Wednesday, March 27, 2013

FAIR: Families Achieving Inclusive Relationships

In 2011, we began an important community development project to reach immigrant populations.

The FAIR (Families Achieving Inclusive Relationships) Project offers support and information to help parents talk to their children about their family values and how they are connected to healthy relationships and healthy bodies.

Topics include:
  • how to talk openly about relationships and values
  • understanding choices young people face when their family values are different from those of their friends
  • the challenges of raising children in a Canadian culture and how to talk to your children about those differences

A resource booklet has been developed and community workshops are offered, such as the following FREE session with Alberta Health Services:

Families Achieving Inclusive Relationships

Tuesday April 9, 2013
Sign in:    5:45 pm
Session:   6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Alberta Children’s Hospital
Room B2-2000

Register online:

(Registration no later than April 2, 2013. Courses with low registration will be cancelled one week prior to the session.)


Monday, March 25, 2013

Our WiseGuyz Program: Learn all about it!

On April 10th, our WiseGuyz Program will be presented at the Calgary Domestic Violence Committee (CDVC) “Lunch & Learn” session Helping Guys Be Wise. Our WiseGuyz Program Coordinator, Blake Spence, will highlight his work with the WiseGuyz program and illustrate strategies to engage young men in the program.

Our WiseGuyz Program began in February 2010 with a focus to engage young men in a sexual health program that would address their specific needs. 

WiseGuyz is a ground-breaking 14 week program that provides targets education, skills development and support to young men to help them achieve sexual well-being and healthy relationships. The program employs a comprehensive approach to sexual health that recognizes that sexuality and male gender norms influence young men's attitudes, actions, relationships and their sexual experiences.

The program curriculum addresses a range of topics including:
  • anatomy, birth control and STIs
  • gender and masculinity
  • human rights and personal values
  • effective communication
  • decision-making
Participants also analyze the highly sexualized pop cultural landscape that surrounds them in an effort to develop critical thinking skills about mass media.

(Read more on how the program got started.)

The program is currently running in three public Junior High Schools. It has been featured on CBC Radio One and as a cover story in the Globe and Mail.

CDVC Lunch & Learn:
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Sheriff King
2003-16th St. S.E.

No Cost

Register with CDVC at


Monday, March 18, 2013

Calgary GSA Network: Celebrating 1 Year of Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Youth

At the upcoming meeting on March 21, the Calgary Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network will be celebrating its 1 year anniversary. In today's blog, we welcome Nick Moore - our Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Education Coordinator - to reflect on the past year of the Calgary GSA Network.
How did the Calgary GSA Network get started?
The beginnings of the GSA network really began more than a year ago. While teaching comprehensive sexual health education programming in Calgary schools, which includes our “Diversity and Respecting Everyone” (DARE) anti-homophobia and anti-sexism workshop, myself and our other educators would often encounter caring and compassionate teachers who recognized the trials and tribulations of being an LGBTQ youth in Calgary schools. We found that the teachers who were inviting us into their CALM classes were usually also supportive allies to LGBTQ students and often the sponsor teachers for the few GSAs that existed at the time.

Button making with
GSAs in Calgary schools

One such person was Omnia Anderson, a counselor at Bowness High School. Omnia approached me noting the struggles she faced maintaining membership and engagement with her GSA group at Bowness. Even though I knew very little of GSAs myself, I went back to the office and hunted down as many resources as I could find. I later visited Omnia to share these materials and resources. Whenever I encountered other GSA sponsor teachers I brought what resources I could. Soon enough I began getting requests from other teachers for these materials.

I also traveled to Edmonton for a few days to learn about the Edmonton GSA Roundtable Meetings as well as Camp FYrefly at the U of A’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS). I was fortunate enough to attend a roundtable meeting where the Edmonton GSA Network met with the then Minister of Education, Thomas Lukazuk, now Deputy Premier of Alberta.

With some guidance from Dr. Kris Wells at the iSMSS, our team worked together to organize our first GSA Roundtable meeting in March of 2012. This meeting was very well attended by educators and support staff as well as supportive community members. The enthusiasm for continuing these meetings was incredible and encouraged us to continue hosting more meetings.
How has the Calgary GSA Network grown since that first meeting?

The word has spread like wildfire.

A preliminary survey of the city revealed only 4 or 5 schools had GSAs at the time, but as the talk on the street of the roundtable meetings grew, more and more schools came out to participate in the conversation about creating safe and supportive environments within Calgary schools. At the beginning of the summer in 2012, we had people from as many as 17 schools attend the roundtable meetings.

To date, over 25 schools (with and without GSAs) and more than 30 supportive community organizations have been involved! Even schools outside of Calgary, including Cochrane, Airdrie and Okotoks, have also came out to attend these meetings.

Anyone and everyone has come out to the meetings to participate in this ever-growing network. The meetings are attended and appreciated by many, including students, teachers, counselors, psychologists, youth support workers, representatives from the Calgary Board of Education, the Alberta Teachers Association, and many many community organizations (like CCASA, Families Matter, and the Calgary Police Service), parents and even grandparents attend!

What topics are discussed and shared at the meetings?

The meetings have always been centred around creating and sustaining safe and supportive environments in school communities for LGBTQ people and their allies. We also always try to have FUN!

The meetings have often taken on different topics of discussion or themes like:
  • learning about GSAs and social justice
  • homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and bullying
  • LGBTQ allies and their importance
  • safety and inclusion
  • family and what family means to the LGBTQ community
  • community support and resources
  • networking with others and community building
GSA Network in the
2012 Calgary Pride parade

In addition to our regular meetings, we have had some occasions to celebrate and have fun together as the network grows. For example, last summer we had an incredibly fun BBQ Social in Riley Park. Also, members of the Calgary GSA Network were excited to walk proudly in the Calgary PRIDE parade with their allies in the Alberta Teachers’ Association. A social committee that was formed from the Roundtable meetings organized and hosted their very own Halloween Movie night and donated the proceeds to the Network. And members of Calgary GSAs and the Network, in particular the Forest Lawn GSA, attended the first Annual GSA Conference in Edmonton in November.

This conversation and the interest in networking, building community and advancing the movement to create safe, inclusive and supportive environments in school communities in and around Calgary is still growing.

What do you hope for the next year for the Calgary GSA Network?

Our hope is for this conversation to continue! We hope to further support and connect the GSAs of Calgary and Area with each other and the community that is there to support and celebrate them. We hope to find new and creative ways to engage the youth and their supportive teachers as well as their greater community in making all communities, especially schools, safe and supportive for typically marginalized LGBTQ youth.

If you are interested in learning more about the Calgary GSA Network and Roundtable meetings please feel free to look us up on the facebook at the “Calgary GSA Network” or email Nick Moore ( to be added to our mailing list.


Please share this poster for the upcoming Calgary GSA Network meeting and celebration on March 21st!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Coming Out Monologues: We're so there!

We are pleased to be taking part in the "Coming Out Monologues" this week at the University of Calgary.

The Coming Out Monologues are three celebratory evenings of the LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gendered, transsexual, queer, ally) community. The three performances will be at the UofC in Craigie Hall on March 13, 14 and 15, with each night being a different performance. We'll be there with a booth each night - so drop by to say hello!
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at , with 50% of proceeds go towards the Calgary Sexual Health Centre. We are thrilled to be supported by this event!
For more info, check out:


We are also pleased to be taking part in the educational panel discussion that is taking place on March 16th.
Following the momentum of the Coming Out Monologues performances, the panel discussion event will change focus to discussion and creating allies in the community. The event will include a short performance, panel discussion, resources and activites focused on increasing knowledge around theory, language, discrimination, and experiences. Light refreshments will be provided. 

Event schedule:
11:00am: Registration. Light refreshments are provided. 
11:30am-11:45am: Introduction and 2 short performances from Coming Out Monologues performers.
11:45am-1:00pm: Panel Discussion (with Q & A from 12:45-1:00pm)
1:00pm-1:15pm: Brief Break and Networking
1:15pm-1:30pm: Presentation on Discrimination Role Play Scenarios and Active Witnessing
1:30pm-1:45pm: Group Activity
1:45pm-2:00pm: Activity Feedback and Resource Discussion


Panel speakers include:
  • Dawn Johnston, Professor, University of Calgary
  • Lee Allard, LBGTQ Youth Support Specialist, Calgary Sexual Health Centre
  • Nick Moore, Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Education Coordinator, Calgary Sexual Health Centre
  • Nolan Hill, University of Calgary student, Coming Out Monologues Social Media Coordinator

To register for this free event:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bringing Camp Fyrefly to Calgary!

The Calgary Sexual Health Centre and the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) are collaborating in an exciting way to bring Camp Fyrefly to Calgary! 

Camp fYrefly is Canada's only national leadership retreat for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, two-spirited, intersexed, queer, questioning, and allied youth.

This year Camp Fyrefly is coming to Calgary on July 11-14! 

If you or someone you know is interested in being involved in the camp  please contact Nick Moore by email with your email/contact info so he can add you to the mailing list as we get this work and planning underway!

Some of the areas you can get involved include:
  • donations
  • camp counselor volunteers 
  • organizing committee volunteers  (Fund Development; Programming & Education; Advertising, Publicity & Community Outreach; and Parent, Volunteer & Youth Outreach.)

For more details, check out the links below.

For more info and to volunteer, please contact Nick Moore at:
403-283-5580 ext. 308