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I’m an LGBTQ+ newcomer. What resources are available?

LGBTQ+ newcomers may face additional challenges as they negotiate the effects of long-term detention but also issues around sexual and gender identity or gender expression. For a good general website that answers some basic questions about being LGBTQ2+ in Canada, see this website where they answer questions around safety and human rights for LGBTQ2+ persons in Canada and also talk about the history of LGBTQ2+ rights in Canada. Another good website with information on policy, advocacy and human rights of LGBTQ2+ persons in Canada is Egale, which is Canada’s leading organisation for LGBTQ2+ people and issues.

Resources in Ontario

In Ontario, OCASI’s (Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants) “Positive Spaces Initiative” has links to counsellors across Ontario who serve LGBTQ+ newcomers, and Access Alliance has a wonderful list of resources for LGBTQ+ newcomers in Toronto, Ontario, including healthcare providers, queer-friendly religious organisations and resources for trans persons.

Resources in British Columbia

In Vancouver, British Columbia, MOSAIC hosts “I Belong”, a space to support and LGBTQ+ newcomers, including support groups and counselling. They also run the Trans Newcomer Online Resource Hub, which provides information and support to folks who identify as transgender, transsexual, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, two-spirited, agender, polygender, bigender, and many more gender identities and expressions that are different from expectations based on their sex assigned at birth. 

Resources in Alberta

In Calgary, Alberta, the Centre for Newcomers offers one-on-one support services, group supports, information, referrals, settlement advice, and mental health supports to LGBTQ+ newcomers.

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