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Formation2005 as Jer's Vision
Legal statusactive
PurposeAnti-Bullying, Gay rights in Canada
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario

The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) is a charitable organization whose programming works to stop bullying, discrimination and homophobia in schools and communities in Canada, and abroad. Through workshops, presentations, training conferences, and by supporting youth initiatives, they engage youth in celebrating diversity of gender identity, gender expression, and romantic orientation and/or sexual orientation.


The CCGSD, originally known as Jer's Vision, was founded by a six-member board in 2005.[1] Started originally as a scholarship, the organization grew to a range of programs that engage schools in examining the culture of their school and providing them with programming to address challenges around bullying, homophobia, transphobia and discrimination.[2][3][4]

In March 2015, Jer's Vision changed its name to the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

Focus areas

Programming in Schools

The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity works with schools to develop and provide programming that engages students, staff and community to understand bullying, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia. This includes presentations, workshops, conferences, training, professional development and efforts that support youth initiatives and clubs. The organization works across Canada, especially in rural communities, and in the Northern United States.[5]

Working in Communities

In 2007, youth from Jer's Vision were inspired by David Shepherd and Travis Price to start the International Day of Pink.[6] The initiative supports youth actions to stop bullying in schools and communities.[7][8][9] In 2012, over 8 million people participate in the International Day of Pink.[10]

The organization sits on a variety of committees and contributes to work across Canada. They have participated in activism and activities with the Parliament of Canada, the Senate of Canada, Government of Ontario, Ontario Chiefs of Police, and the City of Ottawa.[11][12][13]

Recognizing Community Leaders

Starting in 2006, Jer's Vision began recognizing individuals and groups with the Youth Role Model of the Year award. The award recognizes persons who have done exceptional work to stop bullying, discrimination in their communities at their annual gala. Past recipients of the award include Rick Mercer,[14] Jack Layton,[15] Lori Taylor and Brandon Timmerman,[16] Stephen Lewis,[17] Brian Burke,[18] Elder William Commanda, Libby Davies, Hedy Fry,[19] Adamo Ruggiero,[20] Matthew Good,[21] Audrey Wolfe, and Sheila Copps.[22]

The Gay Sweater

On March 24, 2015, the CCGSD launched The Gay Sweater. The campaign, aimed at reclaiming the phrase "that's so gay" by creating an actual gay object - namely a sweater knit from yarn made from 100% human hair donated by the LGBT community - was timed to coincide with Toronto Fashion Week. The Gay Sweater received widespread coverage and the YouTube video had 45,000 views in the first 48 hours.[23][24][25][26][27]

See also


  1. ^ "Jeremy Dias creates scholarship with rights settlement". Xtra.
  2. ^ "Sharing Jer's Vision". Xtra. Archived from the original on 2013-01-15.
  3. ^ "Jer's Vision Promotes Sexual Equality". The Ottawa Sun.
  4. ^ "I Used to Think I Won the Lottery for Losers". The Globe and Mail.
  5. ^ "Vision for Change". Centretown News. Archived from the original on 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
  6. ^ "Bullied student tickled pink by schoolmates' T-shirt campaign". CBC. 19 September 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Day of Pink". Ottawa Family Living Magazine. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Jer's Vision and the Day of Pink". Xtra. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Day of Pink campaign comes to Ottawa". The Ottawa Citizen. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Pink Day anti-bullying campaign draws millions of participants worldwide". Yahoo! News The Daily Brew.
  11. ^ "Senators Talk to Local Youth About Bullying". Xtra. Archived from the original on 2012-06-14. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  12. ^ "GSAs at Centre of Legal Battle in Ontario". Xtra. Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
  13. ^ "Gay Advocates Praise Cop Handbook". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Jer's Vision Day of Pink Gala Honours Role Model for Gay Teens". 2b Magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-04-04. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  15. ^ "Hundreds Celebrate Day of Pink". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 26 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Jer's Vision Role Models Honoured". Brockville Recorder and Times. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Celebrating six years of fighting discrimination in schools". Xtra. 13 April 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  18. ^ "Brian Burke Scores in Ottawa". Toronto Sun. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  19. ^ "Battling Bullying". Macleans. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Ottawa date planned for proud Degrassi star". Xtra. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Tour Bus Woes". Near Fantastica. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  22. ^ "Jer's Vision Gala". Ottawa Street Style. 23 August 2008.
  23. ^ "'Gay sweater' made with 100% human hair takes back the phrase 'that's so gay' | CBC News".
  24. ^ Krishnan, Manisha (24 March 2015). "Gay Sweater challenges homophobic expressions | The Star". The Toronto Star.
  25. ^ "Point of pride: 'Gay' sweater takes aim at homophobic language". 24 March 2015.
  26. ^ "Charity's 'gay' sweater, spun from human hair, making Toronto Fashion Week debut | Metro". Archived from the original on 2015-03-26. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
  27. ^ "National Post".