For immediate release
Fort Frances, ON / International Falls, MN – The Borderland area’s queer community is invited to take part in the ‘kick-off’ meeting for a new initiative aimed at building social ties and supportive relationships among local LGBTQ2A people.
The LGBTQ2A Social Group is a joint effort of Borderland Pride, the United Native Friendship Centre, and the Fort Frances Public Library. It is aimed at creating a safe, respectful, non-judgemental, and confidential social environment to reduce isolation, make social connections, and build community among LGBTQ2 people and their allies and loved ones.
The Social Group’s first event will take place on Wednesday, February 12 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the United Native Friendship Centre’s location at 516 Portage Avenue in Fort Frances. This pilot event is open to all LGBTQ2-identifying people, their allies, and those who are questioning or dealing with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The goal of the first meeting of the Social Group will be to set ground rules and objectives, and to identify potential activities for future meetings or events so that this program can meet the needs and expectations of those who need it, while respecting the privacy and safety of its participants.
Participation in his activity is strictly confidential. Identifying participants outside of the meeting or photographing or recording of the event is prohibited. While there is no need to register in order to attend, a Facebook event page has been created at https://bit.ly/2NU95KC (the attendee list is hidden from public view).
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or (807) 861-3684.
LGBTQ2A stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, two-spirit, and ally.
“This project is responsive to feedback we have received from members of the community. People have told us that they are looking for an LGBTQ2-focused support environment. The challenge is that a Pride organization is not a social service provider – we are mostly event planners with a social agenda built around LGBTQ2 inclusion. But with limited queer-specific services and agencies in a small community, those in need often turn to us, and we like to do what we can to support them. What we have determined is that while we aren’t equipped or qualified to offer a support group, in the clinical or therapeutic sense, we can facilitate community-building and bridge-building. In many ways, that is the very purpose of small-town Prides. We feel that we can lessen the isolation and anxiety of LGBTQ2 people and their loved ones by showing that there is a community of support in their midst and providing a forum for people to be part of it. We are very proud to have the involvement of strong local institutions like the UNFC and the library in this project.”
—Douglas Judson, Co-Chair, Borderland Pride
“The UNFC has long been a hub for diversity and inclusion in Fort Frances, and we are proud to continue to carry that banner in our community. We provide a safe space for youth and many of our community’s most vulnerable and marginalized to learn and grow. I am especially proud of our staff’s commitment to supporting the LGBTQ2 community and supporting Pride initiatives like this one.”
—Sheila McMahon, Executive Director, United Native Friendship Centre
“The library is a safe space for everyone in our community, including LGBTQ2 people, young people, and their families. It is also a place people regularly come in search of resources and information when they are facing uncertainty or questioning, or sometimes just for refuge. Helping to provide a supportive environment for LGBTQ2 people is a natural part of that mandate and our role in the community.”
—Nadine Cousineau, Adult Services Coordinator, Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre