The Gender Conspiracy


Kama La Mackerel, Breaking the Promise of Tropical Emptiness: Trans Subjectivity in the Postcard, 2019. Photo: Nedine Moonsamy. Courtesy of the artist.

The Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB) proudly announces its upcoming exhibition The Gender Conspiracy, an Open Letter to the Trans and Gender-Diverse communities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to express allyship in furthering the discourse on gender fluidity and identity, sexual orientation, same-sex relationships, and consent, to promote the mental health and safety of all LGBTQI2S* communities. On view from August 29 – December 31, 2019, the exhibition includes works by 18 leading LGBTQI2S artists who bear witness to the ongoing, urgent struggles of their communities in the face of violence and discrimination.

Featuring artists: Cassils, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Dayna Danger, Raven Davis, Jah Grey, Samra Habib, Kama La Mackerel, Kent Monkman, Manghoe Lassi, Wynne Neilly & Kyle Lasky, Jocelyn Reynolds, Chase Joynt & Kristen Schilt, Vivek Shraya, Adrian Stimson, Chase Joynt & Tanja-Tiziana, and Syrus Marcus Ware

50 years after the Stonewall riots solidified the LGBTQI2S liberation movement in the USA and first steps towards decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, LGBTQI2S rights are being threatened. Basic responsibilities of education and care are being removed as governments implement numerous cuts to mental health funding, public health, and education. Gay-Straight Alliances in the public-school system are being eradicated, our communities are being oppressively policed, and far-right extremist groups and hate crime rates are growing across the country. Why are we moving backwards? How can we—as activists, advocates, feminists, queers, antiracist leaders—safeguard the next generation from rampant transphobia, erasure, and exposure? Curated by AGB’s Senior Curator, Suzanne Carte, this photo and moving image exhibition places the lives of LGBTQI2S individuals at the fore to express a vigilant commitment to supporting a dialogue addressing these key questions.

Preview Film Screening: Framing Agnes

Q & A with the Director Chase Joynt
Wednesday, August 28, 7:00 – 8:30pm

In the late 1950s, a woman named Agnes approached the UCLA Medical Center seeking sex reassignment surgery. Her story was long considered to be exceptional and singular until never-before-seen case files of other patients were found in 2017. Framing Agnes features preeminent trans culture-makers breathing new life into those who redefined gender in the mid-century.

A film by Chase Joynt & Kristen Schilt. Starring Zackary Drucker (She Gone Rogue, Transparent), Angelica Ross (Pose, HerStory), Silas Howard (By Hook or By Crook, A Kid Like Jake), Max Wolf Valerio (Max, The Testosterone Files).

Opening Night Cabaret

Friday, September 6, 7:00 – 10:00pm


Photo: Hamidah Hemani @hamidahhemaniphotos

Join us for the epic opening of The Gender Conspiracy with a night of performances and storytelling.

Drag stars Fay Slift + Fluffy Soufflé lead a family read-along, focusing on books, songs and lots of laughs to show that reading is FUN-damental! The duo support families with LGBTQI2S parent(s) and gender variant children by providing a supportive and inclusive environment focused on joy.

Following the read-long, the stage lights up with drag, spoken-word, burlesque dancing and music by Manghoe Lassi, Tifa Wine, Johleen, and Zain Bandali with DJ Zehra playing through the event.

Register for free attendance here!

Artists Talk & Tour

Saturday, September 7, 1 – 2pm
Led by Senior Curator, Suzanne Carte

Artists from The Gender Conspiracy Michèle Pearson Clarke, Jah Grey, Samra Habib, Wynne Neilly & Kyle Lasky, Jocelyn Reynolds, Tanja-Tiziana, and Syrus Marcus Ware walk through the exhibition and discuss their work.

LGBTQI2S 101: Positive Space Training

Wednesday, September 25, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Facilitated by EGALE – Canada Human Rights Trust

The AGB is pleased to offer a free one-hour session on LGBTQI2S Anti-Oppression training. The session will provide the tools to understand appropriate and inclusive language, increase your comfort level while discussing LGBTQI2S issues, as well as highlight the importance of LGBTQI2S inclusion from both a legislative and cultural context. Learning materials will be provided.

Egale is Canada’s leading national charity that works to improve the lives of LGBTQI2S persons by informing public policy, inspiring cultural change, and promoting human rights through research, education and community engagement.

Even if this is your first safe space session or a refresher, all are encouraged to attend.

Spaces are limited – Register for free attendance here!

The Gender Conspiracy is a pledge to trans and gender diverse communities to create space for sustained relations. AGB strives to be a responsive, brave place where many individuals’ realities are expressed. We are forever grateful to the contributing artists and acknowledge the immensity of the work they do in creating community connections to help us learn and grow together.

*LGBTQI2S is an abbreviation used to represent a broad array of identities such as, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, two-spirit, gender and sexual minorities, and allies.

The AGB would like to acknowledge the guidance and support from local community partners including The Positive Space Network, EGALE Canada Human Rights Trust, JAYU, McMaster University Department of Gender Studies and Feminist Research, and Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School Position Space (GSA). AGB would like to acknowledge the Gender Inclusion Consultants; Hannah Barrie, Fiona Gordon, and Madison McDonald who created the Educational Guides (both Family & Adult) to assist in the further reading of the exhibition and generated new washroom signage to promote safe spaces for all.

The Gender Conspiracy has been generously supported by Exhibition Sponsors: Hogarth Family Foundation, Pioneer Group, Cidel, and Porsche Motion Endeavours. Photo printing for Chase Joynt & Tanja-Tiziana is sponsored by Pikto and Safe Space training provided by EGALE


Art Gallery of Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, Ontario, L7S 1A9
Phone (905) 632-7796
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For further details contact: Laura Buisman, Marketing Coordinator, AGB or 905-632-7796 x 304.