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Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)

September 8, 2015

dara (1)

*Complete footnotes, bibliographic references, and reference style listing, respectively, after the interview.*

Abstract

Interview with Dara Parker. Executive director of Qmunity and co-president of the board (Vancouver) for the United Nations Association of Canada. She discusses: family geography, culture, and language; academic qualifications; skills and knowledge from volunteering;  previous work experience for present position; earning executive director position of Qmunity, media appearances in video and writing, and responsibilities of this public representation; definition and sub-populations contained within the umbrella term “queer”; queer sub-population numbers; import for unified services of Qmunity; most important provision of Qmunity to the queer community; importance of inclusive provisions by Qmunity; Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue quote with international, national, and provincial context and possible futures; and ways to become involved with Qmunity or the queer community in general.

Keywords: binary, bisexual, British Columbia, Canada, Dara Parker, executive director, gender identity, non-profit, Qmunity, queer, sexual orientation, trans, United Nations, Vancouver.

Common Reference Style Listing

*No Access Dates.*

American Medical Association (AMA): Dara P. and Jacobsen S. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal [Online]. September 2015; 9(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Parker, D. & Jacobsen, S.D. (2015, September 8). Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): PARKER, D. & JACOBSEN, S. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 9.A, September. 2015. <https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Parker, Dara & Jacobsen, Scott. 2015. “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 9.A. https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Parker, Dara & Jacobsen, Scott “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 9.A (September 2015). https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Harvard: Parker, D. & Jacobsen, S. 2015, ‘Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 8.A. Available from: <https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/>.

Harvard, Australian: Parker, D. and Jacobsen, S. 2015, ‘Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 9.A., https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Parker, Dara, and Scott D. Jacobsen. “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 9.A (2015):September. 2015. Web. <https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Parker D. and Jacobsen S. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two) [Internet]. (2015, September); 9(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)

7. Approximately, how much of the British Columbian and Canadian general population might fit into this categorization of “queer”?

Well, that is a challenging question.  A lot of people ask.  A lot of people have various theories of response.  The short answer is we do not count it in census data.  We do not ask about sexual orientation. We ask about gender identity, but only in a binary concept, which is very limited in our perspective.  You are still not capturing folks who are transgender versus cisgender.  We just don’t know.  So there isn’t any countrywide survey data that accurately represents, and so you’re drawing conclusions from other indicators.  You might look at how many people self-identify on a smaller-scale survey.  And you get varying ranges of answers from that.  I would suggest that it is an underreported population because there is still fear of discrimination, a fear of being out.  And so when you are asking folks to report, they might not be fully answering.  And the studies that do exist, if you compare self-reporting versus behaviours, so for example, a man who has sex with a man who does not identify as gay.  That is my long answer that does not give a number

8. Qmunity provides a number of support services including Bute Street clinic, counselling, naturopathic clinic, older adult services, referrals, support groups, and youth services.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7]What remains the greatest importance of these services in unison through Qmunity?[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14]

Ultimately, we exist to improve queer and trans lives.  And I think there are multiple pathways to doing that.  And so we like to think we do our work in four pillars.  We believe in meeting individual needs and empowering people where they’re at by providing direct support.  So, for example, that would be something like the counselling program, the naturopathic clinic, or our peer-facilitated support group, but we also believe that sometimes just having physical space is critically important to building healthier lives, and so we provide meeting rooms, and volunteer opportunities in our centre, as well as coming out special events like our queer prom and our honoring our elders tea in order to create spaces for people to connect and engage, and feel safe.  We also do a lot of education and training.  So we go out into community, businesses, government, other service providers to provide workshops on how to create more inclusive spaces, and we develop our own resources.  For example, our LGTBQ glossary, which you were perhaps quoting earlier, which provides tools for people on language, which is a tricky thing to navigate.  And then lastly, the media work that we do.  We might be called on to share expertise around queer and trans lives.  We consider that some of our advocacy work around raising visibility and providing queer expertise in the community.

9. Of these provisions, what one gives the most services to the queer community?

It depends on how you’re measuring it.  I would suggest that our youth program is our most active programs if you’re just looking at number of participants.  We have two weekly drop-ins that regularly serve between 40 and 60 youth that come from across Metro Vancouver, and sometimes beyond.  So that’s one of the core programs that our organization offers.

10. Qmunity hosts a number of events including Spring Fling (Adults 55+), International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia Breakfast (Fundraising event), Honouring our Elders High Tea (Adults 55+), Queer Prom (Youth 14-25), Pride Parade (All ages), Gab Youth Summer and Winter Cabarets (Youth 14-25), Volunteer Appreciation Party (Active Volunteers), Stack the Rack (Fundraising event), and Holigays Celebration (Adults 55+).[15] How does bringing in every sector (age, gender, orientation, and so on) of the queer community provide the necessary environment of inclusion through Qmunity?

As an umbrella organization, we do serve a very diverse population. We try to provide opportunities for everyone in the community to come together.  We also recognize there is a need to serve individuals of communities within the much larger community.  And so, we do a combination of both.  Some of our programs are restricted by identity. We have women-specific programming, trans-specific programming, youth-specific programming, et cetera, cutting along various identity lines.  And some of our programming is open to everyone, and encourages bringing various identities together to connect, share, engage, learn.

11. In your speech entitled Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, you said, “Canadians are fortunate to live in one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to queer rights. This is especially important in a world where being queer is a criminal act in 76 countries and punishable by death in 5 countries.”[16] With some of these statements from last year in mind, what near, and far, future seems most likely for the queer community internationally, nationally, and provincially?

Those contexts are very different when looking from both a policy and cultural perspective, and those two things intersect.  So I think the differences will be extreme.  The good news, I think, is we’re all headed in the right direction.  I think, as evidenced by the SCOTUS decision.  You know, there are many of my colleagues in the states who never thought they’d see marriage equality in their lifetime.  And now, the US has declared marriage equality across all 50 states.  So that’s pretty exciting. I think we’re moving in the right direction, progress is being made toward more inclusion, more equity for queer and trans folks, and simultaneously, yes, there are many countries where it’s illegal to be gay and in 5 of those countries you can be punished by death.  While I see the conversation shifting, even internationally, I think it’s happening much more slowly in some of those contexts. And I also see that sometimes when progress happens in certain regions, for instance the US recognizing that, there are places that are more regressive.  There can be backlash against that progression because people are afraid.  In Turkey, the Pride Parade was cancelled in Istanbul.  I do not know why they did that, but it is interesting that as one region gains rights another used tear gas and rubber bullets to restrain a previously-approved Pride Parade in Istanbul.  I think we have to be conscious that there are communities that might suffer disproportionately when rights are gained in other areas.  And then fundamentally, in contexts like Vancouver, BC, Canada, where the majority of our legal rights have been enshrined for over a decade, it doesn’t necessarily mean they translate into lived equalities.  That is where our work is centered in taking those legislative changes and shifting culture to raise the visibility, create more inclusion, safety, acceptance, et cetera.

12. For those with an interest now or in the future, how can individuals donate, volunteer, become a member, or take action through Qmunity, or for the queer community in general?[17]

A good place to start is the website.  If you are new to the organization, you can find all of the details on some of the options you just listed: volunteering, donating, or getting involved in other ways.  And I think a more general starting point is to learn and embrace [allies].  And that’s both for folks in our community and external too.  I think we all have the potential to be allies.  As a white, cisgender, queer, able-body, Canadian, woman, I am an ally to almost everyone I work with.  I am an ally to gay men, queer people of color, trans folk, et cetera.  I think there’s an opportunity for all of us to do learning around our own communities and people we can be allies to, within, and outside our own communities.  We can do that by using the internet. (Laughs) There are an incredible number of resources out there in terms of articles, and films, and books.  You know, to get to know culture outside your own, and learn how to be a good ally.

Footnotes

[1] See Qmunity (2015). Youth Services.

[2] See Qmunity (2015). Older Adult Services.

[3] See Qmunity (2015). Support Groups.

[4] See Qmunity (2015). Counselling.

[5] See Qmunity (2015). Referrals.

[6] See Qmunity (2015). Bute Street Clinic.

[7] See Qmunity (2015). Naturopathic Clinic.

[8] See Qmunity (2015). Youth Services.

[9] See Qmunity (2015). Older Adult Services.

[10] See Qmunity (2015). Support Groups.

[11] See Qmunity (2015). Counselling.

[12] See Qmunity (2015). Referrals.

[13] See Qmunity (2015). Bute Street Clinic.

[14] See Qmunity (2015). Naturopathic Clinic.

[15] See Qmunity (2015). Special Events.

[16] See [Dara Parker] (2013, September 13). Here’s The Deal Sept 11.

[17] See KCR (2015). Qmunity: BC’s Queer Community Resource Centre.

Bibliography/References/Reference Listing

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  80. The Globe and Mail (2014, November 12). Transgender man files complaint against B.C. health ministry over surgical delay. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/transgender-man-files-complaint-against-bc-health-ministry-over-surgical-delay/article21569050/.
  81. The Vancouver Sun (2012, July 27). Dara Parker fell in love with Vancouver when she was 18. ‘I hate being cold. So for me, the trade-off of grey and wet here over being shivering cold in Toronto was a good one.’. Retrieved from http://www.vancouversun.com/Dara+Parker+fell+love+with+Vancouver+when+hate+being+cold+trade+grey+here+over+being+shivering+cold+Toronto+good/7003760/story.html.
  82. The Vancouver Sun (2012, August 4). Video: The winding road back. Retrieved from http://www.vancouversun.com/news/whoarewe/Video+winding+road+back+Dara+Parker/7042878/story.html.
  83. The University of British Columbia (2015). Student Leadership Conference: Featured Presenters. Retrieved from http://students.ubc.ca/slc/register/schedule/featured-presenters.
  84. Twitter (2015). Dara Parker. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/parkerdara.
  85. org (2008). 3Q’s. Retrieved from http://www.voluntourism.org/news-3qs41.htm.
  86. WTC Café XXIV: LGBT2Q+ Café (2015, January 24). WTC Café XXIV: LGBT2Q+ Café. Retrieved from http://womentransformingcities.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/wtc-one.pdf.
  87. YouTube (n.d.). Dara Parker. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/daraparker1.
  88. Yuzda, L. (2015, March 25). Vancouver Police accused of failing to update discrimination policies. Retrieved from http://www.cknw.com/2015/03/25/69401/.

Appendix I: Complete Reference Style Listing

*No Access Dates.*

Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD, 2nd Edition, 2003): Dara Parker & Scott Jacobsen, Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two), 2015(9) In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Anthropological Association (AAA, 2009): Parker, Dara, and Scott D. Jacobsen 2015 Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE): Parker, D., & Jacobsen, S. (2015). Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Chemical Society: Parker, D.; Jacobsen, S. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Economic Association (AEA): Parker, D., S. Jacobsen 2015. “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Institute of Physics (AIP): Dara Parker and Scott D. Jacobsen, “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two),” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 8 September 2015, https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/

American Medical Association (AMA): Dara P. and Jacobsen S. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal [Online]. September 2015; 9(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Meteorological Society (AMS): Parker, D., and S. D. Jacobsen, 2015: Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal9. [Available online at https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.]

American Physiological Society (APS): Dara P, Jacobsen S. (2015). Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two) [Online]. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Political Science Association (APSA, 2006): Parker, Dara, and Jacobsen, Scott. 2015. “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal: 9 (A). https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Parker, D. & Jacobsen, S.D. (2015, September 8). Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE, 2010): Parker, D., and Jacobsen, S.D. (2015). “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, <https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/>.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME): Parker, D. and Jacobsen, S., 2015, “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two),” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, from
https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/

American Sociological Association (ASA, 4th Edition): Parker, Dara and Scott Jacobsen 2015. “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight (9.A). Retrieved (https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/).

Basic Legal Citation (LII Edition, 2007): Dara Parker & Scott Jacobsen, Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two), 2015(9) In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): PARKER, D. & JACOBSEN, S. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 9.A, September. 2015. <https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/>.

Canadian Anthropology Society (CAS, 2014): Parker, Dara, Scott Douglas Jacobsen 2015 Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Parker, Dara & Jacobsen, Scott. 2015. “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 9.A. https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Parker, Dara & Jacobsen, Scott “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 9.A (September 2015). https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Council of Science Editors (CSE): Parker D, Jacobsen S. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight [Internet]. 2015; Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Entomological Society of America: Parker, D., and S. Jacobsen 2015. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/

Harvard: Parker, D. & Jacobsen, S. 2015, ‘Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 8.A. Available from: <https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/>.

Harvard, Australian: Parker, D. and Jacobsen, S. 2015, ‘Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 9.A., https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): D. Parker and S. Jacobsen, “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two),” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 9.A, September 2015. [Online]. Available: https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Parker, Dara, and Scott D. Jacobsen. “Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 9.A (2015):September. 2015. Web. <https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/>.

National Library of Medicine (2nd Edition, 2007): Parker D, Jacobsen SD. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal [Internet]. 2015 September 8; 9(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/

The Geological Society of America (GSA): Parker, D., and Scott Jacobsen 2015, Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two): https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Parker D. and Jacobsen S. Dara Parker: Executive Director, Qmunity (Part Two) [Internet]. (2015, September); 9(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2015/09/08/dara-parker-executive-director-qmunity-part-two/.

License and Copyright

License
In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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