YouthCO March Newsletter

Dear YouthCO Members,

It's already March and sunny! We feel super lucky not to be watching snow pile up outside like so many of our friends out east. Afternoon at the beach, anyone? #sorrynotsorry

Jumping right in to all the news, for any of the fantastic new volunteers who participated in Core Training last month, your certificates are ready for pick-up at the office when you have a chance to stop by. Congratulations!

1. News

New Staff Member: Yúusnewas Outreach Educator

We're thrilled to welcome Amber Bedard as our new Yúusnewas Outreach Educator! Feel free to say hello when you're in the office :) You can reach her


Here are a couple of interesting articles we've come across over the last little while:

Homelessness is one of the most common drivers of youth engagement in survival sex. This can increase vulnerability to HIV and decrease access to testing and/treatment.

"The real challenge of modern sex ed is teaching kids how to safely negotiate their way through today’s cultural and digital minefields..." YouthCO exists to help address these challenges! 

2. Upcoming Events

Speaking of the emerging intersections between being queer, experiencing homelessness and vulnerability to HIV, there's a free evening of film and discussion at the HUB (251 East 11th) featuring Under the Rainbow TOMORROW at 6pm.

Under The Rainbow: Queer Homelessness Film & Dialogue

Under the Rainbow is a short documentary featuring Shawnee Gaffney, a queer high school student facing family rejection, hunger, and homelessness. After being thrown out of home, she finds herself couch-surfing with strangers and living a life of daily insecurity and vulnerability. It is through Shawnee’s story of resilience, combined with insights from service providers and researchers, that we learn of the many root causes that contribute to the high incidence of poverty in queer and trans communities in BC. An inspiring film that provides hope for the future.

Speakers panel and dialogue will follow the screening, featuring representatives of BC Poverty Reduction, Coalition, RainCity Housing and other guests.  Admission is free. 

Please RSVP to

Mpowerment "The High Life"

Mpowerment continues its monthly open discussion night with a conversation about the drugs we see in our communities, including booze, pot, coke, and prescription drugs. We will be exploring the High Life campaign that HIM & YouthCO put together. March 10th, 6:30-9:30pm

Check out the website at 

Mpowerment St. Patrick's Day Party

Mpowerment invites you and your friends to celebrate St. Patricks Day with us! Join us for an evening of food, friends and fabulous times instead of, or on your way to, the bars.March 17th, 7-10pm

Yúusnewas Run Club

Yúusnewas Run Club is still happening! Here's a link to the Facebook page so you can keep up with updates. The club is open to everyone at all skill levels. 

Squamish Safe and Sound

Safe 'n Sound Squamish - a newly created LGBTQ+/straight allies organization in Squamish, BC - is OFFICIAL now with a brand new website and Twitter account. Please check it out at:

There will be a conference on May 9th, 9am-5pm: Someone Like Me

3. Job & Volunteer Opportunities

Acts of Greatness is pleased to announce the official launch of Greatness magazine. The first issue will be available online in May 2015.

Greatness will showcase the freshest art and writing by, for, and about LGBTQ – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer – youth. Greatness invites youth from around the world who identify as LGBTQ to write and create art about the world around them: their dreams, their activism, their work, their worries, their interests, and their humour. 

Greatness welcomes all genres of artwork and writing – including but not limited to nonfiction, essays, memoirs, poetry, short stories, travelogues, flash-fiction, advice, interviews or reviews (books, plays, TV shows, and movies), photography, illustrations – either by or about LGBTQ youth. This call for first-issue submissions is open untilMarch 31, 2015.

Readers will be able to access the magazine’s content at in May 2015. This link will direct them to the new magazine tab on Acts of Greatness’ website. On social media, Acts of Greatness will also use their existing social media accounts to share content and news specific Greatness. 

For more information or interview requests, please contact: Yiorgos Boudouris at

That's all for this newsletter! Until next time,



YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!