Human Rights

All panels are sponsored by:

Pathways to Freedom: Struggle and Challenges for LGTBIQ Refugees Globally

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | 7:00pm – 8:30pm
The Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Pl., Toronto, ON, M5S 0A7

Ahmed Alaa Hussein Hussein: Egyptian activist – recently relocated to Canada
Erycom Desire Kizito: Ugandan activist, also recently relocated
Kimahli Powell: Executive Director, Rainbow Railroad

Ending Unjust HIV Criminalization: A Community Dialogue

Thursday, June 14, 2018 | 6:00pm – 7:30pm
The Chelsea Hotel
33 Gerard St. W, Toronto, ON, M5G 1Z4

Canada (and Ontario) have one of the highest levels of criminalizing people living with HIV in the world, but communities have been mobilizing to resist and the tide may be turning. What has been achieved, and how? What work still needs to be done? What lies ahead for resisting HIV criminalization in Ontario following the provincial election? Join leading activists—people living with HIV, community organizations and human rights advocates—for a community dialogue about where the struggle goes from here. (For more, see

In partnership with Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario, Ontario Working Group on Criminal Law and HIV Exposure

Non-Conforming! Celebrating Fluidity Onscreen and IRL

Saturday, June 16, 2018 | 5:00pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X5
Event Link

Moderator: The event will be moderated by Dasola Dina.

Join us for a celebration of gender non-conforming, trans, fluid and 2-spirit youth who are taking space online by creating radical, self-expressive film and media that builds community and challenges the limits of mainstream gender representation. Creators will share their work and join in a discussion that explores how they are developing their own content and platforms to make space for bigger, better and brighter expressions of multiple and complex identities in the media.

No one will be turned away for lack of funds! Need support getting a ticket, please reach out to: [email protected]

This event is co-presented between Pride Toronto and TIFF.


Ayisha Lineo Gariba is a filmmaker, photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, and entrepreneur from Ghana and Lesotho. Their primary mediums include digital art, film photography, and digital filmmaking, through which they explore issues of identity — specifically societal expectations of race, gender, and sexuality. They are currently studying social sciences at the University of Toronto, with a focus on women and gender studies.
Dinaly Joyce Tran is a filmmaker and activist from Toronto. Identifying as a queer, non-binary, ace person of colour, they aim to explore the intersections of these identities through film. They have participated in several film programs for queer youth, such as New Visions and Fluidity on Film. They are currently a youth advisory council member for Planned Parenthood Toronto’s LGBTQ Youth Initiative.
Arielle Scott, professionally known as Ari Fitz, is an American social media and TV personality, model, producer, and filmmaker. Her short documentary My Mama Wears Timbs won the Diversity Award at Toronto’s Buffer Festival in 2017. Currently, she is completing a webcomic called Wedge and is running an Instagram-only indie magazine called Tomboyish. She was part of the Tribeca Film Festival’s New Online Work showcase in April 2018 and will be publishing a fashion-focused memoir in 2018.
Luis De Filippis is a trans femme filmmaker based in Toronto. Since graduating from Ryerson’s Image Arts Film program they have been making work that celebrates otherness and employs a fierce female gaze. Their work has been shown at international film festivals including: The Toronto International Film Festival, The International Film Festival Rotterdam, BFI Flare, The Atlanta International Film Festival where their most recent work, FOR NONNA ANNA received the Best Short Narrative Award and Sundance where it received the Special Jury Prize.

Living and Thriving with HIV

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto
2 Sussex Ave., Toronto, ON M5S 1J5

It is estimated that 60% of persons living with HIV belong to the LGBTQI2+ community, Living with HIV is no easy task especially for those that do not think it affects them. This panel will talk about the positive, the negative and the unknown around HIV, from a lived experience point of view. How important is U=U (undetectable=untransmittable), especially in regards to sexual health and HIV prevention? Lets this panel tell you. With U=U, we can end HIV/AIDS in Canada, so find out how.


Jason Maclennan (Moderator): Jason has been involved in the HIV movement for approximately thirty years. Over the last few years he has met with various political leaders including the current sitting Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. He has participated in many presentations to organizations. Jason is very straight forward kind of person who has accomplished many things within the HIV sector. Jason recently educated the North Bay pride Committee to endorse the U=U Campaign and adopt the Ontario Accord GIPA/MIPA.


Trevor Stratton: Trevor Stratton is a 53-year old member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation near Toronto, Canada with mixed English and Ojibwe heritage. Diagnosed with HIV in 1990, Trevor turned to his community and the Indigenous HIV and AIDS movement for support and became an activist, volunteer and consultant. He is now the Coordinator for the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS (IIWGHA) for its host organization, the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN). Trevor is a board member of the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+), the President of the board of 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations in Toronto and he is one of two North American delegates in the NGO Delegation on the Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS).

Trevor was recently installed as the Interim Executive Director of the International Indigenous HIV & AIDS Community.


Randy Davis: Randy Davis has lived with HIV since February 19th, 2015.

He is the Pride Coordinator in Canada for the Prevention Access Campaign, and sits on the Board of the Barrie Pride organization, as its Healthy Living Coordinator. In these roles, he has appeared on several Rogers TV Barrie programs, including “Viewpoint”, “The Pleasure Diva” and “With Gerry”. He has also been interviewed twice on CTV Barrie, and was a guest speaker at the Gilbert Centre’s World AIDS Day event in 2017.

An activist and an advocate for people living with HIV, Randy is particularly loud and proud in his support of the “Undetectable Equals Untransmittable” (U=U) movement, and its message: “HIV positive individuals who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load can’t transmit the virus sexually.” This is a scientific fact. A revelation!

And sharing it (this justifiable, quantifiable, stigma-smashing science) has become a passion for Randy. He can often be seen speaking at Barrie Pride events, sharing and exchanging information about HIV with attendees. Most recently, he was part of the “Humanizing HIV” panel that presented at the EGALE Identity Conference, and he spoke to youth- from 14 to 17 years old- at the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity’s GSA Leadership Forum, in Toronto, about “Smashing The Stigma of HIV.” He looks forward to many more opportunities to speak.

Unafraid and unapologetic. Randy shares his own personal experiences, his authentic self, with any and all who wish to help end the fear- and the ignorance- surrounding HIV and AIDS.

HIV is only a virus, after all… Stigma is the real disease.


David Dk Soomarie: Having worked for close to a decade in advertising as a copywriter/producer, David Dk Soomarie made a conscious decision to give back to the community of people living with HIV/AIDS in his home country of Trinidad & Tobago (T&T). As a person living with HIV for close to 20 years, he personally felt that the face of HIV had to be challenged and that the public needed to know that people living with HIV are healthy and productive individuals, fully capable of living long and healthy lives, and as a result he became public about his HIV status conducting several media interviews on national television, radio and press.

In late 2009, he became a board member of Community Action Resource (CARe) an HIV Support organization which he credits for helping him cope with his HIV diagnosis. In May 2010, he became its Coordinator, Programmes & Services. His work has been featured in UNAIDS “Keeping Score” Publication and FPA annual report 2010. In August 2016, he travelled to Canada to talk about his activism work in Trinidad & Tobago and has since taken residence here. He is one of the MSM Outreach Coordinators at Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (BLACK CAP), volunteers with Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP) , member of CAAT (Committee for Accessible Aids Treatment) and leads a Toronto (To) Queers for T&T, a lobby group that advocates for human rights for members of the LGBQTI communities in T&T. He has also written articles for POZLite, an online magazine and runs two groups at Black CAP, one of which QPOZ is a support group for ACB Queer, MSM and Gay men living with HIV.


Michael Burtch: Michael Burtch is the AIDS Committee of Toronto’s Gay Men’s Resource Coordinator and Community Educator. He has been working within the HIV sector for five years and living with HIV for over twelve. His writings about HIV-stigma, disclosure, resilience, HIV prevention and sexual health have appeared in Xtra, Positive Side,,, and Guerilla Magazine. In 2016 he served as a national campaign model for the #LoveIsLoveIsLove campaign and the Canadian AIDS Society’s #SexHappens World AIDS DAY campaign. In December of 2014 he had a guest appearance on ‘MTV Canada Presents: Being Positive, a World AIDS Day Special’. Last year he became the proud parent of a chocolate Labrador named Max. You can find him on twitter tweeting about all things sexual health at @MichaelShaneBurtch.


Xica Rodriguez

With some additional panelists to join. 

35 Years of AIDS Activism

Saturday, June 23, 2018 | 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto
2 Sussex Ave., Toronto, ON M5S 1J5

Join us to hear about the real life exploits of a diverse group of activists, people of all ages and backgrounds, who have fought to get and keep HIV/AIDS in the public eye over the past 35 years. Panelists will talk about the early days of the struggle and more recent advocacy successes that would not have been possible without the voices of those whose lives have been touched by HIV: “Nothing about us without us!”. Topics include From the bath raids to persons with AIDS/HIV self-empowerment. From AIDS ACTION NOW! to People of Colour and Two-Spirit AIDS organizing. From HIV criminalization to PrEP  and from Harm Reduction to the Opioid Crisis.


A welcome from Pride Grand Marshal Haran Vijayanathan (who is also the Executive Director at Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention).

Rene Boucher: Rene Boucher is an Indigenous 2 Spirit man who has been living with HIV and an HIV/AIDS for over 25 years. He continues to work in the HIV/AIDS field and is currently working to address the Opioid Crisis in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Tim McCaskell: Tim McCaskell is a long time gay activist and a founding member of AIDS ACTION NOW! He is author of Queer Progress: from Homophobia to Homonationalism.

Monica Forrester: Trans Two -Spirit woman from Toronto, a part of the LGBTQ2SA community for 30 years. Executive Director of Trans Pride Toronto, working to bring awareness, inclusion and equality to all people in the Trans, non binary and sex work work communities. Currently working with Maggie’s Toronto Sex work Action Program as the Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Outreach and drop in Program.

Ron Rosenes: Ron Rosenes is a Community Health Advocate and Researcher who has been living with HIV for close to 40 years. He is a co-founder of the Canadian Treatment Action Council and Member of the Order of Canada.

Christian Hui: Christian Hui is a queer, poz Asian settler immigrant living with HIV. He started his HIV activist work as a peer at the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT) in 2010 and currently works at Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS). Christian is a co-founder of Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+) and the Canadian Positive People Network (CPPN). Christian is a steering committee member of the global Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U) Campaign.

Zoe Dodd: Zoe Dodd linking AIDS ACTION NOW! activism and harm reduction to the response to the opioid crisis.

With some additional panelists to join. 

All panels are sponsored by: