6.1 The Black Queer Youth Initiative: Challenging Racism, Stigma & Exclusion

The Black Queer Youth (BQY) Initiative is a group for Black, African, Caribbean and multiracial youth, aged 29 and under, who also identify as LGBTQ2S. For over 16 years, BQY has been one of the only spaces exclusively for youth who are both Black and queer-identified in Canada, and has grown from a monthly group facilitated by Black queer community volunteers into a fully-fledged project of the Supporting Our Youth Program at the Sherbourne Health Centre in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Over these years, BQY youth and facilitators have devised a safe space for their community, where Black queer identities are celebrated and honoured while simultaneously facing the challenges of racism, stigma and exclusion—issues that have plagued the program’s participants and other Black queer youth from before BQY’s inception until today. This case study provides information on the BQY Initiative.

Alex Abramovich
Jama Shelton
Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness