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Double Launch In Support Of LGBT+ Young People

0 1 octobre 2020

GRIS-Montreal is simultaneously launching its annual fundraising campaign and the first pedagogical guide in Quebec about trans and non-binary people's experiences, La transphobie, c’est pas mon genre. Aware of the particular impact the pandemic has had on highly vulnerable groups such as LGBT+ young people, GRIS affirms this year that Supporting LGBT + young people is more essential than ever and makes it the theme of its fundraising campaign, with a goal of $300 000.

"The distress and isolation some LGBT youth go through these days are not visible, whether they are going back to school or staying confined in a family environment that is hostile to their sexual orientation or their gender identity," notes Macha Limonchik, spokesperson for GRIS-Montréal. François Leclair, chairman of the 2020-2021 fundraising campaign and Groupe Leclair vice-president, further stresses the importance of continued support for these young people: "Our goal of $300 000 will allow us to continue offering the same workshops, in person or virtually, and to reach around 30 000 teenagers." With the cancellation of several benefit events due to COVID-19, this new fundraising campaign is more than necessary for GRIS, who only gets governmental support for a quarter of its annual budget, specifies Vincent Bolduc, spokesperson for GRIS-Montreal.

Launch of a new pedagogical guide

A first in Quebec, the pedagogical guide La transphobie, c’est pas mon genre was produced jointly by GRIS-Montreal and the Conseil québécois LGBT. Available for free, this guide offers educational activities aimed at making young people aware of the realities experienced by trans and non-binary people. "This guide will have a major impact on multiple levels. First, it will raise awareness of trans and non-binary youth's reality among students. It might allow some students to recognize themselves and acquire the vocabulary to put words on their identity," says Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, Canada Research Chair on transgender children and their families. She concludes by saying that "distributing such a guide in schools will contribute indirectly to help teachers' training regarding these issues."

Adapting to change

Quickly adapting, GRIS-Montreal started offering in April virtual workshops to elementary and high school students, in addition to sharing educational activities on its website and social networks. "I called on the services of GRIS for my psychology courses, and many students told me that their prejudices have fallen and that they have asked themselves questions they never had before. I was especially marked by those who explained to me that they had gone from indifference to respect," says Éric Feugé, a psychology teacher at the CEGEP level.

"5 dollars, 10 dollars, 20 dollars to cover the cost of transportation for volunteers to get to a school or to have someone answer the phone and set up workshop logistics. This is the essential thing we need here at GRIS," insists Vincent Bolduc.

To support GRIS: gris.ca/donate

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