The reflective workshops are the UNIE-LGBTQ’s main activities for co-constructing knowledge. The reflections provided by social service providers during these workshops will be synthesized in the form of research briefs with the aim of providing resources for researchers, sharing concise results to different audiences (e.g. interested people, social service providers, teachers, students, decision makers) and proposing solutions.
The goal of the first three reflective workshops, which took place in June 2017, was to bring to the fore knowledge from experience on the inclusion and exclusion of LGBTQ people in the three spheres of social life that are the object of this project; family, work and social networks.
Short review of the three first reflective workshops:
For the purposes of this project, exclusion refers to a process of non-recognition of and the denial of rights and resources to LGBTQ people, whereas inclusion is a matter of recognizing individuals and having both equal access to resources and rights and the full use of them.
The first three reflective workshops were structured around 7 dimensions central to social life likely to be affected by situations of exclusion: 1) symbolic, 2) identity, 3) sociopolitical, 4) institutional, 5) economic, 6) relational (significant social connections) and 7) territorial. This was inspired by a model developed by the team « Vieillissement, exclusions sociales et solidarités » (VIES, FRQSC). The participants of the reflective workshops had to speak on each of these dimensions as they related to the workshop’s theme (family, work or social networks).
1 – The first reflective workshop was on experiential knowledge related to the family sphere. It was held on Thursday, June 1, from 7:00p.m. to 9:30p.m. at UQAM and the 8 participants had been invited by community project members: The LGBT Family Coalition, Gris-Montréal, LGBT+ Baie-des-Chaleurs, la Coalition d’aide à la diversité sexuelle de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique. This meeting was fruitful in a number of ways, it brought to light experiences specific to urban and rural life, and dealt with the characteristics of different forms of parenthood, as well as the experiences of different types of LGBTQ parents. It should be noted that the participants chiefly discussed issues related to LGBTQ parenthood (even though there was some discussion of issues related to family of origin).
2 – The second reflective workshop reflective workshop dealt with situations of inclusion and exclusion experienced in the social sphere in general (social networks). It was held on Friday, June 2, from 6:00p.m. to 8:30p.m. The 16 participants had been invited by the following project member organizations: Jeunesse Idem, The Conseil québécois LGBT, la Fédération des femmes du Québec, Jeunes Adultes Gai-e-s, Aide aux trans du Québec, The LGBT Family Coalition, Gris-Montréal, Gris-Québec, la Coalition d’aide à la diversité sexuelle de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Fondation Émergence, l’R des centres de femmes, Projet changement, la Table nationale de lutte contre l’homophobie et la transphobie des réseaux de l’éducation, The Montreal Coalition of LGBT Youth Groups and Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique. During this workshop, a variety of prejudices and paradoxes encountered within society in general and within LGBTQ communities themselves were discussed, as well as situations of aggression and micro-aggressions. It is important to note that a number of divergent points of view were discussed, particularly between different generations.
3 – Finally, the reflective workshop on experiential knowledge related to the work sphere took place on Friday, June 9, 2017, from 6:00p.m. to 8:30p.m. at UQAM. The 11 participants had been invited by the following project member organizations: Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique, la Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), la Chambre de commerce LGBT du Québec, le Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the LGBT Family Coalition, Pride at Work Canada, la Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), la Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ) and the Ministère de la Justice du Québec. The participants came from a wide variety of work environments (private businesses, public, parapublic and community organizations), both unionized and non-unionized. Once again, this diverse group of participants led to an exchange of very different realities.
The first research briefs will be available in the winter of 2018.