The Resist Stigma Story

The Resist Stigma Story

By Keith Reynolds | May 23 2017
Resist Stigma Team Photo

Stigma is a strong social power that keeps people out and young gay, bisexual, queer, 2-spirit (GBQ2S) trans and cis guys have been the targets of stigma for too long. Stigma makes us feel ashamed of our identities, our bodies, our attractions, and the ways in which we express ourselves. In early 2015, the CBRC received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada to conduct a youth-led campaign to fight stigma, and Resist Stigma was born. This 2-year project was created to empower young GBQ2S guys all across Canada to tell their stories about stigma. GBQ2S youth and youth-led groups were invited to apply for funding from Resist Stigma to create digital media projects that talked about stigma and the many ways it affects the lives and experiences for GBQ2S youth. The funded projects were shared through social media outlets across the country in order to foster a national dialogue about stigma facing young GBQ2S guys and the ways we can work together to resist.

Olivier Ferlatte took on a 1-year role as Director for the Resist Stigma project, and assembled a Steering Committee of representatives from various HIV- and youth-serving organizations from across Canada. Keith Reynolds later joined the team and became a primary coordinator for the project. Aidan was hired on as the Youth Outreach Coordinator to help recruit Canadian youth for the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC). The YAC provided a necessary, national youth perspective to the project and its activities, while taking on the difficult task of choosing the lucky applicants who would receive project funding. The Steering Committee and YAC have met altogether twice throughout the project at meetings held concurrent with the Gay Men’s Health Summit, an annual forum for identifying and addressing issues in HIV prevention and gay men’s health. These meetings were essential in helping to guide our process and build our team dynamic.

In addition to supporting these projects about stigma, we’ve engaged with local youth in cities across Canada. The project has hosted a variety of events, from reading groups in Toronto and World Café discussion groups in Montreal to project viewing parties in Halifax and Edmonton.

This webpage is a compilation of all of the tools and resources we’ve developed over the past two years. Whether you’re a frontline service provider, a program manager, or a researcher interested in HIV, LGBTQ issues, or youth issues, we hope you find the usefulness of these products in your work to fight stigma!

Resist Stigma Projects:

These seven digital media projects address a variety of forms of stigma facing young GBQ2S guys in Canada. Each project is accessible online for free and can be used to address different forms of stigma in your local setting.

If you’re a planning an anti-stigma campaign, check out:

If you’d like to engage with local gay, bi, queer, or 2-Spirit cis and trans youth in conversations about stigma:

Programs and services for LGBTQ youth in Canada – highlights from an environmental scan

We conducted an environmental scan of programs and services for LGBTQ youth across Canada to get a. We were so amazed by all of the work being done around the country, including these highlights:

Media coverage of Resist Stigma:

Our team:

Steering Committee:

Youth Advisory Committee:

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