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Upper Grand teacher Gordon Dunbar receives ETFO Rainbow Visions Award

He created the definitive online biographical reference source for the LGBTQ community.

August 15, 2017

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has presented Upper Grand teacher Gordon Dunbar with its 2017 Rainbow Visions Award for his work QueerBio.com, a definitive online biographical reference source for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) community.

The award is presented to members or non-members of ETFO who develop materials and/or incorporate practices which work toward the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, queer or questioning realities.

A teacher at Paisley Road Public School in Guelph, Gordon set out to inspire, educate and motivate all generations of LGBTQ individuals and others through a collective knowledge of this international community. QueerBio.com, of which he is a managing editor, lists over 13,000 contemporary and historical LGBTQ figures around the world. The site’s translation feature allows for over 80 different language translations.

The biographies include artists, sports figures, politicians, entertainers, business leaders, academics, activists and others. While being LGBTQ is only one element of their personal being, the database provides LGBTQ role models, mentors and leaders that act as examples of what can be accomplished regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.

Gordon has been an activist in the LGBTQ community for a number of years. Among other things, he served as co-chair of PrideHouse Toronto, an LGBTQ destination during the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and is currently a member of the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association Board.

“The sheer size of the database that Gordon has created is a remarkable tribute to the contributions of members of the international LGBTQ community,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “The ability of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ youth to access and learn about such role models is an important step in creating and celebrating inclusive schools and communities.” 

ETFO is committed to building better schools. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at buildingbetterschools.ca. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 78,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.