Scadding Court Community Centre
  • Phone :


  • Address :

    707 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 2W6

  • Email :



Our Stories: Nate

Our Stories: Kylie


The LGBTQ+ Community has had a long history of resiliency and survival in society. Whether there has been a familiarity in your lives or not, they have always been present and thriving. ‘Queer’, a term that was once used derogatorily, has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ Community as an empowering identifier for folks that identify under the LGBQ+ umbrella. When we are knowledgeable of the varying identities that exist within queer and trans communities, we are able to provide an inclusive and safe environment for folks that do not identify as heterosexual and cisgender. We aim to not only provide insight on the following experiences and concepts, but also celebrate the diverse roles folks belonging to this community bring into our environment.


Systematic Oppression can exist inside varying forms of “isms” or “phobias” the following terms are the multiple ways the queer and trans community experience violence and oppression systematically, interpersonally, ideologically, and internally:

  • Cissexism: The idea that people are the gender they were assigned at birth. Most often, this entails that in accordance to our sex/genitalia we are either male or female, woman or man. Cissexism suggests that transgender people are not being true to their ‘real’ gender. For example: When cissexism is a part of our belief system, a person’s pronouns are decided for them before they identify for themselves.
  • Heterosexism: Heterosexism is the belief and attitudes that everyone is heterosexual. It is the idea that queer people do not actually exist and that sexuality can only be examined and understood as a cisgender* woman and cisgender man experiencing emotional and physical attraction only to each other.
  • Transphobia: The belief system followed by actions and structures that perpetuate the hate, denial, and violence toward trans communities. Transphobia suggests that there are only two genders, that we are either man or woman, and should live our lives according to the gender we were assigned at birth. For example: Transphobia can vary anywhere from a lack of healthcare for trans, nonbinary, and gender non- conforming identities to the violence and death that occurs at insurmountable rates in our communities. Most often these occurrences are not reported in mainstream media.
  • Homophobia: The idea that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and pansexual people are inferior to heterosexuals. Homophobia perpetuates violence in the form of attitudes and beliefs that LGB people are ‘dirty’ or ‘bad’ and therefore deserve to be denied access.

*Cisgender: An individual whose gender aligns with how they are socially and physically perceived.


  • Barriers look like experiencing workplace violence and denial of your trans identity as it is not seen as ‘real’ or ‘authentic’. Most often trans identified folks have high unemployment rates, which further pushes trans folks to live on the margins, participate in survival sex work, and an influx of homelessness.
  • Access looks like being able to go to the bathroom without having to think twice about which one you are safest in. Further, cisgender people do not have to question whether or not they ‘belong’ in a particular bathroom versus another.
  • Access is being called by your name and pronouns without the need to disclose nor correct (if you are viewed as a woman, you will most likely be referred to by she/her pronoun, even if you don’t identify as such). Trans women will often be denied their gender and pronouns if they are not ‘passable’ in conventional means regardless of having gone through a physical transition.


  • When you meet someone for the first time, offer your pronouns as an invitation for others to share theirs. This invitation encourages others to break the stigma around trans identities and the assumptions that we are all cisgender.
  • Advocate for gender neutral bathrooms in your workplace and nearest community centres, malls, restaurants, etc.
  • When you have a hard time respecting someone’s pronouns, apologize immediately, correct yourself, and move on. When we dramatize and lengthen an apology in front of others after misgendering a trans person we could be causing further harm as opposed to recognizing the mistake, swiftly fixing it, and being cognizant of not repeating the same mistake again.
  • If you find yourself misgendering someone repeatedly, ask yourself where your assumptions of gender have come from and why. What do you gain from this?
  • Types of pronouns: they/them/theirs, she/her/hers, xe/xyr/xyrs, he/him/his



Approx. 50-85 minutes


Create a mask that represents the complexities of identity.


Transgender, Queer Identities, Sexuality, Gender, LGBTQ+.

PREPARATION- Load Nate’s Our Stories Video;
- Load Kylie’s Our Stories Video;
- Make copies of the identity iceberg.
5 mins
REVIEW- Check-in with your participants;
- Review your foundations;
- Encourage participants to take notes;
- Emotionally prepare your participants.
5-10 mins
VIEWING- Watch Nate and Kylie’s video as a group;
- Remember your "During Each Lesson" tips.
10-15 mins
DISCUSSION- Did you identify any Systems, Barriers and Access in Nate and Kylie’s stories?
- Though we watched these two videos together, it is important to note that sexual identity is different from gender identity. Gender identity is separate from our sexuality. Gender is who we are, sexuality is who we love/experience attraction to:
• How do you understand sexuality?
• How do you understand gender?
• Are these things visible?
• How do they exist in your life?
• How are they a part of your identity?
10-20 mins
ACTIVITY- Give each participant an identity iceberg worksheet;
- Instruct participants to fill in their iceberg based on the parts of their identity that are:
• Visible: People could assume these things by looking at you;
• Less Visible: People could assume these things by briefly conversing with you;
• Not visible: People wouldn’t know these things about you unless you told them;

- Once everyone’s iceberg is complete, ask the following questions:
• Do you see any problems in assuming certain aspects of people’s identity based on what you see?
• Has there ever been a time where you had to correct someone’s assumption of your identity?
• How does this activity relate to the stories we heard in the videos we watched?
• How does this activity relate to the concept of "coming out"? Have you ever had to come out? Do you think it’s fair that Queer and Trans people have to "come out"?
15-25 mins
DEBRIEF- Refer to "After Each Lesson" for specifics.5-10 mins