The Queer Across Canada Resource Kit
This free, downloadable kit accompanies the album Queer Across Canada, which was released in 2013 and is a collection of songs based on interviews Kael conducted with LGBTQ2S+ families in Canada and the USA from 2009-2012. Along with musicians Mel Watson, Christina Zaenker, Toby Peter, Richard Brown, Adam Popowitz, CR Avery, Malcolm Aiken, and Tim Tweedale, who have contributed their musical talents to the album, Queer Across Canada also features a choir of children from queer families in Vancouver, BC, and youth from Qmunity, British Columbia’s queer resource centre. The Queer Across Canada songs can also be streamed or purchased on iTunes and Spotify or by contacting Kael to order a CD.
The Purpose of this Kit
The purpose of this kit is to use the songs from Queer Across Canada to invite students and educators to reflect on and discuss perspectives, issues, and stories related to gender and sexuality, as well as social problems such as homophobia, transphobia, cisheteronormativity, and cisgenderism. It is also meant to invite students to discuss their own identities in relation to the songs, and to celebrate gender creative and sexually diverse people, families, and communities. The songs and the activities in the kit may also encourage students to consider how they might carry this learning forward into their lives and communities. The songs and activities in this kit can be used in the following curricular areas: Health and Physical Education, Social Sciences and Humanities, English, and Canadian and World Studies, as well as in any courses related to anti-discrimination and equity, inclusion, and diversity. This kit can also be used in undergraduate classrooms to supplement academic readings, as well as in community organizations for sensitivity training and equity purposes.
Research Conducted to Develop this Kit
The Queer Across Canada Resource Kit evolved over several years. Back when Kate was conducting interviews for Queer Across Canada, they began working with a number of educators to help them develop the activities for the kit. Then, Kael realized they wanted to bring the songs into an actual classroom and conduct research on how these songs could be used as learning texts and investigate how students and teachers might engage with the songs. So, Queer Across Canada became the focus of Kael’s PhD research—a 2-and-a-half-month study in an alternative secondary school classroom in Ontario in which 13 students, ages 16-20 years old, and their teacher participated. Over the course of this study, the students, classroom teacher, and Kael listened to the songs from Queer Across Canada together. Then, the students wrote journal reflection responses to each song, and afterwards, Kael, the students, and their teacher all participated in sustained, engaged dialogue with one another about a wide range of subject matter related to gender, sexuality, embodiment, identity, and relationships. Kael used this research, and ideas and feedback from the students, to produce this final version of The Queer Across Canada Resource Kit.