– November 24, 2023
The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), It Gets Better Canada (IGBC), and LGBT YouthLine are joining forces to launch #YouthVoicesWillPrevail in January 2024. The #YouthVoicesWillPrevail campaign aims to amplify youth voices being drowned out amidst a rising tide of anti-trans and anti-2SLGBTQI hate making its way across Canada.
In recent years, there has been an undeniable tide of rising anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate sweeping the country, from the removal of safe space stickers in classrooms, heated disagreements and hatred at school board meetings, the 1 Million March 4 Children and other hate-fueled protests, and changes to policy and legislation that serve to cause irreparable harm to queer and trans youth.
- From 2018-2021 there was a 164% rise in police-reported hate crimes towards 2SLGBTQIA+ communities
- 70% of trans youth experience some form of sexual harassment
- 64% of trans youth in Canada have seriously considered suicide
As youth-focused 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations, CCGSD, It Gets Better Canada and LGBT YouthLine see firsthand the impact of hate speech, violence, and restrictive government policies on queer and trans youth. With the noise of this rising anti-trans and anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate, youth voices have been forced to the background at a time when they deserve to – and must – be front and centre.
The joint #YouthVoicesWillPrevail campaign will drive important stories from youth representatives across the country, as they share what affirming support has meant to them, the realities of living in an invalidating household while requiring safe spaces at school, and other much-needed truths that only today’s youth can share.
Join us in working to secure a future where no young person in Canada feels marginalized, isolated, excluded, or rejected because of their sexuality or gender identity:
Follow the hashtag #YouthVoicesWillPrevail to hear the stories 2SLGBTQIA+ youth will share launching in January 2024. Learn more about how you can amplify youth voices and secure a better future for all youth by following our Instagram accounts at @ccgsd.ccdgs, @itgetsbettercanada and @lgbtyouthline.
“It’s important to centre the advocacy of queer and trans youth in this work. At CCGSD, we know that early intervention in teaching gender and sexual diversity is key to disrupting discrimination and promoting equality. We know that affirming adults and affirming education is life-saving for queer and trans youth in the long run. It’s for those reasons that queer and trans youth, and the education of all young people in Canada, must be centred in the fight against far-right anti-2SLGBTQI+ hate,” Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.
“We need to continue shining a light on empowering 2SLGBTQIA+ youth voices. By creating a platform inviting championing queer youth to share their stories and experiences, it is our hope that political leaders as well as parents and guardians, will listen and see value in consulting with the very same 2SLGBTQIA+ youth whose decisions and rights are being put at risk daily,” Omid Razavi, Executive Director, It Gets Better Canada.
“Over the last two years, the top issues queer and trans users of our HelpLine have reached out to us about have been interpersonal relationships and finding community.
At LGBT YouthLine, we understand that no one knows what youth need more than they do, and that youth need to be consulted on issues that have serious consequences for their learning environments and ability to access safer and affirming spaces” Lauren Pragg, Interim Executive Director – LGBT YouthLine.
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About The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity is Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ youth organization dedicated to building a future without discrimination. We do this by offering innovative programs that centre the voices of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, through workshops on comprehensive sexuality education, queer history, and intersectionality in schools across the country, and working with decision-makers and youth leaders to advocate for policies that respond to the needs of 2SLGBTQI+ communities.
Learn more at ccgsd-ccdgs.org
About It Gets Better Canada
It Gets Better Canada is a registered charity in Canada that envisions a world where all 2SLGBTQ+ youth are free to live equally and know their worthiness and power as individuals. Its mission is to uplift, empower, and connect 2SLGBTQ+ youth across Canada.
Learn more at itgetsbettercanada.org
About LGBT YouthLine
For over twenty-nine years, LGBT YouthLine has been working with 2SLGBTQ+ youth in Ontario with a vision of having youth of all sexual and gender identities be celebrated and supported. We are a queer and trans youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of youth across Ontario. We do this by:
- Providing anonymous peer support and referrals
- Training youth to provide support to other youth
- Providing resources so youth can make informed decisions
Learn more at youthline.ca