LGBTQI2S Seniors

 

Seniors are now the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population, with their numbers expected to double over the next two decades. By then, one in four people living in Canada will be older than 65 years of age. With many advances in LGBTQI2S human rights, we are now beginning to see more LGBTQI2S seniors ‘out ‘ and proud! To respond to these changes, Egale offers a variety of initiatives and resources that help meet needs, address gaps and share experiences across Canada.

 

The Community Engagement Consult for LGBTQI2S Seniors

The Community Engagement Consult for LGBTQI2S Seniors is an initiative launched in March 2016. This multi-stage knowledge gathering process is the first of its kind in Canada and was launched with the purpose of:

  • Understanding the diversity of experiences of LGBTQI2S seniors living in Canada.
  • Deepening our understanding of organizations, research and work already being done.
  • Highlighting gaps and holding our governments accountable to change.
  • Sharing our findings with the communities most closely impacted.

 

 

We are gathering information in four distinct phases, each of which builds off one another:

Knowledge Sharing Forum


Held in Toronto, ON during March 2016. The 1-day event took the form of a panel of community members, organizational representatives, service providers and researchers who described the circumstances facing LGBTQI2S seniors.  Facilitated breakout groups made up of the 40+ folks attending then each collected feedback and critiques of the panelists’ views to contextualize with lived experience. The knowledge that was generated at the forum captured a wealth of local knowledge, and provided a starting point for launching a national discussion on how to create meaningful, positive change for LGBTQI2S seniors in Canada. More information on the results found here.

Online Consultation 


With the support of Egale’s National Seniors Advisory Council (NSAC), an online consultation was launched in September 2016 that gave others a chance to respond and add to the ongoing discussion. The consult was open for a six month period and collected over 225 responses. The respondents represented all 10 provinces from both rural and urban locations, and a spectrum of sexual, gender, racial, and disability identities. Participants described their own lived experiences, issues, and recommendations, as well as highlighting local resources and supportive organizations. More information on the results found here.

In-Person Consultation


While the online consultation added richness to the discussion, there were a few key demographics and geographic locations that continued to be underrepresented. We look forward to hearing more from those who live in the maritime and territory regions in order to gain a wider and deeper understanding of the diverse experiences across Canada. Subscribe to our newsletter for more updates!

Share and Promote!


The information gathered through our Knowledge Sharing Forum, our Online Consultation and our In-Person Consultation will be used to draft a series of documents for community members to share the results and plan next steps for organizations and governments to strengthen their work. We know that Community Engagement Consult for LGBTQI2S Seniors will help refine our own strategic planning through programming, advocacy efforts and educational toolkits.

Meet Our National Seniors Advisory Council

Egale’s National Seniors Advisory Council (NSAC) is a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and Two Spirit seniors and allies from across Canada working to improve the quality of life of LGBTQI2S seniors. The council oversees the Community Engagement Consult for LGBTQI2S Seniors, and holds the organization accountable to the diversity of the LGBTQI2S community. By fostering nation-wide partnerships, the NSAC provides opportunities for Egale to identify and support on-the-ground work of local organizations across Canada. Interested in learning more or hearing of new opportunities for involvement? Contact seniors@egale.ca and the Seniors Program Officer will get back to you shortly!

LeZlie is a world majority, Brown, Trini, Carib, callaloo DYKE & a differently-abled Elder. LeZlie has been an OUT Dyke and a community activist since 1976. She sits on the Senior Pride Network Advisory Committee, the Patient Caregiver Advisory Table & Health Quality Ontario for the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care, the Liaison Committee for the Ministry of Seniors Affairs, and a volunteer trainer with the 519 Older Adult Education Program. LeZlie advocates for the rights of Indigenous and queer people of colour and lives life from an anti-oppression perspective. In June 2017, LeZlie participated in the historic Buddies – Youth/Elders Project and organized the very first Pride Toronto Seniors LGBTQI2S social intergenerational event. Lezlie enjoys a cold beverage and a hot ‘LIME’ anytime!!
Iradele Plante is the Seniors Program Officer for Egale Canada Human Rights Trust. She identifies as a white, cisgender femme, and an MPH Graduate of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto with a specialization in Health Promotion and Sexual Diversity Studies. Aside from her work with seniors, her interests include LGBTQI2S mental health and how the internet influences health literacy.
Cellist and Vocalist Robert Bardston was born in Louisville, Kentucky. His music studies were completed at McGill University (Montreal) and the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie (Detmold, West Germany}. He has been employed at the University of Lethbridge, McGill University and Medicine Hat College. At the latter, he held the position of Artist in Residence. He has concertized as soloist and member of chamber ensembles in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Robert’s students hold posts in Canada and in Europe. He was the subject of a multi-award winning documentary, “Robert Bardston: The Son of the Bard”. The notable chamber ensembles of which he was member include Duo Navarra, Trio Pro Arte, The Blue Rider Ensemble and Trio Accord. In addition to his professional career, Robert has worked in social advocacy for many years (Gay Peer Counselling; Concerts in Support of Child Victims of Cambodia; Schizophrenia Aid; HIV/AIDS Advocacy) and has held official board member posts in various organizations for these causes. His recent retirement has allowed him to concentrate full-time on his activist interests, principally HIV/AIDS advocacy for the over-50-year-olds and the Canadian African, Caribbean and Black community. His presentation entitled “Music and Musings of a 27-Year Survivor” was featured at the International Conference on AIDS in Washington D.C. His performance “The New Age for the Aging,” which is about HIV and  aging.was presented at the 2014  AIDS International Conference in Melbourne, Australia.   Presently co-chair of CHABAC, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African and Caribbean network,  Dr. Bardston is a member of the board of directors for Alberta’s Positive Voices Caucus and the national Canadian Positive People Network. 
Maureen is currently the Director of the Health and Wellness program at the Arctic College, where she trains social workers and personal support workers to work with elders. She is excited to learn about the efforts happening across the country, and interested in accessing resources/opportunities to help her own community move forward. Previously, Maureen has contributed substantially to human rights & equity efforts in the Canadian North – including helping Nunavut establish their human rights code and creating Iqaluit Pride. She is a current member of the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal.
Donna is excited to join NSAC with an interest in translating big-city successes into rural regions of the country. She has been heavily involved in the labour movement as a representative for the LGBTQI2S community (CUPE Pink Triangle, Canadian Labour Congress LGBTQI2S Representative and Solidarity and Pride Committee), and was very active in the 2003 fight for same-sex marriage. Donna has a particular interest in workplace education for LGBTQI2S issues.
As a Facilitator and Specialist of Education and Training at The 519, Kate draws on her background in Therapeutic Recreation and Gerontology to foster the inclusion and resilience of older LGBTQI2S communities in care environments across Ontario. She is deeply committed to promoting intergenerational connectivity and spaces where people are supported in sharing lived experience.
In addition to being a member of NSAC, Robert is also affiliated with the Senior Pride Network (SPN) in Toronto and is a member of The 519. Robert has been involved in the development and delivery of cultural competency trainings addressing the needs of senior members of the LGBTQI2S community in long-term care and retirement homes in both Ontario and Newfoundland. He is also a member of the Home Advisory Committee of True Davidson Long-Term Care Home and is a founding member of True Davidson’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance. Before he retired, Robert was a high school educator involved in developing social justice courses for his school board. As a Guidance Counselor, he worked with other teachers in developing and providing anti-homophobia education workshops for students, staff, and administrators. Robert is 75 and is married to his husband, Peter. They have just celebrated their 40th anniversary.
Cass currently works as the seniors’ program coordinator at QMUNITY in Vancouver, BC. Previously, he has worked at the FORCE and Family Smart BC with a focus on mental health programming. Cass wants to hear from folks across the country in order to learn from their successes, while simultaneously sharing the knowledge that QMUNITY has garnered over 18 years of frontline LGBTQI2S seniors programming. Because of his philosophy “nothing about us, without us” he believes strongly in the accountability of NSAC.
Roberta joined the Advisory Council in late Spring, 2017.  She is Operations Manager at Rainbow Resource Centre, an organization with which she has been connected for over fifteen years.  An educator by profession (B.A., B.Ed., P.B.C.E.), having taught pre-school to post-secondary in three provinces, she has a couple of decades business experience in both the private and public sectors.  An assortment of jobs and lifetime career stepping stones have earned her natural silver hair highlights. With strong Maritime roots, and years overseas, she is proud to call Manitoba home. An active community volunteer, she contributes her skills to the International Children’s Festival, TREC (Translating Research in Elder Care) VOICES, Vision Quest Conferences, the Vestry at St. Luke’s Church, and Over the Rainbow.
Tim Hutchinson has an appreciation of complex systems thinking and is formally educated in Social Work and Public Administration at the Masters level.  He brings a wealth of program and policy experience of more than thirty years that encompasses the health, social service and government sectors.  Having a longstanding interest in services to senior adults and supporting healthy communities, Tim’s interests have focused on advancing “upstream” population health approaches and population level interventions to build community capacity and resiliency.  For over thirty years, Tim has been actively engaged in a variety of community development and voluntary activities that have included co-Chairing a Regional Task Force on Elder Abuse as well as board positions with the Ottawa Public Health Department, Pink Triangle Services Ottawa, SAGE Ottawa, Psycho-Geriatric Community Services Ottawa, MAX-Ottawa Gay Men’s Health Initiative, Canada Africa Community Alliance, Alzheimer Society of Ottawa, Palliative Care Association Ottawa, and the Canadian Public Health Association.  Presently, Tim is an associate of ILC (International Longevity Centre) Canada, affiliated with University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences.  His current interest include working with the Ottawa Senior Pride Network (OSPN) as well as a collaborative project to address data collection for better LGBTQ health outcomes in the Champlain LHIN Ontario.

Join Our LGBTQI2S Seniors Newsletter!

We’re launching a LGBTQI2S seniors newsletter in the fall with updates and some great events that might be happening in your area. Sign up here today!

Resources


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