Community Resources for Youth
- Support Groups & Organisations -
Support groups and organisations supporting trans, non-binary and gender diverse youth in Alberta. Other organisations of possible interest are also included.
There is also a section with articles, blogs, videos etc in the section titled Information Resources for Trans Youth for and by community members (articles, blog posts, books, videos etc).
URGENT RESOURCES FOR YOUTH
Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS)
"Based in Edmonton, Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS) provides immediate and low-barrier overnight and day shelter, temporary supportive housing, and individualized wrap-around supports for young people aged 15–24."
Calgary-based but serving Alberta.
Extensive supports for transgender people and families in Alberta. Numerous support groups including for parents and for trans people - children to adult.
“We envision a province where trans and gender diverse individuals are surrounded by positivity, affirmation, and support free from barriers, stigma, and discrimination. To that end, our mission is to connect trans and gender diverse youth, adults, and families with comprehensive and low barrier access to the support they need and deserve.”
Click to go to support groups, including those for youth.
Skipping Stone Foundation supports transgender youth in Alberta
City News, Calgary. Article. Apr 11, 2021.
"Eddy Robinson is the community programs and outreach team lead with Skipping Stone. Robinson says the services they provide 'are life-saving' across the province. 'When there is a lack of representation or a lack of resources, it fills a gap. It fills a need,' Robinson said. 'Recent research has told us that wait times are the hardest for trans folks and that’s when you see high suicidality.'
Started by Lindsay Peace and Amelia Marie Newbert, the foundation has expanded to fill gaps in healthcare, education, social services, and other needs of transgender people in Alberta. In 2017 the organization became a direct service provider, and in 2018 they launched their own care program."
"...a fun, casual, and simultaneously supportive group for LGBTQ2s+
identified or questioning youth ages 13-18 along with their friends, family and allies. The group is a safe and welcoming place for all. Group facilitators are trained peers from the community. Free, casual and drop-in! No sign up required!
This is a safer, non-judgmental space! Many people spend decades trying to discover who they are. Everyone has the right to choose their own label or not to have a label at all. This is especially true about your gender and sexuality. Never let anyone tell you who you are. Itʼs up to you to discover your own identity.
If you are a youth or parent who is looking for free one on one support, please feel free to call 403-234-8973 and we can make an appointment."
For St Albert, Edmonton and surrounding area.
“Supporting non-heterosexual children, youth and adults age 13-24.
Click for PROGRAMS.
* Outloud Junior: "Outloud Juniors is a place for kids 12 and under to meet with others their age to build friendships, have conversations, ask questions, and receive support from Outloud Staff. During group, the Juniors play games, do crafts, read books, socialize, and are welcome to contribute to Outloud culture by painting murals in the space, planning parade floats, volunteering, and helping out with events.
This group is facilitated by Outloud staff and runs the first and third Tuesday of the month at the Outloud Space (#10, 215 Carnegie Drive) from 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM."
* Outloud Youth: "Outloud Youth runs on the first and third Tuesday of the month at the Outloud space. The meetings are from 7-9 pm and are a chance for teens to hangout with their peers, build friendships, and receive support from staff. A typical meeting starts with introductions, including everyone’s preferred name and pronouns. For safety reasons, parents and guardians are asked not to stay in the space during group."
* Outloud Talks St Albert (18+): "Outloud Talks is a discussion group for adult members of the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community aged 18+. This is a safe space to discuss more mature topics such as jobs and relationships, as well as to receive advice from other members of the community who have similar experiences. Talks runs the fourth Friday of the month from 6-8pm at the Outloud space."
* Outloud Book Club. "Do you like reading and want to do more of it? Join our queer youth book club. Each month you'll be given a theme that your book pick should fit and then we'll get together and talk about it. Sound fun? Message us or email email@example.com for more info"
* Outloud Siblings (6+). Began March 2022. On the same evening as adult St Albert Pflag meetings, but in a separate space. "Siblings will learn about the acronyms, pronouns, being supportive to a sibling that is LGBTQ+ and will be able to ask questions in an age-appropriate way. Group will allow for confidential and safe discussions."
* Queer Halftime by Bekah and Kelsey. Podcast. Some topics are adult-themed.
"Join Bekah and Kelsey as they don't talk about sports but do talk about all things queer! And maybe one day talk about sports, never say never."
* News & Events including Outloud Pride (events). Yearly.
* Resource materials. "Posters, handouts, and more Outloud and LGBTQ resource materials"
Pride Centre of Edmonton.
"A weekly safe space for queer, trans, non-binary and gender diverse youth (ages 13 – 24) to engage in fun activities, make friends, and find support.
To get connected please add YOUTH_PCE #3637 on discord or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help getting set up.
For more information about our youth programming please email us at email@example.com "
Rainbow Alliance for Youth of Edmonton
“A space of tools and resources for LGBTQ2S+ youth. Our committee’s purpose is to share the diverse stories of LGBTQ2S+ youth between ages 12–24 living in the Edmonton area to promote increased understanding, empathy, and knowledge of this community’s specific needs, strengths, and experiences. “
Big Brothers Big Sisters Boys & Girls Club of Edmonton and Area Queer Youth Mentoring
“…is specifically designed for youth who identify as LGBTQ+ and matches them with someone who understands.”
Resources for youth and families
”Please ask the Pride Centre of Edmonton information & referral specialists for more information about other ways to connect to local 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and services.” Download PDF of resources.
Private Facebook page. Pride Corner space on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton is monitored by adults.
In May 2022 the City of Edmonton officially proclaimed the corner of 104 Street and Whyte Ave "Pride Corner" after support from the Strathcona Business Association, and 10,000+ signatures received in support.
Click to read the ARTICLE by Pamela Young, an Edmonton freelance writer, about the history of Pride Corner, published April 18, 2022 in Xtra e-magazine.
" 'Pride Corner on Whyte' envisions an Edmonton where every member of the LGBTQ family (plus local businesses) can safely be on Whyte Avenue without fear and without subjection to homophobic street preachers.
For over 10 years, street preachers have stood on their milk crate with their microphone and 'preached' their messages. It is homophobia disguised as bible quotes.
It is long past time to reclaim the space on the corner of 104th street and Whyte and have it be known as 'Pride Corner'. A growing group of counter protestors have made it their calling to stand on 104th and Whyte to fight the good fight."
"Xtra is an online magazine and community platform covering LGBTQ2S+ culture, politics and health. We aim to break boundaries, think outside of binaries and build bridges within our communities and beyond."
ALBERTA CAMPS & DAY CAMPS
"Camp Dragonfly is a summer camp for trans+, gender-creative and gender diverse kids, their siblings, and friends
Click to see the video about Camp Dragonfly on "Our Story". Check website to see when next summer camp is running.
"Camp Dragonfly has been thriving in south Edmonton since the summer of 2018. With the help of a small group of dedicated volunteers, lots of community support, and camp organizers Alison & Zoë, Camp Dragonfly served over 160 families from across Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
Camp Dragonfly’s mission is to provide trans+, gender-creative, and gender queer kids with opportunities to create, connect and celebrate. We gather twice a year for a weekend of games, crafts, music, drama, art, sports, outdoor activities, and a community meal.
Camp Dragonfly isn’t exactly about being trans+ or gender-creative – even though it is for trans+ and gender-creative kids! It’s about belonging in community and being celebrated for exactly who you are. It’s and a chance to just be a kid in a safe(r) space.
Over the years we’ve had phenomenal queer, trans+ and non-binary leaders and volunteers lead kickboxing, photography, drama, art, cooking, and dance at camp. Alongside them are a number of volunteer camp counsellors who give their time and energy to Camp Dragonfly, and who serve as role models and caring adults for the community.
Each summer, we eagerly welcome new and old friends to camp. We’re greeted with huge smiles and big hugs as children and parents reconnect with each other and forge new friendships. Camp Dragonfly offers a fun, engaging, and safe(r) summer camp experience for children, opportunities for parents and families to find support, and broad community outreach."
University of Alberta, Faculty of Education, Edmonton.
"Camp fYrefly is a fun, educational, social, and personal leadership retreat for queer and trans youth ages 14 - 24. Campers explore their identity, build resilience, enhance self esteem, and develop leadership skills that will positively impact their lives, homes, schools, and communities. Workshops, mental health support, art programming, and community building, are just some examples of what to expect!
Check out the Program pages for more information or the location (Alberta North, Alberta South, Ontario and Saskatchewan) nearest you to apply.
Five Program Pillars
Camp fYrefly develops and delivers all programing using five research driven fundamentals:
Community Building - Creating a socially just and inclusive community;
Leadership - Building youth leadership capacity;
Education - Self and social development;
Arts - Learning through art, music, writing, performing arts, and games;
Resiliency - Providing opportunities for youth to develop the skills to address discrimination, hate, and injustice."
Click on link for info on next camp dates for Alberta North fYrefly.
"Camp fYrefly 2023 is scheduled for July 27-30, 2023 at Pigeon Lake. We are planning to have overnight Camp in-person for 2023, adjusting as needed to keep us healthy and safe. At a minimum, steps will include strongly encouraging mask use, regular cleaning schedules, and requesting that folks experiencing symptoms do not attend. We will be updating these measures as needed."
Check website for the next Alberta South Camp fYrefly camp date.
OTHER PROVINCES & CANADA-WIDE
Gender Creative Kids
Excellent website. Many resources for parents and kids.
“Gender Creative Kids is a reference community organization that has supported trans, non-binary, and gender-fluid youth’s affirmation within their families, schools, and communities since 2013.”
Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender members
Girl Guides Canada.
Not a support group for transgender youth, but they have written guidelines for inclusion.
"Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC) recognizes and values the richness of human diversity in its many forms, and therefore strives to ensure environments where girls and women from all walks of life, identities, and lived experiences feel a sense of belonging and can participate fully. As such, persons who live their lives as females are welcome to join GGC. This document will assist Unit Guiders who are working with girls who identify as transgender. These guidelines will help you welcome and include transgender members in your unit, as well as work with transgender adult members or parents."
Kids: Welcome to a space just for you!
By Gender Creative Kids. Montreal, QC.
For youth. Answers frequently asked questions/FAQs such as: Can you be too young to be trans? Do I have to come out? Do I have to change my name? What is a binder?
Trans* Pages: A catalogue of resources and services for trans* spectrum and gender questioning youth in Canada
By Andre P. Grace with Kaz Lim. ISMSS (Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services), Edmonton. 2019.
“This resource is hardly complete amid the explosion of trans* resources and supports ever emerging in Canada. However, it is representative of the growth in resources and supports for trans*, gender nonconforming, and gender questioning children and youth across Canada. The resource also includes an emphasis on cities and provinces where iSMSS conducts youth intervention, outreach, social education, and comprehensive health education. For iSMSS, the connector is Camp fYrefly, our flagship program that helps sexual and gender minority youth across our country to get to know one another and build community.”
Click to download PDF.
US / INTERNATIONAL
On Pinkmantaray website. (US)
“Schuyler is the first trans athlete to compete in any sport (swimming) on an NCAA D1 men’s team, and the only to have competed for all four years. He is an internationally-celebrated inspirational speaker and a respected advocate for inclusion, body-positivity, and mental health awareness.”
Many educational videos on his Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/pinkmantaray/
Resources for parents: http://pinkmantaray.com/parents
Gender and young people: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Gender Spectrum website. (US)
“Check out our collection of your most commonly asked questions”
e.g. “What is gender and how do I figure mine out?
* Are gender and sexual orientation the same thing?
* What is gender dysphoria?
* What does gender dysphoria feel like? How do I describe it to other people?
* How do I talk to my family about my gender? I’m afraid — what will they say?
* Do other pieces of who I am such as my race, faith, class and culture impact my gender?
* How does mental health related to my gender?
* Who do I share with about my gender? /
* I think I identify as transgender and/or non-binary but I’m not 100% sure. Is that OK
Open letter to a transgender young person
By John Pavlovitz, March 2021.
“I just want you to know that I see you, that I am for you, that I am in your corner as you struggle to simply be and to breathe freely and to step fully into the dreams you have for the future. I want you to know that I am fighting for you today as I am able, and that I will keep fighting for you because you are so worth fighting for.”
John Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from North Carolina. A 25-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality, diversity, and justice – both inside and outside faith communities. He is the author of A Bigger Table, Hope and Other Superpowers, Low, and Stuff That Needs to Be Said.”
Resources for international LGBTQ youth
The Trevor Project. NOT a crisis line -- see "Crisis & Mental Health Support" section.
"No matter where you live, you can access TrevorSpace, a safe and secure social networking site for LGBTQ young people and their allies"
Where’s my book? A guide for transgender and gender non-conforming youth, their parents, & everyone else
By Linda Gromko, MD. 2015. Book.
“Linda Gromko, MD is a Board Certified Family Physician who has worked with the transgender community for nearly 18 years. She explains the basics of gender identity, sexual orientation, puberty, puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and gender affirming surgeries. She shares years of her patients’ wisdom and practical information on getting through every day in the best way possible—from coming out to parents, to school issues, to coping with depression, to love and sex. Why is this book important? We know that transgender kids and their families need specialized information. Alarmingly, the suicide attempt rate among trans youth is close to half! This book is intended to give gender non-conforming kids some of the information they need to grow to be happy, productive, loving and loved. It’s intended to provide the information we need as parents, educators, and health care providers to do better with and for our kids.“