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article imageGet Bent With Toronto Monthly Panel Discussions

By Bryen Dunn     Mar 4, 2010 in Lifestyle
Toronto - Toronto community panel discussion brings out queer intellectuals and their allies for an evening of education, awareness, debates, and socializing.
Bent - "An Evening of Queer Expressions" is a monthly event that showcases community members who discuss their knowledge and expertise on various chosen topics. A moderated panel discussion is followed by an open format Q&A with the audience, creating an educational and interactive experience.
According to organizers past attendees have included a mix of genders, cultures, and sexual orientations. Local political figures mingle with trans folks, and heterosexuals openly converse with homosexuals. "There are no boundaries when you have an open mind", says moderator Andrew Vail, a blogger with the online LGBT pocketbook Gay Guide Toronto. He also states there have been a greater number of people coming every month, and several familiar faces who have attended previous events.
Launched in early 2009, topics have ranged from politics to passion, mixed with joyous pride. For March the community collective presents an exciting moderated panel discussion with members of queer media outlets who will share their knowledge and experience on the ever changing dynamics of print, online, radio, television, and social networking as communication tools. What works, what doesn't? Is there a future for print publications? Have we reached social media burnout? How do you capture and maintain an audience? What does it take to be a leader?
Panelists:
Shaun Proulx Media - Radio/Television/Online Personality
Andrea Zanin - Sex Geek/Blogger
Serafin LaRiviere - Musician/Freelance Writer
Justin Stayshyn - Social Media Consultant/Hashfag
Jesse Stong - Astrologist/Playwright
Matt Mills - Editor, Xtra Magazine
Last month the topic of discussion was whether the Church and Wellesley area of Toronto was losing its importance to the queer community. This section of Toronto has long been known as the gay village, and is the focal point for celebrations, protests, and the annual Pride Toronto festival that draws somewhere near a million people to the vicinity.
Future topics of discussion are listed as - Theatre, Music, Kink, Astrology, Politics, Literature, Art, Youth Culture/Elder Visions, International Rights, Pride. Event organizers and panelists all contribute their time without any remuneration, doing it more for their passion. As well, partnerships have been formed with several other community groups all seeking a part of this grass roots initiative.
The April discussion will focus around Pride, with the theme Party or Politics. May will bring in a panel of queer filmmakers to chat about their experience in this industry, and June brings the second annual Human Rights panel discussion in partnership with Pride Toronto. Last year the focus was on international trans rights, and this year will see spokespersons from several international human rights groups bringing light to international queer issues around the world.
Those wanting to know more about this monthly event are encouraged to join the community Facebook Page and be the first to know.
For more on the March media event including a list of panelist bios, visit the Facebook Event Listing.
Tuesday March 30th - Gladstone Hotel Art Bar, 1214 Queen Street West, 416 531 4635 - 7pm to 9pm - Free Admission - All Welcome - www.themarsbar.com
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