Friday, May 20, 2011

Seniors A GOGO to perform at Fairy Tales Film Fest!

We're thrilled to announce that our Seniors A GOGO troupe will be taking the stage at this year's Fairy Tales Gay & Lesbian Film Festival!

Have you ever wondered why no one talks about sexuality after 60? Our Seniors A GOGO group of dedicated seniors has been working to provide insight into just that. This committed and tenacious group has been meeting, laughing and sharing their experiences with love, loss and sexuality to create a series of stage readings, monologues and digital stories.

Their performance at Fairy Tales will follow a screening of the documentary "GEN SILENT" which tackles the subject of GLBTQ Seniors aging alone. 

Directed by Stu Maddux, this film reveals how the generation that fought the hardest to come out is going back in to survive.

7 PM | The Plaza Theatre | PG
We're excited to have our Seniors take part in the Fairy Tales Film Fest this year! 

For details about the GEN SILENT film, check the Fairy Tales website at

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is Homophobia in your vocabulary?

When was the last time you heard a gay joke? Last week. How often do you hear people use the words "fag" or "dyke" as a compliment? Never. When someone says something is "totally gay" what are the chances they mean something positive? None.

Derogatory jokes and comments about sexual orientation are so common that they have become accepted as part of our everyday language. So what's the big deal? Well, these seemingly harmless jokes and remarks are hurtful and send a strong message that being LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) is unacceptable. They are part of the reason that many LGBT teens don't dare come out and suffer in silence instead of risk alienation from their peers.

It's called homophobia.

Today - May 17th - is International Day Against Homophobia.  Today offers all of us another opportunity to make a concrete effort in our own lives to counter homophobia.

What is Homophobia?
Homophobia is an irrational fear and/or hatred of same-sex attractions that can be expressed through prejudice, discrimination, harassment or acts of violence (known as "bashing"). When this prejudice and discrimination is directed at transsexual and transgendered people it is known as Transphobia.

Homophobia and transphobia are not just experienced by people who are LGBT but by people who are thought to be LGBT because they do not necessarily fit in with assigned gender roles.  This demonstrates confusion about gender and sexual orientation. Gender refers to the behaviours that a culture assigns to being male or female.  Sexual orientation is who you are sexually attracted to.

Heterosexism is the assumption that everyone is, or should be, heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the only normal, natural or good expression of sexuality. This attitude pervades our culture and impacts the day to day lives of  LGBT individuals.  Through language, culture, media, and institutions LGBT individuals receive the message, “you are not included here”.  The result is a homophobic culture that fears rather than includes LGBT individuals.

Homophobia and transphobia are easier to spot because they involve behaviour that actively puts LGBT people down. Heterosexism is less likely to be noticed because it doesn't mean that LGBT people are being negatively targeted but that the whole world excludes them – it is in the air they must breathe.

What can we do to fight Homophobia?
Fight heterosexism! 
What is heard!
Be conscious of what you say and do on a daily basis to exclude LGBT citizens.  If you are a teacher, parent, counselor or coworker, use the term “partners” when referring to intimate relationships and ask, “Are you seeing someone?”  rather than “Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?” 
Remove derogatory comments and jokes about sexual orientation from your own everyday language.  Today is an opportunity to let your children, friends or co-workers know that from now on slurs such as "fag(got)", "dike", "homo" and any other derogatory remarks toward gays and lesbians will no longer be tolerated out of respect for gays and lesbians and their immediate families.
What is seen!
Whether you are a librarian, own a car dealership or are a youth worker, be sure to display messages and materials that represent all sexual orientations and show gender diversity.
Let’s work towards a vision of a society that embraces diversity in all its forms.  A society where all members regardless of their sexual orientation or gender feel accepted and celebrated for who they are and their unique contribution.

We invite you to share this blog with your networks, and help continue the conversation.

Thank you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Youth & Sex: Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions!

In honour of International Youth Week, we are sharing some answers to a few of the common questions we receive from youth about sex and sexuality   For more information about these topics, and many more, visit us online at or give us a call at 403-283-5580.

If I talk to my teacher or school counsellor about sexual issues, do they have to tell my parents?

It depends. Information you share is usually kept private unless there is a risk of harm to you or another person. For example, if a young person told a teacher or school counsellor that he or she was being sexually abused, the counsellor may have a responsibility to report it. If you are unsure and concerned, before you share details you can ask if the type of information on your mind can or will be kept private.

Can I see a doctor without my parents’ permission to get birth control?

Yes. If you are worried, ask your doctor how they feel about keeping your information private from your parents. If you don't like what you hear, you can go to one of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinics in Calgary. These clinics have services just for young people, and will respect your privacy. They also have birth control and condoms at lower cost. You can also talk to a counsellor at the Calgary Sexual Health Centre about your options. But we are not a clinic and cannot give you a prescription for birth control.

Can a person masturbate 10 times a day?

Everyone is different. Some people masturbate every day and other people don’t. If you want to masturbate ten times a day and it isn’t getting in the way of school, homework or other responsibilities, then it is up to you. If you masturbate a lot, you may want to use a water-based lubricant like K-Y Jelly (you can buy lubricants from any drugstore) so that you don’t irritate your skin.

What does Popping the Cherry mean?

Popping the cherry is a slang term for when a woman has vaginal sex for the first time and her hymen stretches and bleeds. A hymen is usually a very thin layer of skin. It is naturally stretched with physical activity, sexual activity or using tampons. Some may bleed a little and some may not.

A hymen that has not been stretched is often considered a sign that a woman has “lost her virginity”. Most women actually don’t have am “intact” hymen by the time they start having sex. To have a good first experience with sex it helps if both people feel relaxed and aroused and are paying attention to what feels comfortable physically and emotionally. The key here is to talk to each other and go slow.

What makes people gay?

Scientists still aren’t sure whether people are born with their sexual orientation or whether it develops over time. What they do know for sure is it’s not something people can change about themselves. A person might want to use the label “gay” if they find their sexual attraction is mostly toward people of the same sex as themselves. It is normal to have some sexual feelings or a lot of sexual feelings for people the same sex as yourself. Attraction is as simple and uncontrollable as who makes your heart flutter. Curiosity and attraction toward people the same sex as yourself is totally okay and it’s up to each person what label, if any, they want to put on it.