STARPHOENIX: LGBTQ2+ community in Saskatoon connects in new ways during COVID-19

LGBTQ2+ people in Saskatoon are finding new ways to connect with community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing socioeconomic and health care inequities for these populations, heightening the need to provide services and supports.

“We already know that the 2SLGBTQ population experiences disproportionately higher rates of violence in all sectors,” said Jess Fisher, OUTSaskatoon’s gender based violence education coordinator. “With the happening of COVID, it increases health and economic risks, it increases mental health issues.”

Social isolation can have detrimental mental health effects for gender and sexually diverse people stuck at home in situations that may not be affirming for them, Fisher said.

That’s especially true for older adults and youth, for whom community support can be vital.

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USask alumni at OUTSaskatoon use education as a tool to spark systemic change

For nearly 30 years, OUTSaskatoon’s locations had discrete entrances. The centre was located in other buildings, sometimes behind unmarked doors.

University of Saskatchewan (USask) alumna Dr. Rachel Loewen Walker (BA’06, MA’08), OUTSaskatoon’s executive director, said that discretion was necessary.

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Global News: Saskatoon City Council Votes to Ban Conversion Therapy as Business Activity

Even with federal legislation in the works to criminalize conversion therapy, Saskatoon city council has voted to ban the practice as a business activity.

Conversion therapy is the widely-discredited practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s often carried out under the facade of religious therapy and can include spiritual or psychological tactics.


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OUTSaskatoon's Executive Director Announces Farewell

March 10, 2020

Dear friends and community partners,

On behalf of OUTSaskatoon’s board of directors I am writing to share news of a big change on the horizon. After more than six years with OUTSaskatoon, we are sad to announce that on July 1st, 2020, our Executive Director, Rachel Loewen Walker will be moving on to her next adventure.

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Pride Home opened its doors to Hunter Thompson at the perfect time.

Thompson, now 22, was in rehab and had lost his living situation in Moose Jaw. He needed a supportive environment and moving back home wasn’t an option.

His case worker found Pride Home, Canada’s first long-term group home for LGBTQ2+ youth, and Thompson was able to move into a home where he felt safe.

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CTV News: 'It does so much harm': Saskatoon church wants city to ban conversion therapy

A local church wants the City of Saskatoon to ban the practice of conversion therapy.

In a letter to the Governance and Priorities Committee, the Grosvenor Park United Church says conversion therapy is “abhorrent” and calls its consequences “devastating.”

Conversion therapy seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity often through religious counselling.

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Bridges: Sara Dungavell breaks down barriers to inclusive care

With her LGBTQ2+ patients, working out of OUTSaskatoon is an easy way to say “I’m safe.” It’s also a way to create an implicit understanding that gender identity and sexuality are open subjects.

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STARPHOENIX: OUTSaskatoon Moves Into New Building, Expands Clinical Space

The organization finished moving into its new two-storey building at 213 Avenue C South earlier this month and reopened on August 26.

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STARPHOENIX: OUTSaskatoon's Two Spirit camp forms connections with culture

OUT on the Land is culture camp affirming Two Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ2+ people in all aspects of their identity.

That’s the message behind OUTSaskatoon’s intergenerational Two Spirit culture camp.

Drawing on teachings around gender as a fluid concept, the OUT on the Land camp aims to provide a welcoming space for Two Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ people.

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