On-Campus Supports for Students
Though there are still barriers to be addressed, many post-secondary institutions have been actively trying to meet the needs of students and affect change on their campuses. While 2SLGBTQ+ people are not a monolith, and the impact of the interconnectedness of certain identities often goes unaddressed, strides being made in post-secondary spaces, and campuses across Ontario continue to move toward equity and understanding. Below are some examples of programs on Ontario post-secondary campuses designed to meet the needs of some 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
Gender & Sexual Diversity Taskforce & Survey (Sheridan College)
The Gender and Sexual Diversity Taskforce (GSDT) is a voluntary advisory body made up of staff and students mandated to assess the needs of the campus community. This taskforce reports on gaps and themes to support Sheridan’s efforts to build a more inclusive campus.
Trans Care Team (Western University)
This team is comprised of clinicians from Student Health Services and Psychological Services who provide 2SLGBTQ+ affirming counseling and medical care. The clinicians receive training from Rainbow Health Ontario and are undertaking a new initiative to identify and address the unique systemic barriers affecting Trans students (Project IMPACT).
2SLGBTQIA+ Awareness Training (George Brown College)
George Brown currently offers 2SLGBTQIA+ Awareness training to employees and students at regular intervals and upon request. This training program offers an opportunity for staff and students to learn language and gain tools to employ anti-oppressive principles and challenge homophobia and transphobia on campus.
Your Journey: A Career Guide for Trans and Nonbinary Students (University of Toronto)
A career exploration resource for Trans* and nonbinary students to help mitigate challenges in navigating workplaces. This resource was developed at the request and collaboration with trans* students and alumni. The guide can be downloaded here
Free Chest Binders and Breast Forms Program (Brock University)
Brock students have access to gender affirming gear purchased and provided by the Student Justice Centre. Information on how to safely use binders is also made available to students.
University of Toronto Mississauga Campus – Women & Gender Equity Centre
The Women & Gender Equity Centre (WGEC) strives to make our campus safer and more accessible for female, trans, and non-binary students, through offering of general peer support, providing students with the opportunity to voice their concerns, struggles, and seek appropriate remedies.
This section has been intentionally separated to acknowledge and highlight the innovative undertakings of campus community members. The creation of these student initiatives and groups can be seen as students highlighting the needs and wants of their specific communities that may not have been met on campus at the time of their creation. If you are looking for ways to support queer students on Ontario campuses, initiatives like those in the list below and the students involved deserve to be recognized for their efforts to fill those gaps.
Q.B.A.C. (Queer, Black, African and Caribbean) (Humber College)
This group is dedicated to focus on and hold space for the experiences of LGBTQ+ students from the African Diaspora, through facilitated conversations, resource sharing and community building and exploration.
Rainbow Ottawa Student Experience (ROSE) (originally Carleton University, now all of Ottawa)
ROSE, which began as a Discord server in April 2020, started as a social group for 2SLGBTQ+ Carleton students feeling isolated by the pandemic. The group has since grown to provide support for queer and trans youth across Ottawa, facilitating events and organizing actions against homophobia and transphobia in Ottawa.
A student-run collective which aims to create a safer space for trans students at Toronto Metropolitan University, and challenge transphobia, cissexism, transmisogyny and binarism at the university and beyond.
LGBTOUT is the oldest LGBTQ+ student organization in Canada. It is volunteer-run and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community at the University of Toronto, providing a safe and inclusive space, resources, and programming for LGBTQ+ students at U of T.
Sc:OUT is a similar support program to LGBTOUT for students at University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus
Helpful Community Resources
Egale Canada is a national organization providing research, education, awareness, and by advocating for human rights and equality in Canada and around the world.
Thriving on Campus is a multi-year study that explores the experiences, strengths, well-being, and academic development of diverse LGBTQ2S+ university students throughout Ontario.
A program of Sherbourne Health, Rainbow Health Ontario creates opportunities for the healthcare system to better serve 2SLGBTQ communities.
Wisdom2Action (W2A) is a social enterprise and consulting firm specializing in community engagement, creative facilitation, research and evaluation, knowledge mobilization and equity, diversity and inclusion.
Mental Health on Campus Podcast
Episode 9 – Supporting 2SLGBTQ+ Students on Campus with Taylah Harris-Mungo and Adanyi Phillip
In this episode, CICMH’s Bilingual Knowledge and Research Lead Taylah Harris-Mungo is joined by Adanyi Phillip, a support worker and queer youth advocate, to discuss the well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ students on campus and the ways youth are finding supports. They’ll also highlight the challenges faced by international students and what post-secondary institutions can learn from community organizations to better support the mental health of queer students on their campuses.