OCYA & ISMSS Discussion

We started the night with introductions, pronouns and what the youth’s pick for “Song of the Summer” was. There were some interesting choices and I now have more music to look up and listen to! We then moved on to hot topics and dog tags.

Our hot topic came from a news story out of British Columbia. A non-binary transgender parent, Kori Doty, received a gender neutral health card for their eight-month-old child Searyl, as they fight to have Searyl issued a birth certificate with no gender specified. (If you would like to read more about this story, click on this news link: http://nationalpost.com/news/local-news/b-c-care-card-issued-without-gender-parent-fighting-for-same-on-birth-certificate/wcm/f201fce8-a83c-454a-af0c-1f4a45b2edcd). The youth had a lot to say about this news article which started an interesting discussion on government documents and some challenges that LGBTQ people face when changing their own documents.

Our next event of the night was a discussion with the OCYA (Office of the Child and Youth Advocate of Alberta). Arlene and Erin from the office came to talk to our group about what their office does and their special LGBTQ report that they will be giving to the Alberta Government in November. After their talk, we split into two small groups and talked about two questions that OCYA had posed to use in their report: What do vulnerable LGBTQ youth need to communicate to their social worker for them to better understand the youth and what does a safe person look or act like? We had an engaging discussion and the OCYA representatives left the meeting with some great thoughts from our youth. (If you would like more information on the OCYA please visit this link: http://www.ocya.alberta.ca/)

At the end of the night, we closed the meeting with a short talk from Andre and Jeff of ISMSS about their survey for LGBTQ youth and their upcoming GLOW LGBTQ sex-ed courses. The youth had a short, but interesting discussion with ISMSS about the sex-ed they receive in their CALM courses in school which was informative for everyone. Overall, it was a great night full of interesting conversation.

I’ll see everyone again at the beginning of August!


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