Program Details - Tuesday July 26, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011    

09:00  12:00             

All Day Session - Part 1                Addressing Homophobia in Sport: Leading the Way                      Sport BC

Jennifer Birch Jones

 Building on the Canadian Association for Advancement of Women and Sport’ (CAAWS) discussion paper “Seeing the Invisible, Speaking about the Unspoken; Addressing Homophobia in Sport”, this 3.5 hour interactive session provides coaches and other sport leaders with the opportunity to really understand what is homophobia, how it can hurt an organization’s athletes, coaches, officials and other participants, regardless of their sexual orientation. From understanding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and two-spirited (LGBT) language to dealing with sensitive issues such as same-sex relationships amongst teammates, the session allows for an open and honest conversation about homophobia and the important role coaches and other sport leaders can play in making sport more accepting of sexual diversity.

The workshop will be delivered by Learning Facilitator Jennifer Birch-Jones who is also the Program Lead for CAAWS’ Addressing Homophobia in Sport.

10:30  12:00             

Youth Session Part 1                    Celebrating LGBT Athletes and their Role in Sports          

Ross Johnstone

 Sport plays a crucial role in the health and positive development of young people, fostering productivity, leadership and skills building that will greatly influence the rest of their lives.

 Popular culture and the arena of professional sport offer young people few, if any positive images of LGBT athletes, resulting in a serious lack of role models for queer youth who are often discouraged to take up sport as a hobby or career. This scenario is made worse through a climate of sanctioned homophobia in sport which often still exists in our schools, where most young people are introduced to sports for the first time. LGBT youth who often express feelings of isolation, become further marginalized through this process that upholds traditional stereotypes around athletes and sexuality.

 Through a panel discussion with queer athletes and through a combination of film and media works, this workshop explores and celebrates the achievements of LGBT athletes. By examining the role that media, corporate sponsorship and schools have played in perpetuating homophobia in sport. The workshop will provide solutions on how to queer athletics in schools and reduce isolation amongst LGTB youth by providing a more inclusive playing field.

 This workshop is presented through the Out in Schools program, a unique high school outreach initiative that brings queer films to schools throughout BC in order to initiate dialogue on homophobia, bullying and safer and diverse schools.

10:30  12:00 

Concurrent Session                      "Lessons Learned at Homophobia High: Canadian Human Rights Discourse and LGBTQ Youth” 

Catherine Taylor

Tracey Peter

Helen Kennedy

Line Chamberland

 Canadian law protects people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, but our public schools do not fulfill their ethical and legal obligations where sexual and gender minority youth are concerned. This paper reports on a national survey study on homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Canadian high schools. Participants (n = 3607) were questioned about school climate, harassment, school attachment, and institutional interventions. We also report compare findings of the Canadian study to those of a parallel survey conducted at the same time in Québec. We found that schools were neither safe nor respectful for sexual and gender minority students, and we argue that ongoing exposure to this situation undermines students’ respect for the Charter of Rights and their faith in adults.

10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      The "Positive Space Campaign"  

Neill Kernohan

Sue Sneyd

 In April of 2010, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Pride Network created the Positive Space Campaign. The campaign celebrates diversity and recognizes the responsibility of the OPS to work towards being a safe and accepting environment for persons of all gender identities and sexual orientations. A Positive Space indicator (tent card, sticker, lapel pin) in a workspace identifies the occupant as a Positive Space Champion, an employee who is accepting and supportive of these communities. Positive Space Champions receive training and volunteer their time to answer questions, provide assistance, suggest resources, and refer individuals to appropriate offices and services.  They become leaders of inclusiveness, regardless of their position within the OPS.

 This campaign has created a genuinely inclusive community and reduced the climate of disapproval and fear of same-sex attraction and the ostracism of variable gender expression within the OPS. 

 By creating a Positive Space Campaign and a network of champions, we have created an OPS community that is positive for all of its members, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.  Where everyone can bring their whole selves to work; leading to a more inclusive, engaged and productive environment.

 This session will discuss how transformational leadership enabled the formation of the campaign, and give concrete examples to enable participants to create their own Positive Space Campaigns within their workplaces.

10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      LGBT Seniors        

Sharryn Modder

 Despite our rising ranks and numbers, LGBT boomers and seniors are still a largely ignored demographic.

After years out in the open, gay seniors often slip “back into the closet” in our old age because we fear being alienated if we live in a care facility or being discriminated against by health care providers.

LGBT seniors face unique challenges in housing, health care and long-term care.

In this workshop, we will discuss and strategize around these issues.

For example: did you know that aging members of the LGBT community are twice as likely to live alone, more likely to have no close relatives to call for help and four times less likely to have children for help.

 This workshop aims to:

-       identify current trends in healthcare for LGBT seniors

-       identify challenges and barriers facing the aging LGBT population

-       discuss our unique healthcare related needs

-       identify areas where policy changes will improve care and to find other older adults, advocates and providers interested in these issues. 

10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      HIV Prevalence within the transgender community

Quinn Bennett

Tasha Anastasia Riley

 The first half of the workshop will focus on discussing basic fundamentals of transgender identities, HIV, and how trans populations and HIV prevalence are connected. The workshop will begin with an overview of HIV prevalence in transgender communities, and will go on to discuss the gaps of transgender and HIV research and the identified specific areas that require research.

The second half of the workshop will discuss standard targeted outreach for HIV education and awareness, prevention strategies, and treatment. We will dissect how these streams of HIV outreach are, often times, gender-normative and do not account for transgender experience and persons. We will discuss strategies for including transgender and gender-variant identities and experiences in targeted HIV education, prevention, and treatment strategies.

Lastly, we will discuss the complexities of HIV positive transgender people and key issues that health-providers, educators, and community workers should be aware of. We will also discuss factors that elevate HIV risk within the transgender population, and how to incorporate these factors into education and awareness around HIV in trans-communities.

10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      Demystifying homosexuality and bisexuality in Québec     

Marie Houzeau

 The Groupe de Recherche et d’Intervention Sociale-Montréal is a community group who has been working to demystify homosexuality and bisexuality through research and education in Québec since 1994. This presentation will provide a brief historical overview of this community organization; discuss its main educational activities, and present data that have been collected in Québec schools since April 2004.

During each educational workshop, participants are asked to complete a questionnaire that asks them questions about their knowledge of and attitudes towards gay men and lesbians. Sample questions include: “In your own words, how would you describe homosexuality?” as well as a series of questions related to their comfort level in various situations such as: “I’m doing group work with a lesbian girl, I feel: very comfortable, comfortable, uncomfortable, very uncomfortable.” This scale is used to measure a series of questions about gay men and lesbians in situations ranging from class work, to sports teams, friendship groups, and family life. These questions are answered prior to the start of the workshop and again immediately following the presentation. The analysis of these findings indicates that the workshops have a positive impact on the attitudes of students towards gay men and lesbians.

13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                        A Global Crisis:  Reconciling Faith & Achieving Equality

Michael J. Adee

 LGBT activists face religiously-based opposition to equal rights, hate crime protection and marriage equality around the world.  In 93 countries homosexuality is still a crime. In 7 countries the death penalty can be imposed.  In Uganda, the "kill the gays" bill is pending. Traditional religious arguments against equal rights stigmatize same-sex relationships and are used as the basis for discrimination against LGBT persons and their families.  Politicians and government leaders use religious arguments to oppose equality even if they are not religious people.  Homophobic religious rhetoric is harmful to the full respect, dignity and well-being of LGBT people and their families when it is allowed to persist in a society, or in too many cases, dominate an entire culture.

Secular LGBT activists or activists of faith need to understand and how to counter these traditional religious arguments to achieve equality.  This workshop will offer: a religious defense course for LGBT activists with insights and skill-building in how to challenge religious arguments that sanction homophobia and support discrimination; effective ways to enlist and train religious leaders to support inclusion, diversity and LGBT equality; and innovative ways for LGBT people of faith to find their voice and rightful place within their own faith communities. 

Historically, regarding LGBT equality, religion has been the problem and in many ways countering religiously-based arguments and appealing to the more noble and ethical values within religion is a key solution to the problem.  In a real sense, this workshop investigates and offers ways to turn the problem into the solution. 

In the midst of this global crisis wherein millions of LGBT persons and their families are not safe, advances are being made toward equality in a growing number of countries.  Moreover, there are religious traditions that have become more accepting of homosexuality, LGBT equality and marriage. Therefore, information and inspiration from supportive religious traditions will be shared as well. 

This is an experiential, interactive workshop with a blend of presentation, discussion and sharing of educational resources. 

13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      The Power of Invitation. The Power of Voice. The Power of Us. A Self creating framework for modern day spirituality.  

Brad Tyler-West

 “ Progress in realizing LGBT human rights demands multi-layered change in all parts

of the world: rights must be secured, laws changed, new policies designed and we will only win if we enlist others as allies in our struggle..”  The Montreal Declaration

 Informed by the challenges and success of ‘ super powered spiritual warriors’ from all over the globe both past & present. Inspired by the model of inclusivity used by Tawanee Joseph-  Executive Director for the Four Host First Nations Secretariat –who with VANOC and its partners to develop meaningful Aboriginal participation in the planning, hosting and staging of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

This dynamic, interactive, highly personal session will build knowledge, skills and awareness while allowing participants to expand their own spiritual practice, enriching themselves and their communities.

Outcomes will include:

  • The power of invitation –  discover proven narrative for spiritual evolution and self creation
  • Intersectionality – wisdom for one can be wisdom for all
  • Enlisting others – strategies for finding ‘kindred spirits’ and building connections with them
  • Small is significant – the power of small gains and how to harness their energies for the larger ones
  • Spirit and Sex – crafting a juicy, congruent sexual life that is spiritually grounded.
  • Motivation, Movement & My Space– being on your own does not mean you are alone; engaging social media to build meaningful community.
  • Mapping the Future – create a S.M.A.R.T map for your own story.

13:30  15:00           

Concurrent Session          LGBT Human Rights in Canadian and United Nations Law  

Robert Leckey

Robert Wintemute

Charles Radcliffe UNHCHR

 The presentation will review recent Canadian case law on LGBT human rights. In the Canadian context, where same-sex conjugal relationships now enjoy equal footing with different-sex couples, the work for formal equality claims, based on sameness, is likely finished. Gay and lesbian advocacy turns now to the question of how vigorously to enforce claims based on substantive equality and difference, and how robustly (1) to contest governmental regulations that, based on ostensible health concerns, have a disparate impact on gays and lesbians, and (2) to challenge religious groups’ heterosexist or homophobic presence in the public square.

 I will propose that, at the United Nations level, the LGBT human rights movement should set itself an ambitious long-term goal:   a "Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" (CESOGI), which might ultimately be merged into a "Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination" (CED), along with CERD (race), CEDAW (sex) and CRPD (disability), if it were decided that there were too many anti-discrimination conventions and committees.  I would envision a process, with three main steps (Resolution, Declaration, Convention), and many intermediate steps:  (1) a focussed UN General Assembly Resolution (mainly about decriminalisation and protection against violence, but not yet discrimination, which the Vatican and such countries as China, India, Indonesia, Russia and Turkey should, in theory, be able to support); (2) a broad UN GA Declaration on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and (3) a UN GA resolution, adopting and opening for signature and ratification a broad Convention banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      Engaging the Ageing Athlete          

Robin Hanson

 Although the Outgames is an event built on the inclusiveness of allowing everyone to participate in a wide range of sporting activities, there is very little emphasis on attracting, or even acknowledging the older athlete. Not surprising since the older athlete is normally on the outside looking in, but within the LGBT community that distance is even greater because of the prevailing focus on the good-looking young, and well built. In this environment the fear of aging and engaging in activity that might accentuate the fact even more pronounced. Even within the women’s community, which might be more tolerant of the aging female athlete, she must still face the consequences of growing older and suffering diminished athletic ability that can have serious impact on an athletic lesbian’s self image. Although these representations might appear diché, there are reasons for why these well-worn stereotypes still remain in our community that must be addressed.

As people live longer, more robust lives in general, the older athletes remain active far longer and our attitudes towards physical activity after the golden age of 35 are starting to change. The LGBT community needs to provide an environment that is welcoming of the older gays and lesbians who no longer fit into that youthful mold of gayness. Athleticism provides an avenue that allows us an opportunity to engage the aging process from a healthy and inclusive perspective. Thus, this presentation discusses issues pertinent to the older members of our community, whether athlete or not, such as health, training, availability of activities, and their place within the LGBT community.

13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      “Boys are like puppies, Girls are like princesses”: Teachers’ notions of gender in the classroom  

Tasha Anastasia Riley

Quinn Bennett

 Part 1: Content Presentation “Boys are like puppies, Girls are like princesses”: Teachers’ notions of gender in the classroom (20 min): The first portion of this lecture/workshop will involve the review of a study where twenty-one teachers recommended twenty-four fictional students for remedial, average or advanced programs based upon the program eligibility criteria. Teachers were then asked to respond to questions about the basis of their decisions. Interviews probed teachers’ ideas regarding issues of race, class and gender.  All twenty-one teachers were asked to respond to the question, “to what extent might gender influence achievement or does it?” Findings revealed that teachers categorized who they identified as male and female learners in distinct and obvious ways. Teachers responded that the school environment was more advantageous to female learners and were more inclined to first consider the need for alternative teaching methods for students they identified as male. This presentation will conclude with some considerations on how educators might resolve to decrease gender stereotype-congruent responses towards their learners. 

 Part 2: Content presentation (25 min) & questions and interaction (40 min):  Beyond the Binary: (Trans) Gender Awareness and Education: The second portion of this lecture/workshop will focus upon the implications of these findings and will consider how teachers’ perceptions of gender may specifically influence transgender learners. The speaker will discuss some of the challenges transgender students have faced within the educational system in Canada and will provide information on what educators can do to ensure their classroom is a safe space for all of their students. Speakers will also provide educators with some considerations for the classroom when considering issues around gender. This will include a presentation of various activities educators may implement within their own classroom to help foster discussion around how notions of gender influence our daily practice, both in terms of gendered privilege and gendered inequalities.

13:30  15:00 

Concurrent Session                     “I am a lady…” Intersex and transgender athletes and educational opportunities.

Complex problems and simple solutions

Kristen Worley

“They said I am not a lady… But I will tell them… I will show them… I am a

lady…” The words of Santhi Soundarajan before a group of law academics and

practitioners in Istanbul, Turkey, September 7, 2010, echoed in the room during the first public appearance (Sengupta, 2010a) for the athlete from India who had been stripped of her medal at the pinnacle of athletic competition success and found out about it via the Indian media (The Times of India, 2007). As her eyes filled with tears watching a video of parents and friends commenting on the case and its muddled process, researchers and lawyers were left wondering… Is it Caster (Buzuvis, 2009), then Santhi, and then…?

With the advent of Caster Semenya’s reinstatement in international athletics’

competitions and the impending overdue handling of Santhi Soundarajan’s case, more attention has been drawn toward the entangled web of law, policy, science, and politics impacting athletes whose gender status in the traditional model of sport governance and competitions has been questioned or does not conform to norms (Buzuvis, 2010; O’Reilly, 2010; Saria, 2009; Boylan, 2008; McArdle, 2008). The advocacy work of athletes with the lived experience, Kristen Worley, and the Coalition of Athletes for Inclusion in Sport, has contributed in raising awareness (Sengupta, 2010b), and led to key policy shifts [International Olympic Committee (IOC), 2004], which progressively gain more positive reception (Masand, 2007), starting from Canada (AthletesCAN, 2010; Play

the Game, 2010) and currently expanding to several states and international sport governing bodies (Griffin, 2007).

 Athletics policy pertaining to intersex types and transitioned athletes remains elusive (Buzuvis, 2010). The absence of inclusionary principles for these athletes at GLISA may currently select to forego athletic participation and its inherent educational component is further underscored by the fact that athletics eligibility is a very brief window of opportunity (NCAA, 2010). Thus, such students may have to opt for their gender identity over their athletic identity. Current practice may exclude these norm-defying athletes, forcing them to bypass receiving recognition for their talents, an opportunity afforded to their peers. Policy changes within the IOC and many other sport governing bodies (USA

Track and Field, Ladies’ Golf Union, etc.) have been instigated by new discoveries in the world of genetics as well as individuals such as Renee Richards, who fought for their rights for equality in sports, despite the potentially negative public attention (IOC, 2004; Richards v. United States Tennis Association, 1977). The combination of science and pioneering athletes has made it possible for those in similar situations to showcase their abilities and compete among their peers. GLISA has yet to see such a public example

as those of Renee Richards or Caster Semenya, which makes it ever more pertinent that policy revisions be made to prevent legal challenges against the GLISA or the public humiliation of its young student-athletes. Scientific advances in medicine, biochemistry, and genetics yield insight, which is beneficial for future policy drafting actors (Gooren, 2008). As genetic inconsistencies surface, the differentiation between male and female becomes increasingly difficult. A fluid mosaic of complex possibilities and rare occurrences substitutes an outdated definition of gender. This research studies the malleable concept of gender, investigating contemporary methods and problems in gender identification, and examines recent extraordinary cases of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) (Wagman, 2009), hormone treatment for gender reassignment (Gooren & Behre, 2008; Handelsman & Gooren, 2008), risks and pitfalls of chromosome karyotyping, medical conditions, i.e. Klinefelter’s Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome, complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, and the difficulty applying universally accepted hormone levels (Shy, 2007).

 An overview of scientific developments, emboldened by legal theory and policy analysis, leads to important conclusions toward necessary amendments in IOC and sport federations’ policies. The legal research portion handles applicable discrimination theory, privacy rights, and case law from the US, UK, and other jurisdictions, i.e. Richards v. United States Tennis Association and Smith v. City of Salem. Sport policy, which tries to maintain competitive balance as well as fair treatment of athletes, may benefit through a wave of deregulation for these athletes. In sequence, GLISA policy modeling IOC policy may need to encompass particular inclusion principles that are now missing from the context of intercollegiate athletics. Intercollegiate athletics policy-drafting entities may have had the opportunity to anticipate related developments in international sport settings, however at this time it may be feasible for GLISA stakeholders to be in the forefront of contemporary inclusion policies and provide benchmarks for other governing bodies to consider.

17:30  19:00                                                             

Labour Forum – an evening of dialogue and Networking       

Sophie Rousseau

Dominique Dubuc

Victor Elkins

 The purpose of the session will be to facilitate cooperation and networking between trade unions involved in the fight against homophobia and other lgbt issues. In most of our trade union confederations, at least in Canada, we obtained the creation of official committees to promote the rights of lgbt workers and citizens, and to fight the discrimination against lgbt at work and in the society. This workshop will allow the participants to share their knowledge, challenges and strategies. It will also facilitate the creation of a union network to keep on exchanging information, and more, afterwards.