For those who are targets of discrimination, harassment, or abuse, finding a good support group is an important part of their lives. Whether you are new to Ontario, just beginning to question your sexuality, or looking to give back to the community, there are several support groups available throughout Ontario that you can be a part of.
Positive Spaces Initiative
This initiative is dedicated to helping create welcoming and safe environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, and Genderqueer people. They provide culturally inclusive services for newcomers as well as working with employers to create safe, positive environments. For more information about their services or to explore their community links, visit their website here.
Supporting Our Youth (SOY)
A community development program of the Sherbourne Health Centre, SOY is dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ youth in the city of Toronto and beyond. They help to create healthy and safe arts, culture, and recreational spaces as well as supportive housing, employment opportunities, mentoring, and support for affected youth. For more information about their programs and services, you can visit their website.
The hub of community life in the Church & Wellesley Village for over 35 years, the 519 was created to contribute to the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion in Toronto and across the world. Committed to building welcoming spaces, they offer a huge range of community-run programs and services.
Cultural & Religious Groups
There are also many cultural and religious groups dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ people connect with other members of their culture or religion in safe, supporting environments.
Ministering to LGBTQ+ Christians and their allies, this website is the largest global directory of affirming Christian churches. By providing resources, listings, and maps, it helps Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, and Genderqueer people find safe locations to worship around the world.
This Queer Muslim Community bills itself as “a support group for practicing and non-practicing queer Muslims and those who come from Muslim cultures.” Apply to join their Facebook group here.
Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees
Due to the dangerously discriminatory nature of Iran’s laws, many LBGTQ+ persons are forced to flee the country each year. This website provides assistance, education, guidance, and support to persecuted Iranians seeking asylum. For more information, visit their website.
Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS)
This charitable, non-profit, community-run organization is located in the city of Toronto and provides sex education and services to Asian communities, LBGTQ+ persons, and those living with AIDS/HIV. They are committed to providing HIV/AIDS education and prevention services with a pro-active and holistic approach to members of East and Southeast Asian Canadian communities. For more information, please visit their website.
For young people looking to transition, there are also many support groups in high schools and colleges across the country. Speak to your guidance counselor for more information on support groups available in your area!