Asesores de la comunidad

Ronnie Ali (They/Them) - Toronto, Ontario

I acknowledge that my experiences with power, privilege and oppression are mixed: I struggle with experiences of transphobia/transmisogyny, racism, homophobia, classism, xenophobia, and mental health stigma, as an able-bodied, educated, housed, and professionally employed individual.

As a person with lived experiences of marginalization and oppression, and as a psychotherapist working in queer and trans communities, it was important to bring critical insights into the conversation about how COVID-19 has impacted our communities across the country.



Vhil Castillejos (He/Him) - Toronto, Ontario

I have been involved in the 2SLGBTQ+ health and HIV sectors since 2016 in many capacities including social service programming, research, and resource development. In the past, I have worked with groups including Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS), the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, Ryerson University's HIV Prevention Lab, and the Gay Men's Sexual Health Alliance; and was a fellow in Toronto's second cohort of Investigaytors. I draw from my work with these groups, along with my lived experience as a young queer Filipino immigrant in Toronto, in informing my participation in this committee.

This work is important to me because, as a young queer Filipino immigrant, I understand the health and health access barriers that are faced by individuals from underserved communities, especially those who have intersecting marginalized identities (in relation to race, gender, immigration status, age, etc.). Drawing from my lived experience, I have developed a passion in serving and advocating for these marginalized communities through my work in the community, including my participation in this committee.



Jeff Chalifoux (He/They) - Edmonton, Alberta

I am Two-Spirit and a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta of Cree, Scottish and Irish descent. In colonial terms I am born male, present male and identify as pansexual. Educated in graduate social work with a wealth of lived-experiences, my work centres within the 2SLGBTQ+ community in leadership and on the front-lines at the intersections of sex/uality and substance use; a community that is impacted immensely by COVID-19.

The impacts of COVID-19 within my community and especially with my client base have been dire and even fatal. As a social worker and Two-Spirit, it is seemingly innate to assist and support our communities as best within my abilities. This work will create new knowledge that may inform future support for the betterment of the health and wellness of our communities.



Cristiani de Oliveira Dias aka Cris Dias (She/Her) - Toronto, Ontario

As an enthusiastic graduate of a Community Development Work Diploma, I acquired excellent knowledge, skills and experience promoting educational youth-based programming. Additionally, as an openly bisexual woman, I also have a personal understanding of the issues and challenges that the 2SLGBTQ+ community faces and have a lifelong commitment to developing programs that provide an inclusive support system for marginalized youth.

My passion for supporting vulnerable communities began when I created a high school literature study group after coming out as bisexual. I was raised in a conservative family, and this process was challenging and overwhelming for me. However, the group acted as a safe space at the time for me to be myself unapologetically. In the small city where I was born and raised, there was no social programming to help minority groups. So, I made it my purpose to create this space for my peers and maintained it as I continued through College and, eventually, University. Now in Canada, I am still committed to supporting marginalized youth and advocating for their rights to healthy food, a safe environment, good education, and reliable support systems.

I am also a part of "2SLGBTQ+ Community Brazil to Toronto," where we support each other by promoting fundraising events, podcasting our experiences and challenges in Canada, and reflecting on the struggles of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Brazil. Nonetheless, as an immigrant in Canada, I fight to recognize our background skills, culture, the flexibility of laws of immigration and especially for the well-being of international students. Fighting for equity and justice is what drives my work the most.


Yasmine El Addouli (She/Her) - Montréal, Québec

I am a French registered nurse currently completing a master's degree in public health (global health option) at the University of Montreal. As a woman of colour, I am fully aware that being part of some communities/minorities worsen the impact of crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the exacerbation of violence and discrimination, we are more exposed to social, economic and health issues.

As a future professional in global health, I want to dedicate my career to Human Rights and health iniquities reduction. I am very honoured to be a part of this project, and I truly believe community empowerment is a key: understanding how the pandemic hit us is essential if we want to raise people’s awareness and find ways to attenuate or prevent these effects.

Luc Gosselin (He/Him) - Québec

I am nonbinary transmasculine.

Because of the pandemic, it is becoming more relevant how the LGBTQ+ community is isolated and invisible. People had already a hard time gaining access to care and help in normal time, and this is exacerbated in these last few months.

We need to know what is happening and how COVID-19 is affecting us. I speak from a place of privilege despite my transness; I use it to give a way for those of us who have to fight every day to be seen and heard.

I believe everyone has the chance to help others in small ways. This is mine.

  Luc G.png

Jaye Garcia (They/Them) - Edmonton, Alberta / Toronto, Ontario

I was born and raised by refugee immigrants fleeing the recent consequences of American Imperialism from the geo-political nation state of El Salvador, as a settler in Edmonton, AB which is called Amiskwaciywaskahikan, or Beaver Hill House in Nehiyawewin (Cree). As a former guest in the traditional homeland of the Nehiyaw and Michif, I continue my journey in the New Latinx Diaspora as a settler living and working in Toronto, ON, a space recognized as the territory of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation, the current holders of Treaty 13. This territory is subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region, which I am grateful to continue to live, learn and explore newfound joy.

I am also a fat, queer, trans and gender non-binary, Latinx racialized person of colour with hidden disabilities that have their own unique, yet intersectional relationship to struggle in the face of varying, interlocking oppressions by various institutions in varying capacities, oftentimes compounded further by lived realities of immigrant experiences of poverty, gender based and sexual violence, biomedical & psychiatric authoritative harm, among other struggles that are far from unique to my own self and the communities I identify with. More powerfully, gifted through historical and experiential participation of queer organizing, among other forms to learn, unlearn, and ultimately grow with gratitude to much ongoing mentorship and relation to many folks and communities that help shape and build my perspectives throughout the geo-political nation state of Canada.

I do not come with a single identity. Queer people do not come with a single identity. Oftentimes, being complex beings can bring forth a sense of shame, isolation and disconnection from our wider community for a variety of reasons (i.e. capitalism, settler colonialism, ableism, etc.). My hope is, bringing my own visibility forward, and leaning in more intentionally to share space in solidarity with fellow, multi-layered queer folks, can bring forth meaningful opportunities to identify the many ways this study can capture the lived experiences of all types of queer people in our communities.

We are all people with very real experiences. It is crucial that queer people feel they are very much able to communicate their experiences as honestly as possible without judgement with the hopes for further compassion and change. In navigating multiple pandemics (COVID, HIV/AIDS, drug poisoning / drug policy failure, etc.), now more than ever, is there the need for further compassion and empathetic understanding of each other's lived experiences, including our own. As a community, we cannot thrive without leaning into these collective truths, striving towards collective freedom and liberation.



Nicole Jones-Abad (She/Her, They/Them) - Edmonton/ Amiskwaciy

I fall within the LGBTQ2S+ umbrella. Specifically, I am a latinx, neurodivergent, disabled, racialized trans-femme person of colour who is a guest to the land I’m on. In terms of sexual orientation, I use terms such as bisexual, pansexual and queer. A big part of my life right now is doing work within the queer and trans community, through research, and also through grassroots organizing.

I decided to apply for this opportunity because since the pandemic started, I’ve seen how hard it's been on people within the queer and trans community, especially for those that are QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black , Indigenous, People of Colour). I have hopes for this project and I want to join the other advisors in helping guide it.


Ryan Khungay (He/Him) - Coast Salish Territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations / Victoria, BC

I identify as a cisgender, gay, South-Asian male who is a son to immigrant parents. I am an uninvited settler on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations' territories (Victoria, BC) and previously I have lived the majority of my life as an uninvited visitor on the Secwe̓pemc Peoples' traditional territory, also known as Kamloops, BC.

I am really excited to be involved in this study! It is important to me based on the intersections of my lived experiences and it aligns with my passions for social justice and decolonial equity work. As a racialized gay man, and also as someone who has worked as a social worker in medical services for a number of years, I have had significant experiences of both personally encountering and witnessing racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia within settings that are intended to provide equitable healthcare to all. The challenges that LGBTQ2S+ folks with diverse intersecting identities face are often erased in discourses that inform healthcare policy. Therefore, I am hopeful that I can bring a nuanced lens to help inform this important study that will in turn help folks access healthcare in ways that are less oppressive.



Keiran Letwiniuk (He/Him) - Kenora, Ontario

I am a queer, disabled, transgender male with Metis and Ukrainian heritage. All of these parts of me give me a unique perspective on these issues.

I have always been passionate about helping other 2SLGBTQ people. I want to be a voice for my community and help create positive and long lasting changes, especially when it comes to health care needs for 2SLGBTQ and other marginalized populations.

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Asesores de la comunidad
Asesores de la comunidad
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