A jam-packed lineup of events for the first Safe’n’Sound Squamish “Someone Like Me” conference May 9 has been finalized.
The all-day event focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgendered and other gendered will be held at Howe Sound Secondary School. The conference will include something for everyone, according to event coordinator Krista Lambie.“We have various different workshops that are going to be directed at various different audiences,” she said.
The workshops include queer competency training from Vancouver-based Qmunity.
“That is really directed at business members and community members who may have very little knowledge or experience about the LGBTQ+ community members, and how to be an ally,” said Lambie, adding that the workshop will include the basics such as what the anachronisms stand for.
For allies, including those in the social services and education fields, there will be human sexuality training offered by Options for Sexual Health.
The Vancouver outreach program Out in Schools will facilitate a dialogue for youth. “We really want to provide a space where the youth feel like they’re able to connect and dialogue,” Lambie said.
Squamish Nation members will be on hand as well to speak to two-spiritedness and the role of queer members and allies in the Nation, said Lambie.
Over the lunch hour, a Community Resource Alley will be set up that will allow conference attendees to peruse community organization booths, including Howe Sound Secondary’s Diversity Club and the Squamish Library, to see what resources are available in Squamish, she said.
Perhaps most importantly, there will be a call-to-action session. “This is going to be a portion where the attendees can envision how they can carry the learning that happened today into their families and workplaces and larger community,” Lambie said. “We really want this day to be a jumping off point for action that is going to happen in the community.”
The event will be capped off by a keynote address by Canadian comedienne Elvira Kurt, best known for her sarcastic wit and gay and lesbian advocacy.
Everything is ready and all the event needs now is for Squimites to show up, said Lambie. “Kudos to the organizers and the kids that are involved,” said Mayor Patricia Heintzman. “I think it is high time that there be a demonstrative place for people to feel safe, so good on them. I think it is great.”
The conference runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, go to www.safensoundsquamish.com.