By Keegan Hobson, Secretary and Vice Chair of FSP
Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual international holiday dedicated to celebrating and uplifting the accomplishments and lives of trans, gender non-conforming and gender diverse people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives. Find more info at: tdov.org.
There are so many people not featured here who are hitting the pavement and fighting the good fight. This is just our way of spotlighting the work of some - and we send our appreciation, support and resilient spirit out to all our trans and gender-diverse community members.
We would also like to honor that the land on which we do this work is situated in the territory of the Haudensaunee and Anishnaabeg peoples. We are thankful for the generations of work that have gone into these lands and the history we have to build upon. As settlers and Indigenous people, we are thankful and humbled to continue to reside and work in these territories.
Aylisa Kelly (She/Her)
Aylisa is an infinitely wise, attentive and generous woman with a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience with many things including navigating systems, developing resources and providing support in community. At 39 years old, she has known she was a woman since she was 8, and has dealt with gender dysphoria her whole life. Aylisa is a member of Trans Liberation Now! (a trans and gender diverse community capacity building group) and currently a facilitator at TransQ (a local trans and gender diverse program) - she hopes to move forward with her goals of remaining active and supporting other members of her community.
“She has unmatched finesse in holding space for people's self-empowerment while also being quick to offer a wealth of information when needed.”
Carl LeMesurier (He/Him)
Carl has been active in his community for 5+ years now - from supporting local movements to public appearances at advocacy events, he has been instrumental to several key services in Simcoe County. Both as a facilitator of TransQ (a local trans and gender diverse program) for several years and more recently as a peer support worker for the North Simcoe Muskoka Trans Health Services for the Couchiching Family Health Team. Radiating support and positivity, Carl is the type of person you want in your corner.
“It is a pleasure to work with him at TransQ and I am glad he is here for our community.”
Gabriel (or Gabe, as many people lovingly call him) is a nonbinary, transmasc, two-spirit individual who inspires folks each day with his resilient and beautiful queerness. With empathy at the forefront, Gabriel strives to create a sense of family in this small community. Passionate about keeping abusers out and facilitating safer spaces for our younger/newer community members, Gabriel constantly holds space down and cheers on those around them. Their wide range of resources and life experiences are what makes them a leader in their community.
“They inspire people to celebrate their queerness, their identity, their transition, whether the changes are big or small, visible or not; making him someone I would like to celebrate on Transgender Day of Visibility.”
Ieiérhes Flint (They/Them)
Ieiérhes has been showing up for their communities from the moment they rolled into these territories. They are constantly acquiring and holding down space for trans community. Inspiring many with their initiative in creating a capacity-building project that centres trans and two-spirit folks - they centre antiracism and anticolonialism in a way that is crucial for queer community initiatives to function effectively and beneficially. Trans Liberation Now, and their other initiatives like the Sacred Seeds Collective, have started the conversations and movements around showing up for our Indigenous community members in a way we haven’t seen in queer spaces in Simcoe/Muskoka before.
“Trans Liberation Now is something that's been desperately needed in the area.”
Gavrel Feldman (They/Them)
Gavrel is one of the most well known faces around here - their limitless kindness and ability to call people in with care promotes a culture of community that is often disrupted by harsher means. Also involved in the creation, development and implementation of Trans Liberation Now and several other key projects around Simcoe County and Muskoka, Gavrel centres antiracism and anticolonialism work in all they do. Being a key member with notable local organizations, they have worked hard to develop resources and capacity within queer, trans and two-spirit community.
“Trans Liberation Now is something that's been desperately needed in the area.”
Ivy Lace (She/Her)
Ivy Lace has been showing up for Simcoe/Muskoka queer and trans community for years now. Her dedicated work with several local organizations and bubbly personally are what set her above and beyond. Ivy has been a crucial piece in so many services and organizational structures within Simcoe County and always brings more energy to the table. She is known by her loved ones as kind, loving, thriving, opinionated and energetic.
“Where would we be without Miss Ivy Lace? Not where we are, that's for sure.”
TDOV Open Mic
In the spirit of TDOV, Fierté Simcoe Pride is hosting an open mic night at the Lazy Tulip Cafe.
Please come out, sing, read poetry or perform stand-up and share space with community as we recognize and support our Trans and Gender Diverse community members.
There is no cost for this event.
Find more info here:
Fierté Canada Pride's Statement on Federal Budget 2019
We are pleased to see a significant investment in a number of initiatives that will directly benefit LGBTQ2 Canadians and our cultural and community organizations.”
Pride festivals and LGBTQ2 community organizations have long been underfunded and today’s budget begins to address some of these issues. An investment of $24m over two years in the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program and the Celebration and Commemoration Program at Canadian Heritage will be welcome news to Pride organizations with growing festivals
from coast to coast to coast.
In addition, a new $20m fund for LGBTQ2 community organizations is also welcome. This is the first time in Canadian history that a dedicated fund for our communities has been created to support the development our civil society organizations working across the country to address issues of discrimination, justice and inequality.
We also welcome that LGBTQ2 communities will be one of the five priorities of Canada’s new tourism strategy. LGBTQ2 people are one of the fastest national and international tourism markets and Pride organizations are poised to work closely with our partners in the tourism industry to ensure that this this new strategy is implemented and Canadian towns and cities can benefit from this tourism.
Today’s announcement that the funding for the federal LGBTQ2 Secretariat will continue is also very welcome. The Secretariat provides a valuable service to LGBTQ2 Canadians to ensure that LGBTQ2-specific issues and concerns are raised in the federal government and the public service.
The significance of Pride festivals has grown in recent years in communities across Canada. Over 125 Pride festivals take place across Canada in every province and territory, and we estimate that in 2018 over 6 million Canadians took part in some way in a Pride event. Pride is an important part of demonstrating that all of our citizens are welcome and accepted, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Increasingly, Prides are also an important part of our local communities in generating millions of dollars of economic activity, supporting local artists, and driving tourism in many parts of the country.
Board of Directors
Fierté Canada Pride
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President of FSP
Vice President of FCP
Cette déclaration est disponible en français sur www.fiertesimcoe.com/nouvelles/declaration-de-fierte-canada-pride-sur-le-budget-federal-2019.
CONSULTATION ON POLICE AND MILITARY IN PRIDE
SIMCOE COUNTY, ON — November 27, 2018 — Fierté Simcoe Pride (FSP) has launched a consultation process on the participation of police and military in Pride. This consultation will specifically look at participation in the annual Trans Pride March, as well as potential future marches and/or parades.
FSP recognises the long and often complicated history that these institutions have with gender and sexually (GSD) people. These consultations will give the community a voice in the matter, and will help give a clear path forward.
“We want to be proactive about this issue, especially as Pride continues to grow in Simcoe County,” said FSP president Brandon Rhéal Amyot. “It’s essential that that we hear the voices of community members who are often left out of decision making. We wouldn’t be able to do our work without community input.”
A short, anonymous survey is now live for the community to give feedback. FSP is encouraging everyone to fill it out and share with interested individuals and groups.
The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JQB53TZ. Submissions will be accepted until December 31.
For questions or comments, please contact:
Fierté Simcoe Pride
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury is situated at the southern end of Simcoe County on the renowned Holland Marsh. The marsh’s black organic soils make the community one of Canada’s biggest carrot-producing regions, which gave rise to one of Ontario’s Top 100 festivals and events – Carrot Fest – which draws thousands of visitors every August.
The Town’s 35,000 residents are spread across an expansive rural area, several small hamlets, and the larger urban area of Bradford. The Town of BWG is a community that loves to celebrate its heritage, including the many origins, beliefs and attributes of its residents. One of Simcoe’s most culturally and linguistically diverse municipalities, BWG’s local government supports frequent events including flag raisings, festivals and workshops that encourage celebration, awareness and inclusion of all.
The Town has been a proud partner of Fierté Simcoe Pride for many years, hosting annual flag raisings and most recently a candlelight vigil. In the urban centre of Bradford, the Town’s Public Library and Cultural Centre is a constantly bustling hub of community activity. In 2018 the library was proud to expand its Pride Month offerings with a calendar of fun and informative events not only for the LGBTQ+ community but for all residents.
The City of Orillia is a wonderful place to call home and a fabulous place to visit. Located in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country, Orillia is a four-season playground on the beautiful shores of Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching.
Whether you are enjoying the tranquility of our beautiful parks and trail system, or exploring our vibrant downtown with its quaint shops, restaurants and cafés, Orillia offers a wide variety of opportunities for all.
Each year, the City of Orillia participates in Fierté Simcoe Pride Week by raising the Rainbow Pride flag and issuing a proclamation.
True democracy only works when it works for everyone. We believe establishing a meaningful, inclusive environment creates a true community.
We encourage residents to participate in Fierté Simcoe Pride Week activities to further promote inclusion in our community.
We are a loud bunch, incredibly welcoming, full of awful puns and sassy comments. We are a completely judge free zone. We want our customers happy, healthy, unafraid and full when they leave. Come in for a drink, food or a judge free chat. We are here.
The Grilled Cheese Social Eatery. We are an eclectic little Eatery in Barrie that focuses on the community as much as we do on our kitchen. It is no accident that the word Social is in our name. Like every sandwich on our menu we understand that everyone is different but at the same time, we are all similar at our core. We strongly believe in the power of love and encourage and support through the love of food for all others to do the same.
The Lazy Tulip Cafe is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch featuring mindful, healthy food options located right downtown Barrie!
We offer a space that is open to all without judgement where you can be true to who you are. Because the world is all one, we are all connected as one and we all share the same cells that need love, acceptance and a good cup of coffee.
They have been an active member of the LGBTQ2+ community in Barrie over the past year, working with the Gilbert Centre both as a youth volunteer and as a member of the Gilbert Youth Board which facilitates relevant, queer-focussed programming in the Barrie and Simcoe area for LGBTQ2+ youth, including past events such as a Queer Valentine's Day party, a Youth Speaking Up! Forum, and a Seeing Queerly Art Show.
Nelson is planning to become involved with the 2QTPride group at Nipissing University in the fall to continue their activism and community-building work. Nelson has also been active in engaging discussion in their own school and peer communities, both on- and off-line, to challenge homo/transphobia and inaccurate assumptions about queer people, and hopes to inspire other young LGBTQ2+ folks to feel empowered to speak up about their identities and become activists in their own community as well.
The Two-Spirit Youth of Chminissing (Beausoleil First Nation)
Including youth leaders Terra Sandy Roy, Jesse Michael Sharma, and Marti Cress.
My name is Jesse Michael Sharma, and I’m from Saugeen First Nation Territory. I am 17 years old. My pronouns are they/he and I identify as Two-Spirited. I am an advocate for trans and Two-Spirit youth local to Simcoe County and Beausoleil First Nation.
The work I have done throughout my high school years includes teaching introduction to Anishinaabe language classes, zine making workshops, poetry writing workshops, teaching pow wow dance and traditional drumming, and creating space for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ youth.
Skills I have obtained during my borrowed life include: porcupine quillwork, woodland art styles, graffiti writing, songwriting, song composing in traditional Anishinaabe styles, digital art, and writing in Ojibwe syllabics.
I recently received an award for my community work ethics by the Rotary Club of Midland, Ontario. I recently hosted a Two-Spirit Pow Wow on August 4 at Springwater Provincial Park, and am working to enrich my cultural knowledge and Anishinaabe language skills.
Mnaan Mad kwe ndizhnikaaz, myingan ndodem, Chimnissing ndoonjiba miinwa Chiminissing ndamiigwa.
I am Terra Sandy Roy, I am a band member to and reside on Beausoleil First Nation (Christian Island Indian Reserve #30). I'm 16 years old.
I am Youth Chief of the Beausoleil First Nation Youth Council (BFNYC), previously sat on the Barrie Native Friendship Centre Youth Council for 2 years as both Board members and Vice President. I was apart of the STACD (Start Talking About Coping and Drugs) Project through CMHA. Volunteered at the Barrie Native Friendship Centre for approximately 3 years as youth leader with the Wasa-Nabin program as well as the Right To Play Youth Leadership Program. Followed my work and joined the Well-being committee at my high school; worked with Springwater Provincial Park on a medicine wheel we designed and put in in June.
Continued to develop my skills and career as much as I could bringing me to where I am today, helping in the development of the BFNYC, as well as several other youth councils across Ontario and lastly, organizing the Niizh Manidook Powwow with my peers for the community of Simcoe County.
I am extremely humbled to be doing the work I am doing; being the voice and speaking for those who cannot.
Hunter's solo music project is called Grumps. Grumps plays sad/angsty/beautiful anti-colonial songs on the banjo, fiddle and flute. For the last 3 years Hunter has been involved in organizing live outdoor shows in Tiny Township that feature Two Spirit, Trans and Queer musicians and bands.
Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who is well known for his provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes. Themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience - the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experience - are explored in a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation.
His glamorous gender fluid alter-ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle appears in much of his work as a time travelling, shape shifting and supernatural being, who reverses the colonial gaze, upending received notions of history and Indigenous people. With Miss Chief at centre stage, Monkman has created memorable site specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, The Royal Ontario Museum, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Compton Verney, and most recently at the Denver Art Museum. His award-winning short film and video works have been screened at various national and international festivals, including the 2007 and 2008 Berlinale, and the 2007 and 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Many of his media works are made with his long-time collaborator, Gisèle Gordon. His second national touring solo exhibition, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience will visit museums across Canada until 2020.
Monkman has been awarded the Egale Leadership Award (2012), the Indspire Award (2014), the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award (2014), the Bonham Centre Award (2017), an honorary doctorate degree from OCAD University (2017) and the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2017).
His work has been exhibited internationally and is widely represented in the collections of major Museums in Canada and the USA.
He is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal and Toronto and Trepanier Baer Gallery in Calgary.
Since then, BPN has had representatives speak on diversity on the CFB Borden Positive Space Ambassador Course with the mission of creating a positive and safe place for LGBTQ2SA military members. In order to build a cohesive and unified relationship with the local communities, the Committee has worked diligently to leave their mark by volunteering alongside 519 Toronto, a non-profit organization by collaborating with local Pride organizations in Simcoe County and by participating in local Pride Events such as Barrie Pride, Clearview Pride and the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
To foster a more effective means of communication and passage of information, the BPN was recently approved to create a generic e-mail inbox in which members may communicate any concerns that will be dealt with in a time sensitive manner. The Committee is also designing a support web page that will be accessible to all Canadian Armed Forces members with the goal of increasing their visibility, advertising local events, as well as offering resources available to support all Defence Team members.
Since its inception, the Committee’s growth has been exponential and the support from the Chief of Defence Staff has been second to none. Diversity is our strength!
The SCDSB is committed to an equitable education system that upholds and reflects the principles of fair and inclusive education. We continue to grow partnerships with community organizations such as COPA, Egale, Harmony Movement, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, Roots of Empathy, The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity and The Gilbert Centre.
The board will post updates, news and event details for Fierté Simcoe Pride.