May Sex Salon: Theorizing COVID-19: Examining the Impacts of COVID-19 on 2SLGBTQ+ Populations in North America”.


2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Sex Salon Event Series presents “Theorizing COVID-19: Examining the Impacts of COVID-19 on 2SLGBTQ+ Populations in North America”.

In the two years since the World Health Organization (WHO) classified COVID-19 as a global pandemic, scholars across all disciplines—public health, history, sociology, psychology, nutritional science, ethnic studies, and philosophy—have tried to reckon with the immediate and fundamental changes to civic life brought on by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. While the focus and methods (e.g., moves to online data collection) of many research programs have pivoted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these shifts have not necessarily prompted scholars to rethink their approach to theory.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic marks a distinctive moment in time. To understand the impact of COVID-19 in our lives and communities, we must queer theory, even queer theory itself. This session brings together scholars pursuing work on 2SLGBTQ+ communities to examine how their approaches to theory have changed during COVID-19. What new questions must we ask in the face of this ongoing public health crisis and what critical questions remain unanswered? How might theory help us to conduct meaningful research in the face of limited data on the impact of COVID-19 on queer and racialized communities and an ever-changing landscape of public health policy? To what extent can theory support our understanding of, and response to, other epidemics within our communities (e.g., HIV, mental illness, racism).

COVID-19 has changed where and how we work, have sex, connect with loved ones, and access healthcare. These practices are, of course, shaped by sharp social inequalities and health disparities within and beyond 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Drawing on ongoing research across several studies, presenters will discuss how theory (e.g. critical race theory, minority stress theory, queer theory) helps them to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the social and sexual lives of 2SLGBTQ+ folks and the strategies they have used to maintain their physical, sexual, and mental wellbeing during an ongoing public health crisis.


CORNEL GREY (Moderator)

Cornel Grey is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Cornel’s research examines how black queer men enact kinship and intimacy through physical touch. His work considers how black queer socialities challenge us to think differently about questions of risk, care, health, and relationality. He is currently examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social and sexual lives of gay, bisexual and queer men.

CHLOE GOLDBACH – “Resilience in the Face of Increasing Disparities: LGBTQ+ People & COVID-19”

Chloe Goldbach (she/her/hers), MS, MA is a White, lesbian, gray-ace, transgender woman and PhD candidate in Counseling Psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). She earned a Master of Arts in Psychology from SIUC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, and Master in Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida. She organizes community-wide events on transgender and nonbinary issues at SIUC, serves as an associate researcher of the Diversity and Rural Advocacy Group (DRAG) at Oklahoma State University, teaches courses on LGBTQ+ and workplace diversity issues, and is a therapist-in-training with a focus on serving LGBTQ+ clients and clients with eating and body image concerns. Her research broadly focused on trans, nonbinary, and LGB issues, and she is currently conducting research on health care access barriers, experiences the COVID-19 pandemic, transgender athletes, and centering the voices and experiences of transgender and nonbinary people in the treatment and conceptualization of gender dysphoria.

EMERICH DAROYA – “I’m cut off from my community”: Perceived Harmful Effects and Deficiencies of COVID-19 Public Health Restrictions on Canadian Gay, Bisexual, and other Men who have Sex with Men (GBM)”

Emerich Daroya is a postdoctoral fellow at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He received his PhD in Sociology from Carleton University, where he wrote a dissertation on the effects of biomedical technologies in gay men’s sexual practices through posthumanist performative frameworks. His research interests include queer theory, HIV/AIDS, new materialisms, sexuality studies, and race/racism.

IAN LIUJIA TIAN – “The racism I’ve received, yes, increasing”: using critical race theory to understand gay, bisexual, and queer men of colour’s experiences of discrimination during multiple epidemics”

Ian Liujia Tian is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, with interests in queer approaches to social reproduction and labor migration in China and beyond. His current dissertation tracks how pleasure appears and mediates large socioeconomic transformation and everyday life in China’s rural countryside and migrant villages.

NAT QUATHAMER – “Being in a Queer Time: Exploring the Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic on LGBTQ+ Body Image”

I’m Nat Quathamer (They/He/She ou Iel), a queer, grey-ace, trans-non-binary white settler living in K’jipuktuk (so-called Halifax). I am a registered dietitian working to bring the fields of health equity, food justice, body liberation, and sustainable living together. My work aspires to actively dismantle the binary discourses around food, health, nutrition, the mind and the body both within myself and with those I work with. Outside work, I love to talk about music, sourdough, space, embroidery, recovery and sobriety, and nature (especially fungi).

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