Bonte Minnema

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Interview with Bonte Minnema conducted by Ruth Belay

30 January 2020 | A2020-0010/006S

The audio recording and transcript for this interview are available at the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services. Please feel free to contact us here.

Interview description

Bonte Minnema, a digital media and marketing consultant, was an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto’s St. George Campus in the mid-1990s where he was actively involved in advocating for the LGBT community. Minnema shares some of his background growing up and coming out in southwestern Ontario, why he was drawn to UofT, and his initial experiences at Trinity College. He describes some of his involvement in equal rights activism taking place outside of the University, and then focuses on the start of his advocacy on campus. Initially looking at discrimination in the provision of student services, for example in UofT’s Health Services, and within curriculum, Minnema also describes the revival of a student organization aimed to build support and social infrastructure for LGBT students on campus. He recalls a number of different initiatives in both respects, as well as solidarity networks between different student groups, allies in various roles, and the dynamics of activism at the University. Minnema reflects on the complex and continued impact that activism has had through his career, how he has navigated the public persona that developed with this, and the type of social value he sees in activist perspectives and approach.



  • Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario
  • Centre for Women and Trans People, UofT
  • Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG)
  • Muslim Students’ Association
  • Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies
  • Health and Wellness – Student Life, UofT
  • Nobel Knights

Subject Topics

  • UofT Sexual Diversity Program
  • Homo Hops
  • Positive Space Campaign
  • Equity and inclusion in curriculum
  • Homophobia
  • Solidarity networks
  • Student health services
  • Financial barriers
  • Scholarships
  • Privacy

Citation: University of Toronto Archives. Oral History Collection on Student Activism. Oral history interview with Bonte Minnema conducted by Ruth Belay, 30 January 2020. A2020-0010/006S.