Thursday, October 11, 2007

Upcoming event - National Coming Out Day (Vancouver)

Coming out of the closet (in the sexual orientation kind of way) means opening up a whole can of worms when it comes to acceptance by mainstream society, job security and the existence of glass ceilings, conforming to societal norms and dealing with potential rejection. The reason behind National Coming Out Day seems (in my interpretation) a celebration of that moment in a person's life when it becomes important to embrace a whole identity, not just portions of it.

I had heard about National Coming Out Day but I hadn't seen any ads for celebrations. However, it appears as though Xtra West Vancouver does have some information about an upcoming event. From their website:
The Centre presents an evening of storytelling to celebrate National Coming Out Day. Includes improv comedy with Tops & Bottoms and guest speakers Kevin McKeown, Nicky Phillips and others. Light refreshments. Free admission. Coast Plaza Hotel, 1763 Comox Street, 7-9 pm. 604.684.5307.
The Centre, for those of you who don't know it, is a community resource run by volunteers mostly that provides services and support to the Vancouver queer community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and two-spirited). From their website:
The Centre is a community resource providing support, health and social services, and public education for the well being of lesbians, gay men, transgendered and bisexual people and their allies in Vancouver throughout B.C.

The Centre is committed to building pride and acceptance of diversity and to mitigating the impact of homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia and biphobia.

The Centre welcomes and values all people regardless of race, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, marital status, family status, colour, age, disability, pardoned conviction, sexual orientation, gender identity, and source of income.
The event organized by The Centre at the Coast Plaza should be a lot of fun. And to read an advertisement by KPMG celebrating National Coming Out Day on the Xtra West, this is really outstanding. I am not that surprised since I thought that KPMG has always been a very progressive firm (not that I know them all too well, but if you think about the fact that they have a Director of Diversity and that he gave a talk at an OutRights conference, it speaks volumes!).

I quote from KPMG's ad (I don't have the website, otherwise I'd link to it):
KPMG is committed to building a workplace that fosters diversity and inclusiveness. We salute our colleagues who have chosen to live their lives openly with pride, and support those who continue to struggle. You are not alone.
Other firms that have shown commitment to equality, diversity and supporting queer causes include VanCity and TD Canada Trust (from those that I have seen, I might have missed a few other companies). I had previously read about VanCity's and TD Canada Trust's commitment to diversity here (Nathaniel Christopher's website). Kudos to these firms!


Paul Hillsdon said...

It's great to see the corporations doing more than commercializing the Pride Parade, and actually having real policies in place to support diversity in the workplace.

And yes, the Centre is a fantastic resource for the queer community throughout this region. I should know, being a gay youth myself. Just don't get scared away by the trans at the welcome desk like I did when I first went in :P It's unfortunate that the Centre doesn't get more funding though, as it's current facilities are quite run down and out of date, and could certainly use an infusion of cash to rebuild and renew for a whole new generation of residents.

Raul said...

I think that one of the problems is that very few people seem to really know what The Centre does. That's why I wanted to showcase it.

And lots of people can confuse it too with the Centre for Excellence, so I am sure if Vancouverites knew the kind of financial distress that The Centre faces, they probably would help.

Anonymous said...

I'm planning on attending.