Why do we need a space like L’Asterisk?
The spectrum of realities experienced today by LGBTQ + youth is wide; from complete acceptance by family and friends to rejection, through a range of questions and explorations of their identities. The scientific literature on homophobia and transphobia has repeatedly shown that these young people are more vulnerable to multiple situations: alcohol and drug abuse, homelessness, running away, dropping out of school, risky sexual behaviour, suicidal ideation, etc. Bullying in school for reasons related to sexual orientation or gender identity all too often pushes young people into seeking help elsewhere than traditional youth organizations. The Gay Village, with its bars and saunas, a veritable pole of attraction for its reputation, often hosts the first experiences of these young people in search of identities. While Montréal is perceived as a haven for gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, non-binary, queer, and questioning people, it is clear that local services that are dedicated to LGBTQ + youth are lacking. L’Asterisk is the only non-commercial space for young people of sexual and gender diversity in Montreal.