issues and experts

SFU experts available on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

May 13, 2021

May 17 marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB). The annual event highlights the resilience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit, and others with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics (LGBTQ2+) against pervasive violence and discrimination, and raises awareness of the need for society to work together to address it.

IDAHOTB is observed by more than 130 countries. The day also commemorates the World Health Organization’s declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1990.

Simon Fraser University professors Travers and Travis Salway are available for interviews on IDAHOTB.

Travers (they/them) is a professor in SFU’s Department of Sociology and the author of The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids and Their Parents are Creating a Gender Revolution (NYU Press, 2018).

In a recent an article on transsexual kids in The Conversation, Travers points to the importance of providing access to gender-affirming health care during the critical early stages of life, before and during puberty. They also note that unequal access for trans kids may lead to “financial hardship, physical pain and mental anguish later in life.”

Travis Salway (he/him), an assistant professor in SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, leads a community-engaged research team that aims to understand the nature, scope, and consequences of conversion therapy experienced by LGBTQ2+ persons.

In December 2020, Salway was invited to present this research to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights concerning the amendment to the Criminal Code (Bill C-6) to ban conversion therapy in Canada. Bill C-6 is now before the House of Commons.

Salway’s team recently published a paper in the Journal of Sex Research on the social and psychological impacts of conversion therapy on LGBTQ2+ people. The findings underscore the need for responsive policy and program interventions, and enhanced support and mental health screening for those who have experienced conversion therapy.

Salway also supports Mind Map BC, which is an online database of LGBTQ2+ affirming mental health services in BC, launched in January 2021. MindMap connects LGBTQ2+ persons with accessible (low-cost/free, self-referral) services and professionals who can support them in a way that affirms their identities.


TRAVERS, Department of Sociology

TRAVIS SALWAY, Faculty of Health Sciences


MELISSA SHAW, SFU  Communications & Marketing 
236.880.3297 |