Last year, Community One Foundation had the opportunity to award community advocate and all-around amazing human, leZlie lee kam with our Steinert & Ferreiro award (read more about that here)!
For decades, leZlie has been fiercely committed to raising the proud and joyful visibility of 2SLGBTQIA+ seniors, ensuring out individuals don’t feel pressure to retreat into the closet as they age. From recently serving since 2016 as the only openly queer representative on the Provincial Liason Committee of the Ministry of Senior Affairs and Accessibility, to co-organizing and hosting International Day of Older Persons queer events, and developing 2SLGBTQIA+ Best Practice Guidelines for service providers in Ontario, leZlie is a huge force in creating visibility and dignity in ageing as a 2SLGBTQ+ individual.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis in long-term care (LTC) reached new, unthinkable heights, and already marginalized queer seniors within LTC went unrecognized by provincial bodies meant to protect them. Drawing upon experience with home care and working with the Ontario Senior Pride Network (OSPN) and MPP Dr. Jill Andrew, leZlie quickly mobilized to bring attention to this crisis of invisibility. The coalition issued a lengthy report, which was submitted to the Ontario legislature in 2020, and due to their advocacy, the term 2SLGBTQ+ seniors was read into provincial parliamentary records for the first time in history.
In 2022, leZlie is showing no signs of slowing down, with a number of upcoming events and community engagements! Catch up with leZlie at any of the below engagements and also on their website, lezlieoutofthecloset.com.
RAINBOW SPACE – EVERY WEDNESDAY at 1:30 p.m. EST:
Co-hosting Rainbow 🌈 Space for Lumacare (with Brian Cope) – register at firstname.lastname@example.org
IN CONVERSATION – BUDDIES IN BAD TIMES – MONTHLY:
Buddies’ Youth / Elders Projects are an ongoing response to the need for building intergenerational spaces, conversations, and relationships in our queer community. The program launched in 2016 with a year-long project that culminated in the acclaimed theatrical production The Youth / Elders Project on Buddies mainstage, and continues with a regular program of community conversations, knowledge sharing, a podcast, and more. Register here.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 2022 – 3 p.m. – St. Stephen’s LGBTQI Newcomers
Click here to request more information.
MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2022 – 11:30 a.m. – Dorothy’s Place
Attend a webinar for Dorothy’s Place on the issues and challenges impacting 2SLGBTQI + Seniors. Click here for more information.