RCMP LGBTQ2 Employee Network supports a youth safe place group
We Are: A Safe Place, an LGBTQ2 youth organization from East Gwillimbury/Newmarket, Ont., welcomed RCMP civilian member Jean Turner to their meeting on July 25, 2018. Turner is the chair of the RCMP “O” Division (Ontario) LGBTQ2 employee network.
We Are: A Safe Place states it meets bi-weekly and provides a safe environment for LGBTQ2 youth, allies, family and friends to foster relationships, develop community and empower youth to live their authentic selves.
“The group has grown from three to four participants at our first gatherings to now having on average 15 youth attend the meetings,” says founder Rev. Erin Martin. “I can’t tell you how important this group is, not only to the youth that attend but also to their families and friends who want to support them.”
Turner talked to the group about the work the RCMP has been doing to support their LGBTQ2 employees as well as raising awareness and fostering relationships with the greater community.
Her presentation became emotional when she shared her personal journey and struggle to realize and then ‘come out’ as a lesbian after a childhood of sexual trauma and religious influence.
“I hope that my story of struggle to success gives young folks, who may need some encouragement and empowerment, the resilience and courage to overcome any personal struggles they may have with sexuality or gender identity,” Turner says.
The group received a welcome surprise when Turner presented them with a cheque for just over $1,000 in support of their continued efforts. The money was raised by the RCMP “O” Division employee network through the sale of RCMP Pride golf shirts, which were purchased by employees across the country.