Rahim Thawer (he/him) works as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, EDI consultant, facilitator and public speaker, sessional lecturer, writer, and community organizer. He began working in the HIV/AIDS sector in 2008 and dedicated over a decade to LGBTQ Muslim community organizing. He was welcomed as an International Visiting Scholar with the South African College for Applied Psychology (SACAP) for the 2021-2022 academic year and has taught as a lecturer at multiple universities in Canada. He’s an appointed Fellow at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto for his contributions to the field of sexuality.

He was a co-editor and contributor for an anthology entitled Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Toronto Book Awards. He’s currently working on books under contract with Thornapple Press and Blue Cactus Press. His self-published essays on shame and sexuality, the social and sexual dimensions of envy, supporting LGBTQ Muslims, and the nuances of doing clinical work in communities you belong to can be found on Medium.


Rahim has spoken on over 35 topics related to queerness, identity, social justice, mental health, harm reduction, psychotherapy, social work practice, and cultural awareness. He uniquely combines EDI topics with the lens of psychological well-being.

We all offer critical front-line services for people who are vulnerable and who need very real forms of support. In the public sector, we encounter people who are constantly enduring the systems and cycles of poverty, abuse, addiction, and illness. While we aim to “meet people where they’re at” we can sometimes falter and forget to reflect on our relative position in the world to the people we work with. Further, we may feel helpless or fatigued to consider the position we’ve been placed in to support individuals who are up against grating systems. Talks that explore anti-oppression concepts focus on power, privilege and oppression and consider how they operate in our world for both our clients and ourselves.

Talking about trauma has become a big business for good reason. However, it’s useful to take a step back from the jargon and explore the concepts of trauma, trauma-informed, and vicarious trauma. This talk invites participants to examine the roots of trauma and sources of vicarious trauma in their own industry followed by a discussion of micro- and meso-level interventions needed to support individuals. Rahim will present a model for creating healthy boundaries and a burnout prevention plan.

We often reduce mental health to diagnostic labels, wellness to the absence of symptoms, and queer men’s health to prevalence rates. If we take an exploratory approach to mental health and wellness we can begin to unravel some of the specific determinants of mental health concerns that affect GBTQ2S guys. As a racialized queer psychotherapist, Rahim examines 13 unique determinants that queer men come up against that impact their well-being. These will include but are not limited to, internalized shame, body image, substance use, ageing, and the landscape of connection-seeking.

Shame and sexuality; Supporting family members when someone comes out; The matrix of envy; Body image and wellbeing; Innovation in queer relationships; The meaning of substance use in our lives.