The Capital Pride Youth Committee (CPYC) provides insight, advice and guidance to the Board of Directors, as well as the Operations Committee to ensure Capital Pride is best serving 2SLGBTQ+ youth in the community. This includes the development and implementation of policies and bylaws, event and festival planning, and community outreach.
David Thibodeau (he/him), a native East-Coaster, came to Ottawa to complete his masters degree at Carleton University. He now works in the federal public service and fills his free time as a swim coach. David’s passion lies in sports, where he advocates for creating an inclusive, and safe space for all to participate in sports and gym class. He joined the CPYC to be in a better position to learn about, and advocate for policies and programs that reflect the issues of today for LGBTQ2+ youth. Entering the second year of the CPYC, he is excited to see what can be accomplished!
Hi! My name is Alicia and I am originally from Kelowna, British Columbia but have lived in Ottawa for the past two years.
I got involved with the CPYC anticipating that this committee will work to implement tangible policies that will tackle pervasive issues affecting LGBTQ2+ youth in Ottawa, particularly homelessness and mental health.
I currently work as a Parliamentary Assistant and in my spare time, I am the Red Dress Chair of the University of Ottawa’s Alpha Phi chapter where I lead the organization of our annual gala in support of women’s heart health.
Board Youth Liaison
She, Her / They, Them
Hi I’m Gillian, or “Gillie”, and I’m a proud femme lesbian and intersectional feminist! I’m a 4th year Public Administration and Feminist & Gender Studies student at the University of Ottawa. I have lived in Ottawa my whole life and am always looking to increase my involvement in the local 2SLGBTQ+ community and beyond.
My passions lie in: improving sapphic (lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer women-loving-women) representation; body positivity; and increasing the accessibility of pride for youth with disabilities and mental illnesses.
In my high school years, I helped re-found my school’s GSA, and was its co-chair for two years. Throughout university I have been a strong advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ members in my sorority, Kappa Beta Gamma. I currently work as a federal public servant, and in my free time I love reading and reviewing sapphic fiction on my Instagram @dykereads!
Kaitlyn Chen (she/her) is here, queer, and proud of it. Born and bred in Ottawa, Kaitlyn is a high school student who aspires to be a lawyer. 2SLGBTQ+ expression in fashion and equal opportunity in sectors such as fitness and the workplace are issues close to her heart. She is also passionate about the promotion of mental health, stress management, and body positivity due to the prevalent disregard of their importance and the consequences thereof.
Kaitlyn joined the CPYC to educate both herself and her community about the obstacles that queer youth face in their day-to-day life. She hopes to reach solutions through her work and take proactive steps to achieve these goals.
Hiya! My name is Julia Winterhalder, I use she/her pronouns, and I’m a high school student here in Ottawa.
I’ve volunteered with Capital Pride in the past, and was looking for a step up, leading me here! As a member of the CPYC am looking to have a great impact on the 2SGLBTQ+ community, particularly with an environmentally conscious mindset.
In my school, I have founded and now lead the Environmental Club, as well as leading our Global Youth Club, which works on integrating diverse cultures into the school. Excited to make the most of this incredible experience!”
Shay Forrester (she/her) is a recent communications and media graduate from Carleton University. Having lived and worked in Ottawa for the last five years, Shay has found herself intertwined in the Ottawa community through school sports, local arts events and coffee.
As a barista and a freelance event planner in the downtown core, you can often find Shay creating or immersing herself in queer spaces in and around the ByWard region. As someone who is fairly new to the 2SLGBTQ+ community, she is most excited to engage with and learn from other young people in the national capital region and get them excited about Pride!
Ashli Au (she/her) is currently a Law and Human Rights student at Carleton University. She has a strong interest on the impacts of settler colonialism on the 2SLGBTQI+ community and hopes to continue onto a master’s degree in that field in the coming years. She has joined the committee with the goal of creating safe and inclusive spaces in all areas from sport to music, as well as dismantling the foundations of 2SLGBTQI+ oppression and stigmatization.
Ashli works at the City of Ottawa and is actively involved in the Ten Oaks Project. In her free time, you can find her jamming out on the guitar and piano, as well as rock climbing at her local gym.
Emma Grenier (they/them) is young queer proud individual. Growing up in Orleans they’ve always tried to attend as many 2SLGBTQ+ events as possible in the Ottawa region. As a person with autism they are excited to contribute their own experience in the planning of future pride events. Emma hopes to meet many different members of the community with different identities and life experiences to learn from them, and to be more intersectional in their activism.
While still in high school, Emma is passionate about law, activism, and politics, and hopes to continue those passions post secondary education.
She,Her / They, Them
Isabelle Mills (she / her, they / them) is a high school student attending Lisgar Collegiate Institute. They have worked closely with the clubs, Me to We, Leaf, and Rainbow Alliance at their school, which has helped them associate with a variety of causes and different techniques to achieve a collective goal.
Isabelle has always had a strong passion for helping people and fighting for equal rights no matter: race, gender, sexuality, religion, social class, etc.
Their goal with joining the Youth Committee is to help create spaces for all to feel welcomed and included, no matter one’s differences. They also hope to use their experience of being part of the committee to enhance Ottawa’s high school students. By having accessibility to knowledge, and understanding of the 2SLGBTQ+ community for all.
Skye McDowell is a high-school student based in the west end. She identifies as a Queer Transgender Woman and is passionate about 2SLGBTQ+ Rights, especially Trans rights, in the National Capital Region.
In the past, she has helped organize 2SLGBTQ+ events in her local area and hopes to continue to do so on a much broader scale. Her goals are to ensure that Trans voices are heard and Trans issues are met with the proper support and care, and to ensure that Trans youth receive the representation and care they deserve.
He,Him / They,Them
My name is Mj Lezada, I use both he/him and they/them pronouns, and I'm unapologetically queer! I was born and raised here in Ottawa, and come from a Filipino family. I'm known for my fashion, namely overdressing to any event and being as androgynous as possible. I love to break cisheteronormative ideals. My favourite topics to talk about and research are queer rights, mental health, sexism, ableism, and racism.
I have a serious passion for sociology, queer theory, and activism. I do my best to serve as a beacon of support and acceptance to everyone and anyone around me, and I joined the CPYC so I could expand even further than my peers.
I've volunteered for Capital Pride every year since 2018. I am the president and founder of my high school's 2SLGBTQ+ club, and I have organized my own charity event raising money for local queer youth support organizations. Online, I do my best to reach out to queer youth and give them the help they need.
I make my own music and videos, under the alias Adazel, where my main goal is to make content that breaks all conventions with gender-neutral love songs and queer-friendly entertainment.