What is l’Astérisk*? L’Astérisk* is a place where LGBTQ* youth (ages 14-24) can hang out and get access to various resources. Different services will be offered, including a listening line, individual support, a drop-in (free period for activities) and social events.
When will the activities start? The official opening of l’Astérisk* was in September 2013.
For the latest information about the project follow l’Astérisk*’s facebook page!
About the name, l’Astérisk*– L’Astérisk* refers to the symbol often used to express inclusion, such as in the term trans*, which refers to all trans* people, including those who are transgender, transsexual and questioning. The asterisk represents the inclusion of everyone, without exception or giving priority to any one of the many ways an individual may identify. L’Astérisk* combines the French and English forms of the word to emphasize the space’s multilingual character.
A Safer space for LGBTQ* youth, why? In Montreal, there is no physical space where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* youth can socialize and network that is open on a regular basis. In order to meet others like themselves, queer youth often have no other choice than to go to bars or restaurants in the Village, spaces that are not always safe and where they are often encouraged to consume alcohol.
The aim of this project is to create a physical space – welcoming and non-commercial – where LGBTQ* youth and their allies will have access to information, services and different activities, and can benefit from the support of qualified social workers. The space is open 5 days/nights per week.
Goals of the Safer Space for LGBTQ* Youth project:
- Offer a welcoming and safe social networking space to LGBT youth in order to fight against the different problems they face.
- Offer an alternative to bars as socializing and meeting places.
- Be a tool against isolation.
- Let youth express their realities.
- Create a directory of the services offered to LGBT youth in Montreal.
- Consolidate the existing services and create a better system for referring youth to a wide variety of services (eg. health and social services, employment services).
We would also like to thank the Forum jeunesse de l’île de Montréal, the government of Quebec and the Direction de la diversité sociale de la Ville de Montréal for their invaluable financial support.