The Queeriot Collective acknowledges that we are hosting this weekend event on contested Three Fires, Anishnaabek (Mississauga) and Haudenosaunee territories.
We recognize that first and foremost this land we stand on has a history of genocide, slavery and colonization. Today this land is witness to the on-going attack of indigenous people through criminalization and corporate theft of land. But it also continues to be a site of resistance, survival and celebration.
Every day, living under the rules of this state, we benefit from and are part of laws and regulations that seek to destroy indigenous survival. To work towards an end to racism and classist discrimination, ablelism and xenophobia needs to be rooted in building relationships of support and solidarity with indigenous people and their struggles for sovereignty, land, health care, reproductive justice and housing, and against criminalization.
We understand our limitations in terms of creating and making spaces accessible to people with physical and mental dissabilities. We live in a society in where these communities are not prioritized, and are rarely thought about when inventing venues, meeting spaces, and workshops The Queeriot collective has worked really hard to make this convergence physically accessible, but continues to struggle to find spaces that will be fully accessible to folks. Our limitations, being these our lack of community connections or financial funds to have ASL in workshops or trained support people for folks with mental and physical disabilities only speaks of our need to co-ordinate and educate ourselves to foster relationships with other communities of struggle within the mental health and disability community.
The Queeriot collective subscribes to politics of anti-oppression, anti-capitalism, anti-racism, and indigenous self-determination, and as such recognizes the sovereignty that all peoples have upon their bodies. It is because of this that the collective understands sex workers,dancer/strippers, street based workers, hustlers, web cam performers etc. as people with skills to trade, be this inside or outside a monetary system. The Queeriot Collective believes in the importance of recognizing sex work as as trade, which is used right now by many queer women and men, trans folk, migrant people and youth to make money, but that due to the laws of the state, this trade has become dangerous to the workers. This is why we support the efforts by sex working activists in the city of Toronto and beyond to de-criminalize sex work and to recognize this kind of labour as a legitimate trade.
It is the hopes of the collective that when we re-invent a new world, sex will still be a legitimate way to trade a skill for another skill, asset, good or service.
Throughout our outreach and organizing of workshops and events for this convergence we have been honoured to have connected with many folks and communities of struggle, and we hope to foster this relationships in the future. We are especially thankful for all the people who replied to our callouts and workshops and we invite you to be part of the organizing committee for next year’s Queeriot!
Safer Spaces and building more inclusive spaces:
Safer Space policy and building more inclusive spaces.
As organizers of this event, we will try to provide an environment free of harassment, discrimination and oppression. We define oppressive behavior as anything that demeans, belittles, threatens and/or harms an individual or group on the basis of race, sex, class, ability, education, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, age, appearance and immigration status. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we recognize that people can experience oppression for reasons not identified in this list. While we commit to organizing an event from an anti-oppressive lens, we recognize that radical communities are not immune to the same dynamics of power, privilege and oppression that play out in other spaces, though we try to address these dynamics to the best of our ability in our organizing work. In particular, we know that while many people in queer and trans communities have experienced homophobia, biphobia and/or transphobia, they may also experience other forms of oppression, and they too may be the oppressor in some instances. Oppressive behavior will not be tolerated at Queeriot, and those engaging in it will be asked to leave by the Queeriot organizing collective. We have provided some basic principles that Queeriot expects all attendees to commit to while present in the space throughout the weekend:
- While we will make an effort to prioritize events by and for those members of the queer community that face the greatest marginalization within LGBT spaces and society more generally, we recognize that the content of this year’s Queeriot is incredibly limited in the scope of queer experiences, identities and communities, and we hope in the future to have both the capacities and the personal networks to provide a more inclusive program. More details on the limitations of this year’s Queeriot can be found in the statement on inclusion and accessibility. We encourage you to give us feedback on this year’s Queeriot, on what improvements can be made, and to make suggestions for next year’s content. We will ensure this information is passed along to next year’s organizers.
- We encourage everyone to support each other, and we will make our best effort to provide support throughout the weekend for those in need of it. Be respectful of each other’s boundaries and needs, and be open and honest with one another.
- Children may be present in the workshops you attend, at different times throughout the day. Though we will be providing childcare, we recognize the consistent failures of the radical left in prioritizing building child-friendly spaces in convergences and conferences. Queeriot is no different, and unfortunately our limited capacity prevents us from providing children’s programming this year. Children are welcome to attend all the workshops, so please be mindful of little ones.
- If you are called out for your behavior in this space by another person, do not get defensive. We all need to be willing to accept criticism and to learn from one another.
- Please respect the use of gender neutral pronouns and check in with people about how they identify (he/she/they) before making assumptions. Gender neutral single-stall washrooms are located on the main floor, beside the elevators.
- While the workshop and tabling space is fully physically accessible, we recognize there are other issues of accessibility we are not addressing. We are aware that holding Queeriot on a University campus can be incredibly alienating for people who do not frequent those environments, and we hope to find more spaces in the future that are both inexpensive and fully accessible in Toronto outside of the University. Please bring any concerns you have about accessibility to the Queeriot collective.
- Consider how your comments in workshops, especially around experiences of violence, may be triggering for other folks in attendance.
- Ask for someone’s consent before touching them. Be respectful of people’s personal space, even in a collective environment.
- Respect other people’s perspectives and beliefs.
- We highly recommend that people do not discuss anything illegal in this space. We do not know everyone in attendance. Law enforcement may be present. Practice security culture.
Sexual Assault Policy
Queeriot recognizes that we live in a society where sexual violence is a reality for women and trans folks, and that most will experience it more than once in their life. We also recognize that for some, this reality is more present than others, and we acknowledge that women of colour, indigenous women, women with disabilities, gender non-conforming folks, trans folks and poor women are more likely to experience this violence, a product of the racist, sexist, colonialist, ableist, misogynist environment in which we live.
As a collective of women identified community organizers, we also know that sexual assault occurs often in the radical community, and accountability within such a disparate and fractured space is mostly non-existent. Considering that the spaces we frequent are often also spaces where sexual assault and other forms of harm occur, it is extremely important for us to highlight our stance, as a collective, on sexual assault. We also recognize that Queeriot could be a space where someone experiences sexual assault or some other form of violence. Please feel free to talk with any Queeriot volunteer about this and what we can do to support you.
Queeriot is survivor-centric. Perpetrators of violence (sexual, physical, emotional) that have not engaged in an accountability process to the satisfaction of the survivor, or to others in the community, are not welcome at Queeriot and will be asked to leave by the collective. Please inform us during the weekend if anyone in attendance has committed harm and has not been accountable for their behaviour. All Queeriot organizers and volunteers will be wearing coloured armbands throughout the weekend if you need to seek us out immediately to attend to the presence of a perpetrator that an attendee feels uncomfortable sharing space with.
Members of the Queeriot collective can engage in peer support and active listening with anyone who has been triggered by conversation about sexual violence or by comments about any form of harm, or by the presence of a perpetrator. We are not trained crisis counsellors, but we can provide resources to people if we cannot meet the support needs of an individual attending Queeriot. If you cannot locate someone with a coloured armband, feel free to call one of the organizers at 647-520-2251 throughout the weekend for support.
The space for conversation about how to combat sexual violence, and how to support one another when it does occur, is critical. The Queeriot schedule includes both a workshop on consent and one on trauma and healing. We hope both of these will be productive spaces for these conversations, and that we can continue after Queeriot to have discussions about confronting violence in our communities together.
The Queeriot Collective is a group of women-identified people and as such have all dealt with sexual violence in our communities. We know that living in a society in where rape culture is condoned permeates our radical communities in ways that are at times covert and subtle. We encourage you to be open to our collective about this, and we also encourage all of you to to take care of yourselves and support one another.