Those of you who have followed my work, would know my involvement and activism with LGBTQ+ youth in Northern BC at Smithers Secondary School where I work (OutSide Project here … amongst other art-based projects).  I help run the Gender-Sexuality Alliance, and we have made great strides in the past decade with queering the rural frontier up here…. with all kinds of initiatives like successfully addressing hallway language in the early years, getting our school district to update a policy for diversity, bringing up Out In Schools to make awareness presentations to students, our town getting a rainbow crosswalk, commemorating the Orlando tragedy, being visible for Anti-Homophobia Day, TDOR, and more! This year, we created a Pride event … which was well attended by students, staff and community members, and came with an announcement of something else we have been working on: getting an all-gender washroom/changeroom at SSS and in all schools in the district.  The importance of this movement being alive with the strong support of allies is paramount.  This is what helps change norms and awareness in rural communities .. if more and more allies also step up to voice their support, to counter the discrimination, and to celebrate diversity.  I am pleased to have had an active role in this frontier here in our town for the past 10 years or so.

Some further links to read of coverage of our Pride event: from the local radio station here, and from Interior News here.