In recognition of human rights in the areas of sexual diversity and education, the annual Bonham Centre Awards Gala celebrated “The Power of the Word” for notable authors and writers. The recipients made contributions to the public understanding of sexual diversity in Canada.

On April 24th, the BCAG 2014 awards were held at The Hart House on the University of Toronto downtown campus. Although I’ve been to events at Hart House before, this gala had an elegant dinner setup for the evening and I was lucky to be a part of it. Previous BCAG award winners have included the renowned sexual educator and counsellor, Sue Johansen.

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The evening’s emcee was Global Television’s Liem Vu and the award recipients that evening included:

Edumund White
An American writer of novels, memoirs and essays on literary and social topics, drawing on gay love and his own gay experience. White has been influential as a critic on same-sex love and sexuality.

Edmund White, a 2014 Bonham Centre Award recipient

Edmund White, a 2014 Bonham Centre Award recipient

 

Patricia Nell-Warren
An author of gay literature and a distinguished investigative journalist and columnist, her subjects range from youth, human rights, gay and lesbian life, and mixed-blood people to sports, current events, and more.

L: Patricia Nell-Warren, a 2014 Bonham Centre Award recipient

L: Patricia Nell-Warren, a 2014 Bonham Centre Award recipient

 

Shyam Selvadurai
A Sri Lankan Canadian novelist born in Colombo, Sri Lanka to a Sinhalese mother and a Tamil father – members of conflicting ethnic groups whose troubles form a major theme in his work. Author of Funny Boy, he received the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Male Novel, and Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award for 1994.

Shyam Selvadurai, a 2014 Bonham Centre Award recipient

Shyam Selvadurai, a 2014 Bonham Centre Award recipient

 

In addition there was also the the IBM Youth Award given to Waawaate Fobister, a First Nations Playwright who in 2009 won six Dora Awards for his production of Agokwe, a one-man play which he wrote and starred in.

Waawaate Fobister, the IBM Youth Award recipient

Waawaate Fobister, the IBM Youth Award recipient

The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies offers an undergraduate program, a collaborative graduate program (MA and Ph.D.), as well as hosting academic and community events, and promoting research into sexuality. It is a hub for forging connections among faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, and community members interested in questions about how we understand sexual diversity and sexual practices.

For more info visit www.uc.utoronto.ca/sexualdiversity

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Photos by Nick Lee

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