PEI

P.E.I.'s LGBT community seeks a welcoming place

People from P.E.I.'s LGBT community are coming together to talk about how they can create a space of their own on the Island.

Discussions will be part of a larger event on Feb. 16

A special place for the LGBT community has been discussed on the Island for years, says Gehrels. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

People from P.E.I.'s LGBT community are coming together to talk about how they can create a space of their own on the Island.

"A lot of places have a gay bar or a coffee shop that is very welcoming, or a community centre, and P.E.I. doesn't have any of those things right now," said Hannah Gehrels, co-ordinator of the Linking Together project.

"This is something we've heard for years, and so part of this event we're hosting a discussion around — is this something that we want on P.E.I., how do we move towards achieving it, what would we want it to look like?"

The idea to talk more seriously about creating a welcoming, physical space came out of a group of about 10 people from the community who have been meeting weekly for the last five months.

They hope to continue that discussion as part of a larger event planned at the Haviland Club in Charlottetown on Feb. 16.

The day-long event will include a trans panel, gentle yoga, a drag queen story hour and make-up tutorial, and even knitting lessons.

"It's going to be an awesome event," said Gehrels. "I encourage everyone to come."

Hannah Gehrels hopes the event will build a stronger community. (CBC)

Gehrels hopes connections will be made at the free, all-ages event that will help the community to grow. She is asking people to register, as there will be food available.

There will also be blood testing with Dr. Greg German, a disease specialist with Health PEI. He will test for HIV and Hep C. There will be no names visibly attached to the tests. Results will be returned in two to three weeks.

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With files from Island Morning

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