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Trans Interweaving Project

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About the project

Trans people have always been part of 2SLGBTQ communities and gay men’s sexual spaces and cultures, but are often invisible in sexual health conversations and HIV work.  This affects trans people’s health and wellbeing.  The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH) and many other HIV-focused organizations are now looking towards intentional trans inclusion and integration in their work.  

To foster this, GMSH has launched a trans-led project to discover what change should look like and how to get there. Collaboration is key: everyone involved in the sector has a role to play and something that they can do to support trans integration. 

Perspectives from diverse trans and non-binary communities, as well as staff and management in the HIV sector, will shape an actionable plan and a public report. Together we can finally find multi-layered solutions to take on multi-layered problems.  


Who we want to hear from

We want to hear from about 50 trans people from across Ontario in this project. We want to hear from people of all gender identities and transition or non-transition statuses, and of all HIV statuses, who are connected with gay, bi and queer men’s communities and /or sexual cultures, and have something to share that could improve access to sexual health information and HIV prevention and supports. We’re looking to hear from people in 1:1 interviews and group conversations.


We are especially interested in hearing from people who often have a lot to say and who often aren’t directly invited to speak:  Indigenous and / or racialized trans people, trans people living in smaller cities, towns, and rural and remote communities, who are older (50+) or younger (ages 16+), who are living with disabilities, HIV, or other chronic health conditions.  We are also interested in hearing from people who are new to Canada, whether documented or undocumented, or are here temporarily (including international students).  And, we’d also like to hear from people who may be marginalized for other reasons, like due to being poor, for doing sex work, or for using drugs



We are able to provide compensation for participants time.  Interviews will take about 1 hour, and we will provide a $25 honourarium.  Group conversations will take about 2 hours, and we’ll provide a $50 honourarium.


Are you interested?

As we have a limited number of spots available, we’re creating a pool of people to draw from, so that we can have as diverse a group of people participate as possible. We aren’t signing people up on a first come, first served basis, but it’s good to get in touch now, so that you don’t miss out on the chance to contribute your thoughts. 


Reach out to our project coordinator, Yasmeen Persad, at trans.project@gmsh.ca if you’d like to get involved! 


Do you want to get a copy of the final report? 

Sign up by emailing office@gmsh.ca and you’ll receive a notice about the final report when it is released in early 2021. 


Do you want to know more about the project team?


The project team is all trans people. For a small group of people, the team has a pretty broad mix of experiences. These include racialization, immigration, perspectives from outside of Toronto, francophone and anglophone perspectives.  Most members of the project team have years of involvement in the HIV sector, and most have a decade (some have two decades) of involvement in trans communities and trans health.


Devon MacFarlane (he/him; they/them) is leading the Trans Interweaving Project. Devon is a consultant on LGBT2SQ health and organizational and systems change.  Devon previously worked as the Director for Rainbow Health Ontario. Devon also founded Prism Alcohol and Drug Services, an LGBT2SQ-focused initiative of Vancouver Coastal Health; and, as a volunteer, served as the President of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health.


Yasmeen Persad (she/her) is the project coordinator on the Trans Interweaving Project.  She also works at The 519 Church Street Community Centre, both as the Coordinator of the Trans People of Colour project, and as an Education and Training Facilitator.  She has also worked as a research coordinator on a number of studies regarding trans women’s health, including projects on trans women and HIV.


Robbie Ahmed (he/him) is a project consultant on the Trans Interweaving Project.  He is a multi-disciplinary artist & activist. He is the Project Manager of PRIM3D, a sexual health resource for queer trans men & non binary people. He previously worked at Alliance for South Asian AIDS prevention, and was the spokesperson for Toronto4All campaign for racialized trans youth. He currently sits on the board of Across Boundaries.


Joël Xavier (he/him, il/lui) is a project consultant on the Trans Interweaving Project. Joël is a long-time queer and trans sexual health nerd who lives on the unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Omamiwinini and Kiji Sibi Anishinaabe (Algonquin) peoples, also known as Outaouais (Ottawa-Gatineau area). He is currently taking a break from front-line work in the HIV and mental health sectors to write his MSW thesis, which focuses on ethical sexual negotiation between francophone guys into guys (cis and trans).


Do you have more questions?

We’ve prepared a frequently asked question sheet.  Email us if you have any additional questions.  You can reach our project coordinator, Yasmeen Persad, at trans.project@gmsh.ca




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