Summit 2023: Together in Action
The legacy of Two-Spirit, trans, and queer communities is one of resilience and fight. To advocate for our health, safety, and rights, we organize and oppose, and demand that our voices be heard. Over the past several decades, these battles have largely been waged against institutions – in government, health, education, law, and more – that have historically oppressed or ignored 2S/LGBTQ+ people.
Yet in recent years, another side has re-emerged and re-mobilized. Whatever banner they march under – far-right, ultra-conservative, TERF, misogynist, white supremacist – they use the same tactics and language of organizing not to uplift their communities but to attack, violate, and limit the rights and freedoms of 2S/LGBTQ+ people. In just the past few months the visibility of explicitly homo- and transphobic actions, both in-person and online, is noticeable and concerning. Yes, here in Canada too.
Whatever their motivations – distraction, misinformation, deeply rooted hate – the consequences are the same: life becomes harder for 2S/LGBTQ+ folks, and particularly trans and non-binary people, Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour, newcomers, migrants, and immigrants, and people living in remote or rural communities.
As people and organizations who work in and with 2S/LGBTQ+ communities to support our health and wellbeing, we must remain vigilant, motivated, and united. At CBRC, that means working towards meaningful inclusion of queer and trans women, non-binary, and gender diverse people in our research, education, advocacy, and outreach. It has meant pouring more resources for those who have been placed at the margins of our communities, including Two-Spirit, Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour, survivors of 2S/LGBTQ+ conversion practices and change efforts, and people living with chronic health needs and/or disabilities, and those living in rural and remote communities. It also means recognizing that increases in anti-trans and anti-queer hate is putting additional pressures on the health issues we have been organizing around for decades: sexual and reproductive health and rights, mental health, substance use, and more.
In the wake of such tangible threats amid our ongoing work to strengthen the health and wellbeing of 2S/LGBTQ+ people, Summit 2023 will focus both on reinforcing our defenses (building capacity in front-line community organizations, expanding support services and outreach, enshrining protections in law and policy), as well as offenses (in raising awareness and combating lies, in education, in safety, and coalition building). Summit 2023 will continue to highlight efforts to better understand and respond to the health priorities in our communities, but with a focus on showcasing research, programs, and initiatives that underscore the importance – and power – of queer, trans, and Two-Spirit people mobilizing together for our health and wellbeing.
It is already hard enough for 2S/LGBTQ+ people to live and thrive in systems that have not been designed by or for them, and in many cases have intentionally been built to exclude them. We cannot allow the situation to become worse – instead, we must use this moment to re-energize our collective efforts in pushing for progress on the freedoms, health, and wellbeing of all 2S/LGBTQ+ people.
As our communities face renewed threats of violence, we cannot afford inaction. Join us at Summit 2023 to keep organizing, educating, sharing, and demanding.
Information on Summit 2023
CBRC’s annual knowledge exchange and capacity building conference on 2S/LGBTQ+ health research, programming, and advocacy in Canada takes place in Vancouver on November 16-17 at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel.
The Summit aims to promote 2S/LGBTQ+ health care, research, and social services, as well as share best practice applications of, and new research informing 2S/LGBTQ+ culturally responsive health care. As well, this forum is a space to build the capacities of health care providers, researchers, and community members to address issues in 2S/LGBTQ+ health. In addition, the Summit aims to bring folks together to develop and improve networks of 2S/LGBTQ+ communities working to strengthen the health and wellbeing of our communities, by facilitating dialogue around current research and advocacy work happening in these communities.
As you may recall, in previous years, Summit was hosted both virtually and in-person. We took pride in the accessibility and reach that the virtual component provided. However, this year, due to various circumstances, including limited capacity and logistical considerations, we have made the difficult decision to focus solely on an in-person format for Summit 2023. For those who are unable to attend in person, we are exploring alternative ways to share Summit content and resources during and after the event (such as streaming sessions live, and uploading recordings to our Summit library).
A limited number of scholarships for Summit 2023 presenters and participants will be made available, including support for transportation and accommodation costs, as well as waivers for registration fees. Summit Scholarship Applications are now closed. We hope to inform recipients by early September.
CBRC is thrilled to announce our keynote speakers for Summit 2023!
Alexandre is passionate about art and 2S/LGBTQIA+ communities, and since 2016 has been leading RÉZO, one of the main organizations in Quebec for STI/HIV prevention and overall health.
With an approach rooted in strong collaboration and positive leadership, Alexandre has been building bridges for over 10 years between communities and public and private sectors, in order to enhance the well-being of everyone, for, by, and with the communities.
Bilal Baig is a queer, trans-feminine, Muslim writer, performer, director, and workshop facilitator. Baig’s first play, Acha Bacha, was produced in 2018, published in 2020 and nominated for the Dayne Ogilvie prize by the Writer’s Trust of Canada in 2022.
Baig works with youth and trans women of colour in creative writing programs at artistic organizations such as Story Planet, Paprika Festival, and Nightwood Theatre. Baig is the lead and co-creator of the Peabody Award winning CBC/HBO Max/Sphere Media series, Sort Of.
Fae is the Executive Director of Wisdom2Action, a 2S/LGBTQIA+ owned and operated consulting firm, and President of the Society of Queer Momentum, a 2SLGBTQIA+ advocacy nonprofit.
She is a leader on 2S/LGBTQIA+ issues in Canada, a prominent advocate for queer and trans rights, and a recurring voice in Canadian news on 2S/LGBTQIA+ issues. Over the past ten years, she has trained thousands of people and hundreds of workplaces on 2S/LGBTQIA+ inclusion. She’s also on a chocolate bar!
Ozhawa Anung Kwe/Yellow Star Woman (Teddy Syrette) is from Rankin Reserve of Batchewana First Nation of the Anishnabek, and currently lives in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. They have a diploma in Social Service Work - Indigenous Specialisation from Sault College.
Teddy is a public speaker, event organizer, community developer, artist, and drag queen. They were honoured with the title of 2Spirit International Warrior 2021-2022, by the International 2Spirit Organising Committee of 2021. Teddy was recently awarded the Indigenous Professional of the Year Award by the Sault Ste Marie Chamber of Commerce.
Registration to attend Summit 2023 (November 16-17) is required. For more information and to register, click here.
- 2 Day Regular Delegate*: $600
- 2 Day Non-profit, Students and Charitable Organizations: $300
* Regular Delegate includes healthcare service providers, representatives of government agencies, other professionals, etc.
To reserve a guest room at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, please use this unique link: https://book.passkey.com/e/50547242
About Submitting a Proposal to Summit 2023
Everyone and anyone is welcome to submit a session proposal to Summit 2023. This includes community and/or grassroots organizers, community organization staff and/or volunteers, researchers and/or students, health and/or service providers, government staff and/or policymakers, and 2S/LGBTQ+ community members.
Through interactive sessions, the Summit aims to foster dialogue amongst participants and presenters, to explore the latest research, programming and advocacy work by and for 2S/LGBTQ+ people. Summit sessions can be any format that you propose, including workshops, short oral presentations, poster presentations, roundtable discussions and more. For more details on session types, please see the Proposal Submission Form.
We welcome submissions that identify community needs as well as promising programming or practices in health, social, and community services that support diverse 2S/LGBTQ+ people and communities in Canada or abroad. Submissions can be based on:
- Policy initiatives
- Advocacy and activism
- Art-based approaches
- Personal lived experiences and stories
- Community-based actions, grassroots responses and organizing
In line with our aims and the Summit theme, we especially encourage submissions that answer the following reflection questions:
- What initiatives or advocacy work are taking place to help strengthen the health and wellbeing of 2S/LGBTQ+ communities facing homophobia, transphobia, and anti-queer hate? How can we support, sustain, and scale-up these approaches?
- How are leaders in our 2S/LGBTQ+ communities mobilizing towards equity and justice in addressing anti-queer stigma and hate? What resources are required to further their impact? What dialogues, and with whom, must take place as part of these mobilization efforts?
- Who is being left out of current 2S/LGBTQ+ health research, advocacy, and/or programs? How can 2S/LGBTQ+ community organizations and researchers, as well as healthcare and service providers and policymakers stand in solidarity for community members facing exclusion, marginalization, and/or violence?
- What insights from research, programming, and/or advocacy can shed light on how we can push for a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible future for 2S/LGBTQ+ communities? How can we leverage these insights to reduce barriers to care and support for HIV and STBBIs, mental health, gender-affirming care, substance use, and chronic health needs within 2S/LGBTQ+ communities?
- When it comes to our communities uniting together to address health issues-- what community-led initiatives, programs, or campaigns have been successful in providing harm reduction tools for safer substance use amidst the national drug poisoning emergency? What were the strategies, messaging, or motivators that led to communities of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men going out to receive the Mpox vaccination at such a high rate?
We encourage queer and trans people with diverse lived experience to submit a proposal, and in particular, Indigenous, Black, and racialized individuals, Francophones, and historically underserved and underrepresented people in our communities, including but not limited to people living with HIV, drug users, sex workers, disabled folks, and people who are not “out”. The deadline to submit is July 23rd.
Never attended or presented at Summit before? Not a problem. We highly encourage first-time presenters to submit a proposal, as well as past Summit presenters. For additional questions or support on preparing your proposal, please contact Darren Ho at [email protected].
CBRC is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible Summit in order to support participation for everyone. This commitment includes providing full and partial scholarships, offering simultaneous interpretation services, and offering support to potential Summit 2023 proposal submission authors. Additional information on CBRC’s commitment to accessibility at Summit 2023 will be included in the conference program.
CBRC is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible Summit in order to support participation for everyone. This commitment includes offering free-of-charge participation for online events, providing full and partial scholarships for the in-person conference, enabling simultaneous interpretation and captioning services (in-person and online), offering support to potential Summit 2023 proposal submission authors, and ensuring that conference proceedings and ancillary/social events are fully accessible for people with physical disabilities (e.g. wheelchair access, reserved front row seating).
Though we are doing our best to enable everyone’s participation during Summit, we recognize that some needs may not be met through these measures. If you have other accessibility needs which have not been addressed through this statement, please let us know when completing your registration.
If you have questions or comments regarding Summit 2023’s accessibility, please contact [email protected].
Our shared commitment to queer and trans health is part of what brings us together at Summit each year. In response to feedback from participants, we have introduced community guidelines to help us build a safer, supportive, and inclusive space. These guidelines include our expectations for how we treat each other within this space. We ask that you please:
- Respect personal experiences. In many cases, presenters, moderators, facilitators, and participants share their personal experiences as part of the Summit. We know these personal experiences are powerful in shaping our understanding of the world around us. The experiences, and the words that the person uses to describe them, are not up for debate or disagreement.
- Follow guidelines from presenters, moderators, and facilitators. Summit welcomes many presenters and guests each year, and there are a variety of session types, each with different possibilities for participation. Throughout Summit, follow the specific guidelines for each presentation about confidentiality and participation (e.g., posting comments or questions). Most sessions will be recorded and published online in our content library after the Summit. If you have any concerns about being included in a recorded session, please contact us at [email protected].
- Share the space! Many of us have lots to say about the topics we will be considering. During questions and conversations, our team will prioritize first-time attendees, those who have not yet spoken, and people who identify as a peer to the topic being discussed. We will do our best to ensure as many people as possible join the discussion. When participating in the live chat during an online presentation, please ask your question or make your comment once, and our team will be sure to pass them on to the presenters.
- Participate from a place of learning and with an open mind. We all have something to learn from the Summit program, as well as things we can teach others. As a participant, you will play a key role in pushing discussions forward, asking questions, and building your capacity to enact change in your own local community.
- Presentations will be in the language preferred by the presenter(s)/speaker(s). We aim to ensure every online presentation is accessible in either French or English by means of simultaneous automated closed captioning. All plenary and keynote sessions will include live interpretation. Live interpretation will also be available for one out of the three presentations per concurrent session.
The live chat will be monitored for all online Summit sessions. We will work with participants to ensure that all community guidelines are upheld and will follow up directly with those who do not respect them. If an attendee is unable to participate in the Summit in a way that creates a supportive environment for everyone, they will be removed. Should you have a concern about someone’s behaviour, please let us know at [email protected].
Racism, transphobia, biphobia, sexism, homophobia, ableism, anti-Semitism, classism, fatphobia, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination or hate speech, as well as intimidation and personal attacks, are not permitted. Our team will address any of these instances immediately and will remove any participant who behaves in this way.
Content Note and Accessing Support: The Summit will cover a range of topics, including many that may bring up harmful, traumatic, violent, or isolating experiences. These topics include racism, anti-Black violence, sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts, criminalization of people living with HIV, suicide, addiction, sexualized violence, cissexism, and colonization.
We recognize that these kinds of presentations may be emotionally taxing for Black folks, Indigenous Peoples, and people of colour (BIPOC). We encourage participants to reach out to the counselling and mental health professionals that have partnered with Summit to process any of the content, feelings, or experiences it brings up. We also encourage participants to choose whether or not to attend sessions based on their content.
The Summit is CBRC’s annual national knowledge exchange and capacity building conference on the health of 2S/LGBTQI+ people. Since 2005, the Summit has brought together researchers, service providers, community members, and organizations from across Canada to share the latest in queer and trans health research, programming, services, and advocacy. While the Summit has historically focused on addressing the impacts of HIV and sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) on gay, bisexual, trans, Two-Spirit, and queer (GBT2Q) people, in recent years the conference has made intentional shifts to become a more inclusive space to engage with 2S/LGBTQI+ community-based research, health promotion, and advocacy.
Summit 2023 is made possible through the support of this year’s presenting partners, Gilead and ViiV Healthcare, as well as contributions from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and SIECCAN.