It has been quite a year at the Centre for Sexuality. In many ways our work has continued to progress. We are reaching more diverse communities than ever before, and our impact is growing. However, we have also encountered barriers that, while frustrating, underscore the continued need for the services we provide.

When I joined the Centre for Sexuality team in 2001, our work in the community was difficult. Issues related to sexual health and sexuality were still highly stigmatized, building partnerships was challenging and we had very few visible, vocal allies. However, we had a strong foundation of education and human rights from when the organization started in 1972, and a solid reputation as an agency grounded in evidence and facts. Over the last two decades, we have created and expanded strong partnerships and programs that are responsive to the communities we serve.

I am so proud of the work we have done together. Our valued donors have always helped to ensure we can positively impact individuals of all ages with skills and tools to achieve healthy relationships and sexual wellbeing. Through donor support we have been able to change organizational cultures, policies and practices for the better through our Training Centre offerings to professionals and decision-makers. Most of all, our community of supporters have helped us make progress toward a society that truly embraces diversity and is safe for everyone.

But as I reflect on the events of the last year, it feels like we are sliding backwards on the progress that we’ve worked so hard to achieve. Homophobia and transphobia are rampant and mainstream; women’s reproductive rights are in jeopardy. This is fueled by misinformation and an agenda of division that has seen longstanding laws changed in other countries and seeks to shape public policy here at home.

We at the Centre are seeing the impact firsthand. Our staff are being verbally attacked in programs and our clients face acts of hatred and violence. Our communities are suffering. But we are undaunted. We continue our work with even more passion, knowing that fact-based, evidence-informed programs are essential for youth and adults, and that building communities for the most vulnerable is more crucial than ever before.

What can you do?

Much of the Centre’s funding comes from the generosity of the public. Through donations, we can provide enhanced support to 2SLGBTQ+ individuals who are vulnerable and at risk of increased social isolation; so that we can support parents looking for services and supports for their children; and so that we can continue to educate professionals and policy makers through our Training Centre and advocacy efforts.

A group of people marching in the Calgary Pride parade.

Active allyship has been the cornerstone of our work for over 50 years. By supporting the Centre, you are demonstrating your commitment to equity, inclusion, and healthy communities. Financial support helps us activate our work where we are needed the most, in support of individuals and communities who deserve to thrive.

Thank you for being an ally.

With gratitude,

Pam Krause, Centre for Sexuality CEO