One Equal World

Montreal LGBTQ+ Youth Group Celebrates 25 Years

Posted on: February 3, 2017

A photo of a LGBT youth pride parade.

Photo courtesy of Peter O’Connor at Flickr Creative Commons.

Project10 is a Montreal-based nonprofit focused on helping LGBTQ+ youth cope with, well, everything. It started 25 years ago as an English hotline for gay and lesbian youth who needed someone to talk to.

At the time, the Quebec Charter protected against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but the larger Canadian Charter of Rights did not. Many school districts were run by religious institutions, and it was the days of the AIDS crisis, so there was a lot of fear in the cultural zeitgeist. Those kids needed Project10.

These days, things are certainly getting better for LGBTQ+ youth in Canada. But it’s still far from perfect. While Project10 is still going strong, it’s still struggling.

While the group isn’t in danger of closing down, they do need more money, which is why they’re raising funds to hire more staff. They’re aiming to raise $25,000 by the end of March, because while the needs of LGBTQ+ youth have been increasing, funding hasn’t kept pace.

The organization currently operates with two part-time staff members along with a number of volunteers. But Project10 isn’t just a hotline anymore. For years, they’ve been sending people to go along with youth who need to go to the doctor’s, or find housing, or even go shopping for clothes during their transition, and need some support while doing so.

It’s those services that have allowed Project10 to help so many people. Hotlines are all well and good, and very helpful, but having somebody there in person is a lot better, which is why they’ve moved to a new headquarters that makes walk-ins easier.

Even the name is designed to help, because they didn’t want to make kids coming to meetings have to ask for “the gay youth group” at a YMCA. They settled on Project10 because of the estimate that roughly 10% of people are part of the LGBTQ+ community.


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