Meet Andy Holmes
Creating a strong, resilient, and compassionate world through queer communities is integral to Andy’s philosophy of inclusive leadership building.
As the first openly gay and biracial Student Council President of Prince of Wales Secondary in 2014, and President of its Queer-Straight Alliance Club, Andy brought leadership to his school’s community. That same year, Andy was heavily involved in passing the Vancouver School Board’s revisions to its Sexual and Gender Identities policy to further trans* legal rights by speaking to School Trustees at a Committee III Meeting and attending district GSA/QSA meetings in Vancouver. Before the policy had passed, Andy also implemented Prince of Wales Secondary’s first gender-inclusive washroom.
In 2016, Andy was selected to participate in Vision Vancouver’s Inaugural Next Young Leader’s Fellowship Council, which included meeting with Vancouver politicians and organization a policy forum with them to address pressing issues in Vancouver.
On the side, Andy is one of the youngest facilitators for Out in Schools, a program that fosters LGBTQ education through story telling and films, which has allowed him to reach hundreds of students and teachers in elementary schools, high schools, and universities. As a facilitator, Andy offers supportive strategies to ally teachers and students in developing inclusive policy changes and community building in their schools and families.
Andy has also served as the youngest Board of Directors for Our City of Colours, a local Vancouver organization that supplies linguistic and cultural representation to queer communities through poster campaigns, in which he was responsible for helping organize 15 queer-themed TransLink bus shelter posters throughout Vancouver in the fall of 2015.
Andy is one of the incipient members for Love Intersections, an organization that fosters inclusive community building through media and films to provide a platform for queer people of diverse identities who are living, breathing, surviving and dancing in the social margins to create social change by sharing their stories. For two years, Andy has been doing community engagement every week by applying for grants, managing social media sites, writing for their online blog, and producing films that showcase the intricate lives of racialized, immigrant, Indigenous, and dis(abled) queer people of colour, among other identities. To this date, Love Intersections has produced over five short films screened at over 12 International Queer Film Festivals. Through this work with Love Intersections, Andy has been interviewed on CBC, Rabble Radio, and Vancouver CO-OP Radio to discuses the importance of intersectionality, and the political tension involved in the perception of homophobia and transphobia in East Asian immigrant communities and how to address this issue.
Ultimately, Andy is passionate about community building that transcends the realms of merely homophobia and transphobia in order to address concurrent social issues that intersect in the lived experiences of LGBTQ people. He is particularly interested in how LGBTQ rights as a social movement relate to decolonization, feminism, racism, and other interlocking social systems where identities overlap. Andy is also interested in learning about how different cultures conceptualize gender and sexuality, which challenges people to question the notion that the “LGBTQ” acronym is an inherent biological identity. Rather, Andy is interested in how gender and sexuality are expressed dependent on culture and existing political contexts.