United Against Hate: faithfully responding to anti-2SLGBTQ+ actions

Join us for:

United Against Hate: faithfully responding to anti-2SLGBTQ+ actions

Wednesday, February 15

6:00pm MT, 7:00pm Central, 8:00pm ET, 5:00pm PT

As a special United In Learning event, join Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble and Affirming Connections to learn about the malicious misinformation campaign and threats that have been launched against the drag and 2SLGBTQ+ communities across Canada – and what you can do.

Our panelists will address some of the dangerous myths circulating around drag, trans and other queer identities; look at recent Canadian online and in-person instances of anti 2SLGBTQ+ hate, some of which include Christian groups; and explain how these connect to wider hate, racist, and extremist anti-vaccination movements.

They will also share some ideas on what you and your community of faith can do to bring a faithful public response in your context, as well as support and care for those who need it.

Our panelists:

Toddy, Drag artist, standup comedian and musician

Toddy is a high energy drag artist, standup comedian and musician. Toddy is the season 1 winner of Call Me Mother on OUTTV. They have been featured at JFL Toronto, JFL Vancouver, CBCLOL, VSO’s Symphony of Terror and Toronto Pride. Trained as an opera singer, they find themself at the intersection of classical music and pop-culture, mixing them together in unique and bold ways! Toddy is a rising star in the music and comedy world; with albums for each coming out in 2023. 

Rev. Nobuko Iwai, Grosvenor Park United Church

Rev. Nobuko Iwai (she/her) (Noh-boo-koh Ee-wah-ee) is a 1.5 generation Japanese Canadian woman, born in Japan, raised across three provinces in Canada. She is the well-beloved partner of Doug, a minister, a cancer survivor, and a multi-generational preacher’s kid. In Japanese, Nobuko means woman of faith, taken from Luke 1, at the meeting of Elizabeth and Mary. She is ordained in The United Church of Canada, and has served across Saskatchewan both as intentional interim minister and in regular ministry. She enjoys trying all kinds of new experiences, isn’t much of a perfectionist, is a dog lover, zentangler, and enjoys puttering.  Since 2015 she has served as ministry personnel at Grosvenor Park United Church, an Affirming ministry in Saskatoon, SK, Treaty Six.

Hazel Woodrow, Education Facilitator at the Canadian Anti-Hate Network

Hazel Woodrow is the Canadian Anti-Hate Network’s Education Facilitator. She holds bachelors degrees in sociology and social work, and brings a trauma informed approach to hate prevention, intervention, and reparation. Prior to her current role with the organization, she was a researcher and analyst with CAHN. She has appeared on podcasts and provided analysis and commentary to media, regarding her research. As a convert to Islam, Hazel’s work is strongly informed by the Holy Quran’s command to bear witness, and to seek equity and justice. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is a nonpartisan, non-profit, proudly anti-fascist organization with the mandate to counter, monitor, and expose hate promoting movements, groups, and individuals in Canada using every legal, ethical, and reasonable tool at our disposal.

Registration is free and required through the United in Learning website at the link below.


Statement in Response to a Rise in Hatred

Anti-Hate Statement from King Julez

Hello Members and Supporters of Affirm United. Its King Julez here, and I’m one of your chairs on the board of directors. I’m here to talk to you about the rise of hate across our country and across our ministries. At Affirm United, we denounce this hate. This Homophobia, this Transphobia, Bi-phobia, all of it. We know that denouncing it isn’t enough, so we’re also taking action. Members of our board are meeting with folks from Affirming Connections, as well as the General Council Office at the United Church of Canada, to think about the ways that we can actively support and honour the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ folks in our communities. We are looking at providing educational resources for staff, lay people, and all of your communities to combat hate and to be able to provide safe spaces for folks in your area.

We are collaborating to build this support and to provide everything that we can, because we know that this is a difficult time, in many of our lives, and especially those of us who fall within in the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

We ask that you be our eyes and ears in your various locations. We strive to protect those of you who are victims of this kind of hate and of this discrimination. But we need to know what’s going on as well. Feel free to email our Communications Coordinator, M, at communications@ause.ca, or through our communications portal on our website. We want to know what’s going on. We want to know where it’s happening. We want to know where we can best support you. Please let us in and let us know what we can do and when we can do it.

We are here for you; we are here for all of the people who need it. We are stiving to do the best that we can, and we know that we can always do better.

Thank you for being a part of this community, and for trying your best to protect and create safe space in your communities.

We know that this hate is hard. We know that its continuing to come. We are here. We are powerful and we are strong as a community. Thank you for doing everything that you do.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, has been observed annually (from its inception) on November 20 as a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.

Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. It has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries.

On November 20, we remember and honour Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary people killed around the world because of hatred and oppression. Affirm United/S’Affirmer Ensemble renews our commitment to fighting transphobia in all its forms.