The Quesnel Pride Society is now hard at work implementing some of the suggestions that came out of its first ever needs assessment survey for the LGBTQ+ community.
President Alison Prentice says a lot of them revolve around funding.
“One of the things that was pretty immediate is we’ve just applied for another TransCare BC grant that would allow us to continue our trans youth and adult support meetings. That’s been a grant that has for the last two years I believe been supplied by TransCare BC, and it really helps us provide the support to at least the trans gender part of our community here in Quesnel. That also included some funds for us to initiate a binder exchange program. We’re also in discussions with Williams Lake to help get their binder exchange program going as well.”
Prentice says they are also looking for grants to help open support groups for the rest of the LGBTQ+ community because it was indicated in the survey that it was important.
She says another big need is the expansion of their subsidized counselling program.
“We are going to continue our subsidized counselling program for the LGBTQ+ community and that is ongoing hopefully through until at least November. We have been in discussions with FIDO, who are really quite supportive, and they are looking to help support that program through til the fall. That will take us over until we can apply for a BC Gaming grant.”
Prentice says there are just two counselors right now.
Here, she explains how people can access counseling.
“Right now they access it by contacting me through the website or contact quesnelpride.ca. They can do it through their SOGI groups at school who would then get in touch with one of our Directors who is in the school system, Emily Ingram, or contact me again, reach out to the society. I take over getting them into our system.”
Prentice says their privacy will be respected.
One other thing that came out of the needs assessment was the need for a sense of belonging and to have LGBTQ+ specific events.
On that note, Prentice says they are planning a Gay Day out at Troll.
“We’re working with Island Mountain Arts. We’re going to have activities morning, afternoon and evening. These would be art classes, there would be musicians invited to be playing throughout the day, it looks like we’re planning some kind of dinner as well, and we’re going to have free shuttle service back and fourth.”
Prentice says they are hoping to do that sometime near the end of May.
She says the goal would be to have one event every season, so spring, summer, winter, and fall.