Outloud | Executive Director
Starting off the Holiday Season right
Many queer youth and adults have a hard time with the Christmas season and all that has to be dealt with. As an LGBTQ person sometimes the holidays are mostly filled with thoughts of self hated and anxiety because family issues are difficult. Many of our youth feel separated from their families and even cast out because of the fact that they are queer. I know we have some really beautiful success stories of people coming out to their families and getting a positive response but that’s not always the case. Thoughts of self loathing, self harm, and even suicide increase dramatically as we near the holidays. For many the thought of having to come out to another person or group weighs heavily on their mind. Every time a family member has a new significant other, the queer person is singled out and outed again just by the new introduction that is always followed by a barrage of questioning. Its not always meant to harm the queer person but it never feels good or welcoming. I have outed my own daughter many times without thinking or meaning to be malicious, but it still does not give her a good feeling or positive experience. Think about how you should address this and ask the queer person who you love what is the best way to help them feel part of the family. Lets try to make this Christmas as free of negative feelings as possible, and tell them that they are loved.
The Christmas Party was a Blast!
What happens when you have a couple dozen youth in room with wrapping paper? Wild and cool stuff that’s what. The game was to wrap a person in a roll of paper in 3 minutes. This was the result and the faces show the story.
We also made the ornaments you see at the top and I am so happy to report that no human was injured in any of these games or activities. Thanks to all the attendees for their help and cooperation.
Alison & Alexis
As promised our friends delivered on their commitment to come and talk about their relationship, their past, and their future endeavors. If you missed this it was a totally new look on how to do things from people who are genuinely loving and creative to their partners, themselves, and the community around them. You need to check out Alison’s group called Emberwood because it could change your life. Her outlook on life, nature, and how we fit in is amazing. I am so excited to attend her event soon. Anyone know what a quinzhee is? Find out at the Emberwood website and go have some fun.
Stump Kitchen if have never heard of it is all the rage with the culinary community. I hear Martha Stuart picks up tips from Alexis but there can only be one Stump Kitchen. Watch these videos that will make you LMFAO and as a bonus you will actually learn to cook! Alexis can also be contacted through her YouTube channel if you like. We are so proud to have had the chance to show off these two amazing people. Hopefully we can convince them to make an appearance again soon.
River’s Edge Counselling Centre has set up something special for our queer youth.
The OK2BU – LGBTQ+ Youth Process and Support Group provides an opportunity for youth to come together in a safe meeting place to discuss and process the impact of life experiences associated with being members of the LGBTQ+ community. Topics that may be discussed include the following:
- What it means to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community
- Identifying and working through feelings of shame and internalized homophobia and/or gender-phobia
- Navigating the fear and struggle of coming out
- What do healthy friendships and intimate relationships look like
- How to talk about safe sex
- What it means to develop a positive sense of self-worth and identity
- How did we get to where we are today – exploring LGBTQ+ history
- What community supports are available
for more information, or to register for our next session:
Outloud is always open to everyone and we are really excited when prominent members of the community come and hang out with us. We have seen principals, teachers, MLA’s, mayor’s, politicians, advocates, and businees leaders visit Outloud groups and this month we were able to have Councillor Ken Mackay come to both our PFLAG group and the Outloud Youth group. St Albert’s amazing Mayor Cathy Heron attended the PFLAG group as well with the wonderful Councillor Jacquie Hansen. We encourage -nyone to come and show your support at any Outloud group or meeting.