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Live “Outloud”

Outloud has a clear – and loud – message for 2SLGBTQIAP+ individuals and that message is, “You Are Loved.” It’s a message that is needed now more than ever as the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community continues to face discrimination and misinformation. Outloud serves as a beacon of hope, education, and inclusion to counter discrimination with acceptance and misinformation with facts.

Outloud’s programs are for all ages and provide a safe environment for all 2SLGBTQIAP+ individuals, with the aim of fostering a robust and loving community. Resources are offered to families, friends, and employers of 2SLGBTQIAP+ individuals, in addition to community and business training opportunities. Advocacy is provided to support the inclusion of GSAs/QSAs in all schools.

One of the programs they offer is Outloud Juniors, designed for kids aged 12 and under. This program allows children to build friendships, have conversations, ask questions, and receive support from Outloud staff. Activities include playing games, doing crafts, reading books, socializing, and contributing to the Outloud culture through various creative engagements.

Outloud also runs several other programs and talks, and collaborates with organizations to connect youth and their families to the resources they need.

The organization is vigilant about upholding its Safer Space Policy, which includes respecting physical and emotional boundaries, identities and backgrounds, privacy, and avoiding assumptions or judgments. They focus on positive intent and encourage learning, while making sure everyone gets a chance to speak.

One crucial reason to support queer individuals is their representation in society. Approximately one million people in Canada identify as 2SLGBTQIAP+, accounting for 4 per cent of the total population aged 15 and older (in 2018). Despite this significant portion of the population, discrimination persists in many areas, and there are ongoing efforts towards mainstream social acceptance and formal legal equality.

Mental health is another critical area of focus. The experiences of mental health among 2SLGBTQIAP+ people are as diverse as the general Canadian population. Discrimination and stigma can exacerbate mental health issues among these individuals, making support systems vital.

The inclusion of gay, lesbian, and bisexual Canadians in anti-discrimination laws by the Parliament is a clear declaration that everyone is entitled to equal opportunities. This move highlights the importance of supporting queer individuals, both legally and socially.

Despite these advancements, there's still a lot of work to be done. For instance, while six in ten Canadians say they support openly lesbian, gay, and bisexual athletes in sports teams, only a third feel the same about transgender athletes. This disparity points to the need for increased support and understanding for all members of the queer community.

Supporting all individuals is not just about promoting diversity and inclusivity. It's also about combating discrimination, promoting mental health, ensuring legal protection, and fostering societal acceptance – all of which Outloud does for the local 2SLGBTQIAP+ community in St. Albert.

You can help support Outloud's mission:

  • Attend the Gala: Outloud is hosting an 18+ birthday gala to celebrate 10 years in the community. Drinks, dancing, dinner, and a show! You can find more details about the gala and how to attend here.
  • Donate: Financial contributions are a vital part of keeping Outloud's services available and accessible. Donations go towards running their programs, maintaining their safe space, and providing resources for 2SLGBTQIAP+ individuals and their families. You can make a one-time donation or set up a recurring contribution. Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated. To donate, visit this page.
  • Shop: Outloud runs an online store where you can shop and show your support. This store features a variety of products, each representing different identities within the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Visit the store here.

Outloud is a shining example of support and inclusivity for the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community in St. Albert. With programs tailored to various age groups and needs, they provide a safe space for individuals to express themselves, grow, and find acceptance. Supporting Outloud means championing a future where everyone is celebrated for who they are.

Learn more online and on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

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