Educational Resources

Two-Spirit: Conversations with Young Two-Spirit, Trans and Queer Indigenous People in Toronto

Queer Kanyen’kehá:ka author and educator Marie Laing spoke with 10 young trans, queer and two-spirit Indigenous people in Toronto in fall 2017, as part of the research for her Master’s thesis. They had conversations about how they use the term two-spirit, how it’s related to other words they use to describe their genders, sexualities, and ways of being in the world, and the brilliance of their communities. Laing made her thesis into a zine to be accessible to the community members. 

'The Guide' MSM Sexual Health Resource by (6 languages)

'The Guide' at provides information for newcomer men who have sex with men on the topics of sexual health, navigating the gay community, and finding resources. 'The Guide' is available in English, French, Chinese, Hindi, Portuguese, and Spanish.  

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


A Positive Space is a Healthy Place - OPHA Manual

This is the A Positive Space is a Healthy Place Manual published by the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) in 2011. It is designed to support the health sector and other community organizations in becoming Positive Spaces for LGBTQ+ clients, staff, and stakeholders.

Please note that because this manual was published in 2011, there have been important legal changes in Ontario that are not reflected in the Legislation section of this document - specifically, as of 2012, "gender identity" and "gender expression" are explicitly included as protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code. 


Introduction to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

  • Definitions of Terms Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • How Heterosexism, Transphobia, Biphobia and Homophobia Hurt LGBTQ People
  • 10 Ways LGBT Oppression Affects Straight People
  • Selected Historical Events
  • LGBT Symbols of Pride
  • Alfred Kinsey and the Kinsey Scale
  • Klein Scale
  • Legislation
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Health Care
  • Consumer's Bill of Rights

Positive Space

  • Positive Space and LGBT Cultural Competency in the Workplace

Assessing Your Workplace

  • Creating a Positive Space in Public Health Units and Community Health Centres in Ontario 
  • Personal Assessment Tool
  • Workplace Assessment Tool
  • Personnel Policies and Practices 

Planning Your Workshop

  • Planning a Positive Space Workshop for your Workplace

Raising Awareness / Sensitivity 

  • LGBT Opinion Poll
  • Attitudes Towards Homosexuality
  • Heterosexism and Heterosexual Privilege
  • Numbers Exercise
  • The Name Game
  • The Barnyard Game
  • Coming Out Stars
  • "On Being Gay"
  • Journey Through Life
  • A Personal Story
  • What It's Like to Be Me

Education: The Facts

  • LGBT Bingo
  • Definitions Match-up
  • Kinsey and Klein - Mini-Lecture
  • Jeopardy Game

Building Skills

  • Positive Space Case Scenarios
  • Responsibilities of a Positive Space Ally
  • Placemat


  • LGBT Health Resources
  • Homosexuality and the Law
  • For Service Providers
  • What is an Ally?
  • Supporting LGBT Individuals
  • Supporting an LGBT Friend
  • Talking to Your Child
  • Being an Ally for LGBTQ People

Recommendations for Creating LGBTQ+ Newcomer Positive Spaces

This is a list of recommendations compiled by OCASI through consultation and interviews with LGBTQ+ newcomers and service providers. The recommendations are presented here in a checklist format with an option to choose "Area of Strength" or "Need for Improvement" for each one. You can use this tool to evaluate where your agency presently is, and to guide your agency goals and strategies as you work to improve your Positive Space.

Creating Awareness and Understanding of the Transgender Community

Creating Awareness and Understanding of the Transgender Community is an educational video created by the Greater Sudbury Police Service in partnership with TG Innerselves. Lesson plan, PowerPoint, and speaker's notes also available. 

Note: This video uses the term "sexual identity" to refer to "sex." In other contexts, the term "sexual identity" is often used to mean "sexual orientation." 

The Impacts of Covid-19 on Black LGBT Youth

The Impacts of Covid-19 on Black LGBT Youthby The Domino Project, 2020

The Domino Project is a peer led initiative for and by Black LGBTQIA+ youth (16-29 years old) in Toronto. In May 2020, the Domino project introduced the Domino Table Talk, an online discussion series, to understand how COVID-19 affected the daily lives of young Black Queer and Trans people who accessed their program. This report summarizes the experiences of the participants, who identified mental health and well-being, access to health care, social connections, safety, employment, income security, and transportation as the main areas of their lives affected by the pandemic.