Queer History Month 2023 poster

Illustration by Isadora Ayesha Lima

McGill Queer History Month 2023
"Other Worlds"

The theme of Queer History Month 2023 is “Other Worlds.” With the current backlash against 2SLGBTQIA+ persons, and especially trans persons, we are inspired to reflect on future utopias or to process current realities through the perspectives of a speculative fiction writer and scientists studying extra-terrestrial aspects of our universe. In the spirit of "Other Worlds" we hope to forge connections, spark conversations, and pave the way for a future that transcends the limitations of the present.

Queer History Month (QHM) 2023 will be delivered as a hybrid edition by offering a mix of opportunities for 2SLGBTQIA+ community members and their allies to gather in-person and online.

This year’s QHM keynote address will be delivered by acclaimed speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson. The event will take place in Tanna Schulich Hall at the Elizabeth Wirth Music Building from 6:00 – 7:30 pm  immediately preceded by catered reception from 5:00 – 6:00 pm in the main floor foyer adjacent to the hall.

Join us throughout the month of October for in-person and online events organized by the OPVPA and other groups and units at McGill, which include a creative writing workshop, panel discussions, and a homecoming event for queer alumni and their allies.

QHM 2023 “Other Worlds” is organized by the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), the Department of English – Faculty of Arts, the Subcommittee on Queer People of McGill's Joint Board-Senate Committee on Equity, the McGill Alumni Association, the McGill Queer Alumni Association, the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, the McGill libraries, Queer McGill, the Queer Grad Club, Tea4T and many other McGill and community partners.

Quebec Government logo

McGill Queer History Month organizers thank the Government of Quebec for its financial support.

QHM Illustrations: Isadora-Ayesha Lima
QHM Graphics: Le Lin

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For questions/media inquiries, please contact andrea.clegg [at] mcgill.ca (Andrea Clegg).

Queer History Month Keynote PosterKeynote Address “Creating Other Worlds, Telling Our Stories” with Nalo Hopkinson

Thursday, October 5th (In-person)

Catered reception 5:00 – 6:00pm
Keynote Address 6:00 - 7:30 pm

A multi award-winning author and artist, Nalo Hopkinson was the 2021 recipient of the Science Fiction Writers of America's prestigious Damon Knight Memorial “Grand Master” Award for a lifetime of achievements in writing, mentorship, and teaching. Nalo Hopkinson’s Queer History Month keynote address will engage audience members with answers to the questions: What's the point of inventing worlds that don't exist? Shouldn't we as 2SLGBTQIA+ people focus on fixing the things that are killing us in this world? The keynote address will be followed by a Q & A facilitated by Amber Rose Johnson.



LOCATION: Tanna Schulich Hall, Elizabeth Wirth Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke St W

Headshot of Nalo HopkinsonNalo Hopkinson

The first woman of African descent to receive the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award, which is the lifetime honour from Science Fiction Writers of America, Nalo Hopkinson is also the youngest person to be so honored.  Jamaican-born, Hopkinson is the lead author of The House of Whispers comics series set in Neil Gaiman's Sandman Universe, with the TV adaptation now on Netflix. She’s written five novels including the award-winning, Brown Girl in the Ring, and her writing often draws on Caribbean language and traditions. She's been a finalist for a Nebula Award and won a World Fantasy Award, as well as the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for positive LGBTQ representation.

Headshot of Amber Rose JohnsonAmber Rose Johnson

Amber Rose Johnson is a writer, artist, and cultural worker from Providence, Rhode Island (USA) who has recently relocated to Montreal. She is currently a McGill Third Century Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of English and her primary research foci are experimental poetry and performance in the contemporary Black Diaspora. Amber Rose is also a strength trainer and sports performance coach and is especially interested in movement-inflected work, guided by forms of embodied knowledge. She will transition to an Assistant Professor of English at McGill in Fall 2024.

Poster for Nalo Hopkinson's creative writing workshopCreative Writing Workshop “Feeding the Hungry Ghosts: Writing Nourishing Prose” with Nalo Hopkinson

Thursday, October 5th  11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (In-person)

“To write is to prepare a feast for your readers. We'll discuss and practise ways of cultivating and satisfying the readerly appetite.” – Nalo Hopkinson

Headshot of Nalo HopkinsonNalo Hopkinson

Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born Canadian speculative fiction writer and editor. She currently lives and teaches in Riverside, California. Her novels (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, The Salt Roads, The New Moon's Arms) and short stories such as those in her collection Skin Folk often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling.

Hopkinson has edited two fiction anthologies (Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction and Mojo: Conjure Stories). She was the co-editor with Uppinder Mehan for the anthology So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, and with Geoff Ryman for Tesseracts 9.



LOCATION: McGill Equity Team Office, 550 Sherbrooke St W, Suite 1010

Return of the rainbow posterReturn of the Rainbow

Thursday. Oct 19th   5:30-7:30pm (In-person)

Join us in-person again this year for Return of the Rainbow, McGill's Homecoming for current and past 2SLGBTQIA+ students, staff and faculty. Since 2001, this annual celebration has offered an opportunity for queer alumni to return to the University and reconnect to campus life.

The event is part of Queer History Month and is hosted by the Subcommittee on Queer People of McGill's Joint Board-Senate Committee on Equity, the Office of the Provost and the McGill Queer Alumni Association.

All members of the McGill Community are welcome! Don't miss this chance to share and hear meaningful stories of intergenerational queerness at McGill over cocktails.



LOCATION: Kampai Garden, 1225 St Mathieu St

Trans and Non-Binary in Academia PosterTrans and Nonbinary in Academia

Wednesday Oct 25th, 6:00 – 7:30 pm EST (Online)

For the fourth year in a row, all trans, nonbinary, intersex, gender nonconforming and questioning students, staff, faculty at McGill or from broader communities near and far away are invited to join us for this panel discussion about navigating academia as a trans, nonbinary, intersex, or gender nonconforming person. This year’s panelists include: McGill alumna and University of Alberta law professor, Florence Ashley; University of Utah postdoctoral fellow, Mallory Molina; and Johns Hopkins University planetary scientist Ed Rivera-Valentin. With their guidance, we'll be discussing experiences in academia, sharing tips and strategies, and running a Q&A. This is an online event and closed space for trans, nonbinary, intersex, gender nonconforming, and questioning guests. The event will be moderated by McGill Schulich School of Music’s Jay Marchand Knight.



LOCATION: Remote (On Zoom with live captioning)

Florence Ashley headshotFlorence Ashley

Florence Ashley is a transfeminine jurist and bioethicist whose work focuses on trans issues in the legal and healthcare systems. Florence is currently assistant professor of law at the University of Alberta and previously obtained a doctorate from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Joint Centre for Bioethics later this summer. They hold law degrees from McGill University and served as the first openly transfeminine clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada. Florence is widely published in scholarly journals and is the author of Banning Transgender Conversion Practices: A Legal and Policy Analysis, which was published by UBC Press in 2022. 

Headshot of Mallory MolinaMallory Molina

Mallory Molina (they/them) is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah and will start their professorship at Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2024. Their research focuses on the origins and co-evolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. In addition to their scientific work, Mallory has also worked to create more inclusive environments in academia through creating and co-founding the non-profit organization Towards a More Inclusive Astronomy (TaMIA) which has 4 chapters across the country. Mallory was also a Ford postdoctoral fellow in 2021 and named as one of Astronomy Magazine’s “Rising Stars” in December 2022. 

Headshot of Ed Rivera-ValentinEd Rivera-Valentín

Ed Rivera-Valentín (They/He) is a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory where their research focuses on applications for planetary protection policies and planetary defense strategies. They study surface processes with implications for planetary habitability and use ground- and space-based radar observations to characterize asteroids and planetary surfaces. As a Puerto Rican scientist, Ed was first inspired to pursue STEM by the Arecibo Observatory and was privileged to work there for four years as a planetary radar astronomer and project coordinator of the Arecibo Observatory Space Academy, an out-of-school time research and education program for high school students in Puerto Rico. Currently, Ed is a Science Team member on the Mini-RF instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a Science Investigation Team member on the NEO Surveyor mission, and the Planetary Defense Lead for the OSIRIS-APEX mission. Additionally, they are one of the editors of the AAS’ Planetary Science Journal and a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science. Ed is also one of the co-founders of Boricua Planeteers, a networking and support group for Puerto Ricans in Space and Planetary Sciences, and one of the organizers for the Planetary Scientists of Color conference meet ups. 

Headshot of Jay Marchand KnightModerator: Jay Marchand Knight

Jay Marchand Knight (they/them//iel) is a senior voice instructor at The Voice Lab in Chicago, a course lecturer in Vocal Techniques at McGill University, and a Frederick Lowy Fellow at Concordia University, where they are researching voice timbre and gender perception. Active as a singer and sound artist, Jay has performed with RISE Opera, Lakeshore Light Opera, Opera Queens, and recently recorded Pink Floyd’s Great Gig in the Sky for a 50th anniversary rerelease of Dark Side of the Moon. Jay was a 2019 recipient of McGill’s Award for Equity and Community Building for their work with McGill’s JBSCE’s subcommittee on queer people and their accessibility work at The Schulich School of Music. Jay’s multimedia installation, Where Can We Sing?, a statement on voice, identity, and the exclusion of marginalized people from formal singing, was awarded first prize at INDI Research Day at Concordia in 2023. 

McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous peoples whose presence marks this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

For more information about traditional territory and tips on how to make a land acknowledgement, visit our Land Acknowledgement webpage.

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