The ongoing practice of conversion therapy falsely claims that 2SLGBTQ+ sexualities and genders are deviant and changeable. This panel brings together four survivors and leaders in the field to share their experiences with conversion practices. Discussion will include conversion practices and their impact around the world, as well as Canadian legislative change.
George Barasa (they/them), better known by their stage name Jojibaro, is one of pioneer victims to share their conversion therapy story. Their story exposed the impact of conversion therapy on a global scale, as reported by Outright International, and their activism was cited during the second Senate sitting on Canada’s conversion therapy bill. Jojibaro is gay and gender non-binary international human rights activist, also known for taking part in a viral Same Love music video (Remix) by Art Attack. They are based in Canada where they are undergraduate Student studying Human Rights and Equity at York University.
Matt Ashcroft (he/him) is a 2SLGBTQ+ and racial equity advocate and student at the University of Toronto majoring in Equity Studies under New College. As a conversion therapy survivor, his advocacy includes confronting gaps in legislation that allow for systemic abuses such as sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOGICE) to further marginalize LGBTQ2+ people in Canada, the United States, and abroad – Matt holds key decision makers such as “ex-gay leaders” and government officials accountable for ensuring the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ2+ people are protected from pathologizing and discrimination. Matt’s advocacy recently passed bill C4 along with partnering with the Community Based Research Centre, BCCDC Foundation, and It Gets Better Canada.
Nick Schiavo (he/him) started No Conversion Canada in 2018 to unite the movement and amplify survivors to ban conversion practices across Canada.
Syre Klenke (he/him) is a LGBTQ2+ advocate and trans activist. As a conversion therapy survivor and transgender man, he focuses his advocacy on transgender issues and confronting the lack of legislation to protect the LGBTQIA2+ community from systemic abuses such as sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOGICE) in the United States and abroad. Syre’s advocacy has been featured in media including, but not limited to, Dan Savage’s “Savage Love Podcast,” Channel Q, Los Angeles Blade, Metro Weekly, LGBTQ+ Nation, and speaking engagements. Syre’s main goals are to have more comprehensive federal Conversion Therapy bans rust protect LGBTQ2+ people of all ages, as well as actionable consequences for those who practice or force sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOGICE) on others.
Download: Conversion Therapy Panel