Dr. Amy Ellard-Gray: LGBTQIA2S+ Advocate and Social Justice Powerhouse
Dr. Amy Ellard-Gray began her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Guelph in 2007. During her undergraduate career, she volunteered for university’s OUTline phone service, providing guidance and support to LGBTQIA2S+ community members who had questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. Ellard-Gray completed her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph. Her graduate thesis focused on the treatment of queer teachers, using qualitative methodology to gain a nuanced understanding of their experience with systemic prejudice. Her dissertation examined the behaviours of allies and non-allies on the degree of prejudice experienced by LGBTQIA2S+ people.
During her time in university, Ellard-Gray worked on multiple research projects including the Sexual Assault Resistance Education (SARE) intervention and exploring the various experiences of LGBTQIA2S+ members in the workplace. Ellard-Gray believes in the importance of community-engaged scholarship. She and fellow Applied Social Psychology graduate student Thomas Sasso, founded the Sexual and Gender Diversity Research Lab to create space for student researchers to work together in areas of gender and sexuality in psychology.
As an advocate for the queer community, Ellard-Gray also volunteered for CampOUT, a student-led group at the University of Guelph that provides a confidential space for people to come out or discuss LGBTQIA2S+ topics with other queer students. It was important to Ellard-Gray to help queer students to have positive coming out experiences. She also volunteered as the chair of Out on the Shelf, a not-for-profit queer library and resource centre. Notably, Ellard-Gray was instrumental in working with the team that secured a physical location for the organization to continue running in 2015.
Ellard-Gray lives in Guelph with her wife and daughter and works as a research consultant at Taylor Newberry Consulting. Through her work with nonprofit and public sector organizations, she advocates for and promotes the consideration of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Ellard-Gray acknowledges the support of many individuals, including Sly Castaldi, Executive Director of Women in Crisis, as an inspiring person who pushes boundaries and fosters social change and Dr. Paula Barata, for allowing Ellard-Gray to grow as a researcher and for Dr. Barata, for her strong female leadership and commitment to personal learning and growth.
Ellard-Gray wants to spread a message of continual learning about intersectional identities. She emphasizes the importance of listening to queer people speak about their needs and asks others to remember that there is always more to learn about the LGBTQIA2S+ community.
Dr. Amy Ellard-Gray. She is pictured here looking to the side. Behind her are bookshelves.
Dr. Amy Ellard-Gray self portrait. She is carrying flowers and appears to be in a garden.