A guide to 2SLGBTQ+ charities in Toronto

November 30, 2021

December 24, 2023

Yohomo Team

@weareyohomo

This year, why not give to a Toronto organization that provides for your 2SLGBTQ+ family in need?

If you're having trouble figuring out what to give as gifts for the folks in your life, why not donate to a Toronto organization that provides for your 2SLGBTQ+ family in need instead? You can give to one of the organizations listed below in someone's name or donate through yours and let them know you've done so with a card. Giving always feels good, especially when it makes someone else's life better, right?

All of our recommendation are in alphabetical order... If you know of anything that should be added, please contact us at info@yohomo.ca.

       

           

   

2 Spirits Toronto

Community Services
This local charity group provides prevention education and support for 2-Spirit, including First Nations, metis and Inuit people living with or at risk for HIV and related co-infections in the Greater Toronto Area.” Their work, philosophies, work and robust programming is based on indigenous philosophies of wholistic health and wellness.

Donate to 2 Spirits Toronto

       

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The 519

Community services
This world-famous Church street community centre provides a safe and accepting space for our LGBT community. They also have workshops for new LGBT parents, training courses, and consulting services to help make things easier in this big city for LGBT folks of all ages, genders and backgrounds. We could go on and on, but check out their website for a full roster of their services."

Make a donation to the 519

       

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ACAS

Health services
The Toronto Asian Community AIDS Services has been helping the Asian LGBTQ+ and HIV community for over 25 years now. Programs they host include HIV support and testing, women and trans services, their well-known and loved Queen Asian Youth program as well as SLAM, the queer Asian men’s support group. We are so lucky to have a group like this in the city, they throw events all year long and have a physical office on Spadina.

Donate to ACAS

       

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ACT

Health Services
The AIDS Committee of Toronto was founded by some brave volunteers in 1983 and is now a leader in the fight to end AIDS in Toronto through sexual health education, prevention and outreach. Their statement reads loud and proud, “we are working towards a city with zero new HIV infections, zero HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths.” Their programs and services (including Youth services, income tax clinics, lunch programs, women’s support groups, and so many more) are astounding and this city is so incredibly lucky to have them.

Donate to ACT

       

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The AMY project

Arts and culture
This is a group of artists who mentor youth. They help build "the leadership, confidence, and unique voice of young women and non-binary youth in Toronto and surrounding regions by providing them with performance training, connections to artistic mentors, experience working in a professional theatre, and support towards the early growth of their careers." The performing arts world is a tough one in the first place, but for women and female identified folks especially. Amy helps make this journey a bit easier. 

Donate to the AMY project

       

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The Arquives

Arts and culture
The Canadian Lesbian Gay Archives rebranded this year to the more inclusively titled- The Arquives. They are still the largest independent LGBTQ+ archive in the world. The World! They house and preserve our history! That's anything from magazines, to party posters, t-shirts, buttons, books, art works, as well as audio and video stuff. There are even leather uniforms. Anyone/everyone is welcome to stop by and look around. You can also (for a small fee) request items or articles and someone from the Arquives will help you find it. They’re super detectives.

Donate to the Arquives

       

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BindersOut

Health
BindersOUT is a “binder exchange program created to give trans and nonbinary folks access to affordable (and safe!) chestbinding. Formed in 2016, the local grassroots group gives” transmasculine people and other trans folx access to affordable (and safe!) chest binding. They “prioritize making binders accessible at local drop-ins and support groups, including those geared towards youth & teens, trans folx of colour, and trans folx struggling with homelessness or finances.” How lucky is Toronto to have this group! Check out their Linktree for more info.

Donate to BindersOut

       

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Buddies in Bad Times

Arts and culture
There is no theatre like Buddies in the world. They help develop queer voices for the stage. That's a capital Q queer covering all identities. They're plays push buttons, envelopes and call out sexual and cultural normality. It's in fact the world's largest and longest running queer theatre, and their plays are a gift to the community. They give voice to the unheard, the frustrated, the non-existent, and are passionate about created a nurturing space for artists and the community a whole.

Donate to Buddies in Bad Times

       

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Casey House

Health and community services
Canada's first and only stand-alone hospital for people with HIV/AIDS opened in 1988 and is still going strong. The late Princess Diana once visited the house on Isabella street to visit patients and help battle the stigma around the disease. They always, always need help giving their patients dignity in their final days and making them as comfortable as possible. It's care without judgement and a place where LGBT people living with HIV/AIDS will be treated with respect. Learn more about them on their site

Donate to Casey House

       

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Covenant House

Health and community services
An LGBTQ+-friendly youth shelter that provides warm beds, foods and programs to help younger folks get back on their feet. There are several ways to donate, so they make it easy to give back, even if you don’t have a ton of money to give. Covenant house welcomes folks 16-24 regardless of race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Donate to Covenant House

       

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Egale

Community services/youth services
The Canadian arm of this advocacy group started in 1986 and is still going strong. Their main purpose is improve the lives of all LGBTQ+ folks through awareness, education, and research. They are fighting for a world “without homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and all other forms of oppression so that every person can achieve their full potential, free from hatred and bias.” The Friends of Ruby Home used to be the Egale Centre, so donating to Egale also goes to LGBTQ+ youth in this city.

Donate to Egale Canada

       

   

Fife House

HIV/AIDS support services
”Fife House provides secure affordable housing and support services to anyone living with HIV/AIDs and works to achieve social change through research and advocacy that addresses systemic oppression.”

Donate to Fife House

       

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Friends of Ruby

Youth services
This welcoming space for LGBTQI2S youth has opened their ground-breaking transitional house custom-built for LGBTQI2S youth (aged 16-29) on Dundas East! They support “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and two-spirit youth (aged 16-29) through counselling, housing, practical assistance and multiple activities.” Art therapy, cooking classes, movie screenings… They’re pretty amazing and this city is so lucky to have them.

Donate to Friends of Ruby

       

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Foodshare

Food insecurity
The executive director of FoodShare - a local group that helps give folks most affected by poverty and food insecurity access to affordable, fresh, nutritious food - is Paul M. Taylor, a queer Black man who ran for the NDP in Parkdale-High Park in 2019.  This program helps specifically Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, People with Disabilities and have “distributed more than 300,000 pounds of fresh produce to low-income families since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to an article in Toronto Life. Your donations help create Good Food boxes for delivery.

Donate to Foodshare

       

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Get Real Movement

Youth services
This organization is a Canadian non-profit focused on combatting 2SLGBTQ+ discrimination, racism, and bullying in schools, summer camps, and workplaces. They are pretty rad and provide educational Workshop modules, leadership development and marginalized youth support through their University Chapters, High School After-School Program, and  2SLGBTQ+ Virtual Counselling Program.

Donate to Get Real Movement

       

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Glad Day Lit

Arts and culture
The. World's. Oldest. gay. book. store. It's right here in Toronto! Not only have they been part of Canadian and Toronto queer history through their struggles and mere existence, but they offer the best selection of queer lit anywhere on the planet earth, they have magazines, they have food,  a bar and host endless parties and Drag Brunches. How to you make a donation to Glad Day? Check out their newly launched Glad Day Lit website and chose a way you’d like to help keep them in business. That, or stop in for some food or a cocktail. Anytime you walk in the door, you're supporting this much-needed queer space. 

Donate to Glad Day Lit

       

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Inside Out Film Festival

Film festival
Our very own LGBT film festival. Inside Out is bigger and better than ever thanks to its hard working team and support from the community. Film and video made by and about LGBT people of all ages and races is what it's all about, and the programming reflects this big time. Sometimes with world premiere films, special guests, fascinating programming and (very fun) parties. On top of all this, they also run a film festival in Ottawa and host year-round programming at TIFF. We are so lucky to have them showing us LGBT stories on screen from around the globe. Get into it, film buffs!

Donate to Inside Out

Maggies Toronto

Community Resource

Maggie's Toronto is one of the nation's oldest sex worker justice organizations offering wrap-around supports and services designed by and for our communities across Toronto. They could use our help MORE THAN EVER this year since a the fire that took away their offices this past fall. Because of this, the office is closed and their phone lines are down with limited programming running. You can give DIRECTLY TO THE FIRE RELIEF FUND HERE.

Maggie's Toronto Sex Worker's Action Project not only runs drop-in programming, but are "also involved in local advocacy in Toronto. They participate in anti-poverty organizing, racial justice work challenging police violence, LGBTQ2S liberation work, Indigenous sovereignty and outreach efforts, harm reduction work and more. Follow their IG for the most updated happenings.

Donate to Maggies

Nia Centre For The Arts

Arts and Culture

Nia, is a Swahili word that means "purpose", and is an organization that connects "thousands of young people and emerging youth artists to mentors, opportunities to build transferable skills and employment. The Centre has offered programs in music, spoken word, literature, visual arts, theatre, dance and interdisciplinary arts often in partnership with established artists and arts organizations.

Nia Centre always had a vision for a physical space to address the lack of safe spaces for African-Canadian communities."

Donate to the Nia Centre

Overdose Prevention Society

Health services
This super important group not only opened the  Moss Park Overdose Prevention Site last year but they also “support direct actions aimed at increasing awareness about the preventable nature of overdose deaths.” In a time where overdosing has become more common than we’d like to talk about, we are so lucky to have a group who works so hard to keep people safe, without judgment.

Donate to the Overdose Prevention Society

       

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PFLAG Toronto

Community resource
My parents used PFLAG services when I first came out. They felt a bit lost, confused and even angry, and PFLAG put them in touch with other parents who had lived through their kids coming out and lived to tell. That's what they are all about, helping families in Toronto and across the country understand the coming out process and help parents through the process themselves. 

A friend of ours on the board reached out to let us know “Toronto Pflag is 100% volunteer and provides 7day/week telephone support and offers 3 monthly virtual peer-support meetings and free virtual classroom presentations for schools during Covid-19 on topics like “How to Be an Ally” and “Gender 101”.” So good.

Donate to PFLAG Toronto

       

                       

   

Pieces to Pathways

Harm reduction
P2P is a “peer-led initiative offering Canada’s only substance use support program for LGBTTQQ2SIA youth (ages 16-29).” Their staff are all queer and/or trans-identified and have their own experiences of substance use and recovery. The program is open to “all LGBTTQQ2SIA youth ages 16-29 who are concerned about their substance use, or are interested in exploring their relationship to substances.” They also do fantastic community outreach (you might have encountered them at one of our Yohom parties!), and other great programs.

Donate to Pieces to Pathways

       

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PWA

Health services
Toronto’s People with AIDS Foundation has a program called Practical Supports, which make it easy for you to donate money to their programs and services for people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) including: Practical Support, Community Access, Health & Therapeutic Care and Dreaming & Engagement. Check out their website to see exactly where the money goes and how it helps.

Donate to PWA

       

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Rainbow Railroad

International help
Toronto's Rainbow Railroad helps LGBT people around the planet escape state-sponsored violence in their home countries. This means they get a constant flow of requests for help from around globe. They focus their efforts on cases with LGBT folks who "have faced physical violence or face an imminent threat of violence, imprisonment, or death." It's serious stuff, but the work they do is astounding since they're literally saving lives. They also happen to throw some pretty great fundraising parties. If you come from somewhere where gay is not OK, or just want to help our brothers and sisters get to a better place, check out the website and learn all about it. 

Donate to Rainbow Railroad

       

                                                 

   

Salaam Canada

Community services
”Salaam Canada is a volunteer-run national organization dedicated to creating space for people who identify as both Muslim and queer and trans. They offer “supports and programs for those in the queer/Trans Muslim community,” such as monthly meetings, peer support, advocacy initiatives and an annual Ramadan Peace Iftar!

Donate to Salaam Canada


       

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Second Harvest

Food insecurity
Second Harvest is the country’s largest “food rescue charity.” What does that mean?  They “recover nutritious, unsold food from more than 1,200 donors and redistribute it to a broad network of 1,080 social service organizations in Ontario and BC.” They have a great COVID-19 response fund and actively support many LGBTQ+ organizations including The 519, Friends of Ruby and other organizations that support LGBTQ+ youth, adults and seniors.

Donate to Second Harvest

       

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SOY

Youth services
Supporting Our Youth is a program that supports the health and wellbeing of queer and trans spectrum kids through programming, tutoring and one on one or group support for folks under 29. They celebrate and support all spectrums of queer and all identities, and help create a sense of belonging and support. They are the shit. 

Donate to SOY

Sprott House

Youth Services
Sprott Houseone of the first 2SLGBTQ+ transitional housing programs for youth in Canada,” providing one year of supported residential living for up to 25 young people between the ages of 16 to 24. The Vanauley Street YMCA is their newest facility and has drop in programs, employment help, outreach and drop-in programs. It’s a pretty incredible place and always in need of help from the community.

Donate to Sprott House

       

                                                     

   

Umbrella Mental Health Network

Mental health services
A “network of Queer and Trans-identified mental health professionals who serve the 2SLGBTQIA community.” How amazing is this? Their team is made up of “highly skilled, compassionate, radical psychologists, psychotherapists and social workers who have shared expertise in supporting and promoting health and wellness within a 2SLGBTQIA mental health framework.

From their website they explain, “our therapeutic approach is grounded in values of feminism, social justice, decolonization, sex and kink-positivity and shapes how our therapists practice trauma-informed and anti- oppressive mental health care.”

You can’t donate to Umbrella Mental Health Network, but be sure to check them out yourself or spread the word to people you think might benefit from them.


       

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Will Munro Fund for Queer and Trans People Living with Cancer

Health services
Will Munro left this planet because of brain cancer in 2010 and to honour him his family and friends created this fund to help queer folks living with cancer. The 519 serves as a trustee for the fund, to make it easy to donate. At this point, cancer has affected someone in all of our lives and it’s a disease that can become very expensive to manage. Consider giving through this fund to help someone who can’t afford it.

Make a donation to the fund via The 519

       

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Youthline

Youth services
I wish Youthline existed when I was a confused queer weirdo. It's a "Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit* youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario." They provide completely anonymous feedback, support, referrals and recommendations for resources on how to make the right decisions. They are non-judgemental, sex positive, and give younger queers a chance to ask questions they may be afraid to ask anyone else.

Donate to Youthline

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