Thanks so much to the Handsworth Parent Advisory Council (PAC) for hosting us at their meeting to present to their parent community and thank you to all the parents who made time to attend and share their questions and stories.

When: Mon Oct 21, 2019, 7pm-9pm
Where: Handsworth Secondary School, 1044 Edgewood Rd, North Vancouver, BC

Workshop Blurb

Most tweens and teens are searching for identity and belonging, and most parents are wanting to nurture and protect their child’s growth. In this new era of internet and social media, our children are not growing up in the same world that we did. This awareness of diversity has contributed to kids now exploring their identities earlier and earlier, including sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Our school district has incorporated SOGI curriculum into elementary and secondary schools and it’s important for parents to be aware of the new environment their children are living in, in order to support them through its challenges and to celebrate its joys.


Please join Michele and Caroline, LGBTQ+ identified parents, for an open discussion around these issues. Caroline Wedderspoon is a Registered Clinical Counsellor on the North Shore, specializing in working with the LGBTQ+ community and is also the parent of 4 children. Michele Fogal is a Communications Consultant specializing in diversity, mother of 2, and a published queer author. Everyone is welcome, and you can find out more about their diversity work at

Workshop Outline

1. Why these issues matter
• 19% of BC students identify as not exclusively heterosexual
• Research shows that LGBTQ+ youth are at greater risk but what does that mean? Why it matters for the whole community, not just LGBTQ+ youth

2. How this impacts everyone
• LGBT vocabulary – why there are so many new terms
• The right to self identify: it’s not just clothes, music and substances anymore
• Why kids are identifying and “coming out” younger and younger
• How inclusive community supports all students
• Bias – we all have it. How do we talk about it?
• Forms of prejudice and how they impact everyone
3. How parents can protect children
• As parents, how can we become allies who lower the risks to all children in our community
• The importance of being recognized, accepted, and finding community
• The power of listening and asking questions