Show Your True Colours

Happy Pride Month!

Pride Month commemorates the origins of Pride that occurred as a result of the Stonewall Riots of June 1969. Pride Month celebrates the contributions made by the 2SLGBTQAI+ community to history, society and culture.

At Covenant House Vancouver, we are dedicated to offering a space where 2SLGBTQAI+ youth can find the support and acceptance they deserve.

“For youth to have the experience of ‘I am loved, I am welcomed, I’m respected, not in spite of who I am, but knowing exactly who I am,’ is something that they take from Covenant House, that serves them for the rest of their lives. And then, they advocate to make that true for others.”

– Kadee (she/her), Lead Spiritual Care Practitioner at Covenant House Vancouver

True Colors

In 2015, Covenant House Vancouver (CHV), along with Covenant House International, partnered with True Colors United in order to enhance our engagement and services for the 2SLGBTQAI+ community.

True Colors is a non-profit organization that is working to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, by creating systemic change. They do this through a broad continuum of community organizing, public engagement, public policy, research, and youth-collaboration programs.

All CHV staff take an annual training course with True Colors, to continue our commitment to supporting youth in the best way possible. The training is part of our culture that includes involvement from all levels of leadership. It impacts our program design and evaluation, and influences the types of activities we offer young people. It is an action-oriented commitment to serving the community with unconditional love and absolute respect.

Why is supporting 2SLGBTQAI+ youth important?

Recent studies have shown that:

How Covenant House Vancouver supports 2SLGBTQAI+ youth

Based on the True Colors assessment for our agency, staff from various departments at Covenant House Vancouver formed the Rainbow Advisory Committee This committee is dedicated to ensuring that we use best practices to serve 2SLGBTQAI+ youth and that we continue to enhance our spaces, policies, procedures, and programs.

To foster community and a general sense of acceptance, we also offer events, workshops, outings, and services across our programs and services. Creativity, play, and fun are a big part of these offerings — a reminder that, despite hardship, queer youth deserve to celebrate who they are and find their own unique expressions of joy. For example: 

  • Mental health care and community-specific art therapy 
  • An active partnership with Qmunity, a BC-based queer, trans and Two Spirit resource service and drop-in centre 
  • Participation in Vancouver’s Pride Parade 
  • 2SLGBTQAI+ volunteers, particularly for outings in the community and fitness classes 
  • A subscription to OUTtv in our lounges, to promote visibility 
  • 2SLGBTQAI+ nights at our Drop-In Centre that include spa treatments, board game tournaments, and other fun activities 

The importance of being seen

We all want to be seen and accepted as our true selves. Youth from the 2SLGBTQAI+ community are no different. Pride Month, and the Pride events celebrated across Metro Vancouver, over the summer, are very meaningful to those who participate.

Two youth, from Covenant House’s Rights of Passage program shared what Pride means to them:

“To me, Pride is about celebrating being able to be my true self. It’s the one day that people don’t stare at me when I go out. And it’s about feeling comfortable in my identity and who I am with my friends and family.”

“Pride always helps me to feel free and express my identity. It’s a day where the community supports us.”

A youth in Rights of Passage, who escaped persecution in her country, explains why it’s important to support 2SLGBTQAI+ youth and organizations, like Covenant House: “Because youth are the future of the community. So, if you invest in your future, you’re going to be investing in your youth. No one knows you here, and suddenly, you are at Covenant House. Everyone here is your family, and everyone is wanting to help you from youth workers to kitchen staff … and they are here all for one reason — to help build futures for the youth and to make sure that the youth are going to have a stable future.”

Join us in supporting 2SLGBTQAI+ youth. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of 2SLGBTQAI+ youth, and advocate for a world where everyone is respected and valued for who they are.