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Latest Resources

Queer Refugee Hearings Program Toolkit OCASI Webinar

Webinar presentation by Nicholas Hersh (he/him) an immigration and refugee lawyer at Community Legal Services of Ottawa and Capital Rainbow Refuge. He has extensive experience working with SOGIESC newcomers and has developed the Queer Refugee Hearings Program Toolkit. OCASI hosted the webinar to assist service providers to better help people claiming refugee protection based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and/or Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC).

You can download powerpoint slides  

Access the Queer Refugee Hearings Program Toolkit at The Capital Rainbow website.

For more information, please contact Nicholas at

Beyond Positive Intentions

This research report published by Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services in March 2021 investigates systemic discrimination and barriers that LGBTQ+ newcomer women and other trans and gender non-conforming newcomers in Toronto face at the societal level and within current programs/services. The study evidence suggests how sexual orientation, gender, race and immigration status are relevant predictors of well-being and those who are marginalized by these factors are at higher risk of health inequities. In addition to the full research report you can also access Research Summary  and  Animated Case Stories


Challenging Neo-Colonialism and Essentialism: Incorporating Hybridity into New Conceptualizations of Settlement Service Delivery with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer Immigrant Young People

By June Ying Yee, BA, BSW, MSW, PhD
Ryerson University, School of Social Work

Zack Marshall, BSc, MSW
Memorial University, Division of Community Health and Humanities and Griffin Centre Mental Health Services

Tess Vo
Griffin Centre Mental Health Services


The settlement services sector in Toronto, Canada, has faced difficulties in responding to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) immigrant youth in ways that respect their specific experiences. One way agencies have taken up this challenge in Toronto has been to develop LGBTQ-specific settlement services. Housed within a diverse range of organisations, these services are intended to engage and support LGBTQ immigrant youth. In this article, we report on evaluation research conducted with LGBTQ immigrant young people from Griffin Centre’s reachOUT Newcomer Network where we asked about their experiences accessing settlement services in Toronto. Our findings suggest that LGBTQ immigrant youth are deeply influenced by intersecting identities linked to racialization, sexuality, gender identity, education, employment, and immigration status. Participants expressed overwhelming interest in accessing support, but remain disconnected from settlement services. A reconceptualization of LGBTQ settlement services within a framework of hybridity that challenges essentialism and neo-colonialism would improve service delivery. This shift would allow for more integrated settlement services that acknowledge LGBTQ newcomer youth and their experiences of (un)belonging.

Keywords: Immigrant youth; service access; hybridity; intersectionality; LGBTQ


Accidental Activist: El-Farouk Khaki

This 23 minutes short documentary is a story of an immigrant from Tanzania who came to Canada as a young boy. In the process of overcoming personal challenges of identity and belonging, El-Farouk has dedicated himself to creating a world of wellness and oneness. Produced by Canadian Race Relations Foundation. 

Become More Welcoming of Trans People

These series of slides provide useful tips, strategies, and information on trans inclusion in practice including, avoiding harmful phrasing and terminology, building organizational capacity, adopting gender neutral language, and tools for social media and communications.