Life changing support for LGBTQ2S+ youth
In a small city without a large LGBTQ2S+ community, finding likeminded people can make a world of difference, especially to a young teenager.
Thanks to your generosity, Nanaimo LGBTQ2S+ youth now have a place to go where they can be 100% authentically themselves, while learning important life skills and building lifelong friendships.
Once a week, youth who identify as LGBTQ2S+ or who are questioning, come together to be around others who are compassionate, understanding, and accepting of their journey. Through this program, youth not only have a support network, but they also learn about healthy relationship dynamics, have role models to look up to and the opportunity to discuss what it means to identify as LGBTQ2S+ in today’s world.
LGTBQ2S+ Youth are more at risk
Being a teenager is difficult; being an LGBTQ2S+ teenager is even harder. Studies confirm that bullying, discrimination, and suicide rates are extremely high among LGBTQ2S+ youth in Canada:
· 33% of LGBTQ2S+ youth have attempted suicide, compared to 7% of youth in general.[1
· 40% have felt discriminated against because of their sexual orientation/gender identity;
· 74% have been a victim of bullying, threats or hurtful, unkind comments
Stand-up and be an ally
More than ever, being an LGBTQ2S+ ally is extremely important in our society; it sets an example of respectful behaviour and let’s LGBTQ2S+ people know that they’re supported. Here are some of the ways you can be an ally:
· Listen to the experiences and perspectives of LGBTQ2S+ people and respect their opinions.
· Seek out information and opportunities to expand your understanding.
· Reflect on and question the stereotypes and negative assumptions held by yourself and others.
· Avoid assuming how people identify. Listen for, or politely ask, how someone wants to be identified.
· Intervene when you witness offensive behaviour or language.
· Use inclusive language to ensure everyone feels welcome and respected.
· Challenge policies, practices, and procedures that create barriers for LGBTQ2S+ people.
· Apologize regardless of intent. Everyone makes mistakes in an ally role, what matters, is how you respond.
· Be courageous! Don’t be afraid to learn, ask for more information and provide support.
Show your support for the LGBTQ2S+ community on Vancouver Island by attending Comox Valley Pride: