Program Details - Wednesday July 27, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011          

10:30  12:00             

Youth Session Part 3                    Hate Crimes: what they are and what to do about them      

Sean McGowan


The BC Hate Crime Team's mandate is the effective identification, investigation and prosecution of crimes motivated by hate.  The BC Hate Crime Team is seen as a Leader in investigating hate on the internet. 

If a person is being bullied as a result of who they are:  i.e.: religion, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, sex, color, race, language, national or ethnic origin or any other similar factor and the extent of the bullying meets the threshold where it can be considered a criminal offence, the matter can be not only investigated as a criminal offence but also a hate motivated criminal offence and there is specific sentencing legislation within the code that deals with hate motivated crimes.  

10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      Challenging the Gender Binary in Sports and Recreation

Erin Buzuvis

Pat Griffin

Ann Gillard


Sport and recreation provide participants with opportunities to create community and strengthen social bonds, develop competence and physical skills, and realize other positive social and emotional benefits. Many sport and recreation programs, however, are organized to reflect the assumption of a gender binary. Programs often separate male and female participants, a practice that can serve to exclude, either formally or informally, gender nonconforming individuals and those whose sex is not located on a binary. Sex-segregation in sport and recreation may also foster gender stereotypes in ways that are harmful to participants and non-participants alike. The panel will provide various perspectives on the gender binary in sport and recreation and how it might by challenged through policy, management, and activism. From diverse academic perspectives, including women’s studies, youth development, sport studies, and law, presenters will address such topics as the inclusion of gender-queer participants in women’s recreational sports, management practices to reduce the perpetuation of gender stereotypes in youth programs, and the creation and implementation of policies governing transgender and intersex participants in sex-segregated sports. While providing different perspectives on the benefits of women-only spaces in sport and recreation, we seek nevertheless to challenge those practices that serve needlessly to exclude interested and enthusiastic participants and to perpetuate stereotypes. By framing this challenge in activism, management, and policy formation and implementation, we hope to support all those seeking to critically engage with the gender binary in sports and recreation contexts.


10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      Putting LGBT into K-12 Classrooms:  Resources, Teaching Strategies, & Dealing with Resistance          

Joan Merrifield

Steve LeBel

This interactive workshop will discuss a variety of strategies for teaching about LGBT issues in the classroom. We will share concepts, lesson plans and activities that can be used with students in grades K to 12. There will also be components on (a) dealing with resistant students, parents, and colleagues; (b) examining barriers and possible supports for teachers; (c) connecting issues of gender and orientation to anti-racism education; and (d) teaching students to think openly and critically when facing new issues.

 There will also be time in this workshop for all participants to share their successful lessons and strategies; if submitted in advance electronically, the presenters will arrange to have them distributed to participants. 

 Resources from Pride Education Network will be available as well as a resource list of DVDs, books, and websites for students and teachers. PEN resources include (a) Dealing with Name-Calling; (b) Creating & Supporting GSAs; (c) Challenging Homophobia in Schools; and (d) Creating Gender- Inclusive Schools.


10:30            12:00             

Concurrent Session        Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights       

Nancy Nicol

Jennifer Hyndman

Douglas Elliott

El Farouk Khaki

Phyllis Waugh

Panel: Nancy Nicol, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University / Envisioning project lead; Jennifer Hyndman, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University; Douglas Elliott, Charter rights lawyer; El Farouk Khaki, refugee lawyer; Phyllis Waugh, Rainbow Health Ontario. 

Envisioning is an international research and documentary film project linking 25 academic and community researchers and 33 partner groups in Canada, the Caribbean, East Africa, Southern Africa, and India. Our goals are to research i) criminalization of LGBT people, ii) flight from violence and persecution, iii) resistance to criminalization, and iv) the interaction between International Treaty Body Human Rights Mechanisms and LGBT rights initiatives.

We will give an overview of the project focusing on LGBT asylum in Canada and the legacy of British colonial laws that criminalize on the basis of sexual orientation in the Commonwealth today focusing our our work with partners in the Caribbean, Africa and India. Increasing numbers of LGBT asylum seekers are coming to Canada, but do so under conditions of considerable distress: 45% of lesbians and 24% of gay men report having been exposed to physical and or sexual violence. (Berg and Millbank, 2009) Infringement on human rights can continue as part of the refugee claim process and settlement. What are the experiences, obstacles and challenges faced by LGBT asylum seekers; service providers and front line workers? And what are their recommendations for change?

Envisioning is a five-year project from May 2011 to April 2016. We welcome this opportunity to meet with others and engage in discussion. 

10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      The Impact of Homophobic Violence and Discrimination on the Lives of Out Gay Men          

Chad Smith

 On paper, Canada is a society in which many policies have been implemented which mandate the same rights for GLB individuals as heterosexual individuals. However, practice often looks very different. 

This session will present the results of a qualitative research study on the effects of violence, gay bashing, homophobia and discrimination on the lives of the Canadian gay men that participated.  Out of the study come several recommendations that can be used to better provide services and support to individuals that have experienced violence, gay bashing or homophobia.  The study is relevant to social workers, health care workers, mental health workers and policy makers. 

10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      The experiences of LGBT trade unionists in the Canadian Labour Movement       

Lynn Bue

Tim Armstrong


10:30  12:00             

Concurrent Session                      Beyond Policy and Into Practice: Addressing Homophobia in Sport and Athletics in a University Setting.

Jude Tate

Matthew Strang

Christine Hsu


In North America, institutions such as universities provide opportunities in physical education, health, sport and recreation and have important social responsibilities.  Integral to a healthy physical, psychological, spiritual and  socially fulfilled life, physical activity is an important medium of personal and social expression. However, in sport and most forms of physical recreation sexual minorities are frequently excluded by traditions that require conformity to traditional gender roles, and expectations of heterosexual orientation. In its role as a progressive leader in equity, the Faculty of Physical Education and Health (FPEH) at the University of Toronto took up the task of addressing many equity issues including sexual diversity in the field of physical education and sport. Its work set a precedent in Canadian athletics and recreation.

            Just over a decade ago, the FPEH began this ground breaking initiative, addressing the intersections of sexual and gender diversity and homophobia in sport, athletics and recreational activities across its many programs. In this conference session reflecting different generational boundaries and experiences, presenters from the University of Toronto will discuss the challenges and leadership opportunities that developed as a result of implementing a multi-strategy approach to address the profound culture and difficulties that surround sexual and gender diversity in physical education and sport. The presentation will focus on the work involved to get beyond policies which frame the rights of individuals based on sexual orientation and gender, and into addressing the difficult terrain of homophobia and heteronormativity in sport and physical activity contexts.


13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      Québec policy against homophobia: why and how it came to be   

Dominique Dubuc

Line Chamberland

Steve Foster

 In 2009, Québec government adopted a policy against homophobia. This was the result of an important mobilization of a large variety of actors who decided to work together. Grassroots organizations, lgbt associations, academics and unions united their strengths to open channels of communication with the government and eventually to form an alliance which speaks with a single voice in the consultation process. This alliance is still strong and active in this crucial period in which the government is in the process of producing an action plan based on its 2009 Policy against homophobia.


13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      Critical studies, queer literature and LGBT human rights

Chieh Wang

Pierre de Vos

Jaco Barnard-Naude

 Critical men’s studies challenges not only traditional sex roles but also the gender ideologies and legal proposals advocated by some radical and difference feminists whose policies and theories tend to overlook men’s needs and marginalize men’s difficulties. The paper rethinks some of the feminist unilateral gender-specific legal policies from a perspective of critical men’s studies. The author argues that critical men’s studies offer us new directions in reflecting on the status of gay men and queers in law from a male-sensitive perspective and is worth of further research.

 This paper excavates the relationship between law and queer literature in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. With reference to the work of Koos Prinsloo, Hennie Aucamp, Danie Botha, Johann De Lange and Joan Hambidge we argue that these writers inaugurate a queer politics in South Africa that both challenges and reinforces heteronormative persecution. At the same time, these writers foreshadow and motivate the demise of the criminalisation of queer sexual activity in South Africa, while providing a poignant comment on the insidious practices of apartheid as a political ideology. In this way, the paper emphasizes how the private is always and undeniably influencing what occurs in the public sphere.


13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      Gender Identities in Schools: Getting Past the Barriers

Reece Malone

Brad Tyler-West

 In schools, more transgender, transsexual, Two-Spirit, intersex and all gender variant youth are disclosing their gender identity and/or expressing themselves outside of gender and sex-role stereotypes. How can schools be more affirming to gender diversity? How can the school environment be a more safe and aware atmosphere? And how can the experiences of trans youth be included in all aspects of broadly based education and not be delineated to health class or “sensitive topics”?

Supplementary to the document Questions & Answers: Gender Identity in Schools, recently published by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the session will provide answers to the most commonly asked questions by school administrators, teachers, educational support workers, mental health practitioners, parents and caregivers. The session will also include more awareness to the issues, identifying personal bias as well as the social and systemic barriers facing trans youth. By the end of the session participants will gain practical skills on how to make school settings more affirming and open to all students regardless of gender identity and gender expression.

13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      Human rights  / Strategies addressing anti-queer violence    

Kerri Mesner

 Despite extraordinary strides in sexual-political activism in recent decades, religiously motivated anti-queer violence continues to be as prevalent as it is inadequately addressed.  Forms of subtle and outright homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are among the few remaining forms of societal discrimination that still have an air of acceptability.  This discrimination appears to be further exacerbated both by complacency within queer communities, and an increasing normalization and mainstreaming of queer religious activist movements.  This interactive presentation introduces a new body of work combining queer theologies and Theatre of the Oppressed to develop strategic interventions in addressing religiously motivated anti-queer violence.

Utilizing an innovative combination of queer theological reflection and techniques from Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed methodologies, this presentation aims to bridge the gap between academic and activist approaches to sexual-political activism, opening out thereby an embodied queer theological praxis.  While offered in the form of an experiential, participatory workshop, pedagogical and theological frameworks will be offered to support participant engagement/learning.

This session would be particularly suited to those with interests in arts-based approaches to addressing anti-queer violence, as well as those interested in the intersections of queer political activism and spirituality. The theatre techniques that will be offered are transferable to a wide range of community-based applications as well.


13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      Tobacco is not a friend of the LGBT community

Joseph Erban

 The rights to health and protection from harm are both human rights, and, equally, rights of the LGBTQ community. Cumulative evidence shows a higher prevalence of tobacco use in the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS community. This places the community at both higher risks of morbidity and mortality than the general non-LGBTQ population. The tobacco industry has been targeting the LGBTQ community through advertisement and philanthropy in order to increase consumption of tobacco. The presentation will highlight the evidence of tobacco use in the LGBTQ and the HIV/AIDS community and its health consequences. It will expose the tobacco industry campaign to target the LGBTQ community by various means to increase consumption of tobacco.  The talk will conclude with a discussion on how to reverse the consumption of tobacco within the community and thus promote and protect health and well-being in the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS community.


13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session          Female MASKulinity: Queering Visuality at the Gay Games and Outgames

Donia Mounsef

 In recent years, female masculinity and athletics have attracted a lot attention, especially in light of the South African runner Caster Semenya’s controversy. Media images of Semenya have emphasized her harsh masculine traits and fed the frenzy around intersexed athletes and their disqualification and banning from competition. This media frenzy is linked to the very act of looking; but as art historian James Elkins once wrote, “There is no such thing as just looking.” The act of looking is an essential component of the sport experience ever since sports became spectacle in the 1960s. Of particular importance to this act of looking is the role female athletes have played in the entanglement of vision with what is called visuality. Visuality is defined as the distinct historical manifestation of visual experience or the process of locating vision within a specific historical and cultural context.

This paper interrogates the mediatic representation of male and female athletes at the Gay Games and OutGames in terms of what lacan called “scopic regimes” or the need to establish regimes of control of the relationship between the one seeing and what is seen. The paper will compare the construction and femininization of female athletes in mainstream sports (the case of the compulsory long hair in the WNBA) and the imagery and representation of strength in the Gay Games and Outgames. While media attention is reveling in the sight of perfectly shaped hot men parading in top designer bathing suits, the “women” athletes of the Gay Games and Outgames continue to be presented for the most part in a friendly, jovial atmosphere, mainly as having “fun” while “hanging out” with friends.

The questions this paper asks: shouldn’t the gaymes challenge the continual masking of female masculinity in sports and the myth of separate physical spheres? How can the gaymes reconfigure the process of “masculinization” not merely as a question of appropriating gendered appearances, but examining “masculinity” separate from its supposedly “natural” location, the male body, as Judith Halberstam has pointed out in her groundbreaking book Female Masculinity (1998). Acknowledging with Halberstam that female masculinities have played a crucial role in the construction of dominant masculinities and understanding of gender, this paper will problematize this gendered difference in the visual representation of male and female athletes at the gaymes and look at productive ways for the Gay Games and Outgames to understand and represent female masculinities as legitimate gender formations in their own right.

13:30  15:00             

Concurrent Session                      Engaging youth in the dialogue, discussion, and fight for human rights     

Jeremy Dias

In this workshop, participants will learn how to engage youth in the dialogue, discussion, and fight for human rights. The workshop will look at how youth have been involved in the past, and what organizations can do to reach out to engage youth in taking a leadership roles within their organization. The workshop will look at the barriers youth face, and how they can be overcome. The workshop will include a presentation & discussion.