Tuesday, February 9, 2010

ShOUT "Unconference"

Queer West Motto – Building a Community
Strengthening the City
ShOUT “Unconference” A Participant-Facilitated Discussion

Out on the Streets: Queer, Young and Homeless in Toronto

Queer West is launching the First new ShOUT Queer Youth Forum event on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @ Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre (Parkdale). You're Invited.

ShOUT is a monthly Open Space technology “Unconference” A Participant-Facilitated Discussion, designed For and By Queer Youth and Young Adults, including their friends and allies in West Central Toronto Ontario.

Mix and Mingle with our panelists and the six members from the Beehive Collective, who worked hard putting tonight’s event together for you. All Generation-Y volunteers. The Queer West Board of Directors will also be present. Philip Cairns, Jaclyn Isen and Michel F. ParĂ©.

There will be Art Show and Works by Ilona Abramovich
The SHOUT evening is Free and Wheelchair Accessible. Vegetarian food, cupcakes and green tea, will be provided.

Wed. Feb 24 event runs from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre
220 Cowan Avenue (Toronto Parkdale)

Unconference topic
Out on the Streets. Young, Queer and Homeless in Toronto
Some LGBT youth find their sexual orientation an additional barrier within already limited services for homeless.

-Short film screening (problem, research being done, solutions? Support?)
– Reframing “home” in queer terms
-Community kinship as queer family
-Where’s the support from Toronto AIDS/HIV Organizations?

Guest Speakers:
Disclaimer: Please note that participation in ShOUT! Queer West Youth and Young Adult Program does not necessarily reflect the sexual orientation or gender identity of its participants in any particular way.


Ilona Abramovich

Ilona Abramovich is a PhD student in the Adult Education and Community Development program at the University of Toronto – OISE.

Her research interests focus on LGBTQ youth homelessness, youth culture, and support services. The main question that drives Ilona’s work and passion is “where is the support?” She strives to find where the support is for LGBTQ youth who are homeless in Toronto and to help share the voices of a population of people who are often silenced and unheard.

Abramovich is interested in arts-informed research and media activism and is always thinking of new ways to spread awareness and hope.

She paints on canvas, wood, and concrete – using acrylics, spray paint, nails, wire, and screens. Ilona is inspired by pink skies, observation, and hope. Her Web Site: http://www.ilona6.com/

Max Baru

Max Baru was born in Moscow on November 4th, and currently resides in Toronto Parkdale .

Baru is a member of Parkdale Street Writers group (A weekly writing workshop for Street Youth). His work focuses on contemporary fiction, and explores unconventional romance, issues of identity, and gender as well as attempts to distort social perceptions. Baru’s work often contains undercurrents that reflect his views on mental health issues, and although often presented through a dark motif emphasizes self-preservation. Baru is currently a volunteer at Dandyhorse (Cycling) Magazine and most recently his poetry has been featured by the Hot-Sauced Words poetry reading series. Baru was an attendee at our Queer Expressions a night of Poetry and Spoken Word at The Press Club on January 24, 2010

“Writing for me has been a band-aid as much as it has been a way to communicate. It’s been dangerous and comforting, a way to slow down, connect, live many places, genders, and hair colors. It lets you revolt in your own unique way and thank the ones dear to you in the most personal way. Working with the Parkdale Street-Writers has been a thrilling experience.” said Max Baru

Brian McCurdy

Brian McCurdy 25 Parkdale, a former street youth will be tonight’s Facilitator . McCurdy is an active member of many communities and projects, including the AGO Youth Council, Culture Shock youth arts project, a group at The North York Griffin Centre for LGBTQ youth with disabilities, Laidlaw Foundation’s Youth Engagement Program, the Bring Back the Don project in Regent Park, Queer West Arts Collective and is an artist who has participated in a number of art and theatre projects and shows. He won a Toronto Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line Creative Activism Award in 2007.

Emily Pohl-Weary

Toronto author Emily Pohl-Weary grew up and still lives in the city’s west end. She’s currently writing a four-issue girl pirate comic (illustrated by Willow Dawson). Her young adult mystery novel, Strange Times at Western High, was published by Annick Press in the fall of 2006. Emily started art/lit hybrid Kiss Machine magazine in 2000. A slim collection of her poetry, Iron-On Constellations, was published in late 2005.

Her first novel, A Girl Like Sugar, was released in 2004.Pohl-Weary currently coordinates a free weekly writing group for west-end Toronto youth called Parkdale Street Writers. She also facilitated writing workshops at Evergreen Youth Shelter and Street Outreach Services in 2007 for Toronto Youth Street Stories /Youth Pathways Project, an arts-based research study conducted through the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction and University of Toronto, which focused on issues of ethnic and sexual diversity, drug use, and mental health faced by youth living in high-risk environments on or close to the street.

She is currently working on a new novel, a film script, and is completing a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia. Visit Her Web Site: http://www.emilypohlweary.com/