LGBTQIA and TWO-SPIRIT MENTORING PROGRAM
What is the significance of our name? It was a name suggested by a community member. For us it is important to be inclusive and current with the ever changing identities and terms used in our community. Rainbow Mentors is meant to be an inclusive umbrella term for asexuals, homosexuals, multisexuals, trans people, and intersex people, and alternative to LGBTQIA+. Easier to remember and pronounce. It is a term that doesn’t single out or leave out identities. It creates room for change and growth.
Rainbow Mentors was created to fill a gap in services for children and youth up to 15 identifying as TWO-SPIRIT and LGBTQIA+. Rainbow Mentors is an innovative community development program created by Sean Cullen who has a diploma as a social service worker and experience working with marginalized youth. Sean identifies as a Queer Transman. Rainbow Mentors aims to connect TWO-SPIRIT and LGBTQIA+ young persons to positive adult MENTORS. Rainbow Mentors strives to be fluid in the ways it provides
programming and training. We recognize that over time language, awareness, and concepts in learning styles change. We are committed to always using best practices and staying current with new ideas and the needs of the community.
Rainbow Mentors works within an anti-oppressive framework to:
● Cultivate a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community;
● Create opportunities and spaces for young persons to grow, explore, and experience a sense of belonging;
● Celebrate all young persons who are questioning sexuality and gender, and those identifying within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. We commit to Hamilton’s LGBTQIA+ and TWO-SPIRIT young people that we will be leaders in providing them the highest quality, volunteer based mentoring, and educational programs. We aim to match young people with similarly identifying adults, using an intersectional lens, and foster positive relationships.
Every TWO-SPIRIT and LGBTQIA+ child and youth in the greater Hamilton area who needs a mentor has a mentor. To support, engage, inspire and empower all young persons, parents/guardians, and adult mentors to achieve their full potential. To create inclusive and positive spaces for TWO-SPIRIT and LGBTQIA+ young people. We aim to facilitate and promote healthy sexual and gender identities, and
positive life experiences with social connection, education and collaboration/partnership with all agencies serving youth.