Are you comfortable with the terms non-binary, genderqueer, intersex, pansexual, queer and asexual? Would you feel equipped to support a child in your community who shared one of these identities with you? Currently, 19% of BC high school students identify as not exclusively heterosexual. That’s 1 in 5 teens. Often parents assume they have enough understanding of LGBT topics without realizing that the internet and social media have provided access to diverse voices like never before. Our young people are the first generation immersed in this increased awareness, and are now exploring their identities earlier and earlier, including their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
Queer youth are at far greater risk for depression, addiction, violence and suicide. Research shows that positive and affirming home and school experiences are highly influential in youth resilience. We work to provide tools for parents to enable them to feel confident in their ability to support our kids, our kids' friends and our friends' kids. A diverse and inclusive environment enables all young people to thrive and experience a genuine sense of belonging.
Michele is a diversity educator, communications consultant and business coach on the North Shore. She has a BFA in Creative Writing, is a traditionally published author of 3 books, and speaks internationally about diversity at writing conferences. She was Small Business BC’s social media expert for 4 years and now works for the West Vancouver School Board. She has begun a master’s program in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on equity and education. Michele is a queer woman, a parent and a lover of story.
Caroline is a diversity educator and a registered clinical counsellor. She works on the North Shore, in several different environments. She is in private practice at Alyson Jones and Associates, and works as a therapist at WorkBC and at CMHA (The Canadian Mental Health Association). Until recently, she worked at Qmunity, Vancouver’s LGBTQ+ Resource Centre. One of her areas of specialization is working with the LGBTQ+ community. Caroline is a queer, cisgender woman and a parent of four.
About Divine Diversity
Michele and Caroline first created the Divine Diversity team to support their own community on the North Shore. They provide diversity presentations and workshops, as well as inclusion consultation and strategy. Their clients include non-profit societies, community organisations and schools. Their goal is to facilitate an evolution beyond tolerance, through acceptance, and into celebration of the divine wealth diversity brings.