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LGBTQ+

Have you Considered the Needs of your Local LGBTQ Community?

The acronym LGBTQ+ refers to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and the plus (+) sign represents the many diverse sexual orientations and gender identities that are part of the community. LGBTQ+ people often feel excluded from their communities due to overt (homophobia) and systemic (heterosexism) experiences of discrimination. In 1996, the Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2009, Alberta included sexual orientation in the Alberta Human Rights Act. In 2015, Alberta added gender identity and gender expression to the Alberta Human Rights Act. 

Toolkits and guides

Aging with Pride: A Guide to Creating Inclusive Services for LGBTQ2S+ Older Adults 
Released in 2020, this Government of Alberta resource suggests that anywhere from 16,000 to 81,000 older adults in Alberta identify as LGBTQ2S+. This guide is designed to support any organization that works with older adults as volunteers, staff, clients, residents, or participants such as seniors’ centres and associations, frontline service providers, housing providers, and others.  

Conversion Therapy in Canada: A Guide to Legislative Action   
Published in 2020, this guide was supported by leading experts, academics, persons with lived experience, and faith and community leaders to assist legislators and policy makers in better understanding their roles and responsibilities in taking action to protect LGBTQ2+ people from “conversion therapy” within their local communities.

Conversion Therapy Interactive Map
Developed by a grassroots coalition, this online interactive map highlights the status of conversion therapy prohibition laws in Canada at municipal, provincial/territorial, and federal levels. The map provides brief summaries of legislation, policies, and bylaws that have been enacted or are in progress to prohibit conversion therapy practices, including definitions, penalties, restrictions on advertising and the use of government funding or facilities.  

LGBTQ2S Youth Housing and Shelter Guidelines
The Government of Alberta offers a guide for individuals and organizations involved in the housing and homelessness system to ensure services support LGBTQ+ youth, as nearly one in three homeless youth in Canada identify as LGBTQ+.

Gender-inclusive correspondence
The Government of Canada’s Translation Bureau offers simple techniques to write letters and emails that are inclusive of all gender identities.

LGBTQ2+ Inclusiveness: A Toolkit for Inclusive Municipalities in Canada and Beyond
Developed by the Canadian Commission for the United Nations, Educational and Scientific Organization, this toolkit includes an overview of the issues impacting the LGBTQ2+ community and outlines courses of action and examples of good practices from Canadian municipalities that are members of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities. 

Stakeholders and resources

Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
Provides links to resources compiled by the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, including a video documentary of youth talking about their experiences of being LGBTQ in Alberta.

Alberta Health Services – LGBTQ+/Sexual and Gender Diversity
Alberta Health Services offers a variety of information to support the LGBTQ+ community as it relates to receiving healthcare. portal of information specific to the LGBTQ+ community such as content on terminology, how to be an ally, how to create safe spaces, and tips for inclusive service delivery within the healthcare system. 

Bully Free Alberta – Homophobic Bullying
Questions and answers about homophobic bullying, as well as tips for families and teens.

Calgary Outlink: Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
Calgary Outlink provides a safe community space equipped with support services, education opportunities, a crisis line and access to resources.

Government of Alberta
The Government of Alberta offers resources such as preventative tips for youth and parents for handling homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Supports research, teaching and service work related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression on campus and in the community.

Pride Centre of Edmonton
Provides resources, support, and programming for the LGBTQ community, and houses an extensive online resources list.

The 519
The 519 is a Toronto-based agency that offers numerous online materials on how to create LGBTQ inclusive environments in workplaces, sports, housing, as well as information specific to newcomers and older LGBTQ persons. 

University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services
Leads research and offers programs that change attitudes toward sexual and gender minorities. 

YouthSafe
is a project of the Alberta Civil Liberties Resource Centre that aims to address the gaps in violence prevention services for LGBTQ youth.

Municipal Examples

City of Hamilton
In 2017, the City of Hamilton approved a policy to protect the rights of transgender and gender-non-conforming persons. View the Protocol for Gender Identity and Gender Expression; Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Persons here.

City of Lethbridge
In 2017, the City of Lethbridge became the second city in the world to paint a Transgender flag on a city crosswalk. The City also has multiple rainbow-painted crosswalks and supports the community’s multi-day Pride Fest.

Municipality of Jasper
The Municipality of Jasper led a photo project to capture portraits of residents holding a sign that states how they are diverse. Some of the images portray residents that proclaim they are proud to be gay and are used by the municipality in street banners and materials to promote the diversity of the community.

Town of Cochrane
The Town assisted a group of residents through the process of forming a society and implementing governance structures so that a community-driven support system was available to LGBTQ+ youth and education for parents.

List of municipalities that publically support LGBTQ+

As of July 2017, the following municipalities publically celebrate the diversity of their LGBTQ+ community by proclaiming a Pride Day, raising a Pride flag, or supporting Pride parades and festivals.

  • City of Brooks
  • City of Calgary
  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Lethbridge
  • City of Red Deer
  • Municipality of Jasper
  • Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
  • Strathcona County

Is your municipality doing work in this area and want to be added to the list? Do you have examples of initiatives that could serve as models for others to follow? If so, let us know at wic@auma.ca.