As we wrap up another wonderful Pride Month, let’s take a closer look at how Dylan Bruxer is helping to make Canada a safer, more inclusive place to live!

Employed by the York Region District School Board, 2SLGBTQI+ Community and Partnership Developer Dylan Bruxer works in the Inclusive Schools and Community Services Department. After receiving a Bachelor in Human Rights and Equity Studies degree from York University, Dylan went on to complete a post-graduate certificate in sexuality studies as well. He was fortunate enough to jump right into the 2SLGBTQI+ field in the Peel region and Perth County. For the past eight years, Dylan has coordinated training programs, education projects, and service initiatives for queer youth all across Ontario to help ensure that students feel affirmed, safe, and supported in their communities.

Get ready to feed your passion for 2SLGBTQI+ advocacy when you take a look at our inspirational interview with Dylan!

What are your current responsibilities within your role?

Currently, my list of responsibilities can be quite endless and changes daily. I act as the go-to support person for 2SLGBTQI+ youth, students, staff, and community members. I try to split my time between case management or other similar one-on-one work and project management. I address reactive situations that individual members may be experiencing and create proactive projects that can better address systemic issues.

Why did you choose this line of work?

As a queer person myself, I didn’t necessarily choose the work. I was simply looking for any way and every way to support and uplift my community. From my own experiences and connections, I knew how deeply 2SLGBTQI+ folks were underserviced, unsupported, and ostracized within many spaces. I deeply believe in the power of youth, especially when they are provided with the chance to feel their own autonomy and passion. This sparked the fire to chase a career that allows me to work within, and for, my community and advocate for youth throughout the province.

What obstacles or challenges have you faced in your role?

With any work that supports marginalized communities, there is always resistance. It can come from homophobia, transphobia, and unlearned biases from funding cuts and government regulations. Marginalized communities have always learned to adapt, think outside the box, and mobilize from within to accomplish our goals. Reaching out to connections for advice, not giving up when you’re buried in red tape, and making sure to check in with your burnout levels can drastically help.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Anytime I get to directly connect with 2SLGBTQI+ youth really helps ground all of the time, work, and energy that goes into the job. It feels great when you hear that the safe space you are trying to make is working and the kiddos have found some kind of support. The smiles and laughter of queer kids are the best!

Do you have any advice for people looking to get into this field?

Looking back on how I grew my career and education, I would tell folks to get involved. Education is great, but the hands-on work, whether it be volunteering at an event, showing up to a workshop, or interning over the summer, helps. You might gain a valuable skill, find a deep passion, or just learn that one part of the job isn’t for you. It’s all helpful—sign up, show up, and give it your all!

Do you have any tips for overcoming self-doubt?

What helps me is being honest with your coworkers and/or team and remembering that everyone has skills they are good at and skills they are not so good at. And that’s OK! It’s better to ask for help, clarification, or support than to get stuck or give up.

I also try to remind myself that perfection is rarely achieved and to keep the final desired outcome in mind. For my work, if folks felt supported, learned something, or accessed necessary services, then the goal was achieved. It doesn’t really matter if an email didn’t go out on time or a poster didn’t include a specific graphic. Don’t sweat the little things.

What are you looking forward to in your career this year?

I am looking forward to being able to come back together in physical spaces and face-to-face work. Any kind of support work, emotional labour, or connection is a lot more difficult to establish virtually. I can’t wait to see folks again and hold some compassionate community spaces.