Our Team

Staff

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Tai Jacob – Project Manager and Head of Research

Tai (they/them) has five years of experience working in advocacy for trans and queer liberation, refugee and migrant justice, climate justice, and housing and health equity. They have a 4-year history of working in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) with a focus on trans issues, and through this work they have provided consultations to environmental sustainability organizations and informed policies at McMaster and McGill University. Tai received their MA in Geography from McGill University in 2020, where they did research with trans and gender nonconforming refugees about their experiences with the Immigration and Refugee Board and their barriers to integration. Tai has also hosted and produced the podcast Gender Blender, which focuses on the work of 2STNBGN artists, activists, and academics. 

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Cat Haines – Project and Research Officer

Cat (she/her) has over five years of experience working and contributing to the non-profit sector in Canada. Since moving home to Treaty Four Territory in 2016, and re-establishing herself in Regina, Cat has been a loud advocate for increased funding and access to queer and trans health and mental healthcare in Saskatchewan, along with a number of other issues relating to queer and trans communities. Beyond her work with JusticeTrans, Cat is a founding member of the Saskatchewan Trans Health Coalition, and a member of its community-based research team. In March 2021, Cat successfully defended her Master’s thesis in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Regina, focusing on transmisogyny—the intersectional violence and marginalization faced by trans women and non-binary people assigned male at birth. 

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Gillian Smith – Project Assistant

Gillian (they/them) is a non-binary person living in Tio’tia:ke on stolen Kanien’kehá:ka land. They recently completed their BA in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at McGill University, with an Honours thesis project focusing on right-wing populism in Alberta’s United Conservative Party from 2015-2019. They have extensive experience in 2SLGBTQ+ advocacy and political organizing in their hometown in the Okanagan Valley, and experience with research and working with non-profit organizations in Tio’tia:ke 

Board of Directors

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Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny – Co-Chair

Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny (he/she/they) is a non-binary queer disabled Assistant Professor of Environment, Law and Social Justice at Carleton University. They are currently finishing their PhD at the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa where they were a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar. Pierre is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and practiced law as a sole practitioner in Toronto. A sizable portion of their practice was pro bono work, principally for members of the queer community. They were trained in both common law and civil law, and, as a settler, is a student of Indigenous laws. Their professional experiences include working for the federal government, a federal commission of inquiry, the Federal Court, a member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations, and the University of Ottawa as a part-time law professor. Pierre’s identity and past (professional and lived) experiences greatly influence their scholarship, teaching and activism. 

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Evan Vipond – Co-Chair

Evan Vipond (they/them) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York University. Their doctoral project, Trans Liberalism: Trans Rights and the U.S. Military, critically examines the advocacy efforts to lift the U.S. military’s trans ban. Evan serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for JusticeTrans, an access to justice initiative for trans people in Canada. Evan is actively involved in the trans and nonbinary community in Tkaronto, Ontario, and has been involved in numerous community-based trans healthcare initiatives. Their work has been published in a/b: Auto/Biography Studies (2019), Canadian Review of Social Policy (2017), Gender and Education (2017), Western Journal of Legal Studies (2015), and Theory in Action (2015), among others. Evan is trans, nonbinary, queer, and invisibly disabled. 

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Taryn Husband – Treasurer

Taryn Husband (he/him) is multiply disabled white settler transmasculine advocate, educator and support giver. He is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, but has been based in Ottawa since 2007. His activism is centred around advocating for the trans and disabled communities in Ottawa, particularly access to justice and community care. In addition to his role as the Director of Finance at JusticeTrans, he is currently employed by the federal government (where he is heavily engaged in diversity and inclusion efforts), and volunteers with KindSpace (an Ottawa-based 2SLGBTQ+ organization), where he runs the GenderQuest support and social group for trans, non-binary, Two-Spirit and questioning adults and co-facilitates the CafeQ youth group. 

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Benjamin Vandorpe – Founder

Benjamin Vandorpe, BES and JD, (they/he) is the founder of JusticeTrans. In addition to constructing the JT website and app, he has also dedicated his time to numerous LGBTQ and Indigenous causes. He identifies as Two-spirit, queer, and trans, and is currently the Manager – Economic Development and Culture, Policy Advancement with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

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