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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Gender and Sexual Diversity


Safety, inclusion and accessibility is a priority for all students. TRU is working towards advocacy and anti-discrimination efforts for the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community on campus and beyond.

No matter how you identify in regards to the gender identity or sexuality spectrum - which includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer/questioning and two-spirit (2SLGBTQPIA+) individuals - whether you are questioning, curious, coming out or letting someone in – Student Services can offer a space for support, discussion and reflection.


Campus Resources
The Wellness Centre

The Wellness Centre strives to build a respectful and welcoming environment for all students, staff and faculty. The team aims to enhance well-being and foster a sense of community through one-to-one health consultations, workshops, and campus-wide events. The team acknowledges and recognizes that every person has a right to assess and determine their own sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression. Individuals of any and all genders, including gender non-conforming or gender expansive folks are invited to visit this safe and inclusive space to participate in the wide array of educational programming.

Counselling Department

The Counselling office is a respectful, safe and affirming atmosphere for students of all races, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religions, age, culture and socioeconomic status. Individual counselling sessions can help find solutions and develop coping strategies for stress, anxiety, depression, grief and other personal issues.

Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response

The Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response office recognizes that because of ongoing discrimination and oppression, 2SLGBTQPIA+ people may experience higher rates of poverty, stigma and marginalization. This may place members of the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community at higher risk of experiencing sexualized violence and additional harm while attempting to seek support and/or justice.

Regardless of when the violence occurred or whether a victim/survivor is interested is any formal reporting processes, the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Manager (SVPRM) can provide the following:

  • Emotional support and safety planning
  • Academic accommodations and emergency housing
  • Information about reporting options
  • Support through reporting processes if desired
  • Connection to campus and community resources
  • Support to those providing care to victim/survivors

If you make an appointment, you are welcome to bring a support person. You do not have to disclose an experience of violence in order to connect, and curious parties are welcome to pop by and ask questions without divulging personal experiences.

» Learn more about this team

If you would like to provide any feedback or work alongside the SVPR team to develop safer services and programming, please contact Amber Huva at

For more information, please visit Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response.

Additional resources: LGBTQ Survivors of Sexual Violence

Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs advises and assists students on academic integrity, academic appeals, harassment and discrimination, sexual or gender-based violence, emergencies, and student non-academic misconduct. Case Managers also support with personal hardship, financial crisis, emergency housing and guide students to inclusive resources. They can also assist with updates regarding name changes on institutional documentation.

Multi-Faith Chaplaincy

The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy is a religious and spiritual resource encouraging thoughtful reflection and dialogue. Chaplains can provide religious and spiritual care for the diverse membership of the TRU community.

All Gender Washrooms

All gender washrooms are essential to ensuring that campus feels welcoming, accessible and safe. Access to private washrooms decreases fear and anxiety and allows any individual — no matter their gender identity or expression — the autonomy to choose whichever space suits best. Find a list of washroom on our Inclusive and Accessible Spaces page.


TRUSU Pride provides a safe and inclusive space for all 2SLGBTQPIA+ students and allies to get together and socialize. They provide a welcoming environment for everyone to feel safe to express themselves.

Off-Campus Resources
Interior Community Services Safe Spaces Program

Interior Community Services Safe Spaces Program supports youth up to 26 years of age who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, two spirit, queer or questioning and their allies. The service provides drop-in appointments, outreach, support, referrals to other services, weekly peer group meetings as well as resource lending library. The organization also offers sexuality and gender workshops for community service providers and school groups.

Kamloops Pride

Kamloops Pride offers all kinds of social gatherings like Beers for Queers, Espresso Yourself and Pride Choir. Pride Week takes place annually every August. There are also opportunities to engage as a volunteer or as a board member.

Orchards Walk Medical Clinic

Orchards Walk Medical Clinic has a specific team consisting of a family physician, nurse practitioner, clinical counsellor, and registered nurse who work together to provide gender-affirming and primary care services for the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community.

PFLAG Kamloops

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Canada is a national non-profit organization that brings together family and friends of 2SLGBTQPIA+ people. The Kamloops chapter, headed by Jim and Grace, will be meeting on the 3rd Thursday of every month. For more information on time and location, call 1-888-530-6777 or email

2SLGBTQPIA+ Liaison Nurses

2SLGBTQPIA+ Liaison Nurses in-person or virtual support for ongoing or isolated physical, emotional, psychological, or other challenges. A self-referral form is available through the link to access services and assistance.

BC Government 2SLGBTQPIA+ Resources

BC Government 2SLGBTQPIA+ Resources access information about various dimensions of queer health and wellbeing, definitions, gender-affirming care, and resources for children.


Foundry is a province-wide network of integrated health and wellness services specifically focused on support for individuals aged 12-24. Visit their website to see if any of their services might be a good fit for you.

MOSAIC - I Belong

Based out of Burnaby, but providing programs and support via phone and online, MOSAIC - I Belong offers group and one-on-one support services for 2SLGBTQPIA+ immigrant newcomers.

QMUNITY - BC’s Queer Resource Centre

QMUNITY - BC’s Queer Resource Centre is a Vancouver-based non-profit organization that works to improve queer, trans*, and two-spirit lives. Their building is a safe space for 2SLGBTQPIA+ people to explore themselves, engage with community, and access resources and supports.

Trans* Care BC

Trans* Care BC provides a centralized database of information and guidance for support and resources, including exploring one’s transition, hormone therapy, surgical interventions, health and well-being, resources for families and parents and more.

Youth In BC Chat/Crisis Lines

Youth In BC Chat/Crisis Lines access immediate, barrier-free, non-judgmental, confidential support and follow-up through 24/7 phone lines and online services.

Egale Canada

Egale Canada is Canada's leading organization for 2SLGBTQPIA+ folks and issues. Through its presence in research, education, advocacy, awareness-building, and commitment to human rights and equity, Egale centralizes innumerable resources, informs policy to impact cultural change and promotes human rights and inclusion.

Friends of Ruby

Friends of Ruby is a Canadian organization committed to providing programming, services, and resources to members of the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community, such as free counselling, housing, and other social supports.

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

National Suicide Prevention Helpline call for immediate suicide prevention support. Dial 9-8-8. In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Pflag Canada

Pflag Canada find online resources and supports for a variety of dimensions of queer experiences and identities.

Trans* Lifeline

Trans* Lifeline - Suicide Hotline is Canada’s only crisis and peer-operated hotline that is staffed by trans* people and intended specifically for trans* people. This service strives to connect trans* people with the community, resources, and services they need to find relief, support, and assistance.

Understanding Pronoun Culture: context and insights on the importance of language

“Hi! My name is Nicole Stanchfield, and I use she/her/hers pronouns.”

Name tag


You may have heard me, or someone else, state their pronouns in class, or perhaps you've seen it in an email signature or on nametags. You may wonder why people state their pronouns. You might think that that it's confusing or unnecessary. Perhaps you're afraid to offend someone if you say the wrong thing.

Understanding the prevalence of pronoun use will provide a context to its necessity and importance. If you provide your pronouns, it lets someone from the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community know that you are an ally.

Here are some pointers on how to participate in pronoun culture and why it is so important.

Before we go any further on this subject, I’d like to offer some reflexivity and state that I am cisgender and hold a lot of privilege in my body, as my sex and gender are in alignment. I may not be the most appropriate person to be speaking to the normalization of pronoun culture, but as a member of the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community, many of my friends and loved ones are trans*, non-binary, and/or gender non-conforming and find this conversation tiresome because they always need to defend their identity.

It's necessary to proceed with caution around the vocabulary we use for describing, understanding and supporting individuals; what we know may not be the final or best choice for everyone. Unpacking the way we think about social constructs may help us to be more empathetic, compassionate and considerate people. Gender is social, structural, and interpersonal, so using someone’s appropriate pronoun acknowledges this and recognizes their lived experience, which, in my opinion, is a crucial component to allyship.

The more that pronoun culture is used in public spaces, the saf(er) and more inclusive these spaces become so folks can feel less othered or different, and their identity becomes affirmed and visible. I encourage you to adopt this into your day-to-day conversations with anyone you come across.

Please feel free to say:

“Hi, how are you today? My name is ______, and I use _____ pronouns; what are your pronouns?


“How would you like me to refer to you as?”

If they have previously shared their pronouns, but you need a reminder, say:

“Can you please remind me of which pronouns you would like me to use?”

It might take some practice, but when you hold space for members of equity-seeking groups and make allyship a priority - the rest falls into place.

If you misgender someone by using the incorrect pronoun (and you will), don't apologize profusely when someone corrects you, say:

“Thank you.”

From there, all you have to do is smile, take a breath, use the appropriate pronoun, and move forward with the conversation.

If you have a strong emotional reaction, and say, "I’m sorry," it can place the person in a situation that they have to comfort you for misgendering them, or worse yet, in the uncomfortable position of having to say, “It’s ok”, even when it's not.

(While we're on this subject, pronouns are not “preferred” by folks; it’s not like asking for no tomatoes on your burger! To some, affirming their pronoun is the difference between having a great day and the worst day.)

The next time you are introduced to someone, don’t assume their gender; you can’t always tell by the way someone presents themselves. State your pronouns and ask others to share theirs. All efforts are appreciated! Contribute to the building of inclusive spaces wherever you go, and share this information whenever possible.

Nicole Stanchfield
Student Storyteller
Introduction to Queerness: Inclusivity and the 2SLGBTQPIA+ acronym

Student Storyteller Nicole Stanchfield breaks down the differences between Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sexual Orientation and answers questions about the amazing 2SLGBTQPIA+ community! This presentation will help participants develop allyship skills, create saf(er) spaces, and use more inclusive language to foster a sense of belonging.

TransFocus Consulting's Final Audit Report

This report contains the findings and recommendations arising from the Gender Diversity Audit conducted by TransFocus Consulting Inc. at Thompson Rivers University from March to December 2019. The audit entailed interviews with 25 institutional stakeholders and one student organization, document reviews, and survey results from 103 students and 204 employees, of which 27 percent and five percent identify as transgender, non-binary, and Two-Spirit (TNB2S), respectively.

As a follow-up to the 2019 TransFocus Consulting gender diversity audit, which assessed records, data, facilities, communications and programs/services, the Faculty of Student Development continued to lead TRU’s efforts in supporting trans*, non-binary and Two-Spirit employees and students. After the final report was published in February 2020, Kai Scott of TransFocus returned to campus to facilitate a Gender Diversity workshop on gender, sex, sexuality, gender expression, pronoun use, common challenges and supportive actions. Scott also participated in the Gender Diversity Implementation Advisory Group meeting to reflect on progress and to provide insights on the next steps.


Being an ally of the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community requires action, visibility and reflection. Allyship is an ongoing work in progress — and it's an inside job.

  • Recognize your privileges and internalized biases.
  • Acknowledge the intersectional aspects of race, class and religion and understand
  • how that can impact an individual's ability to "come out."
  • Question or call out homophobic or transphobic rhetoric, commentary and humour.
  • Avoid assumptions about sexual or gender identity.
  • Ask which pronoun a person uses (but don’t ask what the preference is)
  • Consider the individual’s safety — never out someone.
  • Resist the urge to encourage an individual to come out before they are ready, as
  • there might be internal and external factors you don't understand.
  • Use gender-inclusive terms: “Hello, friends” or “Good Morning, all.”
  • Study 2SLGBTQPIA+ history before attending Pride events, as understanding context
  • is essential when you are a guest in queer spaces.

You Can Play Project

Locker rooms should be safe and sports venues should be free from homophobia. Athletes should be judged on talent, heart and work ethic, not sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The You Can Play Project ensures that 2SLGBTQPIA+ athletes and allies teaming up for respect. TRU WolfPack contributed with their own message to ensure that student-athletes are supported on and off the field.

Know Your Rights

A Toolkit for 2SLGBTQPIA+ Folks in Navigating Youth, Healthcare and Criminal Justice Issues. Know Your Rights is a collaborative project between the Kamloops Pride Association and Pro Bono Students Canada, Thompson Rivers University Law School chapter.

Learn more


As TRU continues to expand its supports, initiatives, and resources for 2SLGBTQPIA+ students, we would like to provide an opportunity for direct input on potentially important areas of focus. Though these suggestions may be subject to capacity, accessibility, and prioritization, we welcome any suggestions as a channel for direct engagement with this process! Share your thoughts with us below.

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