Friday September 6, 2013 1:45 pm - 3:45 pm
Does God Love Lesbians?
An interfaith dialogue about
spirituality, and lesbian identity.
Some argue that one of the biggest questions facing
contemporary lesbians feminists lies at the intersection of faith and individual rights
and freedoms, as fundamentalists of all kinds cling to doctrines that oppress
and harm women. At the same time, there are feminists of all faiths who have
reconciled their religious or cultural backgrounds with feminist and other
forms of activism, and even more than that, who continue to find their cultural
and religious backgrounds to be highly important aspects of their lives.
In this panel we draw together five women (one more TBA) who
define as lesbian/feminist and activist and also adhere to their
cultural/ spiritual identities.
Moderator: AERLYN WEISSMAN
Writer and Film Director Aerlyn Weissman’s work began in
1988. Her first feature film, A Winter Tan, was described by Jay Scott
as "unlike any Canadian film you've ever seen." Made in collaboration
with four colleagues, it was nominated for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best
Actress and Best Sound at the 1989 Genies.
Aerlyn has won two Genie awards and
created films which have been screened around the world, on topics ranging from
forensic archaeology and digital technologies to censorship and social
software. She has participated in many industry panels and academic symposiums
and has been a mentor at the Gulf Islands Film and Video School on Galiano
Island. In 1996 she received the Vancouver Women in Film and Television award
for Woman of the Year.
Aerlyn was co-director of Forbidden Love, a film on popular culture
and the lives of Canadian lesbians in the 1950's, produced by the National Film
Board of Canada. Variety noted, "this well crafted documentary blends a
savvy mixture of fiction and fact." Released theatrically in Canada,
Britain, and the United States, it has been broadcast on CBC, PBS, and the BBC.
The film received many audience and technical awards at international
festivals, and won the Genie for Best Feature Length Documentary of 1993. Her
next film, Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule, a profile
of that West Coast writer, received a Genie in 1995. From 1995 to 1996 Aerlyn
co-produced and directed, DoubleTake: Women in Media, a 13-part series
for television, on the politics of women's representation in the media.
FATIMA JAFFER is a PhD student at the
Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP) at the University of British
Columbia, where she also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Cutting Edge, the peer-reviewed journal
of ISGP. She holds an MA in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario,
and a BA in English Literature from McGill University.
Her research dissertation is on alternative
media in social movements. Her critical theoretical perspective focuses on
rethinking the role of media in global social movements; examining media both a
site of knowledge production and dissemination as well as its role in informing
and fostering a shared sense of community that informs the development of
movements for social change, in particular, feminist and queer movements.
A longtime activist and journalist in
several countries, she is a former editor of Kinesis,
Canada’s national feminist newspaper, writes guest columns for Xtra-West, Vancouver queer newspaper and
facilitates Trikone Vancouver, a South Asian queer group in BC.
Fatima sits on the Advisory Board of UBC’s
RAGA Centre (Race, Autobiography, Gender and
Age). She is a co-coordinator of the Global
Queer Research Group at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. She is a
GSA for the Post/Colonial, Critical Race and Feminist Group, also at the Liu
DR. VALERIE MASON-JOHN entered the Triratna
Buddhist Order in India 2005 and was named VIMALASARA. A disciple of the
venerable Sangharakshita she has been on the buddhist path for 23 years, and
teaching meditation for 15 years. Chairperson of the Vancouver Buddhist Centre,
she has pioneered Recovery Mondays dharma and meditation for people in recovery
from all types of addiction.
Author of seven books, her dharma books include
Broken Voices ex untouchable women speak out, Detox Your Heart
Working with anger fear and hatred, published as an e book on Amazon this
year, and in 2014 her next book will be published, Eight step Recovery Using
the Buddhas Teachings to overcome addiction. She works as a life coach and
trainer in restorative justice, conflict transformation, anti bullying and
leadership and lives on the Sunshine Coast.
Valerie Mason-John Aka Queenie
Professional Life Coach - Certified Coaches Federation
BON FABIAN is of the Metis nation from Winnipeg Manitoba; her
people are Blackfoot, Cree, Dakota, Ojibwa, French and Slovenian. She is two
spirit and identifies as female/butch. Bonnie is a pipe carrier and healer who has participated in a womens’ Buffalo Sundance, known as Kunsi Keya, in
Vermont, USA, for the past twenty-four years; as a Sundancer, for sixteen years.
She has led sweatlodges at Kunsi Keya for fourteen years and locally, for the
past five years and is actively involved in local native spiritual ceremonies.
Bonnie represented female two spirits in the Downtown Eastside Smudge Ceremony
2010, and was asked to participate in this last Mayan calendar 2013 Solstice
ceremony, in which she led one of the thirty-three sweatlodges and was among
sixteen pipe carriers who lifted the pipe for prayers in unison. As a peer, she
supports local Sundancers of all genders and she follows the Lakota way. Bonnie
works her activism in prayer for all, during Sundances and sweatlodoges.
KERRI MESSNER is a minister with Metropolitan Community
Churches, a denomination founded in the l/g/b/t/q community, and has worked
pastorally in Vancouver, New York City, London, and Edinburgh.
currently a doctoral candidate and Liu Scholar in the Centre for Cross Faculty
Inquiry in Education at the University of British Columbia, where she is
researching the applications of performative autoethnography, queer theology,
and anti-oppressive education in addressing religiously rooted anti-queer violence.
BOLD, a non-profit society registered in the Province of British Columbia Canada, has as its mission to
raise the visibility of older lesbians, and to provide a venue to meet
and to share information and opportunities for learning, networking, and
organizing. For the last eight years, BOLDFest
- the Bold Old(er) Lesbians & Dykes Conference - has attracted
lesbians aged 45+ - as well as younger women - from across Canada, the
US and even Australia!We convene at the Coast Plaza Hotel each year, on the weekend after Labour Day weekend. The Coast Plaza is
a friendly and gay-friendly hotel in the heart of Vancouver's gay West
End, with stunning views of the mountains and Pacific Ocean.
We are delighted to have Olivia Travel as our major sponsor once again at BOLDFest 2013! Thank you Olivia!!
BOLDFest 2012 Bold, Old(er) Lesbians & Dykes
PO Box 21510, 1424 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 5G2 Canada
Tel: 604-253-7189 - Email