220 Cowan Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M6K 2N6

SHOUT Wednesday May 26 - Queering Urban Geographies/Spatializing Identity.

Tonights Topic, is the second in a series on Queer in the City - Urban Planning - (1st) "The Future of Queer Neighbourhoods in Toronto." January 29, 2008.

Discussion Questions on this topic:

How do particular spaces/places become queer(ed)?

How do our sexualized and gendered identities shift as we pass through a variety of environments, contexts (public/private, urban/suburban/rural)?

Is there still a need for a distinct and geographically concentrated gay culture in an increasingly diverse an accepting wider society?

Is there a difference between “gay” and “queer” spaces/ places/ events/ groups?

What is the historical relationship between “bohemian” city spaces and cultures of “alternative”/non-normative sexualities?

In a nutshell, ShOUT! Queer West (Un)Conferences is a grassroots, non-profit, entirely volunteer-fuelled project. In collaboration with Queer West Arts and Culture Centre we initiate a monthly series of free and public participant-facilitated panel discussions on a spectrum of queer/feminist topics that loosley connect to the theme of gender and sexuality in the arts and in culture.

Each of the guests, may take up to 15 minutes to display/perform artwork and/or reflect informally on a variety of dicussion questions (Which we post for you each month below. We proceed by entering into a q/a/comment period facilitated by a moderator. The program is primarly meant to create an enriching social and educational space for queers in South West Central Toronto (emphasis on Parkdale) on top of sparking a much needed community dialogue on topics pertinent to young queer experiences.

John Paul Catungal (Presenter)

PhD Candidate, Department of Geography University of Toronto.

John Paul (JP), originally from Burnaby BC, moved to Toronto for his graduate studies. He holds a BA Hons from Simon Fraser University and an MA from the University of Toronto. He is currently pursuing his dissertation research on the complex nexus of racial and sexual politics, focusing in particular on social service provision for and by queer people of colour. He has also conducted research on homophobia and urban public space; cultural economy, urban governance and social exclusion; university-community relations and student voluntarism; and violence against immigrant Filipinos in Canada.

Outside academia, JP is involved in frontline work with a local queer youth organisation and is a member of the Qu(e)erying Religion group.

Robert Lidstone (Presenter)

PhD Candidate, Department of Geography at York University

Robert is an enthusiastic new resident of Parkdale and lives in a co-op house on Pearson Ave near Mitzi’s. He is also a PhD student in the Department of Geography at York University. His MA thesis, “Refugee Queerings: Sexuality, Identity and Place in Canadian Refugee Status Determination”, examined sexual orientation-based asylum through interviews with lawyers and claimants and observation of refugee hearings in Toronto and Vancouver. He is currently considering ways to further develop this topic for his doctoral dissertation research. Robert’s recent writing has attempted to theorize how the city functions as a place of refuge for queers and examine the relationships between identity, security, space and belonging.

Alexis Mitchell (Presenter)

Toronto-based media artist

Alexis is a Toronto-based media artist whose video works and documentaries have screened all over Canada, the U.S and internationally. She has been creating performative documentary and hybrid visual works that focus on queerness, performativity, the body, the carnivalesque, architecture and queer notions of diaspora. Alexis is currently in the midst of completing an MFA in Film and Video Production at York University.

Other collaborations include: a commissioned video project entitled Queeropolis: Toronto 1972-2008 - a topological study of the queer, urban fabric of Toronto, as well as a 3-part video installation queering notions of homeland and diaspora with Sharlene Bamboat entitled Inextricable. Alexis is currently working on her MFA thesis project, which merges architectural and queer theory to forge possible acts of transgression within contemporary Jewish culture and politics.

Professor Catherine Jean Nash (Presenter)

Catherine Jean Nash Associate Professor of Geography, Brock University.

Catherine teaches social and cultural geography with a focus on urban issues. She has a law degree from the University of Ottawa, an M.PL in Urban Planning from Queen’s University and a PhD from Queen’s University in urban geography. Her area of interest is urban social and cultural geography with a focus on sexuality, gender and space, as well as queer, feminist and trans geographies. Professor Nash currently teaches Social Justice Theory. Catherine has published a number of articles and book chapters on historical aspects of Toronto’s “gay ghetto” and on contemporary queer spaces such as the Toronto’s women’s bathhouse events.

Michel F. Paré (Facilitator)
President & Founder, Queer West Arts and Culture Centre.

Michel F. Paré (M.L.S. & M.Phil), a 30 year gay activist. Michel helped establish the Queer West Village (A non designated tourist area, unlike Church & Wellesley). Michel is an advocate for our West Toronto queer community, and a strong proponent of creating change, by bringing people together. A Member of Gay Equality in Mississauga (GEM) 1976 to 1990, served as President in 1990. The following year was Founding Chairman of the new GALA WEST Gay and Lesbian Association West, that served the Etobicoke/Mississauga area. He is the Publisher of OUTeXpressions newspaper, a social enterprise of Queer West. Michel works for himself as a backend, web content editor / designer, three days a week and runs the Philosophy Cafe, Wilde Chats in his spare time.

Jaclyn Alia Isen (Facilitator)
Vice President of Gay West Community Network Inc (Queer West) and Projector Director of shOUT

Jac holds a Masters of Arts in Women’s Studies from the University of Western Ontario. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Adult Education and Community Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto (OISE).

On Tuesday Jan 29, 2008 Queer West came up the idea for a queer public forum, which was held at the Gladstone Artbar, 1214 Queer St. W., titled: "The Future of Queer Neighbourhoods in Toronto." The event was covered by the Toronto Star and various bloggers. (Guest speakers at that event were: Kevin Stolarick, PhD., MaRS Centre; parkdale Politico John Colautti; queer west Toronto Business women Dawn Chomitsch and Tanya White. Over 70 people attended, the room held 35.

Related Link: http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/from-gaybourhood-to-queer-diaspora/

There was study was done on Gay Toronto in 2005 titled Gay politics and ethnic minorities: The struggle for gay identity in Toronto in the late 1970s’ Gender, Place and Culture. and in 2006 ‘Toronto’s gay village (1969 to 1982). Plotting the politics of gay identity.’ Author: Dr. Catherine J. Nash

Between 2008 and 2011 researchers from Brock University are doing a study of Queer West Toronto. Titled: “Leaving the gaybourhood: Queer politics in Toronto”.

Reminder: Any Arts Collective volunteer, any of the guests or participants are invited to Rhino’s Bar & Grill after the talk, to socialize and continue chatting over libations. 1249 Queen St W. A 2 minute walk, from the centre. http://www.therhino.ca

Event Location: ShOUT is free and Runs on Last Wed of every month from 6:30 pm to 8.30 pm at the Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre, 220 Cowan Avenue (Toronto Parkdale) One and All welcome to attend. Yummy Vegan treats, wheelchair accessible. Families welcome too. RSVP Jaclyn Isen [email protected] Help line 416-879-7954 Queer West, Toronto Ontario

Official Website: http://shout.queerwest.org/

Added by don_quixote on May 2, 2010

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