In Conversation

community + education partner 

education programming supporters


Our focus on intergenerational connections continues with the return of In Conversation, curated by leZlie lee kam and Ty Sloane. Moving to an online format this past year has allowed us to reach an audience well beyond our home in Toronto, and we continue to strengthen these long-distance connections as other in-person activities resume.

“One day, if you’re lucky, you too will be a queer senior.”

– leZlie lee kam

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.

In Conversation


As a global pandemic disproportionately affects our queer communities, the need to create space for queer intergenerational dialogue is more important now than ever. In Conversation is a space for formal and informal discussions about salient issues within our communities. You are invited to participate and talk, or just listen. Some sessions will feature specially invited guests to speak intimately on the themes and topics.

In Conversation is open to queer youth, elders, and folks of any age interested in conversation across queer generations. No artistic experience is necessary.

Zoom links will be posted on this page closer to each event. You can also sign up below for a day-of reminder below, but registration is not required. ASL interpretation available upon request. Please let us know in the form, and we will confirm with you.


Zoom info for November 15

Click here to join the zoom call via web or Zoom app.

One tap mobile
+16473744685,,81275891013#,,,,*020776# Canada

647 374 4685
Meeting ID: 812 7589 1013
Passcode: 020776

The facilitators

leZlie Lee Kam

I am a world majority, brown, trini, Carib, Indo, Chinese, callaloo, differently-abled, queer, DYKE, community activist, elder. I live my life from an anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-colonial, inter-generational and intersectional perspective. I am a storyteller, workshop facilitator and actor. I advocate for the rights of queer seniors, 2-Spirit and transgender people of colour. I enjoy doubles, dancing, dim sum, a cold beverage and a hot “lime” anytime. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

Ty Sloane
Tyler J Sloane is a multidisciplinary performance artist. Their art emphasizes marginalized voices that intersect mixed-race and queer identity. Exploring these themes through various projects: Photography (Self In Response to Influence of Violence & Community, Light Our Bodies, and Fruit Basket ), Visual Art (Self in Response, Breath On One Land, and But When), Community Arts (It’s All Queer Pride (2018-2021)), Burlesque (as Tygr Willy (BoylesqueTO, HausBoat, Passion Fruit)), and Theatre. Photo by Ty Sloane.

2021/22 Sessions

Speed History (Getting to Know Each Other)
Monday, October 18, 6-8PM ET

In our first session, take part in a round of Speed History where elders and youth will be paired together to discuss identity, sexuality, community, and all things queer.

Newcomer + New Communities
Monday, November 15, 6-8PM ET
with guests Aruna Boodram + Maher Sinno

This session shifts focus to finding new communities and new support, especially through a queer newcomer perspective. How do we build and access specific supports? How does the expression of our queerness change? And how do communities come together?

Aruna Boodram (they/she) is a queer, gender expansive community organizer and legal worker from the Caribbean diaspora based in Toronto. She is an educator and facilitator that specializes in anti-oppression, abolition, decolonization, fertility, queer and trans family planning and other training. She is the autonomous-single (by choice) parent of Surya Amaris, a thriving and resilient baby Sagittarius. Aruna is also the advice columnist for Shameless Magazine, council member for the Children’s Peace Theatre in Toronto and a National Family Advisor for the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation.

Maher (ماهر) immigrated to Canada in 2014 and is a multidisciplinary artist and community worker. Maher has collaborated with organizations such as Buddies in Bad Times, Cahoots Theatre, & Theatre Passe Muraille. They also perform slam poetry and arab drag. In the community, Maher currently works with ASAAP (Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention) and volunteers for Pride Toronto as a director on its board since October 2020. Maher’s work centers the racialized newcomer experience, in all its complexities and joys.

Creating (Virtual) Communities
Monday, December 13, 6-8PM ET
Guest Host Jay Baldwin

Virtual and digital spaces have played an important role in queer communities, but how do we leverage the digital when physical space isn’t accessible?

Jay Baldwin (they/them) is a twenty one year-old Black, Queer, Non-monogamous, Cerebral Palsy Infused, tea-obsessed, Jesus-loving, activist and advocate, for all things Human Rights! Jay is currently finishing up their third year of their Undergrad, working towards a B.A. in Women and Gender Studies with a Minor in Human Rights and Social Justice. They are also an Ambassador for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the creator/admin of the fairly new Facebook Group: Disabled, Queer and Fabulous!  After Jay has finished their Undergrad, they plan on channeling their inner Judy Heumann, getting their Masters and becoming a LGBTQ+ Social Service Leader to represent the Disabled, Queer community. Here’s to smiling, thriving and spreading love and light with Jay!

The Youth / Elders Podcast

Recorded live at the Oakwood branch of the Toronto Public Library, this monthly podcast features the personal stories, lived histories, and candid conversations from queer elders and youth. Over the course of six months, over 50 people participated as either audience or storytellers exploring ideas of queer history, ageing, identities, and the evolving and intersectional way different generations relate to their queerness.

Click here for more info and to subscribe with your favourite podcast app.

Stay connected

If you would like updates on intergenerational programming, calls for submissions, educational offerings, and other opportunities to get involved, we’ve got a newsletter for you! Sign up below.