McGill's 2021 Queer History Month: Coming Together
The theme of McGill's 2021 Queer History Month (QHM) is "Coming Together." We know it has been challenging for many folks since the start of the pandemic, especially for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities where shared spaces have always been a source of strength, resilience and affirmation. As places start to open up, this year's QHM offers a renewed opportunity to come together as we begin to move past all the changes we've lived through as of late. Showing up to celebrate, to share, to reflect, to reconnect, and everything else in between.
Join us for this year's diverse programming which includes film screenings, panels, workshops, community events, and more. Kicking off McGill's 2021 QHM is the "Return of the Rainbow", on Sept 29th, where the month will be opened by our invited Elder Sedalia Kawennotas Fazio, who will also close out the month on October 28th following an epic Queer Open Mic hosted by the one and only Opéra Queens. Tune into our featured keynote by entomologist, Professor Jessica Ware on October 1st, and don't forget to check out our CALENDAR to see all the amazing events we have lined up!
Queer History Month started in 1994 in Missouri to highlight and teach 2SLGBTQIA+ histories. While it is celebrated broadly in the United States and the United Kingdom, McGill's 2018 Queer History Month was the first of its kind here at a Canadian university. We are grateful to Meryem Benslimane, former 2SLGBTQIA+ Equity Education Advisor, who founded Queer History Month at McGill in 2018.
2021 QHM-Coming Together is organised by the Office of the Provost and Vice Principal (Academic) in partnership with the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the McGill JBSCE Subcommittee on Queer People (SQP), First Peoples' House, the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF), Queer McGill, the McGill Libraries, the Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support, and Education (OSVRSE), the McGill Alumni Association, and many other McGill and community partners.
Note that due to ongoing uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, all 2021 McGill Queer History Month events organized by the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) (OPVPA) will take place online. OPVPA events will include live captioning in English.
For questions/media inquiries, please contact Andrea Clegg at andrea.clegg [at] mcgill.ca.
Keynote Illustration: Dimani Cassendo
QHM Illustrations: Genevieve Darling
Graphics: Dona Nham
Opening Event: Return of the Rainbow, Wed Sept 29th, 5-7 pm
McGill's 2021 Queer History Month opens with Return of the Rainbow. This is McGill University's homecoming event for current and past students, staff, and faculty who identify with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. This annual celebration began in 2001 as an opportunity for queer alumni to return and (re)connect with members of the university campus. It is a welcoming space for all Queer McGillians past and present and beyond to connect and share stories. Opening this event will be our invited Elder Kawennotas Sedalia followed by relationship building/ice breaker activities by Hiba Zafran + team. Come join us for our opening event to connect and have some fun! All are welcome!
Sedalia Kawennotas Fazio. Mohawk Elder, Bear Clan from Kahnawá:ke. Founder and Director of first Sweat Lodge in Montreal.
Hiba Zafran identifies as a queer poetess and multi-migrant Arab with Muslim and Maaronite cultural roots in the Levant (Syria-Lebanon-Palestine). She currently uses feminine pronouns and is en/able(d)-bodied. Hiba was a student at McGill during 9/11, and when queer life on campus was White and binary. She is grateful to the changes that have taken place thanks to those who have come before her, and she works critically to improve experiences for/with those around her, and those who come next. Professionally, she is an Occupational Therapist-Psychotherapist who works as an academic, a community therapist with QTBIPOC young adults, and as a creative writer. You can learn more about Hiba’s current endeavors here.
Keynote: "Diversifying Entomology" with Professor Jessica Ware, Fri Oct 1st, 6-7:30 pm
Join us for our featured QHM keynote with Dr. Jessica L. Ware, an entomologist and curator at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Her work focuses on dragonflies, damselflies, cockroaches and termites, with a few other insects thrown in for good measure. Entomology is a vibrant, vital, exciting, international science, but the history of the discipline is complicated, and deeply rooted in colonialism. The future of entomology is bright, however, with active LGBTQAI2S+ groups like 500QueerScientists and Entomologists of Color working with scientific societies to diversify the field and advocate for equity. In this talk, she will move us through the entomological timeline, highlighting studies by a diversity of scientists, and will cover some of the new dragonfly insights she has gained through her work. The evening will include a Q&A session and spoken word performances by Powetik.
Jessica Ware is an associate professor of evolutionary biology at Rutgers Newark. Dr. Ware’s research focuses on the evolution of behavioral and physiological adaptations in insects, with an emphasis on how these occur in Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) and Dictyoptera (termites, cockroaches and mantises). Her research group focuses on phylogenetics/phylogenomics and uses these tools to inform their work on reproductive, social and flight behaviours in insects. Jessica holds a BSc from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD from Rutgers. She is the past president of the Worldwide Dragonfly Association, and serves as incoming president of the Entomological Society of America. She was recently awarded a PECASE medal from the US government for her work on insect evolution.
Kat Charles (she/they) is a queer Haitian writer, playwright, performer, therapist in training and community organizer based in Tio'tia:ke (Montreal). The power that all art has to transform our deepest wounds is a truth that Kat lives by. They identify as an artist first and foremost. Her art, whether it be music or poetry is made to heal herself and heal others by giving a voice to the voiceless... or at least the voiceless for now. As an artist who heals, Kat is also currently pursuing a Master’s in creative arts therapy at Concordia to focus on intergenerational trauma among BIPOC and QTBIPOC communities. They believe that pursuing a career in health and wellness is void of sustainable impact without also being deeply rooted in community activism. This is why working with Black Healing Fund and Fruition MTL is so important to them.
Maddy Shred will be facilitating the Q&A session following Prof. Ware’s keynote. Maddy is a nonbinary PhD student studying the cellular cytoskeleton. They believe building community is important and are an organizer for Tea4T and the Queer Grad Club at McGill.
Join us for an evening of intergenerational exchange and knowledge sharing led by Two Spirit Elder Blu Waters. Participants are invited to ask questions or seek advice from our invited Elder. Laureen (Blu) Waters Gaudio's spirit name is Istchii Nikamoon and is Cree and Métis micmac Elder Wolf Clan. Some of their gifts include giving traditional spirit names, hand drumming, house cleansing, song and creative writing. They conduct full moon ceremonies, opening ceremonies and provide traditional teachings. They are a Sun Dancer and Pipe Carrier, proud mother of three and grandmother of three.
This workshop led by artist Jenny Lin will introduce you to some classic zine formats: the 8-page folded zine, meander, pamphlet-stitch and 4-hole stab bind, with discussion on approaches to planning out content and layout.Participants will be shown a selection of zines from the facilitator’s own collection that exemplify a variety of formats as well as their content. No prior experience is needed to attend this workshop.
You’ll need the following supplies: 20 sheets of paper (approximately 8.5 x 11” each); scissors, ruler, pencil, eraser, needle, thread; and a small scrap piece of corrugated cardboard (4 x 5” or larger).
The needle and thread can be purchased from the Dollar Store, if you’d like to use regular sewing needle and thread that are more readily available. You can use paper you might have on hand. It doesn’t have to be fancy paper, in fact, you can use printer or photocopy paper that you might find in the pharmacy or stationary store, or you could cut pages out of a sketchbook, reuse paper you don’t need anymore, etc. Choose a type of paper that is thin enough to fold by hand. if you want a different colour or type of paper for your pamphlet-stitch cover, find one sheet the same size as your other paper.
Estimated cost of supplies is $5 (this could vary for each participant, as you might have some of these supplies already, or might opt for supplies of different durability or quality).
During or after the workshop, Jenny will share information about where you can buy more specialized supplies, if you intend to do a lot of bookbinding or zine-making. Jenny will also share links to some other bookbinding techniques and variations.
Jenny Lin is a visual artist based in Tiohtiá:ke / Montréal who works with experimental narrative, mostly in the form of print-based installations, artists’ books and zines. She is drawn to the socio-political, accessible and community-based aspects of print and zine-making, self-publishing and distribution, and uses drawing and text as a way to process life experiences and connect with the world around her. Since 2009, she has worked collaboratively with Eloisa Aquino as B&D Press, a queer art / micropress project. She teaches as a sessional instructor at Concordia University in the Print Media Program Area, where she co-founded the Queer Print Club. Her pronouns are she / her / they / them. For more info, please visit Jenny Lin's website or find them on Instagram @grumplingzinho.
Closed space for Trans/nonbinary/gender nonconforming students, staff and faculty. Panel of one professor and two PhD students, discussing their experiences in academia and sharing successes and strategies, followed by Q&A.
Krisha Aghi is a final year PhD candidate in neuroscience at UC Berkeley. She works in the lab of Ehud Isacoff researching the molecular mechanisms of synaptic modulation. For her postdoc she is moving into neuroendocrinology, hoping to understand hypothalamic circuit alterations under estrogen and potential applications to hormone replacement therapy. As a trans woman of color she is particularly invested in centering Black and brown trans experiences in the academy.
Xandria Quichocho (they/he/she) is a Black and Indigenous CHamoru, bisexual, non-binary, physicist with their B.Sc. in Physics from Texas State University and is a Physics Ph.D. graduate student at Michigan State University. His ongoing work as a research associate with the Texas State Physics Education Research Group centers the lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, and women of color and LGBTQ+ folks’ in physics to better understand how their intersectional social identities develop alongside their physics identities. He currently serves as a Consultant and Facilitator with Movement Consulting, a cello instructor, and bread baker.
Zack Marshall (MSW PhD) is a trans scholar and Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University. Building on a history of community work in the areas of HIV, harm reduction, and mental health, Zack's research explores interdisciplinary connections between public engagement, knowledge production, and research ethics in queer and trans communities. Current projects that address these themes are: Thriving on Campus, the first ever Ontario-wide study of 2SLGBTQ+ university students’ experiences, wellbeing, and academic development, and Shift, a project exploring labour practices in participatory research. He is passionate about fostering academic spaces that sustain and support trans, non-binary, and gender diverse communities.
Celebrating the end of McGill's 2021 Queer History Month: Coming Together is an epic Queer open mic not be missed with special performances from Opéra Queens! ALL ARE WELCOME to join us! Queer and allied folks are encouraged to sign up for the open mic. At the end of the evening, we will be closing out Queer History Month with our invited Elder Sedalia.
Corinne DeJong is a Mezzo Soprano from Burlington, Ontario. A recent graduate of the Master’s program at the Manhattan School of Music, previous credits include: The Judgement of Paris (Juno), Suor Angelica (Suor Osmina), Rusalka (Knyaginya), Gianni Schicchi (Zita), L’enfant et les sortilèges (Maman), Cunning Little Vixen (Huntsman’s Wife/Owl), Dido and Aeneas (Sorceress/Dido), Les contes d’Hoffmann (Giulietta), The Bat (Rosalinde), and chorus in Suor Angelica, Emmeline (Picker),Tosca, La bohème, La traviata, and Pagliacci. Ms. DeJong has sung many recital programs and as a soloist with St. Jude’s Anglican of Oakville, Reformed Church Bronxville, Port Nelson Choir and Ambassadors Male Chorus.
Chinese-Canadian, queer, and non-binary tenor Mike Fan | 范祖铭 (they) astonishes audiences across Canada, USA, Finland, Italy, and Australia as an opera singer, host,pianist, educator, and actor in 10 languages. Beginning as a baritone, Mike now performs lyric tenor repertoire of Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and Bizet. Mike has been McGill’s PGSS Equity Diversity Commissioner and BIPOC Graduate Network founder. Mike also enjoys surprising audiences as drag persona Tanya Smania as Artistic Director of Opéra Queens, presenting classical vocal music in drag, gender-bent, and queerified while spotlighting IBPOC voices and living composers.
Dr. J. Marchand Knight (they) is a treble Zwischenfach operatic singer, composer,and researcher possessing a range of over three-octaves from baritone to high coloratura soprano. Their roles include Agrippina, Don José, Violetta, Hanna Glawari, Treemonisha,and Angelina Ali across Canada, Rome, Salzburg, and Carnegie Hall. They hold an ACS in Audio Recording Technology (Vanier), a Master’s in Opera Performance (Schulich Music),and a DMA in Vocal Pedagogy (Miami). Passionate about EDI, J. was a 2019 recipient of McGill’s Award for Equity and Community Building for their work with the Subcommittee on Queer People and Schulich Music’s accessibility initiatives
What is a queer cookbook? Is there a set recipe for what makes a cookbook queer? Is it that the author is queer? Or is there something inherently queer about the cookbook itself? This exhibit, curated by Dr. Alex Ketchum of the IGSF with special assistance from Jacqueline Lee-Tam, focused on American and Canadian cookbooks raises these questions. The physical exhibit will be in the hallways of the Leacock Building of McGill University from August 18- December 20, 2021. The digital exhibit will live on The Historical Cooking Project.
To celebrate the beginning of Queer History Month, as well as Indigenous Awareness week, join us in welcoming Dillan Chiblow, Anachnid, Pasha Partridge, and Dez Grégoire, as they discuss the futurity of 2SLGBTQIA+ Indigenous artists' creative forms of expression as a way to build community and connection. Organized by OSVRSE. More details to follow
This is a workshop session for McGill students who identify as a part of the 2SL&GBTQIA+ community. Hosted by the Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (OSVRSE), in collaboration with McGill's Queer History Month and the Wellness Hub, this 2-hour workshop is open to students who would like to discuss, share, and unpack the intersections between queerness, identity development, and (re)connections with the McGill community in-person. This workshop will be facilitated by Margot Nossal (she/her), a clinical social worker and Wellness Advisor at McGill’s Student Wellness Hub. With over a decade of practice in community and institutional mental health and social service settings, Margot is currently supporting students living in McGill’s Downtown Residences, as well as all McGill students from the 2S&LGBTQ+ community. This workshop will take place in person at the OSVRSE office. Please be certain to bring a mask; a procedural mask will be provided to you otherwise. To confirm your attendance, please fill out this registration form.
To celebrate Queer History Month, OSVRSE invites you to join us in a light-hearted watch party of the rom-com gem that is "Saving Face" (2004), followed by an open-floor discussion. MOVIE SUMMARY: Dr. Wilhelmina "Wil" Pang is a successful young Chinese American surgeon living in New York City. Wil is a lesbian but is closeted to her mother Gao and her mother's friends. Wil comes home to discover her mother has been kicked out by her grandfather for being pregnant out of wedlock, bringing shame to the family. Wil asks for the identity of the father, but Gao refuses to answer. From then on, Gao lives with Wil.
Vernissage with Laure Neuville of the Archives Lesbiennes du Quebec and Simone Beaudry-Pilotte of the Archives Gaies du Quebec and Alex Ketchum speaking about archives and the exhibit; Organized by the IGSF. Location: Leacock Building, McGill University. Visit Facebook for more details.
It's spooky season! Join us for our virtual scavenger hunt to celebrate Gay Halloween Month. To enjoy this event, you'll have to follow a set of clues, provided by us, and bring them to the event. A Jitsi link will be posted in the Queer McGill Online Events Facebook Group prior to the event. Be there or be scared!
Midterms were a trick. Treat yourself to our Halloween Craft and Movie Night! Make spooky art with us while we watch our queer icon, the Babadook. The event will take place in the Queer McGill office, but this is subject to change with COVID restrictions, and will otherwise take place online -- keep updated on QM's Online Events Group! See you there.
As part of Disrupting Disruptions: the Feminist and Accessible Publishing, Communications, and Technologies Speaker and Workshop Series' theme of sustainability, this panel will discuss the sustainability of digitization of archives, the risk of the "digital dark ages," and the challenge of sunsetting digital humanities projects. Lesbian and queer archives, face particular challenges as many exist apart from institutions. Professionally live captioned in English. Organized by the IGSF. Register on Eventbrite.
Cason, Lily. 2021. “McGill Holds Annual Queer History Month Themed ‘Coming Together’.” The McGill Tribune, October 19, 2021,
Catlin, Saylor. 2021. “McGill Celebrates Queer History Month.” The McGill Daily, October 25, 2021.
Deschamps, Richard. 2021. “Coming Together: McGill’s Queer History Month 2021 Set to Launch.” The McGill Reporter, September 28, 2021.
Lecanu-Fayet, Lilly. 2021. “‘Diversifying Entomology’ Creates Buzz at Queer History Month.” The McGill Tribune, October 5, 2021.