Queer Leadership Symposium

Call For Presentations

Queer Leadership Symposium: Strengthening the Status Queer began in 2022 and we’re planning our third annual gathering to take place on Friday, October 25, 2024.

The Queer Leadership Symposium (QLS) is a gathering of nonbinary, trans, Two Spirit, and queer people who are interested in leadership, want to meet established leaders, or attend a symposium planned by and for queer people. QLS is a space expressly for self-identifying trans, queer, Two Spirit, and nonbinary people to gather, learn, visit, and share together. In previous years, the organizing committee has invited presenters and panelists on a variety of themes and topics – ranging from education, collective organizing and unionism, and policy studies to navigating microaggressions in the workplace, challenging cisgender-normative and heteronormative organizational cultures, anti-racism, Indigenous ways of knowing and being, supporting personal wellbeing, and queering leadership practices. QLS is intended for aspiring and established queer, nonbinary, Two Spirit, and trans leaders working in primary, secondary and postsecondary education, nonprofit organizations, public service, and other sectors. Central to the vision of QLS is the idea of providing a space for Two Spirit, trans, nonbinary, and queer people to gather and learn from and with one another to consider what queer leadership looks like, what we can learn from each other’s experiences, and how we can support one another.

This year, the planning committee for QLS 2024 is inviting applications for presentations, workshops, and panels.

Recognizing the long history of collective organizing among queer, trans, Two Spirit, and nonbinary people, QLS seeks to centre conversations that offer insight into what queer leadership looks like, our unique experiences, and how to lead in strength-based ways, challenge normative approaches, and expand conversations about leadership. QLS seeks to create a space that recognizes the intersectional realities of queer communities and leaders, including queer engagements with anti-racism, Indigenous perspectives, economic alternatives, sustainability, environmental activism, disability, and anti-oppressive social movements. In particular, given the recent surge in anti-2SLGBTQIA+ organizing, we hope to centre questions about how we can collectively organize: How can we use this moment to support our community and challenge broader society’s normative operation? How can we navigate it personally and collectively? How do we avoid apathy or complacency when we feel “safe”?

QLS 2024 extends an open invitation for queer leaders, community members, educators, organizers, activists, academics, and students to submit abstracts to present, organize panels, or deliver workshops. Breakout sessions are 75 minutes in length and you may propose single-themed presentation or workshop or multi-person presentations/panels on a proposed topic.

Applications may be submitted in one PDF, Word, or .rtf file and include:

  • Title of your session
  • Name and affiliation
  • 1–2 sentence summary of proposal (approx. 50 words)
  • Abstract of proposed session (approx. 250 words). Include:
    o Description of the proposed session type (whether single presentation, multiple presentations within
    similar panel, or practically oriented workshop; if you are organizing a panel, we recommend describing
    all presenters involved and identifying the panel organizer)
    o Description of topics or themes to be covered during session. You may include an overarching purpose
    statement, a goal you’d like to achieve, or situate your session amid a larger conversation or social
    movement. The goal is to clearly identify what your session sets out to do and how you propose to do it.
    o If relevant, you may include a description of your approach or methodology, field of application, or broader
    descriptions regarding the relevance and importance of your topic and how you came to this place.

Note: If accepted, the organizing committee will request a brief bio (60–70 words) and picture of presenter(s) to be used in program and introduction.

Presentation spaces are limited and the organizing committee will be making selections and extending invitations once reviewed. If a proposal is not accepted this year, there is a possibility applicants may be approached or invited for subsequent years’ symposia. Organizers may create presentation panels or groupings based on proposals’ themes or topics. Adjudication of abstracts will commence at that time and invitations extended by June 20, 2024.

Honoraria and funding for travel may be available depending on budget constraints.

Proposals are due by June 1, 2024. Submissions should be sent by email to