Merging Waters welcomes everyone, of any sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity. For decades our community has been led and supported by people of diverse orientations and identities.


In 2002, Union Church became the first Affirming Congregation in Quebec. Today, having joined with Beaurepaire United to become Merging Waters, we are 're-affirming' following the guidance of Affirm United, the national organization that assists and recognizes communities of faith that are inclusive of the 2SLGBTQIA+ spectrum. 


We recognize that knowledge and understanding of sex and gender have changed and grown immensely in the past twenty years. There is much to learn. We are fostering an ongoing conversation about all aspects of 2SLGBTQIA+ diversity based on personal experience, reading, discussion and reflection. 


Below, you can find information on our work with Affirm United, published and web material that has been particularly helpful, and news items that inform us of 2SLGBTQIA+ issues of justice and inclusion in society. 














Affirm United / S'affirmer Ensemble (AUSE) is a national organization within the United Church of Canada with that educates and supports Communities of Faith affirming their committment to inclusion and justice for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. 


The AUSE main website is here.

The main AUSE resource we are using is called Open Hearts and can be found here 








Through the past year, Lisa and the re-affirming team have been responding to questions from grandparents whose grandchildren have been asking them to use different names and different pronouns. At the same time, there was so much in the news about gender policies in schools and about the conflicting rights of parents and children in gender discussions and the role of teachers in gender education.  

In October Lisa led a Sunday service entitled "Equipping Our Grannies: Understanding what our grandchildren might teach us about gender". Two guest speakers from the local 2SLGBTQ+ community told their stories and explored the questions to help people find their way through the complexities of new words and concepts. It was a lovely and informative service that generated lots of discussion in the weeks that followed. A video of the service can be found here.   









In this section we have collected web sites that we have found useful in our work to understand 2SLGBTQ+ issues as they develop. Things are changing fast and its hard to keep up. We encourage you to explore these sites and develop your own understanding. We hope these resources are helpful to you.



The developing understanding of sexuality and gender has introduced a lot of new concepts and new language to go along with them. Like learning any new language, this can be unfamiliar and confusing. We encourage you to learn the language and become comfortable using the words. Here are some helpful resources:


A good 'lexicon' of teminology in English and French can be found here.  FONDATION EMERGENCE is a Quebec organization working against homophobia and transphobia.


A good poster summarizing key words and ideas comes from BelongTo, an Irish organization supporting LGBTQ+ youth with information, interviews etc.


Local Resources

In our area, the West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre provides information, in-person and online programs, and events for youth adults and seniors. 


Lived Experience

Here is a first-person reflection from a non-binary student: I shouldn't have to look non-binary








In society at large, the discussion of 2SLGBTQ+ issues is evolving rapidly. We can't cover all of the media reports but this section includes links to stories that we feel are imporant to be aware of. In particular, in the United States there is a huge and politcal wave of anti-trans and more generally anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. This wave is driven by conservative Christian organizations. It threatens to undo decades of human-rights legislation protecting  the 2SLGBTQ+ community as well as communities of color. We are seeing this regressive movement coming to Canada and we need to be vigilant, informed and active in support of our own 2SLGBTQ+ affirming policies.  


The news items below are listed in chronological order. You may have to scroll down to see the different stories on a given topic. We try to use mainstream media and encourage everyone to read widely about these issues. 


February 21, 2024: Poilievre backs banning trans women from sports and bathrooms


February 15, 2024: CSIS warns that the 'anti-gender movement' poses a threat of 'extreme violence'


February 15, 2024: Greece legalises same-sex marriage but Orthodox Church remains opposed 


February 2, 2024: Doctors warn against Alberta's transgender health policies and another article on the same subject from the Montreal Gazette


December 24, 2023: Trans folks will someday be revered as the visionaries they are . This is an opinion piece which draws parallels between trans rights and the anti-slavery and feminist struggles of earlier decades. It offers some thought-provoking perspectives. 


December 18 2023: Pope Francis says priests can bless same-sex couples


December 6 2023: No trans or non-binary people on Quebec's gender identity committee


December 2023: A research report produced by the Southern Poverty Rights Centre documents the rising promotion of anti-LGBTQ+ pseudoscience and its influence on policy in the United States.  This is a long read with several chapters but the well-documented results and conclusions are concerning to say the least. 


October 20, 2023: Canada's Saskatchewan passes school gender identity bill


October 19, 2023: The spectacular freedom of embracing she/he/they pronouns. A personal story of coming to understand gender, full of insights.


September 2023: Canada: The LGBT Agenda Seeks to Destroy the Catholic Church


July 2023: US religious right at centre of anti-LGBTQ+ message pushed around the world