REGINA April 25, 2019 — The UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity is excited to announce the launch of one of its most important programs — the SaskQTY Network, serving 2SLGBTQ youth in Saskatchewan. This project represents an investment of $218,000 in the community from Canada Service Corps to support this project. SaskQTY is inaugurating a new community hub, SPACE for Saskatchewan Queer and Trans Youth, located at 2139 Albert St in Regina. SPACE will provide youth with an affirming space to come together, build community, and develop leadership skills. The Honourable Ralph Goodale is among other guests giving remarks in support of this project.
According to Raphaële Frigon, Program Director of SaskQTY, “It’s important to recognize that 2SLGBTQ youth in Saskatchewan are facing unique challenges in regard to social isolation. SaskQTY will foster engagement of underrepresented youth in civic life. This project aims to show Canadians that queer and trans youth are valuable and important to their communities.
The SaskQTY Network will provide 2SLGBTQ youth with opportunities to become engaged and volunteer in their communities. Through high quality workshops in the areas of community organizing, leadership, event planning, volunteerism, advocacy, non-profit governance and political networking, the project’s goal is to build a network of skilled queer, trans and allied youth across the province.
Emmy Ritenburg, Program Director of SaskQTY stated: “Despite the complex social issues that 2SLGBTQ youth in Saskatchewan have to navigate, we believe in the capacity of young queer and trans people. We see the barriers that currently exist for them to be able to participate in community life across the province, and we believe that queer and trans youth are a solution to the very real problem of 2SLGBTQ service organizations lacking volunteers and leaders.”
“2SLGBTQ people experience some of the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment, often due to the lack of opportunities to expand their skills in a safe and inclusive environment. This project prioritizes the capacity-building of this underrepresented group in order to ensure that they find and maintain productive employment in the future,” said Jacq Brasseur, Executive Director of UR Pride Centre.
“Canada Service Corps is about giving young people the opportunity to contribute to their communities in ways that are meaningful to them. Through programs like SaskQTY Network, our government is encouraging the next generation of Canadians to use their unique perspectives to build supportive, inclusive communities while gaining valuable skills and experience.” – The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Those interested in taking part in the project are encouraged to visit SaskQTY’s website at www.space.lgbt or email SaskQTY@urpride.ca.
About the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity:
UR Pride Centre is a non-profit 2SLGBTQ service provider housed at the University of Regina. UR Pride offers multiple programs and supports to students, faculty and staff at the University of Regina and its’ federated colleges. In addition to serving the campus community, UR Pride also provides services and programming for the city of Regina and surrounding communities
About Canada Service Corps
Canada Service Corps is designed to generate: a culture of service among young Canadians; concrete results for communities; personal growth through participation in a diverse team of peers; and lasting impacts on participants.
Young Canadians between 15 and 30 years of age can get involved in service through CSC’s national organizations, or by turning their community service ideas into reality with a micro-grant. Youth are encouraged to visit Canada.ca/CanadaServiceCorps to apply for funding in the fixed amounts of $250, $750 or $1,500. With support from the Government of Canada, TakingITGlobal is delivering and administering these community service grants.
The Canada Service Corps program is being developed for youth, by youth. All young Canadians can have their say in the program by filling out the Tell Us Your Views survey.
Key Facts about LGBT youth in the prairies
Over half (53%) of younger trans youth had been bullied in school, an estimated three-quarters of both younger (76%) and older (70%) trans youth had been treated unfairly due to their gender identity, and over half of both younger (59%) and older (74%) trans youth had been treated unfairly due to their physical appearance.
Over three-quarters, (77%) of younger trans youth had experienced unwanted sexual comments, jokes, or gestures directed at them, nearly 2 in 5 of all trans youth (39%) had been subject to sexual assault, and over half of older youth indicated they had been cyberbullied in some way.
Younger youth in the Prairie Provinces who had been sexually abused were 7.5 times more likely to report running away from home than youth that had not been sexually abused.
Among younger trans youth in the Prairies, 50% had attempted suicide in the last year. 60% of all youth had engaged in self-harm behaviour in the last year.
Source: Edkins T, Peter T, Veale J, & Malone R, & Saewyc E. (2016). Being Safe, Being Me in the Prairie Provinces: Results of the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey in Saskatchewan & Manitoba. Vancouver, BC: Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia.
For media requests:
Program Director – SaskQTY
306-586-8811 Ext. 207