Affirming Programs and Activities for LGBT2SQ Children and Youth

Tailored programs for LGBT2SQ children and youth promote peer and community connections, build identity and positive self-regard, and provide an opportunity for fun social events. Programs that are not specific to LGBT2SQ children and youth, but that support their presence and actively affirm their rights and dignity, can also help LGBT2SQ children and youth feel they do not have to keep their identity a secret.77 In northern, remote, and rural communities, child welfare workers can be creative and collaborate with other community organizations and agencies to ensure children and youth have access to affirming programs and activities.

Some agencies have established LGBT2SQ peer support or social/recreational groups. These groups may include allies, be offered in partnership with other community organizations, and include LGBT2SQ children and youth who are not in the child welfare system. Sponsoring or participating in Pride events (e.g., LGBT2SQ Pride, Trans Pride) are also important ways to affirm LGBT2SQ children and youth. If peer support and social groups for LGBT2SQ children and youth are not available, child welfare workers, as allies, may wish to assist in developing them.

It is important that child welfare organizations collaborate with other identity-based organizations, for example, Indigenous organizations that provide culture-based and holistic services. Two-Spirit or LGBTQ Indigenous children and youth can be referred to a local Indigenous Friendship Centreix to access culturally-based services and programming, or be provided with information about the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, which is an organization led by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.x

SOY – Supporting Our Youth

Located at Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto, Supporting Our Youth (SOY) works to support the health and wellbeing of all queer and trans spectrum youth by running groups, programs, and events. For more information, visit http://www.soytoronto.org


Transcend Drop-In Trans Youth Group

The Transcend Drop-In Trans Youth Group is operated by gender diverse facilitators for gender diverse youth in Ottawa. Transcend Drop-In gives youth who identify as gender diverse or who are questioning and/or exploring their gender expression a chance to make friends, get support, work on projects, and have fun. The group meets on the last Monday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Family Services Ottawa and eats together. Guest speakers are occasionally invited to the group. For more information on the Transcend Drop-In, visit:

http://familyservicesottawa.org/children-youth-and-families/around-the-rainbow/


El-Tawhid Juma Circle

The El-Tawhid Juma Circle (ETJC) is an LGBTQI2S affirming mosque in Toronto that is welcoming of everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, sexual identity, or faith background. Read more about them here: http://www.jumacircle.com


ix A listing of local Indigenous Friendship Centres is available at: http://www.ofifc.org/about-fc/centres/map.

x Further information on resources, programs and supports offered by the Native Youth Sexual Health Network is available at: http://www.nativeyouthsexualhealth.com.