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By Laura Griffin,
Education and Outreach Coordinator, CNPEA

CNPEA met with Anna Malkin (she/her) and Joyce Rankin (she/her) of onmyplanet (an expansion of shared stories and education through a Queer Story Archive, workshops and resources) to speak about their project - Generational Allies

Generational Allies is a two-year project which will lead to a series of workshops promoting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Trans, Asexual, Intersex, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2S+) inclusion and allyship practices in older adult communities. Recorded interviews, retracing personal experiences and stories from LGBQT2SI+  older adults (55+), will form the basis of the workshop discussions. The workshops will be facilitated by LGBQT2SI+ older adults, and hosted by organizations that provide services to older adults.

The project team first led an online survey that concluded in January 2021, which focused on common issues affecting  LGBQT2SI+ older adults. The survey asked about financial insecurity, support systems, abuse, isolation, addiction, discrimination, coming out, connection to the LGBQT2SI+ community, utilization of community resources, intergenerational interaction both within and outside of the LGBQT2SI+ communities. In addition, it asked about sexual activity, safer sex practices, perceptions of sexual and gender identities/expressions and activism.

The survey was followed by focus groups conducted online in the Spring of 2021. The survey revealed the following about participants:

  •  A large majority of participants identified as activists - not just for LGBQT2SI+ issues, but intersecting issues such as: human rights, labour, health and social well-being, gender equality, and social justice.
  • Participants responded with a resounding “no” when asked whether they would consider going back in the closet.
  • Participants identified feeling isolated and disconnected from the current LGBQT2SI+ community and a longing for a deliberate reconnection especially with LGBQT2SI+ youth. 

Currently, the Generational Allies team is preparing to hold in-person interviews that will be recorded on video.The upcoming workshops will provide both an opportunity for education and for coming together. Among the themes that will be addressed are: resiliency in ageing, self-determination, community building, ageism in Queer culture, isolation, representation, survival, creating culture, and finding common ground. Generational Allies aims to highlight people’s personal experiences - stories speak volumes, create empathy and are an effective teaching tool.

LGBQT2SI+ people have always found ways to build community. Generational Allies demonstrates the skills that these communities have developed over time to thrive and pave the way for future generations, so we can all benefit as we age together

See below for the call for participants for the interview phase of the project.

Calling all QTBIPOC and LGBQT2SI+ 55+ storytellers!generational allies

Generational Allies wants you. 

We're an LGBQT2SI+ inclusion and allyship workshop development project for older adults and we're looking for LGBQT2SI+ folks, especially Black and Indigenous folks, and People of Colour, who are over 55 and want to share their life experience stories on video. Your voices, experiences and all the intersections have essential roles in this project. 

We want to hear about how you didn't fit into the boxes (whoever/whatever that was for you), and then how you made new and alternative containers for yourself and your communities. What kind of community and resource building were you involved in back in the day? What kind of connection do you have to the rainbow communities now? What kinds of things would you like to see your allies do?

The interviews will be edited into 5-10 min videos that will become the basis of the workshop discussions. Workshops are to be facilitated by LGBQT2SI+ older adults and hosted by organizations that already provide services to a wider array of seniors and older adults. 

We will be doing interviews in person on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Lower Mainland. All COVID-19 Protocols will be observed and everyone involved in recording the interviews will be fully vaccinated. 

Please send us your contact info (email and phone number), your location, and a little bit about you and your story.

We are happy to answer any questions that you may have about, Generational Allies, or about us, the project developers. 


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