I Belong – LGBTQ Community Resources
I Belong aims to support LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) immigrant newcomers by facilitating discussions around sexuality, gender, race, culture, and class.
Often faced with being a ‘minority within a minority’, the I Belong program aims to support the unique needs of LGBTQ immigrants. LGBTQ immigrants face barriers ranging from racism, homophobia, transphobia and isolation, to logistical issues such as finding resources and support services, safe housing and employment.
The I Belong program aims to bridge this gap in understanding the unique needs of LGBTQ newcomers and to provide support by raising awareness and offering support groups.
Group and one-on-one services are delivered in English. Additional language support is available upon request.
The I Belong program offers a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ immigrants, refugees and newcomers to meet new people, share experiences and explore ways to make positive changes.
Transportation support is available for all programs.
To register for any of our I Belong programs, please email or call Zarghoona Wakil at 604-254-9626. Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm.
As long as you are happy does it matter who you fall in love with.Anonymous
I Belong Peer Support
Meet new people, make friends and participate in activities facilitated by LGBTQ volunteers. Our peer support group gives you a chance to learn about community resources, share experiences and information and build up your social connections. Our Peer Support group is open to LGBTQ newcomers, regardless of immigration status.
Peer support groups meet the second Monday of every month, 5:30-7:30pm. Please contact us for the details.
I Belong Group Counselling Support
Share your experiences with a registered clinical counsellor and explore opportunities to make positive changes in your life. Counselling sessions will address personal feelings, experiences, stress, trauma and the challenges of becoming part of a new community. Our counselling support is open to LGBTQ newcomers, regardless of immigration status.
The Counselling Support Group meets the last Monday of every month, 6:30-8:30pm. Please contact us for the details.
One-on-One Social Mentorship
LGBTQ immigrants can also participate in our Culture Connections Social Mentorship Program, to be paired up with a LGBTQ Social Mentor already integrated in the Vancouver community.
“I am very grateful that I am here, feel safe, feel accepted.”
“I’m also part of other gay community groups but I wish they can join I Belong to learn what we [refugees and newcomers] go through. The needs of refugees are totally different.”
“[I Belong’s] One to One counselling really helped me to go through what I went through.”
“I feel so grateful that I found I Belong.”
“We share funny stories, sad stories and that’s how we connect.”
“I feel my life is so richer by hearing all stories, I Belong is a very sincere group.”
“I’ve never been so happy before I came to I Belong, I am happy to be happy, it’s like friends and family.”
“I am part of other groups too, but I Belong is really unique… I Belong is about people meeting people.”
“It is accepting and inclusive.”
“It is a common space for LGBTQ refugees who have unique needs.”
“Finding people in similar situations and being mentored, even just for simple things like finding a barber….that was a great help.”
“we can share experiences and different stories.”
“I can connect with other LGBTQ people.”
“Learning about things and finding a community made me feel much better.”
“One-on-one counselling sessions were really helpful, because sometimes you want to talk alone.”
“Everything is good. No need to change.”
|CBC The Early Edition||July 31, starts around 120:00:00 onwards||July 31, 2014|
|The Source||New project aimed at accommodating LGBTQ newcomers||October 7, 2014|
|CBC The Early Edition||October 27, 1:21:00 onwards||October 27, 2014|
|Vancouver 24 hrs||LGBTQ immigrants ‘minority within a minority’||January 26, 2015|
|The Georgia Straight||LGBT in B.C.: Project addresses gaps between Vancouver’s LGBT and immigrant groups||February 16, 2015|
|Vancouver Co-op Radio||Gender Queeries, April 16, 12:38:00 to 28:03:00||April 16, 2015|
|Daily Xtra||Needs of LGBT immigrants ‘quite unique,’ says MOSAIC report||May 5, 2015|
|Vancouver 24 hrs||LGBT immigrants’ needs unmet: report||May 6, 2015|
• 2015 AMSSA Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award
• LGBTQ Immigrant Newcomers Community Dialogue Report (2015)
• News mentions: LGBTQ immigrants ‘minority within a minority’ (24 Hours, January 2015),
Increasing the visibility of and addressing issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in a variety of linguistic and cultural communities.
SASC Sexual Assault Support Centre
Free and confidential support for women, men and trans survivors of sexual assault.
Phone: 604 827 5180
Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre
B.C.’s information source for children, youth and families.
Phone: 604 875 2084
Saige Community Food Bank
A transgender and gender-variant safe space open to all. Food bank where no ID, proof of housing or income is needed at Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, 2425 Oxford Street, Vancouver.
Prism is Vancouver Coastal Health’s education, information and referral program for the LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer and two spirit) communities, providing workshops and training for service providers, community members, students and service users on inclusion, diversity and promoting health and wellness for the LGBTQ2S communities.
Phone: 604 685 1214
firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vch.ca/prism, www.prismcop.ning.com
Human Rights for Trans People in BC
Barbara Findlay Q.C. provides educational material that supports trans people in navigating the process of filing a human rights complaint in B.C. Check out “A booklet in the Out/Law series.”
QMUNITY is BC’s queer resource centre – the hub for the lesbian, gay, trans*, bi and queer community program, training and advocacy.
Health Initiative for Men (HIM)
HIM is community-based organization dedicated to strengthening the health and well-being of gay men.
The Crisis Centre
The Crisis Centre provides emotional support to youth, adults and seniors in distress. As a safe place to turn when there seems to be no hope. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 604 872 3311
Rainbow Refugee Canada
Rainbow Refugee Committee (RRC) is a Vancouver based community group that supports and advocates with people seeking refugee protection because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status
Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion
In & Out: Diverging Perspectives on LGBTQ Inclusion in the Workplace
I Belong is made possible through the funding of the Foundation of Hope and in-kind support by MOSAIC.