Building Trans Inclusion in Museums

Mar 30, 2022
Need to Know
OMA Certificate in Museum Studies Review
2022-2023 Courses To Be Scheduled
The OMA strives to ensure that the professional development provided to OMA members through the Certificate in Museum Studies (CMS) program is current, inclusive, comprehensive, and accessible.

The OMA is in the process of reviewing and updating the Certificate in Museum Studies Program curriculum. In 2021, the OMA worked with two consulting firms, Nordicity and Pure & Applied, to complete research as well as consultation with program participants, employers and Course Directors to determine what works well, what areas need improvement, and where gaps exist. Using this research, a revised draft curriculum document was created. This document was shared with the OMA’s Professional Advisory Committee and CMS Course Directors for further feedback. In 2022 and 2023, Course Directors will be updating their courses according to the new curriculum and additional review for diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusion and decolonial best practices will be completed.

The OMA is in the process of updating the CMS courses and program materials. 2022-2023 will be a transitional year for this program. In order to ensure a smooth transition for all participants and fewer mid-year schedule changes, the Certificate in Museum Studies calendar for the 2022-2023 fiscal year will be released in stages.

CMS: Museums in Context
Format: Online
Dates: June 6 – August 14, 2022
Course Director: Amber Lloydlangston, Museum London
Registration opens: April 7, 2022
  • In anticipation of upcoming changes to the program, this course will be open only to current CMS program participants, with priority for those who have already taken Museums & the Community.
CMS: Care of Collections
Format: Online
Date: January 16 – March 26, 2023
Course Director: Carmen Li, Royal Alberta Museum
Pre-requisite: Artifacts
Registration opens: November 7, 2022

Questions about the CMS program? Email Mary Collier, Professional Development Program Manager at 
Ontario Making it Easier to Volunteer
Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General 

The Ontario government is eliminating the cost of police record checks for volunteers of all ages looking to give their time and skills to the causes they care about. This includes Criminal Record Checks and Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Checks, which are commonly required by organizations that work with volunteers.

Beginning April 1, 2022, amendments to the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 will remove the fee for these two types of police record checks, making it easier for Ontarians to support animal shelters, food banks, emergency response initiatives, and many more organizations in their communities. Volunteers can also receive up to five copies of these types of police record checks for free, making it easier to apply to multiple volunteering positions.

  • Prospective volunteers will still need to pay any fees charged by police services for Vulnerable Sector Checks, which are considered the most thorough type of police record checks and require a comprehensive search of national and local police databases.

Read the full news release HERE
Read more about Police Record Checks HERE.


OMA Note: The need for and type of police record checks may vary depending on the volunteer role and the relevant policies and procedures. 
March 31: Transgender Day of Visibility

Today, March 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility, recognized internationally to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans, gender-diverse, and Two-Spirit people. Ontario museums can play a role in building inclusion and eliminating transphobia through their work as community hubs, trusted institutions, and equal-opportunity employers. The OMA has brought together resources for museums to support their work on inclusion. In this issue of ONmuseums you will find OMA's Inclusion 2025 Guide to Inclusive Museums, resources from other organizations, and examples of trans inclusion in Ontario museums;

Want to make your museum more welcoming for trans, non-binary, and intersex visitors?


The first step to welcoming all visitors is to understand language and be purposeful in its use. Learn what terms mean and what not to say.
  • Check out the Trevor Project's overview on gender and how to discuss gender HERE.
  • Read a comprehensive glossary from the Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity HERE 
  • For helpful guides about proper use of pronouns, inclusive language and allyship, and accounts of trans lived experiences, please see resources from Ontario-based organization Egale HERE.

Practice, Reflect
Consider your museum space. What barriers to inclusion are present? Does the language your museum uses define gender as “male, female, other”?

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, “an organization should have a valid reason for collecting and using personal information that identifies a person’s gender”. Do your visitor questionnaires ask for information on gender?
Read the full policy HERE.

Are trans voices welcomed?

  • Read about engaging Queer artists and curators from the BCMA HERE.
  • Take a look at the UK's Museum of Transology for ideas on how to celebrate trans stories HERE

Find your local PFLAG chapter HERE and engage local communities.
Check out Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives HERE.

Supporting the trans community is an ongoing act. As museums are constantly changing, so too must our practices. Read more about what we can do HERE

Ontario museums have built trans inclusion in numerous ways.
Please see below for a few examples from across the province:
Online Exhibition: 
Queering Family Photography

The Royal Ontario Museum and The ArQuives

Read more HERE.
Conversation Series: Coming Out Stories
Niagara Falls Museums
Watch the recordings HERE.
Engaging Community: The Affirmation Bowls Project
Simcoe County Museum
Read more HERE.
Queer Museum
Trans Wellness Ontario
Read more HERE.
Please send us an email if you have a museum initiative to include in the list above:
OMA Resources
Inclusion 2025
A Practitioner's Guide to Inclusive Museums
Inclusion 2025: A Practitioner’s Guide to Inclusive Museums is one of many components of the Museum Accessibility, Inclusion and Engagement Collaborative (MAIEC) project that was launched in December of 2015 by the OMA, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). The MAIEC project is our response to the challenge we posed to the broader museum community in the 2016 Conference, and a recognition of the needs we face as a sector to do better, and continue doing better, in truly being inclusive to the communities we serve.

Inclusion 2025 includes:
  • Inclusion as a Lens – guidelines on how to begin thinking about diversity and inclusion in your own spaces
  • Inclusion in Action – stories from the field submitted by our 10 partner museums 
  • Resources – to support your own work in diversity and inclusion
  • Community – a list of people committed to the cause of championing diversity and inclusion in the cultural sector
Read the full guide HERE
External Resources
Trans Peer Support
Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community. The organization connects trans people to the community support and resources we need to survive and thrive.

Find out more about it HERE

Gender and Sexuality Inclusion Toolkit for Museums, Heritage and Cultural Institutions
BC Museums Association
Museums and cultural institutions tell the stories and preserve the histories of an area, aiming to be representative of the local region and foster a strong sense of community. How does gender and sexual orientation inclusion align with these goals? 

While Canada is home to approximately one million 2SLGBTQIA+ community members, there has been only a slight increase of diverse narratives represented in museum and cultural sectors. When a group of people is overlooked and excluded, voices are left out of the conversation and telling of local histories. Furthermore, the ways in which stories are delivered is critical. Often one-off exhibits within a heteronormative culture can be tokenizing and contribute to harmful stereotypes and thus, perpetuate existing forms of oppression of marginalized 2SLGBTQIA+ populations. 
Read more HERE.
Podcast: Queer(y)ing Museums
BC Museums Association
This podcast seeks to deepen the discussions begun in the BC Museum Association's Gender & Sexuality Inclusion Toolkit, and highlight great work being done around the province and beyond.

In this first episode, BCMA’s Desirée Hall and Tanya Pacholok sit down (virtually) with MMBC board member Jelena Putnik and Executive Director Brittany Vis to discuss the Maritime Museum of BC’s upcoming exhibit, “Queer at Sea: Tales from the 2SLGBTQ+ Community”. Jelena and Brittany share the inspiration for the exhibit, what they’ve learned about relationship building and community-centred exhibits, addressing homophobia, and more. 

Find out more and listen to the podcast HERE.
Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression:
Best Practices Checklist

Ontario Human Rights Commission
Ontario’s Human Rights Code (the Code) is a provincial law that sets out legal rights and obligations to protect people from discrimination. In 2012, three parties of the Ontario Legislature co-sponsored Toby’s Act, the Bill that added “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Code. The grounds make it clear that trans people and other gender non-conforming individuals are entitled to legal protections in the same way that people are protected from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, disability and all other prohibited grounds.

Best Practices Checklist services as a guideline to make sure that the policies and practices put forth by an institution are in compliance with the Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression. 
Read more HERE.
Podcast Episode: 
Beyond the Rainbow:
Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ workers
and Decent Work

Ontario Nonprofit Network
The Enchanté Network is an organization connecting and supporting 2Spirit and LGBTQ+ communities and nonprofit workers across Canada. In this episode, the ONN connects with Roland and Noah to discuss the different dimensions of 2Spirit and LGBTQIA+ realities working within the nonprofit sector including how to make nonprofits more gender-inclusive from a Decent Work perspective. 
Listen to the podcast episode HERE
An Institution's Guide to:
Gender Transition And Transgender Inclusion
In The Museum Field

American Alliance of Museums

Created by the Task Force for Transgender Inclusion, the Toolkit is intended to prepare institutions, coworkers, and transgender museum professionals for gender transitions and to better implement transgender inclusion in policies and practices. Even if there are no transgender individuals that you are aware of at your institution, many of the policy recommendations can be implemented ahead of time to ensure that the institution is ready for future gender transitions.
Read more HERE.
Members in the News 
Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre digitizes seven decades of Bruce County newspapers
Ribbon skirts on display at Huron County Museum
Staff at Lambton Heritage Museum watching skies for tundra swans
Immigration stories wanted by the Aurora Museum & Archives for new exhibition
PD Opportunities
GOEMP Trivia Night… with Humber!
The Group of Ontario Emerging
Museum Professionals (GOEMP)

Free Event
Thursday, March 31, 2022
7:00 pm EST

The Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals (GOEMP) is pleased to partner with Humber Galleries and the Centre for Creative Business Innovation (CCBI) for their first joint Trivia Night!

This activity is for both the up-and-comers and established professionals in the art and culture sector. We’ll cover topics such as pop culture, a little history, some current events, museum oddities, and all the wonderfully wacky things happening right now in the art world. Everyone is invited to flex their brain muscles and find out if they have what it takes to become the next trivia master! 

Find out more and register HERE.
Social Media Building Blocks:
A Campaign In A Day

Pillar Nonprofit Network

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST

In this workshop the rTraction team wants to help refine and build on your social media strategy by planning a “campaign in a day”. You will be able to take this process and apply it to any social media campaigns moving forward. 

In this workshop you will explore:
  • How to set a social media goal tied to a campaign
  • How to set appropriate supporting measurable goals and translate your goals into results
  • How to plan your content to get the best possible engagement 
  • A selection of social media campaigns to give you some inspiration
  • What you need to be aware with all of the social media updates and changes, current trends and best practices 
Read more and register HERE.
Calculating Carbon Savings from
Building Reuse and Retrofit

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Free Webinar 
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
2:00 p.m. EST

Decisions about whether to reuse, retrofit, or replace older buildings can have a big impact on carbon emissions. But calculating those impacts is difficult without good data. This session will highlight development of an innovative new “carbon calculator” that will allow preservationists, developers, policy makers, and other users to compare the carbon impacts of specific reuse, retrofit, and replacement scenarios. Hear from the developers of the “Carbon Avoided Reuse Estimator” (or C.A.R.E.) tool and learn how it can support efforts to save carbon and historic buildings.

  • Jim Lindberg, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Alison Frazee, Boston Preservation Alliance
  • Lori Ferriss, Goody Clancy Architects
  • Larry Strain, Seigel & Strain, Architects
Read more and register HERE.
Respectful Terminology:
Creating a National Framework

National Indigenous Knowledge and
Language Alliance (NIKLA)

Free Webinar 
Monday, May 2, 2022
11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST

Join NIKLA at the Respectful Terminology: Creating the National Framework, a national event, centred on identifying the next steps to develop a framework for respectful terminology. The aim of the event is to bring the communities together to walk the path of creating a national Indigenous-led framework for respectful terminology. 
Read more and register HERE.
OMA Job Board
Heritage Programmer
Pickering Museum Village

April 7
$26.55 - $29.50 per hour

Read more HERE.
Museum Manager
Sturgeon River House Museum

April 8
$55,000 - 67,000 per year 

Read more HERE.
Project Coordinator: Reconsidering Museums
Alberta Museums Association

Remote Position
April 30 

Read more HERE.
 Ontario Museum Jobs
To access all OMA Job Board Listings, CLICK HERE

The OMA features job listings from the online submissions received through our website.  To submit a listing for an open position at your institution, CLICK HERE!
Support Ontario’s Museums: Donate Now!

As museums across Ontario face the challenges of reopening safely and renewing relationships with your communities, the OMA is here for you. The OMA successfully advocated for federal emergency support funding through the Museums Assistance Program, the early and streamlined release of Community Museum Operating Grant (CMOG) funds in 2020 and 2021, and for an additional $2 million to support digital activities during pandemic closures. Your support, participation, and membership make our work possible.

Representing the interests of over 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the province, the OMA offers regular webinars and professional development opportunities and resources for pandemic recovery. An OMA membership connects you with our network of over 1000 members, provides you with the tools and resources that support your professional practice, and keeps you informed of breaking news about funding opportunities and policy changes via the ONmuseums weekly newsletter and timely eNews alerts.

If you are already an OMA member, thank you! Please renew your membership when you receive an email reminder.

If you are not yet a member, please consider an individual, institutional, or commercial membership for yourself, your colleagues, or your institution. You can find information about member categories and benefits on our website.

You can make a donation to the OMA on our website or through Canada Helps. Every contribution adds to the collective strength of our sector. You can help us build a more resilient museum sector. Thank you for your support!

Donate Now
We're Here to Help!

For all questions or inquiries please contact the OMA: or call 416-348-8672 / 1-866-662-8672.

As an organization of provincial scope, the Ontario Museum Association recognizes that its members and community live and work on the lands and territories of Indigenous peoples. Toronto, where the OMA offices are located, is the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Haudenosaunee and the Huron Wendat. We wish to express our gratitude for the resources we are using and pay respect to the rich and ongoing Indigenous history of what is now Ontario and Canada.
Our Mission
The Ontario Museum Association strengthens capacity among institutions and individuals active in Ontario’s museum sector, facilitates excellence and best practices, and improves the communication and collaboration of its membership. The Association advocates for the important role of Ontario’s museums to society, working with all stakeholders, related sectors and industries, and other professional organizations.
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