Queers in the Kitchen:
A story of connections through foodApril 28, 2019
Food is universal. It is one of the few things that connects us all, regardless of who you are or where you come from. With this in mind, a new initiative by Queer Events in partnership with the Covent Garden Market has been launched: Queering the Kitchen.
Queering the Kitchen aims to bring all members of our community together in a safe, supportive and inclusive space to enjoy conversation, learn new skills while we create and share a meal together.
This initiative will connect the community to local LGBT2Q+ culinary instructors and encourage the use of local produce and fresh ingredients in meals. This is an opportunity to increase the community’s knowledge of healthy eating and local food resources while providing a space for members of the community to learn, cook and eat together in a welcoming, inclusive environment.
These events will place on Thursday evenings in order to connect with the Covent Garden Market’s outdoor market with locally-grown food direct from local farmers, growers and producers. Recipes made at Queering the Kitchen will be using produce from the local farmers at the market to create delicious, healthy meals while sharing tips on selecting produce and using locally-grown food in our kitchens.
As part of their mission, Queer Events works to create safe, inclusive spaces for the members of the LGBT2Q+ community to connect. This initiative will add to the number of accessible, sober spaces in the community and one in which members of all ages can have an opportunity to attend together.
“This is an opportunity for - queers who would like to connect with community in a different space, queer families who want to go to an event together, and queers who love food or want to learn more - to have a space in which they can socialize and have fun.”
The event series will run monthly for a limited number of sessions on Thursday evenings at the Covent Garden Market, London Ontario. This event is all ages, however it is recommended a guardian attends with those who are 14 years and under.
More Information can be found at QueerEvents.ca - Queer Kitchen Series
We Have Always Been Here:
Queering Black History MonthFebruary 1, 2019
Queer Events is marking Black History Month this year with an awareness campaign as well as an event aimed at raising the visibility of QTBPOC members of the community.
This month, an online campaign both on social media and on their website will highlight and raise the visibility of QTBPOC individuals who are working to create change in the community. QTBPOC members of our community are often erased from the dominant queer narrative even when they have been at the heart of our struggle for rights and inclusion. Not only are they erased from within the queer community but additionally often wiithin their own cultural communities and throughout the discourse of Black History Month.
"Too often has our work been not recognized or recognition only comes after we are long gone. It is important that community members know their work is being seen, appreciated and valued. We also need members of our community of all ages to be inspired by the work that is being done, to see themselves reflected and to have hope that change is possible."
This year’s series highlights Syrus Marcus Ware, Courtnay Macfarlane, Douglas Stewart, Angela Robertson, Monica Forrester, Nik Redman, Dionne Brand and Faith Nolan.
On February 28, the month will close off with an evening of film, held at The Baker’s Dozen with the featured film Kiki (2016), a film focusing on the experiences of Queer Black youth. Admission is $10 or PWYC. Proceeds from this event will go towards funding for QIPOC initiatives and donations will be collected for the Wet'suwet'en fund.
Find out more about the awareness campaign at: https://www.queerevents.ca/notable-qipoc
Find out more about the event at: https://www.queerevents.ca/events/london/arts-culture/2019-02-28/evening-qipoc-films
Connecting FamiliesMarch 4, 2018
It is easier to parent as a LGBTQ+ person these days, but it definitely isn’t easy.
While Canada has made strides forward in LGBT2Q+ rights and protections, that has not ended the poor treatment and bigotry some parents, and their children, face and often support for queer families still comes as an afterthought to straight families.
Often there are postpartum mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, issues dealt with by many parents, including lesbian parents, bi parents, and everyone else in the LGBTQ+ community.
The early days of parenting bring on added stressors for everyone, from lack of sleep to social isolation. Trans parents may deal with the hormonal fallout from childbirth, along with a lack of support from their own families.Gay fathers may be dealing with the sudden arrival of their adopted or surrogate child, as well as a lack of resources to help them adjust.
“Many members of our community becoming isolated when they decide to become parents as traditional spaces to connect with the queer community such as the bars and nightclubs are no longer viable or accessible. Spaces that include families are important to ensure LGBT2Q+ parents continue to feel included in our community and have safe spaces to turn to as traditional ‘Mommy & Me’ and other parenting classes are not inclusive.”
LGBTQ+ parents need help, support, and a place to share their story, just like every other parent while it is also important for children from these families to see that there are other family units like theirs as well as to play in an inclusive environment. Many childcare providers still both consciously and unconsciously fail to adopt and communicate an inclusive definition of family. This program will assist in creating a basis of support within an early childhood environment.
“It is vital that young children can see that they are not the only family with two dads, or two moms, a trans parent or any other type of diverse family configuration in our community. That children can be free to play outside of established gender norms without fear of bullying or pressure.”
Queer Events has increased their program delivery in this area, expanding their Queer Family Playtime to a monthly event in partnership with Childreach Centre, a community Parent Resource and EarlyON Child & Family Centre.
This program provides a fun, safe and positive space for families of diverse identities to meet, play, learn and grow with each other. Children can enjoy an indoor play space full of toys, books, music, games and creative activities that encourage them to play together while parents and caregivers will have an opportunity to mingle and connect with other caregivers.
The program will run on the second Saturday of each month excepting holidays from 10am to noon for ages 0 - 7years old. This is a free event and all families are welcome.
Find out more: Queer Family Playtime
Connecting the Community:
QE's First Event InitiativeMay 4, 2017
Queer Events (QE) started online in the fall of 2016 with our website QueerEvents.ca. Creating and maintaining this site provides unique insight and knowledge regarding existing programs, services and opportunities currently available to queer folks within the London community.&
It wasn't long before QE grew into a community organization providing monthly programs and initiatives aimed at creating a strong, welcoming and accessible LGBT2Q+ community for everyone.
We wanted to ensure that our first event based initiative would make an immediate impact, create lasting opportunity, and provide acceptance for all queer folks regardless of identity while also ensuring the core of the event was social with a fun and positive theme.
With the help of a dedicated group of volunteers, ultimately, it was decided Queer Prom for Youth was going to be our first major initiative in the local queer community.
This was just the beginning of what would go from an idea at the queer kitchen table to what may be the largest annual queer youth event in the city of London.
LGBT2Q youth everywhere face particularly challenging obstacles in life, while there are many factors and consideration that help shape all aspects of Queer Prom for youth, Accessibility and Acceptance are our main motivators. When QE started to plan this event we wanted to make sure as many youth could be comfortable attending. This meant that there needed to be as many barriers removed as possible.
Queer Prom is a free event for all LGBT2Q+ identified to attend. The entire event including live entertainment, snacks, beverages, photo booth and dj dance party is absolutely free for all to students from Grade 7-12.
Queer Prom was held at the London Children’s Museum, a fully accessible venue with automatic doors, elevator on site and the abiilty to provide gender neutral washrooms for the event. The venue is conveniently located within the city of London offering both public transit options and parking onsite. The museum is youth appropriate which ensures parents and guardians feel comfortable sending their child(ren) for an evening while also contributing to creating a positive, fun space for everyone to enjoy, the London Children’s Museum is the perfect home for Queer Prom for Youth.
The theme of Queer Prom was ‘Come As You Are’ which was chosen to encourage all youth to attend in whatever style, appearance or version of themselves that feels most comfortable expressing.
In working to create a sense of community for LGBT2Q+ youth, it was important to us that we use this particular event to include as many queer identified individuals in key roles such as lead volunteers and chaperones. We wanted to use this opportunity for youth to be able to look to the LGBT2Q+ adults around them and see themselves reflected and to know that there was a future in which they could become thriving adults participating in our community.
Queer Prom also provides lgbt2q+ youth with an opportunity to experience a sense of community. The experience of being able to walk into a room or event and find themselves surrounded by over 100 other LGBT2Q+ youth and visually see that they are not alone and that there is a larger community than their GSAs or friend circle is an important one that allows them to feel less isolated and to connect with others. This is especially important for the youth who attend from smaller communities in the London area.
Queer Events’ first Queer Prom for Youth took place on Saturday April 29th 2017, the evening was a great success, better than any of us could have expected with 125 youth in attendance along with lgbt2q+ folks and community allies who chaperoned, live entertainment and best of all we had happy and safe teenagers enjoying a sense of community.
We would like to thank our partners, the Children’s Museum and DJ Alpha Production as well as the many sponsors, performers and volunteers who helped to make this night happen.