Statement in response to recent anti-LGBTQ2S+ protests in Calgary

March 17, 2023

Statement in response to recent anti-LGBTQ2S+ protests in Calgary

Message to the campus community

We are concerned about expressions of hatred and violence directed at members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, including at recent protests in Calgary. The trans community in particular has been targeted and subjected to threats and violence. During times like these, our campus feels compelled to reiterate that we support equity and respect for members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, allies and all who experience harassment, bullying or discrimination.  

The University of Calgary recognizes the importance of pluralism and is dedicated to creating a respectful and safe environment for gender-diverse, culturally diverse, and intersex members of our campus and the wider community.  While we are committed to the free exchange of ideas on campus and in the community, the University of Calgary denounces the hate speech and violence recently seen in our city.

At the university, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI) serves as the institution’s central hub for collective action toward a more equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible campus and works with all our communities to expand our capacity for respect and understanding.

We also recognize that an important role of higher education is to advance literacy and knowledge. The OEDI has developed the LGBTQ2S+ Guide, and many administrative units, clubs, and associations on our campus are also working to ensure equitable pathways, experiences and the well-being of LGBTQ2S+ and especially transgender students, postdoctoral fellows, staff and faculty.

As a community, UCalgary seeks to create an inclusive campus in which all members can flourish, to continue the ongoing work necessary to promote human dignity, and to identify and remove barriers that have been, and still are, encountered by the LGBTQ2S+ community. We all have a role to play in embedding equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in all areas of university life: research; teaching and learning; community engagement; and working and living environments.

We hope you will join us on this journey to create a campus community where all members can feel a sense of belonging, and we hope this commitment will extend to respectful engagements with the broader community.

Ed McCauley, PhD, FRSC
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Calgary

Penny Werthner, PhD
Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
University of Calgary

Malinda Smith, PhD
Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Research (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion)
University of Calgary


LGBTQ2S+ supports

  • LGBTQ2S+ Guide to Resources and Information: An informational Guide for the UCalgary community. Learn more
  • The Alex: Provides support to LGBT2Q2S+ for physical and mental health, addiction, housing and food security. Learn more
  • Calgary Outlink: Calgary Outlink is a hub that promotes support and community connectedness for all gender and sexually diverse people. Find groups, peer support, mentorship, trainings, and other resources. Call 587-800-4121 to be connected to You Matter, a non-crisis peer support and resource link. Learn more
  • Centre for Sexuality: Offers short-term counselling for individuals regarding gender, sexuality, family planning and STI diagnoses. Learn more
  • PFlag: Provides support, education and resources to parents, families and individuals who have questions or concerns about sexual orientation or gender identity. Learn more
  • Skipping Stone: Organizes events and programs for trans and gender diverse individuals, offers mentorship and provides gender-affirming resources. Learn more
  • End of the Rainbow Foundation: Helping LGBTQ+ people to be successful in Canada. Learn more 
  • Trans Lifeline: Offers a peer-support phone service as well as microgrants for trans and non-binary individuals. Learn more

Experiencing sexual or gender-based violence?

  • Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Support at UCalgary: This team can connect you with services, inform you of your rights, talk through your options, or just listen
  • Alberta's One Line: Call or text 1-866-403-8000 for advice and support regarding experiences of sexual violence
  • Family Violence Helpline: 24/7 support: 403-234-7233, toll-free: 1-866-606-7233
  • The Awo Taan Emergency Shelter: 24/7 crisis line: 403-531-1972 or 403-531-1976 
  • Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse: Call 403-237-5888 for support and information

24/7 crisis resources

  • For local 24/7 mental health support, call Distress Centre at 403-266-4357 to speak with a highly trained volunteer who can connect you to further resources or Wood’s Homes Community Support team at 403-299-9699, where you will speak with a trainee counsellor or social worker.
  • If you are having thoughts of suicide, Canada Suicide Prevention Services can be reached at 1-833-456-4566, where you will be connected with a responder who will listen to you, support you, and keep you safe.       
  • Alberta Mental Health Help Line can be reached at 1-877-303-2642. This line is staffed by psychiatric nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, and psychologists. 

Additional resources

  • Wellness Together Canada offers support for mental health and/or substance use. Connect with a trailed counsellor, free of charge. For adult phone counselling call 1-866-585-0445. For youth counselling, supported through Kids Help Phone, call 1-888-668-6868. If you're unsure of what you need, call 1-866-585-0445 to reach a program navigator.
  • Community Connect YYC can book an affordable barrier-free phone or video counselling session. Visit their website

Get support

  • If you, or anyone you know, are in danger or have safety concerns about a situation involving imminent risk of harm, call 9-1-1.
  • For all other situations on campus, consider calling Campus Security (including 24-hour emergency response and Safe Walk) at 403-220-5333, available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.