WHITEHORSE – Building on the Yukon Government’s 2019 engagement with the territory’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, two-spirit and allied (LGBTQ2S+) communities and its commitment to developing an Action Plan to improve services, Queer Yukon Society (QYS) and All Genders Yukon Society (AGYS) are pleased to announce a new partnership to create a Pride Centre for Yukon in the coming year. With financial support from the Yukon Government, the partners are launching a search for the Pride Centre’s founding Executive Director, who will lead this exciting project.
“This is a defining moment for Yukon’s LGBTQ2S+ community”, said Queer Yukon Society President Chris Boodram. “During the Yukon Government’s LGBTQ2S+ engagement last year, one of the most consistent messages I heard from participants was a desire for a safe and visible LGBTQ2S+ community space. A space in which to gather, organize and eventually deliver programs and services tailored to our needs. With the support of the Yukon Government, we are now able to take concrete steps towards making this a reality.”
“The Pride Centre exists only as an idea today,” added Tharian Botting, a member of All Genders Yukon Society’s Board of Directors. “A nation-wide search is on for a founding Executive Director who will lead the Pride Centre in defining its mandate and programming, in close consultation with the LGBTQ2S+ community.
“While we have made amazing progress in Canada in recent years, we know that our communities still face significant challenges,” added Boodram. “Establishing a Pride Centre will enable us to come together in a shared, safe space to identify what we need to promote our health, wellness and safety, and allow us to participate fully and equally in society as open and proud members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. These have been key goals of both AGYS and QYS, and we are thrilled to collaborate on this important next step.”
“We appreciate the engagement and support of the Yukon Government in this work” concluded Boodram. “Premier Silver, Minister Dendys, their colleagues as well as Yukon government officials have sent a clear message that they are prepared to take concrete action to improve services for, and support inclusion of, our community. Funding for this exciting project is a vital investment in LGBTQ2S+ community capacity, and will also allow us to support the Yukon government in prioritizing and implementing its LGBTQ2S+ Action Plan. We look forward to continued progress on key issues for our community. In light of reports that the federal government plans to table legislation tomorrow banning the ineffective and harmful practice of conversion therapy, I am particularly looking forward to the Yukon government making good on their commitment to do the same within their own jurisdiction.”
QUOTE SUPPLIED BY MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WOMEN’S DIRECTORATE, JEANIE DENDYS: “Government of Yukon recognizes that LGBTQ2S+ Yukoners have been an underserved community for far too long. We are proud to partner with Queer Yukon to grow community capacity. We will be working with Queer Yukon and all Yukon LGBTQ2S+ organizations to deliver a comprehensive LGBTQ2S+ inclusion action plan informed by community needs.
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About queer yukon society
Queer Yukon Society supports, promotes, and organizes events for the LGBTQ2S+ community and our allies in Whitehorse, Yukon. Officially incorporated in 2018, Queer Yukon has been organizing Yukon Pride since 2013, as well as many other events to bring together LGBTQ2S+ and allied Yukoners to build a strong and vibrant community.