Last updated July 26, 2014

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LGBTQ Family Camp Day - Saturday Aug 16 at Camp Naivelt

LGBTQ Family Camp Day!

Saturday, August 16, 2014 

Join the LGBTQ Parenting Network for our Family Camp Day at Camp Naivelt, just outside Brampton!
We will provide bussing to and from Sherbourne Health Centre, or you can meet us there.

This fun-filled family oriented day will include activities for LGBTQ parents and their kids of all ages, from babies to adults.

Your RSVP by August 1, 2014 will help us plan for bussing and parking.

FREE event - RSVP online 


Bring your own picnic lunch!

All Afternoon


Early bus leaves Naivelt at 5:00 PM
Dinner provided
Community performance by Dinah Thorpe
Campfire with snacks, s'mores, and your performances (bring your instruments or props!)
Late bus leaves at 10:00 PM

More information & registration online:

Moving Trans* History Forward

A 3-day symposium on Trans* archival colections focusing on acquisition, preservation, and access.

The University of Victoria Libraries is proudly committed to the preservation of history of transgender people. They are inviting scholars, activists, archivists, and all interested people to share and participate in discussions about moving Trans* history forward through the creation and preservation of Trans* archival collections.

New Community for Queer Women and. Trans with Invisible Physical Health Conditions and/or Disabilities

QueeringAbility writes...


"We are building a community for queer women and trans people with invisible physical health conditions and/or disabilities. We will be running a regular group in the new year consisting of discussions about our lives and fun activities. The group will provide peer support and allow people to share their skills and knowledge and learn from others. We are looking for a few other people to co-facilitate the group as part of a collective of volunteers representing the diversity of our communities, committed to anti-oppressive values. Email"

SPUNK! A New Support Group for Substance-Using Gay, Bi, Trans, 2-Spirit, Queer Guys!

The AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) is running a new support group called SPUNK!. We would like to tell you about it and ask if you could please pass along this information and attached posters.

The group emerges from the expressed community need for a supportive space that goes beyond the brief and intermittent contact of outreach, where participants can safely explore substance use and sexuality. The focus of the group will be open and honest exploration of participant’s relationships to drugs and alcohol, and sexual health with the goal of making a positive life change.

Who is SPUNK! for:
Gay/Bi/Trans/2-Spirit/Queer/MSM men ages 19 and over who use substances and are in a pre- and early stages of contemplating change.

What is it:
A free and confidential 6 week group for guys that use drugs or alcohol and want a safe place to talk about the ways that substances impact our lives. Previous group members have found the skills and tools that they learned in SPUNK! to be very useful in their day to day lives. It is a non-judgmental space to set goals of moderation, abstinence, or continued use but with an intention of getting rid of some of the side-effects of use.

When and Where:
SPUNK! takes place on Tuesdays Nights from 7-8:30pm for 6 weeks in a row starting at the end of October. Group meetings take place at the ACT office, 399 Church street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2J6.

Prior to beginning SPUNK! interested individuals will need to have a meeting with the group facilitator to talk about what they want to get out of the group and too make sure SPUNK! is right for them.


For more information contact Nathan Ataide at

Launch of Durham Region Gender Journeys at Oshawa Community Health Centre

We are very pleased to announce the launch of the Durham Region Gender Journeys program, being held at the Oshawa Community Health Centre.

The first session is booking for July 3 start, and a second session will run this year starting by October.

Visit for details!

Pride Launch of Limitless at the AGO - a new weekly arts-based drop-in for LGBTQ youth!

Please forward!

Are you an LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13-18? Looking for an accessible space to share stories, make friends and create art with other LGBTQ youth? Guess what? The Griffin Centre’s reachOUT program is launching LIMITLESS, a weekly arts-based drop-in for LGBTQ youth ages 13-18.

Join us for the first session and comic book workshop facilitated by guest artists Alexis Barratin and Isz on Wednesday, June 26th at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, in the Weston Family Learning Centre’s Gallery School from 4:00pm-6:30pm.

Limitless will occur every Wednesday from 4:00pm-6:30pm at Griffin Centre (24 Silverview Drive). The last Wednesday session of every month will take place at the Art Gallery of Ontario downtown. Here, youth will be able to explore art mediums that they cannot access elsewhere. Upcoming workshops at the AGO include comic book making, drag arts and makeup, creative writing, and more! Food and TTC fare will be provided at each session. ASL interpretation provided upon request.

So come out and celebrate the Pride! launch of Limitless at the AGO! 

Check us out on Facebook:

For more information please contact Izzy Mackenzie (reachOUT, Griffin Centre): / 647-526-4211

Trans peer facilitator training program in Peel Region

*A fabulous opportunity for trans* folks who live, work or volunteer in PEEL REGION (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon): 


Are you trans*? 

Want to learn to be a peer facilitator? 

Connected to Peel region? 

Join East Mississauga Community Health Centre's Trans* Peer Facilitator Training Program in July 2013 and develop your skills to lead support groups! 

Topics include: group facilitation, mental health, the diversity of trans* communities 

No previous experience required! 

The program dates are

Tues., July 2nd:         2 pm to 6 pm 

Tues., July 9th:         2 pm to 6 pm 

Sat., July 13th:         10 am to 3 pm 

Tues., July 16th: 2 pm to 6 pm 

Tues., July 23rd: 2 pm to 6 pm 

Tues., July 30th: 2 pm to 6 pm 


All participants will be provided with bus tickets and a light meal. Space is accessible, and has gender neutral washrooms. 

To apply, please contact Sofia Pelaez at or 905 602 4082 x 456 

*trans* includes but is not limited to individuals who identify as 2-Spirit, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, FtM, MtF, androgyne, and more! 


Trans* Peer Facilitator Training Program is a component of Activate It!, a program of the East Mississauga Community Health Centre. Activate It! is funded by United Way Peel Region.

Report and Documentary - Transforming Family: Trans Parents and their Struggles, Strategies and Strengths

c/o Jake Pyne:

Hi everyone, 

I wanted to draw your attention to a new report called "Transforming Family: Trans Parents and their Struggles, Strategies and Strengths." 

It's the result of a community-based research project in Toronto that explored trans parent's experiences of discrimination as well as the strengths that trans people bring to parenting.  The project was led by the LGBTQ Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre.

You can download the report at the link below. Please share with your contacts:

In addition, a short film by the same name is also available on-line at this link:

Thank you, and happy holidays for those who are celebrating this week. Jake 

Trans Pride Canada - Update on Gender Identity Bill (C-279)

Update on C-279, courtesy of our friends at Trans Pride Canada:

The parliamentary committee reviewing this bill is receiving deputations from concerned groups on Nov. 20 and 22. On Nov. 27, they will meet to determine what to present to parliament by Dec. 6 regarding this bill.

There are a lot of issues being discussed during the deputations, including:

- Hard-coding definitions of Gender Identity and/or Gender Expression in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. This would be unprecedented as no other protected group has had a hard-coded definition of their constituency. Hard-coding would likely exclude some trans people from protections under this legislation. It is our opinion that this is unacceptable for these reasons.

- The inclusion or exclusion of the term "gender expression", which many Conservatives have clearly indicated they want to exclude if they are to vote in favour of this bill. Egale Canada and Trans Pride Canada together commissioned an official opinion from constitutional lawyers on this issue, which concluded that human rights are broadly interpreted under the CHRA and the absence of "gender expression" would not limit the rights of any trans people because they'll be covered under "gender identity". Nevertheless, this is a contentious issue.

- The current French language translation of the bill which conflates gender identity with sexual orientation. There is an indication that this translation is being corrected now before this bill goes back to parliament.

- Whether trans people are currently and adequately protected under the term of "sex" in the CHRA and Criminal Code. Our conversations with other parties who are presenting confirm that this assertion is resoundingly rejected by all of us. For example, 20% of trans people in Canada have experienced physical assault and there has never been a hate crime judgement based on this.

We will update here as we acquire further information regarding the bill.

Providing drug education workshops for youth in YOUR community - SESSIONS: Pass the knowledge on the left-hand side...


Real Conversations. Real Information. Real Skills.

The STARS Project at Delisle Youth Services is offering a series of 10, drug education workshops free of charge at your agency, organization, school, or youth group. Our skilled and experienced facilitators will come to your location or we can provide workshop space. All the details are below. Please contact Maria Papadimitriou at for more information or to book SESSIONS.

SESSIONS Workshops: Pass the knowledge on the left-hand side

What?: Free non-judgmental drug education workshops for youth. We talk about reasons why we use (or not), how drugs work in our bodies, how they can benefit us, how they can hurt us and how we can make informed choices for ourselves.

Why?: Because everyone should have a safe space to talk about drugs openly and honestly. Participants get free food, volunteer hours and TTC fare at every workshop.

Who?: We would like to offer SESSIONS to youth ages 13-21 in your community. We can run the workshops in your space free of charge!

How?: Call, text or email Maria Papadimitriou for more information.



Free workshops for parents and caregivers of LGBTQ* youth at Delisle Youth Services

Caring for our kids, Caring for ourselves  

Raising an LGBTQ* child can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming. Many of us struggle with hard questions; Will our children be ok? Will they get bullied? Will our communities accept us? How can we keep our families strong? Are we saying and doing the right things to support our children and families? 
This FREE series of 5 workshops will provide a safe, non-judgmental and confidential space for parents and caregivers to explore the challenges and to celebrate the great things too! We will have a chance to share our experiences and learn from each other about how we care for ourselves and how we care for our kids. 

These workshops are ongoing. The next session will begin on November 6th. For more information call or email Maria Papadimitriou. Would you like us to offer the workshops in your community free of charge?.... Get in touch! 

Facebook Event:!/events/506060259410510/


When?: The next session runs on 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings 6:30-8:30pm from Nov 6th – Dec 4th, 2012 ***Workshops start at 6:30 sharp. Please arrive at 6:15 for refreshments.

Where?: Delisle Youth Services, near Yonge and Eglinton. The space is wheelchair accessible, food and beverages will be provided and the cost of transit can be subsidized. 

Who?: This workshop is for all parents and caregivers of LGBTQ* youth. The workshops are facilitated by Nadia Bello and Lorraine gale, 2 highly skilled and experienced facilitators.

How?: For information or to register contact Maria Papadimitriou
(416)482-0081 ext.265

*LGBTQ: It’s more than just the letters!
(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Queer, Two-Spirit, Trans, Transgender, Transsexual, Gender Queer, Asexual, Questioning, and any youth who identify along the sexual diversity and/or gender diversity spectrums)

Trans Pride (Pride Toronto) Team leaders and Team members

The Trans Pride(  Pride Toronto) team is looking  for Team Leader(s) and Team Members. The Team leader (volunteer) role description is below. Team members would  have  similar tasks, but less time commitment. Please, spread the posting  to your networks. 

Trans Pride Team Leader

Role Description

Organizational Overview:
Pride Toronto is the not-for-profit organization that presents Pride Week, a ten day long arts and cultural festival celebrating Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities. The Festival is produced by year-round volunteers, each working together to produce the Pride Festival and full time staff that manage the organization and direct and support the activities of the teams. Each team is led by Team Leads who manage the activities of the team and its members. Our volunteers are an important part of Pride Festival planning who together; Help Make Pride Happen!

* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2 Spirited, Allied.
Position Purpose:

The Trans Pride team is a volunteer team working within Pride Toronto whose goal is to promote Trans education and awareness within Pride Toronto’s events and beyond.
The Trans Pride Team strives to engage applicants of visible ethic minority groups, and. differently abled persons. The Trans Pride Team and community organizes and leads the Trans Pride March, rally and Trans space which are: participatory, political, visible, and safe community-driven events within Toronto’s Pride Week.

Term of position and hours per week required:
The Team Leads on the Trans Pride Team are appointed to a two-year term. Each Lead position requires a commitment of approximately 4-7 hours per month from August through to February, growing to approximately 10-15 hours per week from March through to May. Throughout the month of June, the hours per week will increase as needed especially during Pride Weekend.

Portfolio Tasks (50%):
 Reports to the Executive Director
 Reviews registrations and creates the Trans Pride March line up for contingents
 Performs outreach to community groups to encourage participation in the Trans March and Rally
 Managing the Trans space, which includes and handing out and relaying information regarding Trans communities and issues, services are available etc.
 Liaise with other Teams and Staff at Pride Toronto
 Liaise with Arts & Culture Manager to establish Trans programming for the Trans Rally and Space
 Recommends Trans identified artists to the Arts & Culture Team for programming
 Represents the Trans Pride Team at various community events

Team Coordination (30%):
 Recruits, trains and manages a reliable team of Team Members including Marshals
 Facilitates the work of Team Members
 Ensures updated information is available for volunteers, including a Team manual and volunteer descriptions
 Provides training to Team Members and Weekend Volunteers in advance of the festival weekend
 Attends Monthly Team Meetings
Organizational Support /Overarching Team Mandate (20%):
 Works within the limits of the approved budget and adheres to Pride Toronto’s financial policies
 Works openly, cooperatively and collaboratively with all other Pride Toronto Board, Staff and Volunteers.
 Provides courteous and professional customer service to all potential and registered participants of Pride Week
 Refers donations and sponsorships by referring prospective donors of cash / service / product / venue or promotions to the Director of Fundraising only
 Ensures any partnership or commitment of any organizational resources with any external person, organization or venue is approved by the appropriate staff liaison
 Ensures any communications with the media are referred to the Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors and/or the Executive Director
 Ensures the accurate tracking and timely submission of Team Lead (Co-Leads) and Team Member volunteer timesheets.
 Ensures the timely submission of forms, requests and documentation
Skills required:
 Must be 18 years of age or older and have a Police Records Check completed
 Has worked closely with and has knowledge of Trans’ groups and organizations representative of all LGBTTIQQ2SA communities
 Good conflict resolution skills and an ability to practice diplomacy
 Ability to multi-task
 Strong organizational skills
 Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
 Demonstrated leadership skills
 Ability to work in a team environment and motivate a group of others

This is not an exhaustive list of the duties required for this role. For further details of the work involved, please contact the Trans Pride Team Lead Luka Sidaravicius or Kiona Sinclair, Volunteer Program Manager at

Pride Toronto Mission:
Pride Toronto exists to celebrate the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities.
* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2 Spirited, Allied.

Application process:
Please submit your resume and cover letter to:
Kiona Sinclair
Pride Toronto
Volunteer Program Manager

Pride Toronto adopts and upholds the City of Toronto’s policy statement which prohibits discrimination and harassment and protects the right to be free of hate activity, based on age, ancestry, citizenship, creed (religion), colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership in a union or staff association, political affiliation, race, receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, sexual orientation or any other personal characteristics by or within the organization.

Presentations to the Queensland (Australia) Transgender, Sistergirl, and Gender Diverse Conference, Queensland, Australia. 2012

Presentations to the Queensland (Australia) Transgender, Sistergirl, and Gender Diverse Conference, Health and Well-being into the Future, 24th- 25th August 2012, Rydges Esplanade Resort, Cairns, are now available for download at the following URL, and may be of interest to members.

Some of the presentations are clinical in nature, others are not. 

Changes to Vital Statistics Act

October 5, 2012 

I am writing to inform you of changes to requirements to change sex designation on an Ontario birth registration. 

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ordered the Government to cease requiring transgendered persons to have “transsexual surgery” in order to obtain a change in sex designation on their registration of birth.  In accordance with the Tribunal’s order, the criteria for changing sex designation on a birth registration have been revised and there is no longer a requirement for “transsexual surgery”.

The new criteria requires that a person wishing to change their sex designation on their Ontario birth registration complete a statutory declaration that they have assumed (or have always had) the gender identity that accords with the change in sex designation, they are living full-time in that gender identity and they intend to maintain that gender identity.  The person must also provide a letter from a practising physician or psychologist (including a psychological associate) authorized to practise in Canada who can support the requested change.  Alternative evidence to this letter in certain circumstances may be acceptable and is detailed on the application form.  

At this time, an applicant for a change in sex designation on a birth registration must be at least 18 years of age.   

The revised criteria and forms are posted on the Ministry’s website at  We would appreciate if you would make this information available to members of your organization and any clients who may be impacted by the revised criteria.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.


Original signed

Sandra Leonetti
Deputy Registrar General, Office of the Registrar General

25 LGBT Tanka Poems from Around the World

Press release - For Immediate Release
Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka is pleased to announce « Chiaroscuro –Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Tanka » edited by the poet, Janick Belleau .
Besides tanka, this Special Feature includes a biographical sketch of the authors and an introduction by Ms Belleau. She writes: « The selected poems convey a strong emotion or evoke inner thoughts, profound aspirations, heartfelt concerns. The ultimate intent of this project was/is to give voice to LGBT and androgyne persons, friends and supporters. »
Chiaroscuro – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Tanka can be viewed at the Atlas Poetica website, at
M. Kei, Editor, Atlas Poetica - A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka

Open Letter to the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS): Trans people and accountability

From: Nora Butler Burke, Zack Marshall and Viviane Namaste

We are writing this open letter to the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS), as activists and researchers involved in the work of HIV prevention and services with regards to trans people in Canada.  In so doing, we wish to express our profound dissatisfaction with how CAS engages in its work.  In particular, we feel based on our dealings with CAS that it offers little meaningful consultation with the communities it is supposed to serve, and that CAS refuses to be accountable to its communities and their real needs.

Gender Journeys now in Peel!

Dear Community Partner, 

There is an exciting new program about to start in the Region of Peel that you and or some of your clients might be interested in learning more about. 

This past June a collaborative of four community agencies took the first steps towards a region wide community development project focused on an under-served population in Peel, trans, gender variant and gender non-conforming communities, and on building capacity within the health and settlement sectors. 

Please see attached for further information. 
Rosalyn Forrester

Rosalyn Forrester
Project Coordinator/ Peel Transitions
East Mississauga Community Health Centre (EMCHC)
2555 Dixie Road, Unit 7, Mississauga, ON, L4Y 4C4

Trans rights and incarceration in the US

from WPATH 

Yesterday marked a huge step forward for the rights of transgender people where a judge ordered that the Department of Corrections provide sex reassignment surgery for transgender inmate Michelle Kosilek.  

What you may not know is that WPATH members, Randi Kaufman PsyD and George Brown MD were instrumental in this victory. The Standards of Care also played an important role.

See below for a synopsis of the case, drafted by Drs. Kaufman & Brown, highlighting the most significant aspects of the decision. Please feel free to spread this information far and wide. 

This is another example of WPATH members fulfilling our mission, in this case the mission of our committee for incarcerated persons. The committee for incarcerated persons is committed to advocating for respectful, appropriate, and evidence-based treatment for gender-variant individuals living in institutional settings.  Members of the committee are WPATH providers who have experience working with inmates, attorneys, administrators, clinicians, correctional personnel, and any other individuals and/or institutions that create or implement care protocols for transgender inmates.

Congratulations to George And Randi for such an important victory!

My best,

Lin Fraser EdD
WPATH President


Here is their synopsis: 

Yesterday marked a huge step forward for the rights of transgender people.  Federal Judge Mark Wolf of the 1st Circuit in Boston ruled in favor of inmate Michelle Kosilek, who sued the Dep’t of Corrections under the 8th Amendment, Cruel and Unusual Punishment.  Judge Wolf ordered that the Dep’t of Corrections (DOC) provide Kosilek with sex reassignment surgery, following the treatment recommendation of Dr. Randi Kaufman, who put forth the clinical opinion that surgery was medically necessary.  Experts testifying on behalf of the inmate included George R. Brown, MD, of Tennessee, and Dr. Randi Kaufman of Boston and NYC.  This case, which has taken six years for a judgment to be issued, went beyond the recent victory in April in another federal case in Massachusetts, where Judge Tauro’s ruled in favor of the inmate Ms. Soneeya, but stopped short of ordering the DOC to provide sex reassignment surgery in that case.   

Yesterday’s victory is unprecedented, and is the first case in the US where a Federal judge has ordered surgery for an inmate.  Judge Wolf’s 126 page order also relied on the successes of two other cases in which Dr. Brown was the key witness (O’donnabhain v. IRS, and Battista v. MA Department of Corrections) to buttress his opinion in favor of Kosilek.  He begins by stating:  

“This case is unusual because a transsexual prisoner, plaintiff Michelle Kosilek, seeks an unprecedented court order requiring that the defendant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Dep’t of Correction provide him (sic) with sex reassignment surgery to treat his major mental illness, severe gender identity disorder.  This case is also unusual because until recently inmates suing for medical care have typically sought treatment that prison doctors were unwilling to prescribe.  In this case, however, Kosilek is seeking the treatment that has been prescribed for him by the DOC’s doctors as the only form of adequate medical care for his condition.  Such cases have recently become more common in Massachusetts because the DOC has repeatedly denied transsexual prisoner prescribed treatment for reasons that the courts have found to be improper”. 

The order details the ways in which the DOC’s resistance to providing surgery due to the “insurmountable security concern” this would pose, was “pretextual”; that the DOC’s resistance to surgery was actually due to concern that “providing such treatment would provoke public and political controversy, criticism, scorn, and ridicule”.  Judge Wolf found a “pattern of “prevarication, denial, delay and interference”, and concluded the order by ordering that the Defendant “provide Kosilek sex reassignment surgery as promptly as possible”. 

Also of note in this case is the fact that Dr. Brown testified that a “real life experience” can indeed happen in a prison environment, a position opposed by the experts for the DOC.  Brown’s position was accepted by Judge Wolf, establishing for the first time in a major decision that the RLE (as it was known in Version 6) can occur in prison, clearing the way for readiness and eligibility for SRS for inmates if clinically appropriate.

Trans Health Training in Peterborough

So we are finally ready to spread the word about the upcoming trans health training in Peterborough! 

Please see the attached flyers for more information, and the short description below. Sessions are geared towards health and social service providers and open to all. 

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD to your relevant contacts! 

Trans Health Connection - A program of Rainbow Health Ontario and Sherbourne Health Centre - has partnered with the Peterborough Family Health Team and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Peterborough, to offer 2 comprehensive days of trans health training! This is an incredible opportunity to attend up to 2 free days of comprehensive education on the topic of working with and supporting trans people to access health care and other services. 

Come join us for a fun and animated day of learning! We will be doing some engaging and interactive exploration of language and terminology, discussing the health care needs of trans communities, as well as practical steps for making services more trans positive. For more details, include how to register, see the attached poster. 

Please join us for a second day of learning, where we focus on providing holistic community-based health services for trans communities. This session will have a clinical focus, looking at processes for assessment, monitoring, and doing follow-up care with hormone replacement therapy. We will also look at strategies for making proper referrals and building a sustainable  and accessible health care system for trans communities. For more details, including how to register, see the attached poster. 

ACCESS: St. Anne's Church, where we are holding the training days, is wheelchair accessible. Accessible entrance is on the north side of the building (front door has steps up) and inside is equipped with an elevator for access to the hall on the second floor. Washrooms are also wheelchair accessible. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about access. 

look forward to seeing you there! 

Jordan Zaitzow
Trans Health Connection Coordinator
Rainbow Health Ontario 
Sherbourne Health Centre
333 Sherbourne Street
Toronto, M5A 2S5

Prisoners' statement on Prisoners' Justice Day

prisoners’ statement on Prisoners’ Justice Day
Published by mandy on Wed, 2012-08-08 07:22 mandy's blog

On Prisoners’ Justice Day in every jail in Canada and in prisons around the world inmates will go on a 24-hour hunger strike. We do this to remember Eddy Nolan who died in Millhaven Penitentiary in Ontario on August 10th 1974 as a victim of the inhumane conditions in that prison at that time. We do this to remember all of the inmates who fought and the two who died in a four day riot in April of 1971 at Kingston Penitentiary. Both of those incidents led to major reforms in the Canadian prison system. We fast so that we ourselves remember. We strike to remind the institutions and the world that even behind bars we are still entitled to human rights and human dignity, and we can still fight for both.

This statement for Prisoners’ Justice Day 2012 was written by Alex Hundert, with input from more than a dozen inmates inside the Central North Correctional Complex in Penetanguishene Ontario, and Mandy Hiscocks at the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton Ontario. Both are provincial jails in Ontario, Canada. This statement has been signed so far by 56 inmates in Penetang and Vanier, which is 100% of all of those who had the opportunity to read it. Most of those at Penetang who provided input into the very first draft of the statement were unable to sign onto this final version as they were, for reasons unrelated to the drafting of this statement, either moved or are now in the hole (administrative segregation).

It is an outrage that the federal government is enacting the first measures of its Omnibus Crime Bill C-10, the so-called ‘Safe Streets and Communities Act’ on August 9th,  just one day before the annual Prisoners’ Justice Day. This bill will only serve to make prisons more crowded and will make our prison system even less about justice than it currently is. We want people to know how bad things already are before they get worse.

In provincial jails in Ontario we have no functional protections for our human rights the way that federal penitentiaries have had since the 1970’s when inmates fought and died for them. In provincial jails we are subject to arbitrary authority with no effective grievance process. Provincial prisons are significantly more overcrowded than federal penitentiaries. Close to 70% of inmates in Ontario provincial institutions have not actually been convicted, and are instead awaiting bail or trial or in many cases are awaiting deportation. With the loss of conditional sentences and instead new harsher measures (especially for youth) and mandatory minimums, there will be an even greater reliance on the prison system. We are concerned and angry that the federal laws are going to do nothing but aggravate an already unacceptable situation.
Rehabilitation programs have been decimated and jails have become little more than warehouses. For example, this year we will see a massive cut to the Drug Treatment Program by $42 million dollars and under Bill C-10 this money will now be directly transferred to investigations and prosecutions. Bill C-10 will cost Ontario an estimated $1billion dollars on new prison infrastructure, while social programs and jobs are gutted, further driving people in to poverty.  The Ontario government says that the average cost to keep someone in a provincial prison is $183/day in comparison to social housing which is $5-25/day – yet jails are being built in the place of housing.

If you want to genuinely make communities safer, the solution cannot be locking away more people for longer in jails where we only become more angry and disillusioned. We need to change the conditions under which people are locked away and we need strategies to make sure fewer people from our communities are locked up at all.  We need to focus on rehabilitation and not warehouses. We need to focus on the root causes of why people end up here in the first place so that when people get out there is something better to go back to. We need to uphold human dignity, not deprive people of it. We can do this by safeguarding people’s human rights, not by stripping them of all responsibility and opportunity. We need to foster community and interpersonal ties that are based on something deeper than the ‘us against them’ mentality that this system instills in us.

By moving towards a system that protects the rights of all people including prisoners we can move towards real justice for all.

Trans Lobby Group Vital Statistics Act Consultation

Trans Lobby Group members & supporters:

Please see the Trans Lobby Group response to the short-term, stakeholder limited Ministry of Government Services Vital Statistics Act Consultation. 
Special thanks to Jennifer Cote, Davina Hader,  Talia Johnson, Ilsa Loving, Shadmith Manzo, Christin Milloy and Martine Stonehouse and everyone else who contributed.

Of course, we are eternally indebted to the litigant XY, a former Lobby Group member and legal council Susan Ursel for their personal and professional sacrifice to bring this matter to the forefront of trans activism in Ontario.

New Group: Acting Jam at The 519

Acting Jam, hosted by Barry Birnberg at The 519 Thursdays from 4:00 – 6:00 PM 
An Acting Jam is a fun environment for those interested in learning about acting or increasing their presentation and/or public speaking skills. Group members will be provided with scripts to act out single monologues, or for two. We will progress to radio commercials and then single and double improvisations. All fun and learning. 
This is group is open to everyone. 

A message from CAMH's Gender Identity Clinic

Clinic Head Dr. Christopher McIntosh and staff psychologist Dr. Nicola Brown wish to extend our deepest condolences to community members mourning the loss of Kyle Scanlon. We appreciate the magnitude of his loss both personally and professionally for many. 
We have been thinking about what role we might play in the call to better support community leaders in particular, some of whom may feel isolated by the nature of their leadership role and/or that they know others in helping roles too well to feel they can avail themselves of services within community agencies. 
Our capacity for psychotherapy is quite limited given how stretched the clinic is at this time, but we would welcome people in community leadership roles to approach us if they wish to be connected to a provider for therapy. We have identified two providers, one inside the clinic (Psychology Intern, senior Ph.D. candidate) and one allied with the clinic and at CAMH (MSW) who can each take on clients in the near future; with some short and  longer-term options available. Sessions are covered by OHIP, with a health card. Individuals should be aware that because of CAMH’s integrated electronic charts, it is not possible for therapy notes to be separate from the general electronic record.

Mount Sinai Hospital Introduces Gender Identity Policy

Mount Sinai Hospital is once again demonstrating its commitment to equity and respect for all members of the Hospital community. Along with the Hospital’s senior leadership team, the Human Rights & Health Equity office is proud to announce that Mount Sinai has passed a new Gender Identity Policy.   The policy took over a year to complete and included community consultations with key groups and health experts within the trans* community. The Gender Identity Policy outlines guidelines for the fair treatment of all trans, intersex and two-spirit patients and staff at Mount Sinai. It ensures the Hospital is a safe environment for all members of the community and protects trans patients and staff against any form of discrimination or harassment.   Mount Sinai is one of the only hospitals in Ontario to have a policy that firmly acknowledges and respects all gender identities. The policy is a momentous step forward for the Hospital.

"It’s important for us to understand the barriers that the trans, intersex and two-spirit community experience when accessing health care. Not only is this policy a testament to Mount Sinai Hospital’s position as a leader in health equity, but it’s coming at a historic time. With gender identity and gender expression officially becoming prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code, we as a Hospital are doing everything we can to protect our trans, intersex and two-spirit patients and staff" said Narina Nagra, Human Rights & Health Equity Specialist.   To read the policy, click here.   For more information, contact the Human Rights & Health Equity office at 416-586-4800 ext. 7519 or

Communication from the SRS and Trans Health Policy Group

The SRS and Trans Health Policy Group has been consulting with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) regarding access to health care for trans* people in Ontario. The group consists of senior managers at Sherbourne Health Centre (SHC), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and leaders/clinicians from Toronto’s trans communities. They have worked together for over 18 months to examine healthcare access and equity issues affecting trans people and to offer recommendations to Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. 

See attached for more details.

2012 CPATH Conference Winnipeg

The Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH) is pleased to announce we are holding ourTHIRD BIENNIAL CONFERENCE and Annual General Meeting at the historic Fort  Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba from September 20th to the 23rd, 2012!

Shifting Paradigm: Breaking with Pathology, Affirming Gender Diversity is a two-day national conference held on the weekend preceded by a two-day pre-conference clinical training on Thursday and Friday. The event is an ideal opportunity for professionals from various fields to come together to share knowledge with a common goal of increasing access to health care for individuals with gender variant identities.

The conference promises to bring exciting and relevant learning and exchange opportunities to anyone interested in the health of transgender persons in Canada. 
Visit our website for further information and registration!

DiNovo welcomes Royal Assent for Toby's Act

Via Cheri DiNovo:

DiNovo welcomes Royal Assent for Toby’s Act

Queen’s Park – At 3.15 p.m. this afternoon the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario granted Royal Assent to Toby’s Act, the new law that will finally enshrine gender identity and gender expression into the province’s Human Rights Code.

“This is a landmark moment for all Ontarians as we take another hugely important leap forward in the cause of equality by including gender identity and expression in our human rights code,” said High Park-Parkdale MPP Cheri DiNovo today, who has led from the front to get this bill written into law.

“For trans people it is nothing short of momentous as we become the first province bend the arc of history toward a world that recognises their rights and protects them from discrimination,” she added.

Bill 33, Toby’s Act was passed by the Ontario Legislature last week, the fourth time it has been introduced by DiNovo, this time with the support of co-sponsors Christine Elliott MPP and Yasir Naqvi MPP.

Toby’s Law is named in honour of Toby Dancer, a prominent record producer who died in 2004. Dancer attended Emmanuel Howard Park United Church, where she met DiNovo, then working as the church minister.

“Cities around the world have celebrated Pride this month, and Ontario can proudly claim to have most comprehensive legal protections in North America for trans people after the passage of this bill,” said DiNovo.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank all those who have worked so hard over many years to get this essential legislation through over a huge number of hurdles when we were told it was impossible, and particularly to Toby Dancer who inspired this law and who would have been so proud to see this day.”
Susan Gapka
Trans Health Lobby Group - Chair

Peel Transitions is seeking community members to be part of this years Trans Pride event

Peel Transitions is seeking community members to be part of this years Trans Pride event.

Whether you are a spoken word / poetry / musical / visual / etc. artist, we want to hear from you. If you have some great ideas you want to share, we want to hear from you.

Let's make this a great celebration of who we are.

Share your talent, Share yourself, Share your pride.

Contact Rosalyn at

Queers for Social Justice

There is a new coalition in the Toronto Queer Community - Queers for Social Justice. The group is made up of queer community groups, organizations and causes. It has come together to bring a unified message of social justice and politics to Pride. The group was formed at a community town hall meeting for queers on May 27, 2012. 
Queers for Social Justice (QFSJ) will have a strong visual presence throughout Pride 2012: 
At the parade we will have signs, fans and stickers to carry our message: Queers for Social Justice -- Celebrate! Demonstrate! Agitate! We want organizations and individuals to use our visuals to present a unifying message to show their politics and pride. 
Over the course of Pride Week, Queers for Social Justice (QFSJ) will sponsor a number of actions, including a Night March, several Die-Ins and a Community Picnic. We extend an invitation to all queers to come out to these events. Details of the events will be released closer to Pride Week. 
You can help the group by: 
1. Sending out this letter or our mission statement (enclosed) to all your members and other organizations you know in the queer community. There are two ways to receive information about QFSJ and its activities. 
Sign up with Google groups:!forum/toronto-queers-for-social-justice 
And/or on Facebook: Queers for Social Justice. 
We will have a Twitter account soon. 
2. Make a donation to cover costs for placards and stickers. Get in touch with Jordan or Tony (email below) to get details.   
3. Order placards that say “Queers for Social Justice - Celebrate”, “Queers for Social Justice - Demonstrate”, “Queers for Social Justice - Agitate”. There will also be stickers that say: “Queers for Social Justice -- Celebrate! Demonstrate! Agitate!” They will be in two sizes 2 1/2inches round for individual stickers and 8 inches square for stickers to be placed on banners/placards/signs. We can email you a copy of the placards/stickers. 
For more information please get in touch with: 
Jordan Bond-Gorr: 
Tony Souza: 

You're Fabulous - An amazing collection of Queer Stories

You're Fabulous!!!

Lulu@onmyplanet.ca!/ is an LGBTQ positive website - part online queer community centre, part inclusive educational is home to The Queer Story Archive,  an ever-expanding collection of life experience stories, on video and in text, from queer people of all ages, genders, orientations and cultures. also has a support and referral network, and in development is 'Work It Out', an online therapeutic workbook for reducing homophobia and sexual prejudice. 

PS: We are hoping to gain support for from LGBTQ communities everywhere. If you would please share this information with your interest group,  team,  choir,  band,  discussion group,  synchro swim team, community network,  your fans,  co-workers,  friends,  family,  facebook friends,  your twitter list, your entire email list and with anyone you think might be interested in participating or supporting us in any way shape or form, we would greatly appreciate it.  The more stories the better!!! Thanks for your help. 



At this year’s Pride Week, the Trans Pride events, spaces, and entertainment will be bigger than ever!  Volunteers are needed to help make it all happen on the Weekend of Pride Week.

Trans identified volunteers are needed to help run Trans Space, an area in the Pride Week festival with art, entertainment, and information by the Trans Community for the Trans Community.

Also, volunteers who are friends and allies of the Trans Community are needed as Marshals and Assistants during the Trans March.

Below are specific volunteer roles and shift times available for Trans Pride 2012.  If you are interested in volunteering, please send an email to: Please include your first and last name, your phone number, email address, and confirm which of the shifts below you would like to volunteer for.  You will then receive a confirmation email with all the details.

Hope to hear from you!

Pride Toronto Trans Pride & Weekend Volunteer Teams

Trans March Marshal
Friday, June 29th: 6pm-9pm  (Friends and allies welcome to volunteer)

Trans Space Assistant
Friday, June 29th :  6pm-9pm (Friends and allies welcome to volunteer)
Saturday June 30th: 10am-4pm (Trans identified volunteers preferred)
Saturday, June 30th: 4pm-10pm (Trans identified volunteers preferred))
Sunday July 1st: 10am-4pm (Trans identified volunteers preferred)
Sunday, July 1st: 4pm-10pm (Trans identified volunteers preferred)

***Question? Concerns? Suggestions? E-mail us:***

Protecting More Kids From Bullies / Protéger un plus grand nombre d'enfants contre l’intimidation

Today, we introduced important amendments to Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act, our proposed law to stop young people from being bullied at school. The amendments make our goals clear — that every student should feel safe and accepted at school. Students can only be at their very best when they feel safe.
During public hearings on Bill 13, we heard that students need our support in establishing student-led groups. We also heard that it was important that students be able to call those groups a number of different names — including a gay-straight alliance. Words matter. We know the power of words to create fear, pain, spread hatred, homophobia, sexism and racism. When we can name it, we can address it. That's why our amendments would have the Accepting Schools Act clearly lay out protections and supports for all students and make clear that homophobic bullying is not O.K.
Under our amendments, no school board or principal can refuse to allow students to use the name "gay-straight alliance" to describe their clubs. The students' use for their anti-bullying groups will have to be consistent with an inclusive, positive school climate that accepts all students. And school boards will be required to comply with the new law in a way that does not hinder students' freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights.
It's time to pass the Accepting Schools Act, so every student can feel safe in school.
Please share this email and let the other parties know it's time to pass the Accepting Schools Act — legislation that will prove that we have zero tolerance for bullying.
Thank you,

Laurel Broten
Minister of Education

Chers amis,
Nous avons déposé, aujourd'hui, d'importantes modifications au projet de loi 13, Loi pour des écoles tolérantes, notre projet de loi visant à empêcher l'intimidation des jeunes à l'école. Les modifications rendent nos objectifs plus clairs : tous les élèves devraient se sentir en sécurité et acceptés à l'école. En effet, les élèves donnent le meilleur d'eux-mêmes lorsque leur sécurité est garantie.
Durant les consultations publiques sur le projet 13, on nous a expliqué qu'il faut soutenir les élèves qui souhaitent établir des « alliances gai-hétéro » au sein de leur école. On nous a aussi dit qu'il était important que les élèves puissent donner différents noms à ces groupes, dont le terme « alliance gai-hétéro ». Les mots sont chargés de sens. Nous savons qu'ils ont le pouvoir de provoquer la peur et la souffrance, ou de propager la haine, l'homophobie, le sexisme et le racisme. Lorsque nous pouvons nommer le problème, nous pouvons y remédier. C'est la raison pour laquelle nos modifications permettront à la Loi pour des écoles tolérantes d'énoncer clairement les formes de protection et de soutien destinées à tous les élèves et d'expliquer clairement que l'intimidation de nature homophobe n'est pas tolérable.
En vertu de nos modifications, aucun conseil scolaire et aucun directeur ou aucune directrice d'école ne pourra refuser à des élèves d'utiliser le terme « alliance gai-hétéro » pour décrire leurs clubs. L'utilisation faite par les élèves pour leurs groupes de lutte contre l'intimidation devra favoriser un climat scolaire inclusif et positif qui accepte tous les élèves. Les conseils scolaires seront tenus de respecter la nouvelle loi et de ne pas entraver la liberté d'expression des élèves aux termes de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés. Le moment est venu d'adopter la Loi pour des écoles tolérantes , afin que chaque élève puisse se sentir en sécurité à l'école. Veuillez partager ce courriel et faire savoir aux autres partis que le moment est venu d'adopter la Loi pour des écoles tolérantes, une loi qui prouvera que nous ne tolérerons aucun acte d'intimidation.
Je vous remercie.

Laurel Broten
Ministre de l'Éducation

Calvin Neufeld On Bullying 2: This Time it's Personal is now online

Calvin Neufeld On Bullying 2: This Time it's Personal is now online, including:

* Calvin's presentation (20 minutes)
* junebug speaks oot aboot bullying eh? (20 minutes)
* Q&A session excerpts (15  minutes)
* Calvin's interview on CBC radio (8 minutes) 

Community research study about mental health, substance use and health care access seeks trans participants

Are you a trans person or a person of trans experience? 
Do you identify as having a serious* mental health and/or substance use issue? 
Are you a client of Sherbourne Health Centre, Scadding Court Community Centre or CAMH? 
We are interested in hearing about your experiences trying to get health care.

We are specifically looking for people who are current clients of Sherbourne Health Centre, Scadding Court Community Centre or CAMH.  If eligible, folks will participate in an interview that takes approx 1 hour and will receive $21.  Participants have the option of being interviewed by a trans person (me).   ASL interpretation is available. 
This is a community based research project being done in partnership with consumer/survivor communities, with research team members from CAMH, Sherbourne Health Centre, The Empowerment Council, PARC, Scadding Court Community Centre, Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC), The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) and Dr. Simone Vigod from Women’s College Hospital.  For more info about the project and team, please see 
*Project definition of a serious mental health and/or substance use issue 
This study is for people who self-identify as having a mental health and/or substance use issue that is on-going.  We are looking for people whose mental health and/or substance use issues have impacted their quality of life, although they may have experienced periods of recovery or well-being. Participants may have been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition and/ or an addiction, although this is not a requirement. We are interested in hearing from people who have experiences of being excluded or marginalized.  Our team does not consider Gender Identity Disorder/Gender Incongruence to be a mental health issue or psychiatric condition. 
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to participate.  Scott Anderson: 416-535-8501 x7380 
Scott Anderson 
Research Coordinator 
Health Systems and Health Equity Research Group 
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 

PATHWAYS RESEARCH PROJECT - LGBQ women and/or trans people of colour and/or are experiencing poverty

Are you dealing with stress? Do you struggle with your emotional health? We need YOU to fill out this survey!

The “Pathways Study” is a community-based research project led by researchers at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Rainbow Health Ontario, University of Toronto, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, and York University. We’re trying to understand women and/or trans people’s experiences with depression as well as their use of mental health services. 

We are recruiting 900 participants of all sexual orientations, abilities and ethno-racial backgrounds to share their experiences by filling out a confidential and anonymous online survey that takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete. About 40 of the 900 online participants will also be asked to do a one hour semi-structured interview with a member of the Pathways Research Team to discuss their experiences.Right now, we particularly need to hear from LGBQ women and/or trans people who identify as people of colour and/or are experiencing poverty, in order to understand how multiple stressors associated with race, class, gender, sexual orientation and/or gender identity can affect peoples’ experiences with mental health services. You will be compensated for your participation with a $10.00 President’s Choice gift certificate, or a donation to charity.

A primary goal of this project is to find out what happens when people seek help or treatment for their emotional or mental health. Our goal is to help make changes to mental health services.

To participate, go to

RHO Seeking Trans Interviewees regarding Preventative Health Care

Rainbow Health Ontario is partnering with Innovative Research to find out preliminary information for a health promotion project on preventative health care in LGBT Communities.   
Thanks to all the LGBT people who have contributed their time and information already.  We have received lots of helpful information. 

We are still seeking a few self-identified members of the trans community to participate in a telephone interview about your experiences seeking or obtaining preventative health care.  Interviewees will receive $40 for a 30-40 minute conversation with a researcher.   

This study will end in a few days. Please email if you would like to participate. 

Call To Action - Trans Human Rights

Call To Action:

Toby's Act is a private member's bill introduced by New Democratic Party Whip MPP Cheri DiNovo on February 21, 2012. This is the fourth time DiNovo has introduced this bill. 

Toby's Act would amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to include gender identity and gender expression which would explicitly prohibit  harassment and discrimination against transsexual and transgender people. It is scheduled for 2nd Reading on May 10, 2012 around 2pm. 

Toby's Act is co-sponsored by Progressive Conservative Deputy Leader MPP Christine Elliott and Ontario Liberal Party President MPP Yasir Naqvi. 

Contact your MPP by telephone, email, letter to tell them: It is Time to Deliver on Trans Human Rights!!! 

Susan Gapka
Trans Lobby Group, Chair 

Trans Toronto: An Oral History (book)


My new book “Trans Toronto: An Oral History” has been published. It is a longitudinal oral history of Toronto's trans community. It’s a good strong dose of trans feminist postmodern history. 

It is available on now…and at Amazon, Chapters, Barnes and Noble, and independent book stores in the coming weeks. 
If I interviewed you for the book, or if you’d like to publish a review of the book, I’d be happy to send you a free copy. Contact me with your mailing address.

Darryl Hill, PhD
Associate Professor
College of Staten Island
Staten Island, NY

Trans Lobby Group Applauds Ontario Human Rights Decision Surgical Requirement on Record of Birth is Discriminatory for Trans People

For Immediate Release: April 17, 2012

Trans Lobby Group Applauds Ontario Human Rights Decision

Surgical Requirement on Record of Birth is Discriminatory for Trans People

Trans Lobby Group members are thrilled that an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the surgical requirement for a change in the record of birth on legal documents is discriminatory towards trans people. In a decision just released, XY v. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services confirmed what trans people have been saying all along.

Susan Gapka noted, “Requiring Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) is differential treatment based upon a personal characteristic, that is; that trans people are treated differently and face harassment and discrimination when their legal documents do not match how they present in their everyday lives.” Gapka, chair of the Trans Lobby Group added, “Now we can move forward with remedy which will provide social inclusion for many trans people born in Ontario who are currently without accurate documentation.”

Davina Hader, Trans Lobby Group Steering Committee member exclaimed, “Accessing essential services in Ontario requires valid identification. If ones’ identification is out of sync with whom they are then discrimination and refusal of services becomes the norm. This ruling validates the need for change for so many.”

The Vital Statistics Act governs the record of birth in Ontario and is recorded on ones' birth certificate. To change sex on ones' birth certificate requires SRS and letters from the preforming surgeon and confirmation from a recognized medical practitioner. SRS has rigorous eligibility criteria with limited access across Ontario so many trans people are not able to pursue this procedure which was delisted as an insured service for 10 years in Ontario. Other trans people do not seek SRS for personal reasons.

In 2005, a mediated case, AB verses the Ministry of Transportation and Minister of Government Services, agreed that the sex designation on ones' Drivers License could be changed through a simple application by the individual and a confirming letter from their physician. XY v. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services gives the Ontario Government 180 days to revise the criteria for changing sex designation on the record of birth.

The Trans Lobby Group extends tremendous gratitude to the litigant, XY who displayed extraordinary courage and resilience in presenting personal life experience details in a public forum during the Tribunal hearings and to legal counsel Susan Ursel of Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP who provides invaluable and expensive pro Bono legal counsel to the trans communities. Usel was legal counsel in Hogan v Ministry of Health and Long Term Care when we fought for SRS to be relisted as an insured service.

Trans Lobby Group members are seeking to amend the Ontario Vital Statistics Act so that trans people can more easily change their legal documents to match their true gender identity. In Ontario, the Minister of Health and Long Term Care announced restoring of funding for Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) on May 14, 2008 following a lengthy campaign by the Trans Lobby Group to relist this medically necessary procedure. Trans Lobby Group members are also seeking explicit Human Rights amendments to include 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' as a prohibited grounds of discrimination. Toby's Act, which amends the Ontario Human Rights Code is scheduled for 2ndReading at Queen's Park on May 10, 2012.

For More Information Contact:
Susan Gapka, Chair: transhumanrightscampaign@yahoo.ca647 882 2776
Davina Hader: davina@studioconceptions.com647 808 1484

Extreme homophobia from Oshawa based newspaper, response from Marko Ivancicevic

My Response in relation to the current issue with Oshawa/Durham Central Newspaper concerning Homophobia

I am writing you today, to bring attention to a local issue that effect’s the LGBT community.

The Owner/Editor of the Oshawa/Durham Central, a local newspaper, has made discriminatory comments about a PFLAG gala that occurred in Oshawa recently. They are attacking PFLAG, the LGBT community, City/Regional Councillor Amy England and City Councillor Bruce Wood.

In the article, many homophobic statements and references are made by the writer and also other individuals who apparently sent in their comments, the owner/editor decided to print these comments. One comment includes reference to Amy England’s on stage performance as taking part in a “freak convention”.

I recommend that the Oshawa/Durham Central retract their claims and comments related to PFLAG, the LGBT Community, Councillor Amy England and Councillor Bruce Wood, as this hate mongering is unacceptable in this day-in-age.

Homophobia promoted in the media cannot be tolerated. The Media cannot get away with printing this type of outlandish material as it perpetuates the problem that many individuals have fought against for so many years.

I am proud of our City and the article does not do our City any justice at all. It only casts a very dark cloud over Oshawa. This article does not represent Oshawa.

This type of negative attack towards the LGBT community cannot be accepted has already been met with much opposition. This also includes some of his advertisers pulling out their ads because they do not want to be associated with these types of attacks on their community.

I commend the many people who have spoken out against this situation and I am flabbergasted that the owner/editor continues to attack many individuals who have stood up and defended the many people affected by his hate-driven articles. 

Please take the time to read the article in the link below and help to end this type of discriminatory behaviour by contacting fellow supporters or other media sources. – Front page is where it begins. Page 5 is the full article. On page 10 there is another column as well.

In Solidarity,
Marko Ivancicevic

CTV National News - Facing Gender Discrimination

Facing gender discrimination 
Following the Miss Universe Pagents' decision to change their rules regarding gender, Cyclist Kristen Worley discusses how she faced similar discrimination within her own sport of high-performance cycling, claiming existing policies oppress the athlete. 

Read more:

Beyond the Queer Alphabet: Conversations on Gender, Sexuality & Intersectionality

Please see the attached e-book "Beyond the Queer Alphabet: Conversations on Gender, Sexuality & Intersectionality". Doreen Fumia, a member of the SPN, and Rinaldo Walcott, one of the keynote speakers at the SPN conference, both have articles in it.


BOTH/AND video and Elementary Curriculum document: now available online


Here are 2 direct links to BOTH/AND: a digital storybook/video by Lee Hicks  
with text adapted (with permission) from Kate Bornstein.   

BOTH/AND was created to facilitate and open discussions about difference, self, and gender expression/gender identity in elementary classrooms; 

It is now available free online with a 70 page curriculum document that corresponds specifically to many aspects of the Ontario Curriculum for grades K-6. This includes theory, background and lesson plans for elementary teachers. 

   - thank you. 

1. (video and curriculum on this page) 


2. youtube... 
from here you can link to the ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM document that accompanies it, 
(just under the video). 

Welcome Friend Association - Rainbow Camp

Welcome Friend Association writes:

Join us for our first Rainbow Camp! This is a unique opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) youth and/or members of Queer families. We are committed to developing a camp community which honours creativity, individual choice, and social justice.

Rainbow Camp will provide opportunities for campers to make new friends and develop skills through traditional camp programming. More than anything, Rainbow Camp is a fun place to come OUT and be yourself! Our Camp Program will include activities in the following areas:

$275 for the week Camp fee includes all food, accommodation, and activities.

Click here for more information


LGBTQ prevention study seeks participants

Thank you to all those who have passed this on, and to those who have responded.  We still need more participants in Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton especially trans and genderqueer folks, and people who identify as bisexual or lesbian.  Please pass this invitation on to your contacts or networks. If you are interested in participating, just send an email message and they'll get back to you right away. 

Click here for details

Anna Travers, Director Rainbow Health Ontario

Seeking Participants for Study about Parents of Gender-Independent Children

Raising Gender-Independent Children: Coming to Understanding 
Seeking Participants for Study about Parents of Gender-Independent Children 

My name is Jake Pyne and I am currently completing a Master of Social Work degree at Ryerson University. I am in the process of recruiting participants for a small study about the experience of parents of gender-independent children – children whose gender identity or gender expression differs from that expected of the gender they were assigned at birth. Sometimes these children are known as gender variant,gender non-conforming, gender-creative or two-spirited, though parents do not need to use any of these terms to participate in this study. 

The focus of this study is on how parents come to understand their child’s gender identity – in essence, how they know what they know about their child.  I am particularly interested in talking to parents of children who are living outside of typical gender roles (neither male nor female) or parents of children who have socially transitioned to a new gender role through a change of name, gender pronoun and/or physical appearance. I aim to learn more about how parents of gender-independent children understand their children and make decisions about their well-being. I feel this is important because these families are often on the receiving end of stigma, discrimination and disbelief.  I hope this work can contribute toward creating better resources and services for these families and I hope that having the opportunity to share your challenges and experiences will be helpful.  Because there is so little information about the diversity of families with gender-independent children, I particularly welcome the participation of those who identify themselves as Aboriginal, people of colour, those with low income, immigrants and refugees, parents with disabilities and other equity seeking groups. Eligible participants will have parented a gender-independent child under 12 years of age within the past 5 years. 

This process will involve a 1 to 1.5 hour tape-recorded interview which can be done at a time and location of your choice.  Interviews will be in-person for participants who are in Toronto and over the phone for those in other areas.  All information shared will be confidential and no names or identifying information will be published or shared in any way. Participation is entirely voluntary and you can choose to end your involvement with the study at any time. 

Finally, a bit about me. I was a gender-independent child myself and currently do community-based research and activism in the trans community in Toronto.  I am committed to working towards building better resources for families with gender-independent children so that parents, children and the communities around them are safe, supported and celebrated. 

I look forward to hearing from you. For more information please contact me at

Support for Gender Independent Children's Books

Bear and I are looking for people to get involved with what I am thinking of as "Community Supported Arts". A couple of years ago, inspired by an invitation to Gender Spectrum's Family Conference Bear wrote two children's books about gender independent children. Not books that explained the existence of gender independent children, not books that talked about transition, but stories that happen to include gender independent children. We've been trying to find them a publisher, and keep getting the answer of "they are good stories, but there is no market" Except I know they are needed. So, in the absence of a publisher, he's found brilliant queer illustrators, a print broker, and we are launching our own press, Flamingo Rampant to create books and more for gender independent children and their families. The plan is to publish Bear's two books initially, and then look add adding other titles and resources.

I am asking people to take a look at our project, and if they can, support it. If you can't support it, but like the idea, please pass it on. There are rewards for different levels of support and even a dollar is helpful (and gets a reward). Yes, we have achieved the original goal, and will be able to print the books, but are aspiring to reach a new goal so we can print the books and create a video story book that will be available as a pay-what-you-can download. There's lots more about this over at the Kickstarter site, 

You can also get there via

j wallace

Tuesday, February 21, 3pm Queen Park Legislature: Toby's Act

Call out to trans people and supporters to attend tabling of Toby's Act to show MPPs we support Trans Human Rights. It is Time to Deliver on Trans Human Rights! 

DiNovo renews call for the protection of gender identity in Ontario.

QUEENS' PARK - Parkdale- High Park NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo will table a private members’ bill to amend the human rights code to recognize gender identity and expression. DiNovo’s bill is co-sponsored by PC MPP Christine Elliot and Liberal MPP Yasir Naqvi. The bill, know as “Toby’s Law, has been introduced by DiNovo in three previous sessions of the Ontario Legislature.

Bill will be tabled Tuesday, February 21, 3pm Queen Park Legislature. 

Susan Gapka
Trans Lobby Group, Chair

CAMH Changes Announcement

Dear community members and partners, 
The CAMH Adult Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) announces some new changes in our current practice as part of CAMH’s focus on improving access to care. 
As you may know, staff conducted a policy review last year which launched in Spring of 2011. The eligibility criteria was changed to 18 years of age, and the length of the Real Life Experience (RLE) minimum requirements to three months for hormones, and 12 months for Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). 
The GIC’s core staff attended the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) conference this year where the new (2011) Standards of Care were presented. We are adopting the language and spirit of the move from Real Life Experience to Gender Role Experience.  As always, clients must meet the diagnostic criteria, as well as the readiness criteria. We will work with all our clients to achieve an individually tailored care plan.   
Whereas previously all surgery approvals were separate appointments, we are piloting dual chest and hysto approvals for trans men considered to be ready for both procedures. 
Since the spring of 2011, we have revised and refocussed our questionnaire to better understand your current goals and situation. We have also created a new information sheet accompanying letters for possible surgery approval appointments to better prepare clients for this meeting and their possible surgery. 
In response to client and community feedback, we are piloting a new initiative through TelePsychiatry, which would allow us to conduct follow-up meetings with current clients at long distances or in northern areas. Please ask us for further details.   
Clinic Head and psychiatrist Dr. Christopher McIntosh and staff psychologist Dr. Nicola Brown welcome you to the clinic and look forward to meeting you. Our most recent staff addition is psychiatrist Dr. Wayne Baici who is with us one afternoon a week. We thank our consulting psychiatrists, current medical residents and psychology interns who play an invaluable role with us. 
CAMH is a teaching hospital and we are helping to train students in the assessment and care for trans clients. You will be informed of any students who are involved in your assessment sessions. If you have concerns about this, please discuss this with clinic staff. 
See our webpages for further updated text: 
Nicola Brown, Ph.D., C.Psych 
Staff Psychologist, Center for Addiction and Mental Health 
Interim Director, Psychology Practicum Program 
Adult Gender Identity Clinic 
Centralized Assessment and Triage Support (CATS) Program 
250 College St. Toronto, ON M5T 1R8 

call for paper 'Trans rights as human rights - the implications for transgender health(care)'

Hi all,
        I can highly reccomend this conference which is to be held in Linkoping, Sweden "Trans rights as human rights- the implications for trans health(care)" May 8th to 10th 2012.

Keynotye speakers are really exiting names;
Susan Stryker - assistant professor of Gender Studies at the University of Arizona and note writer, researcher and filmmaker and Jamison Green President elect of WPATH - World Professional Assciation for Transgender Health.


Maria Sundin
Secretary Transgender Europe

> Från: "Ulrica Engdahl" <>
> Skickat: den 15 februari 2012 10:48
> Till: "" <>
> Ämne: call for paper 'Trans rights as human rights - the implications for transgender health(care)'

> Call for papers for the conference:
> 'Trans rights as human rights- the implications for trans health(care)'
> May 8-10, 2012, Linköping University and Linköping University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden
> Arranged by: Unit of Gender Studies at Department of Thematic Studies and Unit of Gender and Medicine at Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Nordic Trans Network and RFSL, The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights
> Papers are invited for presentation at the international conference on trans rights in relation health care issues 'Trans rights as human rights- the implications for trans health(care)'. This conference takes as its starting point the recent UN resolution that affirms human rights to trans persons and brings attention to human rights violations based on gender identity. The focus will be specifically on the healthcare context as a key space in which issues of rights, responsibilities and care are highlighted. The conference is funded by Riksbankens jubileumsfond.
> Key note speakers are:
> Susan Stryker, Associate Professor, Gender and Women's Studies, director of Institute for LGBT Studies, Arizona University
> Jamison Green, PhD, Trans Health Policy Analyst at the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF Medical School), President-Elect of World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
> Dr Leighton Seal, Consultant Endocrinologist for the Gender Identity Clinic, West London Mental Health and Consultant Endocrinologist at the Thomas Addison Unit, St George's Hospital, Tooting London.
> Dr Gunnar Kratz, Professor of Plastic Surgery, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE) Linköping University Hospital
> Linda Almqvist, legal adviser, Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
> We welcome papers from researchers, transgender activists and health care staff on/across/expanding the following themes:
>  *   The role of narratives/cultures in trans health (e.g. learning through reading trans narratives, asking whose stories 'count', and contradictory or counter-narratives)
>  *   Trans youth (e.g. discussions around age limit, violence and bullying, and practical issues around accessing relevant healthcare)
>  *   Sexual health (e.g. sexual pleasure, bodily comfort, desire, sexual health clinics and trans knowledge, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases)
>  *   What is 'health'? (e.g. what constitutes 'good health' and why is it important? Issues around food, exercise, depathologisation, and the role of social networks)
>  *   Standards of care (e.g. recent changes to standards of care, differing national contexts, funding, caregivers and caregiving)
>  *   Trans rights as human rights - the right to health care (e.g. patients' rights, responsibilities of medical professionals, and ethical questions)
> A special issue of Lambda Nordica will be published with a selection of papers developed from the conference and additional contributors.
> Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words in English and a short biography (150 words max) to the conference email address:<>  by 20 March 2012. Don't hesitate to contact the conference organisers at the email address above if you have any questions or queries!
> Deadline for abstract submission: 20 March 2012

Re-Introduction of Toby's Act to amend Ontario Human Rights Code to include 'gender identity and gender expression''

Tuesday, February 21, 3pm; Queen's Park Visitor Gallery: 
Call out to trans community members and supporters to support NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo's Re-Introduction of Toby's Act to amend Ontario Human Rights Code to include 'gender identity and gender expression''. 

Susan Gapka
Trans Lobby Group, Chair

Workshop and Discussion on Gender Independent Kids - Sexual Health Network of Ontario

The Sexual Health Network of Ontario Invites you to a panel discussion on: 

Gender Non-conforming Kids 
Understanding the needs of kids and families, learning about local programs, resources and research, and talking about how and why it matters in sexual health education and services 

Panel Members: 
Jake Pyne - Community-Based Researcher and Trans Activist 
Steve Solomon - School Social Worker Triangle Program, 
Toronto District School Board LGBT Resources & Support 
Chris Veldhoven - Queer Parenting Programs Coordinator 
The 519 Church Street Community Centre 
Moderated by Cory Silverberg - Certified Sexual Health Educator 
Date :      Wednesday February 22nd 2012 
Time :     9:30am – 12:00pm 
Location: North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street 
Committee Room # 1,  Lower Level 
Contact:   Jessica Abraham at 416 338-6107 / 
            RSVP not required                        

The 519 OLGBT Program Schedule

Attached is the schedule for The 519’s Older LGBT Drop-In and monthly outing, please forward it to older LGBT friends, family, or anyone you think might be interested in joining us. 
For our monthly outing we have booked a private screening at the National Film Board where we will be viewing a selection of LGBT films. Admission will be covered by The 519 OLGBT program. To register please contact Jen Durst, This event is open to all older LGBT people. 
The following are the schedule’s for The 519 book clubs. Books for both clubs can be found at The Toronto Public Library. All meetings take place at The 519 and refreshments are served. New members are always welcome. 
The Women’s Book Club will be meeting February 7th to discuss Too Close to the Falls, a memoir by Catherine Gildiner. The following months are as follows:         
-          March 6th            The Beekeeper's Apprentice, novel by Laurie R. King 
-          April 3rd               Hominids, novel by Robert J. Sawyer 
The Mature Men’s Book Club will be meeting February  28th to discuss “Natural Order” and will be joined by the author Brian Francis.  See attached poster for more information. The following months are as follows:     
-          March 27th         Water For Elephants, novel by Sara Gruen   
-          April 24th The Road, novel by Cormac McCarthy 
-          May 22nd             Coventry, novel by Helen Humphrey. 
-          June 26th             The Last of the Wine, novel by Mary Renault: 
-          July 24th              Death Comes For The Archbishop, novel by Willa Cather: 
Hope to see you soon! 
Heather Bain 
Older LGBT Community Service Coordinator 
The 519 Church Street Community Centre 
519 Church Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 2C9 


Women’s Coming Out Group @ The 519

The Women’s Coming Out Group is a peer support group for all queer and questioning women to discuss and share the experience of coming out. This group meets to discuss topics such as coming out to your family, coming out at school or in the workplace, coming out in a heterosexual relationship, coming out as a bisexual woman when previously identified as a lesbian (and other topics related to labels), coming out for trans women, coming out as a woman of colour, recognizing and overcoming internalized homophobia, among other discussion topics (as directed by the group each week). This group is inclusive of women of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, gender* and queer identities.

The group meets every Wednesday from 8:00pm – 9:30pm. The group just started last week so it's not in the 519 website yet. Just show up and you'll see the room location listed on the screen above the front desk.

*Cis gendered men are encouraged to participate in the Coming Out, Being Out (mixed gender) support group which is held directly before the Women’s Coming Out Group.

reachOUT at Griffin Centre, North York

Within Griffin Centre, reachOUT is a creative, inclusive & accessible program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth and adults in the Greater Toronto Area. Incorporating Youth Engagement, Anti-oppression and Anti-racism frameworks into our work allows us to offer safe spaces that reflect the diversity of our queer and trans communities. We provide a range of innovative services, which include: 

Our individual counselling and case management services are for youth who are 12-18 years of age. To date, the focus of reachOUT has been to work with LGBTQ youth who are often marginalized in mainstream services. Within this context, we typically work with: 

Please keep us in mind when referring suitable clients that can benefit from our services.

Stephanie Latty, M.S.W
Community Connections Worker, reachOUT

griffin centre 
24 Silverview Drive
North York, ON M2M 2B3   

Tel: (416) 222-1153  ext. 118 
Fax: (416) 222-1321 

US Joint Commission - Communication, Cultural Competence & Patient & Family-Centred Care for the LGBT Community

Please see this newly released document from the US Joint Commission:

Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community : A Field Guide

Online Link:

New Trans PULSE E-Bulletin (#4)

The Trans PULSE team is pleased to share with you the fourth e-bulletin to be produced from the project.

The new e-bulletin - Challenging the Binary: Gender Characteristics of Trans Ontarians is attached to this email in both English and French. It can also be viewed and downloaded at the following links in English: , and in French:


The Trans PULSE Project team

Call for applications: LGBT Home Care Access Project Advisory Committee

Attached is a call for applications for the Advisory Committee of a new research study being undertaken by Andrea Daley and Judith MacDonnell (York University), Rainbow Health Ontario, and Toronto Central CCAC. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

This could be a great opportunity to directly impact research that is happening in OLGBT communities. They are hoping for involvement from across Ontario, so please forward widely.


Job Posting (new initiative): Q? Y Art? Project Coordinator

We are seeking a candidate for the position of Coordinator, Q? Y Art? Project. This is a short term contract position that will be responsible for facilitating the outreach and program development stage of the project. The posting can also be find online at Job Posting: Coordinator, Q? Y Art? Project

Q? Y Art? is a multidisciplinary arts program for South Asian LGBTTIQQ2S/WSW/MSM youth in Toronto. Through the project, youth 29 and under will engage in arts practices, create portfolios and launch their work. This project is funded by ArtReach Toronto.

We are seeking someone engaged, who is willing to learn, and interested in the process as much as we are. Interested candidates are welcome to ask questions via email until December 29, 2011. The closing date for applications is December 31, 2011 at midnight. Please email us at with questions and applications. 

It would be greatly appreciated if you could pass on this posting to your networks and partner agencies. 


Organizers of the Q? Y Art? Project


"Tomboy" at the Toronto International Film Festival

I don't know if you and the Toronto LGBT community already knows about this film that is being screened in TIFF right now. It's called Tomboy, a french film directed by Céline Sciamma ( Newspaper NOW has written a short article-slash-review about it a week ago ( I watched it today and I was mesmerized by the beautiful screenplay. I don't know how long TIFF will keep the film on their list so I think it would be good for everyone to watch it soon when they have the spare time. Please spread the word.

93% of American Catholics back transgender rights

A release from Fortunate Families about recent religious survey information:

The survey was done by the Public Religion Research Institute. You can read more about the survey itself here (covers other religious groups).

Program Assistant Position with the Re:Searching for LGBTQ Health Team at CAMH

CAMH is looking for a Program Assistant to provide support to their team in their research related to LGBTQ health. Presently they are able to offer a 1-year, part-time (20 hrs/week) contract, but they hope to be able to extend this if they are successful with upcoming grant applications, so ideally they are looking for someone who might be interested in working with their team in a longer term capacity. Previous experience providing administrative support is essential for this position, as is knowledge of/experience working with LGBTQ communities.

For more information about their team and projects, please check out their website:

Youth Line Board Recruitment

The Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line Board of Directors is seeking a committed and motivated youth leader to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors. This individual will work closely with other board members and staff of the Youth Line to help the organization realize its mission, live its values and deliver on the priorities of its strategic plan. We also require our new board member to be part of our Strategic planning happening Saturday January 14th, 2012.

As part of the Youth Line's commitment to youth community engagement, we are recruiting a trans youth member, between 18-26 years of age. Training and learning opportunities will be provided.

Click here for details