In all aspects of our work, and throughout the organization, as we pursue our mission, we live by the values listed below. Together, they provide a picture of who we are and how we want to be:
Youth know their own experiences best and this makes them the best people to make choices that are right for them. We offer support, not advice; affirmation, not judgment. We offer information and resources to youth to provide them with the tools to make well-informed choices for themselves. We prioritize youth leadership to ensure our programs, services, and entire organization are directed by the needs and desires of youth.
In all aspects of our work, we are committed to confidentiality of personal information and respect the anonymity of service users and volunteers.
We work to create an organization that reflects anti-racist and anti-oppressive (AR/AO) values. We recognize that the impacts of racism and oppression are intersectional and cannot be addressed in isolation. We work with diverse 2SLGBTQ communities where people impacted by racism and other forms of oppression on interpersonal and systemic levels. Because of these realities, we are committed to prioritizing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) experiences in our work.
We strive, at all times, to provide an environment that respects the autonomy and self-determination of all people, including people with disabilities and/or Deaf/Hard of Hearing (HoH) people. This includes working on removing physical and social barriers to our programs and services. We are also committed to advocating for dignified access and for the rights of Deaf/HoH people and/or people with disabilities in 2SLGBTQ communities, recognizing people are impacted by ableism on interpersonal and systemic levels.
We are committed to using a harm reduction lens to support individuals in all aspects of our work. For us, harm reduction means that we understand people do things that can cause harm to themselves and we try to work with services users to find ways to make those things less harmful. Our aim to reduce harm comes from a place of non-judgement and our commitment to affirming the dignity and right to self-determination of the people with whom we work.
We affirm and validate youth sexual autonomy and support youth in making self-directed, informed choices about if, how, where, and with whom they have sex. We recognize that everyone has a different relationship to sexual desire, and aim to create spaces that are both sex and sex work positive, while affirming the experiences of people who identify on the asexuality spectrum. We offer space for youth to have respectful and affirmational conversations about sex, asexuality, sex work, polyamory, consent, sexual violence, and any other topics that youth tell us are relevant to their sexual experiences.
We recognize that transphobia, homophobia, and sexism are rooted in the colonial histories and ongoing realities of the land on which we operate. We know that acting in solidarity with Indigenous peoples goes beyond acknowledging the histories and ongoing presence of Indigenous peoples on this land. We are committed to working alongside and in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. We recognize our responsibility in building meaningful relationships with Indigenous groups and individuals.
Growth and Learning
As an organization that is run for youth and by youth, YouthLine is committed to fostering an environment that supports growth and learning at every level; this includes our staff, volunteers, board members, and service users. We encourage everyone to ask questions and share skills and knowledge in their own way.
Connecting and Collaborating
While YouthLine plays a unique role in supporting 2SLGBTQ youth, we recognize that we do this work as part of a larger network comprised of programs, services, organizations, communities, and individuals. Our work goes beyond our own Mission and peer support service, and is most effective when we work in collaboration with others, including youth themselves. We strive to connect and collaborate with other groups, people, and organizations that are supporting 2SLGBTQ communities in order to achieve a shared goal of building better supports for 2SLGBTQ youth.