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Engagement and Education

Training 

2SLGBTQIA+ Toolkit to Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Bystander Intervention to Support the LGBTQIA+ Community

Grief in 2SLGBTQ+ Communities

Introduction to 2SLGBTQI Inclusion: Building inclusive schools

LGBTQ2+ Workplace Inclusion Training

Various Trainings & Courses on 2SLGBTQ Wellbeing

Book Recommendations 

It's About You Too: Reducing the Overwhelm for Parents of LGBTQ+ Kids

It's About You Too: Reducing the Overwhelm for Parents of LGBTQ+ Kids

Tracy Whitmore

Guides, Lesson Plans & Research

2SLGBTQQIA+ Sub-Working Group MMIWG2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan

Asexuality & Aromanticism Bibliography

Biological Science Rejects the Sex Binary, and That’s Good for Humanity

Celebrating & Defending Trans & Non-binary Lives

Confronting Digital Extremism

Employment Support Services for LGBTQ+ Individuals

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Virtual Learning Exchange

Family Acceptance Project

Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan

Five Ways You Can Support 2SLGBTQ+ People in the Workplace

Gender Inclusive Language Solutions

HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis in Ontario

In their Own Voices: Community Pride Flags

Long-Term Care Equality Index 2023

Map of Gender Diverse Cultures

More Conversations, More Often: Accessible Sexuality for Youth

NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality

Our Compass Documentary on LGBTQ Chosen family & IDD

Power: Sex work Research Repository

Pride Defense Guide

Serving LGBT2SQ Children & Youth in the Child Welfare System

Sexual Configurations Theory

Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Teaching Resources

The ArQuives: Canada's LGBTQ2+ Archives

Trans Journalists Association Style Guide

Understanding Gender

What Our Skeletons Say About the Sex Binary

Resource Compilations 

Antihate News & Confronting Hate in Schools

Autism & Intellectual Disabilities LGBTQIA2+ Collection

Campus Pride

Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity

Canadian Pride Historical Society

Diversity Ed

Egale

Gender Creative Kids

ILGA World Database

Pride Understanding

Queer Events

Queering Cancer

Qmunity Resources

Rainbow Allyship

Rainbow Health Ontario

Safer Spaces

SPECTRUM Waterloo

The 519

The Trevor Project

United Nations Free & Equal

Quick Learns

Pronouns

What are pronouns?

We use pronouns most often when referring to someone without using their name, to make sentences feel less awkward.  In English, pronouns often refer to a person’s gender but there are neutral ones.  There are also “alternative” pronouns – some of these have been around for centuries as people play with language, & new ones created all the time.  In some languages there are only gender-neutral pronouns, in others there are many.  Canadian society still largely operates as if there are 2 sexes or genders.  But not everyone fits into these binary categories.  This means that pronouns such as he & she don’t work for everyone around the world.

Why does it matter?

Hundreds of societies around the globe have long-established traditions for 3rd, 4th, 5th or more genders, a diversity of sexes, & varying sexualities.  With the number of immigrants to Canada steadily increasing every year, understanding different perspectives & experiences of sex, gender, & sexuality across the world is more critical than ever.

Before European colonizers, there were at least 135 Indigenous languages in North America that had terms that identified individuals who were neither men nor women. The categories of sex, gender, & sexuality, like many labels, have been introduced through colonial processes – the ways one group of people controls another.  The end goal is to constrain, transform & destroy cultural practices & bodies to ensure the dominance & maintenance of those with power. Truth & reconciliation requires us to move beyond binary perspectives & end this ongoing violence.

As social attitudes change, each generation finds the language & courage to express their true selves.  The use of gender-affirming language has proven to help reduce the negative mental health consequences of exclusion & marginalization. Inclusion asks us to consider if an environment is safe for everyone to feel like they belong. Justice challenges us to consider whose safety is being sacrificed & minimized to allow others to be comfortable maintaining dehumanizing views. Ontario’s Human Rights Code is explicit: gender identity & gender expression (alongside sex & sexual orientation) are prohibited grounds of discrimination; respecting someone’s pronouns helps to uphold these rights.

Sharing your pronouns & Alternatives

Adding your pronouns to email signatures or name tags or stating them when you introduce yourself can show respect, allyship & increase awareness. By modelling & normalizing the sharing of your own pronouns, you create a safe place for other people to share theirs.

If you are uncomfortable sharing your pronouns for whatever reason, there are other ways to create this safety. You could include an inclusive progress pride flag or an ally flag in your email signature or wear a pin; if you truly have no preference you can use (any/all). 

When should I ask? What if I make a mistake?

Sharing pronouns should never be mandatory. You shouldn’t need to ask someone’s pronouns if you remain neutral by defaulting to using they/them or using their name only.  In a group setting asking someone directly to share their pronouns is inappropriate as this can force some people to either lie or publicly disclose their status to a roomful of strangers. Also, these requests can imply that a person is not presenting their gender in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.

If you make a mistake, simply apologize or correct yourself & move on. When someone asks you to use their pronouns, they are asking for you to respect their identity so don’t get defensive. Put yourself in their shoes: how would you feel if someone was disrespecting you? If someone else makes a mistake, correct them but do not make a big deal out of the mistake. If someone uses a pronoun you haven’t seen before, be courteous & discrete by providing some context, explaining you want to be an ally & use their pronouns correctly. Intentionally choosing to ignore or disrespect someone’s pronouns is an act of oppression & violence.

Inclusive Language

How we talk with others can reflect assumptions & bias:

  • not everyone with a child is a parent
  • not every child has a mom &/or dad
  • there are more than two sexes & genders
  • don’t judge based on appearance
  • don’t assume monogamy, coupledom, sexuality, or biological relatedness

AVOID

parents

mom/dad

son/daughter

brother/sister

he/she

his/her

man/woman

wife/husband

boyfriend/girlfriend

USE INSTEAD

adult

caregiver/guardian

child/kids

sibling

they

their

person

spouse/partner

partner/lover

What does 2SLGBTQIA+ mean?

2Spirit: an English term used by some Indigenous people to represent an umbrella of gender, sex, & sexual variance & subsequent ceremonial & social roles

Lesbian: a woman who experiences romantic or sexual attraction to other women

Gay: a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual; most often used to describe a man who experiences romantic or sexual attraction to other men

Bisexual: romantic, emotional or sexual attraction toward ones own gender & other genders; most often used to describe someone attracted to men & women

Transgender: an umbrella term for people whose gender differs from the sex/gender they were assigned at birth

Queer: an umbrella term for sexual & gender minorities; also describes a philosophy of resistance against normativity; though reclaimed, not everyone is comfortable with the term because of its pejorative origins

Questioning: people who may be unsure, still exploring, or going through a process of exploration of one’s gender &/or sexuality

Intersex: when the parameters (genitalia, chromosomes, hormones etc) used to define sex at birth don’t fit in binary definitions of male/female

Asexual: a person who may not experience sexual attraction or has low or absent interest in sexual activity

Plus: inclusive of cross-cultural, sexual & gender diversity including,

Fluid: gender expression & identity &/or romantic, emotional or sexual attraction that is in flux or changing over time, situation or context

Non-Label: a non-identity; can include those who are uncertain, fluid or resistant to identity labels

Pansexual: romantic, emotional, or sexual attraction towards people of any sex/gender

Genderqueer: umbrella term to represent non-normative experiences with their gender outside of male-female binaries 

Agender: a person who may not have a sense of gender or be gender neutral

The Meaning Behind Pride Flags

Pride Flags are more than a rainbow of colours, they are designed as symbols of hope & liberation.  Pride flags continue to be updated & reimagined to reflect the people, identities & communities they represent. Flags have also been designed to represent bisexuality (1998), lesbian women (1999-2019), transgender (1999),  ace (2010), pan (2010), genderqueer (2011), genderfluid (2012), intersex (2013), non-binary (2014), aromantic (2014), & gay men (2016-2019).  No one flag or symbol is the “right” one.  What you chose to represent you is valid. 

Before the Flag

pride-pink-triangle-symbol-250x250

The pink triangle served as a positive symbol of self-identity & love for queerness.  Like the word queer, the triangle was reclaimed in the 1970s from its negative origins.  In Nazi Germany, the pink triangle was a concentration camp badge for imprisoned gay men who were treated harshly by other prisoners.

Original Flag

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Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow pride flag for the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day celebration to usher in “the dawn of a new gay consciousness & freedom.” It was intended to represent all of the LGBT community. This version included a pink stripe on the top to represent sex & a turquoise stripe for art. 

Traditional Flag

Gay_Pride_Flag.svg

Due to low demand and the difficult manufacturing of pink and turquoise fabric, it was hard to source these colors for the flag. It was also challenging to split the colors in half to evenly hang on posts so these colors were dropped by 1979.

Red = Life

Orange = Healing

Yellow = Sunlight

Green = Nature

Blue = Serenity

Purple = Spirit

Progress Flag

progressprideflag-danielquasar-highrez

Under the direction of Amber Hikes in Philadelphia, black & brown stripes were incorporated into the Pride Flag in 2017, to represent the explicit inclusion of people of color who have historically faced oppression & discrimination in the Pride movement. Daniel Quasar incorporated the Transgender Flag into the traditional pride flag in 2018.

Light blue = Boys

Light pink = Girls

White = Transitioning, Neutral, No gender, Intersex

Black & Brown = People of color 

Inclusive Flag

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Valentino Vecchietti reimagined the Pride flag to include the Intersex Pride Flag in 2021.

Yellow & Purple = Counterpoint to gendered colours

Circle = Completeness & Wholeness