Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Beyond the Gender Binary: Stories Told and Strategies Shared

AprilApr 17 2023 10:00am - 11:30am

Special Program

In this session, participants will develop an understanding of how the gender binary plays out in everyday life, forming the basis of assumptions about students, staff, faculty, and librarians within post-secondary settings. Participants will explore how long-held beliefs about sex and gender (as well as race and disability) can shape approaches to teaching, learning, working, and providing services that result in the disproportionate exclusion and marginalization of gender expansive people. This presentation reveals how the gender binary imposes limitations on gender expression and gender identity for many people, not only for those who fall outside the gender binary. The presentation traces the intersections of gender with racialization, colonialism, and ableism, increasing participants’ capacity to identify how myths about the sex and gender binaries impact all members of post-secondary communities. Participants will explore strategies to challenge these myths in order to create more inclusive, responsive, and supportive post-secondary environments for all.

Learning objectives:

  • Draw links between the sex and gender binaries and whiteness, colonialism, ableism, and class.
  • Build skills to identify patterns and processes of gender-based discrimination, transphobia, and gender policing in post-secondary education.
  • Self-reflect on how attitudes and actions related to gender binaries are played out individually, interpersonally and systemically.
  • Review strategies to challenge binary thinking and work towards systems and practices that foster belonging of all.
  • Examine strategies that have been implemented in other sectors that can serve as models for post-secondary spaces to deepen equity and inclusion.





ALOK (they/them) is an internationally acclaimed author, poet, comedian, and public speaker. As a mixed-media artist their work explores themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public (2017), Beyond the Gender Binary (2020), and Your Wound/My Garden (2021). They are the creator of #DeGenderFashion: a movement to degender fashion and beauty industries and have been honored as one of Huffington Post’s Culture Shifters, NBC’s Pride 50, and Business Insider’s Doers. Over the past decade they have toured in more than 40 countries, most recently headlining the Vancouver Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and selling out their runs at the Soho Theatre in London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They are currently on a world tour of their new show which has been described as "provocative and powerful" (Chortle), a "Potent combination of comedy and poetry" (The Scotsman), and a "Jaw-dropping celestial event" (To Do List London). On screen, they will make their feature film debut in Netflix’s Absolute Dominion. On television, they have appeared on Netflix’s Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and The Trans List.


Format: Virtual (requires institutional Zoom account – see below for instructions).

Audience: Faculty, librarians, staff, and students at the University of Toronto.

  • Registration requires an active UTORid.

Cost: Free

Further Details

This event is a collaboration between the Institutional Equity Office, UTM Equity Diversity & Inclusion Office, and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

Participants can submit questions to event organizers throughout the session.

If you have any accessibility questions or are looking for further information on how we might support your participation including accommodation requests, please contact, and we will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.

Please note that the event will not be recorded.

  • Institutional Equity Office
    Organizer of Beyond the Gender Binary: Stories Told and Strategies Shared

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