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Dialing In: 30 Years of 2SLGBTQ+ Activism

Posted on June 21, 2024

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Join team members and supporters, past and present, in an intergenerational celebration of YouthLine’s 30 years, and a reflection on the history of queer activism in Toronto. There will be a Q&A after the panel discussion as well as time for mingling.


Moderator: Markus Harwood-Jones 

Panelists: Nik Redman, Deb Cowen, Bridget Liang, Caleb Wesley 

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2024 

Time: 6:30pm doors, 7pm event start 

Venue: Soulpepper Theatre (50 Tank House Lane, Distillery District, Toronto)


Register here.


Cost: Tickets are by donation. We recognize that many 2SLGBTQ+ people of all ages are working-class and low-income, and encourage you to give according to your means, or to take the free option if you need it. You can also select a combo of tickets. 

VIRTUAL OPTION: In the Get Tickets pop-up window, select the Virtual Attendee (Zoom ticket) option. These are free. 


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Thank you to Desjardins Financial Group for their generous support of our 30th Anniversary events.


Thank you to Snaptique, for the backdrop where you can make memories to cherish at our event! Snaptique, the go-to company for photo booth rental in Toronto.



Learn more about our panelists!



Bridget Liang

Bridget Liang is a mixed race, queer, transfeminine, neurodiverse, disabled, fat fangirl. They’re a PhD candidate in the Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies Program at York University, a community researcher, workshop and group facilitator, performance artist, and fiction writer. They were a shift supervisor and active member of YouthLine through much of the 2010’s. Much of their work revolves around autistic trans folks’ experiences of family and using storytelling  in research. 




Deb Cowen

Deb Cowen (she/they) was one of the founding members of the Youthline. This experience of building community infrastructure 30 years ago was foundational to everything they’ve done since. Today, Deb writes and teaches about space, struggle and infrastructure, and contributes to the assembly of queer and anticolonial forms. Deb is grateful to have the opportunity to work with award-winning artists and filmmakers, Indigenous knowledge keepers, community organizers and organizations, labour movements, as well as extraordinary interdisciplinary and emerging scholars. Deb serves on the Steering Committee of Groundswell Community Justice Trust, Faculty for Palestine and the Jewish Faculty Network, and co-edits the Duke University Press book series Errantries with Katherine McKittrick and Simone Browne. Deb is also the author of several books and a Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. 



Nik Redman

Nik Redman is a dad to a wonderful almost 13-year-old. As an artist and activist, he has found and embraced many communities in Toronto. He is proud of his Bajan roots and is a black queer trans man. Nik was one of the creators of “Primed: A Back Pocket Guide for Trans Guys and the Guys Who Dig ‘Em”. Nik has been co-investigator for the Trans MSM project and is part of the Steering Committee for the Trans PULSE Canada Project, a community based research (CBR) project within Canada’s Trans Community. Nik was one of the online facilitators for the province-wide HIV/AIDS-themed Stigma campaign. He currently works as a Grievance Officer with Local 1998 United Steelworkers Union who represent staff at the University of Toronto. In addition, Nik is a programmer for the Inside Out LGBTQ Film and Video Festival. As a member of Blackness Yes! he has been instrumental in programming Blockorama, the longest-running stage at Pride Toronto. He has been a board member of BlackCAP and the LGBT YouthLine. Nik was the 2015 Recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award. He was a founding member of the Transparent-cy Working Group at The 519 Community Centre that helped to initiate the Trans-Fathers 2B course- the first course for trans men considering parenting in North America. He is also an award-winning DJ and writer. 



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Caleb Wesley

Caleb Wesley (he/they) is a member of Moose Cree First Nation. Caleb‘s relationship with LGBT YouthLine started back in September 2018 when he joined the lines as a peer support volunteer. For the next three years, Caleb volunteered on the lines both in-person pre-covid and remotely post-covid. Caleb eventually joined the LGBT YouthLine as staff in September of 2021 as a shift supervisor and the Coordinator of Online Learning. Throughout Caleb‘s time at YouthLine, they were active in all aspects of volunteer training and has supported dozens of past and current helpline volunteers. Their work at YouthLine has been so informative to how Caleb approaches community work and how he continues to support those around him. Today, Caleb works at Toronto Metropolitan University as the Coordinator of Indigenous Knowledge and Science Outreach.



Markus Harwood-Jones (Moderator)

Markus Harwood-Jones (he/they) is a proudly queer and trans space-case who spent over a decade working with Youthline as a volunteer, shift supervisor, and (brief) board member. He lives in downtown Toronto with his husband, their platonic co-parent, and their extra-cute kiddo. Markus is an author, academic, and an aspiring TikTokker. He can be found on social media under the handle @MarkusBones.