PEI

Online Rainbow Hub looks to connect people across P.E.I.'s LGBTQ spectrum

A new online resource called the Rainbow Hub is available to help the LGBTQ community and allies support, educate and connect with one another.

New website went live on Friday before P.E.I.'s Pride Week

The new online portal is set up to help connect Islanders with resources and services around the LGBTQ community. (RainbowHub.ca)

A new online resource has been launched on P.E.I. called the Rainbow Hub — with the slogan of "Spreading Pride, Island Wide".

It was put together through co-operation between PEERS Alliance, Pride P.E.I. and the P.E.I. Transgender Network.

The Rainbow Hub has a list of programs and services around the LGBTQ community on the Island, including online resources and a community calendar where people can promote upcoming events.

There will also be an interactive discussion board — another way that folks can get connected and create community online.

So to have this digital space in lieu of a physical space for now, it provides folks with the opportunity to find a community, to connect.— Brittany Jakubiec, PEERS Alliance

"I think it's really important for folks to feel like you're a part of a community — to feel like you belong," said Brittany Jakubiec, executive director with PEERS Alliance.

"Your sense of belonging to whichever community and all of the communities you belong to is a really important part of your personal identity and how you feel about yourself."

Brittany Jakubiec, executive director of PEERS Alliance, says the goal is to see the website receive engagement and direction from those within the LGBTQ community as to how it evolves. (Submitted by Brittany Jakubiec)

Intentionally launching around P.E.I.'s Pride Week, the timing of the online hub is also helpful for those trying to connect while staying apart during the global pandemic.

"Pride P.E.I. has been doing such a tremendous job of adapting their Pride festival to our current world conditions and are doing a lot of things online and with Zoom and live streaming and it's been this amazing learning experience," Jakubiec said. 

"So to have the Rainbow Hub come out during this time as well just provides folks with yet another opportunity to find community online and to engage online."

The project was made possible from funding through Canadian Heritage. That money meant two people could be hired for community outreach, to find out what was needed and how to put it all together.

They also worked on a feasibility study on having a permanent physical space for people to meet up and connect.

Jakubiec said they are still looking for community partners and options on how that could come together.

But for now, and during the public health restrictions on social gathering, the Rainbow Hub's existence means connections can still be made.

"So to have this digital space in lieu of a physical space for now, it provides folks with the opportunity to find a community, to connect," Jakubiec said. 

"To find the information that they might be looking for, or programs or services that might be interesting to them."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Robertson

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Jane Robertson is a multi-platform journalist based out of Charlottetown. She has previously worked out of Edmonton, AB, and Iqaluit, NU, in her award-winning career that has spanned more than a decade with CBC. Jane.Robertson@cbc.ca Twitter @CBCJRobertson Instagram @CBCJaneRobertson

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