Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia Across Ontario
Soumise par :
Planned Parenthood Toronto
36B Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto
Idée créée le:
le 3 octobre, 2011
Petit budget (Jusqu'à 50 000 $)
“I am quite glad that you guys have ‘come out’. From you guys taking the step, we are able to learn a lot. I hope you continue to teach.”
“My mom is bisexual and will be getting married to a woman this summer. I just wanted to say thanks for telling your story to the class.”
“In today’s workshop I learned that just because someone is different doesn't mean they should be treated differently.”
-Quotes from T.E.A.C.H. workshop participants.
Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia (T.E.A.C.H.), a program of Planned Parenthood Toronto, trains dynamic youth Peer Facilitators between the ages of 16-23 to provide peer-led anti-homophobia workshops for other youth in schools and community settings. Every year T.E.A.C.H. Peer Facilitators provide over 160 workshops, reaching over 4000 youth in Toronto. T.E.A.C.H. workshops inspire participants to think critically about homophobia in their communities and to create change.
This is much needed work: while the LGBTQ movement has made significant progress over the past several decades, homophobia is still a daily reality for most high school students. According to a recent survey of over 3700 high school students from across Canada, 70% of students hear homophobic language every day. The survey further reveals that 64% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual and queer (LGBTQ) youth feel unsafe in their schools, six out of ten are verbally harassed and more than one in five report being physically harassed or assaulted. (EGALE’s First National Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in Canadian Schools, 2011).
T.E.A.C.H. is working to change these numbers and create safer spaces in the classroom and beyond. 76% of participants report knowing a lot about homophobia after a T.E.A.C.H. workshop, compared to only 17% before the workshop. A staggering 58% of youth who experience a T.E.A.C.H. workshop say afterward that they’ll act differently from now, including changing their language or behavior, being more respectful of others, or intervening when they see homophobia. The T.E.A.C.H. program reduces stigma and creates safer environments for LGBTQ youth and others who are impacted by homophobic bullying and oppression.
Unfortunately, financial constraints mean that T.E.A.C.H.’s work is restricted to the Toronto area. As is the case with many programs designed to support LGBTQ youth and address homophobia, youth in smaller cities and rural areas simply do not have access. These youth experience the same homophobic language and harassment as those in urban centres, but without the same access to support. We want to change this. A grant from the Aviva Community Fund would allow the staff and Peer Facilitators of T.E.A.C.H. to work with youth in areas outside of Toronto to develop their own peer-led anti-homophobia initiatives. Travelling to youth groups in schools and community settings, we will train youth to be anti-homophobia educators in their own communities. Training will include in topics such as public speaking, workshop facilitation, anti-oppression, conflict resolution and storytelling. Youth will be able to learn from the experience and expertise of T.E.A.C.H., while sharing their knowledge of their own communities. This training will provide the tools and training necessary to facilitate workshops, create resources and effectively confront homophobia. By training youth to work within their own communities, we can ensure that anti-homophobia education is relevant, sustainable and available to all.