Posted on July 4, 2016 at 11 : 30 a.m.
Promoting Cornwall’s gay community
The rainbow-colored pride flag stands proudly in Traci Flewelling’s partner’s front window, overlooking the busy Cumberland Street.
“We want to bring the gay community of Cornwall together,” proudly explained Flewelling, a leading figure behind the Diversity Cornwall group. “We want to inform the residents of this city.”
Formally known as Pride Cornwall, Diversity Cornwall is an organisation that promotes the rights of not only gays and lesbians, but also of transgendered, bisexuals and pansexuals, to name a few. “We’re a group of five who want to bring back the gay community to what it once was,” said Flewelling.
The organisation is spearheaded by five individuals: Stephanie Nadeau, Emmett Brazeau, Mic Bilodeau, Marcia McIntyre and Flewelling. The group is holding their first fundraiser on July 17th. The event, a barbecue, will be hosted at the corner of St-Felix and Walton Street from 11 to 2 p.m. “We don’t have any set price,” added Flewelling. “People can donate what they want.”
The funds raised during the event will be used to fund the Come Back Dance. “Back in the day, Pride Cornwall used to organize the Pride Gala Weekend in September,” informed the woman. “They had concerts, dances, movies and, of course, a huge parade. With the Come Back Dance, we’re hoping to bring that back in Cornwall!”
Unlike nearby cities, Cornwall has very few outlets catering to the homosexual community. “There’s no bar here for us,” expressed Flewelling. “I lived in Ottawa for 15 years and when I came back here, I noticed how different people act towards homosexuals. We’re scared to go to bars.”
Educating the residents of the city is only one of the organization’s goals. “Ever since the Orlando massacre, a lot of us are scared to go out,” the woman stressed. “We want to tell all the homosexuals in Cornwall that it’s OK to participate in events. We won’t be stopped by fear.”
Diversity Cornwall is also aiming their message at families. “We want a more family voice,” claimed Flewelling. “We want to tell them that we’re here, that we’re coming back.”
The group hopes that by New Year’s, several activities will already be
in the works. “We really want to bring the parade back for 2017,” the woman mentioned,
smiling. “That would be amazing!”