Aug 10, 2021
Every August, along with many other organizations, the Ottawa Public Library celebrates Capital Pride Month. This month is always full of fun, fascinating activities that everyone can enjoy. We recognize, however, that for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities, the fight for equity and inclusion in society is an everyday, year-round battle. To better serve these communities, in addition to resources dealing with books and literature, we have created a list of organizations dedicated to supporting 2SLGBTQ+ . These organizations deal with 2SLGBTQ+ history and culture, physical and mental health, community and recreation, and support. Some are local, while others are nationally oriented. This is not an exhaustive list but will help you get started if you wish to get involved, find resources, or simply learn more about these issues.
Ottawa and Outaouais
Kind Space - An Ottawa-based organization for people with diverse gender and sexual identities. Usually an inclusive community centre, many of their activities have understandably moved online due to the pandemic.
MAX Ottawa - Primarily focused on the health of men who date other men, this organization offers education, and community, group, and individual services to men who date men in the Ottawa region. MAX Ottawa works with healthcare providers and champions equitable and improved healthcare and outcomes for men who are gay, bisexual, two-spirit, or queer, cis or trans.
Ottawa Senior Pride Network (OSPN) – Founded in 2008, the OSPN aims to create a community of 2SLGBTQ+ fifty years old and older that is strong and visible. In addition to offering community events and groups, the OSPN works to ensure that residences are safe and secure for older LBGTQ+ folks, and that care is inclusive and culturally appropriate.
Saefty Ottawa - Founded in 2017, SAEFTY is Ottawa’s only community run by and for trans and gender diverse youth. SAEFTY offers a variety of programs and activities, and advocates for improved healthcare for trans youth in Ottawa and beyond.
Rainbow Health Ontario – This organization offers training for healthcare providers across the province so that they may be more clinically and culturally competent in caring for members of the 2SLGBTQ+communities. Additionally, Rainbow Health Ontario produces evidence-based print and online resources to contribute a 2SLGBTQ+ perspective to public policy processes.
LGBT Youthline - Youthline offers confidential and non-judgmental peer support over the phone and via text or chat. Youthline also has also made a list of resources available across Ontario and Canada.
The ArQuives – Canada's LGBTQ+ Archive - Established to recover and preserve Canada’s 2SLGBTQ+ history, the ArQuives aims to acquire, preserve, organize, and give public access to information and materials in any medium, by and about 2SLGBTQ+ people, primarily produced in or concerning Canada. The ArQuives also maintains a research library, a collection of international files, and a collection of international 2SLGBTQ+ periodicals. Also available through the website are digital exhibitions.
The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity (CCDSG)- Originally known as the Jeremy Dias Scholarship Fund, given to students who actively worked combat homophobia and heterosexism in their high school, and later as Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative, the organization has been known by its current name since 2015. The change was made to highlight the focus on the national level of its activism. The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity works to empower and support gender diverse communities through education, advocacy, and research.
Egale.ca - This organization works to improve the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ people in Canada and around the world by informing public policy and working towards cultural change. This is done through research, education, and legal advocacy. The website contains many resources, including free webinars for professionals in various improve their services to the 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
We would be remiss in our duties as a library if we didn’t offer at least a few resources discussing books written by and about members of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities. This is not at all a comprehensive list of resources, but it is a good place start if you want to find 2SLGBTQ+ books and learn more about the literature and culture that has arisen from these communities. Happy Reading!
Lambda Literary - Lambda Literary advocates for 2SLGBTQ+ authors and their books and believes that 2SLGBTQ+ lives are affirmed when their stories are read. This organization awards yearly Lambda Literary Awards for literature written by and about members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities. In addition, the website provides links to resources offering a 2SLGBTQ+ perspectives on literature.
Mombian – A website that aims to support lesbian moms and other 2SLGBTQ+ parents, it contains a database of books related to parenting as a member of a 2SLGBTQ+ community, raising a child who is a member, and many more, both fiction and non-fiction. This database is keyword searchable and contains many recent books.
Ottawa Public Library - LGBTQIA+ Children and Teens – A list of recommended books, containing fiction and non-fiction titles for youth by and/or featuring trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.
Ottawa Public Library - LGBTQIA+ Adult Non- Fiction and Fiction - A list of recommended books, containing fiction and non-fiction titles for adults by and/or featuring trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.
Ottawa Public Library - Supporting Trans Youth / Soutien envers les jeunes trans – This list contains titles in both English and French, and fiction and non-fiction. These books provide a transgender perspective on growing up, advice for parents, and information for health and social service professionals who want to be clinically and culturally competent when caring for trans youth.
We need diverse books (WNDB) - WNDB is a non-profit organization which strives to ensure that all children and young people see can see themselves in books. While not specifically focused on the 2SLGBTQ+ community, WNDB has created programs to mentor writers and publishing professionals from many historically marginalized communities, as well as providing schools with diverse books. The website contains blog posts, author interviews, and a find-a-book feature that recommends a book based on a series of questions.
YA Pride - YA Pride believes that all teens should be able to see themselves reflected in books. This is especially important for 2SLGBTQ+ teens, who experience depression, hopelessness, and feelings of isolation at higher rates than their cisgender peers. This is a website dedicated to promoting and discussing 2SLGBTQ+ literature, and publishes quarterly issues related to this literary community. Issues contain book reviews, author interviews, guest posts, and more!