Since 2007, the altView Foundation has served the queer community in Strathcona County and surrounding areas with several programs. They are the HangOUT, a youth space/activity group, Thought Out, an all-ages discussion group, altView Writes, a course basesd program to assist queer and trans authors in getting their words out, and the altView Presents program, a series of presentations to various public and private groups regarding a variety of LGBTQ-themed topics. In addition to the wide range of programs it offers, altView also provides in- and out-of-school support to Elk Island Public Schools’ Gay/Straight Alliances, providing resources and support to students and staff who wish to work to make their schools safer spaces for LGBTQ students. The foundation has grown considerably since it began as a small youth group in 2007; altView now has an office in Sherwood Park and employs three part-time staff members.
The name ‘altView’ means, simultaneously, ‘Alternative View’ and ‘Alter View’. As ‘Alternative View’, altView works to raise awareness for the inclusion of LGBTQ people in our community in a non-conformist manner. altView provides an alternative experience to the heteronormative belief structures surrounding gender and sexuality. altView also refers to ‘Alter View’, meaning there is an educational component to altView’s mission. altView aims to raise awareness, empower and educate people from heteronormative backgrounds that systematically exclude certain other ways of being, thinking and relating.
altView is a safe place for people who identify with a sexual minority or gender variant; the organization strives to foster the inclusion of individuality and diversity in terms of gender and sexuality. altView focuses on building community through social support, advocacy, empowerment, education and consciousness raising. Its educational mission is to raise awareness of the effects of systematic discrimination and oppression that LGTBQ people endure, and empower people to fight for equality. To this end, altView seeks to alleviate human suffering through the reduction of stigmatization and isolation of people who may identify as a sexual minority or as gender variant.
altView is a growing, learning organization which, through reflective practice, aims to continuously improve itself to better serve those in the LGBTQ community. altView encourages divergent perspectives and is committed to being an adaptable, open-minded, creative and idea-driven community organization. Staff and volunteers at altView constantly seek out new information and the latest news concerning gender and sexuality, and are constantly undergoing a process of self-education. In the future, altView hopes to add more staff and recruit more volunteers who are eager to contribute to the organization’s mission.