Workshops June 18th 11am – 6pm

Saturday Workshops
June 18th @ Steelworkers (25 Cecil Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1N1)

(ASL, Child Care & Cheap Food/Drinks)
TRIGGER Fest is a scent FREE environment. Please do not wear any perfumes, deodorants & essential oils.

Room A 11am – 1pm: Right to Dance: Reclaiming Ballet/Contemporary Dance ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company  

ASL Provided
The environment in which dance is taught is often homophobic, racist, sexist, ableist, ageist, classist, and fat phobic. This lends itself to the establishment of extreme hierarchies where aspiring dance students especially non hetoronormative ones are targets of discrimination and extreme cases bullying. This is echoed in media representation like So You Think You Can Dance, where in Season 2 of the Canadian version a voguer Snoopy was told he was too effeminate and did not look strong enough because he did not dance like a “man”. Though there are many LGBTTIQQ2A teachers, in class there is seldom a framework of anti-oppression teaching method or a set up of safe space models for the community. Thus many people within the spectrum community often do not feel comfortable in class, do not see themselves on stage or as dancers, have stopped dancing pre/during/post coming out, or are afraid to attend class because of not fitting in, or being ridiculed.
Thus there is a need for accessible, safe-spaced, free workshops that offer dance technique, exploration and creation for LGBTIQQ2A community

Right To Dance Workshop 1: Reclaiming Ballet/Contemporary Dance (2hr)
•Brief Intro/Check In: 10 min
•Warm Up, Stretching and Body Conditioning: 30 min
•Ballet/Contemporary Dance Technique Class: 75 min
•Cool Down/Check Out: 5 min

Room A 1 – 2.20pm Bone Speak
Facilitator: Ni’ Ja Whitson

Based in the research and approaches of artists informed by African diasporic performance approaches, this workshop will guide participants through tools to make and present live, text-based work. Participants will receive movement and writing exercises designed to challenge and encourage the exposure of one’s rooted personal narratives. Highly influenced by the pedagogy of the Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic, and post modern art practices, participants will be moved toward an exposed, intelligent, Spirited use of the body in live text-based art.
*Folks may bring works-in-progress to develop.

Room A 2.30 – 4.00pm Stretching Our Words: A meditative writing workshop for queer survivors Facilitator: Alex Cafarelli
This writing, meditation, and low-impact movement workshop is open to all queer survivors, of
all abilities. Participants are invited to embrace our bodies as they are, and to write the stories our
bodies wish to tell.
As queer, genderqueer & trans survivors with a wide array of backgrounds and identities in
a sexuality-/gender-restrictive culture, our self-protective tendency can be to “check out” by
detaching mind from body to such great degrees that it can be dangerous. Physical activity and
writing are two ways to check back in with your embodied self.
The exercises we practice can enhance our ability to reflect mindfully on our experiences, while
interacting with others from a place of self-acceptance, internal power, and confidence, as we
move through the world as the fabulously feisty queer & gender variant warriors that we are.
Alex Cafarelli, a long time writer and performer, has been practicing the Amherst Writers
Association (AWA) method of writing since 2006 with Jen Cross of Writing Ourselves Whole
( in San Francisco, CA. Alex’s teaching also incorporates her 19
years of experience in body mindfulness based martial arts.
***Please arrive on time, wear comfortable clothing, and bring a notebook and pen or a laptop.

Room A 4.00pm – 6pm: ‘Yeah, I’m for peace, but I’ll kill ya if ya fuck with my moms or my niece’. The Politics and Practice of Self-Defense

Facilitator: Jen Danch

ASL Provided
The title of this workshop ‘Yeah, I’m for peace, but I’ll kill ya if ya fuck with my moms or my niece’- which is a line from the song ‘We Want Freedom’ by Dead Prez- gets at some of the complexities of the politics and practice of self-defense. Is self-defense violent? How has self-defense been taken up in (poor/racialized/queer/colonized/displaced) communities? Who gets to protect who? How is that gendered? How do we collectivize self-defense so that it helps us heal and keeps us safer. How does self-defense embody our healing?
My name is Jen Danch. I’m an activist, community organizer, amateur boxer and survivor of violence. I’ve been involved in activism here in Toronto for the past ten years, during which I’ve been a member of groups such as OCAP, the Women Against Poverty Collective and No More Silence. I’ve been boxing for nearly six years, have had twenty amateur fights, and medaled at both the Provincials and Nationals. I’m currently the coordinator of the Shape Your Life boxing project- a free program for women and trans survivors of violence.

Room B 11 – 1pm: No Wampum No Hump ‘em Louis Esme Cruz(Mi’kmaq/Acadian+Irish)
This workshop will engage participants in acts of decolonization through the creation of a collective wampum belt and discussion of body‐ and land‐centred sexual wellness. Louis Cruz will share information about the importance of wampum to oral traditions in marking important events and records, creating contracts and building alliances. Participants will create a collective wampum record, deciding on design, content and its eventual home through engaged discussion with one another. Together, we will activate friendships between separate yet connected matter in our sexual selves to grow communication and resilience between each other, our land bases and unique indigenous cultural worldviews.

No Wampum, No Hump’em is for all Indigenous people who are interested in a collective, creative process based in traditional materials and teachings. For the purposes of building healing relationships between Indigenous communities of Turtle Island, this workshop is open, though not limited to Metis, Inuit, First Nations, Indigenous, Native, Eskimo, Indian, Mestiz@, Latin@, Chican@, mixedblood, RedBlack, Chindian people. Two‐spirit, Queer, and Trans people are absolutely welcome. Those who would identify themselves as settlers, non‐Native, allies, friends and extended family are welcome to send words and actions of support, though the content of this workshop is directed towards Native people.

Room B 1 – 2.30pm: Creative Resistance and Resilience: supporting ourselves and our communities 

Facilitators:Heather Childs & Ali Sauer

ASL Provided

One of the challenges of community accountabilities processes is that they can be so triggering. All of our past traumas and the past traumas of our communities resurface during community accountabilities processes and we are often ill-equipped to care for ourselves and support our own needs at these times let alone the needs of our communities.  In order to effectively and productively engage in community accountability we need to be able to take care of each other and ourselves.

In our workshop we plan to use a blend of art-based techniques, narrative therapy exercises and the insights and strengths of the group to familiarize ourselves with our own existing coping strategies and to challenge ourselves to further develop these strategies and/or implement some new ones.  We want to encourage people to understand their survival from a strength-based, non-pathologizing resistance and resilience framework.

Room B 2.30 – 4.20pm: Deepening Anti-Racist Practice: White Folks & Community Accountability Facilitators: Leah Henderson,Mo Woolnough Marika Heinrichs & Lusty Day

ASL Provided
How can white people deepen their anti-racist commitment, be accountable and navigate the challenges of taking direction from multiple communities? Gain facilitation tools, build emotional support, and work on building accountability in your work. This workshop is open to anyone. We are a group of white-identified people coming together to share our own experiences, mishaps and challenges with anti-racist practice to build more capacity in our communities.

Room B 4.30pm – 6pm: When I get that feeling, I need Feminist healing

Facilitators: Rania El Mugammar, Alyssa Teekah & Matt Smith A fluid conversational experience that utilizes different theoretical backgrounds and theory-informed arts as a part of our journeys to self-knowledge, healing, and world inclusivity.  We will host a fluid conversation with the attendees in order to explore through personal narratives and story telling the different oppressions and tools of survival. Understanding personal and individual instances of discrimination lends itself to an uncovering of the broader structural and systemic traditions of oppression.
Finding a safe and common space to explore, deconstruct and critique social norms is key to the ever evolving feminist community and its allies. Ushering in the idea that feminism is applicable to the lives of the attendees and is a relevant way to draw from a pool of already existing and ever evolving literature and thought.
We will use various quotes and ideas from prominent feminist authors (theory, poetry and fiction) from all walks of life. We will work from feminist and queer positive, anti colonial , and anti racist perspectives, with a focus on empowerment and healing. The bulk of discussion stems from our lives in education and activism and is supplemented by our understanding of feminist theory.

Room C 12 – 1pm (Don’t) Touch my Junk – Like That

Facilitators: Lolix & Lindsay
Some of us may have an idea about how we like to be touched. Some of us may find it relatively easy to communicate this to our intimates. Some may find it more difficult. And this of course can change depending on who you’re with, where you are, and so on. But if we start with the assumption that our desires are complex and shaped in subtle ways (like context, environment, mood, and “energy”), then learning how to navigate and communicate these complexities is something that can support safer, loving and hot experiences.
We discuss issues such as:
•internalized mainstream assumptions about gendered and genital pleasure
•how we can co-create spaces that facilitate communication around how we like to be touched, and also support our lovers in a similar process
•how different contexts enable or limit the possibility for talking about what gets us hot, where and how we like to be touched, and also what doesn’t feel good
•how self-censorship is produced within radical communities, often because we assume that we know how to please, but also because we don’t want to disappoint our lovers

We will introduce the concepts:
•consent as an ongoing practice
•negotiation as foreplay

We’ll also share tools that support co-responsibility in shaping the dynamics of our sexually intimate relationships.

Lolix believes that fantasy plays a significant role in creating our realities and spends quite a bit of time exploring hers’ and others’ erotic fantasies – for love, for play and for pay. Lolix makes 3D queer porn in Toronto and has in the past given workshops on exploring the erotic imaginary, and the intersection between role play and politics.

Lindsay Shane considers herself a physical education and health consultant with a particular curiosity around aspects of the sexual and the erotic.

Room C 1 – 2.30pm Skill Sharing Cirlcle

Facilitators: Tori / Scout, Deb Singh & Alec Bulter
A sharing circle and skill building project for survivors of systemic abuse and those of us currently living with abuse and/or repetatively trapped in abusive relationships or cycles of abuse AND for those of us who experience abuse on a daily basis due ro who we are as Indigenous people, people of colour, disabled folks, undocumented people, trans folks, sex workers, mentally ill folks, psychiatric survivors/consumers and otherwise self-identified marginalized people. The purpose of this workshop is to share our skills and tools for survival and to build and strengthen as individuals in our interpersonal relationships and as a community.

Tori / Scout is a queer psychiatric survivor/consumer and survival sex worker currently on a healing path to learn to live outside of the constraints of abusive structures both within self and society.

Deb Singh is an awesome activist who works at the TRCC/MWAR and who agreed to support me in facilitating this sharing circle / survival skill building project.

Alec Butler aka- White Wolf is a gentle and wise 2 Spirit elder who has also offered to be of support in facilitating this sharing circle/survival skill building project.

This workshop has been postponed until after TRIGGER Fest. Stay tuned for details!

Transformative Justice 101: A workshop for Indigenous peoples, Black peoples, Peoples of Colour and Mixed Race Peoples (only)

Facilitator:  Kyisha Williams

Room C 4.30pm – 6pm Floggers for Free
Facilitator: Leda M.

The prohibitive price of sex toys is enough to drive anyone to the vegetable aisle. Learn to make your own flogger for free with found and recycled materials while participating in a skillshare on practicing good consent. Because consent is sexy– inside the bedroom and out. This is an informal, anti-expert discussion for sharing experiences and trading tricks for navigating situations from one-time hook-ups to longer relationships (monogamous or not), and kink play. We’ll talk about recognizing and dismantling situations which lead to sexual assault, communicating our histories (and STI statuses) to our partners, and any other issues of concern to the group.


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