Summit 2019: Queering Healthcare Access & Accessibility


Summit 2019: Queering Healthcare Access & Accessibility

Gay, bi, queer and other men who have sex with men (cis and trans) and Two-Spirit people (GBT2Q) are more likely to face unnecessary barriers to accessing the healthcare they need. These may be barriers to health services, medications, or information to look after our bodies and experiences.

Many of these access issues are rooted within inequalities and inequities across society, including homophobia, heterosexism, racism, transphobia, and many other sources of oppression and privilege that shape our lives. These inequalities shape our ability to access health care and social supports, and can negatively impact the way that we express our gender and sexuality. Our ability to get to, or into a space or service (e.g.: long distances to where services are, lengthy waitlists), get information and services in our language of choice, find a provider who can provide non-judgmental care for our sexual and mental health, pay for medications or treatments, or connect with peers and community members who share our experiences – all represent important dimensions of access faced by GBT2Q.

With GBT2Q continuing to represent the majority of new HIV infections in Canada, our ability to access essential HIV-related services is as important as ever. Research has pointed to significant disparities in access to HIV testing, treatment, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) between provinces and cities, and between rural-suburban and urban settings. For example, far fewer GBT2Q in rural-suburban communities feel they can discuss their sexuality with a nurse or a doctor. But even in an urban setting, finding a queer and/or trans-friendly doctor can be daunting.

This year’s Summit is dedicated to talking about what is and isn’t working for GBT2Q to access everything we need to live happy, healthy, and supported lives. Summit will also highlight critical findings from the Sex Now survey as we turn our focus on how we can increase access and accessibility to health care and community supports for GBT2Q.  We want to hear from community workers, health care providers, counsellors, researchers, Elders, and teachers about how access can be strengthened for all GBT2Q.


Keynote Speakers

Andrew Gurza

Andrew Gurza is a Disability Awareness Consultant and Cripple Content Creator whose written work has been featured on national and international media outlets such as CBC, Huffington Post, and The Advocate.

He is also the host of the award-nominated podcast “Disability After Dark” and has gained international recognition for his movement and viral hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot

His presentation will give you the opportunity to understand how issues of inaccessibility, ableism, prejudice and access shape the experience of being queer and disabled.

By using his personal experience, he provides audiences with the tools to confront their own views around sex, disability and queerness as well as help queer disabled people feel part of the LGBTQ+ community.

To learn more about him, click here!

Patrick Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and the Co-Director of the Prevention Sciences Core at Emory’s Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).

His career has included work on HIV surveillance at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV vaccine research at the National Institutes of Health-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Network, and research on technology-enabled HIV prevention for MSM supported by the US NIH and CDC.

His presentation will review what new resources digital platforms bring to the prevention landscape, highlight the attributes of digital platforms that make them ideal for serving diverse gay, bisexual and other MSM, and provide examples of mobile and browser-based apps currently being tested in randomized prevention trials.

To learn more about him, click here!

Joanne Otis

Joanne Otis is a Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Sexology at UQAM. Her work is focused on the promotion of sexual health and sex education.

Since 1991, her research has focused on the analysis of psychosocial and sociocultural factors associated with risk or prevention practices, particularly concerning sexually transmitted infections. Moreover, she is distinguished by her participatory research with LGBTQ+ and HIV communities in Quebec, Canada and internationally.

Her presentation will provide a quick overview of the needs for access healthcare and health services among GBTQ+ and will focus on how to improve the approachability, acceptability, availability, accommodation, affordability and adequacy of care and services.

To read more about her, click here!


James Makokis

James Makokis is a Nehiyô (Plains Cree), Two Spirit physician from Onihcikiskwapiwinihk (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) who practices Family Medicine in Kinokamasihk (Kehewin Cree Nation) and South Edmonton where he has a transgender health focused practice.

His passion drives him to elevate the Nehiyô health system, which includes the use of Nehiyâw maskihkiya (Cree medicines). In addition to his work with First Nations Peoples, Dr. Makokis has a strong interest in providing high quality care to the Trans community.

Currently, Dr. Makokis is collaborating to create opportunities for transgender and gender diverse Indigenous youth to be able to participate in "two-spirit rites of passage" ceremonies: a Nehiyô ceremony and health prevention activity that mark the transition from childhood to adulthood and the teachings that go along with that. In this talk, Dr. Makokis will share some of the teachings and lessons from this process.

To learn more about him, click here!

Nathan Lachowsky

Nathan Lachowsky is Research Director at CBRC and Principal Investigaytor of the Sex Now survey. He is also an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar at the University of Victoria.

He has conducted HIV and sexual health research with sexual and gender minoritized men, including Indigenous Two-Spirit and ethnoracial minority men. His principal area of research focuses on social and behavioural epidemiology and the importance of developing and analyzing mixed methods data to inform public health practice, health service provision, and policy.

Nathan’s presentation will focus on CBRC’s Sex Now survey. He will share key findings from the in-person Sex Now 2018 survey conducted at 15 LGBTQ2+ pride festivals across Canada. He will also provide updates for the 2019 online survey, including innovations in self-collection kits for HIV, HCV and syphilis screening.

To learn more about him, click here!


Keynote Panel – Ending, Healing and Learning: the current and future state of SOGICE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts)

This plenary panel aims to increase awareness and understanding of conversion therapy, or sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOGICE) in Canada, and its consequences with regard to sexuality, identity, health, and social well-being, and what is required to help survivors heal. Moderated by Travis Salway, a social epidemiologist and a leading SOGICE researcher, this interactive panel will feature critical discussion from the perspectives of survivors, policy advocates, and service providers to mobilize research, practice, and policy actions with regard to SOGICE.

To learn more, click here!




Check out the schedule for Summit 2019: Queering Healthcare Access and Accessibility, taking place on October 31-November 1 at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel! This year’s Summit features an exciting and diverse line-up of keynote speakers, workshops, panels, and poster presentations that will expand our understanding of how we can improve health access for queer and trans people in Canada.




Registration for the Summit 2019 is now open. To complete your registration please click HERE.

Summit 2019 – Registration and Hotel Subsidies

CBRC is pleased to offer subsidies for registration fees and accommodation at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel (1180 West Hastings Street) for Summit delegates with financial need. If you would like to apply for a registration and/or accommodation subsidy, please complete the Summit 2019 Subsidy Request Form before August 22, 2019. All applicants will be notified by August 29, 2019.

Summit 2019 Accessibility Statement

Community-Based Research Centre is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible Summit that enables participation for everyone. This includes ensuring:

  • the conference proceedings and ancillary/social events are fully accessible for people with physical disabilities (e.g. wheelchair access, reserved front row seating)
  • ASL interpretation will be provided for all plenary sessions and for designated concurrent sessions.
  • all presentation slides during plenary sessions will be available in English and French, and simultaneous translation will be provided during presentations delivered in French.
  • all videos screened during plenary sessions include captioning

In order to ensure that the Summit is as accessible as possible, please indicate any accessibility needs when completing your registration. If you have questions regarding the accessibility of Summit 2019, please contact [email protected].

Other Summit 2019 Registration Information
  • Registration is available on a first come, first serve basis
  • If you are registering a group, and your organization is not able to make electronic payments, or you would prefer to be invoiced for your group, please contact [email protected].
  • If you have any other questions regarding registration, or are a member of the press, please contact [email protected].
  • If you are unable to attend the Summit after completing your registration, you may transfer your registration to someone else, or you may request a refund (minus 10% for non-refundable processing fees) by submitting your request to [email protected] before October 24.
Hotel & Airfare Discounts

Accommodations at the Summit 2019 Conference Hotel:
To reserve a guest room at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, please use this unique link: Alternatively, you may call 1-800-663-1144 and quote the group code CCC-GFC7256.

Air Canada & WestJet Promo Codes for Summit 2019:
CBRC has arranged promotional codes from Air Canada and WestJet for Summit 2019. Please note that these discounts do not apply for Tango (Air Canada) or Basic (WestJet) fares.

Air Canada – Convention Code: C2RV4F81
Discount: 10% (does not include Tango airfare). Restrictions: Only eligible for travel to Vancouver from Monday, October 21, 2019 through Sunday, November 10, 2019. To Book: Enter the convention code on and select your dates.

WestJet – Convention Code: B22OK11
Discount: 5% off Econo and 10% off EconoFlex and Premium fares (does not include Basic fares). Restrictions: Eligible for travel from Monday, October 21, 2019 through Friday, November 2019. To Book: Enter the convention code at and select your dates.


Summit 2019 Ancillary and Social Events - Save the Date!
  • Spill the Tea: A Fun Harm Reduction Event on Safer Partying | Wednesday October 30, Starts at 9:30pm - Hosted by YouthCO, MAX Ottawa, and ViiV Healthcare
  • Can’t Pass It On: A Community Dialogue & Reception on U=U | Saturday November 2, 1-4pm - Hosted by CATIE and CBRC

Summit 2019 Sponsors

Summit 2019 is made possible through the support of this year’s presenting partner ViiV Healthcare, as well as contributions from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Province of BC. The views expressed at the Summit do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of our sponsors.

Presenting Partner



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