Back to School!, By Washington Silk

Back to School!

OK2BME hopes your school year is going well so far and we wanted to share a couple of items to help make it even better.

Resources for teachers and GSA leaders to successfully support students to start 2019 off right!

  • Save the date! Our 10th Annual GSA Conference will be Feb 26th at Bingeman’s Conference Centre for Grade 7-12 Students. More details to come. This will be our biggest and best year yet, celebrating our 10th
  • At the GSA Conference again, Toyota Motor Manufacturing will be providing three $500 scholarships and Stantec will be providing a $1500 STEM award. Please keep these in mind as you go.

The Leadership Award ($500)
A student from any grade who strives for courage, and boldness, and acknowledges and learns from their mistakes. They are responsible and committed to the GSA. They have taken on a leadership role with one or more initiatives in their GSA.

The Junior Leadership Award ($500)
A grade 7 or 8 student who has shown that they are a strong member in their GSA and that they are invested in LGBTQ2+ equality. They have helped with one or more initiatives in their GSA.

The Diversity Champion Award ($500)
A student from any grade who actively works to make their GSA inclusive to all sexual, gender, racial and religious identities.

STEM Stantec Award ($1500)
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Stantec where one student will receive a $1500 scholarship for STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Match) related activities. More details to follow.


  • We scoured the internet for resources that teachers can use in their classrooms (K-12) or GSAs to help create inclusive lessons plans, and we created a new page on our site that lists them all! Resources for Schools and Classrooms
  • Not sure how to get your GSA rocking this year? Here are 11 ideas to help make your GSA a success!
  • October 8th we are providing free training for educators and GSA leaders about how to create inclusive classrooms. You can sign up here.
  • OK2BME has 2-3 spots a month where we can come out and talk to your GSA. The topics are flexible and include, Coming Out, Making your School More Inclusive, etc.). We can also come out to your classroom to deliver a lesson on LGBTQ2+ inclusion, ally ship and anti-bullying. To request an education session please email, with information about your grade, times available and your goals for the training. Please reach out to us at least three weeks in advance.
  • We are also available to come to your meetings and talk with your education team about key practices to support LGBTQ2+ Inclusivity in schools.



Upcoming Exciting Opportunities for LGBTQ2+ Youth in Waterloo Region

  • Tuesday September 24th OK2BME 4th Annual Swim Night. OK2BME in partnership with the Forest Heights Pool has an LGBTQ2+ Inclusive Swim Night. We have the whole pool to ourselves and youth can use whatever change room feels best to them.
  • Tuesday September 10th we are having an open house for our leadership youth group (Ages 15-18) who want to work on leadership projects to help make Waterloo Region a vibrant and inclusive space for everyone.
  • GSA Squad Unite! If you know a young person who would like to help plan next year GSA Conference they can join the GSA Squad. September 17th at KW Counselling is our first open house night for members to sign up!
  • Calling all Queens, Kings and Gentlethems! The OK2BME Halloween LGBTQ2+ and Allyship Youth Dance at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts will take place on October 26th!
  • Don’t forget we have ongoing biweekly youth groups for LGBTQ2+ Youth and Allies in Kitchener and Cambridge (Ages 12-19). You can visit our calendar any time for more information.
  • Youth 16-20 who are a part of the Ontario Public School System can attend an upcoming focus group to provide feedback about the sex-ed curriculum and receive $75 for their participation. The focus group is Sept 18th from 5:30-8:30. Please email or visit for more information.


Resources to Support Students’ Well being

OK2BME can provide no cost online and in person counselling. If your student would like to be referred to our no cost video counselling (which they may be able to access while at school) please contact your social worker.

If a student would like to access no cost counselling at KW Counselling Services they just need to complete our online intake form or call 519.884.0000 and speak with our intake team.  They can also access no cost video counselling outside of school this way.  We also have a Walk in Counselling Clinic every Thursday from noon-6pm.  There is no cost for OK2BME services for LGBTQ2+ identified youth aged 5-29.

LGBT Youth Line
Youth Line offers confidential and non-judgemental peer support through our telephone, text and chat services. Get in touch with a peer support volunteer from Sunday to Friday, 4:00PM to 9:30 PM.
Call: 1.800.268.9688

Other Cool Opportunities:

Are you 14-29 years old? Do you identify as LGBTQ+, and live in Ontario, Canada? Do you identify with one or more of the following experiences?

  1. Identify as trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary
  2. Have experience with foster care, child welfare, Children’s Aid Society, group homes, or kinship care
  3. Are a Newcomer to Canada
  4. Have experience with homelessness, couch-surfing, living in a shelter/hostel, or street-involvement

Participate in QueerVIEW! You don’t need to be a photographer to share your story through photos! QueerVIEW is a study using photos of experiences of queer youth.

It involves:

  1. A quick online survey to qualify
  2. Submitting 10-15 photos from your phone/camera
  3. An interview (online or in Toronto)
  4. Receiving a $25 gift card after the interview!