Letter from our ED: Happy Holidays from QMUNITY!
December 19, 2023
Thank you for another amazing year! The past year at QMUNITY has been one of growth, stability, and celebration.
As I write this letter, our staff are laughing and hanging lights for our Winter Warm Up celebration, youth are trickling in for drop-in, and the phone at Q-Desk is ringing with calls for support and referrals.
This time of year, I’m reminded that community connection and celebration are at the heart of queer resiliency, and that QMUNITY is a hub for queer folks to find joy.
This year, our Summer of Love ’23 campaign brought QMUNITY on the road as we traveled across the province to local pride initiatives. As we marched alongside various communities throughout BC, we were able to spread resource and joy, and remind folks that QMUNITY is here for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community beyond the lower mainland.
We also had the opportunity to host Queer Prom again in 2023, and this year it was cosmically themed for an interstellar queer youth party! Queer Prom is a deeply affirming experience for youth who may not have felt comfortable attending their high school prom, or not in a way that felt right for them. We get to see many of our youth every week, but Queer Prom is a special occasion that we look forward to all year.
Our new ‘Planting Seeds’ initiative, led by our Indigenous Program Coordinator, was an opportunity to connect to Two-Spirit traditions through planting and harvesting squash. Participants engaged with the ‘Three Sisters’ teachings of interdependence through the traditional plant pairing of squash, corn, and beans. We know that Two-Spirit and queer communities thrive when we are connected, just like these traditional harvests.
More recently, this past November QMUNITY hosted an event to recognize Trans Day of Remembrance. We partnered with the Birdhouse arts space in east Vancouver to provide a drop-in space with spoken word performances and the opportunity to leave notes of support to the trans community. Open to all ages, the event offered a space for connection on what can be a difficult day of grief for trans people.
This is just a glimpse at what QMUNITY achieved this year, in addition to our ongoing programs and services. In the face of rising tensions and transphobic rhetoric across Canada and the world this past year, our team enabled more and safer spaces for our communities to gather and find the support they need; be it through 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health services, drop-in spaces, peer groups, and employment support (and more!).
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported us this year; our dedicated volunteers, our generous sponsors, donors, and of course the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, which is the reason for it all!
I’m ever so grateful that my work allows me to be of service. My appreciation to the staff, volunteers, and members who make my work meaningful. I’m honored to do this work alongside the magical members of QMUNITY.
Anoop Gill, Executive Director
… and everyone at QMUNITY