During the third annual Days of Pink outreach week for queer and transgender people, many of the events will focus on youth and education, says the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife executive director.
“We want to make it so there are conversations happening about homophobia and transphobia, and we wanted to provide inclusive events for the LGBTQ2S community,” said Chelsea Thacker, the coalition's executive director.
“The community thinks its really important,” said Thacker. “The basis of what we're doing is youth outreach and knowledge. We're providing knowledge and education opportunities for the whole community (...) to make Yellowknife a more inclusive place.”
The events are open to LGBTQ2S people, parents and allies, she said.
This year's events are “more youth activism-focused,” said Thacker, adding that folks from all generations of the LGBTQ2S community are welcomed.
“We want to have conversations between the generations. Typically we would have a 'lunch with leaders' on the Saturday. We switched it to lunch for future leaders,” she said.
Some of the activities are based in human rights education, to inspire future leaders in the community and to give youth mentorship, said Thacker.
“Through Days of Pink, I would love to reach other people in the community to give them a 101 or base knowledge so that everyone knows a little about that pesky acronym that we have,” she said, referring to LBGTQ2A, an acronym that encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and two-spirit.
“Our goal is to bring the community together to dispel homophobia and transphobia,” she said.
The panel event is a great opportunity for allies, queer and transgender people to discuss working with and being LGBTQ2S in the workplace, said Thacker.
“That is something that is not really talked about and we're going to have people from different professional fields sitting on the panel there,” she said.
Most of the events, with the exception of a conversation lunch and fundraising gala, are free.
At the final gala event, keynote speaker Tanis Niditchie, a Dene and Gwich'in woman from Tulita, will share her powerful and compelling life story about overcoming addiction, her journey to accepting her sexuality and rediscovering her cultural connections.
Parenting in Full Colour at Rainbow Centre, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Being Your Child's Ally at Rainbow Centre, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Days of Pink Party at The Fat Fox, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Days of Pink Workshop: LGBTQ+ 101 at Aurora College, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Days of Pink Dialogue: Conversation Luncheon at Twin Pine Diner, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Panel: LGBTQ+ Stories on Health at Northern United Place, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Gala: Keynote and Music at the Explorer Hotel, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For a full listing of events: rainbowcoalitionyk.org