Voices of Love (2014)

Voices of Love graphic

Graphic Design: Dafne Blanco

In April 2014, the Vancouver School Board began a routine process of updating their policies, including the policies around homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Through a consultation with an LGBTQ working group, The Vancouver School Board proposed a new policy that would include a focus on discrimination based on gender: the idea behind this being that "homophobic" discrimination is also directed on the basis of gender performance, as opposed to someone's "actual" sexual orientation. There was also an emphasis to change the policy to be more inclusive towards transgender or genderqueer students.

The proposition caught the wind of some right wing conservatives, which caused a huge controversy – with the 2 day consultation process increasing to 5, with the police at one point barricading the entrance of the consultation process and checking ID to prevent chaos, and medical emergencies happening during the strenuous 8 hour consultation process. A process that was clearly not healthy for all communities involved.

We noticed that there were some interesting crossovers from each "side" – that all "sides" of the controversy (conservative, mostly Christian parents, and the LGBT community) had some similarities. Particularly that they all wanted their children to be safe, and that they all loved their children. From this potential moment of "solidarity" between these opposing "sides", we thought this might be a good exercise for a Rainbow of Desire. We put a call out to the people involved in the issue, and received a lot of positive responses, which led us to begin the outreach process to do the exercise.

In September 2014, Theatre for Living held a public Rainbow of Desire workshop to engage all sides involved in this issue, called Voices of Love: Reaching Across.

David Ng, the Outreach Coordinator for Theatre for Living during Voices of Love created an outreach report that chronicles some of the learnings from doing the outreach for this project.

Please click here to download a PDF file of the report.