Healthy Sexual Conversations Youth Symposium

Thursday 17 October 2019
9:30 am–2:15 pm

Registration is now open

Partnering with the Limestone District School Board, Queen’s students and Kingston youth ages 14–24, this youth symposium centres around the exhibition Let’s Talk About Sex, bb. The symposium creates a structured safe space to explore experiences that many youth face today, through panel discussions, keynote presentations and hands-on art workshops. Register below to save your spot.

Sign up (18–24 years)

Sign up (14–17 years)
A note from the Limestone District School Board: Schoolboard approved permission forms can be found with either Arts or Phys. Ed. teachers or with the adult supervisor of the school’s GSA/Rainbow Club/etc.


9–9:25 am
Participant arrival
Workshop registration: sign up on arrival
Coffee/tea and socializing

9:30–10:15 am (ATRIUM)
Co-curator Carina Magazenni will present opening remarks regarding the exhibition Let’s Talk About Sex, bb
Introduction and Keynote presented by Queen’s Consensual Humans:
Let’s Talk About Consensual Sex
Consensual Humans discuss the ins and outs of consent and address how we can be consensual humans. This presentation will go over many of the basics of consent, as well as some of the more complicated issues, for example situational awareness. “Our goal is to create a healthy dialogue about consent so that attendees can feel more comfortable in their daily lives and be able to educate and share with others this important topic”. With Maggie Whitmore and Natalie Hunter.

10:20–11:10 am
Three presentations (participants register for one):

Vanessa Dion Fletcher:“Owning Your Own Cervix”
Combining feminism, queer theory, perspectives on biology and menstrual art, history of the speculum, and reproductive justice, artist Vanessa Dion Fletcher shares her inspirations and artistic process while encouraging participants to dive into writing, personal narrative, drawing, and craft.

Tenille Campbell: “Imagining Decolonial Love with Poet Tenille Campbell”
All Ages, DMASR
Reading from her book, #IndianLovePoems and discussing her pathway to academia, Tenille shares what it means to write Indigenous erotica as a Dene and Métis woman. Following this, Tenille facilitates a writing exercise for all particpants. Attendees will be encouraged to interact with Tenille and with each other throughout the workshop.

PRIDE Committee: “30 Years of Kingston Pride: The Highlights and Challenges of Organizing Pride Events”
All Ages, ATRIUM
In June 1989, the first Kingston Pride “Stroll” walked down Princess Street made up of a few, brave, LGBTQ+ trailblazers. Since then, the Kingston Pride Parade and Community Fair has grown into a week-long festival that is not only recognized but endorsed by the City of Kingston and the community at large. While there have been many changes that have occurred over the last thirty years for Kingston’s LGBTQ+ community, it is apparent, after this year’s record-breaking turnout, that the spirit of Pride is alive and well in the Limestone City. Join community members who have been involved in organizing Pride events over the last 30 years, from those that initiated that first Pride Stroll to members of the current Kingston Pride board and KTown Youth Pride as they discuss the challenges and highlights of organizing such an important, annual event and how you can get involved!

11:15–11:55 am (ATRIUM)
Pizza Lunch
Tours of the exhibition Let’s Talk About Sex, bb

12–12:50 pm (ATRIUM)
Keynote presented by Dr Lee Airton, followed by a moderated gender panel discussion with members of the Kingston & area community: No boxes: How gender justice is always changing, and why that matters

In this talk, Dr Airton shares their lifelong journey toward becoming a gender justice advocate, leading to the current historical moment when gender diversities of all kinds are re-emerging into public life and disrupting commonsensical views of gender and even of the category ‘transgender.’ Much like gender itself is always changing, Dr Airton’s story highlights how seemingly taken-for-granted ways of doing gender justice work are also always changing, and how embracing this fact can be a way to make all spaces more gender-friendly, for everyone.

1–1:50 pm
Three presentations (participants register for one)

Dr Caroline Pukall with Sophia Christopher from the Queen’s Sexual Health Resource Centre: Know Your Pleasure
Please join sexperts Sophia Christopher from the Sexual Health Resource Center and Professor Caroline Pukall, a sex researcher and sex therapist, for a stimulating discussion about sexual pleasure: How you can discover, cultivate, and expand sexual pleasure for yourself and with your partners. Topics will include bodies and pleasure, sex toys and tech, and healthy relationships.

Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP): Navigating Relationships with Diverse Identities
All Ages, ATRIUM
In this workshop EQuIP will discuss how to respect partners with different identities than our own. These identities can be racial identity, gender identity and fat identity. EQuIP will also discuss sex with people with these bodies because sex can be a significant component of relationships. This workshop will help you to navigate sexual interactions so that everyone feels comfortable and enjoys the experience.

Museum of Health Care: “Get Intimate with the Past”
All Ages, DMASR
Join the Museum of Health Care at Kingston to explore sexual health artefacts from rubbers to early vibrators. This workshop will take a look at the history of sex, contraception, and reproductive health. Play a game to test your knowledge and discover some artefacts from our collection. Become intimately acquainted with how past generations have dealt with many of the sexual health issues still facing Canadians today. With Marla Dobson and Darragh DeGroot

2–2:15 pm (Atrium)
Closing remarks


Dr Caroline Pukall (she/her) is Professor of Psychology, Director of the Sex Therapy Service, and Director of the Sexual Health Research Laboratory here at Queen’s University. Caroline’s research focuses on various aspects of sexuality, including vulvodynia (i.e., chronic genital pain in women), sexual difficulties (e.g., persistent genital arousal), sexual arousal, sexual health issues (e.g., postpartum pain, penile circumcision), and various relationship configurations. Her work is inclusive and often features multiple methodologies such as self-report measures, brain imaging, psychophysics, psychophysiology, and blood flow imaging. Caroline teaches many sexuality courses in the Psychology Department, including the very popular PSYC 333 Human Sexuality course.

Consensual Humans is an awareness organization that aims to bring attention to the importance of consent in all sexual situations. Sexual consent affects everyone on our campus. Together is it is our responsibility to create a culture that promotes sexual consent. Consensual Humans will educate Queen’s University students about sexual consent and provide students with sexual violence resources within our community. There are millions of ways to ask for consent, but if the answer is not yes, then sexual activities are off the table.

Darragh De Groot has over 8 years of experience working in museums, historic sites, and other cultural organizations. She has worked at numerous heritage institutions in Kingston, From Fort Henry National Historic Site to the Marine Museum of the Great Lake and organizing a series of pop-up museums around the City of Kingston. Darragh is a Graduate of Queen’s University in history and completed the Cultural and Heritage management program at Centennial College. Darragh now works at the Museum of Health Care as the Education and Communications Coordinator.

The Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP) is a student-run organization under the Social Issues Commission at Queen’s University. Its purpose is to create a safe environment for individuals on Queen’s campus and in Kingston of all sexual/romantic orientations and gender identities. EQuIP strives to create a fun, welcoming, and educational community for queer and queer-positive individuals while advocating for human rights and raising awareness about queer-related issues.

Kingston Pride is a grassroots organization established in 1989 that works to promote awareness and inclusion of the LGBTQ2S+ community. KTown Youth Pride (which serves both as a youth advisory council to the Kingston Pride board of directors and as its own group), began in March 2019 with the goal of making Kingston Pride more welcoming to the youth demographic. Since its inaugural meeting just seven months ago, KTown Youth Pride has made a significant and measurable impact on the lives of young, LGBTQ2S+ individuals in Kingston and the surrounding regions. All workshop facilitators for “30 Years of Kingston Pride” have, at some point in the last thirty years, been directly involved with organizing Kingston Pride events. This workshop will feature those that played an important role in organizing Kingston Pride from the first Pride stroll in 1989 to today’s current board of directors and KTown Youth Pride founding members.

Kingston Pride

Dr Lee Airton is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In 2012, they founded They Is My Pronoun, a Q+A-based blog about gender-neutral pronoun usage and user support with over 30,000 unique visitors in 2017 alone. Dr. Airton is also the founder of the No Big Deal Campaign, a national social media initiative that helps people show support for transgender peoples’ right to have their pronouns used. In recognition of their advocacy work, Dr. Airton received a 2017 Youth Role Model of the Year Award from the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Dr. Airton’s first book, from Adams Media (An Imprint of Simon & Schuster), is Gender – Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say and What to Do in the New Gender Culture which offers practical steps for welcoming gender diversity in all areas of everyday life.

They Is My Pronoun, No Big Deal Campaign, Gender – Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say and What to Do in the New Gender Culture

Maggie Whitmore is the co-chair of Consensual Humans and is in her fourth year studying Art History with a minor in Global Development at Queen’s University. Maggie is also a docent at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

Marla Dobson has a degree in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto and a PhD from Queen’s University in Art History. She is currently the Curator at the Museum of Health Care at Kingston and is interested in bringing a more humanistic approach to her work there. She has worked in museums in Canada and the UK and has a passion for bringing museum collections to increasingly diverse audiences.

Established in 1991, the Museum of Health Care at Kingston explores the stories and histories of Canadian health and medicine. Housed in the Ann Baillie Building National Historic Site in Kingston, Ontario, the museum boasts Canada’s largest collection of objects related to the history of health and health care in the country. Overall, the Museum aims to inspire wonder, promote learning, and create knowledge that contributes to a better future in health and healthcare.

Nathalie Hunter is a fourth-year Gender studies student at Queen’s University. Nathalie is the co-chair of Consensual Humans and has worked on various initiatives to help make Queen’s a safer and more accessible campus through the works of the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston.

The Sexual Health Resource Centre (SHRC) is a volunteer-run, sex-positive non-profit dedicated to making healthy sexuality accessible to the Kingston community. In addition to leading educational workshops in the Kingston and Queen’s communities, the SHRC sells safer-sex products and toys at cost, maintains an extensive lending library, and provides information and referrals. The SHRC also provides accompaniment services for individuals seeking to terminate a pregnancy or those who would like to connect with the Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Unit at KGH.

Sophia Christopher (she/her) is a Masters of Public Administration student focusing in health policy at Queen’s University, and an executive at the Sexual Health Resource Centre Kingston (SHRC) where she develops the SHRC’s educational program and leads workshops on issues related to sex and sexual health. Sophia’s experience leading workshops extends beyond the SHRC and includes work with the Division of Student Affairs at Queen’s University, facilitating training in sexual violence prevention & bystander intervention.

Tenille Campbell is a Dene/Métis author and photographer from English River First Nation, SK. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and is enrolled in her PhD at the University of Saskatchewan. Her inaugural poetry book, #IndianLovePoems (Signature Editions, 2017) is an award-winning collection of poetry that focuses on Indigenous Erotica, using humour and storytelling to reclaim and explore ideas of Indigenous sexuality. She is also the artist behind Sweetmoon photography and the co-creator of Tea & Bannock.  She currently resides in Saskatoon. Sweetmoon photography, Tea & Bannock (Collective blog)

Vanessa Dion Fletcher graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 with an MFA in performance. She has exhibited across Canada and the US, at Art Mur in Montreal, Eastern Edge Gallery Newfoundland, The Queer Arts Festival Vancouver, and the Satellite Art show in Miami. Her work is in the Indigenous Art Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, Joan Flasch Artist Book collection, Vtape, and Seneca College. In 2019 Vanessa is supported by the City of Toronto Indigenous partnerships fund to be Artist in Residence at OCAD University.

Image Credits

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