Five years ago, an out woman found herself bereft of queer friends and felt lost in the community. Things changed for her when she began volunteering at what was called the Centre (rebranded as Qmunity in June 2009).
That woman, Dara Parker, became the executive director of the organization in May of this year.
“Anecdotally, when I talk to people about why they want to get involved [with Qmunity], I often hear my own story told back to me. ‘Oh, you know, I felt a bit disconnected from the community. I wanted a way to meet more people,’ ” Parker told the Georgia Straight at her Bute Street office in between bites of her lunch.
No survey of the local queer community would be complete without Qmunity, our city and province’s primary queer resource centre, which provides safe spaces and services for a diverse range of people that includes everyone from lesbians and gay men to gender-variant individuals, questioning or closeted people, and straight allies.
Needless to say, providing those connections for a community whose inherent strength and vulnerability is diversity doesn’t come without difficulties.