A program for all newcomer, immigrant, and refugee LGBTQ+ youth
What is EXPRESS?
EXPRESS is a program that provides support for young people
between 16 and 29 years old who are immigrants, newcomers,
refugees, refugee claimants, or non-status in Canada who also
identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer
(LGBTQ+) communities. Most of the participants are young people
coming from countries and/or cultures where it's not safe, legal
or easy to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ+).
How can I participate?
Attend the weekly meetings!
EXPRESS includes a weekly meeting on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm in
downtown Toronto at 333 Sherbourne Street, 2nd floor
(as part of Sherbourne Health Centre). During the meeting, we
are able to make new friends, enjoy pizza, find out information
and resources, and have a fun time!
Join the internet group mailing list, Facebook page, or private
Aside from meeting in person, EXPRESS youth also interact with
each other on the yahoo group mailing list, Facebook page or the
private Facebook page. We usually post information about
upcoming activities, relevant news, and anything else that the
group is interested in. To get started, contact Aamer at
Join a one time project/activity during the year!
Throughout the year, we run one time activities (movie nights,
fieldtrips, camping) that you are welcome to participate in. We
also do partnerships with other organizations where you can do
fun things like ski trips, canoeing, and lots more.
Meet for one-on-one support!
Sometimes you may want to just meet for a one-on-one meeting and
talk about what is going on in your life and get some answers.
You are always welcome to contact Aamer and find a time to meet
that works for you. Aamer can be reached at 416-324-5080 or
What kind of support can I expect?
Getting support around your refugee claim:
Many of the youth participating in EXPRESS are refugee claimants
on the basis of their sexual orientation. The project provides
significant direct support to these youth in this process as
well as the personal and emotional support they receive at the
Getting connected to Toronto’s LGBTQ+ communities:
You will find a lot of good information and links to make new
friends, find out about other groups in Toronto, and learn more
about the LGBTQ+ communities.
Finding other LGBTQ+ youth positive programs and services in
You will get connect to some other cool programs out there such
as mentoring, arts and media, sports, social support, youth of
color projects, and much more.
Anything else that you need. If we don’t have the answer, we
will try to connect you to someone who does.
Who is involved in running EXPRESS?
EXPRESS is a program of Supporting Our Youth at Sherbourne
The weekly group is run by a team of friendly people, including:
is a dynamic placement student at Supporting Our Youth and is a
student at the Social Service Worker program at George Brown
Chi Ching Hui
is a dedicated volunteer for the EXPRESS program. He initially
got involved with EXPRESS in 2002 as one of the first youth
participants for the group.
is a community worker who is passionate about intercultural
relations for equity. Using this angle, she has been working
with a number of communities, including newcomer queer
communities and newcomer women survivors of violence, at the
grassroots and structural levels. Olimpia has been involved in
Express since 2009
is the Newcomer Community Engagement Coordinator at Sherbourne
Health Centre. Aamer started his involvement in EXPRESS as a
youth participant in 2003.
Phone - 416 324 5080
E-mail - aesmail (at) sherbourne (dot) on (dot) ca
EXPRESS continues to provide newcomer and immigrant
queer youth with a safer space where they can meet others who share
there experiences and feel comfortable expressing themselves and
making friends, as well as gain more knowledge about Canada and
Toronto that will help them build there life in the city.