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SGDc logo

About SGDc

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).

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).

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

Email: SGDc@uhn.ca
Phone: 416 946 4501 ext. 4728
Instagram/Twitter: @PMChosenFamily

Want to be a Queer Cancer Change-Maker?

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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:
Email: SGDc@uhn.ca
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.

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 article here »

TikTok Video

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 video here »

SGD and Cancer


SGD patients may have unique questions or concerns on their minds when they become part of the Cancer Program. Some of these questions may include:

  • Will my healthcare providers feel comfortable with me and know how to provide gender-affirming care?
  • Will I be mis-gendered or referred to by incorrect pronouns?
  • Will I face homophobia, biphobia, transphobia or discrimination?
  • Will I be able to find an all-gender washroom?
  • Will my chosen family be welcome?
  • Should I tell my healthcare provider about my sexual orientation and gender identity?
  • Will I be able to find inclusive cancer support groups?

Patients who are cisgender (a person whose personal identity and gender corresponds to their sex assigned at birth) and heterosexual do not have to consider these questions or concerns. This is one of the factors that makes SGD unique and important to cancer care. Having cancer is enough to worry about without this added stress. All patients and families deserve a safe and inclusive environment and experience for their cancer care. All patients and families deserve to feel confident that they are receiving the best care possible.

Learn more about SGD patients and cancer care​

Program Goals

All-Gender Washrooms

The University Health Network (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.

All Gender bathroom signage

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 specific to 2SLGBTQIA+ patients, caregivers and chosen families
  • Connect you with supports and services tailored to your needs
  • Liaise or consult with staff about inclusive care practices and barriers to care

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

Email: SGDc@uhn.ca
Phone: 416 946 4501 ext. 4728

2 male-presenting people smiling at each other

SGD Terms

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


My 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

person working at their computer

Cancer Resources for Members of SGD Communities

SGD and Cancer: A Guide to Resources in the Community

This guide can help you learn more about inclusive cancer care resources, services and programs for SGD communities.

Download a copy of the SGD and Cancer Resource Guide »

Queering Cancer logo, letter C surrounded by rainbow speech bubble  


QueeringCancer.ca 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.

 text on a rainbow coloured background 

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 »

Upcoming Projects

Terms, Concepts and Language

Language is constantly changing and evolving. It is important to stay informed on correct terms. Healthcare providers may worry about using the wrong terms or offending someone without meaning to. Staying informed about inclusive language may increase confidence and help to avoid silences when treating SGDc patients. A guide to 'Terms, Concepts and Language' is being created and will include information about inclusive language, definitions of terms and a list of words to avoid.

Rainbow Cancer Connections: SGDc Patient and Caregiver Support Group

Reach out to the SGDc if you are interested in registering.

Presentations from the SGDc

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.

Watch the SGDc Wellspring presentation »

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.

Watch the SGDc presentation from PM Supportive Care Rounds »

two people high-fiveing

SGDc Program Team

SGDc Executives

  • Christian Schulz-Quach (he/him)
    Psychiatrist and SGDc Co-Lead, Department of Supportive Care, PM
    Twitter: @Dr_SchulzQuach
  • Margo Kennedy (she/her)
    Social Worker and SGDc Co-Lead, Department of Supportive Care, PM
  • Brendan Lyver (he/him)
    Research Analyst and Assistant to SGDc Co-Leads, Department of Supportive Care, PM
  • Jennifer Croke (she/her)
    Radiation Oncologist, Department of Radiation Oncology, PM
    Twitter: @jenncroke
  • Gilla Shapiro (she/her)
    Psychologist, Department of Supportive Care, PM
    Twitter: @gkshapiro

SGDc Members

  • Nazlin Jivraj (she/her)
    Specialized Oncology Nurse, Gynecology Oncology, PM
    Twitter: @NazlinJivraj
  • Andrew Matthew (he/him)
    Psychologist, Department of Supportive Care, PM
  • Alan Wai (he/him)
    Psychiatrist, TGH Immunodeficiency Clinic, UHN Department of Psychiatry
  • Jody Morita (he/him)
    Psychiatrist, Department of Supportive Care, PM
  • Samantha Scime (she/her)
    Nurse Educator, PM
  • Lauren Squires (she/her)
  • Raymond Dang (he/they)
    Health Surveillance Screener, Health Surveillance Unit, PM
  • Paige Lau (she/her)
    Radiation Therapist, Department of Radiation Oncology, PM
  • Tori Anderson (she/her)
    Resident, Psychiatry, University of Toronto
  • Thomas Kais-Prial (he/him)
    Research Manager, Department of Supportive Care, PM
  • Mason Gibson (she/her)
    Music Therapist, Department of Supportive Care, PM
Gallery image of 8 SGDc members on Zoom

Pride Month 2022

Hear from current members of the SGDc Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre on what Pride means to them, why they joined the SGDc Program, and how they are working to support SGDc patients.



Last reviewed: 8/7/2022
Last modified: 2/16/2023 8:41 AM
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