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.

photo of Ty Sloane by Dylan Mitro, styling by Vanessa Magic, hair and makeup by Robert Weir

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.

In Conversation is taking a break for the summer – stay tuned for more information soon, and learn about this past year’s programming, below.

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.

2020/21 Sessions

Gender Euphoria

w/ guest LeeLee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis
What is Gender Euphoria? What relationship do we have to gender? How do we talk about gender as a community, in support of trans and 2-Spirit folx?

Monday, January 25, 6-8PM

Age + Authority

w/ guest Carol Thames
How do we reconcile our preconceptions of age and our desires for supportive intergenerational relationships?

Monday, February 22, 6-8PM

Faith, Religion + Spirituality

w/ guest Paul Wasswa
How do you reconcile your sexual orientation with your religion or your faith?

Paul Wasswa is an LGBTIQ newcomer to Canada and resident of Toronto as well as an  LGBTIQ newcomer community advocate and Peer Support worker. Though from an Anglican Christian background, Paul has had the opportunity of working and serving in various religious denominations. Back home in Uganda he founded an interdenominational Choir as well as an LGBTIQ Support Agency where he reclaimed his space as a queer Christian.

Monday, March 22, 6-8PM


w/ guest Ryan G. Hinds
What does it look like to thrive? Interlocking systems lead to holistic thriving. What are your coping skills and healing strategies?

Ryan G. Hinds is a critically-acclaimed theatre artist. Previous work includes creating and performing “#KanderAndEbb” and “MacArthur Park Suite: A Disco Ballet”; acting in shows across Canada including Theatre New Brunswick’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”, Magnus Theatre’s “We Will Rock You”, the national tour of “MSM [men seeking men]”, and “Lilies; Or the Revival of a Romantic Drama” for lemonTree Creations, Why Not Theatre, and Buddies in Bad Times.

Monday, April 19, 6-8PM


It’s been over a year of our new worlds. Where have we been since our collective call-ins? How have our lives changed? What does the future look like?

Monday, May 17, 6-8PM

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.

Series 1: 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.