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 explores social and developmental experiences of gender and sexual diverse youth, and shows helpers affirming ways to support youth in these situations and within their identities. Participants will develop an awareness and understanding of the systemic and intersectional barriers gender and sexual diverse youth can experience, enabling helpers to create more affirming, accessible, and welcoming environments for youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, queer, and all individuals expressing the diversity of sexuality and gender.

About This Workshop

Some of the Topics Included

  • Our Sense of Identity: “Who Am I?”
  • Key Aspects of Gender and Sexual Diversity
  • Gender and Sexual Diversity Spectrum
  • Affirmative Approaches to Disclosure
  • The Negative Impacts of Minority Stress and Gender Dysphoria
  • 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 introductory–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 how 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 seven key principles to which helpers can respond
  • List key steps to build an affirmative approach
  • Identify goals and steps for change in a helper’s work setting