As the results began to become undeniable and there was no avoiding the dreaded outcome, I witnessed my children and their friends reaching out to ask each other in shock and asking their parents "How could this happen?"
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With Pride festivals kicking off around the country, we sat down with Kids Help Phone Counsellor Shannon to talk about what it's like for a young person to attend their first Pride festival, what issues they face, and the types of conversations they should have with friends, family and allies.
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LGBT Muslim youth deserve the unconditional love of their families and their larger, faith-based families. They should not have to deal with homelessness or estrangement from their families irrespective of any theological differences on same-sex marriages.
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Canada's youth are the biggest winners from Tuesday's federal budget, but not in the way you'd expect. Buried deep inside the budget, well below the commendable financial commitments to First Nations, families and young children, is a potential game-changer for young people -- plans to create the first ever Prime Minister's Youth Council.
We decided early on that, while we would of course ensure we had messaging towards youth across the country, and support young campaigners in constituencies nationwide, our focus had to be tailored to where we could be most effective. We decided to focus our efforts organizing constituencies with campuses.
It can take less than 10 seconds for a youth to become homeless. In York Region, homeless youth, more often than not, do not fit the stereotypical profile. Unlike urban centres, these young people are often homeless not just due to poverty. They stem from middle-class families and end up on the street for a variety of reasons.
Each year, 360⁰kids -- an organization that provides a range of services to York Region's homeless youth -- encourages local community members to experience homelessness, just for one night a year. Last March, our group made it through some bone-chilling temperatures. I will do it again this year. For more than 300 youth in a region that's home to large detached homes and flourishing businesses, they've lost count of how many nights they've been homeless. It's an issue that doesn't get enough attention.
I can't truly explain how exhausting, challenging and incredibly cold this night was. I had been given a real-life scenario of a homeless youth as a part of 360°kids' 360°Experience. Our experience had us stepping into the shoes of a 16-year-old male, who was unsafe at home and had to leave quickly to save himself.
"They said it is a hate crime."
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"YOU ARE NOT GETTING SHIFTS FOR A REASON"
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The holiday season is truly a magical time of year. It is a time for giving, reflection, and appreciation. Many individuals and organizations come together and show thanks by donating what they can to those in need. Unfortunately, the holidays will not be magical for everyone, especially not for a high proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth who have experienced familial, societal, and institutional rejection. The holidays can be an especially lonely time for many, particularly for those without a safe place to call home.
According to the open letter of protest by HELEM Montreal, an LGBT rights group focusing on the Lebanese and Arabic-speaking community, three restaurants in Canada are hosting Mohamad Eskandar, a Lebanese singer noted for his homophobic and sexist songs.
The misinformation about the new curriculum rivals the inaccuracies kids get about sex from their friends and our culture. Some parents are convinced that their kids will be asked to touch themselves at school. The actual curriculum stresses respecting yourself and respecting others. If you oppose it, fine. At least know what you are opposing. Parents are entitled to pass on their religious or moral beliefs to their kids, but they are not entitled to pass on their religious or moral beliefs to my child. By trying to force the Ontario government to yank the evidence-based, updated portions of the health curriculum for all Ontario kids, they are trying to prevent the majority who support this initiative from benefiting from it. And that's wrong.
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"One of the things that we try to educate about is how tiny kindnesses make a big difference."
On March 11, 2015, Toronto City Council finally approved funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and 2-spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth transitional housing. Although I am extremely disappointed that LGBTQ2S youth homelessness has been inadequately addressed for so many years, I am grateful that there is more understanding and awareness of this social justice crisis. I am also grateful that more organizations are now committed to developing campaigns and programs for LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness.
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Ever heard someone try to disparage something by calling it gay? Well, the Gay Sweater Initiative is demonstrating the absolute absurdity of the insult by making "the world's first and only gay object...
If marketing is selling a brand to the world, Toronto's leadership on LGBT issues could play an important role in reviving the city's international appeal after the Ford ordeal. LGBT acceptance, both in government and society, is good for our society, but also our economy.
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Recently, the Alberta Legislature voted down a motion that urged the government to support students who want to set up gay straight alliances (GSAs) in their schools. The arguments against the motion...
Some kids have been targeted by bullies because the hatred towards gays, lesbians, trans and "others" runs so deep in North American society that even appearing different may merit ostracization. Who are we to complain about bigotry against our children if we perpetuate it against others? And so we must ask them, our fellow (otherwise peaceful) Muslim parents, how does the intolerance you teach at home, affect all our youth and our Muslim communities?
In 40 years, Pride has evolved from a secluded picnic on Hanlan's Point to a series of diverse celebrations that reverberate throughout this very gay city. I am a 20-something city boy who came out at a relatively early age and received unconditional support from family and friends. In many ways I fit the so-called "new gay" stereotype -- I likely won't be attending the parade on Sunday but I likely will attend a pride event at a west end bar that is as hip as it is gay.
Part of the difficulty of getting older is in discovering how very wrong you were in your younger years -- and how much you wish you could take back about half of the things you said to other people....