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Programming At Out On The Shelf

Our job as Out On The Shelf’s programming committee is to continuously develop new and exciting things for the community as a whole – with all its niche interests. We want to be Out In Guelph, and create our safe spaces – not only across the city – but across age gaps, race gaps, ability gaps, and for all interests. It will be socials and dances, it will be games, it will be support for youth, it will be athletics, and of course, it will always be books and resources.

Pride & Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is a social and informational group for LGBTQ+ youth to get together and interact with their peers and trained LGBTQ+ facilitators. This group encourages and supports LGBTQ+ youth to develop leadership skills, share their knowledge and experiences, and become actively engaged in strengthening their health and well-being through fun and creative activities.

Pride & Prejudice has three goals

  1. Connect LGBTQ+ youth to existing services and programs that will strengthen all aspects of health and wellbeing, including physical, social, mental and sexual health
  2. Build and maintain welcoming social support networks for local LGBTQ+ youth, including with their peers, older LGBTQ+ people, and non-LGBTQ+ family and friends (as well as allies).
  3. Develop capacity among LGBTQ+ youth for leadership, community engagement, volunteering, and creative social activism, and to respond to violence and discrimination

For more details email us at programming@outontheshelf.com.

P.E.A.R.S Program

The Peer Experience & Relational Support (PEARS) program was started to connect people in our communities together.

PEARS is a flexible program for LGBTQ+ people, their loved ones and close friends. The program works in a few different ways: connecting LGBTQ+ people to each other, connecting people who are connected to LGBTQ+ people (eg parents of an LGBTQ+ child, partner of a newly identified LGBTQ+ person), and connecting people who are not LGBTQ+ with people who are. The program also aims to connect people with different generational experiences. There is a lot of flexibility as to how the pairs are made – for details, keep reading. This program is limited to individuals 18 years or older.

If you are already convinced you would like to get involved, fill out this quick and easy online intake form. If you would like the form in a different format, please get in touch with us.

Finding a pair

The program is flexible, and we are very happy to work with you to find a ‘pear’ that meets your needs.

We match LGBTQ+ people based on three categories, and in our matching, we also consider age. You can let us know if you would like to be an older or younger person within your match. This program is limited to individuals 18 years or older.

  • Educational, career, or professional interests: We will match people who are interested in meeting others who share their field of work or career goals. This could include pairing a psychology student and someone who is currently a psychologist or pairing two people that work in the field of engineering.
  • Hobbies or personal interests: We will match people who have shared hobbies (e.g. hiking) or personal interests (e.g. LGBTQ+ history). These pairs can spend time doing activities together or learning about a shared interest.
  • Experiences/Identities: We will match people who have similar identities in some parts of their lives. These pairs may include two people who are coming out to their children, or two people who both speak Spanish.

There is also a category for loved ones and close friends of LGBTQ+ people. We will match people who have a similar experience together, with the goal of providing individuals with someone to talk to who understands the experience firsthand. Matches may also be made to LGBTQ+ people. For example, if you are the partner or spouse of someone who comes out, you may be matched with another person whose partner came out to them, or you may be matched with someone who shares your partner’s identity. You can let us know what kind of match will be most helpful, and we will do our best to accommodate it.

Program Guidelines

PEARS is designed to be flexible and to work around your schedule and commitments. We ask that you meet within a month of being matched with your partner, and at that point, the two of you can discuss how often you would like to meet. We will do our best to match people with similar expectations.

A few times per year, PEARS participants will all be invited to join Out On The Shelf for group programming and events. This will be an opportunity to meet other people in the PEARS program as well as get connected to local programming.

Get involved!

  1. Fill out this quick and easy online intake form.
  2. We will confirm we are working on finding your a pair. Since there may be a bit of a wait, we will also let you know about other ways to get connected.
  3. Once we are able to match you, you will receive an email introducing you and your match. This email will include contact information for both of you, as well as the category in which you were matched.
  4. It will then be up to both of you to arrange a time to meet. You can meet in our office or elsewhere at your convenience.
  5. We will check in about a month after you have been matched to ensure you are able to meet and that things are going smoothly. After that, the program is in your hands.

Men’s Social Network

When: Last Monday of each month, 7:00PM-9:00PM
Where: 10C at 42 Carden Street

Men’s Social Network (MSN) (previously known as Friends with Benefits) is a monthly discussion group for all queer* and questioning**, cis*** and trans**** men into men – gay, bisexual, queer, polysexual, pansexual, two-spirit*****.  The mandate is to create a space for discussion of topics relevant to our challenges/successes as a community as well as to provide an opportunity for queer and questioning men to meet other men, to socialize and plan enjoyable social outings. MSN meets on the last Monday of each month.

Typically, MSN meets on the last Monday of the month, from 7-9pm at 10C at 42 Carden Street in Guelph. For more information please contact: programming.outontheshelf@gmail.com

*queer: is used by some members of LGBTQ communities to describe themselves. Once used as a discriminatory term, some members of LGBTQ communities now embrace it as inclusive of a variety of fluid expressions of gender and sexuality.

**questioning: refers to people who are in the process of questioning aspects of their identity, including their gender and/or sexuality.

***cis: someone who does identify as the gender they were designated at birth and includes an acknowledgment of privilege that accompanies system-wide cissexism and heterosexism.

****trans: someone who gender identifies differently than how they were designated at birth. This self-identification can be more or less fluid on the gender spectrum

*****for more information on gender and sexuality identities see: Queer / LGBTQ+ 101

If you are interested in finding out more or events coming up in Guelph, please contact us at: programming@outontheshelf.com or contact our community partner ARCH at: education@archguelph.ca

For other LGBTQ+ Programming in Guelph – Wellington and Waterloo Please See This Page 

Out On The Shelf Inc.

email: info@outontheshelf.com

Out On The Shelf continues to play a very active role in Guelph’s Queer Community with over 130 active members and over 30 volunteers. We continue to grow as an organization and as a resource centre and strive to create a safe, inclusive, and diverse space for all members of the community.

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