Did you know that we have a specific counselor at CSHC that works with LGBTQ+ youth and their families?

We know that for youth who are coming out as gender or sexual diverse, the most important factor for feeling safe and accepted is family support, or natural supporters. A natural support is someone who is unpaid and who loves and supports the youth for who they are. It is well known that sexual and gender minority youth across Canada are at high risk of experiencing homelessness, one of the main reasons for that is fear of, or actual family rejection of the youths gender and/or sexual identity.

Our natural supports worker is available to:

  • Connect with any sexual and gender minority youth who wishes to work on exploring or developing their natural supports.
  • Help sexual and gender minority youth who are experiencing a form of family rejection to explore their hopes, goals and needs in relation to their relationships with natural supports.
  • Support sexual and gender minority youth in their coming out process.
  • Help sexual and gender minority youth and families come together, grow their understanding of each other and resolve misunderstandings or conflicts.
  • Support families in better understanding their youth’s identity and help them overcome fears.
  • Help sexual and gender minority youth who are experiencing family rejection to identify people in their lives who they can count on for support.
  • Help connect youth and families to other appropriate services if needed.

For more information or to make a referral please contact Lee Allard at lallard@calgarysexualhealth.ca or call (403) 283-5580 Ext. 333 – Self-referrals from youth are welcome.


The Enhancing Supports for LGBTQ Youth program is part of a larger initiative simply called “Enhancing Supports”. The Enhancing Supports program as a whole is a United Way-funded Learning Initiative facilitated by a Developmental Evaluator that seeks to draw out learnings about how the vulnerable youth service sector can become better at activating natural supports in youth’s lives.

The Enhancing Supports for LGBTQ youth component of the program sees sexual and gender minority youth as a population which faces unique vulnerabilities as a result of their sexual or gender identities. It is well known that sexual and gender minority youth across Canada are overrepresented in the homeless population and the main reason for this is due to family members rejecting their children’s/siblings’ identities. The program therefore seeks to learn about the particularities of this population in regards to their needs for natural supports.

Learnings are drawn from individual direct service work with youth.