November Newsletter

Nov. 3rd, 2020

Authored by: Youth Project

November Newsletter

Welcome to the Youth Project’s first monthly newsletter! We are hoping that by sharing monthly information, updates, and important upcoming events, we can stay connected to schools, workplaces, and businesses supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ youth while we continue to operate virtually during COVID-19 restrictions. Please forward this newsletter and this sign-up link to youth, peers, and colleagues that would benefit from this information.

The Youth Project’s mission is to make Nova Scotia a safer, healthier, and happier place for 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, +) youth since being founded in 1993.

The Youth Project is a multiservice organization hosting an education team, programming team, and support services worker with an aim tofurther the inclusion and wellness of2SLGBTQIA+ under the age of 25,foster knowledge exchange and training, increase access to public services for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth while providing social and cultural programs, services and celebrations foryouth and theircommunities.Our team aims to work from an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, trauma-informed framework which centres youth voice and community leadership.

Current Staff


Executive Director – Carmel Farahbakhsh

Programming and Communications Coordinator – Skye Cross

Education and GSA Coordinator – Nik Basset

Resource Development and Graphic Outreach – Tobias Hayes

Support Services Educator – Maxie Janes

French Community Educator – Tiana Meralli Ballou

Creative Programming Facilitator- Teo Ferguson

Cape Breton

Cape Breton Coordinator – Madonna Doucette

Community Educator – Mitch Hill

Community Educator – Sefin Stefura

Incoming Board of Directors

It is with great excitement that we introduce our incoming Board of Directors. This all-star cast, with extensive knowledge and experience with finances, policy, the education system, and 2SLGBTQIA+ specific issues and barriers, includes:

Abbey Campbell, AC Silver, Aliya Jamal, Becky Welter-Nolan, Cameron DeBaie, Laura Whiteland, Maggie Armstrong, Rebecca Clancey, Ryan Nearing, Sally Wolchyn-Raab, Sarah Stevens, Veronica Gutierrez, and the Youth Board Co-Chairs.


Every month we offer our four core programs as well as at least one program a month that is led in partnership with a community leader or organization that we admire. Currently, the majority of our programs are happening virtually as we navigate rules and regulations around in-person programming. The schedule for this month is:

November 10th – Drop In

November 17th – Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) Tile Painting (see below for more information on this in-person program!)

November 18th – Transformers

November 24th – Non-Binary Hang

November 26th – Parents Night

November 28th-29th – Transformative Futures: GSA Conference

For more information about programming, or to register for our programs, please email To register for our GSA Conference, go to

Trans Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is a day observed annually on November 20th to memoralize those we have recently lost as a result of violent transphobia as well as commemorate trans histories and influencial trans people who have impacted local and international 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

Each year, the Youth Project nominates a few individuals or organizations that have done excellent work for the trans community to have a painted tile on our Trans Mosaic. This year, on Tuesday November 17th from 6-8 we will be offering an in-person tile painting event! To offer an in-person program safely, we ask that participants register in advance and wear a mask at all times — if you don’t have one, we can provide you with one. There will be hand sanitizer on site, and staff will ensure to sanitize surfaces before, during, and after the program. Please email to register for this event.

For educators, there are many ways for teachers and classrooms to respectfully and meaningfully observe Transgender Day of Remembrance. For example, consider holding a vigil in your classroom, where you light a candle (real or electric) and hold a moment of silence for the transgender individuals we have lost as a result of violent transphobia. Have a class discussion on gender identity and expression, transphobia, what it is, and how it exists in your classrooms, schools, and greater community. These initiatives can go a long way in dismantling the systems that promote anti-trans violence, no matter how small or insignificant the current level of transphobia in your school may seem. Engaging with students on these topics will help promote a healthy environment for youth to explore and experience their gender, ensuring that cisgender, transgender, Two-Spirit, and non-binary youth feel safe in their schools.


In partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, The Youth Project’s Education Team is offering free virtual classroom workshops for students as well as professional development and policy consultation for teachers, administrators, and faculty.

Additionally, We are currently in the process of developing resources for the public education system such as creating stop-motion animation videos that can be used to complement workshops and classroom discussions on gender and sexuality, aligning our work with the learning outcomes in the Healthly Living Public School Program Curriculum, creating a resource collection of 2SLGBTQIA+ books available through Book Bureau, and releasing infographics and zines on topics such as gender identity and expression, pride and queer liberation, consent and healthy relationships, etc.!

For other organizations, businesses, and workplaces we offer professional development and policy consultation for a small sliding-scale fee.

Workshop topics include: An Introduction to Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation, Supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community, Creating Inclusive, Equitable, and Affirming Spaces, Celebrating Workplace Diversity, and Building Safer Spaces & Disrupting Homophobia and Transphobia.

To inquire about workshops please email and they will send you a request form!

Gender and Sexuality Alliances

Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSA’s), are student-led groups that strive to make their schools safer and more accessible for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. The role of a GSA can be varied depending upon what the needs are in a specific school. They can be an important and affirming space for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to make friends, receive support, and cultivate a peer-to-peer learning environment. GSA’s can also encourage fundraising efforts for activities, or can look like an activism and awareness group that advocates for a more inclusive, safer school for 2SLGBTQIA+ students.

We are excited to announce that we have launched a website specifically for GSA support in Nova Scotia! At you will find information on how to start and facilitate a GSA, how to book a virtual GSA session with The Youth Project, resources and activities, and details for our upcoming GSA Conference!

Transformative Futures GSA Conference

We are excited to announce our 10th annual GSA Conference called “Transformative Futures” hosted virtually on November 28th and 29th (save the date!).

We are hoping that this year’s theme “Transformative Futures” will be a catalyst for exciting and thoughtful conversations around youth leadership, fighting for liberation, imagining resilient community care frameworks, and intentionally centering 2SQTBIPOC experience and knowledge systems.

Over the course of this two-day conference, youth and GSA facilitators will have the opportunity to hear from our keynote speaker, Jade Byard Peek, learn from an Anti-Oppression panel with speakers Kate Macdonald, Naomi Bird, Teo Ferguson, and Carmel Farahbakhsh, have the choice between 12 workshops over 4 workshop sessions, participate in our lunch-time performances and trivia game, and attend a Trans Social.

Workshops this year include: Queering Sexual Health, Creating Engaging GSA Support, Queerness and Faith, Youth in Action, Building Emotional Resiliency, Poetry Workshop, Ace in Your Face, Caring For Kin, Trans Logistics, Mapping Collective Access Through Community Care (Disability Justice), Drag for Beginners, and Exploring Two-Spirit Identities.

Please see our newly launched GSA website for more information and to register for the conference!

Fundraiser Raffle

We are currently in the planning stages of our annual fundraising event. Due to realities of social distancing, we are moving our Annual Brunch and Auction to an online fundraiser and raffle from December 7th to December 18th 2020.

Historically, our Auction Brunch has been our biggest fundraising event of the year, allowing us to raise funds to support our amazing summer camps, Camp Seahorse and Camp Coyote. These free annual summer camps are safer spaces for youth to feel free to express themselves, foster meaningful connections, explore their identities, and experience the magic of camp. Camp Seahorse and Camp Coyote are excitedly anticipated all year from our incredible youth. These spaces of creativity, arts, outside based learning, and 2SLGBTQIA+ community building is deeply formative and even life-changing for these young people.

Please stay tuned for more details on our website, social media @nsyouthproject, and our December Newsletter.

Cape Breton Update

The Cape Breton Youth Project has returned to work this fall to offer virtual classroom workshops and professional development, community engagement, and has a full slate of online support groups starting in November!

We are hosting:

November 5th – Parent and Family Support

November 10th – Trans and Non-Binary Hang Out

November 17th – Cape Breton GSA Hang Out (Junior High and High School Students)

November 25th – Young Adult and Senior Youth (Ages 16-26)

November 26th – Gender Creative Kids (Youth 12 and under with parent/guardian)

For more information about programs and workshops in Cape Breton, please contact Madonna Doucette at

Gender-Affirming Garments

The Youth Project offers free gender affirming garments such as binders, gaffs, and packers that can be mailed across the province in a discrete and undisclosed envelope. With every order, we include important wear and care information. To place an order, get more information, or donate gender affirming gear, please email

2SLGBTQIA+ Support

The Youth Project offers free one-on-one non-therapeutic counselling and support sessions to 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and parents of 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. For more information, or to book a session, please email or

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