Chair of the Pride Committee at the YMCA of Greater Toronto
The YMCA has been a community pillar for over 170 years, providing equitable and top-quality programming to all who walk through its doors.
During Pride Month, the YMCA proudly celebrates the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and every shining colour of the rainbow. For those who are still striving for the acceptance many take for granted, the YMCA stands with you, and is committed to making sure you find a sense of belonging not only at the Y, but outside our walls.
As one of Canada’s largest charities serving more than 2 million people annually through our programs and services, the Y wants to make sure everyone has a chance to shine. Inclusion is one of our core values, and we work hard to make sure you experience it in all our programs. Across Canada, many YMCAs have programs designed to meet specific needs identified by 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, such as inclusive camp programs or programs for LGBTQIA+ newcomers.
Breaking down barriers
The YMCA of Greater Toronto has worked tirelessly to create spaces that are inclusive and diverse. “I’m constantly inspired by how we at the YMCA of Greater Toronto work toward identifying and removing systemic barriers to inclusion, and how our charity is committed to creating a sense of belonging both internally and more broadly, among participants and community members,” says Curt Pullan, Chair of the Pride Committee at the YMCA of Greater Toronto and a Director of its youth substance use program YSAP.
The YMCA of Greater Toronto offers programming supporting and promoting 2SLGBTQIA+ communities during Pride Month. This year that includes training sessions on genderism and heterosexism, and a session where educators learn how to best teach children about gender. It is also always working towards providing a safe and affirming space for all, like YMCA Sprott House — one of Canada’s first transitional houses for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.
YMCA Sprott House is just one of the youth shelters and outreach programs at the YMCA of Greater Toronto. The charity has even made an impact beyond Canadian borders through a partnership with the YMCA of Peru and TRANS Organización Feminista to implement TRANScendent Opportunities, a project funded by Equitas to sustain the fight for human rights of trans peoples in Peru.
“Our programming celebrates and realizes the potential in everyone,” says Pullan. “Helping them grow, lead, give back, and shine in their communities.”
About the YMCA
With over 1,500 locations across Canada, the YMCA is a charity that aims to spark potential — fostering growth, leadership, and opportunities to give back to communities. The YMCA provides various programs and services geared towards helping individuals at any stage of their life. Truly, there is something for everyone at the YMCA.
Best known for our health, fitness and swimming programs, we are also Canada’s largest provider of not-for-profit child care. We offer many programs for children and youth, through YMCA camp and youth engagement programs. Ys also offer programming that help job seekers connect to the labour market, newcomers settle in Canada and many other community initiatives that address issues identified in local areas.