Making the Annapolis Valley a better place for LGBTQ youth and our allies

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Welcome!  Below you’ll find news and events about the Valley Youth Project, an organization dedicated to connecting LGBTQ youth and our allies across the Annapolis Valley.  If you’re new, you might want to read more about who we are and why we’re here.

NEW MINAS CONVERSATION RESCHEDULED
Update from The Youth Engagement Team for the Sexual Violence Strategy
—————————————————————————————
The staff of HeartWood and Leaders Of Today are deeply saddened at the loss of an incredible champion for youth in our community, Leighann Wichman, our colleague and our friend.

Leighann was a founding member of The Youth Project and it’s only Executive Director. Her strong quiet guidance, steadfast dedication and the incredible depth of care she gave made her one of the most influential advocates for the LGBTQ community in Nova Scotia and beyond. The impact of Leighann’s personal and professional life will forever ripple out; she has saved lives, changed attitudes and built bridges of support, love and solidarity.

Leighann’s passing is a loss of enormous proportion felt deeply by those whose lives she touched. Our little team is made up of but a few of the very many mourning the loss of such an incredible community hero.

Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out especially to Leighann’s family, closest friends, and The Youth Project.

In respect of this news, we are rescheduling the LGBTQ youth conversation in New Minas from Tuesday, October 21st to Friday, December 12th. We believe it is important to make as much room as we can for the community to support one another during this difficult time.

We appreciate all of your compassion and understanding with regards to this decision. All other conversations across the province will proceed as scheduled and we are available to answer any questions folks may have.

Warmly,
Bri, Tamsyn, Louise and Rena

Oct. 15 Drop In: Games

ping_pong_paddles We’re breaking out the games again at our next Drop In on October 15, 2014. It will be players choice – ping pong, foosball, or board games. If you have a favourite game you want to play, bring it along.

Drop In  runs from 6:30 – 8:30, and you can come and go at any time during then.  We’re in room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex at 9489 Commercial St. in New Minas.  Follow the signs to the door with the rainbow flag.

We welcome  all queer youth 25 years and younger, and your friends.   You don’t have to self-identify. There is no membership to sign up to. Just show up.

We have snacks.

If you’re planning ahead, the dates for the next few Drop Ins are November 5, November 19, December 3 and December 17.

Update Oct 16:

Youth 19 and over no longer need to attend with an adult supporter.  Some dates have changed.  See the details at the Heartwood website.

poster

How should our communities be responding to sexual violence?  How should we be preventing it?  The Government of NS is asking young people around the province to bring their ideas to a series of conversations happening over the next two months.

Here in New Minas, they will be hosting a conversation for GLBTQ+ youth on October 21st.

Have something to say?  Want to make sure young people’s stories and experiences are represented?  Check out the information below.

Are you an adult ally to GLBTQ+ youth?  You can help spread the word by passing this info along to youth who might want to participate, putting up a poster (below), joining the conversation as the community support worker, or making yourself available as a support person to a youth participant.

Conversations are happening in many communities around the province, and you don’t have to go to the one nearest you.  Each one has a different theme, and people are welcome to attend the one that best suits them.  There are conversations specifically for young people who identify as men or women, Aboriginal youth, youth who are immigrants or refugees, African Nova Scotian youth and youth from racialized communities, as well as regional conversations for youth from the eastern, western, northern, and central regions of the province (see below for map).

Details

  • What: Conversation about NS Sexual Violence Strategy
  • Who: GLBTQ+ youth, 14-25 years old
  • When: Tuesday, October 21, 10 AM – 3 PM
  • Where: New Minas, venue TBA
  • Contact: Briana Miller
  • Email: millerbz@gov.ns.ca
  • Phone: (902) 233-2679

Registration

Registration is free; you only need to RSVP.  Some subsidies are available for travel, and possibly for childcare (details are still being finalized); you can get more information from Briana.

Because of the possibly heavy and sensitive topic, youth 18 and under must attend with an adult that they trust and have a professional relationship with.  The adult will not be in the room during the consultation, but must be available throughout the day. If you would like one of the Youth Project volunteers to be your adult supporter, please let us know and we will try to support as many youth as possible.

Registration forms and details are available on the Heartwood website.

Are You a Community Support Worker?

Organizers are also calling for a community support worker to attend each conversation.  There is a stipend available; experience supporting people who have experienced sexual violence is an asset but not required.  For more information, see the Heartwood website.

 Map of Youth Engagement Conversations

Map-Oct10

Oct. 1 Drop In: Get Physical

Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour2Are you thinking about getting stronger, stretching out, burning some calories, doing some cardio or just  getting a bit more active so you’ll feel better? Join us at our next Drop In on Wednesday October 1. Our volunteer Tim will share his several years experience of instructing group fitness to give some guidance on how you can keep your body moving the way you want it to. We’ll talk about body awareness, review basic anatomy and demonstrate and practice some exercises that you might  like to try.   Whether you’re looking to better your game, or just getting used to your changing body, we can help you figure out what to do. This won’t be a full on work out session, but if you want to practice some exercises, wear clothing that is comfortable to move in.

Drop In happens Wednesday October 1,  6:30 to 8:30 pm, in room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex at 9489 Commercial St., New Minas. If you’ve not been before, once in the building follow the VYP signs to the room with the rainbow flag on the door. We’ll have refreshments to keep you energized.

Sept. 17: Drop In Returns

Pride Salad

The salad days of Summer are waning… which means Drop In returns.  We are back to our regular schedule of the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, beginning on September 17.

Hopefully we’ll see some familiar faces and welcome some new ones. We’ll take the time to share our stories of  Summer vacations, pride parades, camping out, new jobs, back to school and whatever else is happening that you would like to share.  It’s also a safe space to try out your new wardrobe style, or get used to using a different name.  Perhaps a game of Foosball or air hockey might break out.

Drop In runs from 6:30 – 8:30 PM, in Room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex, 9489 Commercial St., New Minas.  It’s a relaxed social space and we provide snacks and refreshments. If you need to know more about the VYP, check out the “New Here” tab above.  We hope to see there!

Can you lend a hand?

We could use some volunteers to help with a fundraising project.

Mr. B’s Tees is producing Tie Dye T-Shirts and rainbow coloured wrist bands for sale at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market  “Pride at the Market” event of July 23. Mr. B’s Tees has generously offered to donate a portion of their sales profits of these items to the Valley Youth Project. They could use some volunteer help producing the T-shirts and bracelets before the Pride Market. You don’t need any experience to help out. The team at Mr. B’s will teach you how to make the items in cooperation with their employees.

If you are able to help out, you can make arrangements by calling Tara Steadman at 582-1280, during their office hours of 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday – Friday, before July 23.

Mr. B’s Tees is located in Canning and works in partnership with CAPRE, an organization that helps adults with intellectual disabilities to operate their own business. Find out more at their websites www.mrbe.ca and www.capre.org.  The VYP is excited about this opportunity to cooperate with Mr. B’s Tees and CAPRE.

Aaaannnnnd… if you’re still looking for more after the Wolfville Pride Events, there are all kinds of things happening in Halifax.

Sadly, unlike in previous years, the Valley Youth Project will not be providing transportation to the parade!  This year, our volunteers have scheduling conflicts, so we won’t be organizing a van.  HOWEVER!  The Halifax Youth Project is decorating a float, and all youth 25 and under and invited to take part. If you want to ride the float or dance your way through the parade in style with other YP kindred spirits, meet at the Halifax office (2281 Brunswick) at noon on July 26, OR head to the marshalling area and hop on there.  You’ll see them… it will say “Youth Project” on the side in big letters.

Want to connect with other Valley youth to meet up, or carpool?  Use the VYP Facebook page to keep in touch.

 

Halifax pride logoThe Halifax Pride committee is organizing all kinds of events.   Their calendar includes:

 

  • Flag Raising and Mayor’s Reception
  • 4-night Theatre Festival
  • Drag Queen Bingo
  • Dog Show
  • Trans Connect’s All-Bodies Swim
  • Dykes vs. Divas Softball Game
  • Comedy Shows
  • International Vigil in support of GLBTQ rights worldwide
  • Noon-time lectures on trans identities, James Baldwin, queer story-telling, and “How Not to Be Offended”
  • Youth Dance
  • Parade and Community Fair
  • Dyke and Trans March
  • Family Picnic

 

Rad pride logoIf you like your Pride with a little more politics, check out Rad Pride Halifax (“Keep Loving, Keep Fighting”):

  • Glamboree Kick-Off Party
  • Head, Heart and Health of Queers Art Show
  • Skillshares including yoga, massage, haircuts and facials, meditation, empathic  listening, and non-violent communication
  • Peep Show: Queer and Feminist Porn Screening (18+ only)
  • Queer and Trans Self-Defense
  • Dyke and Trans Material Making Pary
  • Discussions: No Pride in Apartheid; Resistance to the Neoliberal Queer
  • Zine Launch Party: Baristas Rise Up
  • Queer Speed Dating
  • Bash Back! Queercore show
  • Full Moon Dance Party
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