Grand Marshals and Guests of Honour

Grand Marshals

Sridhar Rangayan (Mumbai, India)

Filmmaker, Writer and Festival Director

Sridhar-RangayanSridhar Rangayan wears many caps — that of a filmmaker, writer, activist and festival director. For over two decades, he has consistently strived to give a voice to social issues in India through his films, writings and public speaking.

His award-winning films The Pink Mirror, Yours Emotionally!, 68 Pages, Project Bolo and Purple Skies present hard-hitting social issues with warmth, compassion and humour and are at the forefront of India’s emerging queer cinema movement. His latest film, Breaking Free, won the National Award for Best Editing (Nonfiction) and was selected for the prestigious Indian Panorama by the Government of India’s Directorate of Film Festivals.

He has served on the jury of such prestigious film festivals as Outfest (U.S.), Berlinale (Germany), Iris Prize (U.K.) and Movies that Matter (The Netherlands). He is the founder and festival director of the FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival and the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, South Asia’s biggest queer film festival.

He is one of the founding trustees of the Humsafar Trust, which was established in 1994 and is still is one of India’s largest community-based organizations working on HIV/AIDS intervention. He served on its board for 19 years. He also was one of the core team members of Bombay Dost, India’s first gay magazine, which was launched in 1990.

He has appeared on Pink Pages’ list of the “5 most influential gay & lesbian Indians” and Mumbai Boss’ list of “The People Changing Mumbai’s Culture Scene” and was listed as one of the “21 heroes changing LGBTI Asia for the better” by the Asia LGBT Milestone Awards (ALMA).

Olie Pullen (Montreal)

Student – Advancing the rights of transgender children

Olie_PullenOlie Pullen is a teen who, like so many others, just finished Secondary 1, takes theatre classes, and spends time socializing with girls her own age.

But since 2013, she’s appeared frequently in the media and public arena to act as a spokesperson and push for the rights of transgender children in Québec. Only 13 years old, she’s already accomplished much to raise people’s awareness. She has met with numerous journalists to explain the realities of transgender children, the issues they face — including bullying at school and in their communities — and the strategies to address those issues.

Olie was also one of the youngest person to appear before a parliamentary committee to explain the realities of trans children as part of the public consultation process for Bill 35 and the laws connected to it. Because of how she distinguished herself through her actions in the fight against transphobia, Olie Pullen was selected as a finalist for the Ensemble contre l’intimidation prize, awarded by the Québec premier on the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence, in October 2015.

Hector Gomez (Montreal)

LGBTQ Immigrant Advocate

hector-gomezOriginally from Colombia, Hector Gomez completed his studies in education. He was a university professor and professional architect for more than 25 years. His sexual orientation compelled him to immigrate to Canada 16 years ago. Since his arrival, he has been heavily involved with the LGBTQ communities.

Hector’s dedication to Québec’s LGBTQ communities is particularly impressive. Among other things, he’s the president and founder of Beyond the Rainbow (Au-delà de l’arc-en-ciel, or ADA), an organization whose mission is to support newly arrived LGBTQ persons as they join Québec society. His actions are aimed at raising the awareness of the various actors in the social arena, and of the Québec population as a whole, regarding the realities faced by LGBTQ immigrants, all in an effort to reduce the prejudice that exists.

Recipient of the “Bénévole par excellence” award, recognizing excellence in volunteering, at the 2011 Gala Arc-en-ciel, he has since earned his bachelor’s degree in social work.

Since 2005, He has also been involved with the Groupe de discussion au masculin (GDM) since 2015. Moreover, the men’s discussion group has added a section for Spanish speakers. An important community stakeholder, Hector is a staunch defender of human rights who actively promotes the importance of diversity in our society.

Mona Belleau (Quebec)

Inuk Activist

mona-belleau Mona Belleau, an Inuk from Iqaluit, Nunavut, has accumulated many years of experience within various Aboriginal organizations. This in addition to her volunteer work, notably for the LGBT Family Coalition, where she organizes social activities for Québec City. The mother of two has also worked with the Maori in New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

She was president of the Aboriginal student association at Université Laval and wrote the foreword for the book Jeunesses autochtones: Affirmation, innovation et résistance dans les mondes contemporains, published by Presses de l’Université Laval and Presses Universitaires de Rennes. Social justice and equality are values that have always been important to her.

Raven-Symoné (Los Angeles, United States)

Actress and Producer

raven-symoné Actress and producer Raven-Symoné is one of Hollywood’s most talented young stars, currently co-hosting the award-winning talk show The View and appearing in FOX’s Empire and ABC’s Blackish.

Raven is known for her role in the Disney Channel’s Emmy-nominated series That’s So Raven, which garnered her three NAACP Image Awards, two Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and a Young Artist Award.

Raven’s film credits include Garry Marshall’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, opposite Anne Hathaway, and Dr. Dolittle and Dr. Dolittle 2, opposite Eddie Murphy. Raven’s work as Olivia on TV’s The Cosby Show also earned her a Young Artist Award. In 2012, Raven headlined the Broadway hit Sister Act as lead Delores Van Cartier. The Whoopi Goldberg produced show was nominated for five Tony Awards.

Raven is a humanitarian who addresses issues of concern to children. She is very active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, fulfilling the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Raven is also involved with Girls Incorporated, a national non-profit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold by providing vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas.

Guests of honour

Vincent and Bruno Boileau-Autin (Montpellier, France)

First homosexual couple to be married in France

Vincent and Bruno Boileau-Autin are volunteers with Fierté Montpellier-Tignes Pride and are invested at multiple levels.

Vincent has been president of the organization since 2008. In those eight years, it has become a major player in the region in terms of promoting LGBTQ rights, as much with male and female politicians as with the public at large. With the help of the passionate volunteers that surround him, his work as an activist has brought the organization to the top of the budgetary leader board of Pride organizers. He is ever committed to providing ever more content that is advocative, festive and available to all.

Since 2014, Bruno has been the coordinator of the InterPride+EPOA European and World Conference, to be held in Montpellier from October 11 to 16, 2016. Together with the board of directors of Fierté Montpellier-Tignes Pride, he is proud to be organizing this first for France: the first ever gathering of all the Pride’s of Europe and the world.

It was in 2006 that Vincent and Bruno met… on the Internet! At that time, 700 km separated them: Bruno was living in Paris, Vincent in Montpellier. It was in Paris that the true meeting took place, the City of Lights working its charm and magic. Ten years later, here they are married and living together in Montpellier. On May 29, 2013, they had the honour and pleasure of being the first gay couple in France to benefit from the law establishing marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples in that country.

A few months later, they picked Canada as their honeymoon destination. During the trip, they discovered and fell in love with Montreal. Now they’re planning — not so secretly — to move here!

Grand Marshals

Anna Sharyhina (Kiev, Ukraine)

Director of KyivPride and Vice-president of Women Association Sphere

sharyhinaAs vice-president of the women’s association “Sphere” from Kharkiv, since 2007, Anna’s primary activity has been in the field of feminism and the lesbian rights movement. Anna also studied interconnections between gender, sexuality and power in the present society within her post-graduate research.

In 2015, she was invited to be the head of the managers’ team of KyivPride2015, after being a volunteer in 2013 and part of the organizing committee of KyivPride2014. The Equality March is the most public and controversial action from the perspective of Ukrainian society. In 2012, the March was blocked by hooligans and radicals that city authorities were unable to cope with. However, in 2013, the March was held with the participation of the LGBT community, human rights activists and visitors from other countries. City officials corrected their mistakes from 2012 and provided the basic safety for the March’s participants. Last year, the mayor of Kyiv and local leaders publicly refused to assure security of the peaceful assembly. The organizing committee of KyivPride2014 was forced to cancel the March. This year, the Equality March took place in spite of attacks by aggressive right-wing radicals. In general, KyivPride2015 was successful thanks to the support of Ukrainian LGBT-people, human rights activists, Ukrainian and international diplomats and politicians, journalists and international LGBT-organizations.

Candis Cayne (United States)

Actress and performance artist

Candis CayneCandis Cayne is an American actress and performance artist. Known in the NYC nightclub scene since the 1990s, Cayne came to national attention in 2007 for portraying transgender mistress Carmelita on ABC’s prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money. Her role, as the mistress of New York Attorney General Patrick Darling (played by William Baldwin), made Cayne the first transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character in prime time television.

Cayne moved to New York in the early 1990s, making a name for herself as a choreographer and drag performer. Unaware of what a transsexual was until she lived in New York, about three years after her arrival Cayne realized that the term described how she felt about herself. Already performing as “Candis Cayne” at New York’s Boy Bar and as a featured performer at Tour in New York’s Chelsea, the entertainer also participated in Wigstock, the annual drag festival in the East Village

In 1995 Cayne appeared in the related documentary film Wigstock: The Movie, the comedy-drama film Stonewall, and the Universal Studios comedy film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, for which she also did choreography. Cayne began transitioning in 1996.

Monique Giroux (Québec)

Author, producer and radio host

girouxSince 1986, Radio-Canada host, producer, writer and show designer Monique Giroux has dedicated herself to the promotion of French-language song, at home and abroad. A passionate advocate and promoter of our culture, she encourages and advises artists, welcoming them with originality and openness. Her warmth and her respect for the arts have built bridges between creators and the public. Monique Giroux uses radio, television, articles, conferences, books, records and performances as channels to express her passion for Québec words and music. Her efforts to promote quality music and song writing also aim to ensure the preservation and flourishing of the French language.

Since 2007, Monique Giroux has been the Québec representative on the founding board of the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques-CFA. Monique is spokesperson for the Fondation Émergence and for Gai-Écoute,  is also a member of the Académie Charles-Cros, an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic of France, member of the Ordre de la Pléiade, member of the Ordre des Francophones d’Amérique, member of the Order of Canada and a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec. In 2015, her civic involvement and the creation of the Québec version of the Couples Imaginaires exhibition of the works of French photographer Olivier Ciappa earned her the Laurent McCutcheon Award for the fight against homophobia and transphobia.

Dr Richard Montoro (Québec)

Psychiatrist

montoroDr Montoro is a psychiatrist at the McGill University Health Centre. His work focuses primarily on the mental health care of LGBT people and those who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. To this end, he co-founded the McGill University Sexual Identity Centre (MUSIC) in 1999, the only academic centre of its kind in Canada. MUSIC serves individuals from all over the province, offering couple and family therapy, group therapy and short-term individual therapy.

Dr. Montoro is particularly interested in educating other health care professionals around LGBT issues and teaches at both McGill University and Université de Montréal. His research interest is suicidality in LGBT youth and he has written articles and presented internationally on the effects of homophobia, sexual orientation dimensions and bullying.

Dr. Montoro received the Innovation of the Year prize in 2000 from the AMPQ (l’Association des médecins psychiatres du Québec) for the creation of MUSIC, and in 2006 he received the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from AMI-Québec for his clinical work in the clinic.

Guests of honour

Linda Dawn Hammond (Toronto)

Photographer, filmmaker and journalist

hammondPhotographer, filmmaker and journalist, Linda Dawn Hammond places the many facets of her talents at the service of social justice.

Ms. Hammond has been a key player in many significant demonstrations. The most important of these is undoubtedly the shocking events that unfolded at the Sex Garage loft party in 1990, a watershed moment in the history of LGBT activism in Montréal. Ms. Hammond managed to immortalize the violence and brutality of this homophobic police raid while struggling to protect her camera from a battery of police batons.

For over 20 years, she has masterfully portrayed LGBT people and culture through various projects, including the book Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, and the film We’re here, We’re Queer, We’re Fabulous! She has also worked on a photo series called Three Part Bodyseries, where she invited members from the punk and gay communities in studio as a celebration of diversity and individuality. Parallel to her work on underground culture, Ms. Hammond created a series of self-portraits entitled Personal Needs, illustrating sexual diversity and the relationship between men and women.

Hubert Lavallée (Québec)

Actor

lavalleeFor as long as he can remember, Hubert Lavallée Bellefleur always dreamed of being an actor. This is what led him to complete his studies in Theatrical Performance at the Conservatoire LaSalle. Hubert starred in a few ads and had several minor television roles before being selected to play the part of Jean-Félix Ouimet in Aurélie Laflamme : les pieds sur terre. This was his first major film role. Over the few next years, Hubert Lavallée Bellefleur continued to perfect his craft as an actor.

He sought to broaden his horizons as an artist by undergoing training in television hosting as well as filmmaking. This summer, he will take part in the Montréal Pride festival for the first time as a Guest of Honour. Everyone is invited to meet and chat with him during Pride, especially on Kids’ Day, which will take place August 13 at Place Émilie-Gamelin.

Dax Dasilva (Québec)

Businessman

dasilvaDax Dasilva, originally from Vancouver, is the CEO and creative mind behind Lightspeed POS, a Montréal-based software company that built commercial platforms used by over 25,000 independent retailers and restaurants around the world.

Started in 2005 in Montréal’s Village, Lightspeed embraces the diversity of its over 300 employees and is active with the Chambre de commerce LGBT du Québec to promote open and accepting workplaces.

Dax is also the founder of Never Apart, a newly-formed non-profit organization determined to bring about social change and spiritual awareness through programming with global reach and impact. Never Apart will produce Montréal Pride’s Friday night show, Village Paradise.

Francis Ishpatao (Québec)

Political Adviser for the Innu People

ishpatauKuei! Francis (Penasis) Ishpatau is from the Nutashkuan (Natashquan) Aboriginal community. With a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University of Ottawa and the Institut Tshakapesh, he has lived more than half his life outside his community to acquire the non-Aboriginal knowledge and tools necessary to enable him to represent the Innu (Montagnais) community well. In the words of his late grandfather Matthew, “If you do nothing for your territory and you don’t take responsibility, the government will decide everything for you.” That is what inspired him to become a political adviser: to enable him to realize the cherished dreams and projects he has for his community.

Francis advocates for his people on several levels with the goals of the survival of a proud and strong Innu nation, and the promotion of its socio-economic and community development. Francis would like the Canadian government to recognize and make reparations for the immense damage done by assimilation programs and the policy of cultural genocide enacted through the residential school system. In his culture, the concept of ownership does not exist: The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to it. The Earth is our Mother and we are her children. Tshinashkumitshinqui (thank you).

Porte-parole

Jasmin Roy

jasminActor, radio/television host, author and director, Jasmin Roy is among the constellation of Québec artists who have made their mark in several fields.

For Jasmin, 2010 was a banner year, with the release of his book, “Osti de Fif”, and the creation of La Fondation Jasmin Roy to fight intimidation in schools. Jasmin Roy has always championed the cause of social recognition for the LGBT community in Montréal and for communities around the world.

International Grand Marshals

Mr. Peter Tatchell

LGBT rights and human rights campaigner

Peter TatchellPeter Tatchell has been campaigning for human rights for over 47 years on issues of democracy, civil liberties, social equality, environmental protection, peace and global justice. He is best known for his campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) freedom. He began his human rights campaigning in 1967, against the death penalty and the Vietnam war and for Aboriginal rights in his homeland of Australia. From 1971, after moving to the UK, Tatchell was a leading activist in the Gay Liberation Front in London.

In 1988, he set up the UK AIDS Vigil Organisation to campaign for the human rights of people with HIV, coordinating the world’s first AIDS Human Rights Charter and first HIV Human Rights Conference. The following year, he helped found the HIV activist group, ACT UP London. In 1990, enraged by police victimization of the LGBT community, and official indifference to homophobic murders, he joined with others to create the queer rights direct action group OutRage!

In 1999, in London, he and his OutRage! colleagues ambushed the motorcade of the Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe, attempting a citizen’s arrest on charges of torture. A repeat attempt in Brussels in 2001 resulted in him being beaten unconscious by Mugabe’s bodyguards, which left him with permanent minor brain and eye injuries.
He was bashed by neo-Nazis and arrested at the Moscow Gay Pride parade in 2007 when he attempted to march in solidarity with Russian LGBT campaigners. Peter was the coordinator of the Equal Love campaign, which helped to win same-sex marriage in the UK in 2013 and he has recently coordinated campaigns in solidarity with LGBT communities in Russia, Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria and India.

Mr. Boban Stojanovic

Serbian LGBT rights activist

Boban StojanovicBoban Stojanović is one of the most prominent LGBT activists in Serbia, as well as one of the most visible LGBT activists in the Balkans. Boban has been involved in human rights issues for almost 20 years: he started his work as a volunteer in refugee centres throughout the war period in the nineties, and today he is the organizer of one of the country’s most important human rights events, the Belgrade Pride Parade.

His volunteer work in refugee centres focused on assisting and rehabilitating children. He later joined initiatives against family violence and he worked in th e feminist and peace organization, Women in Black, as a coordinator for the Network for Conscientious Objection. In 2006, he founded the Queeria Centerwith a group of friends, which has significantly contributed to the visibility of the LGBT community in Serbia. Since 2010, Boban has been one of the key organizers of the Belgrade Pride Parade.
Being one of the few openly gay activists in the country, Boban was frequently exposed to attacks and provocations. In addition to verbal threats, he was brutally beaten after a protest, and last year his apartment was vandalized by a neo-Nazi group.

Boban is a columnist for several activist web portals and is often cited in the Serbian media. He published his autobiography last year, As If Everything Was OK, and he was twice nominated for the Global Exchange People’s Choice Awards.

National Grand Marshals

Dr. Réjean Thomas

Dr. Réjean ThomasClinician at l’Actuel, which he co-founded and where he has been president since 1984, medical advisor at the Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal (CHUM), associate doctor at McGill University AIDS Center and former special advisor to the Government of Quebec for international humanitarian action, Dr. Thomas also studied in philosophy. Founder of Doctors of the World Canada, Dr. Thomas contributed in establishing a humanist approach to medicine in Canada and abroad through humanitarian missions in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Malawi and Vietnam. He is also editor-in-chief of ViroChannel, an online social network of health care professionals interested in virology. In 2011, Dr. Thomas opened Clinique A, in Montreal, which is specialized in sexual health.

Dr. Thomas has earned international recognition through his approach as both a clinician and grassroots activist on the fight for education, prevention and research to fight prejudice and social vulnerability, advocating for human rights along and patients’ quality of life. He has contributed to numerous scientific publications and has performed several preceptorships with clinical teams from France, Argentina, and the Czech Republic, among others. A graduate of universities of Moncton, Laval and Montreal, Dr. Thomas has received numerous awards for his exceptional contributions to the progress of social causes, including the Ordre national du Québec, the Order of Canada, two Doctorate Honoris Causa, one from Université de Moncton and, recently, from University de Montréal.

Ms. Françoise Susset

Françoise SussetFrançoise Susset is a Québec clinical psychologist, as well as a couple and family therapist. Her work focuses primarily on the LGBT community and addressing sexual minority issues. Françoise is co-founder of the Institute for Sexual Minority Health, through which she offers training programs for education and health professionals in both Canada and abroad. She is particularly interested in the study of gender expressions in pre-pubescent children, helping families and schools challenge notions regarding sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

She is also dedicated to the assessment and clinical support of transgender and transsexual adults and adolescents, during and beyond transition.  For over 12 years, Françoise has worked as a trainer for a Ministry of Health and Social Services program entitled, “Towards a new Understanding of Homosexuality”. She has received recognition from the Association d’aide aux trans du Québec (ATQ) for her service and support to the trans community and was nominated by the Conseil Québécois LGBT for an award in the category of “personnalité par excellence”. Françoise Susset is a member of WPATH and is past-president of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH).

Ms. Patricia Jean

Patricia JeanPatricia Jean is the executive director of Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of the Afro-Caribbean LGBT community in Québec. She is also the coordinator of MASSIMADI International Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ film festival. She completed her studies at Concordia University in administration and accounting and has many years’ experience in human resources and administration. She became involved with Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique in February of 2012 as a volunteer and, after a few months, she was asked to take charge of the association’s women’s committee in order to increase lesbian visibility within the community. She was then elected as a co-president in 2013 and was promoted to executive director in October of 2013. Patricia is passionate about and commited to fighting inequalities and issues related to homophobia, sexism, racism and classism.

Spokesperson

Mr. Jasmin Roy

Jasmin RoyActor, radio/television host, author and director, Jasmin Roy is among the constellation of Québec artists who have made their mark in several fields. For Jasmin, 2010 was a banner year, with the release of his book, “Osti de Fif” and the creation of La Fondation Jasmin Roy to fight Intimidation in schools. Jasmin Roy has always championed the cause of social recognition for the LGBT community in Montréal, and for communities around the world.

Grand Marshals

Mr. Gilbert Baker

Grand Marshal, artist and creator of the Rainbow Flag

Gilbert Baker is the American artist and civil rights activist who created the Rainbow Flag, which became the rallying symbol of the LGBT movement, in June 1978 in San Francisco. His work as a vexillographer (flag maker) spans 30 years and includes two world records. Gilbert Baker was born in Kansas 1951, and was stationed in San Francisco, just at the start of the gay liberation movement, while he served in the US Army from 1970 to 1972. After being honorably discharged Baker stayed in San Francisco and taught himself to sew. It was this skill that he put to use making banners for gay and anti-war street protest marches, often at a moment’s notice, at the request of his friend, Harvey Milk, who was later elected to office and assassinated November 27, 1978. Milk rode triumphantly under the first Rainbow Flags Baker made at their debut on June 25, 1978, for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Baker credits Milk for inspiring his work with the message of hope.

Early in 2008, Baker returned to San Francisco to recreate the banners and flags he made in the 1970s for the Academy Award-winning feature film “Milk” starring Sean Penn. Baker’s long list of accomplishments as an artist and activist include the creation of a mile-long Rainbow Flag in New York City in 1994 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riot in 1969. Measuring 30 x 5280 feet and carried by 5,000 people, it broke the world record for largest flag. Unfurled past the United Nations Building before a crowd of millions, Bakers magic with fabric became a worldwide media event. Today, Google lists more than 2,600,000 references to the Rainbow Flag and another catalogued 241,000 images.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the creation of Baker’s Rainbow Flag. To mark this milestone, the theme for the 2013 Pride Parade, presented by Viagra, will be, “Our Flag, Our Life: Red”, the first colour of the emblematic Rainbow Flag, representing life. Montréal Pride is proud to have Gilbert Baker as a guest of honour and as Grand Marshal in the 2013 Pride Parade. There will also be an exhibition of his art at the Café des Arts at Place Émilie-Gamelin from Wednesday, August 14, to Sunday, August 18. Video interview of Gilbert Baker » | Edited for the ACLU by Anna Mumford

Mr. Jej Perfekcyjność

Grand Marshal, activist from Poland

Fierté Montréal continues its tradition of welcoming international activists from countries around the world in which LGBT human rights are threatened or contested. This year, the organizing committee is proud to welcome Jej Perfekcyjność (pronounced “Yay PerfecTEEnosht”), transgender spokesperson for Parada Równości, Warsaw’s equality Pride parade, as Grand Marshal for the Pride Parade. In Poland, there is no legal recognition of same-sex couples, with major opposition coming from the Roman Catholic Church, which is active politically and wields a considerable degree of influence both in state affairs and the society as a whole.

A passionate defender of equal rights, Jej is a Ph.D. student of sociology at University of Warsaw with Master’s Degrees in Sociology, Journalism and Social Communication. Jej is President of the Queer UW students’ organization, the biggest social sciences organization in Poland, and a board member of Fundacja Wolontariat Równości (Equality Volunteers Foundation). Jej has taught about sex/gender issues and about modern relationships at University of Warsaw for several years. Very often described as the “Poland’s number one queer person”, Jej is famous for fabulous dresses and combining his/her controversial lifestyle with serious scientific reflection. Jej is the most popular trans-blogger in Poland and is also involved in the European project for the integration of disabled people into the job market.

Dr. Karine Igartua

A psychiatrist advocating for sexual minorities

Karine IgartuaDr. Karine Igartua is president of the Association des Médecins Psychiatres du Québec (Québec Association of Psychiatric Physicians), assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and co-founder of the McGill University Sexual Identity Centre (MUSIC) whose mission is to contribute to the mental health of the LGBT population. Dr. Igartua has worked as a psychiatrist since 1999, providing psychiatric care to sexual minorities, training for professionals throughout the Québec health network and support for community organizations. She has also conducted research on risk factors and on recommended therapeutic approaches and has been consulted by media and political organizations regarding issues related to the mental health of the LGBT community.

In particular, Dr. Igartua served as a privileged interlocutor with the government on matters related to civil unions, same-sex marriage, the rights of transgender people and access to assisted reproduction for same-sex couples. The contributions made by Dr. Igartua and MUSIC have been widely recognized both by the LGBT community and the broader psychiatric community. In fact, Dr. Igartua was nominated for the Prix Arc-en-ciel for Social Action in 2003, won the Prix de Réalisation de l’année of the Association des psychiatres du Québec in 2000, and the prize for outstanding psychiatrist from the Alliance pour les malades mentaux in 2006.

Guests of Honour

Ms. Vicky Lauzon, Ms. Maude Chartrand Paquette and Mr. Nicolas Vandal

The next generation of LGBT activists

Fierté Montréal welcomes three inspiring young people who represent the spirit and vitality of the next generation of the LGBT community. Vicky Lauzon and Maude Chartrand Paquette are two young women from the Gatineau area of Québec who received the Ruban Mauve par la Fondation Jasmin Roy for their efforts to fight bullying and homophobia in schools. The two young women, both 17 years old, founded an LGBT committee at Polyvalente Le Carrefour, their high school. Fierté is also proud to welcome Nicolas Vandal, a 23-year-old student, writer and lecturer who has given conferences on subjects related to bullying, suicide, diversity and self-acceptance for the past four years. In February 2013, he published his autobiography, “Le cauchemar de l’intimidation  : J’ai failli en mourir” [The nightmare of intimidation: It nearly killed me], in which he recounts his difficult adolescent years that led him to want to take his own his life and the tools he used to regain control. The process of writing the book proved to be cathartic for him, allowing him to come out and publicly reveal his homosexuality. Since then, he says he has never felt so good in his skin and has made it his mission to fight the many forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation, disabilities or other differences.

Spokesperson

Jasmin Roy

2008_2009_jasmin_royActor, radio/television host, author and director, Jasmin Roy is among the constellation of Québec artists who have made their mark in several fields. For Jasmin, 2010 was a banner year, with the release of his book, “Osti de Fif” and the creation of La Fondation Jasmin Roy to fight Intimidation in schools. Jasmin Roy has always championed the cause of social recognition for the LGBT community in Montréal, and for communities around the world. This fall, he will host a series of documentaries entitled “Intimidated” on Canal Vie and will launch his second book in November 2013.

Honorary Presidents

Mr. Jean-Luc Romero

Jean-Luc RomeroJean-Luc Romero is active in many fields, both in politics and in the world of non-profit organizations. He is also the author of numerous books. These all target a single goal: the human being. He is the first and only politician in France to have revealed his HIV status in May 2002 in a book entitled, Virus de Vie (“Virus of Life”). He was also the first politician to reveal is homosexuality in the book, On m’ a volé ma vérité (“My Truth Was Stolen”), in May 2001.

He is regional council of the Île-de-France region, president of Élus Locaux Contre le Sida (French elected representatives against AIDS), of the Association pour le Droit de Mourir dans la Dignité (ADMD), of CRIPS Île-de-France and part of the official support committee for Florence Cassez. His strong involvement in the fight against AIDS led to his nomination in 2005 by the Prime Minister as Member of the National Council Against AIDS.

He has fought vigorously to have homophobic remarks be treated with the same severity as racist ones. He was elected “Gay of the Year 2011” by the readers of Yagg.fr.

Mr. David Testo

David TestoDavid Testo is a professional soccer player from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He played for the Montréal Impact from 2007 to 2011 and, at the end of the 2009 season, he received the Giuseppe-Saputo Award for Most Valuable Player. He is one of the few openly gay athletes in professional sports.

In November 2011, following a series of suicides by young gay men, David decided to speak publicly about his homosexuality, making him the first professional soccer player in North America to officially “come out”. His decision was hailed by media around the world, including the prestigious magazine, Sports Illustrated. David is the first openly gay man to be elected and to serve as a member of the US Soccer Athletic Council. He is an active member of the advisory board for the “You Can Play” Campaign, launched by Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager, Brian Burke. He is a passionate advocate for gay rights and awareness in sports and is frequently asked to speak at many events.

Guests of Honour

Ms. Line Chamberland

Line ChamberlandLong-time activist and sociologist by training, Line Chamberland has conducted several studies on discrimination against sexual minorities in various areas of life, such as school, the workplace and health and social services. She has also published many publications on the history of lesbianism in Québec as well as studies on gays and lesbians. As a researcher, Line Chamberland is part of the Groupe de travail mixte sur l’homophobie (joint working group on homophobia) whose work led to the adoption of a Québec Government Action Plan Against Homophobia, followed by a 2011-2016 Action Plan.

In November 2011, she was named Research Chair on Homophobia, a position created at UQAM as one of the key measures of the Action Plan. The first of its kind in North America, the Chair will build bridges between institutional, community and scientific milieus to fight more effectively against homophobia and transphobia.

Ms. Julie-Maude Beauchesne

Julie-Maude BeauchesneJournalist, publicist and political scientist, Julie-Maude Beauchesne is an activist who takes the advancement of the rights and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender people to heart. For the past nine years, she has been involved in organizations and projects that have touched many different realities, such as Jeunesse Lambda and AlterHéros, where she invested much time and energy as a volunteer since 2004. She served in many positions within the organization and, as president, she led a complete reform of the organization, for which she received the award for Volunteer Excellence at the Arc-en-Ciel Gala.

Concurrently, she has represented the trans community within the Groupe de travail mixte contre l’homophobie (joint working group against homophobia) and the Collectif de travail LGBT (LGBT work collective), which worked on the development of the first Government Action Plan Against Homophobia. Within the CQGL, she also championed the collective effort that led to the first Trans Claim Plan, which has been filed with the Québec Ministry of Justice.

Ms. Kat Coric

Kat CoricKat Coric is recognized as one of the few female, heterosexual artists to work within the contemporary gay circuit party subculture as an activist and an ardent supporter of LGBT rights. She represents an established an ever growing part of society where gays and straights mingle together professionally and socially. With her collaborators she has produced numerous projects and events with the focus on HIV education for youth.

 

 

 

Spokesperson

Mr. Jasmin Roy

Jasmin RoyActor and radio and television host, Jasmin Roy is among the constellation of Québec artists who have made their mark in several fields. For Jasmin, 2010 was a banner year, with the release of his book, “Osti de Fif” and the creation of La Fondation Jasmin Roy to fight intimidation in schools. Jasmin Roy is also a familiar voice on Rythme FM radio.

Jasmin Roy has always championed the cause of social recognition for the LGBT community in Montréal, and for communities around the world.

Grand Marshal

Me Alice Nkom

Alice NkomA lawyer since 1969, Alice Nkom was 24 when she became the first black woman to enter the Cameroon Bar Association at a time when practicing law was almost exclusively a male endeavour. Despite the difficulties she faced, and through many battles fought and positions taken, she won the admiration and respect of her peers in the profession.

Throughout her legal career, which has spanned over forty years, Alice Nkom has always been driven by a passion to champion justice and win against the odds, with a natural spirit of leadership that has made her a lawyer unlike any other. Often described as stubborn by the people who know and love her, she is a woman of courage, of law and duty, even when she faced threats to her life.

In addition to being a woman of law, Alice Nkom is a woman inspired by important causes and deeply-held beliefs. She has dedicated her entire life to fighting for gender equality, for respect and for human dignity. As an activist, she has earned international recognition for promoting democracy, the establishment of state rights and freedoms, respect for human rights, for protecting the environment and for her fight against AIDS and against the illegal emigration of young Cameroonians.

Me Alice Nkom

Spokeperson

Mr. Jasmin Roy

Alice NkomActor, reporter and columnist, Jasmin Roy is among the constellation of Québec artists who have made their mark in several fields. After creating the hit show Les Gaydailles, which was performed as part of the Just For Laughs Festival and the Montréal Pride Celebrations, Jasmin Roy resumed his role in the popular TV comedy series, Caméra Café on TVA. He continues to produce weekly features for Rhythm FM Radio and the TV morning show, Salut Bonjour. He also contributes regular columns to the popular Dernière Heure and Le Lundi magazines. For Jasmin, 2010 was a banner year, with the release of his book, “Osti de Fif” as well as a new show for the Just For Laughs Festival and for the Montréal Pride Celebrations, Les Gaydailles contre-attaquent ! In December 2010, Jasmin Roy created the La Fondation Jasmin Roy to fight intimidation in schools. In January 2011, he took on a new challenge as co-host of the Deux gars le matin morning radio show on Rythme FM. Jasmin Roy has always championed the cause of social recognition for the LGBT community in Montréal, and for communities around the world.

Grand Marshals

Mr. Kaspars Zalitis

Kaspars ZalitisKaspars Zalitis is a human rights activist and a board member of LGBT and their friends alliance “Mozaika”, the only functioning gay rights organization in Latvia. Kaspars was born in Venstpils, a seaside city in West of Latvia. He has studied and taken deep interest in Public Relations. For almost 15 years he has volunteered in various youth and human rights organizations. Currently he works for Latvian Centre for Human Rights. Kaspars joined “Mozaika” in 2006 and since then has been actively involved in the organization of Prides, being a head security coordinator for all Riga pride parades from 2007 on as well as the challenging 2010 Baltic Pride in Vilnius, which involved discussions with the police and other security authorities to ensure the safety of all participants. Kaspars has represented “Mozaika” in countless international events with Amnesty International, at InterPride conferences and Pride parades all over the world.

Ms. Kristine Garina

Kristine GarinaKristine Garina is one of the founders of LGBT and their friends alliance “Mozaika”, the only functioning gay rights organisation in Latvia. Kristine was born and raised in Riga, Latvia. In 2000, she graduated from the University of Latvia Institute of International Relations, where she earned a master’s degree in economics. In her day to day job, Kristine is working in business. She has been actively involved with organizing prides in Riga since 2006 and was one of the authors of the idea of the Baltic Pride which successfully took place in Riga in 2009 and in Vilnius in 2010. In her involvement with the organization of Prides, Kristine has been responsible for parade logistics of the parade route. In light of difficulties “Mozaika” had to face with the Riga city council authorities and numerous bans or attempts to ban Riga pride parade. Kristine has been actively involved in International Relations representing “Mozaika” at various international LGBT themed events such as InterPride conferences, Pride London, Europride etc.

Spokepersons

Jasmin Roy and Michelle Blanc will be the spokespersons for the 4th edition of the Montréal Pride.

Ms. Michelle Blanc

Michelle BlancOne of the first to hold an Electronic Business M.Sc. with a specialization in management, Ms. Blanc is known for the many scientific, educational and popular projects she leads and produces here in Canada. She hosts the michelleblanc.com blog, which has become one of the favourites of the French marketing magazine, Stratégies.fr. She also has recently been named Yahoo Canada’s Big Idea Chair personality and the third most influential woman in Canadian social media. Her blog is classified as one of the most influential francophone blogs in the world, according to many sources. www.michelleblanc.com

Mr. Jasmin Roy

Jasmin RoyJasmin Roy has been active on the cultural scene for many years now and is no stranger to the world of television. From Chambres en ville to Salut Bonjour and Caméra Café, he is equally at ease in the role of host, reporter or actor. After creating the hit show Les Gaydailles, which was performed as part of the Just For Laughs Festival, and acting as spokesperson for the 2009 Montréal Pride Celebrations, Jasmin Roy resumed his role in the popular comedy series, Caméra Café on TVA and returned as the host of La Tribune d’Occupation Double. He continues to produce weekly features for Rhythm FM Radio and the TV morning show, Salut Bonjour. He also contributes regular columns for the popular Dernière Heure and Lundi magazines. For Jasmin, 2010 was a banner year, with the release of his book, “Osti de Fif” published by Les intouchables. And, of course, he is back with a new show for the Just For Laughs Festival and for Montréal Pride, Les Gaydailles contre-attaquent (“The Gaydailles Strike Back!”). Jasmin Roy strongly believes in the social recognition of Montréal’s LGBTA community, as well as the importance of visibility for worldwide LGBTA communities.

Grand Marshal

Michelle Blanc

2009_michelle_blancOne of the first to hold an Electronic Business M.Sc. with a specialization in management, Ms. Blanc is known for the many scientific, educational and popular projects she leads and produces here in Canada. She hosts the michelleblanc.com blog, which has become one of the favourites of the French marketing magazine, Stratégies.fr. She also has recently been named Yahoo Canada’s Big Idea Chair personality and the third most influential woman in Canadian social media. Her blog is classified as one of the most influential francophone blogs in the world, according to many sources.      www.michelleblanc.com
 

Spokesperson

Jasmin Roy

2008_2009_jasmin_royJasmin Roy has been in the cultural field for many years now and is no stranger to the world of television. From Chambresenville to Salut Bonjour and Caméra Café, he is equally at ease in the role of host, reporter or actor. Jasmin Roy can be heard every weekend on 98.5 FM where he hosts Le magazine du week-end, a variety show. Mr. Roy strongly believes in the social recognition of Montréal’s LGBTA community, as well as the importance of visibility for worldwide LGBTA communities.

Grand Marshals

Nicole Brossard

2008_nicole_brossardVery early on, Nicole Brossard, poet, novelist and playwright, was involved in many different avant-garde movements in Québec poetry: she was co-founder of the influential literary magazine La Barre du jour (1965-75), organizer of jazz and poetry performances at the Youth Pavilion at Expo’67, co-founder of the feminist newspaper Les Têtes de pioche (1976-1979), and was associate director of La Nouvelle Barre du jour (1977-1979) and the ‘‘Réelles’’ collection (1979-1981). In 1982, she founded her own publishing house under the name L’Intégrale, éditrice.

She has won the Governor General’s Award twice, once for Mécaniquejongleuse (1974) and again for Double impression (1984). In 1991, she was awarded Québec’s highest literary honour, the Athanase-David Prize. In 1993, she was made a member of L’Académie des Lettres du Québec. Most of her books have been translated into English. Her taste for romance writing developed with the publication of her novel Un livre (1970). Many other novels and books of poetry followed, leading up to her latest work, Baroque d’aube (1995). Nicole Brossard is a committed feminist and her book of essays, La Lettreaérienne, influenced an entire generation of feminists.

On October 18, 1997, to celebrate her work in the field of arts and literature, the University of Sherbrooke awarded an honorary doctorate in literature and communication to poet,novelist and essayist Nicole Brossard.

Jasmin Roy

2008_2009_jasmin_royJasmin Roy is no stranger to the world of television. From Chambresenville to Salut Bonjour and Caméra Café, he is equally at ease in the role of host, reporter and actor. He also has extensive experience in radio, both as a host and cultural reporter.