Narrow Bridge is a moving and engaging story told with heart and humour. The main character, Sholem, transitions genders while discovering Orthodox Judaism. Walking the tightrope of family dynamics, history, activism and Talmud study, Sholem wonders if, as Rebbe Nachman said, “All the world is a very narrow bridge.” Featuring Elio Zarrillo, Alissa Watson, and Rhea Akler in their WJT premiere, and long-time WJT favourite Harry Nelken, directed by Drag Heals creator Tracey Erin Smith.
Sold Out Drag Bunch in Morden
It was a sold-out Y2K Drag Show in Morden on Saturday. Hosted by the Pembina Hills Art Council (PHAC), the show was originally scheduled to take place at the PHAC building in the clock tower, but it sold out in minutes, leading organizers to move the event to a larger location, the Morden United Church.
“HEARTSTOPPER” Viewing Party THURSDAY, MARCH 2nd
JOIN US THURSDAY, MARCH 2nd
Doors open at 7:00
Show starts 7:15, over at 9:30
FIRESIDE ROOM – PAT PORTER ACTIVE LIVING CENTRE
10 Chrysler Gate, Steinbach MB
Transgender and Gender Diverse Presentation
Please find attached the .PDF presentation that accompanied our event “Exploring Trans Experiences”. TGD Talk
Join us this Saturday at 10!
Band of Colours and Rainbow Resource Workshop Oct. 29th
Band Of Colours and Rainbow Resource is Now Open!!
Monkey Pox Explainer
Click below to see the attached Monkey Pox resource.
Monkey Pox Explainer
Southern Health Monkey Pox Vaccine Notice
Monkey Pox Vaccine
For PrEP – Pre Exposure Prophylaxis
If you think you may be at risk of being exposed to Monkey Pox Imvamune® vaccine is being made available to individuals at risk.
Risks May include:
- Individuals who are a close contact to someone with monkeypox.
- have received a diagnosis of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and or syphilis in the past two months;
- have had two or more sexual partners in the last 21 days;
- have attended locations for sexual contact (e.g. bath houses or sex clubs) or are
- have had anonymous sex in the past 21 days or are planning to; or
- engage in sex work or plan to, either as a worker or a client
- gbMSM gay, bisexual & Men whom have sex with menThe vaccine will be available in Steinbach starting on August 19, 2022
Walk-in and by appointments.
August 19, 2022: 1:30pm-230pm @ 365 Reimer 3rd floor.
August 25, 2022: 3:30pm-500pm @ Steinbach Community Outreach 345 Loewen Blvd.
To Book an appointment at either above site or a private confidential appt before September 2, 2022.
1) Call Public Health in Steinbach 204-905-0090
2) Book online: https://patient.petal-health.com/login?groupId=6032
To book an appt in Winnipeg call Health Links @ 1-888-315-9257 or visit: https://patient.petal-health.com/login?groupId=6032
Rainbow Resource Centre’s Planning With Pride
This November, join host, Ashley Smith, for Rainbow Resource Centre’s Planning With Pride: a three-day, national, virtual conference that will give 2SLGBTQ+ older adults and those who support them everything needed to prepare for later life. Give yourself peace of mind, start planning with pride.
City of Steinbach Pride Flag Raising Request
Please see attached a Pride Flag raising request written by our member, Dr. Darren Reimer, to the City of Steinbach. If you are so inclined, join us by sending in your own request.
LGBTQ Booklist for the Jake Epp Library
Please find attached a LGBTQ Booklist generated by the Jake Epp Library that details Titles, Author, Call No, and Genre.
MPs embrace after bill to ban conversion therapy passes unanimously in House
B.C. author says being gay and Christian is OK
Stacey Chomiak’s queer, illustrated, young-adult memoir ‘Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming-of-Age Story’ is being released on Oct. 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Stacey Chomiak’s memoir aimed at LGBTQ youth makes peace with faith community and queer community.
© 2021, Nanaimo News Bulletin and Black Press Group Ltd.
Happy PRIDE MONTH!
We at Steinbach Neighbours for Community wish you all a happy, safe and healthy PRIDE MONTH! Celebrate your uniqueness! We love you.
For virtual Pride Month events check out: https://pridewinnipeg.com/
Steinbach United has become an Affirming Ministry!
Steinbach United Church is a community of faith that actively supports justice and inclusion and began 8 years ago on an Affirming journey. Together we listened, studied, shared stories, faced challenges and updated policies.
On March 14th they celebrated becoming an Affirming Ministry within The United Church of Canada! If you would like to view the service it can be found on their website: http://steinbachunitedchurch.ca/ministers-message.
Online list aims to promote local LGBTTQ+ biz
Claiming our rights as a transgender family
By Amanda Jetté Knox
Read Article Here
“I am a girl trapped in a boy’s body,” our then 11‐year‐old explained in a heartfelt letter to me and my spouse. Our middle child had typed the message just moments ago from the bedroom across the hall. “More than anything, I need to be a girl. Please help me.”
October 2020 – Bill C-6: Federal Conversion Therapy Ban is approved and sent to committee.
Members of Parliament voted 308-7 in favour of inclusion and diversity in Canada when they passed Bill C-6 which would criminalize conversion therapy. The bill is now before a committee and amendments may be brought forward before a third and final reading in the House.
What is conversion therapy? Conversion therapy involves various practices that attempt to change an individuals’ sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Bill C-6 proposes legislative amendments to the Criminal Code.
The legislation recommends five new Criminal Code offences related to conversion therapy. These include:
- causing a minor to undergo conversion therapy
- removing a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy abroad
- causing a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will
- profiting from providing conversion therapy
- advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy.
Many Canadian professional associations such as the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Pediatric Association state that the practice of conversion therapy is harmful to LGBTQ2S persons, especially minors. Conversion therapy is centered on the false idea that any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality and any gender identity other than cisgender, is not normal or is an illness that can and should be changed. Conversion therapy is not only ineffective, it has devastating effects for those undergoing this therapy such as anxiety, depression, stigma, self-hatred and suicidal thoughts and suicide.
All Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, New Democrat, Green and independent MPs who took part in the vote supported the bill. 7 Conservative MPs including Ted Falk, MP for Provencher, voted against the bill. In an article on Steinbach Online on Nov.18, 2020, Mr. Falk said that the topic of conversion therapy is one that generates more correspondence from his constituents than any other issue. He suggested that an overwhelming majority of those who contact his office in regards to this bill also feel that the bill is flawed. Steinbach Neighbours received a copy of a letter written by a mother from the Provencher constituency that was sent to Mr. Falk in support of Bill C-6. Permission to share this powerful letter of advocacy and support for LGBTQ2S individuals has been given and the letter appears below (names have been removed to protect privacy).
In the midst of a pandemic when it is more difficult to gather in support of shared causes, we must remain vigilant and follow the progression of this Bill C-6 to ensure that it does become law this time around. We ask other allies in the Provencher riding who wish to express their support for Bill C-6 to contact Mr. Ted Falk using the information below.
Ted Falk, MP
76 PTH 12 N
Tel: (204) 326-9889
Toll free 1 866 333-1933
Fax: 204 346-9874
It is the hope of Steinbach Neighbours for Community that Bill C-6 will ultimately be proclaimed, ensuring that all Canadians can live safely and freely as their true authentic selves. Canada is stronger when it recognizes, protects and celebrates diversity.
Letter written by a mother from the Provencher constituency
sent to Mr. Falk in support of Bill C-6
Rainbow Harmony Project Virtual Concert on November 28th
Court ruling allows both members of Manitoba LGBTQ2s+ couples to be legally recognized as parents
How teens made Yukon one of the few places in Canada to ban conversion therapy
Generous Spaces Fall Virtual Retreat
Books that Encourage Empathy and Inclusivity
Below is a list of books that encourage empathy and inclusivity. Click the book title to link to a site where you can purchase it.
- The Big Orange Splot – Daniel Manus Pinkwater
- Suki’s Kimono – Chiere Uegaki and Stephanie Jorisch
- Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress – Christine Baldacchino
- The Family Book – Todd Parr
- The Sissy Duckling – Harvey Fierstein
- All Families Are Special – Norma Simon
- Have You Filled a Bucket Today? – Carol McCloud
- How Full is Your Bucket?( for kids) – Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer
- Pink is For Boys – Robb Pearlman
- The Crayon Box that Talked – Shane DeRolf
- Red: A Crayon’s Story – Michael Hall
- Bear For Breakfast – Robert Munsch
- All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold
- Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag – Rob Sanders
- Julian Is A Mermaid – Jessica Love
- The Whispers – Greg Howard
- I Am Jazz – Jessica Herthel
- Jacob’s New Dress – Ian Hoffman and Sarah Hoffman
- Families, Families, Families! – Suzanne Lang
- The Great Big Book of Families – Mary Hoffman
- Ruby, Head High – Irene Cohen-Janca
- Hair Love – Matthew A. Cherry
- We’re Different, We’re the Same But We’re All Wonderful – Bobbi Jane Kates
- One Family – George Shannon
- Who’s In My Family – Robie H. Harris
- Love Makes A Family – Sophie Beer
- The Water Walker – Joanne Robertson
- Stone Soup – Marcia Brown
- Sammy’s Visit – Val Plett Reimer
- This Is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel
- And Tango Makes Three – Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
- I Need A Hug – Susie Linn
- The Colour of Us – Karen Katz
- Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten – Lynne Marie
- Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees
- We All Sing With the Same Voice – J. Philip Miller + Sheppard M Greene
- A Family is a Family – Sara O’Learya
Growing Up Inclusive
Saturday, January 25, 2020, 10 am -2 pm
Steinbach Curling Club357 Elmdale Street 2nd Floor (Accessible)
We are excited to invite you to:
Connecting Neighbours: GROWING UP INCLUSIVE
RAISING INCLUSIVE KIDS – MaryLou Driedger
How do we help our children develop inclusive attitudes so they can play a vital role in the creation of caring communities where everyone feels welcome?
GROWING UP SAFE AND STRONG – Val Hiebert
An examination of Erikson’s classic psycho-social theory of child development applied to our everyday lives as parents, communities, and our own childhood histories.
• Free Admission
• Lunch is included
• Conversation circles
For further information contact Val Hiebert at:
email@example.com or 433-7488 (ext. 204) or 379-9652.
Devout & Out
Friday, November 1, 2019, 7 pm
Roadhouse 52 Inn & Suites, 375 N Front Dr. B, Steinbach.
Steinbach Neighbours for Community invites you to join them in viewing the CBC documentary series, Devout & Out.
This series introduces us to LGBTTQI* individuals who have chosen to become or remain leaders in the church. Each episode follows one person, documenting their journey as they navigate their sexuality, identity and faith, as well as their relationship with their churches and with God. These individuals are pushing boundaries, breaking barriers and challenging secular and religious expectations of what it means to live faithfully today.
Following each documentary there will be time to discuss what we have seen and heard. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with refreshments. The first documentary will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Conversation circles will follow each video. Free Admission. For further information contact Val Hiebert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 433-7488 (ext. 204) or 379-9652.
Queer Hutterite: Misfit on the Colony
The following story is not “new news”, but one that SNFC feels is important to highlight and share. Kelly Hofer is a photographer and gay-rights activist based in Calgary. Here is his story:
Kelly Hofer knew he wasn’t a fit from the start. At the age of nineteen he came out on Facebook, after leaving the Hutterite colony near Wawanesa, Manitoba, the only home he had ever known. The reaction by his people was extreme. Hear him tell his story in the video, Queer Hutterite: Misfit on the Colony.
Connecting Neighbours: Journey to Authentic Self
You are invited to join SNFC and friends for conversation and information-sharing in an event that includes a panel discussion with people who have been on a personal journey to authentic self. We welcome Katelyn Dykstra as guest speaker. Dr. Dykstra teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Manitoba, and is the project manager for genderplay workshops in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Thompson. She lives in Steinbach with her partner and two children, where she also facilitates a book club.
Please note the details on the poster, share, and mark your calendar for
Saturday, February 23, 10 am – 2:30 pm
Pat Porter Centre
10 Chrysler Drive, Steinbach
Circle of Trust for Parents
The Parent Circle meets every second Wednesday of the month at Steinbach United Church, 541 Main St. from 7-9 p.m.
Steinbach Neighbours for Community invites parents of LGBTTQI* children and youth to a space of discovery, parent to parent, about our journey in our community. We look forward to our conversations, guided by Bonnie Loewen.
SNFC in the Summer
Steinbach Neighbours for Community continues to invite parents of LGBTTQI children and youth to network with us through the summer months. Our members are happy to sit down with other parents, one-on-one, to listen and to share. Please feel free to contact us personally:
Leona Woodmass – email@example.com
Randy Hildebrand – firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Klassen – email@example.com
Bonnie Loewen – firstname.lastname@example.org
Circle of Trust will reconvene with a new schedule in the fall season. Read more about this group here.
A Remarkable Story of a Mother and Son
Cindy Mills and her son, Ro Walker Mills, sat down with Bridget Forbes of CBC news to publicly tell their story for the first time. Ro identifies as a transgender male. Their honest account of what they both endured during those two years will stay with you. Read the interview here.
Bisexual Pastor Creates Space for Believers
“It took a many-year journey before Jamie Arpin-Ricci learned to reconcile his faith with his sexuality, largely because of social pressures he says still exist today in many conservative churches that alienate LGBTQ Christians like him.”
Arpin-Ricci is bisexual and leads Little Flowers Community, an Anabaptist, Franciscan-inspired church in the West End. His story appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press this week. You can read it here.
Saturday, February 24, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Pat Porter Centre, 10 Chrysler Gate, Steinbach
Five presenters have been invited to share their knowledge and experience, as we explore a variety of topics relevant to our community. The session topics include reading biblical texts in a new light, scientific research, intersex realities, stories from the transgender community and more. Each presentation will be followed by a conversation circle. There will be all-day refreshments and lunch at noon. Admission is free, and donations to cover costs are welcome. We hope to see you there!
The Spectrum of Sexuality
Val Hiebert is well-known to those who follow Steinbach Neighbours for Community. She is Professor of Sociology at Providence University College, and specializes in the sociology of gender, marriage and family, children and violence, consumer culture and simpler living. Val will walk us through a discourse on intersex people, born with ambiguous genitals. Read the full description in the handout below.
Dr. Heather Hinam, a naturalist and an award-winning artist and photographer, will open our eyes to the evolution of sexual behaviour and adaptations for mating and same-sex encounters in the animal world. A fascinating topic, to be sure!
Besides his work at the Rainbow Resource Centre, Muhammed Ahsan has facilitated leadership retreats and conferences throughout North America and the European Union, promoting cultural awareness about sexual identity, and focusing on a wide variety of learning interventions and policy-consulting assignments. He delivers his sessions with a contagious exuberance and energy that leave his listeners enthused for positive change.
A Place at the Table
They are Kalyn Falk and Ro Walker Mills are leading a session together, and theirs is a powerful story of friendship that grew out of learning from each other, creating space for each other, and ultimately becoming co-founders and co-directors of a social enterprise for transmen.
Bible Reception Without Borders
Please join us on Feb. 24th to hear Randall Holm, our first presenter at Connecting Neighbours. Click on the poster below to read more on this session.
In A Heartbeat
An Invitation to Donate
As December arrives, Steinbach Neighbours for Community is offering its followers an opportunity to add us to your “Giving Season”. As a non-profit organization that receives no funding for projects and operating expenses, your highly valued donation allows us to continue and enhance our current programs within our community and beyond. Please go to our Donate page for more information. We thank you for your support.
Hanover School Division and Gender Diversity
HSD Superintendent Randy Dueck says a new document released by Manitoba Education will help the Hanover School Division going forward, as it looks at continuing to provide support for transgender and gender diverse students.
Read the article here.
The Gender Revolution
How Science Is Helping Us Understand Gender
In January 2017, National Geographic published a special, single-topic issue on the shifting landscape of gender. In their words, “To a degree unimaginable a decade ago, the intensely personal subject of gender identity has entered the public square. In this special issue of the magazine, we look at cultural, social, biological and personal aspects of gender.”
Click on the link to read the articles.
Erica Lea to Become First Openly LGBTQ Lead Pastor of Mennonite Church USA
Take this link to a news release introducing Erica Lea and the church in which she has been called to be a pastor. Following her studies at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Texas, she served as interim pastor at Houston Mennonite Church, and it’s here that she developed a deep appreciation of Anabaptist theology and history. Erica Lea is the first openly LGBTQ individual to be called as a solo pastor in Mennonite Church USA.
Prayers for Bobby
Friday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre, 304-2nd St.
Steinbach Neighbours for Community invites you to a movie night. Prayers for Bobby is a true story. Mary Griffith fights to “cure” her gay son. Although he tries to please his mother, Bobby cannot change, and his depression leads to suicide. Mary questions her faith and searches for comfort, ultimately changing her views in ways that she never could have imagined. A touching and ultimately healing story.
Join us for an opportunity to reflect and engage in conversation as this movie invites us to take a deeper look at a family divided and how they find strength and truth. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Laughter is Sacred Space
Friday, May 12, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Steinbach Regional Secondary School Theatre
Steinbach Neighbours for Community, in partnership with Eden Health Care Services, welcomes the return of Ted Swartz, who brought us Listening for Grace two years ago. Laughter is Sacred Space is part of Ted’s Human Faces Tour, in recognition of Mental Health Awareness month.
In this gritty and dramatic show, Ted walks us through his relationship with friend and business partner, Lee Eshleman, whose death by suicide stunned his community. Ted explores the paradox of working with a comedic partner struggling with bipolar disorder, as well as the challenge of writing and performing stories about God while experiencing the absence of God after Lee’s death.
Using multi-media and his twenty years of storytelling experience, Laughter is Sacred Space is honest, funny and vulnerable, and reveals the unique journey of working as a comedic actor under the shadow of a mental illness, offering hope and humour in a way that only Ted could deliver.
You can learn more about Ted Swartz and find a preview of the play at: http://www.tedandcompany.com/shows/laughter-is-sacred-space/
Tickets $12, available now at the Steinbach Arts Centre.
Still Listening…Let’s Talk!
Steinbach Neighbours for Community invites you to an informal evening of conversation on February 9, 2017, 7 p.m. at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre, 302 Second St.
We continue to follow up on the interest generated by Still Listening, aware that safe and meaningful conversation is a goal highly appreciated in our community. We hope that the relaxed atmosphere and the promise of wholesome dialogue will encourage you to join us. There will be snacks 🙂
Steinbach Neighbours will soon be launching a Parents of LGBTTQI* network group. Stay tuned for details about this exciting new chapter!
Still Listening: Feedback
It has been one month since Still Listening: Voices Among Us, and Steinbach Neighbours for Community would like to share the positive feedback that has flooded our inboxes and that has been the subject of conversations in our community. We continue to be grateful for the opportunity to gather and offer the stories that were told, and to play a part in calling our community to be better for everyone. Thank you for listening, for hearing and for answering that call.
And stay tuned for our community conversation follow-up evening in February!
Here are excerpts from the many emails received:
“The group did a fantastic job of “telling it like it is”. The stories portrayed were heart wrenching. I learned a lot about what people go through…their struggles, their loneliness, their feelings of rejection.”
“The method used to bring together real stories told in someone’s own words, offered up in a way that was respectful and safe for the storytellers, was powerful. The music added heart space and ways to sit with and absorb the text. What a gift to the community.”
“What a beautiful, moving, informative and hopeful production! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an audience hanging onto every word as much as they were tonight.”
“You could have heard a pin drop!”
“The dialogues, the music, all of it was powerful and so very moving. Everybody around me was crying so I don’t think anyone really noticed my sniffing. I cried even harder at one point when I noticed a gentleman ahead of me, close to my Dad’s age, wiping tears away.”
“On our walk home we spoke of how our grandchildren will never have to experience the pain from either parent or grandparent judging and denying their sexuality. The ripples in the pond are getting bigger and I believe these conversations will take on a different tone in our community.”
“I was moved to tears at Friday’s performance. Afterwards I went out for coffee with my dear friend who was mentioned by “Mr. Sawatzky”, as the parent of a gay son. He was truly moved by the evening and was so pleased that people in Southern Manitoba were having serious conversations about something that he and his family have been immersed in for decades”.
“I never would have dreamed that a play such as that one would have been put on in the SRSS theatre, or in Steinbach at all. I felt like the only gay person in the entire world when I was in high school and junior high. If I still lived in Steinbach, I know for a fact now that I would not feel alone.”
“I wish every Steinbach pastor would have seen that performance.”
“Thank you for the vision of finding ways to create another context for us to be neighbours for community. I experienced this evening as having the strength of circle upon circle, a wisdom that listens with humility, and the creative courage to show us what matters.”
“A Grandmother’s Heart” by MaryLou Driedger
I saw Still Listening….Voices Among Us on Friday night at the Steinbach Regional Secondary School theatre. Using music directed by Millie Hildebrand and a script written by Val Hiebert, a stage full of performers told the stories of people who grew up as members of the LGBTQ* community in the Steinbach area. The drama was based on interviews with dozens of people. Most of the words the actors spoke were taken verbatim from the interview transcripts. The evening’s performance was moving and thought-provoking and all the actors did a good job, but it was Evelyn Friesen playing the role of the grandmother Margaret who especially touched my heart and I’m sure those of many others in the audience.
In the drama Margaret’s grandson Alex tells her he is gay and she reacts in an accepting way. While others find it hard to come to terms with Alex’s sexual orientation his grandmother’s reaction is one of love. Later when the father of another girl in the play refuses to acknowledge or accept his lesbian daughter it is Grandmother Margaret who goes over to offer her a hug.
Evelyn, the woman who played the role of Margaret, is a member of the Steinbach church I attended for most of my life. I know that Evelyn is indeed a person of character and caring and perhaps that made her portrayal of the grandmother all the more meaningful for me.
Grandmother Margaret in the play reminded me of an older woman I was chatting with in my Winnipeg church a few Sundays ago. She proudly pulled out pictures of her grandson’s wedding to show me. She told me “what nice boys” both her grandson and his new partner were. The happy grandmother especially liked the photo of the two grooms smiling broadly with the beautiful quilt she had made them for a wedding present wrapped around their shoulders.
Yes times are changing. Communities are becoming more open to their LGBTQ* neighbors. And grandmothers may well be taking a leadership role when it comes to demonstrating an accepting and loving attitude.
MaryLou Driedger works as a facilitator for school programs at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and as a student supervisor for the education department at the University of Winnipeg. She has been a weekly columnist for The Carillon, a regional Manitoba newspaper since 1985, and has written curriculums, script, lyrics, and countless articles for travel, education, historical and religious publications. Her blog “What Next” can be found at https://maryloudriedger2.wordpress.com
Listening for Grace: CBC Interview
Listen to this morning’s interview with CBC’s Marcy Markusa.
Listening for Grace: Interview with Val Hiebert
Read the interview with Val Hiebert, available at SteinbachOnline.com
Welcome to Steinbach Neighbours for Community
Steinbach Neighbours for Community is a group of individuals who share a desire to promote understanding and acceptance of the diversity present in our society. We acknowledge that there are numerous sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, locally and globally. The common goal of SNFC is to facilitate the conversation while providing insight and education around this often divisive subject. We hope for healthy dialogue as we seek better understanding and full acceptance of LGBTTQI* members in our community and beyond.
As readers may be aware, there has been much in the media of late surrounding Steinbach as it wrestles with inclusion of the LGBTTQI* community. In the fall of 2014, a number of area people drove to Winnipeg to attend a play centered on this subject called “Listening for Grace”. The content of this presentation gave rise to the formation of Steinbach Neighbours for Community, a group that had long observed the need for a support organization for Steinbach’s LGBTTQI* citizens, their families and allies. Other proceedings spurred further call for discussion …. feedback surrounding Manitoba’s Bill 18, the departure of Steinbach and area LGBTTQI* residents who felt unwelcome, parents feeling isolated, and the presence of a GSA alliance at the public high school, among others.
This website is an ongoing project of SNFC. We aim to provide our readership with information pertaining to events and resources as we strive to relate to those in our community who identify as other than heterosexual. In time, we hope to create more spaces for LGBTTQI* people and their families to speak about their experiences, to share their insights and to tell their stories.
Parent Circle: A Circle of Trust
The Parent Circle meets every second Wednesday of the month at Steinbach United Church, 541 Main St. from 7-9 p.m, with the exception of Jan. 9, 2019.
Steinbach Neighbours for Community invites parents of LGBTTQI children and youth to a space of discovery, parent to parent, about our journey in our community. We look forward to our conversations, guided by Bonnie Loewen.
Steinbach Pride March – July 21, 2018
Steinbach’s third annual Pride March was held in downtown Steinbach on Saturday, July 21. SNFC was pleased to be represented by committee member Pearl Barz, who delivered an incisive address calling for our citizens to seek and find that common ground above and beyond our differences. Read a full account of the event here.
Good morning, my name is Pearl and I am speaking to you this morning on behalf of Steinbach Neighbours for Community. We are a group of people, mostly local, but some from surrounding communities as well, who care about many forms of diversity and equality in our communities. For now we have identified and are focusing on the needs and challenges being faced among the LGBTTQI.
Our resources have been put into having conversations, to provide insight, education and understanding, working to network and build bridges beyond one’s immediate social network. We want to promote greater inclusion for all people throughout Southeastern Manitoba, fostering healthy and wholesome communities.
Over the summer months Pride parades and marches will be taking place all across Canada. We want to embrace events like this that work towards inclusion, acceptance and understanding of our neighbours, a place where we can all find common ground.
Today we want to celebrate the people in our community who are making a difference. Today that is you, our neighbours. We all have opportunities every day to change the world. It’s amazing what the efforts of an individual or group of individuals can do to create change, if not in the world at least their local neighbourhood.
Over the years I have had the privilege of listening to some wonderful Indigenous speakers. Often speakers start their address to a group with the phrase “to all my relations”. As I researched that phrase, taking a closer look, I learned that it is an Ojibwe phrase meaning – we are related, or all are related. Their understanding is that all living things are connected, to each other and to the Creator, the Higher Power. I cannot exist without you and you cannot exist without me. What I do affects you and others and what you do affects me. Everything we do has an effect on others and on our world.
It seems to be a call to unity, nothing or no one matters more or less than the next person. The phrase brings us into harmony and equality with each other as we find common ground with everyone and everything.
What can we do in our communities to bring us to this place, this place of unity? We can celebrate each other, living together as neighbours, valuing each person for who they are. Pride is about the varied expressions of the life, gifts, and talents of the entire community.
Being different from each other doesn’t mean that we can’t be unified, even disagreeing doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground. Unity isn’t about being the same; it’s about accepting our differences and still being good neighbours, choosing to love and respect each other. We need to create an inclusive society that over-rides any differences, a community that ensures inclusion and equality of opportunity of all its members.
So, I will borrow the Ojibwe phrase and say – “to all my relations” – let our words, attitudes, actions and involvements make our communities better places for everyone, celebrating our differences as we learn to find that common ground and live together as good neighbours.
Saturday February 24, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Pat Porter Centre, 10 Chrysler Gate, Steinbach
Five presenters have been invited to share their knowledge and experience, as we explore a variety of topics relevant to our community. Full descriptions of each session can be found on our home page. There will be all-day refreshments and lunch at noon. Admission is free, and donations to cover costs are welcome. We hope to see you there!