Queer U 2016 Schedule – Claiming our Power, Claiming Ourselves: Healing Our Communities Through (Un)Learning

Queer U 2016

Claiming our Power, Claiming Ourselves: Healing Our Communities Through (Un)Learning

Irving K Barber Learning Centre rm 261

 

Conference Schedule

SATURDAY FEB. 6

WELCOME & LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT | 11:00-11:30 |
Outweek Planning Committee

PANEL 1 | 11:30 – 12:15 | Spaces of Resistance: Challenging Normativity in Queer Place & Communities

“Reflections on QTIPOC Visibility, Photography, and Decolonial Love”

K Ho

Geographies of Homonormativity: The complicity of queer spaces”

Andrée McKee with guest speaker, Natasha Adsit

LUNCH | 12:15 – 1:00 |

WORKSHOP | 1:00 – 2:30 | Embodiment of gender in partner dance:  An interactive workshop

sponsored and co-organized by the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, and co-organized by the GRSJ Graduate Studies Association (GRSJ GSA

Max Kepler

DanceKepler Productions

PANEL 2 | 2:30 – 3:15 | Claiming our Bodies: Destabilizing Normalcy in Sexuality

Ulcerative Colitis, Sexuality, and the Limits of the “Leaky Body””

Anne Barringer

““Jilling Off”: How Cisgender Women Internalize and Subvert Heteropatriarchal Scripts through Masturbation and Sex Toys”

Sonja Cvoric 

KEYNOTE | 3:15 – 4 | Dr. Lucas Crawford

Queer U 2016 Abstract and Bios

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Dr. Lucas Crawford 

Keynote Speaker

Title The Transgender Lives of the High Line Park

Bio Lucas Crawford is the Ruth Wynn Woodward Junior Chair in Gender Studies at Simon Fraser University and the current Critic-In-Residence of CWILA (Canadian Women in the Literary Arts). Lucas is the author of Sideshow Concessions (a book of poetry that won the 2015 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry) and of Transgender Architectonics (a book of scholarly essays that came out in December 2015). This summer, Montreal’s Matrix Magazine will publish a “trans lit” issue edited by Lucas. Over the years, Lucas has founded a drag king troupe in Edmonton; organized events and actions about justice, disability, food, and fatness; undertaken a five-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts; made and screened two short films; and a host of other fun things relating to gender, space, and bodies. Lucas is from rural Nova Scotia and has lived in London (ON), Montreal, and Edmonton on the way to Vancouver

Abstract The High Line Park floats a story and a half above the western edge of Manhattan, snaking its way from Chelsea Market to the Rail Yards, a 1.45 mile distance. By and large, the response to the High Line has been nothing short of glowing: this narrow green strip of public space has attracted five million visitors per year since the opening of its first phase in June 2009; as new phases of the High Line Park open, museums and high-end boutiques spring up weed-like alongside the park; and, High Line-inspired projects are underway across the United States.
These may seem like the happy endings to a story of urban transformation, but this talk will argue that the High Line Park is haunted by transgender in at least three ways. First, we will see that the High Line serves as an icon of the gentrification of the meatpacking district; that is, the park’s existence depends on the removal of racialized trans people from the area. Secondly, we will examine the curious fact that transgender makes no appearance in any communiqués of the park’s non-profit group, (Friends of the High Line) despite the group’s desire to “preserve” cultural history. Finally, we will see that in popular commentaries on the park, transgender is conjured up compulsively, as if fans of the park cannot escape its memory.
With these transgender ghosts among us, the High Line Park allows us to ask broader questions of LGBT Studies and its fetishes for urban design and for cities (its “metronormativity”). Can the design of the High Line Park affect visitors in a way that could be described as transgender? Can design combat the harmful outcomes of displacement? Is there a particular mode of memory or history that could be described as transgender? What is the relationship between transgender and architecture? If, as I’ll suggest, both can be thought of as types of making (of Poiesis), then how might the High Line participate in transgender “making,” despite its history? How might we find new ways for architects and LGBT scholars to collaborate? At a time when Vancouverites are brainstorming and debating fervently about projects such as the Jim Deva memorial plaza and a memorial to sex workers lost to violence, how might the case of the High Line enrich our conversations about the fascinating human habit of remembering people with public physical objects?

K Ho

Reflections on QTIPOC Visibility, Photography, and Decolonial Love

Panel – Spaces of Resistance: Challenging Normativity in Queer Place & Communities

Bio K is a queer, non-binary Chinese settler raised in unceded Coast Salish territories. They put energy into QTIPOC communities, representations, and activisms. This term, they are leading a student directed seminar titled “Voices from the Margins: Critical Perspectives on Race, Sexuality, and Settler Colonialism” (GRSJ 425A), focusing on women of colour and Indigenous feminisms, queer of colour and Two-Spirit critiques, and community- and art-based resistance movements. In their free time, they enjoy biking through cities, sitting under maple trees, and being suspended in or by the ocean. K is an editor for The Talon and a portrait photographer whose work is framed in community representation and radical visibility.

Abstract Given that queer, trans, Indigenous and people of colour (QTIPOCs) hold culturally, corporeally, and ancestrally-specific experiences, and live out queer realities that do not necessarily endorse white homonormative agendas, how can QTIPOC communities embody forms of anti-/decolonial queer allyship? What practices of relational solidarity do queer settlers of colour need to take on to be more accountable to Indigenous queer, trans, and Two-Spirit community members and the unceded lands upon which we live? What can we learn from each other, and where might there be opportunities for deeper, more critical engagements?
This presentation is a reflection on a photo project on QTIPOC visibility and anti/de-colonial love that I undertook in the fall of 2015. My project had a two-fold objective: first, to amplify positive and much-needed representations of queer racialized peoples through photography, and second, to spark conversations about love, community, and land, gleaning reflections from photo subjects on “practices of allyship, activism, and decolonization […] within intimate geographies of the home, the family, and between friends and lovers” (Hunt and Holmes 158). This presentation will provide a visual overview of the photo project, offer critical reflections, and highlight places for further engagement and anti-/decolonial accountability on the part of QTPOC settler communities.

Andrée McKee with guest speaker, Natasha Adsit

Geographies of Homonormativity: The complicity of queer spaces

Panel – Spaces of Resistance: Challenging Normativity in Queer Place & Communities

Bio Andrée McKee is a first-year Master’s student at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC. They are a transfemme genderqueer white settler whose research interests lie somewhere at the interstices of transgender studies, queer mobility studies, critical race theory, somatechnics, and media studies. Andrée graduated with a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Dartmouth College, where she received the 2015 Ezekiel Webber Memorial Award for queer activism. They are also a 2015-2016 Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth Fellow.

Guest Speaker Bio Natasha is 42 years old. She is a north west coast native who has grown up in the cities. Natasha first started transitioning at 16 years of age. Being rejected by family has meant she grew up on the streets. As an adult she is finding herself and a sense of peace and stability.

Abstract My presentation will explore the ways in which homonormativity plays out spatially and delineate the consequences for gender variant and racialized queer people. Building on Lisa Duggan’s (2002) definition of homonormativity as “a politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions but upholds and sustains them while promising the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and a privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption” (179), I will use Davie Street in Vancouver as an example of how queer social spaces are often predicated on consumption and cater to mostly white, cisgender customers. Spaces that are specifically geared toward transgender people are almost always medicalized due to the pathologization of gender variance. Although some social events that are explicitly welcoming of trans and gender variant people do occur, they are almost always held in venues whose primary function is not the creation of trans-affirming space. Due to the transitory nature of queer spaces that are welcoming of gender variance or aimed at transgender people, access to their events and services requires significant personal capital and mobility. Although some university departments and groups create queer spaces that are inclusive and critical, they are often open only to students who have the privilege of attending an institution of higher education. My presentation will make use of auto-ethnography and online discourse analysis to critique the ways in which many queer spaces come to collude with neoliberal capitalism, transphobia, and white supremacy.

Max Kepler

Embodiment of gender in partner dance:  An interactive workshop

sponsored and co-organized by the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, and co-organized by the GRSJ Graduate Studies Association (GRSJ GSA)

Bio Max Kepler founded Queer Seattle Tango in 2010 to provide a welcoming space for learning and dancing tango for GLBTQ-identified individuals and couples, anyone who enjoys dancing with same-sex partners, people everywhere on the gender spectrum, and everyone who appreciates the opportunity to dance outside narrowly defined traditional gender roles. She is also an avid dancer of lindy hop and balboa and has been teaching open role swing classes since 2007.  Max teaches from a feminist perspective and for an inclusive audience.  All of her Seattle-based classes are wheelchair-accessible.  She holds a master’s degree in cognitive neuroscience and considers herself gender-fluid.

Description

* No prerequisites – absolute beginners to dance welcome

* People of all genders welcome

* No partner needed – all present will have the opportunity to move and learn with different people throughout the workshop

In today’s social dance world we can choose our partners freely based on our mutual preferences and tastes.  An attitude of self-respect and respect for differences can go a long way in helping us to feel comfortable in our own skin and to create a positive experience for our current and future dance partners. In this workshop, participants adopt a positive attitude of self-respect by learning to communicate their ideas with intention and clarity, practicing the art of suggestion and accompaniment, inventing stylistic interpretations of partnered movement in keeping with their own gender identity, and experimenting with new means of projecting static gender or allowing for gender fluidity.

Anne Barringer

Ulcerative Colitis, Sexuality, and the Limits of the “Leaky Body”

Panel – Claiming our Bodies: Destabilizing Normalcy in Sexuality

Bio Anne Barringer, a self-described “sex geek,” is completing the final term of her undergraduate degree at UBC, where she is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Critical Studies in Sexuality. As a sexuality researcher and educator, Anne’s research interests include non-heteronormative and stigmatized sexualities and communities, intersectional feminism, the liberatory potential of sexual pleasure, and the relationship between sexuality, gender, and health.

Abstract In this presentation, I explore the intersection of sexuality, bodies, and illness through an autoethnographical lens. Drawing on theories from gender, disability, and queer studies, I examine how intersecting identities such as gender, sexual orientation, and disability affect an individual’s lived realities in relation to the management of ulcerative colitis.  This paper considers how sexuality and sense of self are affected by the day-to-day struggles of ulcerative colitis, and critiques the relationship of the “leaky body” to Foucault’s conceptualization of the utopian body. I problematize society’s limiting expectations of the female body and its intersection with illness as it reflects on my own lived experience — not only as a woman with ulcerative colitis, but also as a woman who once perceived her sexuality as the defining aspect of her identity. The presentation also addresses the confluence of sexuality and the limits of the “leaky body” as the reality of illness troubles the ideals of what is an acceptably sexual, feminine, and “healthy” body. Addressing issues of community and wellness, I consider the various methods of disease management utilized by individuals with ulcerative colitis, from self-care practices to relationship and community support, and integration of illness, health, and sexuality.

Sonja Cvoric 

“Jilling Off”: How Cisgender Women Internalize and Subvert Heteropatriarchal Scripts through Masturbation and Sex Toys

Panel – Claiming our Bodies: Destabilizing Normalcy in Sexuality

Bio Sonja Cvoric is an avid reader and occasional poet and critic studying English Literature and Philosophy at UBC; she’ll be graduating in May and then taking a (brief? indefinite?) break from academia. If not reading for school or pleasure, you can still find her involved in literary goings-on as Secretary for UBC’s English Students’ Association and Membership Coordinator with Canadian Women in the Literary Arts. She subsists mostly on tea, brisk walks, and reorganizing her bookshelves.

Abstract The socializing forces of education and media perpetuate scripted and normative assumptions about women’s masturbatory practices and their use of sex toys. My analysis of women’s desire within the Western capitalist heteropatriarchy situates Caitlin Moran’s young adult novel, How to Build a Girl – told through a teenage cisgender female protagonist, Johanna Morrigan’s perspective – amidst topical academic scholarship to investigate the complexities and paradoxes of women’s internalization and subversion of sexual and masturbatory narratives. School-based sexual education (SBSE) typically follows a problem-oriented model, framed around the negative outcomes of pregnancy and STIs. This approach inevitably couples female sexual development with menstruation and reproduction, and therefore male presence, entirely erasing a discourse of female desire. Moran’s book serves as an informal, sex positive, educational alternative to the SBSE’s normative constructions and depictions of female sexuality. Johanna offers readers an alternative model of a sexual female teen subject, one who embraces her sexual desires and masturbates regularly but is nonetheless frustrated to discover she has “no template for where [to] fit [her own orgasm] into sex” (Moran 239). Johanna’s socio-economic status and age mark her as ineligible in using sex toys that are marketed as such; instead, she resorts to “doubling [the] functionalities” of personal care products, working her way from the family hairbrush to her own personal “Starter Dildo,” a shoplifted roll-on deodorant (39). Although this may come across as anti-capitalistic and subversive, Johanna believes the deodorant brand “knew” “millions of teenage girls were fapping themselves senseless” with their products, “carefully contoured” to resemble pink-lidded, “cheerful, chunky cock[s]” (39). Her view actually marks even women’s subversive masturbatory activities as (pre)scripted and foreseen by corporations who market products specifically catered to women’s subversive, rebellious behaviour. Johanna’s private thoughts about masturbation take part in two publicly recognizable and opposing discourses: masturbation as self-abuse and as queer self-love. I think we can eliminate the need for the distinction by queering masturbation in a way that encompasses this precise dialectic – comparing it to BDSM with one’s self. This kind of outlook even makes space in women’s masturbatory practices for the (arguably self-abusive) internalized heteropatriarchal normative scripts and for the (arguably self-loving) uninhibited fantasies to exist paradoxically and simultaneously at the same time. Literary characters and the authors that write them should continue to articulate and experiment with possibilities for women’s identities as sexual and human beings in order to challenge, and hopefully one day overthrow, normative scripts and standards.

 

Queer U 2016 Call for Submissions!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

As part of Outweek (Feb 5-12), The Pride Collective is organizing Queer U, an annual academic conference on sexualities and genders. The conference centers on bringing the research and work of students and established scholars from across the west coast of north america and beyond to a broad audience in an attempt to foster understanding and discussion.

This year, the theme is “Claiming our Power, Claiming Ourselves: Healing our Communities Through (Un)Learning”. Our queerness is political and we are doing the work to undo cisheteronormative and homonormative narratives. This Outweek is organized with the intentions of strengthening our communities by recognizing the ways in which queer communities need to be actively working to do better, and how that is intricately related to the ways we heal, collectively and with ourselves. Please try to work this into your presentation, but any and all submissions will be considered.

This call for papers is open to undergraduate and graduate contributors and established scholars from any department or area of research that relates to sexuality and gender. Strong undergraduate submissions are also accepted. Workshop Proposals related to community are welcome as well. All topics are welcome; however Queer U is especially seeking submissions dealing with the following topics:

  • Queer & Trans* Healing
  • Critiques of Homonormativity
  • Relationships between Community & Wellness
  • Intersections of Queer/Trans* Communities with Systems of Power
  • Anti-racist, Indigenous, and/or Intersectional Feminist Approaches are Encouraged!

If interested, send in a short (300 word or less) abstract outlining the paper, presentation, and/or workshop to prideubc@gmail.com no later than December 20th, 2015. Please title email Queer U abstract.

The Queer U Conference is open to the general public. It will take place on Saturday, February 6th from 11am to 5pm.

Queer U 2015 Sowing Seeds & Setting Roots Schedule

Queer U 2015
Sowing Seeds and Setting Roots
Irving K Barber Learning Centre rm 261

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Conference Schedule

SATURDAY FEB. 7

Welcome & Land Acknowledgment | 10:00-10:30 |
Outweek Planning Committee

KEYNOTE | 10:30 – 11:15 |
Dr. Vin Nardizzi
Grafting and Seedless Generation in Shakespeare

PANEL 1 | 11:30-12:30 | Negotiating Place :Belonging(s) and Activism(s)

“‘Poly Politics’: Challenges and Changes to Sexual Citizenship in Canada”
Lisa Poole

“It May Get Better but it Takes More than Youtube Videos for Northern BC LGBTQ People”
Blake Hawkins

“Queer Roots as Queer Routes: Rethinking Material and Virtual Space in Audrey Yue’s “We’re the gay company, as gay as it gets””
Stephanie Fung

LUNCH | 12:30-1:15 |

PANEL 2 | 1:15-2:15 | Sprouting and Supporting Resilience in LGBT Youth Health Research: UBC’s Stigma And Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC)

“LGB Youth Around the World: A New Review”
Dr. Jones Adjei

“What’s Happening with LGB Youth Health in British Columbia?”
Dr. Ryan J. Watson

“Self-labelling in the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey”
Dr. Jaimie Veale and Hélène Frohard-Dourlent

PANEL 3| 2:30-3:30 | Beyond Our Narratives: Politics of Inclusion, Exclusion and Liberation
“Trans and ____: Confronting the Societal Refusal of Intersectionality”
Sam Stiegler and Hélène Frohard-Dourlent

“Is Orange Really the New Black – or Has It Always Been White? Unpacking White Homonormativity in Television.”
Kay Ho

“Troubling Identity-Based Trans* Inclusion: How the reproductive experiences of trans* people prompt a rethinking of women-only spaces”
A.J. Lowik

KEYNOTE | 3:30-4:15 |
Dr. Catriona Sandilands
In a Vegetal Time and Space? Queering Multispecies Politics

MIXER & RECEPTION | 4:30-6 |

Queer U 2015 Abstracts and Bios

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Dr. Catriona Sandilands
Closing Keynote
In a Vegetal Time and Space? Queering Multispecies Politics
Bio: Dr. Catriona Sandilands is at the forefront of the movement to build environmentally sustainable cultures, and culturally sophisticated understandings of sustainability, based on the values of democracy, justice, equity, and diversity. This movement requires an examination of human relationships with landscapes at the community level.
An authority on ecological feminism, Dr. Sandilands is the author of The Good-Natured Feminist (University of Minnesota Press, 1999), the first book-length treatment of ecofeminism as a body of democratic theory. She is also a pioneer in examining the links between sexuality and environmental studies in the new interdisciplinary field of queer ecology.
As the Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Culture, Dr. Sandilands is focused on developing and promoting the integration of cultural and environmental studies as the next crucial step in ensuring a sustainable future for Canadians. She is building an awareness of sustainability from the ground up by writing about environment and culture at the community level. Her work will lead to the development of the first international research network in environmental cultural studies.
Abstract:Even in current neoliberal imaginaries of productivity, reproductivity and profit, plants haunt and complicate heteronormative imaginings. Beginning with the cult-surrealist-horror film Little Otik (Jan Švankmajer and Eva Švankmajerová, 2000), this presentation considers some of the ways in which plants — as simultaneously horrors and companions — have insisted on complicated understandings of kinship, consumption, futurity and politics. Thinking through vegetal time and space offers new avenues for thinking about “life” for queer politics; this presentation will develop a multispecies understanding of “queer” in order to think politics beyond the human and into a queerer ecology.

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Dr. Vin Nardizzi
Opening Keynote
Grafting and Seedless Generation in Shakespeare
Bio:Vin Nardizzi teaches Renaissance literature, ecotheory, and queer and disability studies. His book, Wooden Os: Shakespeare’s Theatres and England’s Trees (University of Toronto Press, 2013), brings into view the forest and the trees of Renaissance drama: it explores the surprising connections among Shakespeare’s theatre, drama set “in the woods,” and an environmental crisis that propagandists claimed would lead to an eco-political collapse – an unprecedented scarcity of wood and timber. The Society for Theatre Research short-listed it for the 2013 Theatre Book Prize. His next project, Vaster Than Empires: The Lives of Early Modern Vegetables, investigates the surprising array of vegetable capacities, deprivations, desires, essences, and materialities that shaped ideas of humanness in Renaissance letters and the visual arts. In 2014-15, he will be in residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC, which has granted him a Wall Scholars Award to conduct preliminary research on this project.With Stephen Guy-Bray and Will Stockton, he has edited Queer Renaissance Historiography: Backward Gaze (Ashgate, 2009), and with Jean E. Feerick has co-edited The Indistinct Human in Renaissance Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). With colleagues at UBC and Simon Fraser University, he currently co-convenes “Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds.”He received a Killam Teaching Prize in 2011.
Abstract: This paper contextualizes the figure of plant grafting in Shakespeare’s “procreation sonnets” (# 1-17) by attending to the presentation of this horticultural technique in the gardening literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It argues that the speaker of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 15 engages this literature, which concludes with the famous line “I engraft you new,” by imagining plant grafting as both as form of writing and as an analogue of human procreation. As writing, grafting enables the speaker to equate heirs and poems; it does so, I argue, because the penknife is crucial to both the poet and the gardener in preparing a pen and a scion, respectively. But as an analogue of human procreation, however, plant grafting importantly does not proceed by the implanting or the mixing of seeds. Instead, it constitutes a seedless form of generation, thus suggesting grafting’s potential as a figure for queer reproduction in the Sonnets.

Stephanie Fung
Queer Roots as Queer Routes: Rethinking Material and Virtual Space in Audrey Yue’s “We’re the gay company, as gay as it gets”
Bio: Stephanie is a 2nd-year Master’s student in English literature at the University of British Columbia. Her thesis examines the aesthetics of intimacy and disidentification in Asian diasporic texts, with a focus on the ways in which queer intimacies challenge narratives of temporally and spatially fixed identity formations.
Abstract:
While Western and homonormative scholarship often fixate on the relationship between liberalism and emancipation of same-sex sexual relations, few studies have looked at how neoliberal capitalist economies in queer diasporic sites can enable queer sexualities and institutions. This paper explores how Singapore’s illiberal regime for governing homosexuality, where same-sex sexual relations are criminalized, and on the other hand, promoted through cultural liberalization of the creative economy, opens up space for queer sexualities and provokes a rethinking of temporal and spatial frames of reference that reorients the borders of queer knowledge production. In her essay “We’re the gay company, as gay as it gets”, Audrey Yue uses a social entrepreneurial lens to analyze Fridae, a gay web portal based in Singapore, and frame it as a business with a socio-political agenda. Yue’s method queers, or de-essentializes, the concept of Asia through a focus on the local while recognizing its transborder and inter-continental connections. In this paper, I consider the methodological implications of a “Queer Asia as method” in order to reimagine the ways in which queer diasporic narratives are rooted in routes—of sexualities produced through mobility that move us beyond temporally and spatially fixed identities and histories.

Sam Stiegler
“Trans and ____: Confronting the Societal Refusal of Intersectionality”
Bio: Sam Stiegler is a doctoral student in Curriculum and Pedagogy at UBC focusing on the educational experiences of queer and trans youth in and outside of schools. His work has been published in Pedagogy, Culture and Society, The Journal of LGBT Youth, and by Rethinking Schools.
Abstract: It can be argued that trans lives and trans experiences have rarely been more visible than they are today. From court cases about trans inclusive practices to trans characters in TV shows and from a growing number of school boards passing trans friendly and/or inclusive policies to (some) media outlets attention to (some) cases of discrimination and acceptance of trans youth in schools, transness has, in many ways, become a topic of intense scrutiny from a growing number of publics. However, as these new conversations unfold, there is a continued refusal of intersectionality in public conversation, as has happened previously with other identity groups. That is, there is a resistance, by society in general, to thinking about and through the overlaps and encounters between transness and other identity categories- -that to speak of the intersections of racism and transphobia, for example, somehow dilutes the focus to undercut and impede transphobia. Moreover, society-at-large’s resistance to making transphobia an intersectional issue continues despite the intricately intersectional arguments being made by some the trans community’s most visible and public faces. Using theories of intersectionality, trans theory, queer of color critique, we examine three vignettes that exemplify this dynamic: the gendered, racialized, and abled embodied in the representations of the character Unique on Glee, the nuanced and intersectional activism of Janet Mock and Laverne Cox throughout mainstream media outlets, and the racialized tensions during the public consultation regarding the trans-inclusive policy at the Vancouver School Board in the spring of 2014. We take these moments not as representative of trends or fixed truths about the relationship between transness, race, and other identity categories, but as opportunity to explore how meanings get made – and unmade – around trans and racialized bodies.

Hélène Frohard-Dourlent
“Trans and ____: Confronting the Societal Refusal of Intersectionality”
Bio: Hélène is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at UBC, whose doctoral project examines the experiences of adults who work with trans and gender-nonconforming youth in schools. Hélène’s work has been published in The Journal of LGBT Youth, Sexualities, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, and Sexual Rhetorics in the Whedonverse.
Abstract: It can be argued that trans lives and trans experiences have rarely been more visible than they are today. From court cases about trans inclusive practices to trans characters in TV shows and from a growing number of school boards passing trans friendly and/or inclusive policies to (some) media outlets attention to (some) cases of discrimination and acceptance of trans youth in schools, transness has, in many ways, become a topic of intense scrutiny from a growing number of publics. However, as these new conversations unfold, there is a continued refusal of intersectionality in public conversation, as has happened previously with other identity groups. That is, there is a resistance, by society in general, to thinking about and through the overlaps and encounters between transness and other identity categories- -that to speak of the intersections of racism and transphobia, for example, somehow dilutes the focus to undercut and impede transphobia. Moreover, society-at-large’s resistance to making transphobia an intersectional issue continues despite the intricately intersectional arguments being made by some the trans community’s most visible and public faces. Using theories of intersectionality, trans theory, queer of color critique, we examine three vignettes that exemplify this dynamic: the gendered, racialized, and abled embodied in the representations of the character Unique on Glee, the nuanced and intersectional activism of Janet Mock and Laverne Cox throughout mainstream media outlets, and the racialized tensions during the public consultation regarding the trans-inclusive policy at the Vancouver School Board in the spring of 2014. We take these moments not as representative of trends or fixed truths about the relationship between transness, race, and other identity categories, but as opportunity to explore how meanings get made – and unmade – around trans and racialized bodies.

Kay Ho
Is Orange Really the New Black – or Has It Always Been White? Unpacking White Homonormativity in Television.
Bio:Kay is an aspiring writer and poet, intersectional feminist, and (continually) unlearning activist. She is a queer, second-generation Chinese-Canadian settler raised in unceded Coast Salish territories. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice (GRSJ) at UBC. In her free time, she writes for The Talon (www.thetalon.ca), and enjoys sitting alone in coffee shops, collecting leaves, eating hummus by the tub, and beating people in scrabble.
Abstract: In this presentation, I critique the prevalence of white supremacy and homonormativity in queer spaces, and discuss the erasure and desexualization of Indigenous and QTPoC (queer and trans people of colour) identities. I use the TV show Orange is the New Black (OITNB) to highlight my points.

I begin by unpacking the term “homonormativity”, and examine how such discourses position middle-class, able-bodied, settler, cisgender, white, ‘mainstream’ lesbian and gays as ideal queer citizens, thus excluding QTPoCs, Indigenous folks, and other ‘sexually deviant’ and non-normative folks. I examine OITNB’s lack of representation of queer, trans, and/or Two-Spirit Indigenous narratives, as well as the show’s desexualization of QTPoCs and hypersexualization of white queers. I examine how the show’s creators liberally portray the escapades of fisting, fucking, and flirtation of white queer women, while denying QTPoCs and Indigenous folks the opportunity to express such carnal and erotic demonstrations of sexuality.

Ultimately, while I conclude that OITNB contributes to sustaining settler colonial agendas and white homonormativity, I also examine the various creative and activist efforts of ‘Gaysian’ artist Kai Cheng Thom, Two-Spirit multi-racial Indigenous hip hop feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter Jessica Yee Danforth, and queer Black couple Kim Katrin Milan and Tiq Milan. These folks, along with many others, contribute to ongoing efforts of resistance and radical love, and claim visibility, possibility, and agency for racialized queer folks.

A.J. Lowik
Troubling Identity-Based Trans* Inclusion: How the reproductive experiences of trans* people prompt a rethinking of women-only spaces
Bio: A.J. Lowik is first year PhD student with the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. They received their HBA in Sociology and Sexual Diversity Studies from the University of Toronto in 2008, and their MA in Sociology from York University in 2013. A.J.’s research focuses on the reproductive experiences of trans* people, and the inclusion of trans* people into sex-segregated, specifically women-only, spaces. A.J. has co-authored two articles in the African Journal of Reproductive Health, one in Scholarly Research and Communication, and has written a forthcoming book chapter about breastfeeding fathers
Abstract: Trans* inclusion policies implemented in sex-segregated spaces are often based on identity – that is, in women’s only spaces, the potential inclusion of trans* women is the subject of discussion, and trans* men and non-binary-identified trans* folks are subject to almost automatic exclusion on the basis of their ‘non-woman’ identity. Conversely, men’s only spaces (discussion has been largely regarding homeless shelters) consider the inclusion of trans* men, on the basis of their male identities, to the exclusion of trans* people with other, non-male identities.

This presentation considers the embodied, specifically reproductive and sexual experiences of trans* people in order to challenge this identity-based discussion. We will consider menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, abortion, lactation, menopause, sperm banking and fertility preservation, breast health, sexual assault, rape, and sexual health from a trans* perspective. We will highlight some of the underlying assumptions of sex/gender-specific trans* inclusion policies, and some of the challenges of inclusion beyond identities, and beyond the binary.

This presentation is based on my work in a woman-only abortion clinic, my Masters research based on creating trans* inclusive abortion services and a forthcoming book chapter on trans* parents who breastfeed. Participants will be given a number of items to take home, including a resource list of academic and non-academic sources on trans-feminisms, as well as a list of questions to facilitate discussions regarding sex-segregating spaces and trans* inclusion. Participants will be provided with tools to both ungender body parts, and unsex reproduction and parenting, two important shifts that need to take place in order to keep pace with the lived experiences of trans* people.

Blake Hawkins
It May Get Better but it Takes More than Youtube Videos for Northern BC LGBTQ People
Bio: Blake Hawkins is a master’s student in the library and information studies program at the iSchool. His research interests include: men’s health (specifically men who identify as GBTQ and First Nations), discourse, autoethnography and other qualitative methods, and critical virtual, health, and cultural geographies. To date, his work has been published in the Western Geographer and he is working on book reviews for the Journal of Homosexuality and LGBT Youth Studies.
Abstract:The It Gets Better Project is meant to support LGBTQ youth who are coming out, facing marginalization in their hometown, and/or need other types of support. When one views the videos, it presents narratives from LGBTQ youth and adults, along with straight allies, who share their support for LGBTQ people facing oppression or other challenges. This social media campaign, however, provides a case study for information seeking scholars. The predominant concern involves the lack of information regarding additional services and other websites to find services for emotional and sexual health. I framed my critique through the usage of information seeking behavior, health promotion, and geographic literature. Since this source is available on a global scale, I intend to critique the information from a Northern British Columbia perspective. This is due to the emerging literature about LGBTQ lived experiences in Northern BC. To date, it has been apparent that many videos lack any information about services which may be beneficial for some users of the videos. This work elucidates that more scholarship needs to be completed on LGBTQ health promotion, lived experiences in Northern BC, and information seeking behaviors. This would allow the It Gets Better Project, and other campaigns, be beneficial to more LGBTQ people.

Lisa Poole
‘Poly Politics’: Challenges and Changes to Sexual Citizenship in Canada
Bio: I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at SFU. I completed my M.A. in Sociology at the University of Victoria where I theorized bisexual men’s identities challenging the popular notion of (bi)sexuality as fixed and binary. My research interests include polyamory, social movements, gender and sexuality studies, and feminist and queer theories. I am currently working under the supervision of Dr. Ann Travers examining polyamorous politics. Committed to critical pedagogical practices on several levels at SFU, I am actively engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning and the facilitation of teaching and learning with undergrads, graduate students, staff, and faculty.
Abstract:Polyamory, or “poly,” is loosely defined as the practice of respectful, responsible, and consensual non-monogamy. As an emergent form of kinship, polyamory is developing into an established social practice with an expanding community and increasing media exposure. Polyamory is “‘coming out of the closet’ as an interest group with a political agenda” (Strassberg, 2003). In this regard, Kirkman (2010) says, “poly is the new gay.” However, sexual political struggles leave legacies “in the form of laws, social practices, and ideologies” which continue to affect the way in which sexuality is experienced (Rubin, 1984, p. 274).

In Canada, the mainstream lesbian and gay movement has lately advocated for “equal rights,” focusing on the “normalization” of gays and lesbians as upstanding citizens through inclusion into the state sanctioned, heteronormative institution of marriage or marriage like relationships and respectable, loving coupledom (Brown, 2000; Richardson, 2005; Richardson, 2004; Seidman, 2009; Warner, 1999).  The state is increasingly called on to regulate sexuality and the distribution of resources through sexual citizenship and sexual rights (Butler, 2002; Weston, 2005; Whitehead, 2012).  However, polyamory is situated outside of this state sanctioned, normative, monogamous model of marriage.

Given the legacy of “gay politics” and poly’s position outside of monogamy, what changes might poly people want to see happen in Canada?  What might “poly politics” look like and in what ways it is being mobilized at this time in Canadian history?  How might poly politics impact notions of sexual citizenship, the social and legal institution of marriage, and the rights and responsibilities that traditionally accompany marriage?

Sprouting and Supporting Resilience in LGBT Youth Health Research: UBC’s Stigma And Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre Panelists
Panel Abstract: In 2012, the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC) received a 2 million dollar grant from CIHR and brought together over 20 researchers to focus on the health of LGBT youth. Led by Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc (School of Nursing), the centre conducts qualitative and quantitative studies in LGBTQ youth health and develops new research methodology for working with these populations. We present this panel to explore some of our interdisciplinary projects about LGBTQ youth health including: creating global comparisons, tracking BC trends over the last two decades, and creating best practices for asking trans youth about their identities. By presenting the range of SARAVYC research, we hope our findings will be seeds of knowledge that can be used to support and strengthen the audiences’ work in their own research and communities.

 

 Dr. Jones Adjei (Postdoctoral Fellow)
LGB Youth Around the World: A New Review
Bio:Dr. Jones Adjei is a social demographer and post-doctoral fellow at SARAVYC who received his PhD from the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University. His research interests include reproductive behaviour, population health, research methods, applied social statistics, religion, family, law and society. He is currently focused on studying the risks and protective factors of sexual and reproductive health outcomes among vulnerable youth in low- to middle-income countries.
Abstract: Population-based studies and data on lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth have concentrated mostly in the United States, Canada, and to some extend Western Europe. Though there are pockets of population-based studies around the world, information on LGB youth global prevalence rate is severely lacking. How do LGB youth prevalence rates differ in terms of dimensions of sexuality(attraction, behaviour, and identity) among different geographical areas? Our search yielded data on 22 countries spanning six continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America, and South America). By shedding light on the global prevalence rate of adolescent sexual minorities, participants will walk away with a better understanding of how LGB youth are represented in all places of the world; information which can propel the movement towards more inclusive human rights at the global level.

Dr. Ryan J. Watson (Postdoctoral Fellow)
What’s Happening with LGB Youth Health in British Columbia?
Bio:Dr. Ryan Watson is a Post-doctoral fellow at SARAVYC; he received his PhD from the University of Arizona in 2014. Ryan works with nationally-representative data in order to explore disparities for subgroups of sexual minorities. His focuses are the roles of schools and family in healthy development for sexual minorities.
Abstract: Over the past 20 years, Western societies have witnessed sweeping changes in policy and public opinion around issues that impact queer (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB)) individuals, such as same-sex marriage rulings and benefits for domestic partners. There are ubiquitous messages in the media that tell LGB youth that “it gets better” and many argue that experiences for LGB people are improving nationwide. But how are LGB youth fairing at the community level in British Columbia? Using data that spans almost two decades, I will discuss findings regarding the relationship between community and well-being for LGB youth, such as trends in academic experiences, protective factors, physical health and safety, which have revealed some alarming and promising trends. Attendees will learn how experiences have changed in BC for LGBT youth over time and how to ensure the trends in health outcomes continue to amelioriate for vulnerable populations.

 

Dr. Jaimie Veale (Post-Doctoral Fellow) and Hélène Frohard-Dourlent  (PhD Candidate)
  Self-labelling in the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey
Bio:Jaimie Veale is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at SARAVYC. She is a trans woman who completed her PhD in New Zealand. Jaimie is currently leading the mental health component of SARAVYC’s Trans Youth Health Survey and she has also managed projects researching transgender peoples’ sexuality and development and successful aging in people with intellectual disabilities. Jaimie also has volunteer experience governing a number of queer and trans community organizations.
Hélène is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at UBC, and a graduate of Université de Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle (B.A.) and UBC (M.A.). Hélène’s doctoral project looks at the experiences of adults who work with trans and gender-nonconforming youth in school settings. Hélène’s work has been published in The Journal of LGBT Youth as well as Sexualities.
Abstract: Last year, SARAVYC conducted the first national trans youth health survey.  Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey ran from October 2013 to May 2014 and had over 900 trans youth respondents from across the country. In addition to a range of health-related questions, the survey asked youth about their gender identity multiple times in slightly different ways (e.g., “what is your gender identity?” or “Do you identify as trans?”). Each time, participants were also asked to rate these gender identity questions by indicating how much they liked the question and how much it fit them, and were given opportunities to provide written feedback. In this presentation, we draw on both quantitative and qualitative data to highlight the complexity of asking about fluid and non-binary identities and the different interpretations that youth offered of various identity terms. With this feedback, we explore the best way that surveys can ask youth about trans identity in the future.

QUEER U 2015 Proposal EXTENSION to Jan 2015 & Announcement of Keynote Speakers

Queer U 2015: Sowing Seeds & Growing Roots PROPOSAL EXTENSION – January 2, 2015

We are also pleased to announce our two featured keynote speakers for 2015 as well!

This year, the theme is “Sowing Seeds and Setting Roots”. We are focusing on being able to give everyone who participates something to take away at the end of they day, so that they can develop their own thoughts and build on it in ways that are relevant to their lives. Whether this is a list of useful resources or literal tools to use to start discussions, our aim is to give everyone the foundation to work off of the histories we often forego and forget, and the confidence to make the changes they want to see happen in the world. Please try to work this into your presentation, but any and all submissions will be considered.
This call for papers is open to graduate contributors and established scholars from any department or area of research that relates to sexuality and gender. Strong undergraduate submissions are also accepted. Workshop Proposals related to community are welcome as well. All topics are welcome; however Queer U is especially seeking submissions dealing with the following topics:-Queer/Trans* Diasporas
-Temporalities of Queer/Trans* Spaces
-Innovative looks at the Relationship Between Community and Identity
-Relationships Between Community and Wellness
-Anti-racist, Indigenous, and/or intersectional feminist approaches are encouraged!
-Intersections of Queer/Trans* Communities with Systems of Power
if interested, send in a short (300 word or less) abstract outlining the paper, presentation, and/or workshop to prideubc@gmail.com
The Queer U Conference is open to the general public. It will take place on Saturday, February 7th from 11am to 5pm and immediately be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

BIOS
Dr. Catriona Sandilands is at the forefront of the movement to build environmentally sustainable cultures, and culturally sophisticated understandings of sustainability, based on the values of democracy, justice, equity, and diversity. This movement requires an examination of human relationships with landscapes at the community level.

An authority on ecological feminism, Dr. Sandilands is the author of The Good-Natured Feminist (University of Minnesota Press, 1999), the first book-length treatment of ecofeminism as a body of democratic theory. She is also a pioneer in examining the links between sexuality and environmental studies in the new interdisciplinary field of queer ecology.

As the Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Culture, Dr. Sandilands is focused on developing and promoting the integration of cultural and environmental studies as the next crucial step in ensuring a sustainable future for Canadians. She is building an awareness of sustainability from the ground up by writing about environment and culture at the community level. Her work will lead to the development of the first international research network in environmental cultural studies.

Vin Nardizzi
Vin Nardizzi teaches Renaissance literature, ecotheory, and queer and disability studies. His book, Wooden Os: Shakespeare’s Theatres and England’s Trees (University of Toronto Press, 2013), brings into view the forest and the trees of Renaissance drama: it explores the surprising connections among Shakespeare’s theatre, drama set “in the woods,” and an environmental crisis that propagandists claimed would lead to an eco-political collapse – an unprecedented scarcity of wood and timber. The Society for Theatre Research short-listed it for the 2013 Theatre Book Prize. His next project, Vaster Than Empires: The Lives of Early Modern Vegetables, investigates the surprising array of vegetable capacities, deprivations, desires, essences, and materialities that shaped ideas of humanness in Renaissance letters and the visual arts. In 2014-15, he will be in residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC, which has granted him a Wall Scholars Award to conduct preliminary research on this project.With Stephen Guy-Bray and Will Stockton, he has edited Queer Renaissance Historiography: Backward Gaze (Ashgate, 2009), and with Jean E. Feerick has co-edited The Indistinct Human in Renaissance Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). With colleagues at UBC and Simon Fraser University, he currently co-convenes “Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds.”He received a Killam Teaching Prize in 2011.

Queer U 2015 Call for Submissions

As part of Outweek (feb 6-13), The Pride Collective is organizing Queer U, an annual graduate level academic conference on sexualities and genders. The conference centers on bringing the research and work of graduate students and established scholars from across the west coast of north america and beyond to a broad audience in an attempt to foster understanding and discussion.

This year, the theme is “Sowing Seeds and Setting Roots”. We are focusing on being able to give everyone who participates something to take away at the end of they day, so that they can develop their own thoughts and build on it in ways that are relevant to their lives. Whether this is a list of useful resources or literal tools to use to start discussions, our aim is to give everyone the foundation to work off of the histories we often forego and forget, and the confidence to make the changes they want to see happen in the world. Please try to work this into your presentation, but any and all submissions will be considered.
This call for papers is open to graduate contributors and established scholars from any department or area of research that relates to sexuality and gender. Strong undergraduate submissions are also accepted. Workshop Proposals related to community are welcome as well. All topics are welcome; however Queer U is especially seeking submissions dealing with the following topics:
-Queer/Trans* Diasporas 
-Temporalities of Queer/Trans* Spaces
-Innovative looks at the Relationship Between Community and Identity
-Relationships Between Community and Wellness
-Anti-racist, Indigenous, and/or intersectional feminist approaches are encouraged!
-Intersections of Queer/Trans* Communities with Systems of Power

if interested, send in a short (300 word or less) abstract outlining the paper, presentation, and/or workshop to prideubc@gmail.com no later than December 20th, 2014. Please Title email Queer U abstract.

The Queer U Conference is open to the general public. It will take place on Saturday, February 7th from 11am to 5pm and immediately be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Thank you for 2013!

Thank you EVERYONE for coming out to Queer U 2013 to celebrate the closing of outweek! I think we can all agree that it was a fantastic showing of the next generation of researchers! With 100 visitors – including over 35 for the 9am panel – we only have our thanks to give!

Queer U is an annual event, so while I may be personally moving on, I know next year will be even better! Stay tuned. Stay safe. Stay awesome.

Special thanks, of course, to Critical Studies in Sexuality at UBC – without you, none of this would have been possible.

 

Sincerely,

Pride UBC