Upcoming Events

The Metro Vancouver Premiere of the multiple international award-winning local indie doc, My Name Was January, will be held at SFU Surrey.

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Doors Open at 6 pm 
Screening and Panel Discussion of My Name Was January
Metro Vancouver Premiere
SFU Surrey
Westminster Savings Lecture Theatre - Room 2600
250-13450 102 Avenue
Surrey, BC
200 person capacity

Free. Reception to follow

This special event is sponsored by the SFU Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies as part of the Margaret Lowe Benston Lecture Series in Social Justice. Lara Campbell, Professor and Department Chair, states “that the movie embodies the deepest principles of social justice and that the department is honoured to support and honour the lives of trans women.” 

Tickets are free to the public via the following link:  https://mynamewasjanuary.eventbrite.ca  

Confirmed panelists Include:

·         Alex Sangha – Producer and Cast Member

·         Elina Gress – Director

·         Lenee Son - Director

·         Velvet Steele – Cast Member

·        Natasha Adsit – Cast Member

The panel will be facilitated by Jennifer Marchbank who is a Professor in the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Department at SFU.


When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered in her own home in New Westminster, BC, a community reacts and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges. January was seen as a bright light in the lives of many. This is the story of January, a friend, a daughter, a person. This film will not only bring justice to January, but to all the women who have lost their lives. January had a beautiful soul, and now part of her soul rests in each and every one of us.

Panelist Bios

Elina Gress

Elina is a freelance multimedia journalist, primarily photojournalist, with a Bachelor’s of Journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. With a keen eye and mind full of creativity, she strives tell stories that can encourage change and enlighten those around us. Through the power of visual, and auditory documentary, Elina is devoted to telling people’s stories with utmost transparency, by simply allowing herself not to be the storyteller, but a source for those who have a story to tell. A story that can change a life.

Lenee Son

Lenée is a Khmer Krom settler who grew up in Surrey on unceded Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, and Kwikwetlem territories. She has a Bachelors of Journalism and minor in Sociology from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Her work as a freelance multimedia journalist has appeared in publications such as rabble.ca, Multimedia Photojournale, The Volcano, Westcoast Food, and Inside Vancouver. When she’s not working on multimedia projects, Lenee is committed to anti-poverty community organizing in Surrey and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.   

Alex Sangha

Alex is the Founder of Sher Vancouver.  He is active in the community and cultural affairs.  Alex has worked as a social worker, instructor, clinician, youth counsellor, and team leader.  He has an MSc in Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and a Master of Social Work from Dalhousie University.  Alex is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for social work advocacy in the South Asian LGBTQ community.

Velvet Steele

Velvet is widely known for her appearance on the wildly popular documentary series KINK. As a woman, she defines herself as a woman with a trans medical history. She is an advocate for transsexual rights, an activist for transgender rights, and a sensitivity facilitator with the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Police Department. She was a fetish service provider and educates folks on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the world of sex toys and adult therapeutical aids. She created the first Fetish Night in Vancouver which ran for 10 years. It’s her life as a fetishist and visual artist that led her to activism on sex, sexuality, and sexual health and healing.


Natasha Adsit

Natasha is a beautiful woman now in her forties. She is a north-west coast native who has grown up in the cities. She first started transitioning at 16 years of age. Being rejected by her family has meant she grew up on the streets. As an adult, she is finding herself and gaining a sense of peace and stability. Natasha is currently married and was most recently living in  Edmonton, Alberta.OFFICIAL TRAILER





Canadian South Asian Youths Conference:
Identity, Gender, Sexuality, Employment, and Activism

Date: April 6, 2019 Saturday
Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver
Time: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Dr. Habiba Zaman, Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, SFU
Dr. Sanzida Habib, Research Associate, Center for India and South Asia Research, UBC

The need for the proposed conference grew out of the many issues and challenges identified by a group of young speakers at the Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis held in September 2017 realized by the same organizers. The experience of growing up by the Canadian South Asian Youths, like those in many other immigrant communities in Canada, reveals a constant struggle within the family and beyond. The mixed experiences of life, personal identities, sexuality, intergenerational and intercultural conflicts over family values, honor/shame, and work place encounters require many social and cultural adjustments. The Conference is expected to explore the identity formation/negotiations, the role of gender/family/community, sexuality, dilemmas and intergenerational conflicts, job market experiences and un/der/employment, the interface between immigrants and the wider community, and the role of social and community activism as Canadians.

An abstract of 250 words with email address and a short paragraph of biographic information should be submitted to Professor Habiba Zaman (email address: hzaman@sfu.ca) as an attachment by December 15, 2018. The complete written paper should be submitted after the conference by April 30, 2019 to be considered for publication. Accepted papers will be published in the digitized version of the Conference Proceedings to be available online at the SFU Library.

For further details and enquiries, please contact Professor Habiba Zaman (hzaman@sfu.ca).
No registration fee is required for presenting or attending the conference.

To attend the conference, one must register by February 28, 2019.

For registration, please send an email to GSWS Manager Roberta Neilson (gswsmgr@sfu.ca) with your
full name, affiliation and email address, and write Canadian South Asian Youths Conference in the
subject line.

Please check back for more events!