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Express is a safe and supportive space where newcomers to Canada and/or immigrant queer youth find a place gather, share ideas, questions, and have fun!

  • EXPRESS targets and provides support for youth between16 and 29 who are immigrants, newcomers to Canada, refugees, refugee claimants and non-status queer and trans youth. Most of the participants are young people coming from countries and/or cultures where it's not safe, legal or easy to be queer or trans.

  • EXPRESS includes a weekly meeting on Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. The project had a number of newcomer/immigrant queer youth involved from more than 20 different nationalities and/or ethnicities since May of 2002.
  • An internet-based group and mailing list, as well as a Facebook private group and Facebook pageSome of the youth participating in EXPRESS can not - due to work commitment or school schedule - attend all the weekly meetings, and some other newcomer/immigrant queer youth have not been able to participate in any of the meetings because of family or cultural pressures over their sexuality. An internet based group and mailing list has been created to maintain some level of connection between the youth and provide some of the support they need outside the regular meeting hours. Please contact Olimpia by email oboido(at)sherbourne(dot)on(dot)ca or at 416 - 324 5080 to be added to the mailing list
  • Some 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 drop-in meetings. Since the launch of the project a significant number of youth participants have gained their legal status in Canada with support from EXPRESS.



The Newcomer/Immigrant Queer & Trans Ontario Youth Guide is here...
To get free copies contact Olimpia at:
or 416-324-5080

Facilitators (Interim):
Olimpia Boido 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

Phone - 416 324 5080
E-mail - oboido (at) sherbourne (dot) on (dot) ca


  • "The Newcomer/Immigrant Queer & Trans Ontario Youth Guide" is a resource guide for newcomer, immigrant and refugee queer youth in Ontario compiled and designed by a number of EXPRESS youth who applied for a youth initiative grant from the Laidlaw Foundation to create this very important project.
  • "If Only I Knew" is a very exciting initiative that was done in collaboration with Concordia University in Montreal, where 6 EXPRESS youth who are refugees or refugee claimants worked on a photography based exhibition using pictures and words (Photovoice) to tell their story and use it to advocate and gain support for their cause in Toronto and Montreal. Click here to see the exhibition
  • "Fresh off the Boat" was the first big thing we produced at EXPRESS.. after 12 weeks of working on the zine, FOB was launched in a fabulous party and became the first publication to ever address the issues of newcomer/immigrant queer youth in Canada.
  • "Rock the Boat" is a collaborative initiative with UofT's TeenNet research project for youth engagement. It provided a number of Express youth the chance to learn about web design and using the internet as a tool to provide information and resources for other young queer and trans newcomers to Canada. Click here to check out the website.
  • During April and May of 2003, EXPRESS produced a short video tracing the story of the project through the eyes and experience of one of its youth. The video "My Name Is Javier" was a great opportunity for the youth to learn from the experience of the filmmaker who produced the video, as well as bond together while getting a sense of pride in the achievement of the project that received an excellent response.
  • A camping retreat for the EXPRESS youth participants outside the city takes place every summer. The youth see part of the Canadian culture during these trips that some of them have never experienced before.
    It's been 5 years of camping trips so far and the numbers of youth participants keep growing year after year.

    (Click on thumbnails to enlarge.)
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.

Click to enlarge

Alphabet Soup
Bill 7 Award
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Pride Prom
Trans_Fusion Crew
Alphabet Soup