Women's and Gender Studies in the School of Social Work
"The Accidental Legal Activist"
Michelle will speak about her journey from being a military officer to becoming an LGBTQ activist. She will also talk about Canada's LGBT Purge and the devastating effects of this little-know historical period of discrimination.
Thursday, October 20
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Toldo HEC, room 203
Michelle is a veteran, a former military police officer, a survivor of Canada’s “LGBT Purge” and an activist in the movement to seek legal equality for the LGBT2Q+ community over the past 30 years.
Michelle served as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1986 – 1989. Despite a distinguished service record, she was honorably discharged after being deemed “Not Advantageously Employable Due to Homosexuality”.
After being fired by the military, Michelle’s landmark legal challenge in 1992 ended Canada’s formalized discriminatory policy against LGBT members of the military.
This experienced launched a decades-long commitment to volunteerism and activism for Michelle.
Professionally, Michelle had a 30-year career in public service. She retired from the Canadian Department of Justice in 2019 where she held the position of Director of International Relations.
Michelle currently serves as the Executive Director of the LGBT Purge Fund.
Michelle is a member of the board of directors of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation. Michelle was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2021, Maclean’s Magazine named Michelle on their “Power List 50”. She is a graduate of Carleton University and resides in Ottawa.
Free and open to the public.