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Regina

S PE C I A L F E AT U R E

Leader-Post • leaderpost.com

M o n d ay, J u n e 9 , 2 0 1 4

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“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

PRIDEWeek

~ Maya Angelou ~

Photo by RNC Imagery

June 9 -15, 2014

There’s no place like home — growing the community By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Regina’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (GLBTQ) community has always focused on providing a safe space for community members and, since it began, the Gay and Lesbian Community of Regina (GLCR) has called several places home as it grew and became more visible year by year. In 1972, 10 people at a private party got together to organize a social centre for the GLBTQ community. That fall, the newly formed Odyssey Club opened in a rented house on Smith Street, offering GLBTQ patrons dancing and socializing, as well as an informational phone line and library. The community was officially incorporated as The Atropos Friendship Society in 1975 and purchased the Smith Street house. Gatherings continued to be held as private parties until 1977, when the organization began operating under special occasion liquor permits once a week and the Atropos Friendship Society reincorporated as the Gay Community of Regina (GCR). In 1980, the GCR sold the Smith Street house and rented space at 2069 Broad St., behind an established country bar. This club was renamed Rumours in 1981 and was originally only open on weekends. In 1982, the GCR was granted a permanent liquor licence and the community flourished in its Broad Street home. The GCR was growing, and the community was looking to the organization for stability and direction, so the board of directors chose to purchase a building in the popular warehouse district as the new home of the GCR, and moved to 1422 Scarth Street in 1985. It was here that a Human Rights Committee was struck in 1985 to actively fight discrimination, and AIDS Regina — now AIDS Programs South Saskatchewan (APSS) — began working on the serious health concerns in the community. Groups such as the Regal Social Association of Regina (RSAR), a fundraising-entertainment organization, got their start at 1422 Scarth St. In 1989, the newly christened Scarth Street Station was home base for the organizers of Regina’s first Pride parade. As the community diversified over the years, and groups like Lavender and APSS found their own homes, the fight for recognition carried on. Another Pride parade in 1991 boasted 100 participants, and now the community was eager to be more visible. Human rights codes were being amended, groups for university students and youth

were being established and, to meet the needs of the membership, the GCR board of directors looked to move back downtown. In 1998, the GLCR purchased a building at 2070 Broad Street, across the street from their old location, and independent filmmaker Glen Wood made Community Building, a film documenting the hundreds of volunteer hours that went into creating this new home for the community. The Outside Club and Lounge opened its doors in 1999, and just one year later, over 400 people attended the first Pride parade Regina had seen in a decade. Since its signature rainbow sign started lighting up Broad Street in 1999, the GLCR has been a visible and vibrant part of the Regina landscape. The re-christened Q Nightclub and Lounge plays host to drag shows, wedding receptions, sports tournaments and AIDS Benefits. Wellness organizations have had offices in the building,

MONDAY JUNE 9

RAISE THE FLAG, RAISE A GLASS

TUESDAY JUNE 10

5 PM to 2 AM Admission: FREE

Q’d UP—PRIDE EDITION 9 PM to 2 AM Admission: FREE

WEDNESDAY JUNE 11

BUCKETS O’ PRIDE 5 PM to 2 AM Admission: FREE FRIDAY JUNE 13

FRIDAY NIGHT BURGERS

THURSDAY JUNE 12

KARAOKE with WILL-SING OUT PROUD 9 PM to 2 AM Admission: FREE

5 PM to 8 PM $10 Burger and a pint Admission: FREE before 8PM

THE INFAMOUS WHITE PARTY 8 PM to 2 AM Admission: $10 OR $5 for GLCR Membersand everyone dressed in all white attire!

SUNDAY JUNE 15

PRIDE WIND-UP BBQ 5 PM to 9PM Burgers (with all fixin’s) $5 Admission: FREE

SATURDAY JUNE 14

PAINT PARTY 10 PM to 3 AM Paint the town, paint your face and dance the night away with Regina’s Premiere Dj’s! $10 Admission

fundraising groups have donated thousands of dollars to charity from the showroom downstairs, and Queen City Pride, the official voice of GLBTQ Pride in Regina, has kicked off ever more successful Pride festivals every year since 2000. Last year’s parade saw in excess of 1,600 participants and spectators, and culminated with Dani Halverson surprising her girlfriend with a marriage proposal at the end of the parade. Everywhere that the GLCR has called home has been a volunteer-driven, safe space for diversity since its inception, and the GLCR is now the longest-serving community-owned social organization in Canada.

Message from the co-chairs Regina Pride Inc. would like to offer our sincere gratitude for all of the incredible support we have received throughout this year. The way our community has come together to help us create this festival has been truly remarkable, and we could not have done this without the incredible contributions of so many! This year, we hope to throw the largest and the best Pride Festival our beautiful city has ever seen. 2014 is a special year for the rights of the gender and sexually diverse community in Saskatchewan. It has been 10 years since the landmark decision of N.W. v. Canada, where the Honourable Justice Donna Wilson changed the definition of marriage and allowed members of our community to have our love recognized as equal. As gender and sexually diverse individuals around the world fight for basic human rights, we in Saskatchewan have a lot to be proud of! We hope you can all come and celebrate with us this week and help us to show Regina and the world how wonderful and diverse our community is! We have partnered with many great organizations in Regina and guarantee that there is something for everyone this week! Have a great Pride! Dan Shier, co-chair, Regina Pride Inc., prairie regional director, Fierte Canada Pride David Couture, co-chair, Regina Pride Inc.

SUNDAY NIGHT DECK PARTY 5 PM to 2 AM Admission: FREE

Regina’s

Queer Youth Group

A safe space for queer and questioning youth between the ages of 14 and 24. Every Wednesday night from 7:00 - 9:00p.m. in the UR Pride Centre in Riddell 225 at the U of R. email youthgroup@urpride.ca or visit www.urpride.ca

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Happy Pride Regina!

NIGHTCLUB & LOUNGE

306-569-1995 www.glcrclub.ca *Follow us on REG26204449_1_1

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S PE C I A L F E AT U R E

Monday, June 9, 2014

Leader-Post • leaderpost.com

Gender Talk — giving trans a voice

Living with HIV, then and now

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Gender Talk is a weekly radio show that addresses the need to educate the public about transgender, transsexual, genderqueer and intersex people, and the issues faced by the sex and gender diverse community of Saskatchewan. “Through initiatives like TransSask Support Services, the trans* community of Saskatchewan was able to organize a network and communicate the needs of individuals within the community, but there was no way to get that information out to the larger population. Various discussions over format, show title and other details occurred for about a year. Gender Talk was finally selected as a title,” said Mikayla Schultz, co-host of Gender Talk. Discussions began with the Regina community radio station CJTR, but there was a great stigma about being publicly identified as transgender and no one wanted to step up to host the show. Finally, Dylan Ferrier and Schultz agreed to host the show, and, on July 19, 2013, the first episode of Gender Talk was broadcasted on CJTR 91.3 FM. Gender Talk now airs weekly every Friday morning at 11 a.m., and the hosts pride themselves on being the voice and source for everything trans* in Saskatchewan. “We use trans*, with an asterisk, as an inclusive term denoting the sex and gender diverse community and the many people who are a part of it: transgender, transsexual, cross dressers, people born with intersex, two-spirit, genderqueer, genderfluid, androgynous, agender, bigender, pangender, non-binary, and many more, as well as family, friends, and allies,” said Schultz. Like the radio station it is aired on, Gender Talk is communitybased. The hosts welcome show topic ideas and guests to talk about those topics. The key to every episode is education and awareness. As the public has become more aware of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer and intersex people within the larger population, the need for a source of information becomes even more important. And conversely, as the sex and gender diverse community recognizes the importance of allies, there is a pressing need to identify these allies. “In short, it’s an opportunity to educate. With an informed public and a strong force of allies, the trans* community can move forward on issues like access to health services, proper identification, and explicit human rights protection, as can be seen recently by the

Mikayla Schultz and Dylan Ferrier co-h ost Gender Talk on Regina community radio station CJTR 91.3 FM. Photo courtesy of Mikayla Schultz

#Time4Rights social media and letter writing campaign,” said Schultz. Whether it’s a discussion on challenging perceptions of gender and society’s attempts to define it, or recognizing the unique process that parents, children, spouses and extended family often go through when a family member is trans*, the topics on Gender Talk are sure to be educational and thought-provoking. “LGBTQ radio programming is not new in Saskatchewan. There are currently — and have been in the past — several different radio programs focused on the whole of the LGBTQ community. What is unique to the Saskatchewan air waves is our focus on gender-related issues,” said Schultz. If you have a topic for Gender Talk or just want more information, the show can be found on Facebook and the hosts welcome emails at GenderTalk@CJTR.ca.

The Regina Police Service Cultural and Community Diversity Unit — outreach for all By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Until 1969, when amendments to the Canadian Criminal Code decriminalized homosexuality in Canada, gay men and lesbians could be arrested for their orientation. Harassment of GLBTQ individuals by law enforcement continued to be an issue in many centres throughout Canada even after that. But, in Regina, the goal of the Regina Police Service (RPS) is very different. Following recommendations made by an inquiry into the RPS Canine Section in 1983, The RPS established its Cultural and Community Diversity Unit, with the goal of educating all RPS employees on the cultural diversity in Regina and surrounding areas. Initially designed as an Aboriginal Liaison Unit staffed by sworn members, the unit soon expanded to include all ethnic minorities and a staff currently made up of three sworn members and one civilian member. By building a mandate that expanded involvement in various ethnic sections of the community, the RPS Cultural and Community Diversity Unit was able to develop and maintain a relationship with the GLBTQ community. “We have a good relationship with the GLBTQ community, offering

“Coming back [for Regina Pride Week], to me, means coming back to celebrate with fa mily, both blood and chosen... we come back because it’s just great to celebrate all that heartfelt friendship and love.” ~ Fred Udey ~

outreach and support as well as training and awareness, internally, to our own employees. It’s a relationship that benefits from regular contact through our Cultural and Community Diversity Unit to the community. Our Cultural Unit members act as a resource to our officers and a liaison between the community and the police,” said RPS spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich. All RPS employees benefit from regular diversity training, and past training has included workshops with Egale Canada to provide officers and civilian staff with education on hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Cultural and Community Diversity Unit works with Aboriginal and ethnic youth to encourage a positive relationship with the RPS, and have extended its outreach to the GLBTQ youth of Camp fYrefly, as well as maintaining a strong relationship with UR Pride at the University of Regina. The RPS Cultural and Community Diversity Unit is dedicated to maintaining and developing relationships with all the diverse communities in the city. By expanding the unit’s involvement in various ethnic and aboriginal organizations, supplying police-related information to them and working to actively create opportunities for diversity in the employment practices of the RPS, the organization is promoting its inclusive mandate to all Regina citizens.

TransSask

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Marlon Hoffman was diagnosed HIV+ in 1989 At that time, there was no support for people living with HIV/AIDS beyond AIDS Regina, now known as Aids Program of Southern Saskatchewan (APSS). It was a new organization, so medical professionals were learning about the disease alongside their patients. The doctoring was non-existent or prehistoric. “They didn’t have a doctor in Regina at first, so we went to Saskatoon for appointments. They gave out AZT and everyone got sick. It didn’t work. I didn’t take any medication for the first five years,” said Hoffman. Along with a lack of understanding of the disease and those who had it, came the inevitable prejudice against people who were simply trying to stay alive. “I always felt like there was some prejudice because of being gay, even in APSS on occasion. Most people were sympathetic, but standoffish in a lot of ways. A diagnosis then meant you were far less likely to find a partner. Nowadays I think the GLBTQ community is still struggling. One day they are behind you, and then the next day, they don’t want to be standing next to you,” said Hoffman. Establishing an HIV+ status is never easy, whether you are in your community, with your family, or at work. There have been great strides made in acceptance as understanding of the disease becomes more accessible and common place, but daily challenges must still be faced. “I work with people who live in a very specific world view. When they think of HIV at all, it’s often associated with drug usage, or with First Nations people. Now we have clean-up containers and educational pamphlets at work and it’s getting better,” said Hoffman. 2010 marked the 25th anniversary of APSS, and now, in 2014, Regina is home to specialists who work exclusively with HIV and immune deficiencies, knowledgeable nurses and pharmacists and a network that allows for easier delivery of medication. But the changes, even ones for the better, such as longer life expectancy, often come at a cost, both financial and health-wise. The cost of HIV medication is high, but government health care offers extended health benefits based on income, APSS has a client-based benefit system and many workplaces also have benefits. Without them, the medication can cost in excess of $1500 per month. “Nowadays, I think, because people are living longer, there’s this absurd thought that it doesn’t really matter. You don’t see sickness now like back then. People aren’t just wasting away. I find it sad that there are young people being diagnosed now because there’s no reason for it — not anymore,” said Hoffman. A lack of visible sickness in HIV+ people, combined with the mistaken belief that drug maintenance is actually a cure, are just two items contributing to higher numbers of diagnosis in Saskatchewan. “My advice to someone who gets diagnosed now? Get educated. I don’t know if you need to be a spokesperson if you are HIV+, but you can be educated. Get counselling if you need it. The diagnosis is like mourning in a way. You go through stages. And make sure you aren’t putting yourself or others in danger. Practice safe sex. The only person you really know is yourself. Always take your meds. Try to stay mentally healthy — make plans! You’re not going to die tomorrow,” said Hoffman. Together, the health industry, people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies continue their work on education, prevention and perhaps, someday, a cure.

The Unitarian Fellowship of Regina

Support Services Inc.

is a Welcoming Congregation

Pride in Saskatchewan’s Transgender, Transsexual, Genderqueer, and Intersex Communities

nonprofits.accesscomm.ca/Unitarian

with Support Groups in Moose Jaw, Regina, and Saskatoon

Support and Education in an Environment Respectful of Diversity and Equality in Sex and Gender

www.TransSask.org

Visit our website at or visit us in person at

2700 College Avenue, Regina

We are pleased to provide the venue for the Gender Info Fair and Coffeehouse

Thursday, June 12th at 7:00 PM

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Proud supporters of Regina Pride Week

Get tested – knowing is better!

Regina Reg gina C Churches hu urch rcheess Welcome Welcom You... ...Sunday Mornings! Mornings! ...Sunday REG26401377_1_1

Happy Pride Week

Bread of Life Lutheran Church

a proud supporter

Sunset United Church

of Pride Week

3018 Doan Drive • 9:30 am

177 Sunset Drive • 10:00 am

St. James United Church

512 Victoria Ave 306.569.2288

4506 Sherwood Drive • 10:00 am

Eastside E asttsiide U United nitedd C Church hurch

4147 Rochdale Blvd 306.525.8888

3018 30 18 D Doan oan oa n Drive Driv Dr ive iv e • 11 11:1 11:15 :15 :1 5 am

We are Churches committed to welcoming everyone, including people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Love from PBDC! reginarollerderby.com

KnightArcher.com

God’s Love Includes All. REG26204569_1_1

Knight Archer is

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S PE C I A L F E AT U R E

Leader-Post • leaderpost.com

M o n d ay, J u n e 9 , 2 0 1 4

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The Empress of Canada Foundation The AIDS Memorial — decades of community building By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products The international Imperial Court System, whose mandate is to raise money for charity through numerous entertainment and fundraising activities, is one of the longest-running gay organizations in the world. The Imperial Court System in the United States was founded in San Francisco in 1965 by José Sarria, also known as Absolute Empress I, The Widow Norton. At the same time as Sarria was building and uniting the U.S. Courts, Mr. ted northe (who preferred that his name be written in lower case), founded the first court in Canada, in Vancouver, B.C. Mr. northe also founded the Empress of Canada Foundation and, in 1967, became His Most Imperial Sovereign Majesty, The Empress of Canada Mr. northe’s title, His Most Imperial Sovereign Majesty, The Empress of Canada, has been recognized internationally by community groups and governments, including the government of Queen Elizabeth II. And for over sixty years, until his death earlier this year, northe worked tirelessly as the head of the Empress of Canada Foundation to raise millions of dollars for charity throughout Canada. The legacy that Mr. northe has left will be in good hands as, this month, Empress 7, 11, 18 and 21 of Regina and all of Saskatchewan, Avaughna Sanoir, will be crowned the new Empress of Canada. An election was held and Sanoir was selected by a conclave of the heirs appointed by the Empress of Canada prior to her stepping down. The heirs were chosen for their dedication and service to the Imperial Court System and to their communities. Sanoir served as an heir and also received the title of Grand Czarina to the Empress of Canada prior to her election. The primary role of the Empress of Canada is to promote goodwill, cooperation and unity within the Canadian Court System, the International Court System and all other community groups within and outside of Canada. Empress Elect Sanoir has been fulfilling this role on behalf of the Court of Regina for many years now. “This position allows me the pleasure and opportunity to assist the

The Q Hall of Fame By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products The Q Hall of Fame Canada is a national resource dedicated to commemorating and celebrating the diverse history of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Community. “The Hall of Fame was officially founded in 2009. I took a look around and realized that many of the people in our community who have been pioneers were not being recognized, and I don’t just mean the ones that hit the press, I also mean the people who struggle for equality in their home towns. The Hall of Fame, for me, is a way to spotlight the people in our community that may not be famous, but have made a lasting difference in our lives,” said founder Paul Therien. The Q Hall of Fame recognizes individuals for their contributions to the GLBTQ communities across Canada. The individuals or organizations that get nominated and chosen are honoured at the annual celebration Q Ball and their membership in the Hall of Fame is housed online at http://www.qhalloffame.ca/. “We do not have a physical site because the Hall of Fame needs to be accessible to Canadians, and having it hosted online provides the greatest accessibility. That is one of the wonderful things about the internet age!” said Therein. The Q Hall of Fame is strictly a recognition program. Many strong GLBTQ organizations across Canada are focused on providing services, so the mandate of the Q Hall of Fame is to recognize the efforts of those organizations and the people who make things happen. “Our history is an important one, it tells a story of struggle but also of beauty. In Canada we tend to be shy of our history, and for some reason, we allow our American neighbours to take the limelight. You know, Stonewall was an important moment in Queer history, but most people forget that, in Canada, we had already achieved much — the decriminalization happened months before Stonewall. We had activists in this country fighting for our rights a decade before that. ted northe is one example. He started his career as an activist in Vancouver in 1958. There are many people in this country who started fighting for equal rights in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, and it is important that we recognize their

LGBT Committee phone toll-free fax e-mail website

306.757.7925 1.888.757.7925 306.757.6959 cupe3967@sasktel.net www.cupe3967.com

1651 Park St., Regina, SK

Empress of Canada Avaughna Sanoir, seen with here with long-time friend and community supporter Ray St. Claire, hosts a monthly charity drag-queen bingo. Photo by RNC Imagery

next generation to establish a more vibrant GLBT community and a happy, productive Canadian Court System,” said Sanoir. As well, Sanoir has spearheaded many events for fundraising, which have led to corporate sponsorships, the gratitude of many nonprofit groups in Regina and across Canada, and thousands of dollars being distributed to students through a Court of Regina bursary, a cause that Sanoir is particularly dedicated to. “My hope is to continue to grow the Foundation as a strong, positive, diverse, community organization, and I am very excited to establish the ted northe Bursary in recognition of his many years of excellent service to the Canadian GLBT community,” said Sanoir. The mission of the Empress of Canada Foundation is to unify the Canadian courts, document the histories of GLBTQ communities across Canada and provide a national resource for charitable fundraising. Decades of service and millions of dollars later, the foundation is ready to step into the future and continue this great work.

contributions,” said Therien. The Q Hall of Fame holds a gala event every two years to recognize the nominees to the Hall of Fame. The first Q Ball in 2009 and the 2011 event were held in Vancouver. In 2013, the Q Ball was held in Toronto, and in 2015 it will be back in Vancouver. The vision for the future is to make the Q Ball an annual event, all across Canada. “The event is all about our community and the people that make our community a family. I’d love to see us have the event in Regina and other cities across the country. I believe that we need to be accessible to Canadians, and that, in part, means going to them instead of making them come to us,” said Therien. The Q Hall of Fame continues to expand and network to become more accessible and serve every GLBTQ community in Canada. In the future, they hope to have chapters in every province to increase recognition for the remarkable individuals and organizations that continue to work for GLBTQ people everywhere. “As Canadians, we should be proud of our history. We should be proud of those people who stood tall and continue to stand against oppression. These people not only helped to create a community, but they helped to mould our country into the one we live in today. As ted northe once said to me: ‘This is not about gay rights, this is about human rights — at the end of the day, we are all humans’,” said Therien

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Pride in Our Workplace

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products In 1987, The Names Project was incorporated to manage a collection of cloth panels that had been created by people who had lost someone to AIDS, as a tribute to their friends and family members. The panels were collected together into what is now known as the AIDS Memorial Quilt. In 1989, sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt toured through Canada, and in each city that hosted the event, hundreds of new panels were added for Canadians who had lost the fight with AIDS. When the tour ended, these panels remained in Canada and are now recognized as sections of the Canadian AIDS Memorial Quilt. By 2006, Canada was one of over 30 countries with its own memorial quilt. The original panels of the Canadian AIDS Memorial Quilt are often displayed across Canada at HIV/AIDS-related functions such as workshops and fundraisers. The quilt now consists of more than 600 panels and, in its entirety, it is over 18,000 square feet. While the quilt is currently maintained by the NAMES Project-Canada, that organization is in the process of transferring the quilt to the Canadian AIDS Society, based in Ottawa. The NAMES Project will continue to host panel-making workshops as well as maintain a national memorial in Halifax. Many HIV/AIDS organizations maintain quilt panels in their own cities, recognizing local men and women who have passed away. AIDS Programs Southern Saskatchewan (APSS) currently houses a selection of quilt panels honouring Saskatchewan residents. Included in the collection are two panels donated by the Regal Social Association of Regina (RSAR), a GLBTQ entertainment and fundraising organization, and one designed for David Forseth, a member of the RSAR. There are panels honouring Ric Ranger and Jerome Nagel, two of the first advocates for AIDS programs in Saskatchewan, and they also currently have a wellness fund through APSS named after them, to assist those living with HIV. All of the local panels are available for display through APSS by contacting them, toll free, at 1-877-210-7623 or visit the webpage, http://www. aidsprogramssouthsask.com/home.html The AIDS Memorial Quilt panels are beautiful and heartbreaking. They are works of love that pay tribute to friends and family members, people young and old, people gone too soon and sorely missed by those left behind. Whether it’s the local panels, the Canadian quilt or the original panels created over 25 years ago, the quilt is a powerful symbol of loss and hope.

Gluten free menu options available! 363 Broad Street corner of Broad & 2nd Ave. N.

206-FISH (3474) We welcome you to bring this publication in to us during Regina Pride Week, June 9 - 15th and enjoy 10% off the cost your meal!

HAPPY PRIDE FROM ALL OUR STAFF! Mon.-Thurs. 11-8 Fri. & Sat. 11-9

Proud Supporter of Regina PRIDE Week Comics, board games, miniatures, CCGs, toys, plushes and more Two locations in Regina 105 - 2125 11th Avenue 4603 Albert Street

www.comicreaders.com

RR

CUPE Local 3967

Quilt — a history of loss

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306 533 5527

McKenzie Agency

www.andreanorbergphotography.com andrea@andreanorbergphotography.com

• Motor License Issuer • Notary Public

General Insurance

• Residential • Business • Automobile mckenzieinsurance@hotmail.com Ph: 306-569-2456

Fax: 306-569-9452

1903 Argyle St. Regina, Saskatchewan S4T 3S6

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Proud supporter of the GLBTQ community!

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Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan

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Your Regina NDP MLAs are proud to support Queen City Pride.

Celebrate & Embrace Reject Discrimination.

From Many Peoples Strength www.mcos.ca

Warren McCall

Regina Elphinstone-Centre 306-352-2002 REG26204572_1_1

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Trent Wotherspoon Regina Rosemont 306-565-2444

John Nilson

Regina Lakeview 306-751-7740 REG26401430_1_1


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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Monday, June 9, 2014

Why same-sex marriage is important By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products In 2004, Saskatchewan was the seventh province to make same-sex marriage available, predating the federal Civil Marriage Act of 2005 by eight months. Five samesex couples took their application to court, seeking a judgement that marriage licence issuers appointed by the province would have to issue marriage licences to samesex couples. To refuse to do so would be discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which contradicts the equality clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Same-sex marriage became a recognizable fact, but new issues arose over marriage commissioners who objected to performing same-sex marriages on the basis of their religious beliefs. In 2005, Baptist marriage commissioner Orville Nichols refused to marry a same-sex couple because it conflicted with his religious beliefs. A complaint from the couple under The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code followed, and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Nichols’ refusal infringed on the couple’s legal right to access public services without discrimination. Nichols’ appeal was dismissed in 2009. Bruno Sahut, a bilingual, multi-faith, GLBTQ, marriage commissioner, began performing same-sex marriages that same year. He saw an opportunity in the Nichols case to provide a service that he felt deeply about. “I started July 17, 2009. This was following a refusal based on religious grounds made by an appointed provincial marriage commissioner to perform a marriage between two people of the same sex. I was outraged, and after weighing my Canadian status against my landed immigrant status, my outrage won and I decided to do

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Leader-Post • leaderpost.com

everything in my power then to make sure people who love each other, especially LGBTQ people, would be able to pronounce their wedding vows to each other and be happy like any other couple. There should be no obstacles to their happiness,” said Sahut. The historical mistreatment of GLBTQ individuals is well known, and the struggles against homophobia and persecution are still ongoing. The right to marriage was a huge win for the GLBTQ community in the fight for human rights. The Nichols case and subsequent ruling by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals that ruled denial of this government service on the basis of sexual orientation is unconstitutional are of tremendous importance to a community that still faces daily discrimination. Educating government workers in human rights issues and opening dialogue on why discrimination against GLBTQ individuals is just as damaging as racism or sexism are key issues facing both the GLBTQ community and the service providers for all people in Saskatchewan and in Canada. “My belief in the importance of recognizing samesex marriage is based on my long-standing belief that people have a fundamental right to be happy, and if being married makes all the difference, then it is my duty to assure them that they have a friend in me and that my actions will serve that happiness! To me, this is a fundamental human right,” said Sahut. Marriage commissioners such as Sahut, brave couples like those first five that challenged the discriminatory status quo, and a GLBTQ community focused on the desire for equality in all things are all rising to meet the needs of our evolving society in our cities, our province and our country.

Raise the flag - Host: Regina Pride - Location: Regina City Hall - Time: 9 a.m. - Cost: free

Raise a glass - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 5 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

Coming out party - Host: UR Pride Centre

- Location: see queencitypride.ca - Time: 7 p.m. - Cost: free

Tuesday, June 10: All fun and games - Host: UR Pride Centre - Location: Les Sherman Park - Time: 7 p.m. - Cost: free

Q’d up — Pride edition - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 9 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

Wednesday, June 11: Buckets o’ pride - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 5 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

Milk - Host: Regina Public Library - Location: RPL Central Branch - Time: 6:45 p.m. - Cost: free

Pride poetry slam - Host: Word Up Wednesdays - Location: Creative City Centre - Time: 7:30 p.m. - Cost: $5

Punk Rock Pride - Host: Regina Pride - Location: O’Hanlon’s - Time: 9 p.m. - Cost: free

Gender info fair and coffeehouse - Host: Transsask - Location: Unitarian Centre - Time: 7 p.m. - Cost: $5 (suggested donation)

- Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 9 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

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Saturday, June 14:

Top: David Forbes, MLA for Saskatoon Centre, was the winner of the Sweetest Ally Contest for getting the most likes on the #Time4Rights Facebook Page for his picture of the Provincial NDP Caucus supporting trans* rights in Saskatchewan.

and Rose Street (Q parking lot), End: Victoria Avenue and Lorne Street - Time: 11 a.m. - Register now at queencitypride.ca

Middle: Sarah Miller and Neva MacKay of Humboldt Parents and Friends for Lesbians and Gays support Time 4 Rights because “It’s time to step into the 21st century!”

Let them eat cake — the annual prince and princess show:

Bottom: Miki Mappin from Saskatoon supports Time 4 Rights because “I know that without clear and specific protection under the law it is too easy for an employer to unjustly fire someone.”

- Host: RSAR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge, multipurpose room - Time: doors open at 8 p.m. - Cost: $5

Paint Party - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 10 p.m. to closing - Cost: $10 (cover good for both the Paint Party and the Pride after-party)

Community of Regina, who have provided the longest running GLBTQ community-owned centre in Canada, are continuing to lead the way for equality. More and more businesses and organizations are doing their part to promote safety and acceptance for the GLBTQ people who make up their workforce. When GLBTQ people and their allies boycotted Coors beer in the ‘70s for firing gay men and lesbians, the company was forced to re-evaluate its policies, and today, Coors is a leading contributor to many GLBTQ causes and the company prides itself on its diversity and inclusion committees and its wide range of benefits. And, here in Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is committed to doing everything necessary to ensure that GLBTQ members enjoy full equality and freedom from sectarian violence, intimidation, and bullying. From boardrooms to sidewalks, organizations are springing up to promote acceptance for all. This year, Intolerance Free Weyburn, a grass roots organization of Weyburn residents, came together not in violence, but in a peaceful protest against hate speech, a protection guaranteed in the Human Rights Code. By creating a mandate that includes respect, and promotes love and acceptance for all, this group made Weyburn a little safer for all of its residents. In 2014, the idea that transgender or homosexuality could be a mental disorder seems ludicrous. The idea of putting a person out of their home, their job or their family for who they choose to love seems impossible. And the idea that a government would allow its own people to be incarcerated or killed simply for who they are seems utterly impossible. And yet, it still happens. As our global reach extends through technology, so must our work for safety and acceptance of GLBTQ people extend through our cities, provinces, country and everywhere, until celebrating diversity becomes a worldwide fact of life.

O’HANLON’S

1947 Scarth St.

- Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: Friday June 13, 8 p.m. to closing - Cost: GLCR members or nonmembers dressed in white: $5 non-members not dressed in white $10

- Host: Regina Pride - Location: Victoria Park - Time: 1 PM - Cost: free

GLBTQ safety and acceptance — the continuing struggle

t the University of Regina, we provide a welcoming campus environment, and our UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity helps us do it.

- Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. - Cost: $10

Out in Victoria Park!

~ Stephanie Mack ~

PRIDE WEEK June 9-15

#Time4Rights is a social media and letter writing campaign started by the Gender Equality Society of Saskatchewan (GESS). GESS advocates for the rights of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, intersex and two-spirit people in the province of Saskatchewan. GESS is asking the Government of Saskatchewan to provide explicit human rights protection by including the terms “gender identity,” and “gender expression” to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code as categories of discrimination. You can support the effort by uploading a “selfie” of you supporting trans* rights to the Time 4 Rights Facebook page, or by writing a letter to your local MLA and the minister of justice expressing your support of trans* rights in Saskatchewan. Find more information at www.Time4Rights.ca.

Friday night burgers

2014 Pride Parade Karaoke with Will-Sing - Host: Regina Pride Out Proud - Location: Start: 13th Avenue

“To be very honest, being right smack in the middle of the Pride parade, on a float full of drag queens, when my girlfriend had the parade stopped in the middle of Victoria Ave., got down on one knee and proposed to me in front of all our friends and fa mily — that, I have to say, is my most vivid, a mazing experience!”

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products In 1952, Alan Turing, the founder of modern computer science, was given a choice of being chemically castrated or going to prison when he was prosecuted for homosexuality, still considered a criminal offense in the United Kingdom at that time. In October 1998, Mathew Shepard was beaten and tortured to death in Wyoming for no other reason than his sexual orientation. This year, the president of Nigeria signed a law imposing up to 14 years jail time for same-sex relations. Safety and acceptance are two things all people look for, whether it’s in their homes, their workplaces, with their friends or within their families. In Regina, the fight for safety for GLBTQ people may not seem as violent and dangerous as the news reports from Russia, but the demand for acceptance and respect is just as prevalent. Groups like Camp fYrefly, that are creating young leaders who will work to keep GLBTQ youth from being bullied, and the Gay and Lesbian

Friday, June 13:

The infamous White Party

Thursday, June 12:

G5

Time4Rights — social media for change

2014 PRIDE events Monday, June 9:

Mo n d ay, Ju n e 9 , 2 0 1 4

306.566.4094

UR Pride envisions an inclusive learning environment – free of discrimination – and provides services and programming to support this work.

“Many do not understand why we have Pride parades, but for me it is a fun and proud way of putting ourselves in front of the world. And if just one person watching from the sidelines says to themselves ‘hey, I’m really not alone,’ then we have done our job.”

Pride after-party featuring Deko-ze - Host: Regina Pride - Location: German Club - Time: 9 p.m. - Cost: $10 (cover good for both the Paint Party and the Pride after-party)

~ Mitchell Murray Thomas ~

A-1 Rent-Alls — a proud community supporter

Sunday, June 15: Sunday night deck party - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 5 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

Pride wind-up barbecue - Host: RSAR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Cost: $10

Two spirits — reclaiming their place By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Two spirit is a term that usually indicates a person who manifests both the male and the female spirit and has a connection to First Nations cultural beliefs and practices. It can also be used to describe a person with two contrasting human spirits, such as mother and warrior. Over time, influences, such as religion, lack of proper education and isolation for First Nations people, have led to the same types of discrimination and homophobia towards two spirit people that other GLBTQ communities have experienced, but often magnified because of the unique social structures in native culture. “For the last two years, I have been the two spirit elder at Camp Fyrefly in Saskatchewan. It is a one-week summer camp to train youth leaders in the GLBTQ2 community. I have become even more aware of the colonial patriarchal legacy that has created fear and judgment and left our youth without support. I have

heard many stories of youth not having their place in a circle that is divided by gender,” said artist and elder Marjorie Beaucage. Organizations, such as Camp fYrefly, two spirits of the North and All Nations Hope, are working to provide support for two spirit people. They strive to educate and foster emotional, physical and mental well-being in two spirit people, while recognizing the emerging changes in both sexual and gender diversity in society today. “I celebrate the resiliency and survival skills of youth expressing sexual and gender identity freely and openly and not being silenced. They deserve to have a place in the circle of life, in this world,” said Beaucage. The term two spirit is used to describe all aspects of identity (race, gender, sexuality and spirituality) and connect that identity with a person’s experiences in their culture and community. “I offer cultural and spiritual support to youth so their rightful place is restored within our communities. I look

forward to the day when a traditional powwow dancer can dance in any regalia without discrimination and the rainbow flag will be carried in all grand entries, honouring two spirit peoples everywhere,” said Beaucage. The struggle of two spirit people continues today as they face the challenges of understanding and embracing themselves while working to better a society that often suffers from lack of education, racism and a fractured sense of where these people fit into their own communities. “Two-spiritness is a gift from the Creator and needs to be honoured in our own communities in order for healing to happen. Two spirit people have good medicine to offer so everyone can live and love and have healthy relationships,” said Beaucage. And, in time, two spirit people will have the respect and understanding that all people deserve, while at the same time preserving the cultural and spiritual history that is unique to First Nations people.

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products For over 50 years, A-1 Rent-Alls has been providing Regina and surrounding area with world-class equipment for every type of project. From gardening to special events, and construction to party supplies, A-1 RentAlls has everything to meet the growing needs of their customers. Locally owned and operated, A-1 Rent-Alls prides itself on fast, friendly service and one-stop shopping so that every client comes away fully satisfied with their rental, purchase or services. In 1991, A-1 Rent-Alls opened The Party Store to satisfy the growing special events market in the city. The Party store began with a few tents and chairs, and now boasts an impressive showroom of tents, games, party supplies, dishes, linens, games and wedding supplies. Fred Richards, contract manager, is proud to have been instrumental in building a relationship between A-1 RentAlls and the GLBTQ community in Regina. He has been a go-to source of equipment and supplies for events ranging from health service fundraisers to Pride parades. Many events at Q Nightclub and Lounge have benefitted from Richards’ product knowledge and expertise, and he was instrumental in creating a showcase float for the GLCR in the 2013 Pride Parade. The GLBTQ community and the many people and

photography | photo booth rentals

organizations they represent would like to take this opportunity to thank Richards and the staff and management of A-1 Rent-Alls for their continued support of the community, their positive attitudes and the pride they take in their work, their products and their relationships with all of their customers. For more information on A-1 Rent-Alls, call 306-359-4300, or visit the Party Store at 1500 Dewdney Ave.

Regina

TASTEREGINA.COM

Your guide to the best Regina has to of fer in restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and more. Vi s i t ou r w eb s i t e a t TAS TE R E GINA . C OM t o s i g n u p for c on t es t s , m on t h l y n ew s l et t er s a n d m or e!

Capture the moment.

Learn more at www.urpride.ca.

WASCANA FLOWER SHOPPE 306-352-4633 1170 Broad Street

NO BLOODY

Welcoming all past and new clients, an original from the Perimeters design team, Stylist Ray C, is back in action at the studio and ready to give you a hot, fresh look! Call today to book your appointment.

Sc an the QR c ode to visit our mobile site

333 Victoria Avenue East. Regina. SK ph: 306.522.5243

Proud to support Canadian values!

COVER CHARGE GE

EVER!

REG26204573_1_1

REG32003685_1_1

www.wascanaflowers.ca ryley@wascanaflowers.ca www.perimetersstudio.ca

(306) 206-0760 | www.rncimagery.com

Perimeters-Studio REG26401433_1_1

REG26401443_1_1

REG26401429_1_1

REG26204531_1_1

Regina REG46406328_1_1


G4

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Mond ay, Jun e 9 , 2014

Why same-sex marriage is important By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products In 2004, Saskatchewan was the seventh province to make same-sex marriage available, predating the federal Civil Marriage Act of 2005 by eight months. Five samesex couples took their application to court, seeking a judgement that marriage licence issuers appointed by the province would have to issue marriage licences to samesex couples. To refuse to do so would be discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which contradicts the equality clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Same-sex marriage became a recognizable fact, but new issues arose over marriage commissioners who objected to performing same-sex marriages on the basis of their religious beliefs. In 2005, Baptist marriage commissioner Orville Nichols refused to marry a same-sex couple because it conflicted with his religious beliefs. A complaint from the couple under The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code followed, and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Nichols’ refusal infringed on the couple’s legal right to access public services without discrimination. Nichols’ appeal was dismissed in 2009. Bruno Sahut, a bilingual, multi-faith, GLBTQ, marriage commissioner, began performing same-sex marriages that same year. He saw an opportunity in the Nichols case to provide a service that he felt deeply about. “I started July 17, 2009. This was following a refusal based on religious grounds made by an appointed provincial marriage commissioner to perform a marriage between two people of the same sex. I was outraged, and after weighing my Canadian status against my landed immigrant status, my outrage won and I decided to do

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Leader-Post • leaderpost.com

everything in my power then to make sure people who love each other, especially LGBTQ people, would be able to pronounce their wedding vows to each other and be happy like any other couple. There should be no obstacles to their happiness,” said Sahut. The historical mistreatment of GLBTQ individuals is well known, and the struggles against homophobia and persecution are still ongoing. The right to marriage was a huge win for the GLBTQ community in the fight for human rights. The Nichols case and subsequent ruling by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals that ruled denial of this government service on the basis of sexual orientation is unconstitutional are of tremendous importance to a community that still faces daily discrimination. Educating government workers in human rights issues and opening dialogue on why discrimination against GLBTQ individuals is just as damaging as racism or sexism are key issues facing both the GLBTQ community and the service providers for all people in Saskatchewan and in Canada. “My belief in the importance of recognizing samesex marriage is based on my long-standing belief that people have a fundamental right to be happy, and if being married makes all the difference, then it is my duty to assure them that they have a friend in me and that my actions will serve that happiness! To me, this is a fundamental human right,” said Sahut. Marriage commissioners such as Sahut, brave couples like those first five that challenged the discriminatory status quo, and a GLBTQ community focused on the desire for equality in all things are all rising to meet the needs of our evolving society in our cities, our province and our country.

Raise the flag - Host: Regina Pride - Location: Regina City Hall - Time: 9 a.m. - Cost: free

Raise a glass - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 5 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

Coming out party - Host: UR Pride Centre

- Location: see queencitypride.ca - Time: 7 p.m. - Cost: free

Tuesday, June 10: All fun and games - Host: UR Pride Centre - Location: Les Sherman Park - Time: 7 p.m. - Cost: free

Q’d up — Pride edition - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 9 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

Wednesday, June 11: Buckets o’ pride - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 5 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

Milk - Host: Regina Public Library - Location: RPL Central Branch - Time: 6:45 p.m. - Cost: free

Pride poetry slam - Host: Word Up Wednesdays - Location: Creative City Centre - Time: 7:30 p.m. - Cost: $5

Punk Rock Pride - Host: Regina Pride - Location: O’Hanlon’s - Time: 9 p.m. - Cost: free

Gender info fair and coffeehouse - Host: Transsask - Location: Unitarian Centre - Time: 7 p.m. - Cost: $5 (suggested donation)

- Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 9 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

A

Saturday, June 14:

Top: David Forbes, MLA for Saskatoon Centre, was the winner of the Sweetest Ally Contest for getting the most likes on the #Time4Rights Facebook Page for his picture of the Provincial NDP Caucus supporting trans* rights in Saskatchewan.

and Rose Street (Q parking lot), End: Victoria Avenue and Lorne Street - Time: 11 a.m. - Register now at queencitypride.ca

Middle: Sarah Miller and Neva MacKay of Humboldt Parents and Friends for Lesbians and Gays support Time 4 Rights because “It’s time to step into the 21st century!”

Let them eat cake — the annual prince and princess show:

Bottom: Miki Mappin from Saskatoon supports Time 4 Rights because “I know that without clear and specific protection under the law it is too easy for an employer to unjustly fire someone.”

- Host: RSAR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge, multipurpose room - Time: doors open at 8 p.m. - Cost: $5

Paint Party - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 10 p.m. to closing - Cost: $10 (cover good for both the Paint Party and the Pride after-party)

Community of Regina, who have provided the longest running GLBTQ community-owned centre in Canada, are continuing to lead the way for equality. More and more businesses and organizations are doing their part to promote safety and acceptance for the GLBTQ people who make up their workforce. When GLBTQ people and their allies boycotted Coors beer in the ‘70s for firing gay men and lesbians, the company was forced to re-evaluate its policies, and today, Coors is a leading contributor to many GLBTQ causes and the company prides itself on its diversity and inclusion committees and its wide range of benefits. And, here in Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is committed to doing everything necessary to ensure that GLBTQ members enjoy full equality and freedom from sectarian violence, intimidation, and bullying. From boardrooms to sidewalks, organizations are springing up to promote acceptance for all. This year, Intolerance Free Weyburn, a grass roots organization of Weyburn residents, came together not in violence, but in a peaceful protest against hate speech, a protection guaranteed in the Human Rights Code. By creating a mandate that includes respect, and promotes love and acceptance for all, this group made Weyburn a little safer for all of its residents. In 2014, the idea that transgender or homosexuality could be a mental disorder seems ludicrous. The idea of putting a person out of their home, their job or their family for who they choose to love seems impossible. And the idea that a government would allow its own people to be incarcerated or killed simply for who they are seems utterly impossible. And yet, it still happens. As our global reach extends through technology, so must our work for safety and acceptance of GLBTQ people extend through our cities, provinces, country and everywhere, until celebrating diversity becomes a worldwide fact of life.

O’HANLON’S

1947 Scarth St.

- Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: Friday June 13, 8 p.m. to closing - Cost: GLCR members or nonmembers dressed in white: $5 non-members not dressed in white $10

- Host: Regina Pride - Location: Victoria Park - Time: 1 PM - Cost: free

GLBTQ safety and acceptance — the continuing struggle

t the University of Regina, we provide a welcoming campus environment, and our UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity helps us do it.

- Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. - Cost: $10

Out in Victoria Park!

~ Stephanie Mack ~

PRIDE WEEK June 9-15

#Time4Rights is a social media and letter writing campaign started by the Gender Equality Society of Saskatchewan (GESS). GESS advocates for the rights of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, intersex and two-spirit people in the province of Saskatchewan. GESS is asking the Government of Saskatchewan to provide explicit human rights protection by including the terms “gender identity,” and “gender expression” to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code as categories of discrimination. You can support the effort by uploading a “selfie” of you supporting trans* rights to the Time 4 Rights Facebook page, or by writing a letter to your local MLA and the minister of justice expressing your support of trans* rights in Saskatchewan. Find more information at www.Time4Rights.ca.

Friday night burgers

2014 Pride Parade Karaoke with Will-Sing - Host: Regina Pride Out Proud - Location: Start: 13th Avenue

“To be very honest, being right smack in the middle of the Pride parade, on a float full of drag queens, when my girlfriend had the parade stopped in the middle of Victoria Ave., got down on one knee and proposed to me in front of all our friends and fa mily — that, I have to say, is my most vivid, a mazing experience!”

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products In 1952, Alan Turing, the founder of modern computer science, was given a choice of being chemically castrated or going to prison when he was prosecuted for homosexuality, still considered a criminal offense in the United Kingdom at that time. In October 1998, Mathew Shepard was beaten and tortured to death in Wyoming for no other reason than his sexual orientation. This year, the president of Nigeria signed a law imposing up to 14 years jail time for same-sex relations. Safety and acceptance are two things all people look for, whether it’s in their homes, their workplaces, with their friends or within their families. In Regina, the fight for safety for GLBTQ people may not seem as violent and dangerous as the news reports from Russia, but the demand for acceptance and respect is just as prevalent. Groups like Camp fYrefly, that are creating young leaders who will work to keep GLBTQ youth from being bullied, and the Gay and Lesbian

Friday, June 13:

The infamous White Party

Thursday, June 12:

G5

Time4Rights — social media for change

2014 Pride events Monday, June 9:

Mo n d ay, Ju n e 9 , 2 0 1 4

306.566.4094

UR Pride envisions an inclusive learning environment – free of discrimination – and provides services and programming to support this work.

“Many do not understand why we have Pride parades, but for me it is a fun and proud way of putting ourselves in front of the world. And if just one person watching from the sidelines says to themselves ‘hey, I’m really not alone,’ then we have done our job.”

Pride after-party featuring Deko-ze - Host: Regina Pride - Location: German Club - Time: 9 p.m. - Cost: $10 (cover good for both the Paint Party and the Pride after-party)

~ Mitchell Murray Thomas ~

A-1 Rent-Alls — a proud community supporter

Sunday, June 15: Sunday night deck party - Host: GLCR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 5 p.m. to closing - Cost: free

Pride wind-up barbecue - Host: RSAR - Location: Q Nightclub and Lounge - Time: 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Cost: $10

Two spirits — reclaiming their place By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Two spirit is a term that usually indicates a person who manifests both the male and the female spirit and has a connection to First Nations cultural beliefs and practices. It can also be used to describe a person with two contrasting human spirits, such as mother and warrior. Over time, influences, such as religion, lack of proper education and isolation for First Nations people, have led to the same types of discrimination and homophobia towards two spirit people that other GLBTQ communities have experienced, but often magnified because of the unique social structures in native culture. “For the last two years, I have been the two spirit elder at Camp Fyrefly in Saskatchewan. It is a one-week summer camp to train youth leaders in the GLBTQ2 community. I have become even more aware of the colonial patriarchal legacy that has created fear and judgment and left our youth without support. I have

heard many stories of youth not having their place in a circle that is divided by gender,” said artist and elder Marjorie Beaucage. Organizations, such as Camp fYrefly, two spirits of the North and All Nations Hope, are working to provide support for two spirit people. They strive to educate and foster emotional, physical and mental well-being in two spirit people, while recognizing the emerging changes in both sexual and gender diversity in society today. “I celebrate the resiliency and survival skills of youth expressing sexual and gender identity freely and openly and not being silenced. They deserve to have a place in the circle of life, in this world,” said Beaucage. The term two spirit is used to describe all aspects of identity (race, gender, sexuality and spirituality) and connect that identity with a person’s experiences in their culture and community. “I offer cultural and spiritual support to youth so their rightful place is restored within our communities. I look

forward to the day when a traditional powwow dancer can dance in any regalia without discrimination and the rainbow flag will be carried in all grand entries, honouring two spirit peoples everywhere,” said Beaucage. The struggle of two spirit people continues today as they face the challenges of understanding and embracing themselves while working to better a society that often suffers from lack of education, racism and a fractured sense of where these people fit into their own communities. “Two-spiritness is a gift from the Creator and needs to be honoured in our own communities in order for healing to happen. Two spirit people have good medicine to offer so everyone can live and love and have healthy relationships,” said Beaucage. And, in time, two spirit people will have the respect and understanding that all people deserve, while at the same time preserving the cultural and spiritual history that is unique to First Nations people.

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products For over 50 years, A-1 Rent-Alls has been providing Regina and surrounding area with world-class equipment for every type of project. From gardening to special events, and construction to party supplies, A-1 RentAlls has everything to meet the growing needs of their customers. Locally owned and operated, A-1 Rent-Alls prides itself on fast, friendly service and one-stop shopping so that every client comes away fully satisfied with their rental, purchase or services. In 1991, A-1 Rent-Alls opened The Party Store to satisfy the growing special events market in the city. The Party store began with a few tents and chairs, and now boasts an impressive showroom of tents, games, party supplies, dishes, linens, games and wedding supplies. Fred Richards, contract manager, is proud to have been instrumental in building a relationship between A-1 RentAlls and the GLBTQ community in Regina. He has been a go-to source of equipment and supplies for events ranging from health service fundraisers to Pride parades. Many events at Q Nightclub and Lounge have benefitted from Richards’ product knowledge and expertise, and he was instrumental in creating a showcase float for the GLCR in the 2013 Pride Parade. The GLBTQ community and the many people and

photography | photo booth rentals

organizations they represent would like to take this opportunity to thank Richards and the staff and management of A-1 Rent-Alls for their continued support of the community, their positive attitudes and the pride they take in their work, their products and their relationships with all of their customers. For more information on A-1 Rent-Alls, call 306-359-4300, or visit the Party Store at 1500 Dewdney Ave.

Regina

TASTEREGINA.COM

Your guide to the best Regina has to of fer in restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and more. Visit our website at TASTEREGINA.COM to sign up for contests, monthly newsletters and more!

Capture the moment.

Learn more at www.urpride.ca.

WASCANA FLOWER SHOPPE 306-352-4633 1170 Broad Street

NO BLOODY

Welcoming all past and new clients, an original from the Perimeters design team, Stylist Ray C, is back in action at the studio and ready to give you a hot, fresh look! Call today to book your appointment.

Scan the QR code to visit our mobile site

333 Victoria Avenue East. Regina. SK ph: 306.522.5243

Proud to support Canadian values!

COVER CHARGE GE

EVER!

REG26204573_1_1

REG32003685_1_1

www.wascanaflowers.ca ryley@wascanaflowers.ca www.perimetersstudio.ca

(306) 206-0760 | www.rncimagery.com

Perimeters-Studio REG26401433_1_1

REG26401443_1_1

REG26401429_1_1

REG26204531_1_1

Regina REG46406328_1_1


G6

S PE C I A L F E AT U R E

Monday, June 9, 2014

Leader-Post • leaderpost.com

The Imperial Court of Regina of talented individuals to help them in By Michele Tyndall their fundraising endeavors, including For L-P Specialty Products a prince and princess who are from The Imperial Sovereign Court of Saskatoon. the Governing Body, Golden Wheat “There are challenges and pluses Sheaf Empire was incorporated in to having out-of-town title holders — Regina in 1990 through the efforts we’ve expanded to include Saskatoon of the GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and we are well represented there, transgender, queer) community. but it’s more difficult to get together The Court in Regina is part of the — not just for work but as friends,” International Court System, one of the said Kricket. longest-running gay organizations in The court in Regina is completely the world, whose mandate is to raise volunteer-based and all of the money for charity through numerous travelling, shows and other fundraising activities throughout the ventures are done without profit year. to the members. The focus of the Over the years, Regina’s Imperial organization is to grow a strong Court has raised thousands of dollars community and help other groups do for charity and has become one of the the same. strongest Courts in Canada. This year, Kricket, Scooter and their Drag shows, featuring house have been working hard to performances by men and women provide donations to organizations in gowns and costumes, are the such as Palliative Care, Avenue primary source of revenue for most Community Centre in Saskatoon, Do Courts, but in Regina, fundraising It With Class (a youth performing arts also includes bingos, bake sales and Kricket Tyme deBitch and Scooter group), and Aids Program Southern barbeques! Down-Lo host local fundraiser. Saskatchewan. And the payoff is far The Court is a not-for-profit Photo by RNC Imagery more than financial. organization with a board of directors, “It’s an amazing group of people but the face of the court is its elected and support system at times — the emperor and empress, the good will people become like family to you. ambassadors for the organization. There are so many ideas, and a vast wealth of knowledge that you’ll “As empress my main job is to be a figure head, visible in the get from other people and groups,” said Kricket. community, raising money for our charities and doing our city This September, Kricket and Scooter will step down and a new proud, both at home and while travelling. The emperor’s job is not emperor and empress will take their place for a year at a lavish just buying the empress pretty things — his role is the same as the coronation show. The theme of this year’s coronation is Good and empress’s, and he helps to keep the year running smoothly. He brings his own creativity to the organization, making for more ideas Evil; Nature’s Balance and, with all of the work they do for their community, their city and their province, the Imperial Court of to draw from,” said Empress 23, Kricket Tyme deBitch. Regina is definitely on the side of good. Both Kricket and Emperor 23, Scooter Down-Lo, have a “house”

Jeffery Straker — from Punnichy to Chile By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Jeffery Straker studied music from a young age, but didn’t consider entertaining as a career at first. At one point, he studied science in Ireland, leaving behind the piano he’d been playing since he was six. But then, a chance to work in Toronto led him to the singer-songwriter scene, and it was a perfect fit for his musical inclinations. “I started performing at open mic nights and really got a kick out of it. For me, writing the songs I was performing was a big part of why I liked this. As a classical pianist, I was only interpreting someone else’s writing and didn’t get as much out of that,” said Straker. Straker is now an established singer and songwriter. He travels throughout Canada and abroad, performing over a hundred shows a year. He says he finds performing and travelling energizing, but has a special fondness for writing his own music. “Writing brings a great new challenge with each song. You try to express something like ‘love’ or ‘loss’ in a fresh, new, engaging way. You explore new chords, melodies and word uses. I realize how completely nerdy this sounds, but I really get a rush out of it,” said Straker. Straker is also gay. He has written and recorded music with GLBTQ themes, and feels it’s important to be honest about it. “When I first started doing music as a full time thing, I did have someone tell me ‘don’t come out in your music

Jeffery Straker proudly displays the award he was presented as winner of the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile in February. Photo courtesy Jeffery Straker

— you’ll ruin your career.’ It’s the best advice I never took. I have a lot of fans of my music on the prairies and the stereotype of the prairies not being so accepting of things LGBT — I’ve not really seen a lot of that, to be honest,” said Straker. Audiences should not be surprised to find out that Straker is gay, but he doesn’t feel it should be the focus of his work. Understanding how much his fans wanted to hear about his relationships versus more generic topics helps him put on shows that are always engaging and enjoyable. “My banter between songs was an area where I sort of had to find out how to approach that sort of thing. The key to any good conversation whether one on one, or performer with audience, is the breadth of what you’re chatting about. And, with time, it’s certainly become more and more acceptable,” said Straker. Straker has ties to Regina’s GLBTQ community, having performed to appreciative audiences at Q Nightclub and Lounge several times, and, although his tour schedule keeps him away more often than not, being known in the community has had some unexpected and rewarding benefits. “Due to the GLBTQ community knowing my music, I was an artist in residence at Camp fYrefly two summers ago. I met GLBTQ youth from all across Saskatchewan and it was incredibly rewarding,” said Straker. Even more rewards have been forthcoming, as Straker recently won the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile this past February. “This Viña del Mar Song Festival is the largest music festival in the Spanish speaking world and, each night, we performed for an audience of 20,000 people while the TV broadcast reached over 100,000,000 Spanish viewers around the globe. I met a lot of people and made some great friends. And the icing on the cake was that I won the competition. It was an amazing experience,” said Straker. Saskatchewan has always had great support for homegrown music, and Straker is a stellar example. Not only is he creative and talented, but by being true to himself, working hard, and not being afraid to try new things, Straker is making a name for himself here on the prairies, and around the world.

Sport in the community — the annual GLBTQ Curling Tournament By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Curling was invented in medieval Scotland, with the first written records of the game dating back to 1541. Curling is a sport similar to shuffleboard where teams take turns sliding granite stones towards targets on a sheet of ice. Rocks and ice, the two main ingredients in the game, seem to make it a perfect fit for Canada, now the leading country for the sport, and Canadian curlers have been bringing home world championship trophies and Olympic medals for many years. Curling is a sport that can be played by people of all ages and levels of expertise. It’s a social activity as much as a sport, where team rivalries lead to lasting friendships and curling clubs provide a place for families and friends to come together, on and off the ice. Curling is a Saskatchewan tradition perfect for the winter months, and the appeal of a team sport that combines healthy physical activity and fun social gatherings is felt by all residents of the province, including the GLBTQ community. “I started it really as an event to get something social in January. We all seem to be so busy in December, and then in January, it’s cold and long and it seems nothing ever happens in January. So I thought a fun curling thing might be in order,” said Brad Havervold, organizer of the yearly GLBTQ curling bonspiel in Regina. For four years now, Havervold has put together a tournament every January designed to promote fun and community spirit, make new friends and celebrate teamwork. ”I had organized a few funspiels in the past and knew it wouldn’t take much to organize, so I did a little focus testing and folks seemed interested. We had a good turnout. Since that time, it has grown, and this last January we had 22 teams with 88 people in total,” said Havervold. Advertising for the event has all been by word of mouth and from past participants, and the grass roots feel of the event is working well, as evidenced by the growing number of teams each year. And, with the success of the tournament, there came an added bonus. “My plan was to run the first year as cost recovery, however, we ended with a small profit, so I thought Camp fYrefly would be a good beneficiary. Since that time, we have continued to give all proceeds to that charity,” said Havervold. The annual event is open to everyone: GLBTQ and GLBTQ-friendly men and women. The tournament welcomes seasoned curlers and beginners alike. And, although winter seems very far away right now, you can be sure that as January approaches, word will be spreading about this fun and inclusive event, so get your brooms ready! For more information on the annual curling bonspiel, email glcr@sasktel.net.

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Drag kings — more than clothes make the man

Donna Smith and Sarah Cibart display the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour flag, which demonstrates the organization’s support for daily challenges faced by GLBTQ people in the workplace. Photo courtesy of Donna Smith

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour — a voice for GLBTQ workers supported,” said Smith. By Michele Tyndall The SFL has a long-standing reputation For L-P Specialty Products for fighting for the rights of GLBTQ workers The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour at every level, from the bargaining table, (SFL) represents over 100,000 members from 37 different unions. The SFL is the voice to the courts and in the legislature. and, for workers on local, provincial, national and while the labour movement has taken many affirmative actions to protect GLBTQ international issues, and it works tirelessly workers, the struggle against negative to ensure social and economic justice for stereotypes and prejudices continues today. everyone. Canada, with its strong anti-discrimination The SFL supports GLBTQ workers in a laws and full marriage rights, is often variety of ways, including work on inclusion thought of as one of the best places for in human rights legislation and collective GLBTQ people to live. And the labour agreements, as well as the daily challenges movement can take pride in the role that faced by GLBTQ people fighting for dignity they have played in furthering the cause for and justice. “In 2001, the SFL created a vice-president GLBTQ equality. position on their executive for a GLBTQ representative. This position ensured that a GlBTQ voice was being heard for larger executive decisions, and more simply demonstrated to the RETAIL, WHOLESALE AND labour movement that the SFL DEPARTMENT STORE UNION is visibly in solidarity with the GLBTQ community, said SFL “Proud to Support Diversity” administrator Donna Smith. With a mandate that includes organizing GLBTQ union Saskatoon Regina 2154 Airport Drive S7L 6M6 1233 Winnipeg Street S4R 1K1 members in the province, Phone: 306-384-9885 Phone: 306-569-9311 — 306-569-0440 gathering information on the Fax: 306-384-1006 Fax: 306-569-9521 issues facing GLBTQ workers, E-mail: rwdsu.saskatoon@sasktel.net E-mail: rwdsu.regina@sasktel.net Toll Free: 1-877-717-9378 Toll Free: 1-877-747-9378 networking with GLBTQ organizations and coordinating with the Canadian Labour Congress working group, the SFL is proactive in addressing the unique needs of the GLBTQ workers. “Many workplaces and even collective agreements are entrenched with rules and norms that privilege heterosexual workers. For example, GLBTQ workers may struggle to get time off to support their partner or partner’s family or to access benefits. If you are a GLBTQ worker, you are more likely to be harassed or bullied at work — explicitly or it can be subtle. And when a GLBTQ employee has an ignorant or judgmental employer, they deserve a unique form of protection from their Here’s why. union that is knowledgeable and can relate to better the circumstances for that worker,” said Sarah Cibart, SFL Special Projects co-ordinator. One prominent way that the Thank a union... really! SFL is supporting GLBTQ workers is their creation of the Campaign for Positive Space. “The SFL Positive Space Campaign challenges the patterns of silence and marginalization that GLBTQ people experience even in places that have antidiscriminatory policies. Displaying the positive space sticker on the door of your office, union material or workplace bulletin board means you are contributing to the creation of an environment that welcomes workplace and societal rights for our GLBTQ workers. The aim of the campaign is to create a safe, positive space that is free of discrimination and to identify an environment where human plus taxes rights are respected and the GLBTQ community, their friends and allies are welcomed and Subscribe now at:

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products The term “drag king” Caesar Melons performs became popular in the at a local drag fundraiser. early seventies, and was Photo by RNC Imagery used to describe female performers at drag shows who dressed as men as part of their routine, which typically includes dancing, lip-synching to songs and sometimes live singing. Along with men who perform as men, drag kings have grown in popularity and over the years they have taken on a larger role in the world of drag entertainment and entertain and to enrich their communities. fundraising. “Growing up, I felt different because I was the “The role of the male title holder used to be an teenage girl wearing boy clothes, getting teased honorary one--organizing the events and being eye candy on the arm of a queen was the role we for my style, but now I can embrace this side of played,” said Bruce Sanoir, Emperor 7, 11, 18 and me and not feel any judgement. I have always been more masculine, and through drag I am 21 of Regina’s Imperial Court. able to connect with that part of me while raising After more than 20 years of entertaining and money and entertaining,” said Melons. fundraising, Sanoir has seen many changes to From the desire to perform and blurring the roles that people are playing in the drag gender roles to fundraising, male performers and organizations, including a more public image for drag kings are finding their place in the GLBTQ male performers and drag kings. community, and not just thriving, but acting as “For me, my role in today’s organizations as role models to a new generation of entertainers. a drag king is to promote, mentor and entertain “Try it! Be creative! Embrace who you are, and so we, as a whole, can donate money back to if you love creating a character and love helping various charities. Most importantly, I let girls our community, then come check it out! I have know, it’s OK to dress like a boy,” said drag king found it to be so fulfilling. To have successful Caesar Melons, Mr. Gay Regina 18 and Emperor shows and knowing money is going to charities 19 of Regina’s Imperial Court. Drag kings and male performers bring a unique is a huge personal accomplishment and I hope someday soon there are more kings around to perspective to the organizations they support, contribute their talents to these causes,” said and a special brand of entertainment to the Melons. stage. “Nowadays, the male role is all about “I have always performed. In high school I was leadership, mentoring, being a positive role heavily involved in music and drama and this model and no longer staying in the background. is just a natural transition for me. It’s all about Both the roles of the drag queen and the drag entertaining and making people smile,” said king male are about equality. Everyone has their Sanoir. role to play, but all the responsibilities are divided When people think of drag and drag shows, equally,” said Sanoir. the vision of a man in a dress is the first thing to Equality and acceptance, entertainment and come to mind. And, although the ratio of drag philanthropy — these qualities are going to keep queens to drag kings is still largely one-sided, more and more women and men are recognizing drag kings and male performers centre stage and in the spotlight now and in the future. their own desire to dress up and perform, to

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Camp fYrefly — lighting the way By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products Founded in 2004 by Dr. Andre Grace and Dr. Kristopher Wells, Camp fYrefly is a leadership retreat for lesbian, bisexual, trans-identified, two-spirited, queer and allied youth. There are two Alberta locations and one in Saskatchewan, and their aim is to help young GLBTQ2 people develop the skills and personal strength they need in order to contribute to their homes, schools and communities. The name Camp fYrefly comes from the firefly, the insect that produces its own energy. The firefly’s light is a symbol for participants that their own inner light can shine out in dark times. This year, Camp fYrefly Saskatchewan will be held at Lumsden Beach Aug.1 to 4. Camp fYrefly will be partnering with the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, and the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. This partnership, as well as association with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, ensures that programming for the camp is research-informed and financially accountable. The four-day event will see many community-building and social activities and artistic workshops, as well as time for personal reflection for everyone. This year’s artist-in-residence is J Mase III, a self-described “Black/ Trans/Queer/Rowdy-As-Hell Poet with a capital P,” from New York City, who will lead workshops that encourage creative expression and solidarity. The 2014 themes for the retreat reflect the diversity of the activities and the participants, and include the following. Creating Community encourages social responsibility and respect for people from different cultures, backgrounds, genders, sexualities and beliefs. Empowering Youth is a workshop designed to develop skills to positively deal with situations such as bullying, and to learn more

Pastor Carla Blakley participates in a drum group with students at Camp fYrefly. Photo courtesy of Camp fYrefly

about human rights. Learning and Leadership presentations enhance practical skills through writing, art and engaging in dialogue on social issues. Personal Development, crucial to building a strong sense of self, focuses on physical wellness, healthy relationships, and learning more about open communication and self-reflection. Through the themes presented in the workshops and activities, Camp fYrefly’s organizers and its community and corporate sponsors have joined together to develop the resources to make the annual retreat a unique opportunity for potentially at-risk GLBTQ2A youth to positively address the challenges they face in society and move into adulthood with dignity and respect for themselves and others. Camp fYrefly costs just $25 for the youth attendees. This largely subsidized fee is the result of the tireless work and support of personal and corporate donors, whose support ensures that no young people are turned away because of financial need. As Camp fYrefly enters its sixth successful year in Saskatchewan, organizers recognize that the work is ongoing, and encourage everyone to visit their webpage at http://www.usask.ca/education/ fyrefly/donate-sponsor.htm and help send a kid to camp!

Gay-Straight Alliances in Saskatchewan By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) group is a student club that meets and holds events designed to end GLBTQ discrimination. These high school groups provide a safe space for all students to meet and learn more about different sexual orientations while working to raise awareness of gender and sexuality issues. GSAs can be found in the majority of high schools throughout Canada, and most of the high schools in Regina and Saskatoon have one. The school setting fosters an educational environment as GSAs work towards learning more about the diverse individuals that make up their families, schools and communities. In turn, GSAs strive to educate themselves and then share their knowledge of the different issues that affect GLBTQ individuals The first Gay-Straight Alliance group in Canada started in 1988 at the PInetree Secondary School in Coquitlam, B.C. In Saskatchewan, Prince Albert was the site of the first GSA group, which came together at Carlton Comprehensive High School. North Battleford had its first GSA form in 2004 at Sakewew High School, providing a unique, safe space for diversity in that First Nations school. The first GSA in Saskatoon was established in 2003 at

Realize. Your Pride.

Mount Royal Collegiate and, since then, chapters have been set up at Aden Bowman Collegiate, Bedford Road, Evan Hardy, Marion Graham, Nutana and Walter Murray high schools. In Regina, the GSA, which is affectionately known as Q & A (Queers and Allies) at Balfour has joined up with the Wellness Team to promote student health and wellness together. There are three very strong GSAs at Campbell, Winston Knoll and Thom, as well as at Martin, Sheldon and Cochrane. The majority of Saskatchewan high schools have a GSA group. Students can get more information on the organization in their school through school assemblies, bulletins and message boards, depending on how the GSA is being promoted, as well as through word of mouth. And both parents and students can find out more from guidance counsellors in each school. The high school years are filled with discovery, changes and revelations. It’s a time when students are questioning everything from the way the universe works to their own feelings about themselves and their place in society. GSA groups give every student a chance to find their own answers in a positive and safe way that promotes dignity and respect for each person’s journey.

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Thank you to our sponsors: Community Initiatives Fund Bruce & Avaughna Sanoir, Empress of Canada Foundation CUPE 3967 Intolerance Free Weyburn SaskEnergy Saskatchewan Federation of Labour Saskatchewan Transportation Company SaskPower TD Bank Group

The University of Regina is licensed to use this Mark by the Governors of the University of Alberta. Camp fYrefly is a University-Community project founded by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. www.ismss.ualberta.ca www.CampfYrefly.ca

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By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity is a GLBTQ health and wellness service promoter for Regina and area. One of the services they offer is a Queer Mentorship Program. This is a program that is unique in Southern Saskatchewan, and its purpose is to help decrease isolation in our queer communities by connecting individuals with other like-minded groups of people. Kelsey Ferguson developed the program as part of her Social Work major practicum placement with UR Pride. Leo Keiser, executive director of the UR Pride Centre currently oversees the Mentorship Program while UR Pride investigates finding a term administrator. “In my experience, there are a couple of reoccurring challenges expressed by many of the folks I work with. One is isolation, and the other is a lack of education in the general public. Some of the folks who are new to the city, or are recently coming to an understanding of their sexuality and gender identity express an overwhelming sense of isolation — it becomes difficult or intimidating for them to find people that they can just talk to about common experiences, or connect with at a community level. We are hoping the Mentorship Program can play a role in helping to reduce this isolation, and help build community in that way as well,” said Keiser. The mentoring relationships that happen through the UR Pride program are designed to create a friendly relationship between mentor and mentee, with the mentor helping out someone who may be new to the city, is interested in connecting to the GLBTQ community, or has been struggling with their gender or sexual identity. Activities are decided upon together, and may include things like going for coffee, attending community events or just talking, sharing common struggles and celebrating successes in work, school or home. Promoting healthy and positive connections based on common experience and challenges is the goal of the Mentorship Program and, by doing so, the program will then help GLBTQ people access services in their community and, from there, the hope is that new ideas for service will be shared amongst mentors and mentees. In this way, education can be achieved both in the community and with the general public. “A lack of education in the general public can create uncomfortable misunderstandings, discrimination, violence and further isolation; the more we can push queer and trans topics and narratives into our public spheres, the more we can increase education levels and a common ground in all of our communities,” said Keiser. A mentoring relationship is very different from many other relationships that are common to most people’s lives, but the challenges can be very stimulating, and the results incredibly rewarding. “The program is off to a great start! We already have a diverse pool of mentors signed up and ready to meet with mentees! There is currently no wait list, but we do have to find appropriate matches within the program for every mentee that applies,” said Keiser. For more information about the Queer Mentorship Program or to volunteer, please email contactus@ urpride.ca or visit the UR Pride Centre, Riddell Centre, Room 225, at the University of Regina.

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