Certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity

Progress pride flag. Horizontal stripes with red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Left chevron shape with white, pink, blue, brown, and black.

Why the SXGD Certificate?

Available to all undergraduate students regardless of their degree concentration, the Certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity (SXGD) program offers you the opportunity to:

  • Think through and engage with your scholarly interests – be it nursing, law, art history, religious studies, music, kinesiology, politics, medicine – from the vantage point of critical sexuality, gender, queer, and transgender studies
  • Write about contemporary events and issues surrounding gender and race
  • Explore human difference across a range of sexualities and gender identifications

"Participating in the SXGD certificate has been a highlight of my university experience as it both beautifully complimented my Arts and Science degree and solidified my desire to attend law school with a focus on human rights. As an English major, it allowed me to focalize my studies on representations of diverse gender and sexual identities throughout history, and I will carry the knowledge I have accumulated as I continue my studies."

Kayla O'Brien
English Major & SXGD Certificate student

Career Application

Organizations, employers, and graduate programs look for individuals who can critically engage in a wide range of conversations surrounding Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Want to learn more?

Contact the Undergraduate Office (gndsug@queensu.ca, 613-533-6318)

How to Register

Register early in your studies to ensure you receive course credits towards the SXGD certificate:

  • Contact us with any questions
  • Email the Faculty of Arts and Science (asc.registration@queensu.ca), copying the Gender Studies Undergraduate Office (gndsug@queensu.ca), and state that you wish to enroll in the SXGD certificate. Please include your student number.

If at any time you wish to unenroll in the SXGD certificate, you can do so through the Faculty of Arts and Science office.

30 course units must be completed for this certificate.

Note: All units can be double counted for your Degree.

Course Notes
GNDS 215/3.0, Introduction to Sexual and Gender Diversity Taken either in person or online
3.0 units

Any course in any department with a major paper* (or two minor written assignments) focusing on the intersection of race sexual and/or gender diversity.

24.0 units

Any course in any department where you can do a major assignment* (or two minor  assignments) on sexual and/or gender diversity.

*Your assignments should not simply address issues such as women’s rights or gay marriage, but should be invested in the exploration of gender difference: e.g. racialization and gendered bodies, the gender spectrum, sexuality studies, transgender studies, queer studies.  The Program is not about feminism, though that can be an element, but about academic study attuned to the diversity and range of gender expression(s).  A short abstract of each assignment must be submitted for review at the end of each term.  The major assignment or two minor assignments must account for 40% of your final grade.

Certificate Completion

Students must pass all courses relating to the Certificate with an average GPA of at least 1.90, and must have completed their degree program requirements in order to receive the Certificate. The Certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of a degree program at Queen's University.

Please note that the SXGD Certificate is an exception to most certificates at Queen's in that units required for the SXGD certificate can also be counted towards your degree program.

Abstract Submission Requirements

At the end of each term you must submit a short abstract for each assignment you wish to have counted towards your certificate.

Your abstract submission must include the following information:

  • Name and Student number
  • For each course that you wish to be counted, include:
    • Course title, number, and units (i.e., SOCY 403/3.0 Sociology of the Body)
    • Assignment(s) title and % weighting
    • Short abstract of your assignment (3 or 4 sentences), including why the assignment is relevant to critical sexuality and gender studies.

Submit your abstract document to gndsug@queensu.ca at the end of each term.

A reminder: At least one 3.0 course abstract must demonstrate a significant investment in the intersection of race and gender/sexuality.

Q: Do I receive credit for taking a course where we talk about Sexual and Gender Diversity?
A: Yes and no. You will receive 3.0 units of credit towards the certificate upon successfully completing GNDS 215. To receive credit for other courses, you will need to submit abstracts for major assignments completed in those courses.. Each abstract should be based on an assignment worth approximately 40% of your final grade or a combination of assignments totalling 40% . The abstracts should explain how your assignment speaks to issues of sexual and gender diversity.

Q: When do I submit abstracts?
A: You can submit abstracts to be reviewed year-round. Please submit them to gndsug@queensu.ca

Q: Can I only submit abstracts from GNDS courses?
A: No, you are allowed to submit abstracts from any course in any department that has a major project or paper related to Sexual and Gender Diversity.

Q: How many courses do I have to submit abstracts for?
A: To earn the SXGD certificate, individuals must complete 27.0  units of courses and provide abstracts for each course they want to count towards the certificate, as well as complete GNDS 215 Introduction to Sexual and Gender Diversity (3.0) Students do not need to submit an abstract for this course. 

Typically, most SXGD students will submit abstracts for nine courses worth 3.0-units each. If someone wants to receive credit from a 6.0-unit course, then the number of courses they need to submit abstracts for will differ.

Q: Do I have to take extra courses to receive this certificate?
A: Yes and no. It is a requirement to take GNDS 215. If you are a GNDS student, this course is already a plan requirement. Beyond this, students can double count their courses to count toward both their degree plan and the certificate.

Q: How long should abstracts be?
A: Abstracts should be at minimum 5-6 sentences. Please see the provided example abstracts below.

Example SXGD Certificate Abstracts  
Course Number, Units, and Title: ARTH XXX (3.0) – Name of Course 
Final Essay (40%)
This essay examines both how and why feminist artists have used their work to challenge biases and/or omissions in historical narratives, looking to artists and their work from the 1970s to the present. In examining the traditional art historical canon, artists recognize it as enacting systematic discrimination, contributing to the normalization of continued white, cis-, heteronormative standards of identity and visual representation. Through particular selection in monetary value, education, art collection and gallery organization these art historical narratives enact active exclusion, creating an omission and thereby erasure of diversity, specifically racialized and queer histories. I then look to specific queer and racialized artists - including the LTTR Collective, Elise Rasmussen/Ana Mendieta, Adrian Piper, Senga Nengudi, Yasumasa Morimura, and others - and their work as methods of resistance, challenging such narratives through visual representation, chosen medium, adaptations of traditional art, focus on cultural decolonization, methodologies of accessing knowledge, and historical revisionism. I show how artists have utilized their identity, bodies, and sexuality to contribute and celebrate intersectionality and multifaceted identities, while simultaneously challenging existing structures through highlighting representational exclusion, historical education, stereotyping, and political injustices. 

Course Number, Units, and Title: SOCY XXX (3.0) – Name of course 
Research Assignment (25%)
This assignment is relevant to critical sexuality and gender studies because it entailed a discussion of the specific positionality Black men hold within North America. It focused on the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across North America and on various other continents. Kendrick Lamar significantly contributed to the contemporary aspects of this movement through his music. To Pimp A Butterfly, an album released in 2015, showcases many aspects of Black culture and music, as well as the ongoing struggle with policing Black individuals encounter, specifically Black men. The seventh track on the album, “Alright”, is one of utmost importance. This essay explored the importance of the blues traditions to “Alright” and to the history of this movement. Blues, being deeply embedded in Black musical culture, is often evoked in Black protest anthems for the power it holds. Primarily, this essay argues that Black men’s appreciation of this song, to the extent that it was sung in the streets during protests, is fighting against colonial ideas of masculinity, and also colonial ideas of specifically Black men should present themselves. This assessment revealed some of the restrictions placed on Black men’s positionality.

Reflection (20%)
This assignment reflected on queer families in the film Akin from writer, director, and producer Chase Joynt. I discussed how the binary norm of a family contains a mother, a father, and children is broken in queer families. Despite the notion embedded in western culture that queer couples should not raise children, children raised in queer families are often less subjected to the heteropatriarchal norms that restrict identity. This issue is complicated when analyzed from an intersectional lens, as queer families of colour face different forms of oppression than white queer families. This reflection argues that queer families resist heteropatriarchy through queer parenting, shaping the child’s knowledge formation, and offer an early introduction to naming and disclosure, wherein children of queer parents are able to understand and explore concepts of diverse gender and sexuality identities at an earlier age than their counterparts in heterosexual families. This assignment is relevant to critical sexuality and gender studies as it explores the concept of Queer parenting as an oppositional force to colonialism and colonial ideas of the family.  

SXGD Speaker Series

The Department of Gender Studies hosts an annual SXGD Speaker.  Once you have registered, you will begin to receive notices about visiting speakers.  All students, staff, and faculty are welcome to attend these events.

Previous SXGD Speaker Events