SAEFTY Ottawa (Support And Education For Trans Youth Ottawa) is an independent organization and advocacy collective created and run by and for trans and gender diverse youth. We aim to bridge the gap between trans and gender diverse people of all ages, by creating a safer space to connect. Though our schedule may vary, in a typical month, we host a drop-in space on the first Saturday and a special event on the third Saturday. Some events may intentionally centre children and youth who are younger (eg. elementary school aged) or older (eg. high school aged and beyond), but all events are open to trans people of all ages, as well as their families. As a community organization, SAEFTY is committed to providing a safer space for all trans and gender diverse youth where they can meet and connect with each other in a non-medical environment. We aim to provide positive and relatable role models to trans kids and youth in a supportive space where they can be themselves.
SAEFTY Ottawa was founded in the fall of 2017 by a group of trans and gender diverse youth in Ottawa, many of whom are still SAEFTY facilitators today. We were frustrated by the lack of spaces available to us that were organized and facilitated by other trans and gender diverse people – rather than cis adults. We also wanted a space where we could meet and connect with older trans youth and adults and where younger trans kids could find each other and meet older youth and adults who they could relate to.
We knew that other trans youth in Ottawa were feeling frustrated by the same things – many of us just wanted a place to connect, hang out, and make friends, so that’s exactly what we decided to create.
With the advice and support of trans adults and experienced community organizers, and generous donations from our communities, we invited our friends to join us and began hosting drop in events in parks and community centres.
We are entirely run by and for trans and gender diverse youth, and funded entirely by donations. This means that the only people we are accountable to is you – our community. Our most important goal at SAEFTY is to meet the needs of our communities, and we are always looking to find out more about how we can support trans and gender diverse children, youth and families in Ottawa.