Audio-Plays

Out at School

The 2021 Audio Play

Out at School, ​an audio-play script based on 37 interviews conducted in the LGBTQ Families Speak Out research project (2014-2020), was created and recorded on Zoom in November 2020, edited by Doug Friesen from December 2020 to February 2021, and was launched on this website and on popular podcast platforms on April 9, 2021.

History of Out at School

An initial script of Out at School, based on ten interviews conducted in the LGBTQ Families Speak Out research project (2014-2020), was staged as a multimedia verbatim piece at the 2018 L Fest in Llandudno, Wales.

The initial script was published in Tara’s 2019 book Teaching Gender and Sexuality at School: Letters to Teachers (Taylor&Francis).

An expanded script of Out at School, based on 37 interviews conducted in the LGBTQ Families Speak Out research project (2014-2020), was staged as a multimedia verbatim piece at the 2019 Toronto Pride Festival.

The expanded script was published and discussed in Tara’s 2021 book Our Children are Your Students: LGBTQ Families Speak Out (Myers Press).

An audio-play script, based on 37 interviews conducted in the LGBTQ Families Speak Out research project (2014-2020), was created and recorded on Zoom in November 2020, edited by Doug Friesen from December 2020 to February 2021, and was launched on this website and on popular podcast platforms on April 9, 2021.

The LGBTQ Families Speak Out team would like to acknowledge the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for its funding of the research project from 2016-2020 and the New College Initiative Fund which funded the recording, mixing and editing of the audio-play.

Out at School, ​is a verbatim audio-play about the experiences of LGBTQ families at school, created from excerpts from interviews undertaken with 37 families living in the province of Ontario, Canada, between 2014 and 2020.

Out at School:

Part 1 Pushing the Envelope (Scenes 1-7)

Part 1 of Out at School begins with a scene called “We Still Have to Fight” which introduces one of the major themes of the play: LGBTQ parents and students have to fight and advocate to make sure their families are recognized and legitimized at school. Part 1 ends with Kate Reid’s song Pushing the Envelope which speaks to the ways LGBTQ parents and students have to explain their families and relationships to school principals, teachers and staff.

Out at School:

Part 2 What Would It Take to Let Love Be the Way? (Scenes 8-16)

Part 2 of Out at School features two scenes that discuss the ways Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are celebrated in schools. It ends with Kate Reid’s song Let Love Be The Way which continues Kate’s reflection on the ways LGBTQ parents and students need to explain themselves at school. In the song, Kate talks about how LGBTQ families often need to justify their identities, bodies, and pronouns at school. The entire song is composed of a set of questions directed to school principals, teachers and staff who identify as heterosexual and cisgender and asks them to think about their answers to these questions.

Out at School:

Part 3 Risking Hope (Scenes 17-22)

Part 3 of Out at School ends with a scene called “Risk Hope” summarizing another key theme of the play: Although they currently have to fight and advocate to make sure their families are recognized at school, LGBTQ parents and students still maintain hope that schools are capable of change and that one day they won’t need to be pushing the envelope. Part 3 ends with Kate Reid’s song Risk Hope which puts out the idea that storytelling, for example the stories and testimonies the families share in Out at School is vital to creating social change both inside and outside of school.

Out at School Audio Play: Script

To follow along with the script click on the link below

Music from Out at School

Pushing the Envelope, Let Love Be The Way, and Risk Hope are songs composed for Out at School by research team member, Kate Reid (katereid.net)These songs are based on the excerpts from our interviews with LGBTQ families. Feel free to download these songs below, and read what Kate says about the meaning of the songs. 

Pushing the Envelope

Written and performed by: Kate Reid, 2017
Sound engineer: Stew Crookes
Produced by: Stew Crookes and Kate Reid

Kate Reid: vocals, acoustic guitar
Stew Crookes: pedal steel
Doug Friesen: stand-up and electric bass
Roger Travassos: drums, percussion

Image credit: benjamin lee hicks (c) 2019

Pushing the Envelope is the first song I composed for Out at School. The overarching theme in this song is the idea that LGBTQ+ families and students often find themselves in the position of having to explain their families, identities, bodies, pronouns, and relationships to school personnel. This labour of explaining is kind of labour that is particular to LGBTQ+ families and queer spawn, and a labour that cisheterosexual families and students generally do not have to do in schools. I also include some lyrics written in the form of questions. For me, writing lyrics in the form of questions invites listeners to do some of their own intellectual and emotional labour around some of the themes in the song. In this song, it asks them to consider how their own identities, relationships, and family-building processes might be similar and/or different, and how they experience privilege or barriers in schools and society in relation to these things. The lyric “we shall overcome” is a nod to the well-known gospel-turned-activist song We Shall Overcome, which was a prominent anthem sung during the American Civil Rights movement. This reference to We Shall Overcome is also an acknowledgement of the long tradition of singing in order to overcome adversity, galvanize community, and inspire social and political change. Finally, incorporating several phrases borrowed verbatim from the interview material, Pushing the Envelope projects a hope for the future: that one day, we won’t always have to be “pushing the envelope,” and that we won’t have to engage in this kind of queer and trans activist work any longer because LGBTQ+ families and people will be a part of “the fabric of this world.” ~ Kate

Let Love be the Way

Written and performed by: Kate Reid, 2018
Sound engineer: Stew Crookes
Assistant sound engineer: Andrew Scott
Produced by: Stew Crookes and Kate Reid

Kate Reid: vocals, acoustic guitar
Andrew Scott: drums, percussion
Kurt Nielsen: bass
Todd Lumley: piano, synth

Image credit: benjamin lee hicks (c) 2019

When composing the second song, Let Love be the Way, the predominant theme in the second set of monologues I worked with was the notion that LGBTQ+ families and students often have to (and thus, feel compelled to) explain themselves and their families to school personnel. They do this either pre-emptively in order to avoid questions or problems that may arise in relation to their identities, relationships, and/or families; or in response to questions asked of them about these things. With this theme in mind, the entire song is composed of various questions directed at those who are generally afforded and experience privilege in relation to their sexuality, gender identity/gender expression, and relationships. In effect, the song asks cisheterosexual folx to do some intellectual and emotional labour related to the questions posed in the song. Again, as I was composing this song, I was thinking about some of the experiences I have had, as well as the experiences some of my LGBTQ+ friends have had in relation to their identities and relationships. The song references trans scholar and visual artist, benjamin lee hicks’ (2017) notion that LGBTQ+ families and students are not–but should be–expected in schools. And, like Pushing the Envelope, this song also contains a few short verbatim phrases from the monologues. The chorus references queer scholar, Lee Airton’s No Big Deal campaign (www.nbdcampaign.ca), which they developed in response to push-back on the University of Toronto campus around using people’s chosen pronouns. The song ends with an important question about what systemic change might look like in schools, rather than stopping at simply accommodating LGBTQ+ families and students. Ending the song with this question means these issues are not resolved in schools or society. This question invites listeners to think more deeply about the politics of power implicit in the word, “accommodation,” and to consider what it might mean for LGBTQ+ people to have to engage with a system that wasn’t created with them in mind. Let Love be the Way calls the audience to linger in feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. ~ Kate

hicks, b. l. (2017). Gracefully unexpected, deeply present and positively disruptive: Love and queerness in classroom community. Occasional Paper Series, (37). Retrieved from educate.bankstreet.edu

Risk Hope

Written and performed by: Kate Reid, 2019
Sound engineer: Lisa Patterson
Assistant sound engineer: Meg Warren
Produced by: Lisa Patterson and Kate Reid

Kate Reid: vocals, acoustic guitar
Doug Friesen: bass
Matias Recharte: drums
Lisa Patterson: piano

Image credit: benjamin lee hicks (c) 2019

Risk Hope is the final song performed in Out at School. It was composed to tie the major themes of the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project together and to bring the play to a close. It rests on the notion of “hope,” which is a prominent theme in the play, especially near the end. It’s meant to summarize a major theme of this research project, the idea that storytelling—in all its iterations—is vital to creating social change. The song also drives home the point that taking action—even in seemingly small ways—is a performance of activism and an expression of hope for a better world. The theme of “listening” is also prominent in this song, as many of the interviewees from the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project told us that teachers and school administrators need to listen to their students, and listen deeply. The song begins with a reference to Bob Dylan’s 1964 song, “The Times They Are A-Changing,” and an acknowledgement that “the times” are constantly unfolding; that we as a society are in a constant state of becoming and moving forward—even if incrementally—towards equity and justice for all. In the bridge, the lyrics honour the work of cultural theorist and queer scholar of colour, the late José Muñoz, who understood hope as an anticipatory feeling of the “not-yet” and that queerness is “not simply a being but a doing for and toward the future” (Muñoz, 2009). Muñoz (2009) argues, “we need hope to counter a climate of hopelessness that immobilizes us both on the level of thought and transformative behaviors. None of this is to say that hope is easy to find or never misleading or potentially appropriated by reactionary agents and movements. Hope is a risk. But if the point is to change the world we must risk hope” (Duggan and Muñoz, 2009, p. 279). The song, Risk Hope, is also a nod to the researchers of the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project, and the creative work and energy that infuses Out at School: “these words” that were carefully chosen from the interviews to craft the monologues; “these colours” that were meticulously selected to illustrate themes from the interviews; and “these songs” which were mindfully composed to narrate the interviews through music. ~Kate

Duggan, L. & Muñoz, J. E. (2009). Hope and hopelessness: A dialogue. Women & Performance: a Journal of Feminist Theory, 19(2), p. 275-283. DOI: 10.1080/07407700903064946

Muñoz, J. E. (2009). Cruising utopia: The then and there of queer futurity. New York, NY: New York University Press.

 

Land Acknowledgements and Biographies of the Cast and Artists who Participated in the Audio-Play of Out at School ​2021

We acknowledge that the university and city of Toronto sits on land that has been a site of human activity for 15,000 years. The land is the territory of the Haudensaunee, the Six Nations Confederacy, the Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, the Anishinaabe, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. The treaty that was signed for this particular parcel of land is collectively referred to as the Toronto Purchase and applies to lands east of Brown’s Line to Woodbine Avenue and north towards Newmarket. This land, as part of the Great Lakes region, is the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Today, Toronto is home to the highest Indigenous population in Canada. We are grateful to the Elders and story-keepers who are working to make the first stories of this land known.

Alanis Ortiz Espinoza

My name is Alanis and my parents come from Panama and I am of African, Indigenous and European descent.

Alanis graduated (With Distinction) from the University of Toronto with a Major in Political Science in 2019 and is now a law student at the University of Leicester in the UK, from which she hopes to graduate from in 2021. Alanis has always been passionate about social justice and tries to actively participate in student and civic events, always representing and completing volunteer work in her local community. She is the Editor-in-Chief of her University’s Law Review, a Legal Researcher for the University of Leicester’s Pro Bono Global Justice and Forensic Justice Project and has been interviewed by the national Panamanian news. Alanis is currently a Legal Intern for a firm in Toronto and aspires to become a successful lawyer for her community.

Alec Butler

Tkaronto is where I have lived since 1983, I am originally from the Mi’kmaq Territory of Uni’maki on the Atlantic Coast, therefore I am a visitor who has settled in the Dish With One Spoon Territory, thereby I respectfully abide the call to share this part of Turtle Island gratefully with the original inhabitants of the land of the Great Lakes–the Anishnawbe, the Wendot, the Iroquois, and the Mississaugas.

Alec Butler is an award winning playwright and filmmaker, they are of Indigenous and settler ancestry originally from Uni’maki Territory aka Cape Breton Island. They identify as Two-Spirit, Trans, Intersex, and Non-binary. They work in the genres of film, novella, poetry, theatre, and performance. Their works over the past forty years include Black Friday, a play about coming out, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Drama in 1991; the novella Rough Paradise published in 2014; and the award-winning trilogy of animated short films called, Misadventures of Pussy Boy. Alec went back to school in 2015 to major in Indigenous Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Currently, they are pursuing a Master’s Degree in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York University. They are working on their first non-fiction work called Lay of the Land: Reclaiming Paradise, a literary and critical/cultural analysis of Queer Indigenous Literatures and Media.

Amaka Umeh

My name is Amaka and I am grateful for the sacrifices that allowed me to emigrate from Nigeria 19 years ago. I am honoured to use my voice as a force for amplifying silenced perspectives on this sacred land.

Amaka Umeh (she/her, they/them) is a genderfluid, Toronto-based storyteller of Nigerian (Igbo & Ikwerre) origin. A graduate of the Musical Theatre Performance Program at the Randolph Academy for Performing Arts, she has been fortunate to receive priceless, diverse opportunities to explore the provocative and liberatory powers of investigating truth through imagination and pretense. They wrestle endlessly with the strict limitations and unending potential of the English language as a transformative tool for communication. In collaboration with the Ontario performing arts community, her work has been generously recognized with a Dora Mavor Moore Award, a Toronto Theatre Critics’ Association Award, and two MyEntertainmentWorld Critics’ Pick Award nominations. Amaka also completed the Stratford Festival Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, Factory Theatre Mechanicals and Toronto Fringe T.E.N.T. Programs.

benjamin lee hicks

My name is benjamin and i was born as an uninvited visitor to the traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People. My family of origin also includes every queer, trans, gender-bending revolutionary who has taught me about love.

benjamin lee hicks is a visual artist, elementary school teacher, and PhD candidate in Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. They taught JK-grade 6 classrooms in the Toronto District School Board for 8 years prior to beginning graduate studies full time. benjamin has written and designed curriculum materials on topics of sustainable community building, queering school space and arts-based activism. They are interested in how we might better support teachers to expect queerness and welcome all gender identities in their classrooms. benjamin is also passionate about centring the voices and experiences of trans and non-binary people navigating the school system as students, staff and caregivers. Their current work explores how visual storytelling and comic art can help to engage teachers more personally and continuously in professional learning (+action) for social justice. www.benjaminleehicks.com

Bishop Owis

My name is Bishop and I am a second generation Canadian, born in Toronto. I am from people who were indentured slaves under British imperialism, colonized in their homelands, and later came to Canada in the 1980s as uninvited settlers in Tkaranto. My ancestry has roots in Guyana, Egypt, Italy, Portugal, India and China. I come from people who have been both colonized and settlers – a duality that deepens my connection to the land I’m grateful and indebted to live on.

Bishop is a teacher, community activist and PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). They are a graduate of the Masters of Teaching program where she earned her teaching qualifications in the Junior-Intermediate division. Bishop’s doctoral research at OISE explores what happens when queer, trans and gender-diverse youth of colour work collaboratively to reimagine and recreate the Ontario sex education curriculum as a way to resist cis-heteronormativity and whiteness. The research project will focus on the use of community youth participatory action research and arts-based pedagogies that centre queer community care, thrival and futurity. Bishop is an alumni Junior Fellow at Massey College, one of the organizers of Queer/Trans at OISE and has delivered sex education workshops Planned Parenthood and the Sex Education Centre at the University of Toronto. Bishop currently works on two research teams (LGBTQ Families Speak Out & Addressing Injustices) and is an instructor at Trent University.

Brendan Chandler

My name is Brendan. My people come from all walks of life. Where I can find family, I make family. Where I can give love, I give and receive love.

Brendan Chandler is a Cree English artist who recently finished Humber College Theatre for Performing Arts in Toronto. Humber Theatre works with a devised creative process. In his final year Brendan got to play Penelope in To Ithacadirected by Tatiana Jennings. Brendan has also created his own show called How Did You Find Me Here?which appeared in the Toronto Fringe Festival and was chosen as one of the top 5 artists to watch by CBC. Recently Brendan finished a duo piece with his creation partner Jessica Bowmer for the cabaret in Paprika Festival called A series of unfortunate behaviors. The piece is a bouffon piece and will be on YouTube soon. Brendan is honoured to be a part of this project and very pleased to work with such beautiful artists.

Charlotte Stewart

My name is Charlotte and I am from Calgary, AB, which is situated in the territory of the Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Tsuut’ina, and Nakoda nations and is under Treaty 7. My ancestors are from England and Scotland.

Charlotte recently completed her B.A. (Hons.) in Anthropology and Equity Studies at the University of Toronto. Over the course of her degree, she held work-study and internship positions at U of T’s Centre for Community Partnerships, where she helped to facilitate programs focused primarily on connecting students to each other and to community-based organizations across the GTA. She currently lives just outside of what is known as Calgary, AB, where she works in outdoor and environmental education and harbours a passion for storytelling of all sorts.

Destiny-Mae

My name is Destiny. I acknowledge this state as a white supremacist, settler-colonial state, thus I consider and acknowledge the continuous enactment of violence that has allowed us to occupy this land and space. I am a treaty person and I acknowledge the work I must do as a treaty person, in solidarity with First Nations people.

Destiny-Mae is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, and a spoken-word-educator living in Tkaronto. Since she was a pre-teen, Destiny has dedicated and continues to dedicate, any opportunity to claim space and community for Black students within Tkaronto schools. Destiny is committed to calling for awareness, and action to ensure schools are included in the process of liberating Black and Indigenous students.

Doug Friesen

My name is Doug. My mennonite grandparents fled religious persecution in the former U.S.S.R. and finally ended up settling in Manitoba on Treaty 1 territory: the land of Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Métis Nations. I grew up helping on farm land that was stolen and I have many privileges because of this.

Doug Friesen is an educator, musician, and PHD candidate researching critical sound and listening pedagogies. He has led teachers, students, musicians, and other interested folks through ways of using listening and sound to engage creativity and community. Doug has worked as an Instructional Leader for the Toronto District School Board, and as a course instructor at the University of Toronto, Queens University, and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Jenny Salisbury

Jenny.

Jenny Salisbury has a Ph.D from theCentre for Drama, Theatre,and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Her teaching and research interests include contemporary Canadian play creation and devising processes, with a focus on audience, community-engaged theatre, and the role of the artist as researcher. She is a co-founder and associate director of The Centre for Spectatorship and Audience Research, and is Artistic Director Common Boots Theatre along with Jennifer Brewin and Alex Bulmer (www.commonbootstheatre.ca). Jenny has enjoyed sessional work at Huron University College, Western University, as well as serving as the program coordinator for Ask & Imagine, a leadership program for youth and youth leaders.

Jorie Morrow

My name is Jorie, I was born in Toronto and I was adopted, so my people are everywhere.

Jorie is a professional Actor, Social worker, Meditation Teacher and Activist. She has appeared in both film and on stage. This is her 4thproduction as a performer with Gailey Road Productions. She first appeared as “Worried Mother” in Pound Predators12 years ago! A tremendous amount of gratitude to Tara Goldstein for inviting her back for this special event. A big shout out to family and friends for their ongoing support! Love to Bob and Hailee. “I feel that being a part of this theatre experience brings us all together- we are a community of many different voices! Now more than ever, this research about the LGBTQ community and the education system is needed. As an artist, my hope is to support and strengthen the powerful messages of all these good people, these good families represented here today. To send a powerful message that we are joyful, we are proud and we will stand together.” Up Next: You will find Jorie performing in the award-winning play, Checkpoint 300 by Michelle Wise. This will be at Factory Mainstage at the Toronto Fringe Festival 2019.Up next: Jorie looks forward to her self-produced production of Collected Stories by Donald Margulies at The Campbell House Museum in 2021.

Kate Reid

My name is Kate. I am a settler of Scottish and British heritage and understand that I live, work, and play on land that belongs to First Nations People. Daily engagement with the natural world and the land of Treaty 3 and the Mississaugas of the Credit River in Traditional Anishinaabek territory where I live is vital to my survival and well-being. The gratitude I have to be able to live on this land is difficult to describe in words.

Slam-storytelling and folk poetry collide with a roots-country vibe as Kate Reid’s musings about identity, love, queer life, and the interesting people she meets merge in songs that just might have you rolling in the aisles with laughter or dabbing tears from your eyes. A whip-smart wordsmith with a knack for candid songwriting that is charged with humour and clever social commentary, Kate has five albums under her belt and performs at music and Pride festivals, youth and arts conferences, public schools, universities, community service organizations, and in people’s living rooms. Cutting across countless boundaries and bringing her diverse audiences to a place of common ground, they are funny, feminist, queer as a three-dollar bill, and they are sure to entertain. Kate has a Ph.D from the University of Toronto where she investigated the use of songs in curriculum development for gender and sexuality education. Kate is currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher at York University.
pronouns: she/they www.katereid.net

Max Cameron Fearon

I’m Max and I’m from former Lenape territory in Princeton, New Jersey, under the Treaty of Easton, and I have roots in Northern Ireland, Croatia, and the eastern European Jewish diaspora.

Max Cameron Fearon (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, disabled theatre artist, and a recent graduate of the UofT Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. As an actor, director, dramaturge, and facilitator, their work focuses primarily on issues of identity, community, and mental health. They’ve performed and directed/AD’d with the Toronto Fringe, InspiraTO Festival, Hart House Theatre, Aluna CAMINOS Festival, Seven Siblings, Driftwood Theatre, Mixed Company Theatre, UofT campus groups, and are a current member of the Nightwood Theatre Young Innovators Program. Max is currently working on accessibility and event coordination for Lakeshore Arts and the Toronto Community Dance Love-In, with the hopes of expanding options for disabled artists and audiences in community arts settings. They’re so grateful to be part of such a touching and inspiring story, and to be representing trans and non-binary youth. Enjoy the show! #ProtectTransKids

Pamela Baer

Pam.

Pamela Baer is a theatre and media artist with a focus on community engaged work. Drawn from a young age to storytelling as a way of connecting people and building community, her work revolves around personal narratives, oral histories, and life stories. Pamela has facilitated community arts projects with diverse groups, and wide-reaching themes, in England, Ghana, and Canada. Her current work focuses on LGBTQ families, stories, and representations, and explores the role of collective community creation in the production of participatory media. Pamela has a B.F.A in Theatre and Development from Concordia University, a M.A. in Theatre and Media for Development from the University of Winchester, and a M.A. in Education from The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Pamela is the Research Manager on the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project, a PhD Student in Education at the University of Toronto and the Program Coordinator at Charles Street Video, an artist-run video production facility in Toronto.

Ryan Singh

My name is Ryan. I’m a mixed-race, queer settler on this land, born in Edmonton by parents linked to the West Indies, India, Africa, and the Netherlands.

A Toronto-based performer, educator, and activist, Ryan is thrilled to be a part of this cast sharing the moving and beautiful words of some amazing queer & trans parents and youth. Ryan has fought for LGBTQ2 rights for over 15 years, as well as educating youth across Canada on diversity, inclusion, and creating social change. In a past life he co-founded Fly By Night Theatre Company and directed, produced, & performed with them several times. Currently, he is president of the board of Common Boots Theatre. Thanks Jenny & Pam for asking and your guidance, Tara for your gigantic heart, an amazing team surrounding us, my husband two times over, this beautiful cast, and most importantly, the participants whose stories build this world. You inspire me to work harder for our rights and speak our truths more clearly than I ever have.

Sandakie Ekanayake

I’m Sandakie, my ancestors are Sinhalese and my parents emigrated from Sri Lanka to the land we acknowledged here today, and I was born and raised here.

I had the pleasure of working with Tara and benjamin during the fall of 2018 in their undergraduate course on Equity and Activism in Education, and it was through this that I was first introduced to the project and the research. I have joined the team for the production as an actor and I am truly grateful to be a part of such a collaborative team. I am a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with a BA, majoring in Equity Studies. I aspire to work as an educator and continue to be an outspoken ally to the queer community, prioritizing marginalized and intersectional perspectives and experiences.

Tara Goldstein

My name is Tara. I was born in Montreal, Quebec. My great-grandparents on my father’s side and my grandfather on my mother’s side emigrated to Montreal from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s to escape the pogroms of antisemitism. I have lived in Toronto since 1985 when I moved here to pursue a doctorate in education at the University of Toronto, where I began to learn about the violent colonial history of my Canadian home.

Tara Goldstein is a professor, ethnographer and playwright in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto where she teaches an undergraduate course called Equity, Activism and Education for the Equity Studies program at New College and a graduate course called Gender, Sexuality and Schooling. Tara is also the Founding and Artistic Director of Gailey Road Productions, a theatre company that produces research-informed theatre on social and political issues that affect us all (www.gaileyroad.com). Tara co-wrote the Toronto Pride script of Out at School with artist researchers Pam Baer and Jenny Salisbury. Tara’s next production will be Castor and Sylvie which is about French feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir and her companion Sylvie Le Bon. Castor and Sylvie was workshopped at the Toronto SummerWorks Festival in 2015, revised and performed the L Fest in Llandudno, Wales in 2018, and will be performed again in Toronto in March 2020 in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Tsholo Visions Khalema

My name is Tsholo Khalema. An Indigenous black South Africa born amidst the apartheid era. I learned from a young age the importance of the land. The land is ours to love and take care of; when we take care of the land, the land takes care of us.

Tsholo Khalema is a proud AmaHlubi warrior a storyteller braving the elements. Guided by elders and ancestors as He continues to embark on a journey of creating stories that enhance the Black and Transgender voice showing the many diverse intersections of Blackness. An Indigenous Black South African man of trans experience the Sun, Tsholovisions, is inspired by his culture, his life story and his people. He is a visionary, actor, directors, and visual artist who wears many hats well.

Ty Walkland

My name is Ty. I’ve lived my entire life in the Greater Toronto Area. My mother emigrated here from Manchester with her parents in the 1960’s. My father was born to British parents in Montreal, and moved to Toronto to pursue a music career. This place has always felt like home.

Ty Walkland is a writer, teacher, and teacher educator who works with youth and teachers to confront power, privilege, and the possibilities of a more just and equitable future. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, where his research explores critical and holistic approaches to drug education. Before grad school, Ty spent several years teaching secondary English, Social Science, and Special Education for the Simcoe County District School Board. He still teaches high school occasionally, and continues to develop curriculum and lead workshops across the province that support education workers to meet the needs of diverse youth and families.

gaileyroad@gmail.com

Image credit: benjamin lee hicks (2019)

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