Tensions of 2SLGBTQIA+ Structural Inclusion Within the Gender-Based Violence Sector

Presented by: Marlene Ham, Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah, and Jade Byard Peek.
This Resource Spotlight was presented and recorded on March 8, 2022.

The dominance of structural and dichotomous gender binaries within the gender-based violence (GBV) sector still impacts how 2SLGBTQIA+ or sexual and gender diverse people are included, treated, or recognized within the sector, especially within service delivery. Strategies employed during the second wave feminist movement—that fundamentally shifted women’s rights in Canada for the better—continue to be the barriers of 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion within GBV service delivery today, including shelter systems.

Despite gains in the last decade of the inclusion of sexual and gender diverse people into service delivery and mandates, the historical and contemporary tensions within GBV prevention have remained unsoothed and unresolved. But what are these sticky tensions? How does dichotomous gender binary frame our practice of GBV prevention? And will it require “building a new table” to adequately meet the service delivery requirements in the face of missions that have expanded to be inclusive? In this Resource Spotlight, presenters expanded on some of these questions and shared their thoughts from their joint editorial, "Building the Table: Discussing Tensions of 2SLGBTQIA+ Structural Inclusion Within the Gender-Based Violence Sector."

Resource Spotlight Recording

ATTENTION: Please be aware that this recording contains an assault disclosure from 1:09:00 to 1:10:44.
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Learning Objectives

  •  Highlight contemporary and historical tensions and how they frame our discussion.
  • Discuss recommendations and advocacy on what is needed to support 2SLGBTQ+ people within existing structures within the GBV sector.
  • Explore how we build the table and engage in relationship building cross-sectorally.


Marlene-Ham.pngMarlene Ham

Marlene currently works as the Executive Director at the Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses and is a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.  Marlene has worked in a variety of social justice and social service organizations and has co-authored publications on queer issues.  Making It Better Today (Ham & Byrch, 2012) explored the needs and barriers LGBT youth were experiencing through a community-based research model. Building upon this model an additional publication was co-authored (Yorke, Byrch, Ham, Craggs & Shute, 2016) that examined how social work students and academics worked to legitimize queerness across community, policy development, and social service organizations (Queering Social Work Education, 2016, 227-45).    

Debbie-Owusu-Akyeeah.pngDebbie Owusu-Akyeeah

Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah is an award-winning Black feminist with over 8 years of local and international advocacy experience through feminist initiatives in the Ottawa-Gatineau region and through working at Oxfam Canada and Global Affairs Canada. She became the new Executive Director at the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) in July 2020. The Centre promotes diversity in gender identity, gender expression, and romantic/sexual orientation in all its forms on a national level through services in the areas of education and advocacy.

Jade-Byard-Peek.pngJade Byard Peek

Jade Byard Peek is a young Afro-L’nu trans woman, artist, educator, and community advocate originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She currently is the Director of Operations at Kind Space, a 2SLGBTQIA+ Centre in Ottawa, and an Associate with Wisdom2Action. Since attending NSCAD University for Art History, Jade has presented seminars and addresses at several conferences and universities across Canada discussing intercultural dialogue and praxis, and African Nova Scotian methodologies. Jade’s contributions have spanned from advocating for GBV prevention to trans inclusion in social services to co-developing a tool-kit for combating anti-Black racism for student unions during her time as Deputy Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students. Jade strives to create a gentle, pragmatic, but rigorous point of entry to anti-oppression through workshops, seminars, hubs, or curatorial endeavors such as Trans-Fest, Sanfo-Fest, We are the Griots, and BIPOC BUS.

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