“I am passionate about making YESS as safe and as inclusive as it can be for the queer and trans youth who walk through our doors. It is important for these youth to feel like they have access to compassionate and supportive staff as they discover their identity, sometimes for the first time in a judgement-free environment. Doing my best to offer that space consistently inspires me. There are no words to describe the feeling of making someone comfortable enough to be themselves!”
Emilie was included in the 2019 Top 30 Under 30: The Gender Equality Edition by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation for her work with YESS, Comité Francoqueer de l’Ouest, and Francophonie Jeunesse de l’Alberta (FJA)
Being a safe support is one of the most important things we do for our youth.
How do we do that?
Our staff understand and are trained in 2SLGBTQ+ issues and offer non-judgmental relationship building.
All YESS program spaces are gender neutral, including washrooms and dorms. Gendered spaces can be difficult for youth in transition, and are also excluding to non-binary people. Removing barriers of gender wherever possible makes sense.
We have in-house programs for 2SLGBTQ+ youth and allies that provide spaces to be vulnerable and grow. We have a Mxn’s Group and Womxn’s Group that acknowledge the importance of gender identity and do not exclude trans people.