The All Genders Youth Group within the CNH Youth Services are excited to share the display of an inclusive pride flag and a safe space sticker to the front windows of the CNH Main building on 5288 Joyce Street.
What is the All Genders Youth Group?
The All Genders Youth Group initiative is designed to provide 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and their allies with a safe, social, and supportive environment where they can deepen their understanding on relevant topics through conversations, workshops, and activities while making a tangible impact in their community through group-led community justice projects.
Why is this important to youth in the community?
To date, there are people in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community who are still being bullied and/or not accepted for showing who they truly are (e.g., parents of trans youth not supporting their children and their need for transition, youth not being able to share their feelings or their thoughts with friends/family who won’t understand, school not being a space where youth learn about the queer/nonbinary experience). In recognition of these challenges, the All Genders Youth Group came up with a unique design for a new safe space sticker and a window decal with the most current inclusive pride flag. This project is intended to be a visible and tangible show of solidarity to 2SLGBTQIA+ folks in the Renfrew-Collingwood area and will serve as a springboard towards further change and inclusivity within our organization and surrounding community.
A Very Brief History of Rainbow Flags
Similar to how crosses indicate a church building, rainbow flags have been used to signal a gathering place for 2SLGBTQ+ peoples, and are now regarded as a symbol for the community. There are many versions of the flag that have come to fruition (the first being by Gilbert Baker in 1978) and like the many letters that will continue to be added to the acronym, the flag will likely be revised in the future. The flag on the window is called the Intersex-Inclusive Pride Flag, which was brought forward by Valentino Vecchietti in 2021. This flag is springboarded off the Inclusive Pride Flag designed in 2018 by Daniel Quasar (a non-binary artist) to include the intersex pride flag, which was created back in 2013 by Morgan Carpenter. This design was chosen by the All Genders Youth Group as it covers not only sexual orientation, gender identities, and BIPOC folks, but also recognizes more progress is needed.
A Breakdown of the Flag’s Colour and Meaning:
• Red – life and passion
• Orange -healing
• Yellow – sunlight
• Green – nature
• Indigo – serenity
• Violet – spirit
Quasar spoke publicly about how work is still needed in terms of BIPOC and trans rights, and as such, the placement of the new colours in an arrow shape is meant to convey the progress still needed.
• Yellow background with the Purple Circle – the newest addition by Valentino Vecchietti. Added to the white part of the triangle, it now includes the symbol of the intersex flag, acknowledging intersex peoples within the community.
• White, Light Blue and Light Pink- the colours that are a part of the trans flag, encompassing anyone who identifies differently than the sex they were assigned at birth. Traditionally, the colours pink and baby blue were used to represent whether a baby is a boy or a girl. Here, the colors denote those genders and the use of white is to acknowledge folks who may be in the process of transitioning, do not identify with any specific gender, or those who have a neutral gender.
• Black and Brown – represents BIPOC peoples and taken from the Philadelphia Pride Flag designed in 2017. BIPOC people have often been left out of the queer narrative despite being the driving force behind the movement–like Marsha P. Johnson, for example.
A Note on Safe(r) Space Stickers:
This specific sticker was designed by one of the All Genders youth, which all participants supported in finalizing and creating a digital copy and getting it in sticker form.
Safe space stickers indicate a building or organization is accepting and inclusive to 2SLGBTQ+ folks. It should be recognized that these stickers indicate a space is safer, as there can never be a guarantee that someone else accessing a space is a safe person or has harmful views towards 2SLGBTQIA+ folks. This sticker does however indicate staff at CNH are expected to support the victim should those situations come up.
There is still more progress to be made. Though laws change and the larger public tend to lean more towards acceptance, there is still a long way to go, much more to learn and safer spaces needed, especially for youth who do not have a supportive household or friend group. Providing a safer space makes a world of difference.
On behalf of the All Genders youth, we thank you for your solidarity and support.