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The purpose of this workshop is to go a little deeper into community
organizing, and to cover in more depth some things to think about to make
your programming more accessible and inclusive. We come from many
different experiences, and will do our best to cover as much as we can in this
resource. Our approach is to keep our whole community in mind, knowing we
are limited by time and resources. Our organization focuses on Two-Spirit,
queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, people of colour and non-binary people and
our resource also reflects this focus. We want to acknowledge that our voices and experiences don’t make up all the experiences of people in the trans
community. In particular we can’t speak for trans women, Black trans people,
and binary trans community members. We do our best to share how we
organize in community!

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Published by YouthLine, 2020-06-03 12:08:56

Organizing 201: Going Deeper

The purpose of this workshop is to go a little deeper into community
organizing, and to cover in more depth some things to think about to make
your programming more accessible and inclusive. We come from many
different experiences, and will do our best to cover as much as we can in this
resource. Our approach is to keep our whole community in mind, knowing we
are limited by time and resources. Our organization focuses on Two-Spirit,
queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, people of colour and non-binary people and
our resource also reflects this focus. We want to acknowledge that our voices and experiences don’t make up all the experiences of people in the trans
community. In particular we can’t speak for trans women, Black trans people,
and binary trans community members. We do our best to share how we
organize in community!

Keywords: ontario,toronto,bipoc,queeryouth,youth,lgbtqyouth,lgbtq,queer,community,organizing,pride,youthline

Organizing 201:

Going Deeper

This resource was developed by Priya “Pree” Rehal, Sierra S, and Lilah Hillman
in partnership with LGBT YouthLine. LGBT YouthLine provides peer support and

youth leadership opportunities to 2SLGBTQ+ youth across Ontario.

The purpose of this workshop is to go a little deeper into community
organizing, and to cover in more depth some things to think about to make
your programming more accessible and inclusive. We come from many
different experiences, and will do our best to cover as much as we can in this
resource. Our approach is to keep our whole community in mind, knowing we
are limited by time and resources. Our organization focuses on Two-Spirit,
queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, people of colour and non-binary people and
our resource also reflects this focus. We want to acknowledge that our voices
and experiences don’t make up all the experiences of people in the trans
community. In particular we can’t speak for trans women, Black trans people,
and binary trans community members. We do our best to share how we
organize in community!

Who we are

This resource has been written by Priya “Pree” Rehal,
Sierra S, and Lilah Hillman as an introduction to community
organizing by/for our community members. We are two
organizers from the Non-Binary Colour Collective (EnbyCC),
and a community member who has supported EnbyCC
events. EnbyCC is an online arts community - we share
resources, calls-for-artists, and upcoming events on our
social media and also host events in Toronto. The 2SQTBIPOC
Arts and Zine Fair (2019) is our main creation.

Collectives: A collective is a group of people who come together to do work they believe
in together. Usually, structures include hierarchies like a president and secretary, where
collectives usually work toward a more equal membership format. A way this can look is all
collective members participate in decision-making.

1/

Solidarity Both YouthLine and the Non-
Binary Colour Collective
To us, solidarity is the practice operate in Toronto which is
of settlers (people who are not on the traditional territory
Indigenous) supporting Indigenous of many nations including
people by listening to, amplifying the Mississaugas of the
Indigenous perspectives, and Credit, the Anishnabeg,
sharing knowledge on Indigenous the Chippewa, the
excellence, Indigenous joy, Indigenous Haudenosaunee and the
arts and also injustice towards Wendat peoples and is now
Indigenous people. Be mindful of home to many diverse First
the work you’re asking Indigenous Nations, Inuit and Métis
community members to do. While the peoples. The city, Tkaronto,
land acknowledgement should be is also covered by Treaty 13
connected to the main event, don’t signed with the Mississaugas
conflate/manipulate Indigeneity to fit of the Credit, and the
your event/content. Williams Treaties signed with
multiple Mississaugas and
We’re introducing this resource by Chippewa bands.
sharing a land acknowledgement,
and some options for solidarity with
Indigenous communities. A land
acknowledgement is an important
way to open an event, meeting, or
group. You can talk about the treaties,
history and ongoing colonization
that apply to the land you use and
live on. An Indigenous facilitator
should never be expected to do the
land acknowledgment if there are
facilitators of other backgrounds. It
can be an opportunity to give thanks
and recognition to Indigenous people
who have been caretakers of the land
you use and also talk about the issues
that are especially affecting 2S people,
Indigenous women, and 2SLGBTQ+
Indigenous people.

2/

Beyond engaging with the
land with a land acknowledgement

At Rania El Mugammar’s “Anti-Oppression for Cultural Organizers” workshop, I first learned
about their 4 part land acknowledgment that emerged from a thorough, care-informed
community consultation with their Indigenous community members. This information is
not available online and is being shared from memory by Pree, and therefore may not be
100% accurate. Please cite Rania El Mugammar when you choose to use/reference this
in your own work, and at future events.

1) Research and recite the land acknowledgement
Learn how to pronounce names of Indigenous groups
to whom the land belongs
Don’t treat the land acknowledgement like
housekeeping
Integrate it into the event

2) Establish that colonialism is ongoing and hasn’t ended

If accessible, read/understand the treaty of the land
you’re on

Self-identify your position/relationship with the land

3) Reflect on your position on the land, your relationship
to it, and take responsibility to share issues that have
historically affected and continue to affect Indigenous
people today

Reflecting on your location on Indigenous land, and

what is going on with issues affecting Indigenous
people currently, in the news, or something happening

that isn’t being covered in the news
Be sensitive when bringing this up as this type of
conversation can be upsetting/triggering, especially to
Indigenous community members

3/

4) Discuss options for solidarity

What resources can you share to support Indigenous
folks?

Consider financial donations and buying from

Indigenous makers and businesses
Help Indigenous folks beat the algorithm: comment
with more than 5 words, share posts, save posts, like
their posts!

In addition to Rania’s work above, here are some other things to consider:

It is important to remember that Indigenous culture and teachings are sacred and only
to be taught and practiced by Indigenous people. Education on Indigeneity is often
explored through roleplaying, but this education style is appropriative and disrespectful.
The following terms are often used casually in everyday conversations, and are harmful
to Indigenous folks. Don’t use the following if you’re not Indigenous:

aboriginal savage

this term is no longer considered a slur historically and presently used
politically correct because of its Latin against Indigenous folks as well as
roots meaning “not original”. other racialized groups.

pow-wow tribe

only appropriate when referring to a the correct term is Nation. Tribe is not to
traditional gathering of Indigenous be used to describe a group of friends/
nations. It is not to be used to mean a colleagues/etc.
casual get together or meeting.

spirit animal indian

this appropriates/mocks Indigenous This is no longer an acceptable way of
concepts of spirituality as related to referring to Indigenous people, although
animals. many choose to self-identify as indian/
NDN. This term is widely considered an
anti-indigenous slur.

This is not an exhaustive resource on decolonizing organizing. Check out the resource
FNMII: What’s That? for further education, history, and tips to decolonize your approach
to organizing!

4/

Access and Safety

When you’re meeting with a group, throwing an event, or hosting a drop-in, making sure
people are able to get to your space and use your space is important. Giving people
multiple ways to interact with each other, to use the space, and to participate are
important ways to improve access to a space. These checklists can help you to think
through specifics of the bigger questions: “Who is invited? Who is here? How are they
supported and welcomed?”

Physical Space Access

✅ Check out www.youthline.ca for checklists on

physical space accessibility, and the resource

✅ Accessibility and Organizing..
Consider the importance of fragrance free spaces,
and the impact of fragrance on folks with MCS or

✅ pals who are immunocompromised.
Consider accessibility beyond ramps and ASL
➡interpretation.
Is every part of this event accessible by someone
➡with a mobility device?
For example, could a disabled community
➡ member volunteer with us?
Could a disabled community member perform
on stage?

✅ In-person spaces might be more accessible for some folks, while onlines spaces can

be a better option for others.

✅ Bathrooms: availability of all gender washrooms, single stall washrooms.
✅ Fat seating: Seating options that are accessible for fat folks (ranging from small fat,

large fat to infinifat)! Are there spaces and seats to accommodate fat community
members?

Drop-ins: A time set aside in a place that allows you to stop by when you can and take what
you need. Often drop-ins have food, harm reduction supplies, or peer support.
MCS: Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also known as idiopathic environmental intolerances
(IEI), is an unrecognized diagnosis characterized by chronic symptoms attributed to exposure
to low levels of commonly used chemicals.
Immuno-compromised: someone with a weakened immune systems as a result of HIV/AIDS,
cancer, or transplant patients, for example.
Accessibility: There are different kinds of accessibility, ranging from financial, racial to cultural.
Accessibility should always question if differently disabled folks have complete access.

5/

Questions to Ask Yourself when creating
Safer Spaces for Multiply Marginalized Folks

✅ Are the staff at your event knowledgeable on trans issues? Are
✅ there BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Colour) staff?

Ask yourself if this space or place is accessible for the most
marginalized members of your community? What can be done

✅ to make it easier for them to attend and fully enjoy the event?
Transmisogyny and transmisogynoir show up in many ways in
our communities.
➡ Research the history of the venue or virtual space you’re planning to host in - how
➡ has the space included or excluded members of trans communities in the past?
Would Black, Indigenous and Trans Women of Colour (BITWOC) be comfortable?
Many spaces - even queer spaces - have a history of violence and exclusion of

✅ Black and Indigenous trans women and trans feminine folks.
Organize in spaces that don’t ID you or ask for your name and private spaces when

✅ necessary!
Don’t create barriers for closeted folks by making assumptions about who is trans
➡based on ableism, racism, lookism, etc.
For example, there is no non-binary “look”. Support non-binary people by believing
➡ and accepting them when they say they’re non-binary.
Folks early in their binary transition may not ‘pass’. Also, binary trans folks may not
➡ want to ‘pass’.
Let people tell you who they are, respect when someone does not want to share

✅ their identity right away.
Consider financial accessibility: Can you make the event free, pay-what-you-can, or
low cost?

✅ Be mindful of how you’re feeling; know when you need to step away or step in.
✅ Do you have a system in place for folks to opt out of being photographed? (i.e. a red

dot on a name tag)

Safer Spaces: A space where everyone works towards including each other, where there is
equitable access, recognizing that conflict or trauma is always bound to arise. Group guidelines
and boundaries are important elements in working towards a safer space.
Multiply Marginalized: People who are experiencing oppression in multiple intersecting ways. This
is often related to being oppressed for their identity (for instance, being an Indigenous person who
is also trans).
Transmisogyny: The word refers to the transphobia and layered misogyny that trans women and
trans feminine people experience.
Transmisogynoir: This word refers to the experience of transphobia, misogyny, and anti-blackness
that black trans women and trans feminine people experience.
Pass / Passing: When a trans person is deemed to “pass” as the gender they identify with.
The perception of a person’s “passability” can really change in different groups, social circles,
workplaces, or even person to person.

6/

On Pronouns and Names

✅ Standardize pronoun check-ins as a part of

introductions, meetings and interactions (if you’re
new to pronouns, asking “what are your pronouns”

✅ after asking someone’s name works well!)
Ask if everyone knows what a pronoun is/clarifying
if someone doesn’t, and explain why pronouns are

✅ important.
Have name tags available for folks to write down

✅ their pronouns.
Pronouns can and do change, check-in as
frequently as needed.

✅ Pronouns are not ‘preferred’, they are just plain pronouns!
✅ Hold space for folks who don’t use any pronouns, make “no pronouns” a response
✅ for a multiple choice question around pronouns, for example.

Make education about pronouns and using correct pronouns a part of your code of

✅ conduct or community agreements.
Don’t tokenize or single out gender diverse folks in mixed company of gender
diverse and cis folks. For instance, don’t use real people as an example or teaching

✅ opportunity.
Make it clear on all paperwork and forms that the person’s chosen name is

✅ acceptable.
If a mistake is made, say ‘thank you for correcting me’ instead of ‘sorry’ and making
it about your apology/self.

Organizing with a group/collective

If the group/event Are you co-organizing with trans people or are the
majority of organizers cis? We still see oppressive

space you’re dynamics in community- are many perspectives in

organizing is for the trans community represented in your organizing
trans people group, or do you all have similar financial, racial, and
religious backgrounds? Often, we segregate ourselves

in community with people who look, think, and act like

us. What can you do to try to be aware and inclusive of perspectives?

7/

Making a Collective agreements can be a really important tool
collective to help everyone to be able to access the space.
agreement or This could look like allowing all people in the room to
group guidelines contribute to rules or guidelines on base expectations
of how the group operates and how people treat each
other. Some things you can think about are:

Respecting 2S and trans people. Some possible guidelines could be: “always ask

pronouns” and “speak from your perspective, not for others”, use ‘I’ statements, “correct

yourself quickly when you get someone’s pronoun wrong”.

Have the agreement/guidelines easily available, either in person, online, or both.
Refer back to the group agreement when someone is breaking it.
Be flexible and make new agreements as the group grows and changes!

Sometimes folks can just jump into organizing. Giving

Conversations options of different levels of commitment for anyone
about consent participating is really important. Consider chatting
and boundaries about time boundaries (how much time do you
set aside to meet together), space boundaries (if

someone is sharing their home for meetings), personal

boundaries, and also commitments folks are willing

to make. Recognize the limitations of what you can do with your resources, reach, and

capacity together, but dream big! Often people will be at different levels of commitment,

and that’s okay! Remember, conflict can naturally arise when not communicating and

communicating about boundaries!

On posters, forms, and any written documents

Make your for groups, events, or drop-ins when it comes
zero-tolerance to homophobia, transphobia, oppression of any
kind. Actively disrupt homophobic, transphobic,
policy clear transmisogynist jokes or things people say in the space

you’re creating. sendtherightmessage.ca has some

good ideas of how to do that, but you can also go back

to the group guidelines or collective agreement and point out that they agreed to follow

the agreement.

Establish a way to You can do a “thought box”, a google or microsoft
receive feedback form, or get creative! This can allow group members
or participants to feel comfortable giving their truthful
anonymously feedback without being watched or judged.

8/

Glossary

Access: Access is about who can and cannot fully experience a space, place or event.

Accessibility: There are different kinds of accessibility, ranging from financial, racial to cultural.
Accessibility should always question if differently disabled folks have complete access.

Collectives: A collective is a group of people who come together to do work they believe in
together. Usually, structures include hierarchies like a president and secretary, where collectives
usually work toward a more equal membership format. A way this can look is all collective
members participate in decision-making.

Community Organizations: Community organizations are organizations that provide support,
work or services for your community. This could be your community of interest, of geography (your
neighbourhood), or of identity (like 2SLGBTQ+ organizations).

Drop-ins: A time set aside in a place that allows you to stop by when you can and take what you
need. Often drop-ins have food, harm reduction supplies, or peer support.

Immuno-compromised: someone with a weakened immune systems as a result of HIV/AIDS,
cancer, or transplant patients for example.

MCS: Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also known as idiopathic environmental intolerances
(IEI), is an unrecognized diagnosis characterized by chronic symptoms attributed to exposure to
low levels of commonly used chemicals.

Multiply Marginalized: People who are experiencing oppression in multiple intersecting ways.
This is often related to being oppressed for their identity (for instance, being an Indigenous person
who is also trans).

Pass / Passing: When a trans person is deemed to “pass” as the gender they identify with.
The perception of a person’s “passability” can really change in different groups, social circles,
workplaces, or even person to person.

Safer Spaces: A space where everyone works towards including each other, where there is
equitable access, recognizing that conflict or trauma is always bound to arise. Group guidelines
and boundaries are important elements in working towards a safer space.

Transmisogyny: The word refers to the transphobia and layered misogyny that trans women and
trans feminine people experience.

Transmisogynoir: This word refers to the experience of transphobia, misogyny, and anti-
blackness that black trans women and trans feminine people experience.

9/

Resources Resource on Land
Acknowledgment
Ally Factsheets and Trans 101
Resources https://native-land.ca/territory-
acknowledgement/
https://www.the519.org/education-
training/training-resources/our- Transformative Justice Articles
- Kai Cheng Thom’s, other TJ
resources/creating-authentic-spaces/ sources
being-an-effective-trans-ally
https://medium.com/@mahdialynn/
https://www.ryerson.ca/ryerson-works/ supporting-trans-resistance-nothing-
articles/workplace-culture/2017/trans- about-us-without-us-d51bc5b6ea54

inclusion-tips/ https://dev.to/sublimemarch/an-org
anizers-guide-to-pronoun-buttons-afb
https://issuu.com/fxu-marketing/docs/
trans_101 Trans Youth Barriers Factsheets

http://brownstargirl.org/fragrance-free- https://www.the519.org/education-
femme-of-colour-genius/ training/training-resources/our-

https://trans101.org.au/pdf/Trans101-PDF- resources/lgbtq2s-youth-homelessness-
Web.pdf in-canada

https://trans101.org.au/video2.html QTPOC Resource Guide

Interview with Joshua https://lgbtq.arizona.edu/sites/lgbtq.
Whitehead on Two-Spirit and arizona.edu/files/Resource_Guide-

Indigiqueer identities QTPOC.pdf

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/unreserved/ Other QTPOC Resources
from-dystopian-futures-to-secret-
pasts-check-out-these-indigenous- http://transcaresite.org/?page_id=2054

storytellers-over-the-holidays-1.4443312/ Sketch IncluZine
poet-joshua-whitehead-redefines-
two-spirit-identity-in-full-metal- The Revolution Starts at Home - book/
indigiqueer-1.4447321 long form zine

10 / https://thequeerproject.files.wordpress.
com/2016/01/revolution-starts-at-home.

pdf

The YouthOrganize Resource Series was created in 2020 to support 2SLGBTQ+
youth organizing in their communities. The series includes the following
resources:

• Organizing 101: A Step by Step Tool
• Organizing 201: Going Deeper
• Accessibility and Organizing
• Active Listening for Organizers
• FNMI: What’s That?
• 2SLGBTQ+ Organizing in Ontario Schools

LGBT YouthLine is a Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit* youth-led organization that
affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario.
We do this by:

• Providing anonymous peer support and referrals;
• Training youth to provide support to other youth; and
• Providing resources so youth can make informed decisions.

For more information about LGBT YouthLine, our programs, and to access
these resources, visit https://www.youthline.ca/

Funded by

*Language: 2SLGBTQ/Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit
We use 2SLGBTQ+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer) and
Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit interchangeably as umbrella terms to
identify the youth that we serve. We acknowledge that these
terms cannot/do not encompass the rich diversity of identities
that may fall under these umbrellas, including two-spirit, lesbian
gay, bisexual trans, genderqueer, intersex, queer, questioning,
asexual, aromantic, non-binary or any other non-normative
identities related to sexuality and gender.

11 / Graphic design by Laura Hui


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