Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line

The Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line is a service provided for youth, by youth, that affirms the experiences and aspirations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, queer and questioning youth in Ontario. We provide confidential and anonymous peer support, information and referral services through telephone, text, email and online chat. We promote queer-positivity and self-acceptance. The Youth Line also conducts outreach in schools, and with community and grassroots organizations to reach LGBTQ youth and the people who work with them.

Our Impact Why We Exist

The LGBT Youth Line exists to help youth who are under 26 and who live anywhere in Ontario by affirming their experiences and aspirations relating to their gender and sexual identities.  We ourselves are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit and/or queer - so while we may not have all the answers, we can usually relate, and we do our best to help everyone find the resources they need. We seek to do so in a sex-positive and non-judgemental manner. 

Ultimately, we aspire to help create communities in which all youth can express their diverse sexual and gender identities without compromise or fear.

Our Story What We Do

LGBT Youth Line began as an idea in 1993, when a group - mostly youth and a few adults - envisioned an Ontario-wide telephone support service for LGBTT2QQ youth.  In May of 1994, our phone lines opened serviced entirely by volunteers in the LGBTT2QQ youth community, as they are to this day.  Since September 1995, we have been a registered non-profit organization.  Currently, we operate with two full-time staff, several part-time staff, a board of directors, and many volunteers.

Our Programs How We Do It

Our Programs:

Help Line Service

We provide confidential peer support,information and referral services through telephone, text, email and online chat. Our service is available six nights a week (weekdays and Sundays) from 4:00-9:30 pm.  For youth and by youth, our service seeks to affirm the experiences and aspirations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit,queer, intersex and questioning youth all over Ontario.  We are constantly seeking to make our help line more accessible to best serve the diverse communities that rely on us.  

Building the Net

A LGBT Youth Line pilot project, the objectives of Building the Net are to provide after-school groups with peer support and self-expression curriculum; to train youth to run peer support groups; and to coordinate and improve the capacity of 6 schools and 6 community groups to support and serve LGBT youth.

Outreach and Capacity-Building 

Youth Line conducts outreach in schools, with community and grassroots organizations, and health care and social service providers across Ontario to reach LGBTT2QQ youth and those working with them. Through this outreach, we aim to provide information about our services to all those who would benefit from them, hear the specific challenges, concerns and needs facing LGBTT2QQ youth today, and assist service-providers in giving the best possible support to LGBTT2QQ youth.

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A quote from one of our participants: 

"In the past, I struggled with my sexual orientation - I didn't know if it was okay to be attracted to the same sex. I had to contact the helpline through relay services in English. I am fortunate to be fluent in English as many deaf* people's first language is American Sign Language (ASL). I really needed to talk to someone, and Youth Line was there for me. Listening and affirming my same sex attraction has helped me to gain the courage I needed to face the world." 

- Rain 

Toronto's Vital Signs® Report Quote

“The percentage of city youth 12-19 who report a strong sense of belonging to their local community has been growing in recent years, but decreased by 8% from 2012 to 2013 (from 85.5% to 78.7%)”

Youth Line has recieved a 2015 Vital Ideas Grant to expand their programming to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing youth.

We hear from Deaf/HoH youth and youth with disabilities that they struggle finding volunteer opportunities to build a sense of belonging and develop leadership skills to ground their professional and personal development. LGBT youth express the same sense of frustration with lack of opportunities for social and personal development and improving employment readiness.  The Vital Ideas grant will enable youth to have the agency to choose their paths.

What You Can Do

LGBT Youth Line is always looking for support from the community!  

If you are interested in supporting us, please consider:

1) Giving a donation

-to give a one-time donation, please click here

-to give a monthly donation, please click here

2) Organizing a 3rd party fundraising event

If you are interested in hosting an event with proceeds going to the LGBT Youth Line, please e-mail jeffmcooke@gmail.com. For more information, please see our Third Party Event Proposal form and Third Party Event Agreement form 

3) Sponsoring an LGBT Youth Line program

If you are interested in sponsoring a specific program or function of LGBT Youth Line, please e-mail ed@youthline.ca

4) Leaving a bequest

To leave a gift to LGBT Youth Line in your will, please e-mail ed@youthline.ca.  For more information, please also see our FAQs on planned giving.  

5) Volunteering

If you identify as LGBTT2QQ and are under 26, you are elegible to volunteer on our help line.  For more information, please email volunteer@youthline.ca 

6) Becoming a member

if you are interested in becoming a member of the LGBT Youth Line, please e-mail ed@youthline.ca

Thank you ! 

Contact

N. Gitanjali Lena
Executive Director
416.962.2232 x224
Charitable Number: 897564951RR0001

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