and critical criminology, trans rights, gender and trans theory, social structural issues impacting the trans population, and sex and the law. His SSHRC-funded Master’s research focuses on the experiences of trans women in the sex industry and he has already undertaken several other initiatives relating to trans research and activism.

4. Ballroom Has Something to Say

Presented in English 

by Twiggy Pucci Garçon

The House Ballroom community has influenced cultures across the world for nearly a century. Widely recognized in the global documentary phenomenon Paris Is Burning and in Madonna’s smash hit, Vogue, the House Ballroom community has a rich and resilient history of its own. With emphasis on chosen family and healing through art, this population has been a home to thousands over the years. In this session, you will gain historic context of this performance art subculture from the early 1900s through the present and understand its influence on addressing LGBT youth homelessness through an intersectional lens.

BIOGRAPHIES

Activist, advocate and healer, Twiggy Pucci Garçon has collaborated with artists, filmmakers, academics and policymakers towards both creative and sociopolitical agendas. An associate program director at the True Colors Fund, Twiggy leads their Youth Collaboration programs, elevating youth voices and creating partnerships to lead the movement to end youth homelessness. Twiggy has been featured in OUT, PAPER, NY, Huffington Post and The Advocate, among others. He is a primary subject of both Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ HBO documentary, The OUT List, and the award-winning KIKI (for which he is also co-writer). His work elevates the authentic representation of the House Ballroom community worldwide.

7. Fostering Affirmative Care for LGBTQ Older Adults

Presented in English

by Celeste Pang  and Kate Hazell 

This workshop will focus on the unique circumstances faced by older members of LGBTQ communities who are experiencing care needs in Canada, and promote a discussion about how to foster more affirmative social networks and care environments. Celeste Pang will share observations from her ethnographic research among LGBTQ older adults residing in long-term care homes and in the community. Kate Hazell will facilitate a workshop component where participants will have the opportunity to develop action plans about how to foster safe and LGBTQ–inclusive care environments. This workshop will be of interest to LGBTQ community members, allies and service providers.

BIOGRAPHIES

Kate Hazell is an education and training facilitator who specializes in the engagement and support of older LGBTQ communities. She is particularly interested in working with care teams to develop affirmative and anti-oppressive practices. Kate is passionate about lifelong learning and deeply committed to LGBTQ advocacy, education and community engagement. Celeste Pang is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology. Her research explores LGBTQ older adults’ experiences of ageing and care relations in institutional and community-based settings. Celeste is interested in a wide range of social issues related to aging in Canada, and hopes her work can contribute to critical public discussions.

8. Facing Multiple Discriminations and How to Respond When Witnessing Discrimination

Presented in English

by Chiaki Konishi and Anne-Marie Parent

This workshop begins with a brief presentation of current findings on the experiences of sexual minority and racial minority students, including evidence that adult support and school safety were associated with students’ attitudes towards school bullying (Konishi, Miyazaki, Hymel & Waterhouse, 2015). In the second part of the workshop, the basics of the Anti-Discrimination Response Training (A.R.T.; Ishiyama, 2006), will be introduced and discussed, regarding a possible application of this program in promoting healthy well-being among sexual minority individuals. This program has been developed as an active witnessing approach to prejudice reduction and community development.

BIOGRAPHIES

Chiaki Konishi, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. Her research has concentrated on understanding the roles of connectedness on children’s and adolescents’ growth and well-being in the framework of social-emotional learning (SEL) and development, particularly in relation to bullying. Anne-Marie Parent is a member of the Social-Emotional Development Research Group, directed by Dr. Konishi, at McGill University. Holding a BA in Psychology, she will begin her graduate studies in Human Development at McGill University. She is interested in the experience of sexual minorities, including gender creative and transgender youth.

11. Parent Advocacy under Trump/Trudeau: Affirmation, Access, Autonomy

Presented in English

by Rogue Witterick, Sandra Collins, Kimberley Ens Manning, Annie Pullen Sansfaçon

Over the past five years Canadian provinces have increasingly recognized the rights of transgender children and youth. At the same time, transgender people have also experienced frightening backlash. Facilitated by Kimberley Manning, Principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, this round table will feature four North American parents who have been at the forefront of trying to effect change with and for transgender children and youth. In particular, they will address the triple challenge of seeking affirmation, access and autonomy for trans young people in the shadow of settler colonialism, institutionalized racism and pervasive economic inequalities.

BIOGRAPHIES

Sandra Collins, Ph.D., is executive director and founder of engender. Kimberley Ens Manning, Ph.D., is Principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University. Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Social Work at Université de Montréal.Rogue Witterick (pronouns: they/them) is a violence prevention consultant and facilitator. Two decades of anti-oppression work and youth advocacy in schools, social services, and health, in organizations like the YMCA and Red Cross, and most recently at The 519 in Toronto have led Rogue to facilitating transformative discussions about gender and sexual diversity in Ontario and across Canada. Rogue’s family was the subject of international media interest in 2011, when the family’s youngest member, Storm, was offered freedom from birth assignment.

12. L Stands for Leader: Women and Leadership in Canada’s LGBTIQ2S Pride Movement

Presented in English 

by Kim Vance, Irish Mythen, Olivia Nuamah and Heather Hay

In many queer spaces, including Pride events, men and male-identified voices predominate. This session will explore ways in which Prides can focus and centre the voices of women and female-identified people.

BIOGRAPHIES

Kim Vance (she/her) is a seasoned activist, founder of ARC International and former President of ÉGALE Canada. Irish Mythen (she/her) is a globetrotting troubadour and an Irish-born, contemporary Canadian folk artist. Olivia Nuamah (she/her) is a community builder, mother, artist and the executive director of Pride Toronto. Heather Hay (she/her) is a teacher working in community development and is president of Fierté Canada Pride.

13. Pride, Posing, Protest: Documentaries and Communities of Desire 1962/1977/1990

Presented in English 

by Thomas Waugh and  Julianne Pidduck

The Canada-Québec Queer Media Database Project (Projet Base de données des médias queer Canada-Québec) will present Montréal-focused LGBTQ short films Truxx (1978, 19 min.), We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Fabulous (1990, 28 min.) and On the Rocks (c. 1960, 5 min.). The screening will be followed by a discussion and question period with Professor Emeritus Thomas Waugh of Concordia University and Julianne Pidduck of Université de Montréal. These three emotional, intelligent and important documentaries represent milestones in the advances made by queer people in Montréal and Québec, from an invisible desire to rage to hard-won acceptance.

BIOGRAPHIES

Julianne Pidduck, associate professor in the Department of Communications at Université de Montréal, and head of the graduate program in Media, Culture and Technology, specializes in moving images. Her research creates a dialogue between the analysis of how identity differences are represented (sex/gender, sexuality, race and class) and transnational means of audiovisual production, diffusion and reception. Thomas Waugh, a professor of film and outgoing Concordia University Research Chair in Documentary Film and in Sexual Representation, is the founder of the Canada-Québec Queer Media Database. His work has delved into Québec cinema, independent film from India, and socially-engaged cinema. His interests in sexual representation span queer film and video, homoeroticism in media as well as Canadian/Québec cinema and HIV/AIDS.

15. Building Effective LGBT Employee Resource Groups

Presented in English

by Colin Druhan

Employee resource groups (ERGs) for LGBT workers and their allies can play a large role in any employer’s LGBT inclusion strategy. Even though a lot of employers support these groups, many of them miss opportunities by not providing them with a budget or by neglecting to engage members to improve internal processes or advise on business development opportunities. This interactive presentation looks at established best practices for LGBT ERGs and provides a roadmap for these groups to move beyond social engagement to true cultural change in any employment environment.

BIOGRAPHIES

Colin Druhan is committed to improving the climate of inclusiveness in Canadian workplaces and to bringing down barriers to employment for LGBT people. As executive director of Pride at Work Canada, he maintains operational accountability for the delivery of the organization’s national strategy, programs and initiatives. Previous to Pride at Work Canada, he held positions at the Student Association of George Brown College, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Inside Out LGBT Film and Video Festival, where he led or supported work related to volunteer management, community and partner stewardship, corporate sponsorships, employee engagement programs, staff training and education.

17. Don’t Be So Hateful — The Insufficiency of Hate Crime Laws in Improving Trans Wellbeing

Presented in English

by Florence Ashley

In light of the recently passed Bill C-16, the question of judicial protection of trans people has come to the fore. Since trans people are particularly vulnerable to violence, hate crime laws are appealing legislative response. Drawing from my personal experience, as well as insights from feminism and critical race theory, this presentation will question the assumption that hate crime laws should be our primary focus in fighting widespread anti-trans violence. I will suggest that the model of transantagonism that underlies hate crime laws is erroneous, and that a careful analysis of how anti-trans violence arises from rape culture should inform our advocacy. I will then identify a number of venues for improving trans wellbeing in a more concrete manner.

BIOGRAPHIES

Florence Ashley is a transfeminine activist who is currently pursuing graduate studies in law, with a focus on trans health policy and human rights. She is also on the advisory board of the Trans Legal Clinic.

18. Moving the Canadian Pride Movement from Diversity to Inclusion

Presented in English 

by Tasheka Lavann, Chrissy Taylor, Karim Ladak and El-Farouk Khaki

This panel will explore ways in which Pride events across Canada can move from simply celebrating diversity to real and meaningful inclusion of communities facing systemic barriers. Issues such as anti-black racism, islamophobia and transphobia will be discussed in the context of Pride events in Canada.

BIOGRAPHIES

Tasheka Lavann (she/her) is an artist and activist born in Antigua, who sought refuge in Canada and is a Fierté Canada Pride Grand Marshal. Chrissy Taylor (they/them) is a vice president of operations for InterPride and former vice president for Vancouver Pride. Karim Ladak (he/him) a modern explorer of cultures and stories, committed activist and part of the Dignity Initiative. El-Farouk Khaki (he/him) is an immigration and refugee lawyer, a human rights activist and co-founder of El-Tawhid Juma Circle.

20. Building Pride with LGBTQ+ Employees, Professionals and Corporations. Sponsored by TD Bank

Presented in English

by Carlos Godoy, Tim Thompson and Brad Sensabaugh

12 Years ago, as one of the first banks to launch a targeted LGBTA effort, TD Bank took a bold stance. We wrapped ourselves in the rainbow flag and were very “out” about it. Join Senior Vice President Tim Thompson chair of TD’s LGBTA Employee Resource Group for a panel discussion on how TD has been successful at building Pride and creating a truly inclusive workplace.

BIOGRAPHIES

A career PR executive, Carlos A. Godoy L. joined TD Bank Group in April 2016 as Regional Manager of LGBTA Business Development for Eastern Canada and Quebec Regions. Prior to joining TD, Carlos was Vice-President of a national Ottawa-based Public and Government Relations firm. Tim Thompson is the Senior Vice President of Transformation at TD Canada Trust. He is responsible for helping set the strategic direction of the business and assisting with the delivery of solutions that will help change how we conduct business for the benefit of our customers. In addition to his business line responsibilities, Tim is the Chair of TD’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies diversity committee. Brad Sensabaugh , an ally and advocate in the LGBTA community, Brad has become more active as an ‘out’ professional in his management and leadership roles at TD Bank. As a Trans man, Bradley knows firsthand some of the challenges, barriers and issues that can confront Trans people in professional work environments.

22. Resisting in Solidarity: Fighting the Gentrification of LGBTQ Neighbourhoods for All Queer Populations

Presented in English

by Hannah Brais and Julien Roswell Johnson

Cities are increasingly shaped by the presence of affluent queer populations that are a part of the groups displacing less affluent queer people. What strategies can more vulnerable members – as well as those more privileged – employ to resist queer gentrification? This discussion will include practical tips for tenants and property owners in using rental law to fight gentrification, as well as a larger discussion of the queer implications of gentrification.

BIOGRAPHIES

Hannah Brais is a born and raised queer Montrealer, working for the last four years within housing and employment advocacy. Trained in urban planning, she is currently working on her Master’s thesis; her research focuses on the differing legal geography of private rental housing policies across Canada. Her broader research interests focus on precarious populations within geographical contexts. Julien Roswell Johnson is a second-year Women’s Studies student at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University, the outreach coordinator of the Women’s Studies’ Student Association of Concordia University, and an angry transgender writer for The Link, Concordia’s newspaper. After fighting Dawson College’s administration for three years in order to access gender neutral washrooms, they were involved with various LGBTQIIA2S resource centres around Montréal, particularly in founding The Hive, Dawson’s gender advocacy centre. Johnson brings extensive experience in taking a critical approach to navigating the various forms of bureaucracy as a non-binary, multi-racial, neurodivergent individual.

24. An Overview of LGBTQ Rape Culture and Sexual Violence among Gay-Identified Males

Presented in English 

by Christopher Dietzel

Rates of sexual violence among individuals who identify as lesbian, gay and bisexual are equal to or higher than among people who identify as heterosexual (NISVS, 2010) and the likelihood of physical assault is higher among transgender people (Grant et al., 2011). This presentation applies a critical intersectional lens and draws on queer theory to explore the experiences of diverse individuals comprising LGBTQ communities, while focusing on male-identified victims of sexual violence. Rape culture permeates LGBTQ communities and there is a need to educate, inform and influence society to help keep all spaces – virtual and real – safe for everyone using them.

BIOGRAPHIES

Christopher Dietzel completed his master’s degree in educational leadership from McGill University. His thesis explored the intersections of undergraduate student leadership development and global citizenship themes. He currently conducts research on a SSHRC Partnership Grant aimed at dismantling rape culture on university campuses. Chris spent three years teaching English in France at both high school and university levels. He also spent four years working in Singapore, facilitating an international, multi-cultural program on student leadership development. Chris is pursuing a career in university student affairs to help provide opportunities for students to explore their passions and develop their self- and community-awareness.

25. Pride Supremacy

Presented in English

by DJ Martinez, Quetzala Carson and Vincent Mousseau

The contemporary Pride movement as we know it would not exist without the invaluable contributions of queer and trans people of colour (QTPOC). However, while the rights of LGBTQ people are progressing, it is precisely these people who are systematically left behind. This panel will attempt to dissect and deconstruct white supremacy in LGBTQ+ circles through an analysis of the systemic barriers that QTPOC face with regard to inclusion in the LGBTQ+ communities, as well as the systemic exclusion and marginalization of QTPOC, and the ways in which QTPOC communities deal with the trauma that this exclusion entails.

BIOGRAPHIES

DJ Martinez is an artist whose sarcastic, politically-minded work includes sketch comedy at Bumbershoot with Queerz: We’re Hilarious and the podcast for CBC’s The Fifth Estate, in collaboration with South Seattle Emerald and Seattlish. Quetzala Carson identifies as two-spirited and is a native of Mana-Ahuac, Nicaragua, who creates emotionally intimate Indigenous music under the name of FRYZZ LYFE, using music as a platform to bring people together and to discuss their personal, community or vicarious traumas. Vincent Mousseau is a Black, queer and non-binary community organizer and activist based in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal, Québec) whose areas of interest include Black Lives Matter activism and anti-assimilationist queer movements.

26. Family Diversity and the Law

Presented in English

by Robert Leckey, Brenda Cossman, Ido Katri and Régine Tremblay. Mona Greenbaum will moderate the panel

The panel explores family diversity in Canada from a legal standpoint. Topics analyzed include modes of recognition for pluri-parental families, the interrelation of sex designation, birth assignment and the (un)making of trans families, surrogacy in LGBTQ communities, future challenges for family diversity in Canada and more.

BIOGRAPHIES

The panelists will be Dean and Professor Robert Leckey, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Professor Brenda Cossman, Faculty of Law and Director of the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, Ido Katri, lawyer, activist, Trudeau and Vanier Scholar and SJD candidate at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Professor Régine Tremblay, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. Mona Greenbaum is the co-founder and executive director of the LGBT Family Coalition, an association that advocates for families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans parents.

27. Grossly Indecent: The Just Society Report

Presented in English

by Douglas Elliott, Martine Roy, Marie-Laure Leclercq, Albert McLeod

Following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s expressed intention to review past cases where gay men were convicted of “gross indecency,” in June 2016 Egale Canada Human Rights Trust released its Just Society Committee report. The Report reviewing Canada’s criminal justice system and history of state-sponsored discrimination, and provided recommendations on changes to provisions in the Criminal Code that have a discriminatory effect on 2SLGBTQI Canadians. Egale Executive Director Helen Kennedy and constitutional lawyer Douglas Elliott released the report on behalf of a diverse pan-Canadian committee, expressing the critical need for this review. The Egale Just Society Committee seeks to prevent further injustice from taking place due to human rights infractions against 2SLGBTQI that are inherent within the Canadian Criminal Code and federal govermnent institutions. The response from the Trudeau Government has been positive, but slow.

BIOGRAPHIES

Douglas Elliott is a prominent Canadian human rights lawyer from Ontario, and lead author of the Just Society Report. Martine Roy is an award -winning Quebec 2SLGBTQI activist, and lead plaintiff in a class action for Canadians forced out of the federal public service because of their sexual orientation. Marie-Laure Leclercq ia a leading Quebec trans activist and a member of the governing council of the Canadian Bar Association. Albert MacLeod is a Two-Spirit person, and a long time HIV and 2SLGBTQI activist from Manitoba.

28. Utilizing a Queer and Harm Reduction Framework for Positive Sexual Education of LGBT Youth Aged 12 to 25

Presented in English 

by Kimberly Wong, Charles Alexandre Morin and Mylène St Pierre

LGBTQ+ youth have been hardest hit among the generation of young people impacted by the removal of mandatory sex education in Québec schools in 2005. There has been a continuous increase in rates of STBBIs (Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections) within this community. Both ACCM and Head & Hands have provided programs to address this situation.

BIOGRAPHIES

Kimberley Wong graduated from Université du Québec à Montréal with an MA in Sexology and spends her spare time directing the Canadian Association for Education and Outreach, an organization that offers free workshops on creating safer LGBTQ spaces in Montréal high schools. Charles Alexandre Morin is a sex and health educator at Head & Hands with advanced training on positive sexuality. Mylène St-Pierre is a sexologist with a Master’s degree in addictions and specializes in risk reduction.

31. Combatting Christian-Based Homophobia and Transphobia Globally

Presented in English 

by Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, Moderator Jordan Cantwell, Paola Márquez and Maurice Tomlinson

This panel will consist of several Canadian and international LGBTQ leaders working on combatting religious homophobia/transphobia, with emphasis on the north-south export of fundamentalist Christian homophobia/transphobia. The discussion will explore the current reality of this issue and discuss ways that Canadians can work with global partners to address this situation in different parts of the world.

BIOGRAPHIES

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes has been the senior pastor at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto since 1977. In 2007, he was appointed to the Order of Canada. Paola Márquez works for the Colombian Methodist Church in Medellín, Colombia. She runs a ministry for LGBTQ people. Jordan Cantwell is the 42nd Moderator of the United Church of Canada. Ordained in 2010, she has been involved in social justice for over three decades. Maurice Tomlinson is with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and works to support the advancement of LGBT equality in the Caribbean region.

32. On-Line and On Stage: Four Young Trans Artists Discuss their Work

Presented in English 

by Kimberley Manning, Sophie Labelle, Kama La Mackarel, Chase Ross and Kai Cheng Thom

In this session, Sophie Labelle, Kama La Mackerel, Chase Ross, and Kai Cheng Thom discuss their path-breaking work as artists, writers, and performers in the public eye. Based in, or closely tied to Montreal, the work of all four artists has a global reach in multiple media forms and venues. In this panel, facilitated by Kimberley Manning, Principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, they will explore the joys and challenges of crafting their art in public forums, while simultaneously juggling day jobs, school, and activism.

BIOGRAPHIES

Sophie Labelle is a Montreal–based author, comic strip creator and trans speaker, known for her online comic strip titled Assigned Male; Kama La Mackerel is an artist from Tio’tia:ke/Montréal, writer, poet and storyteller, curator and multidisciplinary artist, whose work is an esthetic exploration practiced as a form of resistance and/or of healing for marginalised communities. Chase Ross uses his channel —uppercaseChase1— to educate the people of the community and outside the community. He is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Sociology at Concordia University. Kai Cheng Thom, is a writer, interpreter, artist of the spoken word and therapist living on the non ceded territories of Toronto and of Montréal. And Kimberley Ens Manning, Ph.D., is Principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University.

33. Disability Justice and Queer Liberation: (Re)Activating a Cross-Movement Critical Consciousness

Presented in English

by Patrick Teed

The workshop on disability justice and queer liberation examines how the contemporary formation of Canada’s Pride movement and LGBTQ+ communities exclude and erase disabled LGBTQ+ people from their political imaginations. It challenges participants to question participation in activism and the creation of communities and the people who are excluded from the creation of communities. This questioning will lead to the subtle and powerful ways in which ableism dissolves into our critical discourses and practices Finally, through mapping shared histories and identifying mutual goals, the workshop seeks to activate a coalition-building consciousness that centres and moves with all bodies and minds.

BIOGRAPHIES

Patrick Teed is an emerging white, settler, queer, and disabled interdisciplinary academic, cultural worker, and community organizer currently living in Ottawa on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory and raised in Hamilton, Ontario in the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee. His projects investigate and interrogate contemporary socio-political configurations, specifically as they relate to identity-formation, embodiment, and critical resistance. He has recently completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences, Joint Honours in Philosophy and Political Science (Summa Cum Laude) at the University of Ottawa and will be moving to Toronto in September to continue his studies at York University’s Social and Political Thought Program.

37. Kitchen Tables: A Panel on Black Queer Youth

Presented in English and French

by Lali Mohamed and Adam Benn

This presentation will highlight and celebrate the exciting initiatives led by black queer youth in this country.

BIOGRAPHIES

Lali Mohamed and Adam Been are non-profit leaders both working in the health sector. Lali is at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and Adam is at the Sherbourne Health Centre.

38. Beyond Diversity: An LGBT Best Practice Guide for Employers

Presented in English 

by Colin Druhan

Beyond Diversity is a practical tool to help employers create more inclusive work environments for LGBTQ + people by presenting and sharing the best practices of Pride at Work Canada’s LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index. The interactive presentation covers the 12 recommendations put forward by Pride at Work Canada in this collaborative best practice guide published in 2017 through a partnership with Great Place to Work.

BIOGRAPHIES

Colin Druhan is committed to improving the climate of inclusiveness in Canadian workplaces and to bringing down barriers to employment for LGBT people. As executive director of Pride at Work Canada, he maintains operational accountability for the delivery of the organization’s national strategy, programs and initiatives. Previous to Pride at Work Canada, he held positions at the Student Association of George Brown College, the 519 Church Street Community Centre, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Inside Out LGBT Film and Video Festival, where he led or supported work related to volunteer management, community and partner stewardship, corporate sponsorships, employee engagement programs, staff training and education.

41. Remembering and Resistance: The Transformation of Pride in Toronto, 1981-2017

Presented in English 

by Gary Kinsman

This is is an interactive, participatory workshop where we will produce history and analysis together.

Drawing on involvement in the Toronto Pride committee from 1981 to 1985, and research on the making of the neoliberal queer, this participatory workshop traces out some of the transformations of Pride Toronto into a celebration of Canadian homonationalism. Moments investigated include: 1) The emergence of Pride at the end of June in 1981 in the context of resistance to the bath raids. 2) Early corporate sponsorship agreements. 3) Efforts to exclude Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) and 4) The Black Lives Matter (BLM-TO) protest. The workshop concludes with possibilities for returning Toronto Pride to its activist roots.

BIOGRAPHIES

Gary Kinsman is a queer liberation, AIDS, anti-poverty and anti-capitalist activist living on Indigenous land. He was a founding member of the Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Committee in Toronto in 1981 and in Sudbury in 1997. He is currently a member of the AIDS Activist History Project, the We Demand an Apology Network and an ally of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. He is the author of The Regulation of Desire: Homo and Hetero Sexualities, co-author of The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation, editor of Sociology for Changing the World and, most recently, of We Still Demand! Redefining Resistance in Sex and Gender Struggles. He is a professor emeritus in the Sociology Department at Laurentian University, Sudbury. His website is radicalnoise.ca

42. Bringing Queer Politics into Pride Cultural Events

Presented in English 

by Irish Mythen, TK Gesner, Tasheka Lavann and Michelle Emson

Pride events across Canada are filled with music, dance, theatre and other forms of cultural expression. This panel will discuss the ways in which art can merge with political expression – and how Prides can become a focal point in their local communities for this expression.

BIOGRAPHIES

Irish Mythen (she/her) is a globetrotting troubadour and an Irish-born, contemporary Canadian folk artist. TK Gesner (he/him) is a freelance music and culture programmer, a community engagement specialist and advocate for the arts. Tasheka Lavann (she/her) is an artist and activist born in Antigua, who sought refuge in Canada and is a Fierté Canada Pride Grand Marshal.  Michelle Emson (she/her) is a committed human rights activist, a documentary filmmaker and an LGBTI advocate and educator.

43. Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights: (Neo)colonialism, Neoliberalism, Resistance and Hope

Presented in English 

by Nancy Nicol (introduction and moderator), Guillit Jake Amakobe, Jane Wothaya Thirikwa  and Dr Frank Mugisha

This panel brings together activists and community leaders from Sexual Minorities Uganda, Gay Kenya Trust and Jinsiangu in Kenya, to share their contributions to the forthcoming anthology, Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights: (Neo)colonialism, Neoliberalism, Resistance and Hope, edited by Nicol, Jjuuko, Lusimbo, Mulé, Ursel, Wahab and Waugh (SAS, University of London UK, 2017). Panellists will discuss intersectional organizing, lesbian and trans inclusion, limitations of the human rights approach and the impact of donor culture on work to advance LGBT rights in Kenya and Uganda, all within the context of structural inequality and neoliberalism.

BIOGRAPHIES

Guillit Jake Amakobe is a founder of Jinsiangu, which works to create safe spaces for and increase awareness of intersex, transgender and gender non-conforming Kenyans. Dr. Frank Mugisha is executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), and recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for his activism. Jane Wothaya Thirikwa contributed to advocacy programs at the Gay Kenya Trust and the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya. Nancy Nicol is the principle investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights, an international research and participatory documentary project (2011-2016).

48. Where We Are: Global Changes in Trans and Non-Binary Human Rights. A Conversation

Presented in English 

by Freddie S.E. Arps, Dora Ng, and Tatiana Ferguson

Progress comes at different paces and, in order to learn, we Canadians must compare ourselves to others. In this conversation, the panel will start with the gender law passed by the parliament in Valencia, Spain, on March 30 that gives the right for a person’s gender identity to be recognized without any medical or psychological requirements – a global first. For best practices around gender laws, we examine Malta and Nepal, which have been at the forefront of legal changes for years. Finally, we compare Canada’s proposed gender identity and gender expression laws with the European Union’s toolkit for governments. Dora, Tatiana and Freddie will celebrate the progress and think out loud about where we, in Canada, can go: Shall we follow and can we lead?

BIOGRAPHIES

Dora Ng is a writer and an LGBTQ intercultural community activist who has worked with youth and with aging populations. Freddie S.E. Arps is a Dutch-Caribbean Canadian candidate barrister whose research concerns HIV/AIDS, sex work, refugees and Global LGBTQ policies. Tatiana Ferguson is a Trans Advocate and stood at the inception of Perception, a support group for newcomers, refugees and asylum seekers at EGALE Youth Outreach.

49. Globalizing Prides: How can the Canadian Pride movement Build Solidarity with Global Human Rights Struggles

Presented in English

by Chrissy Taylor, Kim Vance, Carlos Idibouo and Doug Kerr

This session will explore the ways in which sexual and gender minority communities around the world are demonstrating and celebrating their identities through public events such as Prides. The presentation will also explore ways that Prides in Canada can build solidarity with LGBTIQ2S people globally.

BIOGRAPHIES

Chrissy Taylor (they/them) is a Vice President Operations for Interpride and former Vice President for Vancouver Pride. Kim Vance (she/her) seasoned activist, founder of ARC International and former President of Egale Canada. Carlos Idibouo (he/him) queer feminist activist with Dignity Initiative and Interpride Regional Director for Africa. Doug Kerr is a volunteer with the Dignity Initiative, a civil society network encouraging a stronger Canadian voice on global LGBTI human rights. He is also VP of Membership for Fierté Canada Pride and a longtime activist in Toronto’s LGBTI communities.

50. The Rainbows of South Asia: Acceptance, Breaking Stereotypes and Moving Forward

Presented in English 

by Rameez Karim, Ina Bhowmick and Arshad Khan

This will be a panel discussion on various topics and questions faced by the South Asian LGBTQ demographic in their respective countries, as well as in Canada. Led by a group of panellists, the presentation will be comprised of case studies, multimedia presentations and an open discussion. As more and more South Asians come out of the closet, the demand for related resources and organizations to support the community grows and increases. How can we keep South Asian values alive while integrating within greater society.

BIOGRAPHIES

Rameez Karim is artistic director of Bollywood Blast, Québec’s premier Indian and Bollywood dance company. Being a member of the LGBTQ arts, Muslim and South Asian communities, his personal experiences offer a fresh perspective on the challenges of coming out. Arshad Khad is a Montréal-based film producer, noted for his documentary, Abu, in which he uses the personal story of his relationship with his father to weave a tale about migration, self-actualization, spirituality, sexuality and love. Ina Bhowmick is the founder and director of Bollywood Blast. Her expertise on Indian culture provides insight into the evolving cultural roles of male and female within and outside of the dance community.

54. The Role of Two-Spirit in Today's World

Presented in English

by Diane Labelle and Suzy Goodleaf

Faced with the challenges of the contemporary world, the historical role of two-spirited people becomes very important.

BIOGRAPHIES

Diane Labelle is executive director of the First Nations Regional Adult Education Center (FNRAEC) in Kahnawake. Opened in September of 2013, the FNRAEC is Québec’s first English-language adult education centre geared toward Aboriginal students. She has an MA in Political Science, a graduate degree in Education with a postgraduate diploma in Special Education, and a diploma in Management. She is an experienced presenter and advocate who has been actively involved in issues of Indigenous Education and LGBTQ/two-spirited identity for many years.

Suzy Goodleaf, M.Ed; O.P.Q. Ms. Goodleaf has been formally trained as a psychologist and marital and family therapist. She received her bachelor’s degree in Arts specializing in Psychology from Concordia University; her graduate degree from McGill University in Education; and her post-graduate degree in Counselling Psychology from the Argyle Institute for Marital and Family Therapy.

55. Canada's Role in Supporting the Human Rights of LGBTI People Globally

Presented in English

by  Carlos Idibouo, Kim Vance, Maurice Tomlinson, Mark Allen and Meghan Watkinson

This session will examine the role that Canada can play in the advancement of human rights of LGBTI people globally. A panel of leaders from civil society involved in LGBTI international human rights work and representatives from Global Affairs Canada will discuss a range of issues related to foreign policy and the role of the federal government and civil society organizations. Topics will include Canada’s foreign policy around LGBTI human rights issues, the role of Canadian embassies, Canada’s development assistance funding and ways civil society and the government can partner to support human rights for LGBTI people around the globe.

BIOGRAPHIES

Carlos Idibouo has been an activist with many organizations in Cote d’Ivoire, Montréal and Toronto, including the Dignity Initiative. Kim Vance is executive director of ARC International and has been an activist on LGBT issues, locally in Nova Scotia, nationally and internationally for many years. Maurice Tomlinson is with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and works to support the advancement of LGBT equality in the Caribbean region. Mark Allen is the Executive Director – Human Rights & Indigenous Affairs, for the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion. Meghan Watkinson is Deputy Director – Governance, at Global Affairs Canada.

56. LGBTQ Professionals Must Fight to Be Leaders in Tech: Here’s How to Win the Battle

Presented in English, sponsored by IBM

by Jason Behrmann, Naoufel Testaouni, Kimberley Messer and Andy Saldaña

This presentation will provide first-hand accounts of the challenges LGBTQ professionals face in terms of discrimination, exclusion and isolation within the typical tech sector workplace. Merging knowledge gained from community activism with current strategies for promoting diversity in the workforce, the presenters will outline policies to counter the endemic “bro culture” in technology professions. Central to their proposals are concrete examples of how professionals in human resources, government and the tech sector can improve hiring practices and foster inclusive work environments.

BIOGRAPHIES

Naoufel Testaouni is the founder and president of Queer Tech Montreal and the executive director of Montréal New Tech, an organization representing the startup tech ecosystem. Jason Behrmann is vice president of Queer Tech Montreal. He completed his doctorate in biomedical science where his research focused on queer rights in medicine. Andy Saldaña occupies a leadership role in community groups for the tech startup sector, including Queer Tech New York and New York Tech Alliance. Kimberley Messer is the North America Business Development Executive at IBM Canada. As a member of the Global LGBT/Diversity Business Development organization, she advises customers on how to address LGBT diversity.

59. Prides in Canada: An Evolving Role in the Struggle for Human Rights

Presented in English

by Tasheka Lavann, Chrissy Taylor, Puelo Deir, Jean-Sébastien Boudreault and Mark Singh.

The hard-earned same-sex marriage victory in 2005 ushered in an era of legislative gains for LGBTQ+ people in Canada. Most recently, we have seen the passage of Bill C-16, enshrining protections for transgender Canadians into law. Pride organizations have historically played an important role in the evolution of human rights for LGBTQ+ people in Canada. But, as some would argue that most (if not all) of the major, cross-community legislative battles have been won, what role will Canadian Prides play in the future of LGBTQ+ human rights? Our panelists, who are all grand marshalls of Fierté Canada and current or former leaders of the Canadian Pride movement, will propose ideas and engage each other and the audience in a discussion.

BIOGRAPHIES

Mark Singh is a serial volunteer. He has served on the Boards of InterPride, Fierté Canada Pride and Pride Toronto, including two years as Co-Chair. Mark holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from York University and a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University.

Tasheka Lavann is a proud lesbian of color, human rights activist and singer. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, the Michelle Meow Show in the US, among other platforms.

Chrissy Taylor is Vice-president Operations at InterPride and former Vice-president of Vancouvert Pride. This year, Chrissy is also Grand Marshall for Canada Pride Montreal 2017.

Puelo Deir is a playwright, producer, publicist, and the co-founder of Divers/Cité, Montreal’s original LGBTQ+ parade and queer arts festival.

Jean-Sébastien Boudreault is vice-president of Pride Montréal. He is also an immigration lawyer and president of l’Association Québécoise des Avocats et Avocates en Droit de l’Immigration (AQAADI).


 

 

BILINGUAL WORKSHOPS

6. Trans Québec Youth: Preliminary results of research highlighting the experience of 15-25 year olds

Presented in English and French

by Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, Dalia Tourki, Edward Ou Jin Lee, Maxime Faddoul.

Trans young people are part of a particularly vulnerable population. According to a recent survey among 433 trans people of any age, 77% seriously considered suicide, and 43% have attempted it (Scallon et al 2010). Among young people aged 16-24, they are almost twice as likely to consider suicide compared to those over 25 and almost three times more likely to have attempted it (Travers et al., 2013). This research, which brings together several researchers and organizations working with trans people in Quebec, aims to better understand the experiences of young people from 15 to 25 living in Quebec, from an intersectional perspective.

21. LGBTQ Refugee Support and Settlement in Canada

Presented in English 

by Karlene Williams-Clarke, Ronald Dieleman, Sofiane Choutier and Sharalyn Jordan

This panel will explore ways that organizations are helping to provide sponsorship and settlement support to LGBTI refugees across Canada. We will look at the kinds of settlement supports that are required and the ways that Canada and Canadians can better support LGBTI refugees.

BIOGRAPHIES

Karlene Williams-Clarke is the Manager of Direct Services at the 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto and is on the board of directors of Rainbow Railroad. Ronald Dieleman a management coordinator for settlement and integration at the FrancoQueer centre for immigrants in Toronto. Sofiane Choutier was admitted to Canada as a refugee in September 2013 and is vice president of the Association des lesbiennes et des gais sur Internet (ALGI). Sharalyn Jordan has been supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ refugees since 2004 as a community organizer with Rainbow Refugee and is a researcher at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

39. Creating Authentic Spaces: A Toolkit for Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusive Spaces, Brought to you by TD Bank

Presented in English and French, sponsored by the TD Bank

by Laura Gibbon & Julie Hamara 

This interactive workshop will explore the creation of authentic spaces with tools on gender identity and gender expression to support the implementation of change at the institutional and societal levels. It will present tips and tricks to support the full inclusion of various gender identities and expressions. It will also examine the resources needed to become an effective ally, how to help an employee in transition and how to create a welcoming environment. The content will appeal to those who are just beginning to think about these changes, as well as to those who are further along in the process.
BIOGRAPHIES

Julie Hamara works as a facilitator at The 519, as a coordinator for the Trans Youth Mentorship Program and in The 519 social enterprise café. She attended graduate school at the University of Saskatchewan where she studied trans-inclusive language and the relationship between gender and grammatical practices. Julie is also a facilitator with SOY HEAT where she coordinates workshops and presentations relating to a variety of LGBT issues. She is a former peer supporter at LGBT Youth Line and is very grateful for the support received from LGBT communities and especially from Toronto’s trans community.

44. Queer Representation in the Media: Challenges, Gains and the Importance of Visibility

Presented in French  and English

by Claire Gaillard, Luke Smith and Angela Sarakan

In Canada and across the world, there is an under-representation of gender and sexual minorities in the media. Despite the increasing visibility of certain queer communities, many challenges remain in ensuring an inclusive representation of diverse LGBTQ+ voices. Queer women, for example, face particular challenges considering their lack of visibility in (the mostly masculine) LGBTQ+ media and general female-focused media. Through their work, the presenters of this panel strive to ensure that queer stories are not left untold, both to queer audiences and the wider public. In this panel, they will discuss the evolution of LGBTQ+ representation in the media, including the advances and challenges faced by media creators and the individuals whose voices are represented in their work.

BIOGRAPHIES

Claire Gaillard works as a communications specialist for the CGI Health and Wellness Program. A journalist by profession, she is also the editor-in-chief at Lez Spread the Word (LSTW), a lesbian pan-Canadian magazine. Luke Smith cofounded CanQueer Canada’s most syndicated LGBT Community radio talk show over five years ago. He has also presented at multiple conferences on issues regarding accessibility for LGBT people in radio. Angela Sarakan (La Shaguita) is the host and producer of Lesbihonest Podcast. Through her podcast she travels the world talking to queer women about lesbian rights, culture and visibility in their countries.


 

WORKSHOPS IN FRENCH

3. Major Issues Regarding the Rights of People Living with HIV

Presented in French

by Liz Lacharpagne

The fight against HIV/AIDS introduced a new paradigm in public health under which the respect of the person’s human rights would become a key element of prevention strategies. Based on this observation, COCQ-SIDA (The Quebec coalition of associations against HIV/AIDS), created a human rights program for people with HIV/AIDS to promote and defend the rights of PLWHA and support its members in their own promotion and advocacy strategies. The conference will focus presenting this human rights program and the main legal issues concerning the rights of people living with HIV.

BIOGRAPHIES

Liz Lacharpagne is a lawyer with the Québec Bar Association and coordinator of the COCQ-SIDA human rights and HIV/AIDS program. For several years prior, Liz Lacharpagne was in private practice specializing in labour law and discrimination in the workplace as a member of the Paris Bar Association as well as actively engaged in human rights advocacy organizations.

Geneviève Binette is a lawyer and head of HIV Info droits of COCQ-SIDA. Before joining them, she worked in Peru, as well as in Geneva for the International Labour Organization. Specifically called by the issues of human rights, she has gained profound experience working in the context of university and community-based legal clinics.

5. Advocating for the Rights of Trans Persons in the Workplace

Presented in French, sponsored by FTQ

by Toufic El-Daher

The rights of trans persons remain one of the last frontiers where significant progress remains to be made. This workshop aims at facilitating our role as representative of trans persons within a workplace. For many, this will be the first time we address matters of sexual identity and expression.

BIOGRAPHIES

Toufic El-Daher has a long career in the labour movement and federal public service: Director of Equity Groups for the PSAC, Québec Region, for five years; elected representative for the Québec region at the negotiation table for the PA group; National Vice-President for Québec for the Union of Veterans Employees since December 2015, while serving as co-chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Committee (GLTL-FTQ) of the Québec Federation of Labour (FTQ). Finally, since 2003, Toufic El-Daher has been a veteran services agent at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Québec City.

9. Trans Studies in Francophone Canada: Resistance and Emergence

Presented in French

by Alexandre Baril

This presentation discusses the under-representation of trans persons specializing in trans issues as faculty members in Canadian universities, occupying a total of only eight positions, and all at anglophone institutions. The presentation will examine the barriers contributing to the exclusion of trans persons in the francophone university community. First, the presentation will review the presence of cisgenderism (transphobia) within academia that creates a glass ceiling for trans persons. Then, we will consider the case of francophone Canada and demonstrate that the absence of trans professors is based on the exploitation of the invisible and free work of trans persons. Finally, we will call on the trans feminist approach to shake up academic cisgenderism.

BIOGRAPHIES

Alexandre Baril’s multidisciplinary training combines ten years in philosophy/ethics and a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies. After working as a visiting professor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University and as an assistant professor with a limited-term appointment in Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Baril received an Izaak Walton Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship to pursue his work on trans and crip politics in the Department of Political Science at Dalhousie University. His intersectional and interdisciplinary research places gender, feminist, queer, trans, and disability studies in dialogue with the sociology of the body, health, and social movements.

 

10. Our Child, Your Pregnancy: Becoming Fathers Through a Surrogate

Presented in French

by Isabel Côté and Kévin Lavoie

This presentation will unveil the results of research conducted with gay fathers who had children through surrogate motherhood. The objective is to shed some light on how the relationship dynamic between the protagonists comes about. Trust and personal affinities between the fathers and the women during the pre-natal period and at birth, as well as the desire on the part of the concerned adults that the child retain some link to the woman, are some of the factors explaining the parties’ satisfaction with the process of surrogate motherhood.

BIOGRAPHIES

Isabel Côté is a professor at Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), Department of Social Work and Kévin Lavoie is a Ph.D. student in Applied Human Dciences at Université de Montréal. Their research has examined the realization of homoparental or lesboparental projects involving third parties as well as the children growing up within these families.

14. Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Couples

Presented in French

by Suzie Bordeleau, Marjolaine Landry, Kévin Lavoie and Marie-Camille Paquet

The subject of domestic violence in the community is a taboo topic that remains highly controversial, given the silence surrounding this issue. Too often dismissed as lovers’ quarrels, it is difficult to identify, which diminishes the possibility for victims to understand the dangers of this kind of relationship and its consequences. In a panel discussion, speakers from the CSL and RÉZO will attempt to demystify and explain the workings of this particular dynamic and will explore the specific issues facing lesbians and gay men.

BIOGRAPHIES

Kévin Lavoie, lecturer at Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), is a doctoral student in Applied Human Sciences. He is a member of the community research committee at RÉZO. Marie-Camille Paquet is a graduate in sexology and an agent for the VRAIH project at RÉZO. Marjolaine Landry is a graduate in sexology who has been a facilitator at the Centre de solidarité lesbienne (Lesbian Solidarity Centre) for seven years, where she is specializes in domestic violence as well as female sexuality disorders. Suzie Bordeleau, a graduate in social work, has worked at the Centre de solidarité lesbienne since 2000. She works primarily with women who are victims of sexual assault and conjugal violence.

16. Fighting Homophobia, One Story at a Time: The Parallel Evolution of Student Attitudes and GRIS-Montréal Testimonies

Presented in French by Olivier Vallerand

For more than twenty years, GRIS-Montréal has been conducting interventions to demystify sexual diversity in schools. Using testimonies, each intervention is preceded and followed by a questionnaire to measure the impact of these interventions and the evolution of attitudes in society, while encouraging young people to develop a personal position with regard to these issues. Changes are evident in the responses to questions about adoption, public displays of affection and young people’s attractions. The workshop will discuss how transformations in society and within the GRIS team have changed the approach to interventions

BIOGRAPHIES

Olivier Vallerand, Ph.D., is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and a research coordinator for GRIS-Montréal since 2009. GRIS uses testimony as an intervention tool for the demystification of homosexuality and bisexuality among young people at the primary, secondary and college levels. Its expertise has been recognized by publications such as The Educational Forum, the Cahiers de l’IREF (Institut de recherches et d’études feminists), Nouvelles pratiques sociales and Reflets.

19. Current workplace issues for sexual and gender minorities

Presented in French

by Elizabeth Parenteau, Marie Geoffroy, Kévin Lavoie and Anik St-Pierre

A presentation by the Research Chair on Homophobia, this panel presents studies and testimonies on the current issues of LGBTQ people in the workplace. 1. Elizabeth Parenteau: Social interactions of trans people in the workplace and an exploration of experiences and initiatives in place. 2. Marie Geoffroy: Can the management of sexual diversity counter micro-aggressions in the workplace? 3. Kévin Lavoie: The disclosure of sexual orientation: a study among GRIS-Montréal participants 4. Anik St-Pierre: Working to make Québec fire departments more diversified and inclusive.

BIOGRAPHIES

Elizabeth Parenteau, M.A. sexology, is interested in the issues trans people face in their daily lives and is a volunteer with Alter Héros. Marie Geoffroy, M.A. sexology, is the coordinator of the Research Chair on Homophobia and the SAVIE-LGBTQ Project. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Alliance Arc-en-ciel of Québec. Kévin Lavoie is a speaker, trainer and member of GRIS-Montréal’s board of directors as well as a lecturer in social work and psychoeducation at Université du Québec en Outaouais. Anik St-Pierre, is a fire safety professor at Montmorency College, a lecturer at École Polytechnique and a facilitator at GRIS-Montréal.

23. Asexuality 101

Presented in French

by Isabelle Stephen, Stéfanie Jolin, Julien Séré and Fleurien Leth Graveson

This presentation will define the term “asexuality”, a sexual orientation about which little is known. It will discuss the different orientations across the spectrum of asexuality, make the distinction between sexual and romantic orientations, and explore what science has to say about asexuality. The workshop will conclude with a question period.

BIOGRAPHIES

Isabelle Stephen is the co-host of the Moi Asexuelle (Asexual Me) and the Le Monde merveilleux du scepticisme (Wonderful World of Skepticism) podcasts. She defines herself as a demisexual and created the Asexual Community of Montréal. Stéfanie Jolin is a graduate in French and English literature, defining herself as greysexual, and is trying to make asexuality better known to the general public. Julien Séré, an accounting technician, has participated in several projects to make asexuality better known to the general public, and self-identifies as asexual. Fleurien Leth Graveson is a writer, photographer and activist who self-identifies as asexual.

29. Filing a Complaint for Homophobia under the Québec Charter of Rights and Freedoms: A Social Analysis of Homophobic Discrimination in Québec

Presented in French

by Aurélie Lebrun and Jean-François Gagnon

In 1977, Québec legislators modified the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the first time by adding sexual orientation to article 10, which recognizes the right to equality in the recognition and exercise of human rights and freedoms. Gay, lesbian and bisexual persons gained new legal protection and recourses in the face of discrimination. Thus, since then, the Commission has opened 800 complaint files for discrimination based on sexual orientation. This workshop aims to give an overview of the complaints filed to illustrate how the concepts of discrimination and of homophobia have mutually constructed themselves.

BIOGRAPHIES

Aurélie Lebrun, Ph.D., has been a researcher at the Québec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission since 2009. She studies the forms of discrimination of which trans persons are victims and is conducting a study of the social use of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms made by LGBT persons. Jean-François Gagnon has worked at the Commission for five years. He is currently a Masters level student in Communications and is affiliated with the UQAM Chair of Research on Homophobia. His research interests include intercultural communication, immigration, identity and LGBTQ Studies.

30. Sex Work among Men and Trans Persons: Decriminalizing and Eliminating Prejudices

Presented in French

by Jonathan Bacon and Claude Poisson

As part of its Travail du sexe (TDS, or Sex Work) program, the community organization RÉZO advocates for harm reduction and the decriminalization of sex work. At the opposing end of the issue are those who advocate the abolition of sex work. RÉZO will discuss the impact of the legal context surrounding sex work, and how stigmatization and criminalization are two trends that feed off each other. The workshop will present the latest campaign for the RÉZO TDS program, which was launched on December 17, the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers. This campaign is available online at rezosante.org.

BIOGRAPHIES

A graduate in International Development and Anthropology, Jonathan Bacon is a street worker for the Travail du sexe (TDS, or Sex Work) program. For four years, he has interfaced with cisgendered and trans men and women involved in sex work. Through his ongoing commitment, he cares for persons in need in terms of their physical, mental, social and emotional health. With a degree in Psychoeducation, Claude Poisson has spent 27 years working with marginalized and stigmatized populations. He has been acting as the coordinator of RÉZO’s TDS program for 11 years and is passionate about advocating for populations that are excluded and rejected by society.

34. Advocating for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans People in the Workplace

Presented in French, sponsored by FTQ

by Toufic El-Daher

The objectives of the presentation are: to define what homophobia and heterosexism are; to address homophobia as a social construct; to review the history of LGBTQ struggles and look at the words that are used to empower oneself or weaken the other; to recognize the legal protections that LGBTQ persons have; to recognize the gains that workers’ unions have achieved for their LGBTQ members; to define the terms “trans person”, “sexual identity” and “sexual expression”; to understand the role employers and unions have during transition and when a member begins transition; and to have sufficient knowledge and the required resources to adequately represent a person in transition.

BIOGRAPHIES

Toufic El-Daher has a long career in the labour movement and federal public service: Director of Equity Groups for the PSAC, Québec Region, for five years; elected representative for the Québec region at the negotiation table for the PA group; National Vice-President for Québec for the Union of Veterans Employees since December 2015, while serving as co-chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Committee (GLTL-FTQ) of the Québec Federation of Labour (FTQ). Finally, since 2003, Toufic El-Daher has been a veteran services agent at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Québec City.

35. Overview and Future Perspectives: LGBTQ+ Refugees and Migrants

Presented in French

by Meryem Benslimane

This workshop aims to present an overview and possible solutions for LGBTQ+ refugees and migrants, based on the experience of the Montréal-based AGIR Association. We will review the global situation of LGBTQ+ rights in the world (with particular emphasis on the Maghreb and Middle-East Region) and present the work done by AGIR with Montréal’s LGTQ+ migrant and refugee population and the specific issues related to these persons. Finally, we will discuss future solutions for LGTQ+ migrants and refugees in the world.

BIOGRAPHIES

A graduate in International relations and currently completing a Master’s degree in International studies at the Université de Montréal, Meryem Benslimane is interested in human rights, more specifically, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ migrant and refugee rights, as well as water legislation. Since 2016, she has volunteered at the not-for-profit association AGIR, which supports LGBTQ+ migrants and refugees. She is also the co-founder of the DGS Committee, the first official LGBTQ+ committee of the World Social Forum, and has been working at the LGBTQ+ Community Centre since October 2016.

36. Gender Identity: Quest for Inclusion

Presented in French

by Marie-Claude Landry, Sheila Osborne-Brown, James Gilbert, Aurélie Lebrun and Marie-Pier Boisvert

The Canadian Human Rights Commission will hold a discussion and sharing panel on advocacy in the context of gender oppression to promote equality and empowerment particularly within LGBTTIQA2S communities. We will discuss the issues of social and economic justice affecting LGBTTIQA2S communities, such as sex assignment at birth, civil identity, recognition of non-binary identity, workplace discrimination and access to justice. CHRC President Marie-Claude Landry will provide introductory remarks.

BIOGRAPHIES

Sheila Osborne-Brown is Senior Legal Counsel and team leader for the Human Rights Protection Branch at the Canadian Human Rights Commission. James Gilbert is Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations, Employment and Social Development Canada. Marie-Pier Boisvert is General Manager, Conseil québécois LGBT, and is highly involved with several LGBT communities in Québec and the issues they face. Aurélie Lebrun is a researcher at the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission and is conducting research on the rights of LGBT people. Marie-Claude Landry is President of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

40. Growing Old as an LGBTQ Person: Multiple Challenges

Presented in French

by Mélanie Le Berre, Laurent Breault and Jean Lalonde

With the ageing of our population being a major concern, there is a troubling silence surrounding all the issues that relate specifically to LGBTQ seniors. Ageism that is prevalent in our Québec society does not spare the LGBTQ community and its older members are generally invisible in the media. This conference aims to identify the different contextual and situational challenges faced by seniors in the Quebec LGBTQ community. First, we will profile the situation for elderly women who love women; then the topic will be broadened to the community with the testimonies of several speakers as well as a vox pop session, closing with a round table discussion open to the public.

BIOGRAPHIES

Laurent Breault is executive director of Foundation Émergence, which advocates against homophobia and transphobia, and for the rights to inclusion for all LGBT persons in society, and recently launched a new program to this end. Mélanie Le Berre is a masters student at the Université of Montréal, holds a certificate in gerontology and is also research assistant in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. She is also involved across a variety social issues at Fier depart/Start Proud MTL, GRIS Montréal and Tel-Aînes, an organization for which she regularly offers support and training. Jean Lalonde is the governor of the Emergence Foundation, and was also an acting board member of ARC (Aînés et retraités de le communauté). He takes to heart the importance of awareness building around the realities of aging gay men.

45. Neuro/Diversities: An Exploration of the Intersection between Neurodiversity and Sexual and Gender Diversity

Presented in French

by Marie-Édith D. Vigneau and Carine St-Jacques Karozis

The Neuro/Diversités project, developed by the AlterHéros organization and made possible thanks to Justice Québec, has enabled a number of “neurodiverse” young people between the ages of 14 and 30 to shed light on their needs and points of view with regard to sexual education, prevention of sexual assault, safe spaces, and openness to sexual and gender diversity and neurodiversity. During this presentation, the fruits of their discussions and their recommendations will be presented.

BIOGRAPHIES

Marie-Édith Vigneau has a bachelor’s degree in sexology and is executive director of AlterHéros and the sister of an autistic man. She holds a certificate from Université de Montréal (UdeM) in Intervention in Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She combines her experience with both sexual diverse and neurodiverse young people. Carine St-Jacques-Karozis, a social service worker, is vice president of AlterHéros. She recently completed an internship at the Centre de prévention et d’intervention pour les victimes d’agression sexuelle (CPIVAS). Her experience has led her to be particularly sensitive to the needs of victims of sexual violence and their families. Carine is an autistic person.

46. Crystal Meth, Drug Use and Sexuality: Interventions Adapted for Gay, Bisexual, Cisgender and Transgender Men

Presented in French

by Patrice Bécotte, Martin Bilodeau and Daniel Jonathan Laroche

MONBUZZ.ca is an innovative online tool for short interventions that offers men in our communities a personal assessment of their drug use in the context of sexuality and anonymous chat. [email protected] surveyed current and former users of crystal meth to better understand their needs and develop adapted resources. Kontak provides intervention, information and sexual material to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV/STBBI. These projects have the common feature of putting the contribution of our communities at the heart of their objectives and developments.

BIOGRAPHIES

A graduate in sexology, Patrice Bécotte is a speaker at RÉZO and contributes to the MOBILISE ! and MONBUZZ.ca projects related to sexual health, drug use and sexuality among men who have sex with men (MSM). Martin Bilodeau has been working in community and sexual health projects for three years. He works at RÉZO on the [email protected] research project on crystal meth. Daniel Jonathan Laroche has been with ACCM and RÉZO for more than three years. He is in charge of the Kontak project, which provides information and material on safe sexual practices and he has in-depth expertise in dealing with substance users.

47. Evolution in law and jurisprudence of trans human rights in Québec and Canada

Presented in French

by Louis Charron, Jean-Sébastien Sauvé

This workshop will examine the legislative evolution in trans human rights since the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1981, with a special focus on the situation in Québec. In addition to the modifications to the Criminal Code and the Charter, Québec’s legislative corpus has made important progress both in the Civil Code and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (Québec). The proposed legislative and case law review will contribute to raise awareness on the distance that has been covered in recent years in addition to identify the issues we still have for the future.

BIOGRAPHIES

Jean-Sébastien Sauvé is a lawyer (Québec Bar – 2010). He exercises his profession within the ‘’Commission scolaire Marie-Victorin’’. In recent years, he has worked intensively in legal research. His principal areas of interest are family and human rights, rights and freedoms and critical theories. On December 20th, 2016, with success, he defended his doctoral dissertation at Université de Montréal about sex categorization for Québec’s marital status. His works were led by professor Jean-François Gaudreault-Desbiens, Dean of the Law Faculty. Louis R. Charron, B.Sc. (Microbiology) Université de Montréal 1985, LL.B. Université de Sherbrooke 1988, M.B.A. H.E.C – Montréal, 1999, admitted to Québec Bar in 1989, Me Charron has practiced law within firm ‘’Gilbert Séguin Guilbault avocats’’. He is co-founder of SOGIC (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee of the Canadian Bar Association, section Québec), and sits on the Committee of Equality of this same association. Me Charron is founder and president of Québec Bar’s LGBT Committee.

51. Lesbian Women and the Quest for Asylum

Presented in French

by Lani A. Trilène, Karen and Nowai

In this panel discussion, Nowai, a woman from Guinea, and Karen, a woman from Togo, will explore the steps that brought them to Montréal in order to raise awareness about the reality of lesbians coming from countries where homosexuality is still criminalized, and where honour and cultural values are paramount. These discussions will help to explain why so many women end up applying for asylum on the basis of sexual orientation. A discussion period will follow the testimonies of these women, who are refugees on the basis of sexual orientation.

BIOGRAPHIES

Nowai is a Guinean woman and university student who was juggling her studies with strategies to conceal her homosexual relationship, only to learn that nothing remains hidden forever and escape often becomes the only option. Karen is a Togolese woman and an ambassador to various countries for the YMCA, which brought her to Vancouver for a visit last year. This trip to Canada took an unexpected turn because of her sexual orientation. Lani A.Trilène, a graduate of Université de Montréal (UdeM), has been working for the last three years at the Centre de Solidarité Lesbienne (Lesbian Solidarity Centre), where she has specialized in immigration processes for lesbian asylum seekers.

52. Mobilization, Rights and Global Health: Reflections on the Evolution of the Fight against HIV/AIDS in Gay Communities

Presented in French

by Thomas Haig, Bill Ryan, Ken Monteith and Yves Yomb

Gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be severely affected by HIV/AIDS in many countries. At the same time, gay men and their allies have played an important leadership role in the fight against HIV/AIDS, from the emergence of the epidemic in the 1980s to the present. This panel aims to explore the evolution of community action related to HIV prevention in different contexts (Québec, Canada, West Africa). These discussions will provide a basis for reflections on future strategies and initiatives.

BIOGRAPHIES

Bill Ryan is a social worker, educator and adjunct professor of social work at McGill University, as well as a consultant to the Institute for Sexual Minority Health (ISMH-ISMS). Thomas Haig is an associate professor at the École de travail social at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and a researcher at the Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-SIDA), where he coordinates the MOBILISE! research project. Ken Monteith is the executive director of COCQ-SIDA and co-principal investigator of the MOBILISE! project. Yves Yomb is a human rights advocate for sexual minorities and coordinator of the Africagay association against AIDS in Douala, Cameroon.

53. Trans Inclusion in the Workplace

Presented in French

by Laurent Breault, Marie Isabelle Gendron, Karen Baker and Élizabeth Parenteau

The Emergence Foundation recently produced an informational guide about the integration of trans persons in the workplace, elaborated in partnership with ATQ (Aide aux Trans du Québec). This guide aims to give employees the necessary tools to assure a workplace environment exempt from transphobia. In sharing this new guide, the panel will also present the issues and realities that trans folks experience in the workplace.

BIOGRAPHY

Laurent Breault is the General Director of the Emergence Foundation, an organization fighting against homophobia and transphobia and working to defend the rights of LGBT persons, as well as motivating for their social inclusion. Marie Isabelle Gendron is Governor of the Foundation and technic specialist at Pratt & Whitney Canada’s service center. Karen Baker is an industrial engineer and Spare Parts General Manager at Pratt & Whitney Canada. Élizabeth Parenteau is a sexology doctoral student, specialist about inclusion issues for trans people in the workplace, Research Chair on Homophobia, UQAM.

57. The Trans Realities in the Private Sector

Presented in French

by Patricia Paquette and Nicholas Jean

This workshop looks at how unions are connected with the “trans” reality in the private sector, focusing on the difficulties encountered in the workplace by trans people. Particular emphasis will placed on allowing participants to discuss what they expect from their unions, which could allow for better integration into their environments, regardless of their status. So what are the priorities on which we need to focus in collaboration with employers as well as with partners at work?

BIOGRAPHIES

Patricia Paquette is a Videotron employee in technical support and self-proclaimed “geek” with a passion for astronomy, nature, camping and sharpshooting. When the opportunity arises, she gets involved in social causes that advance human rights, from the Red Cross to the FTQ’s LGBT committee. Nicholas Jean has been a food industry worker for 30 years who has been greatly involved with his union to help defend workers who encounter difficulties. He is also involved in the FTQ’s education and LGBT-FTQ committees.

58. Regional Realities of Trans People: A Portrait of Estrie and Francophone Ontario

Presented in French

by Stéphanie Roy, Yanick Dallaire, Mélanie Rioux and Anne Jutras

IRIS Estrie will examine the current reality for trans people in the Estrie region, the issues facing the community and issues facing the organization itself. They will present some of the tools put in place to better meet the needs of the people they encounter. The Novas-CALACS Francophone Centre in Prescott-Russell will share the process of developing their LGBTQui? Workshops, which aim to sensitize three target publics: schools, the general public and professionals. The purpose of these workshops is to raise awareness about challenges faced by rural transgender women.

BIOGRAPHIES

Stéphanie Roy has been involved in prevention, education and health promotion at IRIS Estrie since 2014. In addition to facilitating and accompanying trans people in their transitions, she moderates the Chameleon discussion group. Yanick Dallaire is director of Iris Estrie. Mélanie Rioux is coordinator for the prevention, awareness and education programs at the Novas Centre. She created and is in charge of the development of the LGBTQui? program. Anne Jutras is the executive director of the Novas-CALACS Francophone Centre in Prescott-Russell.