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Schools & Child Care

LGBTQ Students

Celebrate the Rainbow!

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) parents, students, and staff provide valuable insight on what works well and where improvements can be made to support LGBTQ health and well-being in schools. LGBTQ school members bring their own culture, history, and perspectives that enrich the whole school community. We encourage school communities to increase their own awareness of LGBTQ issues and to support the LGBTQ community to play an active role in school improvement strategies.

LGBTQ and the Ministry of Education

To support equity and inclusion in student education, the Ministry of Education released its Education Equity Action Plan which involves working with the school community to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices, systemic barriers and bias from schools and classrooms. More information is available here: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/equity.html

Positive Space at School

Positive Spaces are one way to make schools safe, inclusive, and welcoming places that are respectful of gender and sexual diversity. Supportive school staff, visible signage of Positive Spaces, along with anti-bullying policies that include harassment based on sexual orientation and offering Gay Straight Alliances make students feel safer, attend school, and consider college or university more often. These measures can help to make the school experience a vastly more positive one for LGBTQ students.
Gay-Straight Student Alliances (GSAs) are student-run and teacher supported, school-based groups that promote welcoming, respectful safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ students and their allies. GSAs can be a space for friendship and support, and they can also organize and host events and activities school wide. A successful GSA promotes healthy relationships and welcomes diverse people in the school community.
Provide the same status and visibility to the GSA as you would to any other student group or club (for example, including it on your school web site) and make sure the teacher-advisor feels supported in their role. Promote the GSA as a group open to all students and school staff. Welcome straight allies as well as the LGBTQ community, and be a safe place that is welcoming, inclusive and confidential. Your School Health public health nurse can also provide support in starting or maintaining a GSA.

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation has various publications to support school staff in facilitating a GSA.

  • The LGBTQ Youth Connection is a drop-in group LGBT youth ages 14-24, running in several locations in Simcoe County. They are a place for youth to connect with each other and to community. They also hold special events such as tea parties, picnics, cooking classes, movie nights, education presentations, guest speakers, and more.
  • The Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line is a toll-free Ontario-wide peer-support phone line for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual 2-spirited, queer and questioning young people. The Youth Line also provides online peer support through the online forum and email response.
  • Egale Canada: My GSA – Canada's web site for safer and more inclusive schools for LGBTQ students.
  • The Canadian Encyclopedia - plays an essential role in providing Canadians and others with fact-checked, updated information about our people and country.
  • International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – Promotional resources (free and orderable), information and support for celebrating International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17.
  • PFLAG Canada – Supporting, educating, and providing resources to all individuals with questions or concerns (including parents), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity – promotes diversity in gender identity, gender expression, and romantic and/or sexual orientation through education, health and advocacy.
  • Rainbow Health Ontario – works to improve the health and well-being of LGBTQ people in Ontario, and to increase access to competent and LGBTQ friendly health care services across the province.
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