Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS)
Established in 2008, the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) is housed in the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. At iSMSS (http://www.ismss.ualberta.ca), research and advocacy via our programming and services are inextricably linked. We work with the spectrum of sexual and gender minority (SGM) or LGBTTIQQ2SA youth, with the acronym including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, questioning, queer, two-spirit and allied youth. We engage them in intervention and prevention programming, focusing on educational outreach, individual development, socialization, and comprehensive health. At iSMSS we emphasize growing into resilience as a process and an outcome. This work is about helping youth to deal with adversity and trauma as they deal with stressors and risk taking. We assist youth to (i) build assets (significant adult, institutional, and community supports) and (ii) show signs of thriving (positive outcomes built around recognition, respect, and accommodation of SGM youth).