A Journey for Love and Pride

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Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 201712:00PM - 2:00PM108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
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In a world before smart phones and social media, before there was human rights protection for lesbians and gays, before same sex marriage, Alan Li, a gay Asian teenager moved from Hong Kong to Canada in search for love and belonging. Amidst a world full of homophobia, racism and xenophobia, his pursuit took him onto pathways with many unexpected twists and turns, in his native and adopted countries; overcoming many challenges, and building many rewarding connections and relationships. The journey led to many inspiring experiences, including: practicing medicine in the oldest and poorest public housing neighborhood, leading Toronto gay pride parade through Chinatown, providing palliative care to his best friend who died of AIDS, becoming the first openly gay person to lead a national Chinese Canadian organization, mobilizing diverse racialized groups to fight against homophobic media, finding romance and sustaining long distance relationship before internet, fighting legislated racism with redress campaign for Chinese head tax and Exclusion Act, building the largest HIV/AIDS service organization serving Asian Canadians, founding the first public gay organization in Hong Kong and building a transformative network advocating for access and rights of immigrants and refugees living with HIV/AIDS.
Through his sharing with images and narratives of historic events and pivotal moments both personal and societal, Alan will reflect on his life journey and the complex pathways and connections that supported his nearly four decades of experiences in building chosen families and communities in the quest for love and pride.

Dr. Alan Li immigrated from Hong Kong at age 16. Since the 1980s, through his work as physician at Regent Park Community Health Centre and his many community connections, Alan has integrated his personal, professional and community work with many diverse marginalized communities and taken on roles as physician, community organizer, capacity builder, researcher and advocate to advance access and rights many issues related to immigrants and refugees, racial and sexual minorities, HIV/AIDS, and mental health. He has co-founded and played key leadership roles in many pioneering social justice and community service organizations, including as chair of Gay Asians Toronto, as National President of the Chinese Canadian National Council, the Hong Kong10% Club, Asian Community AIDS Services, and the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment.


Martina Mimica
(416) 946-8996


Emily Hertzman
Postdoctoral Fellow, Asian Institute

Dr. Alan Li

Main Sponsor

Richard Chales Lee Asian Pathways Research Lab


Asian Institute


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