Staff

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Rachel Loewen Walker - Executive Director
Pronouns: She/Her
Email: director@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I'm pretty sure I was a sea turtle. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would build OUTSaskatoon the most incredible new space, and then I would take a trip to the Galapagos Islands! The best piece of advice I've ever been given is to invest my time into the culture of an organization first and foremost, as the good work will follow from an inspired and collaborative team. If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve pie. What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team of superstars? Show up to the interview with both your head and your heart. If I could have any position in the world, I'd probably be Donald Trump's acupuncturist ;) Cats or dogs? Do you have pets? Definitely both and yes - I have a greyhound named Lilith and two loud cats: Lucy and Hamlet. My favorite word in the English language is becoming. My favorite word in the Queer language is QUEER! And my favourite part about being Queer is the fact that it has helped to create me into a person who is resilient, thrives in diversity, and who is passionate about social change for all. When I was five, I was pretty sure I'd be a mad scientist when I grew up, being an ED is not that far off!


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Amanda Guthrie - Education & Operations Manager
Pronouns: She/Her
Email: education@outsaskatoon.ca

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be the ability to turn water into guacamole. When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a Spice Girl when I grew up. If I were a fruit or vegetable, I would be an avocado because they go well with everything. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would pay off my student loans - dreamy, travel a lot, finally buy a ficus tree, send my parents on a trip, and donate a bunch to different queer and justice-based organizations. The best piece of advice I've ever been given is "this too shall pass." If someone was applying for a job at OUTSaskatoon, the advice I would give them is vulnerability makes your work, your workplace, and your life better. If I could have any position in the world, I would want to either work in municipal politics and municipal development or be a fixer - Olivia Pope style. The most inspiring part of my job is when people are willing to be uncomfortable, ask the tough questions, and when people are brave enough to champion inclusion. I'm inspired when people stop being afraid and when they stop buying into the norm and status quo. My favorite word in the English language is Queer a my favorite word in the Queer language is Dyke.  My favourite part about being Queer is that I truly get to be me and not censor any part of myself. Accepting my queerness meant that I slowly started to accept and express my true self; whether masculine, feminine, hairy, no hair, wearing whatever clothes make me feel comfortable, cutting my hair the way I actually want, being attracted to whomever, whatever it might be. To me, Queer means liberated.


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Krystal Niecker - Housing & Support Services Manager
Pronouns: 
She/Her
Email: services@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I'm pretty sure I was ... a character in a Jane Austin novel. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would invest half for retirement, but because you have to be smart about your future and then I would move to a Greek island and have the best parties! The best piece of advice I've ever been given is always remember to wish your Mother a Happy BIRTHday on your own Birthday, it is her day just as much as it is yours. If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve good food and great company. What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team of superstars? I would advise them to truly be themselves, there is more merit in authenticity than any resume can possibly convey. If I could have any position in the world, I'd probably be POTUS. Cats or dogs? Do you have pets? Can't choose - I love all of my animals equally, except when my cats are jerks! What's the most inspiring part of your job? Watching folks choose to be the best versions of themselves. My favourite part about being Queer is the feeling of Family. If I were a superhero, my superpower would be Gaydar. When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a Doctor when I grew up. If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why? I would be a Papaya, sweet and juicy on the outside and a little bit nutty on the inside! 


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Sean Ryan - Community Engagement Officer
Pronouns: He/Him
Email: engagement@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I'm pretty sure I was a Queen. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would start my own charity and travel the world! The best piece of advice I've ever been given is that it is ok to just be yourself. If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve Michael Buble, I love him. What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team of superstars, keep your chin up and let the positive energy flow through you. If I could have any position in the world, I'd probably be a politician so I could make a greater impact on people’s lives. Cats or dogs? Do you have pets? I love all animals but I LOVE dogs the most! I have two dogs and they are the BEST! My favorite word in the English language is Literally. My favorite word in the Queer language is Lesbian, I think it sounds the most fun. The most inspiring part of my job is knowing at the end of the day we are truly making a difference and impacting people’s lives, that and I get to work with my best friends! My favourite part about being Queer is being an individual but knowing that I have a community behind and supporting me. If I were a superhero, my superpower would be flying or invisibility. When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a Mom when I grew up, fighting gender norms since birth. If I were a fruit or vegetable I would be a beet, once I'm cooked I melt. 


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Briana Hedlin – Office Coordinator
Pronouns: She/Her
Email: hello@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I am pretty sure I was a scientist, or someone who used science/math on a regular basis. I find it so fascinating, however, did poorly in both subjects. If I won the lotter tomorrow I would theoretically buy a house, pay off my car, and do a bunch of responsible things, however I’m pretty sure I would do all the vineyard tours in Italy. The best piece of advice I received is: ‘Make your bed every morning. You don’t want to die and have people think you’re messy’ – My Grandmother. If I were to invent a holiday, it would involve Star Wars, housecoats, and puppies. So basically, May 4th is my own personal holiday. What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team of superstars? I would tell them not to fight it. Accept that you are part of a team and you have to eat with everyone, you will ugly cry at some point and you will laugh until it hurts. If I could have any position in the world, it would probably be the position I have currently. I don’t want power, I don’t want fame. Cats or dogs? Do I have pets? I love dogs. LOVE DOGS!! We currently are running a retirement home for pets. Three dogs; Guthrie (14), Ava (11) and Molly (9), and two birds; Zoe (24), and Skyler (21). My favourite word is discombobulated. It’s fun to say and spell, plus it describes me at least once a day. My favourite queer word is lezbeonic. Not a real word and it doesn’t mean anything, but it has a ‘z’ in it so that’s cool. Also it kind of sounds like bionic, which reminds me of the bionic woman aka: Lezbeonic. What's the most inspiring part of your job? I love to talk to people and with my position; I am able to have a chat with most people who come through OUTSaskatoon. Either by email, phone or the drop in. My favourite part of being queer is everything. I love being queer, and I love that I’ve accepted myself as a lesbian. I had a hard time growing up because it was not widely accepted, but now I work at literally the gayest place in the city and I own it. My superhero power would be either flying, or the ability to know what people are thinking. However, that would probably be annoying and I would cheat in Jeopardy, so flying. I’m pretty sure, when I was 5; I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I was a very adult 5 year old. If I were a fruit or vegetable what would I be and why? I love vegetables, and eat an excessive amount of cucumbers; however, I would probably be a dragon fruit. I am spiky and protective on the outside, but sweet on in the inside.


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Jessica Fisher - Gender Based Violence Education Coordinator 
Pronouns: 
She/Her
Email: 
gbveducation@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I'm pretty sure I was a witch living in a forest. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would buy a camper van and explore more of Canada. The best piece of advice I've ever been given is that I am a mighty and powerful force and that I should never turn my *sparkle* down for anyone. If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve playing outside with dogs. What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team of superstars? Figure out what brings you joy and helps you recharge and practice them regularly. This work is SO rewarding, and can also be draining, so ask for help when you need it. We are here to support one another. If I could have any position in the world, I'd probably be a holistic healer and gardener. Cats or dogs? Do you have pets? DOGS!!! Hands down! I don't personally own any pets, but my parents have 2 dogs, Wicket and Murphy, that I love dearly. My favorite word in the English language is Rad. My favorite word in the Queer language is spectrum, because it highlights that ALL parts of identity are diverse and is inclusive of everyone's experience. What's the most inspiring part of your job? Seeing the resilience and strength of young people. They inspire me to keep working hard and to make space for vulnerability and silliness. My favourite part about being Queer is that it is acceptable for me to wear glitter regularly. If I were a superhero, my superpower would be to make people laugh and feel open-hearted. When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a ballerina figure skater when I grew up. If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why? I'd be an apple. I could be eaten with peanut butter or cheese, baked into a pie, turned into cider, or sprinkled into a salad. Enough said! #versatile #anappleaday 


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Jack Saddleback - Cultural & Projects Coordinator 
Pronouns: He/Him
Email: twospirit@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I'm pretty sure I was a lumberjack because my love for the outdoors and all things plaid are indescribable. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would buy my fur baby, Lupin, the biggest cat tree ever and take my husband on a series of vacations. The best piece of advice I've ever been given is everything happens; the good, the bad, the triumphant, and the challenging. If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve poutine, as it is one of the most versatile foods out there! What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team of superstars? Be open, be kind, and know that weird shenanigans happen on the daily either by staff or folks who come to the centre! If I could have any position in the world, I'd probably be in a position where I could continue to make positive change for all communities! Cats or dogs? Do you have pets? Definitely a dog person but I fell in love with my current fur baby, Lupin; so you can say, "once you go cat, you cat go back" My favorite word in the English language is "Jazzy" My favorite word in the Queer language is "Resilient." What's the most inspiring part of your job? The most inspiring parts of my job are being able to create spaces alongside communities members that revitalize Two Spirit teachings; whether this is putting on weekly programming, cultural events, gatherings, or Two Spirit culture camps! My favourite part about being Queer is seeing the resiliency in the community (and the discount we get at various stores when receiving your official Queer card). If I were a superhero, my superpower would be the ability to take carbon monoxide out of the air, because climate change, am I right? When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a professional tipi raiser when I grew up; as I watched my dad do various competitions putting up massive tipis! If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why? I would be a cucumber because I've been told I'm "cool as a cucumber" and my mom thinks I'm cool.


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Tiffany Strachan - Pride Home Coordinator
Pronouns: They/Them
Email: pridehome@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I'm pretty sure I was a chocolate lab. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would donate all the money to Pride Home, and you should too! The best piece of advice I've ever been given is “surviving is the strength of the individual, healing is the strength of the community.” If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve choreographed dancing. What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team of superstars? Be ready to have a second family, because that’s what we are. If I could have any position in the world, I'd probably be a professional basketball coach. Cats or dogs? Do you have pets? I’ve always grown up around cats, but lately, I’ve been feeling team dog! Except for my cat Nixon, whom I love dearly! My favorite word in the English language is “yes, and!”. My favorite word in the Queer language is queer! What's the most inspiring part of your job? Watching resilience build within people, and watching them turn into their own fierce advocate! My favourite part about being Queer is being unapologetically myself. If I were a superhero, my superpower would be flying! Imagine all the money you could save on vacations too? When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a teacher when I grew up. If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why? An avocado, because I’ve come to love that I’m full of healthy fat. 


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Ben Lindsay - Youth & Sexual Health Coordinator
Pronouns: They/Them
Email: youth@outsaskatoon.ca

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would build a house in the woods and live off the grid. If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve eating pizza at home. If I could have any position in the world, I'd probably be a professional traveler. Cats or dogs? Both! Do you have pets? 2 cats, Olive Oil, and Fig Newton. My favorite word in the English language is Ineffable: something that is too great for words. My favorite word in the Queer language is Butch Queen + Hard Femme. What's the most inspiring part of your job? Having an opportunity to learn and grow from and alongside so many fabulous people. My favourite part about being Queer is having a fantastic and supportive chosen family. If I were a superhero, my superpower would be eradicating all kinds of oppression. When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a lumberjack when I grew up. If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why? I would be a tomato because everyone thinks I'm a vegetable but I'm actually just a big fruit.


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Wendy Li - fYrefly Saskatchewan Coordinator
Pronouns: She/Her
Email: fyrefly@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was a cat.  If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would take my parents on their dream vacation and buy myself some Wheelies because I never got to experience them when I was a kid.  The best piece of advice I received is “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.”  If I could invent a holiday, it would have to involve drinking coffee and hanging out with people’s pets.  If I could have any position in the world, I would probably be an ice cream taste tester.  Cats or Dogs?  Both!  My partner and I are looking into adopting a cat.  My favorite word in the English language is “Asparagus” and my favorite word in the Queer language is “Acceptance”. My favorite part of being Queer is being yourself and that no matter who you are, you are loved and accepted by a community.  If I were a superhero, my superpower would be able to fly so I can see things from an aerial perspective.  When I was 5, I wanted to be a chemical engineer. I had no clue what that it meant; I just knew it sounded cool.  If I were a fruit or vegetable, I would be a watermelon because I’m tough on the outside but sweet and a cool refreshing treat.   


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Connor Rodriguez - Community Support Advocate
Pronouns:
He/Him
Email: communitysupport@outsaskatoon.ca 

In another life, I'm pretty sure I was some kind of entertainer, probably a drag queen. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d do responsible things (like pay off debt, contribute to my kid’s college fund, etc), donate to hard working and well deserving charities, and travel around with my family and best friends. The best piece of advice I've ever been given is a quote I repeat to myself frequently, “What other people think of you is none of your business.” If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve great food and lots of laughter. My advice for someone who’s interested in joining the OUTSaskatoon team is to meet everyone where they’re at and don’t be afraid of being your authentic self. If I could have any position in the world, I’m not sure what it would be, but I know I would still be helping others through advocacy. Between cats or dogs, I’m definitely a dog person, but I love all animals and encourage my friends to send me photos of their pets regularly. I have two lovely small dogs, Sasha Fierce (10) and Samson Brown (2). My favorite word in the English language is petrichor: the pleasant, earthy smell after rain.  My favorite word in the Queer language is YAAASSSS KWEEN (yaassssss works too). My favourite part about being Queer is the community. As LGBTQ2S+ people we are often ostracized and made to feel alone. However, that’s not really the case because we have our wonderful queer community, often called a chosen family. If I were a superhero, my superpower would be omnilingualism (the ability to understand and utilize verbal or nonverbal communication without any prior knowledge of the language). When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be an astronaut and a basketball player, perhaps at the same time. If I were a fruit, I’d be a kiwi because I’m small, hairy on the outside, and sweet on the inside.


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Iris Akbar - Counselor
Pronouns: 
She/Her
Email: support@outsaskatoon.ca

In another life, I'm pretty sure….. I was a Robinhood-like Prince who lost my empire because I was too generous and was ineffective at political negotiations. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would buy a 60s Volkswagen Microbus and do an around the world road trip with it! The rest of the money, buy a decent house, invest some and make donations to animal shelters. The best piece of advice I've ever been given is that if you do not have sufficient money to donate and help others, then give your time and energy instead (my mother who advocated for volunteerism). If I could invent a holiday, it would be called a Hobby Day, stay home and do whatever you want to do! What advice would you give a candidate who wants to join our team of superstars, recognize your uniqueness, your strengths, find humor in life and bring those positive energies to your interview and work. If I could have any position in the world, I'd probably be either an architect or civil engineer. I want to design, create and advocate for affordable housings for those who want a decent house over their heads and, do not want to be in huge debt and pay their mortgages for the rest of their lives. Cats or dogs? Do you have pets? I love both! I cannot betray one over the other, although I have two cats, Musa and Maya. I love them both so much, they give me free pet therapy EVERY DAY. My favorite word in the English language is Sleep, it is a very calming word! My favorite word in the Queer language is Androgynous, it does not sound simple, sounds pretty scientific and there is a mysterious sparkle to it. The most inspiring part of my job is knowing that people have unusually diverse life experiences, everyone is unique and cope with their challenges differently. I learn so much about life from them and it is so heartening to seek and discover each person’ strengths, using those strengths and help resolve their issues. My favorite part about being Queer is being different from anyone else, being forced to step out of my box to advocate for others and show that the world is all the shades of the rainbow instead of just black and white. If I were a superhero, my superpower would be being able to speak all of the world languages or instantaneously change negative energy and mindset to positive ones so that we have more peace on earth. When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a police officer, catch bad people and keep our streets safe. If I were a fruit or vegetable, I would be a durian, the King of fruit! Thorny on the outside, rich and yellow on the inside, like or even love by those who have exquisite smell and taste buds. Those who dislike me can stay away from me as far as they want to.



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