Ten Years After The Community Development Conference
In March 2011, NSRAP hosted a conference focussed on 2SLGBTQ+ community development in Nova Scotia. Forty-five people were assembled in a workshop series sponsored by the provincial Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, entitled the "Community Development Policy Initiative. “ The event was tagged, “A strong and effective LGBTQ community in NS.” Oganizer Ross MacDonald pointed out that we are the largest minority in the province, larger than the black community, Gaelic or Acadian and yet, there is no office of LGBTQ Affairs in the provincial government.
Ten years ago, there were five important projects identified during the conference. So, ten years on, how did do?
1. LGBT History Month
Identifying our community as an official community, posters. Notice that the provincial definition of "minority" does not include us. Original research and documents, archives, oral histories, book about the first decade of Queer Nova Scotia.
Status: Mostly done. In 2020 we unofficially celebrated October as Queer History month; it's a different month in different parts of the world.well, we didn't get a Queer History Month, but we got it! In 2019, Rebecca Rose published Before The Parade which was exactly the history we wanted. Thanks to Dr Jacqueline Gahagan of Dalhousie University, and Dal's Archives, we have an active, official Nova Scotia LGBT Archives project which includes physical objects and oral histories, and a working group of a hundred people interested in history and archives, and history has been incorporated into the Halifax and other Pride festivals. The group suggested a "History Gayme" and a Maine version of this just got published, documented in this Wayves article.
2. Breaking Down Intergenerational Barriers
Collaboration, and learning between generations
Status: The Elderberries have hosted several intergenerational storytelling salons, and also regularly do Ask Me Anything with high school Gay & Straight Alliances. There's more work to do here, though: there could be a regular or irregular event with the Youth Project and Elderberries.
3. Skype Network / Virtual Group
Regular intergenerational all-subgroups - youth, elders, trans, men, women, 1-2 hours weekly, for all topics.
Status: Mostly didn't happen. Since March 2020, the Elderberries have been having twice-a-month meetings, but they are not as intercultural or intergenerational as this idea proposed.
4: LGBTQ Education Public Service Announcement
A vehicle to challenge perceptions about relationships and assumptions to affect change, to increase visibility of the diversity in our communities and public facilities.
Status: Not tackled.
5: Rainbow Center
Both a physical and a virtual environment: intergenerational discussion groups; a physical space for social events; Skype & Facebook discussion groups.
Status: Province wide and local, physical and online groups did not emerge.
The full report including more or less a transcript, is linked off the Halifax Rainbow Encyclopedia page for the conference.