Item 20.20-31 - Selina Robinson

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Selina Robinson

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CA JMABC A.1971.001-20.20-31

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  • December 23, 2020 (Creation)

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Born-digital audio (1:03:25)

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Interview with Selina Robinson for On The Record: The BC Jewish Queer & Trans Oral History Project in collaboration with JQT Vancouver. Interviewed by Carmel Tanaka via remote Zoom video call. Selina (she/her) is a Jewish politician who is the mother of a gay son. She is an NDP representative and Member of Legislative Assembly of BC residing in Coquitlam. Selina talks about growing up Jewish in Montreal, and Richmond, BC where the Jewish community was much smaller. She talks about organizing community-led Jewish education in Burquest that focused on inclusion of all sects of Judaism during the ‘90s. Selina talks about working for Jewish Family Services, and their attempts to make safe spaces for gay Jewish kids and their parents. She talks about guidance from her son Aaron, who is similarly pursuing queer Jewish community initiatives. She also tells an anecdote about Aaron’s coming out and how his leaving for university worried her about his preparedness for the world at large. Selina talks about Aaron being openly Jewish growing up and creating positive spaces for him to share his Jewishness with non-Jewish peers, but the difficulties of not knowing the perfect way to parent a queer kid as a straight parent. She also talks about Aaron inviting her to Shabbat dinner with Pride Colours and how proud she was. Selina talks about how Jewish organizations can become more welcoming to queer Jews by including queer Jews in their leadership and becoming more self-reflective.

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Interview has been transcribed. Interview also available as video.

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Name of interviewer: Carmel Tanaka

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Place of interview: Coquitlam, BC

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Birthdate: 1964

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Birth place: Montreal, QC

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Related Materials: Pat Johnson references Selina's work with Jewish Family Services in his interview in this series.

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