Parallel Session 10

Mirror Mirror: queer men and body image in health & mental health settings


This interactive workshop on queer men and body image will

  • ask audience members to reflect on cultural messages around ideal bodies and food and consider how fatphobia and thin privilege affect us all, including how they impact our services
  • examine what body image challenges look like in queer men's communities along with a brief history of shifting body ideals over time
  • explore and discuss counselling/clinical questions and approaches to addressing body image issues with queer men drawing on cognitive behavioral, acceptance-commitment, Gestalt and psychodynamic tools



Rahim Thawer is a registered social worker who works as a consultant and clinical counsellor on a family health team and in private practice. He operates from a harm reduction, sex positive, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed approach providing mental health counselling in LGBTQ/HIV-affected communities around issues of anxiety, depression, trauma, body image and problem substance use. Rahim has been a post-secondary instructor across two Ontario colleges and has developed curriculum in the area of addiction and mental health. He is also a co-founder of Ismaili Queers: Advocates for Pluralism and is a queer Muslim organizer with Salaam Canada.

Audience: Intermediate: counsellors/therapists, social workers, clinicians