Calgary

New LGBTQ+ history series launched as Calgary Pride celebrates 30th anniversary

It’s part of an online series called "Our History Matters," launched by Calgary Pride and Calgary Gay History Project.

Calgary Pride launched more than 100 online learning workshops over the summer

Adam Puskar, left, and Boban Stojanovic, right, attended the Belgrade Pride parade in 2016 shortly before they fled to Canada to escape death threats. Stojanovic now helps fellow refugees in Calgary and will be part of a Calgary Pride online panel discussion next week. (Vesna Lalic)

When LGBTQ+ activist Boban Stojanovic fled Serbia four years ago, he applied for refugee status in Canada.

He now helps others in similar situations as the LGBTQ+ program manager at the Centre for Newcomers in Calgary

"It was challenging," Stojanovic told CBC's The Homestretch about his life in Serbia. In January 2017, he and his partner received asylum to Canada after enduring hundreds of death threats and violence against them in their home country.

Stojanovic said Calgary sees more than 1,000 refugee claimants each year and of those, about 200 to 300 are LGBTQ+ claimants. He added about 98 per cent of their clients are accepted.

Next week, Stojanovic is set to share some of the history of LGBTQ+ newcomers to Calgary.

He'll be speaking on a discussion panel called "Rainbow Connection: History of LGBTQ-plus Newcomers in Canada."

It's part of an online series called "Our History Matters," launched by Calgary Pride and Calgary Gay History Project.

The first of the 10 online programs started last week. The series also includes coverage of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Calgary and films on gay and lesbian life in '50s and '60s. In September, it will feature performances by top drag artists.

Calgary Pride launched more than 100 online learning workshops including the pride history series over the summer.

The workshops feature topics like how to boost self-confidence, how to manage finances, online beading circles and two-spirit teachings.

The full calendar of events can be found on the organization's website.

With files from The Homestretch

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