Celebrating Pride with Covenant House Vancouver

At Covenant House Vancouver, we honour and celebrate the diversity, strength, and resilience of the 2SLGBTQAI+ community. We are committed to creating a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for all youth, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We strive to be a safe and inclusive space for all youth

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, gender non-binary and Two Spirit youth are overrepresented in the homeless community. We strongly believe that all youth deserve unconditional love and absolute respect and 2SLGBTQAI+ youth are no exception.

Here are some statistics around 2SLGBTQAI+ youth and homelessness:

25% – 40% of homeless youth

35% of youth served at
Covenant House Vancouver are

81% of 2SLGBTQAI+ youth
developed the skills
necessary to maintain or
secure housing

Important terms and definitions

At Covenant House Vancouver, we honour and celebrate the diversity, strength, and
resilience of the 2SLGBTQAI+ community. Click on each of the important terms listed below
to learn their definition:


A collection, continuum, or spectrum of gender identities and expressions, often based on the rejection of the assumption that gender is strictly an either/or option of male/men or female/women, based on the sex assigned to a person at birth. Some non-binary individuals may also hold trans identities, but the terms non-binary and trans are distinct and should not be used interchangeably.


An umbrella term used by many Indigenous communities on Turtle Island (what is referred to as North America) to describe people with diverse gender identities, gender expressions, gender roles, and sexual orientations. Two Spirit people were included and respected in most Indigenous communities, sometimes considered sacred and highly revered. They often took on important roles as healers, mediators, and warriors. It is a term that should only be used by Indigenous people.


A woman who experiences romantic or sexual attraction primarily to other women.


Someone who is primarily attracted to those of the same gender; often used when referring to men.


Someone who is romantically, emotionally, or sexually attracted to more than one gender, or one’s own gender and other genders. A bi person may feel equally attracted to many genders, or may experience stronger attractions to one gender while still having feelings for others. This ratio of attraction may vary over time.


Frequently abbreviated to trans, this is an umbrella term for a wide range of experiences and identities for people whose affirmed gender does not align with the gender they were assigned at birth. Being trans is something that can only be decided by an individual for themselves and does not depend on external criteria, such as surgery or hormone treatments.


An umbrella term used to refer to the spectrum of non-heterosexual and/or non-cisgender people. It also provides a convenient shorthand for the acronym 2SLGBTQAI+. It is important to note that this is a reclaimed term that was, and sometimes still is, used as a hate term, and thus some people feel uncomfortable with it.


A term sometimes used by those in the process of exploring personal understandings of their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity, as well as those choosing not to use another, more specific label.


Someone who does not experience sexual attraction to others. Sexual attraction is different from romantic attraction. Asexuality can be considered a spectrum, with some asexual people experiencing desire for varying types of physical intimacy. This desire may fluctuate over time or by person.


General term used for a variety of features in which a person is born with, or develops, reproductive or sexual anatomy, genetic makeup, or hormonal levels that do not seem to fit the current, “typical” definitions of male or female. Intersex has replaced the term hermaphrodite, which is widely considered to be outdated, inaccurate, and offensive. An intersex person may or may not also be part of the trans community; however, the terms intersex and trans are distinct and should not be used interchangeably.


A gender identity that society considers to “match” the biological sex assigned to someone at birth.

Note: Definitions were taken and/or summarized with permission from QMUNITY, BC’s Queer, Trans,
and Two-Spirit Resource Centre. If you would like to learn more, please refer to their QueerGlossary:

The True Inclusion Assessment

In 2014, Covenant House International collaborated with the True Colors Fund to roll out a pioneering resource, the True Inclusion Assessment. The assessment was designed by the True Colors United to help agencies implement best practices to welcome and serve 2SLGBTQAI+ youth. The tool measures the inclusivity of an agency’s policies, practices, physical space, and programs, using information gleaned from anonymous surveys of youth and staff.

Based on the assessment’s outcome, the True Colors Fund then guides the agency through the necessary steps to create a more 2SLGBTQAI+ inclusive and affirming program and environment. The True Colors Fund applied the True Inclusion Assessment at Covenant House sites across the United States and Canada, including here in Vancouver.

The True Inclusion Assessment led Covenant House Vancouver to launch our Rainbow Advisory Committee. Covenant House Vancouver’s Rainbow Advisory Committee is made up of staff members from each department in the agency. They are dedicated to insuring we use best practices to serve our 2SLGBTQAI+ youth and that we continue to enhance our spaces, policies, procedures, and programs.