Imagine pursuing your dream of moving to a country known for its diversity and acceptance, only to find yourself caught in a web of isolation, alienated from both your country of origin and your own community here in Canada. This dual isolation can be overwhelming for LGBTQIA+ newcomers and refugees, as they find themselves distanced from the support systems they have in their home country, while also facing challenges within their new environment.

The isolation experienced by LGBTQIA+ newcomers go beyond external factors and impacts their core perception of self. The rejection they encounter from their families and communities due to cultural and traditional beliefs can result in a sense of detachment from their own cultural identity. Consequently, they may find it difficult to reconcile their authentic selves with the culture they grew up in. This internal conflict perpetuates a sense of isolation, which further complicates their journey towards self-acceptance.

Rather than completely rejecting their entire culture, the key to navigating the journey of self-acceptance for LGBTQIA+ newcomers lie in selecting the aspects of their culture that resonate with their values. By doing so, they can reclaim their sense of identity and establish a strong connection with their authentic selves. By embracing the cultural elements that align with their personal beliefs, they can find a balance that promotes self-acceptance while honoring their roots.

Despite the significant progress made in the field of mental health, gaps still exist within the system, particularly for LGBTQIA+ newcomers. These individuals often fall through the cracks, lacking access to adequate resources and assistance. Recognizing this, Rainbow Haven: Embracing Journeys, in collaboration with Indus, has taken the initiative to create a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ newcomers and refugees. This space aims to bridge the gap in support by providing a nurturing environment where individuals can overcome the challenges of dual isolation and develop relationships with others who share similar experiences. Through this initiative, LGBTQIA+ newcomers can cultivate a deep sense of belonging within a community that embraces their authentic selves.

Joan Yacoub

Social Worker – Arabic Speaking
Community Health

Published By: