Supporting LGBTQ youth is rewarding, hard and important work.
We know (and research demonstrates) that queer and trans spectrum youth face unique challenges due to the homo, trans, bi, queerphobia that are still so present in society and are compounded by sexism, racism, ablism, classism and colonialism. We also know that youth who are supported by their friends, family, providers and community can thrive and build amazing lives.
The Ontario Human Rights Code explicitly says that it is against the law to discriminate or harass someone based on their sexual orientation (including being same-sex relationship), gender identity and/or gender expression.
Some advice for supporting queer and trans spectrum youth:
Learn: Your openness to learn and understand is so important. Learning more about the LGBTQ community goes a long way. Being a good ally means knowing what language is okay and being respectful of names, labels, pronouns, relationships and presentation. Much of learning is unlearning, letting go of expectations and assumptions. Much of learning about your youth may also mean you learn a lot about yourself; so many reactions and emotions can be involved, from surprise or excitement or anger or grief. It can be hard and that