Who are we?
Jasper & Wes
Our project and objectives:
We are creating a trans and non-binary 101 workshop for Anglophone students in Montréal through the SILK Program. Our goal is to teach high school students about trans identities, while specifically focusing on non-binary identities and self-acceptance. Just like other SILK workshops, we’ll be using personal stories as told by the workshop facilitators to help explain certain concepts. We’ll also be allowing students to ask questions about trans and non-binary identities, so they can fully understand and accept themselves and their peers.
In addition, we will be using other learning tools such as a definition matching game and some role play scenarios. We want English students to be able to fully understand and accept people who identify as queer and be able to create safer spaces in their schools and communities.
Why did we feel that this project was important for Montreal’s queer and trans youth community?:
Jasper: I went to a French high school in Montréal for four months, I ended up dropping out because of the racism and queerphobia I encountered there. I NEVER want anyone to ever have to face discrimination and hate because of who they are. I believe that in order to have a society of consent, acceptance and self-determination, we must prioritize education.
Wes: I feel the need to use my somewhat privileged position to educate others about the trans community on behalf of those who are unable to do so.
What we did with the money:
The funds went toward printing manuals as well as getting pizza so that we could invite people to see us demonstrate the workshop and feed them while getting their feedback.
Our project process:
We worked from the existing SILK workshop model and brainstormed important concepts to include in a basic workshop about trans people. The two of us worked together to expand on our ideas and create games and roleplay scenarios. We met with our JQY liaison Kim regularly to discuss our progress. Once we had a working draft we convened a group of experienced facilitators to give us feedback. We then incorporated their feedback into our final product.
What we learned from doing our project that we’d like to share with you:
We learned how important it is to use clear and accessible language when writing a workshop manual, and how to incorporate our ideas into games and fun activities. We also learned how difficult it can be to define terms like “queer” or even “gender”!
What we’d like other youth to know about our JQY experience:
You’re given a lot of freedom and flexibility to make your project as you see fit. The support of the JQY staff helps you to stay on track while providing valuable feedback.