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Moving to a new country can be exciting, but the settlement process can be stressful and may take years. Queerspora hopes to provide some ease to GBTQ newcomers during their journey of trying to find their way in a new home and building trust and connections. The project also aims to equip newcomers with sexual health toolkits and knowledge that they can use in their everyday lives in Canada.

Queerspora is a project aimed to mobilize sexual health knowledge and skills within  Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer (GBTQ) newcomer communities in their diaspora with an intersectional vision. Queer Diaspora takes into consideration how the re location fromyour original homeland impacts your health outcomes, as well as your understanding of sexuality and sexual health.

The project is led by a queer refugee with ongoing communication of a GBTQ Newcomers Advisory Committee. Between 2019-2021, our focus is on GBTQ newcomers and promoting their sexual health. 

This project is a partnership with Capital Rainbow Refuge, an organization that supported MAX Ottawa's community consultation with GBTQ newcomers by providing guidance and recommendations.

For more details, please read our press release.

Newcomer Health and Settlement Services

If you are looking for services & resources as a queer newcomer, here are some important services you can access. Topics include

  • Health,
  • Employment,
  • Language,
  • Socializing,
  • Entertainment, and
  • HIV basic info

Other GBTQ newcomers have found these services and resources extremely useful during their first year in Ottawa so they were excited to share them with you!

MAX has a full queer newcomers guide of important services for your settlement alongside with information about HIV that you can view to learn more.  The full guide is available in English, French, Spanish & Arabic.

LINGO: your online sex-friendly guide

Within GBTQ+ communities it often feels as though everyone speaks a different language. This is especially true when you are ONLINE. Words some folks use can mean something completely different to others.  It's always better to ask than assume the definition of the term. To help you become familiar with some of these words, we have made a list of words that are used online - A sex-friendly LINGO guide!

Some terms can carry a stigma and will be marked with an asterisk (*). 

Stigma occurs when society labels someone as tainted or less desirable based on a variety of factors, such as culture, gender, race, and health. Stigma can cause people or communities to make less informed or healthy decisions about accessing help, treatment, or recovery.

For example, we know that HIV has become a manageable disease. People who are on treatment and whose viral loads are undetectable can not spread HIV to other sexual partners. However, there is still a stigma around HIV. Sadly many guys will use terms like "dirty" or "unclean" to be rude or hurtful. For people living with HIV, this can increase feelings of sadness, depression, or loneliness.

Click here to see more and download the full LINGO in English, French, Spanish & Arabic.


Queerspora developed a course that can make you feel more comfortable with your sex life. It can be taken by yourself or with one of our trained volunteers. 

By the end of this course, you will be able to understand: 

  • Why sex is a part of life
  • Consent
  • Sexual communication skills
  • Exploring new kinks and fantasies, and 
  • Tools & combination strategies to stay healthy while having the sex life you want! 

Depending on your preference, you can access the workshop by:

Have any questions about this project? contact us at info@maxottawa.ca.