Gender and sexuality are central features of identity development in adolescence. When a person’s internal experience of gender and/or sexuality does not match what would typically be expected of them based on their external appearance, it can cause great distress and difficulty. This workshop will show helpers how to best support youth in these situations. Participants will develop an awareness and understanding of what this experience can be like, enabling them to create more accessible and welcoming environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two spirit, queer, and all individuals expressing the diversity of sexuality and gender.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • Our Sense of Identity: “Who am I?”
  • Key Aspects of Gender and Sexual Diversity
  • Gender and Sexual Diversity Spectrum
  • Affirmative Approaches to Support
  • The Negative Impacts of Minority Stress
  • The Critical Periods in Development
  • Strategies to Support Youth’s Needs
  • The Influence of Family on Well-being
  • Considerations for Supporting Families
  • Creating Safer Schools

Target Audience

This is an intermediate level workshop intended for school personnel, social service and health care professionals, counsellors, social workers, youth care workers, and anyone seeking a better understanding of ways to create more accessible and welcoming environments for LGBT2SQ+ youth.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, personal reflection, case study exercises, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Define aspects of gender and sexual diversity in youth
  • Describe unique sources of stress for LGBT2SQ+ youth
  • Identify six areas of need to which helpers can respond
  • List key steps to build an affirmative approach
  • Identify goals for steps for change in helpers’ work setting