Queer Ontario is a provincial network of gender and sexually diverse individuals — and their allies — who are committed to questioning, challenging, and reforming the laws, institutional practices, and social norms that regulate queer people. Operating under liberationist and sex-positive principles, we fight for accessibility, recognition, and pluralism, using social media and other tactics to engage in political action, public education, and coalition-building.
To foster a society free of social and systemic oppression where gender and sexually diverse people have the freedom and autonomy to live their lives as they see fit; a society that celebrates and protects diversity of expression and choice.
- Liberationism sees equality as a means to an end, but not an end in itself
- Transcends society’s notions of equality, acceptability and respectability by celebrating equity and diversity
- Empowering in nature, queer liberationalism promotes autonomy and freedom to express one’s sexuality and gender identity and challenge norms which privilege heterosexuality and the generally accepted female/male dichotomy
- Liberationist principles align with anti-oppressive perspectives which recognize social locations (age, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, (dis)ability, etc.) and how they intersect with individuals’ sexual orientation and/or gender identity
- Queer liberationist perspectives understand the ways in which individuals, the state and other social structures influence each other
- Recognition that sexuality is a central and important part of healthy personal identity and experience
- Individuals of all ages should have access to age-appropriate, accurate, and comprehensive knowledge about sexuality to make informed decisions about their bodies, behaviours, and relationships
- Celebration of sexual and gender diversities, including but not limited to sexual preferences, identities, orientations, as well as consensual relationships and/or sex acts, such as bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism, and open and/or polyamorous (many-to-many) relationships or sex.
- Based on a broad understanding of gender that goes beyond being either female or male
- Understanding the complexity of sex and gender without restricting its definition to that of biological sex only
- Recognition of the fluidity of gender, and the autonomy of individuals to identify and/or choose to transition to another gender, including the choice not to align with any of the genders
- Safety as a right ensures that freedom of expression of members and guests are valued, and should not be inhibited by a lack of sense of safety or lack of comfort in expression of those opinions.
- Safety as an obligation ensures opinions should be expressed in ways that do not reasonably challenge others’ sense of safety.
- And safety in practice ensures decision making and spaces for expressing opinions are made with respect for a due process that all agree to follow and find equitable.
- To provide a queer liberationist voice in Ontario and beyond
- To critically examine, deconstruct, analyze and provide alternative solutions to issues and laws affecting queer populations
- To provide public education to the general public on issues of importance to queer communities and the queer movement through a queer liberationist lens
- To undertake political actions of various means to advocate for changes that will benefit the lives of queer people
- To engage in coalition building with other groups involved in anti-oppression work towards social justice
- To host a virtual think tank via the Queer Ontario website that promotes a queer liberationist discourse
- To preserve the legacy of Queer Ontario’s predecessor, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario (CLGRO), as an archive on the website
- To create a network of queer liberationists across Ontario as individuals or local chapters
- To engage in advocacy, lobbying and political action efforts to address legal and social justice issues affecting queer Ontarians
- To collaborate with other anti-oppression groups to support mutual social justice goals
Our Use of The Term ‘Queer’
We use the term “queer” both as a way to critique foundational norms pertaining to identities and in a more popular usage as inclusive of a wide range of varying and fluid gender and erotic expression. Queer people, as members of the gender and sexually diverse populations, include but are not limited to 2-spirited, agender, ambigender, androgyne, asexual, bigender, bisexual, cross-dresser, drag queen, drag king, fluid, gay, gender fluid, genderqueer, intergender, intersex, intrasex, kink, lesbian, non-gendered, omnisexual, pangender, pansexual, polysexual, transgender, transsexual, and transvestite, individuals.