YCC Magazine

Vol.3 Issue 1

Issue link: http://digital.imedianorthside.com/i/995393

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Page 21 of 33

21 L GBTQ+ representation matters. It can lead to acceptance and understanding which leads to LGBTQ+ rights being met. That's why it's important that LGBTQ+ youth find support and resources close to home. When we give young people the power, they can change the world. It's also important for them to come together and support one another. The community of Whistler, British Columbia recognized a need for LGBTQ+ youth to meet, so in the Fall of 2014, a Diversity Club started at the Whistler Youth Centre. Eventually, the community saw another need; for a group that involved more than just youth. The Resort Municipality of Whistler started Alphabet Soup as a weekly program in the Summer of 2017. Alphabet Soup welcomes all LGBTQ+ individuals and their families and friends. The program has become a resource for individuals of all age to find support in their community. Alphabet Soup provides a safe space for all LGBTQ+ youth and adults to show up, be themselves, make friendships, and build community; while sharing resources, stories, successes and challenges. The Whistler Youth Centre and the Whistler Public Library are both programs of the Resort Municipality of Whistler. They decided to partner together to plan and support Alphabet Soup. The local youth also assisted in the program planning, to branch off of their youth-only Diversity Club. The program presently runs on the 4th Wednesday of every month, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm most of the year. In July and August, the program runs from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The Whistler Youth Centre also runs a Teen Cafe on the second Wednesday of every month from 5:15 pm to 6:45 pm, which helps build the youth community and awareness for programs like Alphabet Soup. Notably, the famous words of anthropologist Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has" can describe the impact that programs like Alphabet Soup can have on a community. The supporters of Alphabet Soup work for inclusion for all, which is something everyone can learn from. They believe that the program is extremely important and needed in their community. They are teaching youth that gender and sexual orientation is only one part of who they are. It does not and should not limit them in their success. Alphabet Soup is inspiring youth to be who they want to be. The youth are learning a lot from the adults and vice versa! If you would like to learn more about the Whistler Youth Centre and their programs follow them on facebook @whistleryouthcentre.

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