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Quesnel opens Pflag chapter to support LGBTQ2S+

This coming week, a groundbreaking support group commences in Quesnel. It’s a gathering and sharing space for the loved ones of LGBTQ2S+ people. Perhaps you wish to learn more about their needs. Perhaps you wish to understand the science behind our respective orientations, and how that might apply to you and your family. Perhaps you just want to be an even better ally for your loved one. Those are all reasons to join the conversation with Pflag.
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Quesnel Pride Society president Alison Prentice Quesnel Pride Society director Janice McKinney. (Photo submitted)

This coming week, a groundbreaking support group commences in Quesnel. It’s a gathering and sharing space for the loved ones of LGBTQ2S+ people. Perhaps you wish to learn more about their needs. Perhaps you wish to understand the science behind our respective orientations, and how that might apply to you and your family. Perhaps you just want to be an even better ally for your loved one. Those are all reasons to join the conversation with Pflag.

The group is an international charitable organization with chapters across Canada and the US. Its name started as Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays but as society learned more about the wider rainbow of sexual constructs, it became simply Pflag to include and unite all.

It has only been a few years that the Quesnel Pride Society (QPS) has existed, let alone this progression. QPS president Alison Prentice was excited when one of their directors, Janice McKinney, suggested they establish Pflag as well.

“Janice has been the driving force,” Prentice said “She has long wanted to see Pflag here and within weeks of being on the board has accomplished just that.”

McKinney said it has been her wish for years, and QPS’s support gave her the impetus.

“PFLAG is for everyone that has a family member or friends that are in the LGBTQ + community,” McKinney said. “I’ve always felt we needed an organization like this for Quesnel. This will help everyone to learn how to accept and educate each other. It’s much too easy to dismiss our loved one’s silent needs for help and understanding.”

Times may feel modern, and much has been accomplished to accept and support those different than the male-female-heterosexual paradigm, but it is still an unsafe and all too often hostile world for those forced to live under the intolerant prejudices of those who will not accept differences.

“Quesnel has historically not had enough support for LGBTQ2S+ members and their families,” said Prentice. “As we know from our 2022 market research survey of our queer community, life is challenging in Quesnel as a queer person. One of the hardest statistics for me from that survey was the 37 per cent rejection from family and friends that our youths and young adults face. I know from personal experience what that rejection can result in – we lost our own son to suicide when his bio father rejected him and disowned him after he came out as gay.”

“That’s where an organization like Pflag is vital and needed,” McKinney said. “We have ability to help everyone understand the struggles and the strengths of our LGBTQ + community. I’m so proud to be able to chair our brand new chapter of Pflag in Quesnel.”

The first meeting is Jan. 10 starting at 6pm at the Quesnel Public Library’s second floor meeting room.

Read more: PHOTOS: Quesnel Pride Parade increases LGBTQ+ visibility



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