Finding LGBTQ+ spaces at U of T

image text: finding LGBTQ+ spaces at U of T

Pride has come and gone, leaving the city covered in specks of glitter that will take ages to wash away. But just because Pride has said goodbye doesn't mean the community has gone with it. U of T has a wide array of LGBTQ+ positive spaces and clubs, waiting for you to find them! Don't know where or what to look for? Don't worry, I've got an entire list of spaces to make it easy for ya.

1. LGBTOUT Drop In Centre

photo of the sir dan's quad, with arrow pointing to the drop in centre
The Sir Dan's quad, home to the LGBTOUT Drop In Centre

If you're looking to become part of the LGBTQ+ community on campus, the LGBTOUT Drop In Centre (DIC) is the best place to start! The DIC is located in the archway of Sir Dan's Residence (right across from Sid Smith) and offers free peer counselling for LGBTQ+ students who are in crisis, or in need of friendly, non-judgmental and sex-positive support. The DIC is open all day during the week, and all conversations that happen inside its rainbow covered walls are kept completely private. If you're looking for some guidance or just to make some new friends, this is the place for you!

photo of the door to the drop in centre

2. LGBTOUT Events

poster for LGBTOUT's Halloween Homohop from last year; poster features a couple  dressed up as a faerie and vampire
the poster from last years homohop, one of LGBTouts two annual dances

LGBTOUT, or Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Trans people of U of T, is the largest cross-campus LGBTQ+ organization on campus. Besides operating the aforementioned DIC, LGBTOUT hosts the Homohop and Queer Ball, two awesome annual dances, and a wide array of smaller events throughout the year. Check out LGBTOUT online.

3. Join your college or faculty's LGBTQ+ group!

purple U of T engineers marching in the 2015 pride parade
Did anyone else spot these awesome purple members of LGBTQase marching in the pride parade this year?

If you're more comfortable with a smaller organization or an organization a bit closer to home, college and faculty groups are the way to go! On the college level, there is: VicPride!WiNC (Woodsworth Inclusive), NC+ (New College Positive) and Rainbow Trinity. Not a member of a college? No problem! LGBTQase (LGBTQ and Allies in Science and Engineering) and Out in Law got you! For more information click on the name of the organization and visit their website!

4. The Centre for Women and Trans People

picture of a poster in a window that reads "centre for women and trans people at U of T"

The Centre for Women and Trans People is a safe space on campus for all women and trans people. Located in the North Borden building at 563 Spadina Avenue, the centre is a safe drop-in space that offers free support, referrals and space to advocate for issues relevant to you. For more info, access the centre's website.

Quick Tip: Looking for gender-neutral washrooms on campus? Never fear! The centre has put together a map of all gender-neutral washrooms on campus.

5. U of T Sexual Education Centre

picture of a bowl of condoms with a sign that says "free condoms" on top
Fun fact: almost all of the free safer sex supplies you'll find on campus come from SEC! ( source: )

The Sexual Education Centre (SEC) is your one stop shop for sexual education on campus, and I'm not talking about the "don't have sex or you'll get pregnant and die" type of sex-ed you got in grade eight. SEC is an amazing campus resource that provides info and guidance on everything to do with sex, sexual health, and sexuality. They also offer a wide array of free safer-sex supplies, free peer counselling, online resources, and a wide-array of events throughout the year. You can check out SEC's website, or visit in person at 21 Sussex Avenue!

6. Sexual and Gender Diversity Office (SGDO)

photo of one wall of hart house with a pride flag attatched to it
Every year the SGDO puts on Pride Pub, an afternoon and evening of dancing in the beautiful Hart House quad

The SGDO offers programming, education and advocacy for staff and faculty across all three campuses! Yup, you heard me right, all three! The SGDO offers a number of amazing parties, mixers, and discussions throughout the year, from the Pride Pub at Hart House in the summer to cupcake decorating in the fall! The SGDO also serves a more serious role on campus and is the place to report any homophobic or transphobic harassment and find support for dealing with such issues. You can find the SGDO at 21 Sussex Court, online here and report an incident anonymously here.

7. Take a class

photo of two books: one book is a collection of sappho poems and the other a collection of Plato writings on Love
You get to read Sappho in SDS, which is really reason enough to major in it

Okay, I know you're probably not reading this article for academic advice, but hear me out. U of T is home to an AMAZING program called Sexual Diversity Studies (as an SDS major I'm totally not biased). As the department website explains, Sexual Diversity Studies explores "how we frame and categorize sexual differences, why we fear some and celebrate others, how medical, religious, and political authorities respond to them."

Sexual Diversity Studies offers two entry-level courses SDS255: Histories and Sexualities, and SDS256 - Social Science of Sexuality. These two courses are a great way to fulfill a breadth requirement and meet other members of the LGBTQ+ community all while learning all about the histories of LGBTQ+ community. Don't have any room for an extra class? No problem. SDS hosts a wide array of events throughout the year, from FREE movie showings to academic panels!

What's your favourite LGBTQ+ space on campus? Tell me in the comments below!

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