As more companies continue to recognize Pride Month, it’s changing the way social issues are discussed in the lens of work. To contribute to this conversation, and encourage companies and coworkers alike to self-educate, we compiled a list of intersectional resources. These resources are for our LGBT2SQ+ friends, families, and coworkers (with a local focus!) to share with our neighbours. Let’s work together to help business accommodate LGBT2SQ+ folks, coworkers, and allies to educate themselves and others, or queer folks to find a service offered nearby.
- While the influx of additional family time from COVID-19 is welcomed by some, others may be struggling with these relationships. For families in Toronto, Families in TRANSition (FIT) is a 10-week, closed group for parents/caregivers of trans and gender-questioning youth (age 13 – 21) who have recently learned of their child’s gender identity. They are still offering services by phone during this time!
- This article from OK2BME focuses on resources available during COVID-19 specifically. OK2BME offers support services for LGBT2SQ+ youth in the greater Waterloo Region.
- If you like podcasts, they call out the Black Girl Dangerous podcast in this article as well, which amplifies voices of queer and trans people of color! If podcasts aren’t your thing, OK2BME is still running events virtually.
- For businesses, part 4 of this guide can answer your questions about developing inclusive services. It’s essential that these services are not dependent solely on the individuals in your organization who identify as LGBT2SQ+. The consistent use of affirming practices throughout the company depends on a demonstrated commitment and accountability of senior management to integrate these practices and policies at all levels of their organization. Part 4 of the guide (beginning on page 58) is appropriate for companies just starting to develop these policies and practices, as well as those that want to expand or enhance the efforts they’ve already put in.
- A good place to start is recognizing that positive spaces reflect a commitment to welcome and include all members of the community, and to create a safe and affirming environment free of discrimination and harassment for all — tips like how to get a gender-neutral washroom sign and how to introduce gender-neutral washrooms in your organization can be found in Part 4 of the guide above.
- The Dress Code Project is a global alliance of different salons and barbershops who have committed to providing positive, gender-affirming services for their LGBT2SQ+ clients. The website has a searchable list of this coalition so you can find the closest shop to you (pssst, for our KW friends it’s Looking Sharp Beauty Lounge, with special shoutouts to Cowboys and Angels and Indulgence Hair Removal Studio, even though they aren’t on the list).
- Formerly known as Alice’s Big Queer Comedy Show, Comic Sans is a monthly comedy event in Waterloo that showcases the unique voices of queer, BIPOC, and other marginalized performers – sans misogyny, sans rape jokes, sans harm. Although they had to cancel the anniversary show, they released a new line of merchandise which you can be seen on their Facebook page, along with other queer, black Canadian comedians to follow, online events, and podcasts!
- For LGBT2SQ+ identifying folks in the Waterloo region seeking therapy, or any individuals seeking help with sexuality issues, this list allows you to filter through mental health resources for the queer community, and the results show counseling services for Muslims, Francophones, First Nations, and those interested in art therapy, and more.
- Last but never least, an excellent resource and a few great reads for our friends who are queer and work in the tech industry! Making Space is an organization in the KW region that holds monthly LGBTQ+ in Technology Meetups and works to create safer, intersectional spaces for Waterloo region tech. In fact, we interviewed Gord Tanner and Joy Smith of Making Space for Pride month previously! We spoke about the significance of being out at work, how workplaces can better accommodate LGBT2SQ+ individuals, and supporting an employee who’s transitioning.
- Much less local, but still exciting to read about, QIS2 is the second Queer Internet Studies Symposium, a one-day event focussed on conversations, brainstorming sessions, and panels dedicated to broaden the voices speaking about the internet. These conversations often identify what a queer internet can look like, discuss research that’s being done in this area, and aid in collaboration on artistic, activist, and academic projects within the intersections of technology and media, sexuality, and queering, gender and feminism. One panel discussion specifically from QIS2 in which five experts shared their research on queer media and technology is a recommended read! The panelists discussed topics including trans* people and surveillance online, trans* identity and social media, online communities and feminist politics, the LGBT2SQ+ games archive, and more.
Thank you for taking the time to look forward with us. Sharing these resources is a reminder that LGBT2SQ+ employees still need support following June – and July, and August. It’s also a reminder that our identities intersect in different ways, and queer BIPOC (and other minority groups) may have different needs than other queer employees. These resources are just a start, so do some digging for local groups in your area to best support your LGBT2SQ+ friends, family, and team members. Please feel free to share and add resources you recommend!