Release Date: September 28, 2004
Media Contact: James Duggleby
Phone: (306) 585-5439
Fax: (306) 585-4997
Symposium focuses on issues facing gay and lesbian youth
Three units at the University of Regina have collaborated to arrange a first-of-its-kind symposium. The Faculty of Education, the Teaching Development Centre, and the Canadian Plains Research Center - with the support of the President's Office and the Humanities Research Institute - have organized a forum for educators, students, community workers, and other professionals interested in addressing the issues facing gay and lesbian youth. 

The symposium - exploring the theme of "Education and Social Justice for Gay and Lesbian Youth" - will be held on campus at the Language Institute theatre. Registration will commence at 6 p.m. Oct. 15. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes a keynote address by David McIntyre, resident composer with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and director of Prairie Pride Chorus. The chorus will perform Watershed Stories.

The program will continue Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with plenary sessions, panel discussions and a luncheon address titled "Becoming a Real Man, that is A Queer Man," by Darrin Hagen, an Edmonton playwright, musician and entertainer. 

The goal of the event is to "break the silence" on sexual identity and the homophobic cycle of "knowing by not knowing."

The Canadian Plains Research Center has also published an anthology of related stories and essays called I Could Not Speak My Heart. Edited by James McNinch and Mary Cronin, the collection of 19 articles includes 12 by Saskatchewan academics and community members. I Could Not Speak My Heart will be launched on Friday evening, Oct. 15, in the Language Institute Auditorium and will include selected readings from the collection, interspersed with music from Watershed Stories, composed by David McIntyre, the evening's keynote speaker, and sung by Prairie Pride Chorus. A wine and cheese reception will follow. 

Saturday's symposium will consist of plenary, interactive and panel sessions aimed at "asking the hard questions" and looking for solutions. Among the topics are: the regulation of First Nations sexuality through the Indian Act; Christian opposition to homosexuality; institutionalized homophobia: at work, at play, at school; and survival and resistance strategies of queer youth.

For a complete program and registration information, please visit the website at For more information please contact conference co-chair James McNinch by email at: