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Supporting Queer Youth: Advocating for Healthy Outcomes in Education

Supporting Queer Youth

The inclusion of resources in schools that reflect the experiences of 2SLGBTQ people and youth is an important step towards creating a more equitable and welcoming learning environment for all students as well as contributing to overall healthy outcomes. There is a rise in hate crimes, targeted harassment, and online bullying against the queer community, linking to suicide ideation, self-harm and mental health issues. It is more important now than ever for queer youth to feel supported. Unfortunately, there are still some who argue against such resources, claiming that they sexualize children. This argument is harmful.

It is important to understand why the argument that 2SLGBTQ resources sexualize children is harmful. This argument perpetuates harmful myths and stereotypes about 2SLGBTQ people and youth, suggesting that their very existence is inherently sexual and therefore inappropriate for children to learn about. This attitude erases the lived experiences of 2SLGBTQ individuals, and reinforces the idea that their identities and relationships are abnormal or deviant. This can lead to feelings of shame and isolation for 2SLGBTQ students, and can contribute to a school environment that is unwelcoming and unsafe for them.

The inclusion of resources that reflect 2SLGBTQ experiences can have a number of positive benefits for all students. It helps to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for 2SLGBTQ students, who may otherwise feel invisible or excluded. By acknowledging the existence and experiences of 2SLGBTQ people, schools send a message that all students are valued and respected, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can help to reduce the isolation and marginalization that 2SLGBTQ students may feel, and can contribute to a safer and more supportive school environment.

The inclusion of 2SLGBTQ resources can benefit all students by promoting diversity and encouraging empathy and understanding. Learning about the experiences of people from different backgrounds and identities can help to broaden students’ perspectives and challenge stereotypes and prejudices. By exposing students to a range of diverse perspectives and experiences, schools can help to cultivate a more tolerant and inclusive community, where all students feel seen and valued.

It is important to note that the inclusion of 2SLGBTQ resources does not mean that schools are promoting or encouraging any particular sexual behavior. Rather, it is simply a recognition of the existence and diversity of 2SLGBTQ people and youth, and a commitment to creating a more inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all students. By suggesting that these resources sexualize children, opponents of 2SLGBTQ inclusion are perpetuating harmful stereotypes and erasing the lived experiences of 2SLGBTQ individuals.

The alarming rates of rising violence against 2SLGBTQ people, the statistics showing the level of bullying and harassment, as well concern for the mental health of queer youth are all indicative that we need to be doing more to support youth by providing appropriate resources and standing up against willful attacks on these resources and our educations system.

If you are interested in having a presentation or webinar from Advocacy Canada please contact us.

Related Media Articles:

Advocate urges Central Okanagan school board to do more to protect LGBTQ students and staff

Central Okanagan schools face up to queer youth harassment


Bullying among sexually and gender diverse youth in Canada


Gay-straight alliances contribute to a safer school climate long-term

Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre

ARC Foundation – SOGI 123

Resilience in Minority Stress of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals and Transgender People

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The Importance of SOGI 123 Resources in Canadian Schools

Protesters and counter-protestors shared their polarizing views on the contentious SOGI 123 curriculum at the B.C. Legislature in 2018. (Keri Coles/Black Press file)

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) resources in Canadian schools. SOGI 123 is a set of tools and resources designed to create safer and more inclusive schools for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities. However, this movement has not been without its detractors, with some groups actively campaigning against the inclusion of SOGI 123 resources in schools. In this article, we will explore why having SOGI 123 resources in Canadian schools is so important, how it can prevent self-harm and suicide ideation among students, and why anti-SOGI messaging is harmful.

The Mental Health Crisis Among 2SLGBTQ+ Youth

It is no secret that 2SLGBTQ+ youth face unique challenges when it comes to mental health. According to a study by the Trevor Project, LGBTQ+ youth are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for support and resources for 2SLGBTQ+ youth.

One of the ways that schools can support 2SLGBTQ+ youth is by providing access to SOGI 123 resources. These resources help create an inclusive environment where students feel safe and supported. When students feel accepted for who they are, they are less likely to experience feelings of isolation or depression.

The Role of SOGI 123 Resources in Preventing Self-Harm and Suicide Ideation

SOGI 123 resources play a crucial role in preventing self-harm and suicide ideation among 2SLGBTQ+ youth. By providing education on sexual orientation and gender identity, these resources help reduce stigma and discrimination. When students have a better understanding of what it means to be 2SLGBTQ+, they are less likely to experience bullying or harassment from their peers.

Moreover, SOGI 123 resources provide teachers with the tools they need to create an inclusive classroom environment. Teachers can use these resources to educate themselves on how best to support their 2SLGBTQ+ students. This includes using inclusive language, creating safe spaces within the classroom, and addressing any instances of discrimination or harassment that may arise.

Join us in the fight against targeted hate and harassment toward the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Your donation to Advocacy Canada will help us provide vital advocacy and strategies to combat hate and create a safer, more inclusive future for all. Every contribution counts, make a donation today.

The Harmful Effects of Anti-SOGI Messaging

Despite the clear benefits of including SOGI 123 resources in schools, there are still groups that actively campaign against them. Anti-SOGI messaging can cause lasting damage by perpetuating harmful stereotypes about 2SLGBTQ+ individuals.

For example, anti-SOGI messaging often portrays being 2SLGBTQ+ as something abnormal or unnatural. This type of messaging can lead to feelings of shame or self-loathing among 2SLGBTQ+ youth. It can also contribute to a hostile school environment where bullying or harassment is more likely to occur.

One of the common arguments used by opponents of SOGI 123 resources is that they sexualize children. This argument is not only unfounded but also harmful as it perpetuates myths and stereotypes about 2SLGBTQ+ individuals. Here are some facts that debunk this message:

  • SOGI 123 resources do not promote any particular sexual orientation or gender identity. Instead, they provide education on these topics to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students.
  • The purpose of SOGI 123 resources is not to encourage students to be 2SLGBTQ+ but rather to support those who already identify as such. These resources help students understand what it means to be 2SLGBTQ+ and how they can support their peers in a respectful manner.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that exposure to SOGI 123 resources leads to an increase in sexual activity among students. In fact, studies have shown that comprehensive sex education programs like SOGI 123 actually delay the onset of sexual activity among young people.
  • Finally, it’s important to note that children are already exposed to discussions about sexuality and gender identity through popular media, social interactions with peers, and even within their families. So providing them with accurate information through SOGI 123 resources helps them develop a healthy understanding of these topics.

The argument that SOGI 123 resources sexualize children is simply untrue. These resources provide education on sexual orientation and gender identity in a way that promotes inclusivity, respect, and understanding.


Having SOGI 123 resources in Canadian schools is essential for supporting the mental health needs of 2SLGBTQ+ youth. By providing education on sexual orientation and gender identity, these resources help reduce stigma and discrimination while promoting inclusivity within the classroom environment. Conversely, anti-SOGI messaging perpetuates harmful stereotypes about 2SLGBTQ+ individuals that can cause lasting damage both mentally and emotionally and has no place in the public education system.

It is time for us as a society to recognize the importance of supporting our 2SLGBTQ+ youth by ensuring continued access to vital educational tools like SOGI 123 resources.

How Can You Help?

Contact your school board and teachers to let them know you support SOGI 123 and sign the petition to show your support.


Photo: Protesters and counter-protestors shared their polarizing views on the SOGI 123 curriculum at the B.C. Legislature in 2018. (Keri Coles/Black Press file)