What Is Drag And Why Are Conservatives Freaking Out?

(Image photographed by Adam Pulicicchio, posted on Toronto Life)

Drag is a type of entertainment most often performed by gay men known as drag queens. They usually present themselves in an exaggeratedly feminine manner, and use over-the-top humour as part of the art form. Women, usually queer, also participate in drag, and they are known as drag kings.

Drag is not the same as being transgender or cross-dressing. Transgender is a type of gender identity. Drag has nothing to do with gender, and is something drag queens choose to do. Cross-dressing is done by an individual and is a private choice, while drag is done in community and performative.

The origin of drag can be traced all the way back to Shakespearean times. As women were not allowed to perform in theatre, the female roles would be played by men dressed as women. However, this is not drag as we understand it today. The modern form of drag started in the late 1800’s.

Recently, drag has been targeted by the right-wing. The controversy surrounds drag storytime, which is an event where a drag queen reads books to children. Drag storytime has become popular across North America and is done in schools, libraries and other places.

Unfortunately, drag storytime, especially in the US, has become a target of hate. Threats are being sent and some drag story hours have even been physically stormed. Conservatives are afraid that drag queens would “sexualize and indoctrinate” children, even though there has been no evidence of this ever happening.

In Canada, drag storytime has also attracted protestors. One such incident occurred in Woodstock, Ontario. Thankfully, the queer community, parents and cishet people have doubled down on supporting these events. The protesters are the ones scaring and harming children, not drag queens. Drag storytime promotes love and inclusion, and is a fun way for children to spend an afternoon. 

If you’re interested, look up if your local library is running drag storytime!





(Image credit: aliexpress.com)

Hello, and welcome to another blog post by Joy! Today we are learning what the 2SLGBTQ+ acronym actually means, and other relevant terminology. If you feel confused about all the different terms used in the queer community, don’t fret. Here’s a handy little guide.

2SLGBTQ+ stands for 2 Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and the Q sometimes stands for Queer and sometimes for Questioning. Let’s go through this one by one.

First, let’s tackle sexuality, which is the LGB part of the acronym.

Sexuality: Someone’s attraction to others. Includes romantic, sexual, emotional, aesthetic, and other forms of attraction.

Lesbian: A woman who feels romantic and/or sexual attraction towards women. Nonbinary people attracted to women may use this term as well.

Gay: A man who feels romantic and/or sexual attraction towards men. Nonbinary people attracted to men may use this term as well. Gay is also an umbrella term for the entire 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Bisexual: Romantic and/or sexual attraction towards more than one gender. Not necessarily to the same degree or in the same way.

Pansexual: Attraction to all people, regardless of sex or gender.

Asexual: Someone who may not experience sexual attraction at all, or experience little to no interest in sexual activity.

Queer: An umbrella term to describe anyone a part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Previously used as a homophobic slur, this term has since been reclaimed by the community.

Questioning: Refers to anyone who may be questioning their gender and/or sexuality.

Next, let’s talk about gender, which is the 2S and T part of the acronym.

Sex: Classification assigned at birth. Based on physical anatomy and/or genetics. Can be male, female, intersex, or other.

Gender: Personal sense of gender is defined by the individual. Gender is on a spectrum, which includes male, female, neither, and others. Sex assigned at birth is NOT gender.

2 Spirit: An Indigenous identity that refers to someone who has both a masculine and feminine spirit. Note: only Indigenous people may use this term.

Transgender: Someone who does not identify fully with their assigned sex at birth. Transgender can refer to someone who identifies as male but is assigned female at birth, and vice versa. Transgender is an umbrella term, as people who identify as nonbinary may also identify as trans.

Nonbinary: Someone whose identity is not fully male or female. A nonbinary person may see themself in the middle of the gender spectrum, may reject gender outright, or feel that they shift on the gender spectrum. Nonbinary goes under the trans umbrella.

This concludes our Terminology 101 guide. Do you have any questions or comments? Comment below and let’s chat.

Citation: www.gaycenter.org/about/lgbtq/

(Image credit: lgbtq-allyship on RedBubble)

Hello, and welcome to the Rainbow Salad blog! I am Joy, the Rainbow Salad Coordinator at Moyo. I will be using this blog space to post 2SLGBTQ+ related content. Today we’re tackling what allyship is, and how you can become a better ally.

Allyship is supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community. Queer people can also be allies. For example, if you identity as gay and cis, you can be an ally to trans people.

Ways you can demonstrate allyship in every day life are:

  • Introduce yourself with your pronouns and ask others for their pronouns. Respect and use other people’s preferred pronouns. If you mess up, simply correct yourself and move forward. Do not make a show of apologizing, as then it becomes the other person’s responsibility to reassure you
  • A willingness to learn Is very important. If you come across members of the community whose identity you were not aware of, ask and learn instead of reacting with knee-jerk refusal
  • Research and learn more about the LGBTQ+ community. If you are unaware and uneducated on what the community is, that’s okay! Everyone needs to start somewhere. There are tons of resources to teach you more about LGBTQ+ people (such as this blog)
  • Do not make anti-LGBTQ jokes. Jokes can be harmful to your loved ones, or strangers, who are members of the community

Other ways you can be an ally are:

  • Donate to LGBTQ+ charities
  • Shop at LGBTQ+ owned businesses
  • Boycott businesses that donate to homophobic causes, or support homophobic political candidates

Being an ally is not simply about the actions you perform, but also about confronting your own biases. Consume literature and media created by LGBTQ+ people. Reflect how you have previously interacted with queer people. For example, have you fallen into heteronormativity (the assumption that everyone is heterosexual)? Reflecting on your own biases is an uncomfortable process. However, it is crucial to your development as an ally and as a more accepting person. Reflect how you have benefited from your privileges. If you are cis, how have you been treated in society compared to trans people? If you are straight, how has heteronormativity benefited you? Do you have any questions, comments, or wish to discuss anything above with me? Comment below and let’s engage in conversation.

As the Rainbow Salad website is currently under construction, here is a quick update on the some job postings and resources currently available. The blog will be used to post news until the more work has been done on the website.

Below is the job posting from AYSP.


The “I’m Ready” Program provides HIV self-test kits in an accessible, low-barrier way. To learn more, please click the link below


Moyo offers the PrEP clinic every Monday from 6pm-9pm. The clinic offers STI testing, treatment, vaccines, and going on PrEP. Visit the link below to learn more.


Source: graphic made by the Peel Pride Promotions Team. It has the Rainbow Salad logo at the top. The graphic says “Peel Pride 2022: reunited. Let’s celebrate together! Saturday, July 23, 12-4pm. 25 Capston Drive, Mississauga (Parking Lot of Peel CAS).” Drawings of people are seen at the bottom of the graphic. One holds a pride flag, and a banner says “Saturday July 23”

We are so happy to present Peel Pride 2022! Celebrate with us and the rest of the community on July 23.

Source: Canva design by Allegra Morgado. A graphic with a black background featuring text in the top left corner in white and green which reads “PRIDE is ART”. The simplified Moyo HCS logo is seen at the bottom of the graphic in white.

Allegra Morgado, 2SLGBTQ+ Special Projects Coordinator

As we begin another year stuck inside, I feel that it’s time for us to highlight something that has been keeping many of us going over the past ~23 months: art. 

Whether it’s popping our headphones and singing along to a queer artists’ tunes as we go for a walk, cheering online at a virtual drag show, diving deep into our new favourite trans poet’s body of work or trying out a new craft, art has been keeping many of us going during these challenging times. With that, it’s time to celebrate the ways in which 2SLGBTQ+ communities use art to process the challenges we face and have faced for decades, whether or not they are related to our identities. 

With that, let’s get into some of my favourite 2SLGBTQ+ art as of late! 


Arielle Twist, Disintegrate/Dissociate

As a big reader it’s hard for me to pick just one read, but this book took my breath away in a way that not many books do. A poetry collection from Arielle Twist, a Nehiyaw, Two-Spirit, Trans Woman originally from George Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan and now based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this collection introduced me to Twist and left me begging for more.  


Miss Chatelaine (Iron Hoof Remix) by k.d. lang and Orville Peck

Although I’m about 30 years late to the original version of this song, this updated 2021 version was definitely my “song of the summer” for 2021. A bit of cowboy swagger coming from gay country musician Orville Peck peppered on top of the soulful sounds from lesbian k.d. lang makes this song a bop you can sing and shimmy along to whether you’re dancing around your room or walking your dog in the chilly January weather. 


But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

Although I kept it current for my first two recommendations, I had to throw it back to recommend one of my favourite movies of all time to this list. But I’m a Cheerleader is a camp classic about a conversion therapy boot camp that takes on so many tropes about what it means to be queer it’s hard to keep them all straight (yes, that was intentional). Starring Natasha Lyonne and featuring a stellar cast including Clea DuVall and RuPaul, this film will make you laugh and warm your heart. MUNA and Phoebe Bridgers even made a music video inspired by it (check it out below)

Have you been engaging with 2SLGBTQ+ art to get you through the pandemic? What are some of the books/songs/musicians/movies/shows/performers/etc. that have been helping you through? Let us know in the comments on Instagram

And remember, times may be tough but we as a community have faced challenging times before and created through it all. We will get through this time too—together. 

With the late fall chill in the air, Pride celebrations of this year may be the last things on our mind—but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back at the exciting things we did this past spring and summer!

To continue our #Pride365 discussions of Pride all year round we want to share a video one of our 2SLGBTQ+ Collaborative of Peel Region members participated in earlier this year to highlight some of the needs of 2SLGBTQ+ communities in the Region. Check out the video from the City of Brampton’s Pride Spotlight below:

Source: Graphic from @mossthedoula on Instagram. | Description: Graphic with a light green background and darker green heart in the middle. In the heart is a trans masculine person with short hair and a beard chestfeeding a baby. Over the bottom of the heart is a red banner that reads “RESPECT TRANS PARENTS” in light green font. 

Zan Thompson, Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator

November 7th is Transgender Parents Day. There are regular challenges when one embarks on the adventure of parenting, but there are additional challenges one might face when becoming a trans parent. 

If you aren’t trans you might wonder, what are the challenges of becoming a trans parent? This blog will lightly explore some of the challenges I have heard about or encountered in the trans community when a person decides to become a parent. 

Trans men who don’t want to carry their children must adopt, find a surrogate mother or a partner who wouldn’t mind carrying. Adoption is an important option that I don’t want to understate. 

Childbearing has lost its popularity. Nowadays, people are becoming parents at older ages than previous generations. Finding someone to settle down with sometimes takes just as long as finding someone to bear a child. What are the chances that those two things happen simultaneously?

I know many trans women who want children of their own. Trans women cannot carry children of their own, so they have to either adopt, ask their partners to carry or co-parent as a stepparent. Before I heard the words co-parent and adopt my life was so dismal. 

Even though I have not yet had the opportunity to adopt children or find a surrogate mother—both of which are currently above my pay grade—being able to watch my trans friends raise their children has been fulfilling. 

I see the challenges they encounter and am impressed when I see them turn out these beautifully intelligent, strong-willed children

I recently attended a collaborative artist workshop on zoom. While participating in art therapy, the facilitator spoke about mourning the life experience loss of having no children. I thought to myself, “Wow, maybe I should be doing that. Maybe I should be thinking about the fact that I have not met someone whose life plans aligned with mine and I haven’t adopted yet.” 

I moved to Canada and of course I now have more possibilities and more opportunities when it comes to finding a sperm donor, artificial insemination or undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment, but earning enough money to afford parenting doesn’t happen right away and for some marginalized communities, it never happens. 

Since I was a teenager, I always spoke to my grandmother about wanting to raise a son. She recently asked, “So when are you going to have this son?” I told her that I was not financially ready yet. She told me something very important that I will never forget. “If you are waiting for the perfect time to raise children, it will never come. You have to trust that your love will be good enough.”

That is the perspective I have held onto ever since. Yes, I want a biological son and/or would like to adopt, but if none of these things ever happen, I have to trust that the love I already experience in my community will be enough.

Toronto Public Library – “A January 1991 Yonge Street protest of the Gulf War organized by gay activist groups. Stonewall and the bath house raids opened the door for activism both during and outside of Pride Week. Toronto Star Photograph Archive.

Allegra Morgado, 2SLGBTQ+ Special Projects Coordinator

As we’ve wrapped up October, it’s time for us to take a (belated) look back at 2SLGBTQ+ histories. Instead of focusing on historical moments, such as protests or acts of heroism from the queer and trans figures of the past, we decided to focus more on local history—or histories.

To celebrate 2SLGBTQ+ History Month, we spoke with two members of the Peel community about their own experience growing up as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, reflecting back now as middle age and older adults. Check out their answers below and learn a bit more from those who have come before us and continue to fight the good fight for 2SLGBTQ+ rights and freedoms.

Note: answers have been edited for length and clarity.

What was your self-discovery process concerning your 2SLGBTQ+ identity like?

Rosalyn: I grew up an age when we did not have the internet, that cell phones were communicators on Star Trek, the original series.

Not knowing who I am, not knowing if I were the only one, not knowing if there was something wrong with me, not knowing if I were normal…these are questions I did not really have the answer to.

It was lonely, isolating and a very self destructive period of time that took me a long time to get out from.

Will: Growing up during the 70s and 80s in small town blue collar Northern Ontario, there was little to no representation/role models to emulate. The language of ‘trans’ was not yet a part of the nomenclature of 2SLGBTQ+. We were not visible in mainstream culture.

Although I was quite sure I was a boy who was attracted to girls, my embodiment betrayed me. So I donned the identity that made the most sense at the time – lesbian. During university I discovered feminism and the label of lesbian became dyke as a political stance against patriarchy and the misogyny both within and outside 2SLGBTQ+ communities. During my work in the Violence Against Women movement, I came into contact with trans women and realized that opportunities to change my physical embodiment to be more aligned with my felt sense of self as male, was a possibility. So at the age of 40, I began the process of socially, legally and medically transitioning.

What is one of the biggest changes you see in 2SLGBTQ+ youth today versus your own experience growing up?

Rosalyn: The ability to find community, resources and support.

Will: The decreased constraints/ increased availability of identity categories and the fluidity of sexualities and genders.

Is there anything you believe you benefited from growing up as a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community during your youth that youth today don’t?

Rosalyn: No not at all. The one thing that I suppose prepared me was the fact I already faced bigotry as a young black person.

Will: The politics of being queer and how my identity, whether as a dyke or trans man, has always been intrinsically tied to the ongoing fight for our safe existence. Marches, sit-ins/die-ins, in many ways, galvanised our communities -as well as created fissures within. I feel my generation of 2SLGBTQ+ folks are very aware that our identities and the legislative rights created to provide protection, can be taken at any time.

What’s your favourite part of being part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community?

Rosalyn: This is an interesting question. I don’t know how to answer this part. I believe for everyone everywhere the best part about being alive is to be able to be completely and as openly every part of yourself inwardly and outwardly.

Will: Strong sense of community care. Having been part of the early years of HIV/AIDS, I learned the importance of mutual aid/networking/advocacy and a reliance on community in looking out for and after one another. In all of the ways that the mainstream social service industrial complex continues to fail us, community continues to fill in the gaps/crevices. And although I often felt a strong sense of support within the queer community, being part of trans communities has only increased those feeling of connections. 

Do you have any advice for queer youth and younger folks today?

Rosalyn: Yes. Gather, reach out and find community, learn from the past, understand the laws that are now there to protect and support you and continue creating more. Understand that you are not the only one like you but at the same time you are a unique perfect you.

Don’t allow others to tell you who you really are.

Will: Do not become complacent. Do not allow your privileges-whiteness, class, gender-to box you into a homonormative standard/viewpoint. Do not become the ‘palatable’ queer/trans person that does little to disrupt cisheteronormativity.

Continue to make room for the most marginalized within our communities to have a voice at the table. Legislative rights only protect a very small portion of our communities. We need to build stronger alliances with other grassroots movements whether it be disabilities movements, Black Lives Matter etc. Together we can move forward in ways that leaves no one behind. The police state is and always will be antithetical to all progressive movements. Support the defunding of the police state.


It is important in October and beyond to create intergenerational relationships within the larger 2SLGBTQ+ communities as so much can be lost without them. Will and Rosalyn were gracious with their time and allowed us to learn more about their own personal experiences which are part of the fabric of the larger queer and trans communities in Peel and beyond. Without them, and folks like them, our existences and experiences would not be what they are today.

Community care, as both made note of, is paramount. We must come together and focus on collective care today and everyday as there are unfortunately often moments when some of us only have each other.

Thank you to Will and Rosalyn for sharing their time with us; I encourage everyone to look for folks 10, 20, 30 years older than you in your community to build relationships with—there is so much more we can accomplish when we learn from each other.

NCOD logo designed by Keith Haring

Zan Thompson, Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator

TW: physical assault

I did not come out to family, friends, or neighbours until I felt safe enough to be open about my gender identity and sexual orientation. I don’t know many members of the black 2SLGBTQ+ community who thought, “today, I think I’ll call everyone I know and tell them what part of my sexual orientation or gender identity journey I’m on.” In fact, the pressure of coming out makes many people feel anxious. All of us don’t experience the same level of safety and support. If we are staying with family, how do we know if we’ll have somewhere to live after we come out? 

Coming out is largely a part of life for people who feel safe or secure enough to tell family, colleagues, and other members of the community they are 2SLGBTQ+ identified; however, that is not the way for everyone, whether they choose to come out or not. 

In The Bahamas, I remember going to a house party and casually discussing how I got physically assaulted in the parking lot of a LGBTQ+ bar. One of the listeners who was also an LGBTQ+ identified individual told me I was not discreet enough about my sexual orientation. During that time, I didn’t feel like I was as out as I wanted to be. I replied, “I shouldn’t have to be discreet about who I am.” 

After seeking protection in Canada in 2012 because I was physically assaulted for being LGBTQ+ identified, my self-acceptance journey progressed. While attending Toronto Film School in 2016, I walked past a class at the end of the hall of the campus near Dundas Square. I remember this person introducing themselves to the class. They told the class their name and then said, “and my pronouns are they and them.” Two emotions rushed into my chest: excitement and regret. When would I take a stand for my transness? After all, I moved to Canada to be protected from violence. Did I feel safe enough?

I remember the day I graduated film school. I stood in my living room, and I cried. I wasn’t busy anymore with photography, editing, set design, or production assignments. I had to face myself. If I couldn’t come out to anyone else, I could at least come out to myself. In my mind, I knew who I was, and I understood why I was afraid. 

Since then, my coming out as a trans man has been a challenging journey.

I started working as a video technician after I graduated. It was the closest job I could get to   working with cameras. I really love cameras. 

I made a choice to identify as he when seeking employment. I regretted not using my preferred pronoun in film school. I was not going to repeat that mistake. I used my biological name because none of my documents had any name changes, but when corresponding by email I was he, and in the interview my pronoun was also he. I was so happy to experience this gender identity liberation. 

For everyone, being Out can take on different meanings. Being out can even start from someone admitting to themselves who they are. It doesn’t look the same way for everyone, but I think self-acceptance gives peace of mind and will lead to a happier life.