Revelstoke is finally getting its very own permanent LGBTQ+ support program - the Revelstoke Review reports.
In the past, the city has had similar programs, like Safe Spaces Revelstoke, which was around in 2014. However, the programs have not been long-term and tend to disperse as the acting members move away or for other reasons. Now, this new group called the Revelstoke Rainbows, which is part of Community Connections, says it’s not going anywhere.
“It will be forever,” the program’s organizer, Ramona Shaw, told the Revelstoke Review.
“And it needs to be visible,” she added.
Community Connections is a program that has one goal - to support communities. It offers services, resources, and programming that helps people overcome adversity throughout their lives.
Shaw was born and raised in Revelstoke, and just a few years ago, her daughter came out as transgender.
“She was alone. I wish I could have done better to support her, but I didn’t know how at the time. I didn’t understand it,” Shaw explained.
The Revelstoke Rainbows program will run on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. People are welcome to drop in at 416 2nd Street West. The program aims to support the LGBTQ+ community by answering questions about sexuality, providing information, listening to ideas, or simply talking.
In addition, Revelstoke Rainbows offers support and education to parents who have children that are transitioning or have just come out.
“This will be a safe place,” said Erin Maclachlan, with Community Connections.
“We want to help access to learning.”
In October, Community Connections and Revelstoke Rainbows hope to host pride events. The group is looking for community feedback and hopes to hear from anyone who has ideas or suggestions about what they should offer.
The organization said it wants to make the LGBTQ+ community more visible in Revelstoke.
The City of Revelstoke also recently painted its first-ever Pride rainbow downtown. The colourful crosswalk can be seen at Third Street and Mackenzie.