This series gathers artists and collaborators who are eager to expand sustainabilities, mediums, interests, and practices for themselves within their communities, and for gender diverse youth.
RJ Jones is Saulteaux–Cree, originally from Regina, Saskatchewan (Treaty no. 1 & 4) and is currently living on Algonquin Territory in Ottawa. They are a Two Spirit, Non-Binary and Queer multimedia artist, educator and full spectrum doula in decolonizing our approach to gender, sexuality and sexual health. They are an advocate for Two Spirit, transgender and queer Indigenous issues, and work from a decolonial, intersectional and accessible lens. RJ is experienced in public speaker and has been invited to give workshops and keynotes across Canada.
RJ has been working in sexual health with a variety of groups over the past 3 years. They work with The Native Youth Sexual Health Network as a Peer Mentor, formerly with Planned Parenthood Ottawa as an Indigenous Community Developer and recently switched roles at The Native Women’s Association of Canada from the STBBI Project Coordinator to the LGBTQ2S+ Educator. RJ’s passion for Two Spirit and Trans advocacy has lead them to opportunities such as serving as the President of Kind Space as well as being a board member at Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G). RJ enjoys sloths, building connections, migrant justice, decolonial education & reproductive justice.
Kaeden Seburn (they/he) is a nonbinary, transmasculine, white settler, a bachelor of social work student at Carleton University, and a trans community organizer, activist, and educator from unceded Algonquin territory. Kaeden was a member of the planning committee for the Restoring the Circle conference in June 2019, and is a research assistant for the Building Better Support for Trans Youth research project in conjunction with this work.
In addition to their role on this project, Kaeden is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Ten Oaks Project, a co-founder and facilitator of Support and Education for Trans Youth (SAEFTY) Ottawa, and is the Trans Gender Diverse Student Support Coordinator for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Their work focuses primarily on depathologizing trans identities and ensuring that trans, nonbinary, and gender diverse youth have access to affirming health care, schools, and social services. Kaeden is passionate about camping, longboarding, and being outside, and can often be found at the top of the nearest good climbing tree.
Joel Baum, MS, is the Senior Director for Professional Development at Gender Spectrum. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s education and training efforts. He facilitates training, develops curriculum, consults with caregivers and professionals and provides resources in service of a more compassionate understanding of gender and young people. A founding member and Director of Education for the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at UCSF-Benioff Children's Hospital, he is frequently called upon to help institutions think more expansively about the gender diversity of all children and teens, and ways to create more gender-inclusive conditions accordingly. As an educator for more than thirty years, his career has been marked by a commitment to social justice and equity. First, as an award-winning middle school science teacher and school leader, he has also served as a school district administrator in Oakland, CA, a school reform coach with the National Equity Project, and a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at California State University, East Bay.
A settler raised in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, Cara Tierney (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist, activist and educator. Proudly trans, Tierney holds a Masters of Art in Canadian Art History from Carleton University, a Masters of Fine Art from the University of Ottawa and is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Cultural Mediations at the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Arts and Culture at Carleton University.
Their current research triangulates pedagogy, art and queer/trans* studies in an effort to research and produce creative, arts-based spaces and experiences for learning about, supporting and affirming gender diversity. Tierney teaches History and Theory of Art at the University of Ottawa and regularly delivers consultation and training for large organizations as well as independent businesses to bring them in-line with provincial and federal human rights. As of January, Tierney is the 2019 Artist-in-Residence in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
Said (Sahira) Jiddawy is a black transfeminine non-binary person from Zanzibar, Tanzania. They grew up in Toronto but now have made a nest in Peterborough, Ontario. Said spent their early educational journey studying forensics and physics at Trent University. It wasn’t until they graduated that they knew the arts was the path for them. They then went to Algonquin for design studies, and then George Brown College for Graphic Design. Said has an affinity for the performing arts and has created a drag scene in Peterborough since their return in the summer of 2018. Said’s other hobbies include but are not limited to computer games, reading Stephen King, and watching cartoons. Said loves to get involved with their community and being a queer activist. In the past, they have worked with Camp FyreFly, the Peterborough Aids Resource network, and the centre for women and trans people at Trent University.
Fae Johnstone (she/they) is a public speaker, consultant, educator and community organizer on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin territory (Ottawa, ON). Her areas of expertise include LGBTQ+ and trans inclusion, social policy, child and youth mental health, sexual and reproductive health, and anti-oppression.
Fae holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Carleton University, and has an extensive background in the nonprofit sector, specifically on LGBTQ youth, child and youth mental health, and sexual and reproductive health issues.
All of Fae’s work is driven by her passion to change the realities of LGBTQ+
youth and young people struggling with their mental health. She brings to the table not only a passionate drive for change, but an approach informed by intersectional anti-oppression, structural social work, and lived experience.
Diane Ehrensaft, PhD is a developmental and clinical psychologist in Oakland, California. She is a parenting expert and also specializes in gender studies and psychotherapy and consultation with gender nonconforming children and their families. She is the author of Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children; Mommies Daddies, Donors, Surrogates, Building a Home Within (co-edited with Toni Heineman), Spoiling Childhood, and Parenting Together. Dr. Ehrensaft has made many media appearances, most recently the Anderson Cooper Day show, and has presented and published both nationally and internationally on the subjects of parenting, child development, assisted reproductive technology, and children’s gender development and gender nonconformity.
Dr. Ehrensaft is the Director of Mental Health of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center, a University of California San Francisco-community partnership offering interdisciplinary services to gender conforming children and youth and their families, as well as the psychologist at the UCSF Gender Clinic.
Alex Rivers is a Chilean born adoptee who is now a Canadian citizen that works with marginalized, racialized and LGBTQIA+ youth through being a peer support worker and a public speaker.
Alex is a POC, genderfluid, queer, mentally ill and disabled youth who wants marginalized people to be given a fair chance in having the same opportunities as non-marginalized people. Currently, they are working on their healthcare and treatments but plans to continue to be a volunteer and public speaker for now and more frequently in the future. They express an interest in social justice/psychology and plans to go back to school to become a social worker/advocate.
Pree is an artist-educator currently based in Tkaronto. They're the children of immigrant settlers from Punjab. Pree's work centres their identity as a queer, non-binary, trans, disabled, fat, and racialized individual. They have an interdisciplinary arts practice under the name: Sticky Mangos and co-founded the Non-Binary Colour Collective. Pree's work has been featured in CBC, Xtra magazine, BlogTo and Salty.
Keegan Prempeh is a Black, non-binary Sagittarius on a journey of self-discovery, radical transformation and healing. Xe lives on Algonquin territory in Odawa. Guided by womanism, collectivism and the pursuit of social justice, Keegan hopes to foster meaningful connections to build community.
Julie is a white, cisgender, female-identified, able-bodied (for now), assistant professor in the school of child and youth care at Ryerson University. Prior to this role, she worked with young people in healthcare, education, and social service settings. She is currently trying to navigate how to support young trans, Two-Spirit, and/or gender diverse people in ways that center these voices, are youth-led, and do not reinforce social power hierarchies.
Erin Galt is currently a student of Art History and Psychology at the University of Ottawa and identifies with she/her pronouns. Erin grew up as a legal resident in Los Angeles, California, returning to Ottawa in 2018. For over a decade, her efforts centred labour and housing rights as systemic inhibitors of marginalized communities. Over the years, that work has grown to include additional aspects of her identity: combating mental health stigmas and ableism. She considers herself a perpetually learning ally. In 2013, Erin and her partner expanded their advocacy platform through music, and by 2014 The Bees and Bones were performing live. However, “Our music is on a performing hiatus as we are loving, working, and creating long distance for now.” To follow their work, check out
Oliver (Ollie) Thorne (he/him) is a nonbinary white settler who resides on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin territory. He is currently finishing his undergraduate degree at Carleton University in Indigenous and Canadian Studies with a minor in Political Science and will be starting his graduate degree in the same field in September 2020. Oliver hopes to conduct research on parents of trans children to highlight the community gaps parents face in order to help them support and understand their trans child better. Oliver is a trans activist and facilitates Support and Education for Trans Youth (SAEFTY) Ottawa. SAEFTY is the only by-and-for trans youth group and advocacy collective in the Ottawa area. When Ollie is not studying or planning SAEFTY events, he likes to explore Ottawa's coffee shops, read, and talk with friends.
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