YMCA Canada proudly welcomes, values, and celebrates our 2SLGBTQIA+ staff, volunteers, members, and surrounding community members. We firmly denounce all forms of homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and other forms of oppression that negatively impact the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. We recognize that resisting and dismantling cis-heteronormativity requires ongoing unlearning and intentional action.
2SLGBTQIA+ is an acronym that stands for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and additional sexual orientations and gender identities. This page provides a list of significant dates related to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, external resources, and related YMCA programs and initiatives from Member Associations across Canada.
- International Transgender Day of Visibility – March 31
- International Asexuality Day – April 6
- Lesbian Visibility Day – April 26
- International Day of Pink – held annually during the second week of April
- April 13, 2022 is the International Day of Pink! The International Day of Pink is a worldwide day against discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and transmisogyny. Held annually during the second week of April, this special recognition day is run by youth volunteers in Ottawa, Ontario. First sparked in Nova Scotia when a gay high-school student who was wearing a pink shirt was targeted with homophobic violence at their school, the two students who witnessed the incident happening responded by encouraging everyone at their school to wear pink the next day as a gesture of support. This act of solidarity inspired Jer's Vision (an organization now known as Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity) to establish the International Day of Pink. On the International Day of Pink, many show their solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ persons and denounce homophobia and transphobia by wearing pink shirts, sharing images on social media, and changing their virtual backgrounds to messages of support. To learn more, you can visit https://www.dayofpink.org/, as well as check out resources provided by the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.
- International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia – May 17
- Pansexual Visibility Day – May 24
- Pride Month – dates vary across provinces from June to September
- International Non-Binary People's Day – July 14
- Bisexual Awareness Week – September 16-23
- Bi Visibility Day/Celebrate Bisexuality Day – September 23
- International Lesbian Day – October 8
- National Coming Out Day (NCOD) – October 11
- International Pronouns Day – held each year on the third Wednesday of October
- Ace Week (formerly Asexual Awareness Week) – held on the last full week in October
- Intersex Awareness Day – October 26
- Transgender Awareness Week – November 13 to November 19
- Transgender Day of Remembrance – November 20
- Pansexual Pride Day – December 8
- Queer Canadian History Timeline – Pre-colonization to present
- Queer and Trans History of Canada
- Queer Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour – Voices in History
Ways to Take Action
- LGBTQ2S Toolkit – Being an Ally
- LGBTQ+ Organizational Allyship Toolkit – Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health
- Being An Effective Trans Ally
- Homophobic and transphobic micro-aggressions: how to spot them and stop them
- How to be a trans ally in the sports world
- Homophobic comments, slurs, and jokes: What can I do to intervene?
- Resources on Personal Pronouns
- Understanding and Using Pronouns (Instagram resource)
- List of Optional Places to Add Your Pronouns (Instagram resource)
YMCA Sprott House – YMCA of Greater Toronto
YMCA Sprott House first opened its doors in September 2007 and is one of the first 2SLGBTQ+ transitional housing programs for youth in Canada. YMCA Sprott House provides one year of supported residential living for up to 25 young people between the ages of 16 to 24.
Newcomer 2SLGBTQIA+ Youth Program – YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth
The Newcomer 2SLGBTQIA+ Youth Program at the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth provides programs, workshops, events, and one-on-one support for newcomer youth and adults who are members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.