two feminine presenting people smiling at each other  

Phone: 416 946 4501 ext. 4728
Instagram/Twitter: @PMChosenFamily

The Princess Margaret Cancer Program (PM) takes pride in caring for patients who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and (+) any gender identities or sexual orientations not included in this acronym) and their chosen families.

We understand that people use many words to describe sexual orientation and gender​ identity. The term we use to include all of the diverse expressions of gender identities and sexual orientations is Sexual and Gender Diversity (SGD).

The Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care (SGDc) Program welcomes and supports you during your time at the Princess Margaret.


Sexual and Gender Diversity + Cancer: A Guide to Resources in the Community

Now updated for 2023 with new resources! This guide can help you learn more about inclusive cancer care resources, services and programs for SGD communities.

Download a copy of the Sexual and Gender Diversity + Cancer Resource Guide »

About the SGDc Program

The SGDc Program will work with you to understand:

  • Your unique situation
  • What is most important to you
  • What could be helpful to you, your caregivers, and your chosen family

We are here to:

  • Support you
  • Provide an inclusive care experience
  • Identify the ways your identity can be a positive influence in dealing with cancer
  • Help you navigate the systems and challenges along your cancer journey

SGDc logo

New SGDc Logo

Introducing the new SGDc Logo!

The meanings behind the design:

  • UHN Logo: The over all circle shape embodies equality and interconnected community support. The gold color in the outer circle draws your eye down to the UHN gold leaves in the centre. This represents our connectedness with the UHN organization.
  • Community: The colours immediately communicate “rainbow” and “Pride”, they mirror the colors in the Philadelphia diversity Pride flag. Hands are linked to represent unity in diversity, safety and support from PM Chosen Family.
  • Cancer Care: The outer symbolic ring represents both diverse people and cancer ribbons. The hearts symbolize healing, extending love, support and inclusive care to chosen family.

Our logo was created by Keet Geniza, graphic artist from MAKE! SHIFT! LOVE! Productions, Illustrator of Kimiko Does Cancer: A Graphic Memoir, written by Kimiko Tobimatsu.​

Cartoon image of 3 healthcare workers with the words Clinical, Research, Education, Community beside them

Program Goals

The Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care Program (SGDc) strives to improve the cancer care experience by making care more welcoming, inclusive and affirming, and to ultimately reduce healthcare disparities.

The goals of the SGDc Program are to:

  • Identify gaps in care
  • Explore the needs of SGDc patients and their chosen family
  • Conduct SGDc-specific research
  • Provide education about inclusive care to healthcare teams

SGDc communities are extremely diverse, and include a wide range of sexual orientations, gender identities and types of relationships.

The SGDc Program can: 

  • Provide you with cancer information and support specific to 2SLGBTQIA+ patients, caregivers and chosen families
  • Connect you with supports and services tailored to your needs
  • Help you to navigate the cancer care system
  • Offer individual 2SLGBTQIA+ informed counselling​
  • Deliver 2SLGBTQIA+ informed support groups
  • Assist in identifying your unique strengths in navigating your cancer experience

Contact the Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care Program for more information or to get involved.

Pride flag

Our Commitment to Health Equity

We celebrate the diversity of our patients and recognize the systems that reinforce power, privilege and marginalization. We understand that these factors impact your everyday life and access to cancer care.

We know that individuals from sexual and gender diverse communities may not have had positive healthcare experiences. Many face difficult and discriminatory experiences based on intersecting (overlapping) factors of their identity, including race, ethnicity, income gender identity and sexual orientation.

We are committed to working towards change, to increase inclusion and to improve the patient experience for everyone. Our goal is to deliver high quality, equitable care to all patients regardless of race, ethnicity, income, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation.​​

two people high-fiveing 

SGDc Program Team

SGDc Executives

Headshot of Christian Schulz-Quach Christian Schulz-Quach (he/him)SGDc Program Director
Psychiatrist, Department of Supportive Care
Twitter: @Dr_SchulzQuach
Headshot of Margo Kennedy Margo Kennedy (she/her)SGDc Clinical Lead
Social Worker, Department of Supportive Care
Headshot of Brendan Lyver Brendan Lyver (he/him)SGDc Research Analyst
Research Analyst, Department of Supportive Care
Headshot of Jennifer Croke Jennifer Croke (she/her)SGDc Education Lead
Radiation Oncologist, Department of Radiation Oncology
Twitter: @jenncroke
Headshot of Samantha Scimé Samantha Scimé (she/her)SGDc Engagement Lead
Advanced Practice Nurse Educator, Inpatient Malignant Hematology

SGDc Members

Headshot of Leonard Benoit Leonard Benoit (he/him)Indigenous Patient Navigator
Headshot of Rose-Marie Fraser Rose-Marie Fraser (she/her/kwe)SGDc Presentations Team
Social Worker, Palliative Care
Headshot of Mason Gibson Mason Gibson (she/her)SGDc Team Spirit Specialist
Music Therapist
Headshot of Shawn Hercules Shawn Hercules (he/they)SGDc Needs Assessment Committee
Postdoctoral Researcher
Headshot of Nazlin Jivraj Nazlin Jivraj (she/her)SGDc Presentations Team
Clinical Nurse Specialist Medical Gynecology Oncology
Twitter: @NazlinJivraj
Headshot of Thomas Kais-Prial Thomas Kais-Prial (he/him)SGDc Pride Parade Lead
Research Manager, Department of Supportive Care
Headshot of Paige Lau Paige Lau (she/her)SGDc Needs Assessment Committee
Radiation Therapist, Department of Radiation Oncology
Headshot of Luxshiga Premakumar Luxshiga Premakumar (she/her)Adolescent and Young Adult Program Coordinator
Headshot of Marlie Smith Marlie Smith (she/her)SGDc AYA Lead
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adolescent and Young Adult Program
Headshot of Lauren Squires Lauren Squires (she/her)SGDc Needs Assessment Lead
Research Analyst
Headshot of Mary Stuart Mary Stuart (she/her)Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Late Effects; Clinical Nurse Specialist, Late Effects
Headshot of Emily Taylor Emily Taylor (she/her)SGDc Graphic Design Lead
Education Specialist, Cancer Education
Headshot of Erin Walker Erin Walker (they/she)SGDc Website and Communications
Communications Specialist, Cancer Education

Affiliate Members

Headshot of Marie-Anne Archambault Marie-Anne Archambault (elle/her/she)Hemato-oncologist, CISSS Sud de Lanaudière, Hôpital Pierre LeGardeur
Headshot of Amanda Bolderston Amanda Bolderston (she/her)Co-founder, Queering Cancer
Radiation Therapy Faculty Educator, University of Alberta


Headshot of Andrew Matthew Andrew Matthew (he/him)Psychologist, Department of Supportive Care
Headshot of Gilla Shapiro Gilla Shapiro (she/her)Psychologist, Department of Supportive Care
Twitter: @gkshapiro

two female-presenting people and a baby  

SGDc Publications

Cover of Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Resource Guide 
SGDc Resource Guide

A resource guide for SGDc patients and families.

View the SGDc Resource Guide [PDF]
year end report cover 
SGDc Year End Report 2022

Learn about the exciting work done by the SGDc in 2022.

View the SGDc Year End Report 2022 [PDF]

Needs Assessment

Want to be a Queer Cancer Change-Maker? We are looking for 2SLGBTQIA+ patients and caregivers at the Princess Margaret to provide feedback which will shape our Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Program (SGDc).

We would like to discuss some questions about your thoughts, experiences and preferences in receiving care at the Princess Margaret. We want to hear from 2SLGBTQIA+ patients and caregivers, to better understand what the best support and services would be.

What is involved:

  • Participate in a one-hour discussion
  • Complete a 15 minute electronic survey

How to Participate

If you are interested, please contact us for more information at:
Phone: 416 946 4501 ext. 4728

A $10 Tim Hortons Gift Card will be provided to all who participate. All participants will be entered into a draw for a $100 Amazon gift card.
This is a UHN approved Quality Improvement Project.

Needs Assessment Preliminary Findings

Graphic Medicine Poster
Click on the image to view a larger version of the poster. Opens in a new window.

We provided a poster presentation in June 2023 on the preliminary findings of our SGDc needs assessment at the Preaching to the Choir Conference: Canadian Psychological Association. This quality improvement project has been underway to learn about the unique experiences and perspectives of 2SLGBTQIA+ patients and chosen families and to identify priorities for our SGDc Program. The themes captured within this poster represent findings from the first 10 interviews. A graphic medicine approach (illustrations/comics as a medium) was used to capture patient voices about their experiences, priorities and what inclusive cancer care could look like.

Our team is grateful to our patient partner io, who has provided valuable insights and guidance through out all steps of the process. We are also so appreciative to patients and caregivers who we have interviewed so far. If you are interested in participating and sharing your experiences, views and ideas, please reach out to our program by phone or email.


icon of an award 
Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Education Award: 2021

The Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care (SGDc) Working Group has been chosen as the 2021 recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Education Award as part of the Cancer Education Awards. This award acknowledges outstanding contribution and commitment to cancer education within the Princess Margaret Cancer Program.

icon of an award 
Young Leaders Cancer Experience Challenge: 2022

The SGDc healthcare provider eLearning project application was the winning proposal for the Princess Margaret Young Leaders Cancer Experience Challenge. This challenge is the first of its kind offering early to mid-career members of the Young Leaders Program the opportunity to define an immediate, high impact and cross cutting project aimed at improving the cancer experience of patients, family, caregivers and/or staff.

icon of an award 
Team UHN Local Impact Award: 2022

The Local Impact Awards are aligned with UHN's Strategic Priorities, which help us transform lives and drive us toward our vision of A Healthier World. The SGDc Working Group was recognized for working across the cancer centre from a variety of disciplines to provide inclusive care to sexual and gender diverse patients, families and chosen families through health care provider education and by changing the culture and environment to foster messages of visibility, inclusion and belonging.

News Articles

icon a rainbow heart in a phone  
UHN News: Sexual and Gender Diversity Program addressing major gap in cancer care
February 2, 2023

"At the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care (SGDc) Program is closing that care gap by developing innovative strategies and solutions to improve the health care experience of members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities."
Thank you to SGDc patient partner io, who was interviewed for the story!

Journal Articles by the SGDc

icon of a journal article  
Sexual and gender diversity in cancer care and survivorship
Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care 17(1):p 55-69, March 2023.

Authors: Christian Schulz-Quach, Margo Kennedy, Brendan Lyver.

icon of a journal article  
Evaluating Healthcare Professionals’ Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices and Education Interest in LGBTQ2 + Cancer Care
Journal of Cancer Education (2022).

Authors: Nazlin Jivraj, Gilla K. Shapiro, Christian Schulz-Quach, Emily Van de Laar, Zhihui Amy Liu, Jessica Weiss, Jennifer Croke.

icon of a journal article  
Optimizing patient-centered, inclusive care in oncology: Healthcare professionals' knowledge, attitudes, and practices in caring for LGBTQ2+ individuals
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 114.1 (2022): e12.

Authors: Nazlin Jivraj, Gilla K. Shapiro, Christian Schulz-Quach, Emily Van de Laar, Amy Zhiu, Jessica Weiss, Jennifer Croke.

icon of a journal article  
Enhancing equity and diversity in palliative care clinical practice, research and education
BMC Palliative Care 22, 64 (2023).

Authors: Jonathan Koffman, Gilla K. Shapiro, Christian Schulz-Quach.

Select Presentations from the SGDc

icon of person presenting  
Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care (Wellspring Presentation)
Presented January 19, 2022

Dr. Christian Schulz-Quach, Margo Kennedy and Brendan Lyver present on SGD in cancer care, common barriers patients face and goals to work towards to create inclusive cancer care.

icon of person presenting  
Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer: Creating Inclusive Care (PM Supportive Care Rounds)
Presented April 28, 2022

Dr. Christian Schulz-Quach and Margo Kennedy present on SGD in cancer, and goals for creating inclusive cancer care.

icon of person presenting  
Creating inclusive patient education materials for SDGc communities (Ontario Health Presentation)
Presented November 24, 2022

Margo Kennedy, Janet Papadakos, Emily Taylor and Samantha Scime present on how to apply a health equity lens to education development, and the use of inclusive language and visuals in patient education materials.

Pride Screens at PM

icon a rainbow on a tv screen  

View the slides we have developed for the screens at the Princess Margaret to celebrate Pride, educate and share resources:

Upcoming Projects

person sharing a story during a group meeting  
Rainbow Cancer Connections: SGDc Patient and Caregiver Support Group

Check back for upcoming support groups.

colourful shapes and cartoon people from the SGDc eLearning  
eLearning: SGDc Inclusive Care

The SGDc is creating an elearning program on inclusive communication for healthcare providers and patient-facing staff. This program will improve your knowledge and abilities in communicating with SGDc patients and their chosen families in an inclusive manner. Check back soon for the launch of our elearning program!​

two feminine presenting people hugging each other  

SGD and Cancer

You may have some of the following questions and concerns:

  • Should I tell my doctors about my sexual orientation or gender identity?
  • Will I be able to find an all-gender washroom?
  • Will my caregivers and chosen family be welcome?
  • Will I be referred to by my correct pronouns and by the correct name that I use?
  • Will I be able to access the information and resources relevant to my sexual orientation and gender identity?
  • Will I be able to speak to 2SLGBTQIA+ staff?

These questions show that sexual and gender diversity are an important part of your care and make you experience different from patients who identify as straight​. We are here to help you find answers because having cancer is hard enough.

Learn more about SGD patients and cancer care​

All-Gender Washrooms

UHN respects each person's right to choose a washroom that aligns with their gender identity. All-gender washrooms are available on the main floor of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. There are now 7 single-use washrooms available. The gender binary symbol of a man and a woman has been replaced with an inclusive symbol.

All-Gender Washroom

2 male-presenting people smiling at each other  

Language & Terms

There are many terms associated with sexual and gender identities, and terminolo​gy continues to change and evolve over time. There is not necessarily a "right" or "correct" definition. The most important thing is to respectfully ask about a term that someone may use that is not familiar and to remember to honour the terms that people use to identify themselves an​d whatever language feels right for them.

Below are some helpful links to common definitions of terms:

Pride flag

About the Acronym

The letters in 2SLGBTQIA+ stand for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual + all other identities.

In Canada, 2S was moved from the end of the acronym to the beginning. This was done to acknowledge that Two-Spirit Indigenous people were the first sexual and gender diverse people in North America and also to demonstrate solidarity in this time of Truth and Reconciliation.

There are many definitions and understandings of Two-Spirit, and each is nation specific. Two-Spirit is an identity that some Indigenous people hold, but not all queer Indigenous people identify as 2S. This is an identity that belongs solely to Indigenous people, white settlers cannot claim this identity. Indigenous and Two-Spirit people are the only ones who can educate on what it means to be Two-Spirit.


We use the term Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care (SGDc) to include all members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. In health care research, the term sexual and gender minorities (SGM) is used most often. Our working group at the Princess Margaret felt “minority” was not a term which encompasses the incredible strengths and power of our diverse communities. We decided to apply the term Sexual and Gender Diversity, as it is the term used at many universities in their student diversity centres. Although it is not a term that is widely known by all at this time, we believe it is inclusive, positive and easier to say than 2SLGBTQIA+.

Chosen Family

"Chosen family" is a term used in SGD communities to describe family groups formed by choice, rather than biological ties. Chosen families are an important part of a patient's essential care partners team, especially for patients who may have experienced rejection or who are not connected to their families of origin. Some patients have both family of origin families and chosen families.

At the Princess Margaret, we celebrate the strong and resilient networks that SGD communities and their chosen families have built. We want them to feel welcome, included and involved in your care.

Learn more about chosen family


Speech bubbles saying different pronouns

Staff, patients and families are encouraged to introduce themselves with their pronouns. For example, "My name is Sami and my pronouns are she and her". Pronouns cannot be determined by appearance or someone's name. Pronouns may not be obvious, or correctly assumed. Sharing pronouns helps the Princess Margaret create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all patients, families and staff.

Referring to people by the pronouns that they pick for themselves is a basic sign of respect. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns can be demoralizing. Trans people may not feel that their name given at birth affirms their gender identity. Trans people may choose a different name that is neutral or better aligned with their gender identity. Whether a person has legally changed their name or not, it is important to address people by their correct name, which is the name they choose for themself. It is important to know why pronouns matter, how to use them respectfully and how to foster inclusive language and communities.

Learn more about pronouns

pride flags  

Upcoming Events

Check back here for more upcoming events!

Past Events

Pride Month 2023

Toronto Pride Parade 2023

The SGDc members, patients and chosen family had a fantastic time marching in the Toronto Pride Parade with others from UHN's 2SLGBTQIA+ community!

Be the Light

Together with Wellspring, we hosted an evening of connection, reflection, music and meditation.

Pride 2023 on Social Media

image of the Pride flag from the Reel  
UHN Pride Flag Raising

The SGDc program joined the UHN 2SLGBTQIA+ committee for a Pride Flag Raising at UHN.

Watch the Pride Flag Raising Instagram Reel here »

image from the Reel  
UHN Pride 2023

A recap of Pride events across UHN.

Watch the UHN Pride Instagram Reel here »

image from the Reel  
SGDc Pride Parade Photos Reel

We had such a great time at the Pride Parade - you can tell from the huge smiles in these photos!

Watch the SGDc Pride Photos Instagram Reel here »

image from the Reel  
SGDc Pride Parade Videos Reel

These video clips really show how fantastic and packed the Pride Parade route was.

Watch the SGDc Pride Videos Instagram Reel here »

World Cancer Day 2023

World Cancer Day banner

"On World Cancer Day, we recognize the work of the committee in transforming cancer care by delivering high quality care that is equitable for all patients regardless of their race, ethnicity, income, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation," says Dr. Keith Stewart, Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. "We acknowledge the harm that healthcare systems have caused to 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, and recogn​​ise our responsibility as a world-leading cancer centre to make changes within the system to rebuild trust."

The work of the SGDc program was recently highlighted in a UHN News story for World Cancer Day 2023. Read the full arti​​​cle here. A special shout out to our SGDc patient partner io, who graciously shared their experience and provided a fantastic interview for the article.

SGDc member margo looking at camera  
Terms, Concepts and Language

The SGDc program was featured on UHN's TikTok as part of World Cancer Day. SGDc member Margo talks about 3 things you should know if you're 2SLGBTQIA+ and recently diagnosed with cancer.

Watch the TikTok here »

Pride Month 2022​​

Toronto Pride Parade​

Chat with the SGDc Committee


SGDc with ELLICSR Community Connections​

Kimiko Does Cancer​​

person working at their computer 

Resources from the SGDc Program

Sexual and Gender Diversity + Cancer: A Guide to Resources in the Community

Now updated for 2023 with new resources! This guide can help you learn more about inclusive cancer care resources, services and programs for SGD communities.

Download a copy of the Sexual and Gender Diversity + Cancer Resource Guide »

Rainbow Breathing activity

Rainbow Breathing Activity

This activity uses the rainbow to guide your breath and create a sense of calm.

Download a copy of the Rainbow Breathing Activity »

Need a Break from Cancer? resource cover page 

Need A Break From Cancer?

The "Need A Break From Cancer?" resource is meant to support self-care and coping for SGDc patients. The resource includes a list of activities to try when you need a break from thinking about cancer or a rainbow-inspired distraction.

Download the Need A Break From Cancer? resource »

SGD Resources from UHN

Cover of Brochure

What Transgender, Nonbinary and Genderqueer Patients Can Expect at UHN

Learn what to expect when at UHN, what to do if you have concerns about your care, what services at UHN can support your care and what support services are available outside of the hospital.

Read the brochure: What Transgender, Nonbinary and Genderqueer Patients Can Expect at UHN [PDF] »

2SLGBTQIA+ Books Available from the Patient and Family Library

2SLGBTQIA+ Books Available from the Patient and Family Library

Find 2SLGBTQIA+ ebooks to borrow »

UHN Patient Education logo

2SLGBTQIA+ Health Information from Patient and Family Education

Find more 2SLGBTQIA+ health information from UHN »

Cancer Resources for Members of SGD Communities

Queering Cancer logo, letter C surrounded by rainbow speech bubble provides SGD information, a blog, patient stories and education resources for healthcare providers. You can also find a database of SGD cancer resources including research articles, webinars, videos, news and media stories.​​

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Last reviewed: 5/15/2023
Last modified: 8/23/2023 12:26 PM
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