Rainbow Optimist Club
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO, INC.
Bettering the lives of LGBT2Q+ rural youth, their families, and their communities in Elgin, Middlesex, and Oxford Counties.
What does the Rainbow Optimist Club do?
Drag Storytime is offered in rural settings. Local Drag performers sing songs and read stories which promote acceptance, inclusion and diversity.
Creating a Safer Space for the LGBT2Q+ Communities:
The Rainbow Optimists delivers an original workshop called Creating a Safer Space for the LGBT2Q+ Communities. A safe space is "a place or environment in which a person can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm." The goal of creating "a safer space is to create a space where people can find themselves represented and reflected, and where they understand that all people are treated with respect and dignity."
The organizations that have completed the workshop can offer a space:
that is positive and safe;
where the staff have been trained to understand LGBT2Q+ issues and needs;
and that understands the challenges and stigma faced by families.
Rainbow Speakers Panel:
The Rainbow Speaker Panel is offered in rural communities. It is designed with LGBT2Q+ teens in mind but all are invited. The Rainbow Optimists want teens to be able to bring their families and friends. It depicts people who live and work in their local community and identify as LGBT2Q+.
Other Community Involvement:
The Rainbow Optimists spearheaded the Strathroy Pride Committee to bring a Pride celebration to Middlesex County. The Rainbow Optimists works with community partners in Elgin County to bring a Pride Celebrations to Elgin County. Lastly, the Rainbow Optimist are actively involved with Oxford County Pride and London Pride Festival.
These incentives will open doors, give support to rural LGBT2Q+ youth, educate the community, and will create opportunities for everyone to participate and to be included in their community.