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Category Archives: Kelowna Rainbow Women

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What’s Happening this week in the Okanagan! Oct 19 – Oct 25, 2020


Monday, October 19 – A Sip With Sparkle – Halloween Hair-Raiser, 7 pm – 7:45 pm, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery ~ Kelowna and Online

Welp, the most wonderful time of the year is upon us: Gay Christmas (also known as Halloween)! Your sensationally spooky hostess, Sparkle, and the eerily evil Ella Lamoreaux, are set to make this the tastiest and spooktacular Halloween ever!

On this episode of A Sip With Sparkle, your favourite tarnished twosome will create a devilishly delicious black vodka potion called “Witches Brew”, while later terrorizing your taste buds in the most sinful way with a “Pumpkin Pie Whiskey Sour”. Miss this very special Halloween episode of A Sip With Sparkle at your own peril…(muaha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha)…coming up on Monday, October 19, 2020 live at 7:00 pm PST only on Unicorns.LIVE!

Want to see the tragedy unfold live? You can join the audience for A Sip With Sparkle by reserving your table (in groups of 4-6, within your social bubble) by calling Friends of Dorothy Lounge at 236.420.4565 or by emailing info@fodlounge.com. Friends of Dorothy Lounge continues to provide a safe, healthy environment for both staff and patrons.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Tuesday, October 20 – Gender Identity Group ~ Online

This is a positive, safe, inclusive, supportive space for, gender non-conforming, non-binary, transsexual, transgender, gender queer inter-sexed or questioning (or any variation there of under the rainbow spectrum) people living in or near Kelowna or the Okanagan are to discuss matters and various topics while providing and obtaining peer support.

We meet every Tuesday from 6-8 via Discord.

For more information on this group meeting, please join the Gender Identity Group on Facebook.


Tuesday, October 20 – HIM Yoga, 5:30 pm, hosted by Health Initiative for Men ~ Online

Come stretch those knots away and do Yoga with HIM online! Just get your Yoga mat and bottle of water ready!

This session is open to all GBT2Q men living across BC. This is an online event via Zoom App. To register, please follow the link below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpduiopjIvG9aIshWI9Elri4mmz_wZXQt4

For more information, please e-mail register@checkhimout.ca. Attendance is free, or by donation.


Sunday, October 25 – Women’s Walking Group, 10:30 am – 12 pm, hosted by Kelowna Rainbow Women ~ Kelowna

This will be a bi-weekly walking group for women in Kelowna’s LGBTQ2+ community. This is a walk, not a hike on flat, even terrain.

This event is for all cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in the space that centres around the experiences of women.

For information regarding this event, please join our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kelownarainbowwomen/


Sunday, October 25 – Drag Brunch, hosted by Friends of Dorothy Lounge ~ Kelowna

Get ready for a #SundayFunday. The drag is here!

Come out and see a show at Friends of Dorothy Drag Brunch (by reservation only). Seating begins at 11am followed by the performance at 12pm.

Tickets are $30 per person and include:
One mimosa or one Caesar AND an item from our brunch menu

CALL TO RESERVE! For more info go to: https://www.fodlounge.com/


Sunday, October 25 – Drag Queen Story Time with Miss Freida Whales, 12pm and 1pm, presented by Freida Whales, hosted by Harpur Farm and Pumpkin Patch

We are super excited to host Miss Freida Whales at the Pumpkin Patch for a story time and Pumpkin Picking!First storytime 12:00PM, second is 1:00PM

Maximum 50 people, children are $10 (includes a pumpkin!), guardians are free. Book your spot at https://www.harpurfarm.ca/pumpkin-patch-2020/


Sunday, October 25 – Movie Night, hosted by Friends of Dorothy Lounge ~ Kelowna

We have @mistress_sashaz hosting our final Movie Night on October 25th; Rocky Horror Picture Show. (*Costumes HIGHLY encouraged*) and our reigning KNDS Khalora Form herself hosting our Halloween weekend with appearances by Jenna Telz. For a safe and socially responsible Halloween, we’ve got you.

Call to reserve: 236-420-4565


Sunday, October 25 – TransParent Okanagan Meeting, hosted by TransParent Okanagan ~ Online

TransParent provides community consultation, advising and advocacy on issues related to families of trans youth. They also operate a peer support network, monthly meetings, guest speakers and a lending library of books, videos and other resources.

TransParent Okanagan meets regularly the third Sunday of every month. To find out more, check out their Facebook Page


Leigh Jarrett: Reinvigorating Romantic Fiction


So Long, Fabio:
Leigh Jarrett is serving up Queer Romantic Fiction for a New Audience With an Insatiable Appetite.


Traditional Romantic Fiction tends to conjure up the same image: yellowed and water-stained paperback novels, the covers of which feature The Bronzed and Chiseled Male Figure clutching in his bulging half-human/half-simian arms The Swept Away Female Figure. Her ample, milky white bosoms are so dangerously close to tumbling out of the torn bed sheet she’s haphazardly thrown on; her breasts glow and heave, as the Male’s throbbing manhood is undoubtedly pressed fervently against her hungry mound. The Male, who oozes testosterone and a litany of other injectables, gazes intensely at his Female prize, whose face wears a mask of mid-orgasm-delirium meets a did-I-leave-the-oven-on? look of confusion and fear (lest she burn the meatloaf). 

As surely as this trope persists, it’s refreshing to know that the genre is enjoying a breath of fresh, queer air thanks to literary minds like those of Taysha Jarrett. This is not your Aunt Martha’s Romantic Fiction. Then again, maybe it should be?  

Taysha Jarrett (she/he/they), who publishes under the nom de plume ‘Leigh Jarrett’, began writing Romantic Fiction for the LGBT2Q+ community 10 years ago. An unabashedly queer, quirky, and passionate author of LGBT2Q+ Romantic Fiction, her books embrace the full spectrum of the rainbow. Taysha’s published contemporary works include gritty and angst-filled romances featuring gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer characters, with plans for a lesbian romance in the future. And her fantasy series, “Drakkar Coven”, is brimming with lust driven vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters. 

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Tree hugger at heart. 💕

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Using a pseudonym isn’t unusual for authors; in Taysha’s case, however, there were some personal and maternal concerns about writing the type of romantic fiction she began to pen. 

“When I started writing my kids were very young,” explains Jarrett. “I didn’t want the parents of other kids at school to find out what I did for a living.” Taysha was still in a hetero marriage at the time, and even though her then-husband was supportive of her artistic pursuits, the worry was for the welfare of their children. “Kids are bullied enough,” she continues. “It was a non-issue for (my then-spouse), but I didn’t want anything brought down on the kids.” 

Taysha, who is austistic, was bullied as a child for her difference from others. Writing and publishing LGBT2Q+ Romantic Fiction has given her the opportunity to express her uniqueness within the LGBT2Q+ community that she calls home. Her books highlight the struggles of those who identify as LGBT2Q+, while celebrating their diversity and affirming the most basic of human rights: to love and be loved.

In the end, ironically it was their daughter that spilled the beans. Jarrett reveals with a proud laugh, “Yeah, my daughter just kind of ended up telling everyone anyway. Like kind of a ‘hey, guess what my Mom does kind of thing’…and in the end, no one said anything about it.” 

A favourable outcome, to be sure: there wasn’t any backlash, and she nor the children were ostracized. It may now seem like unfounded concern, but queer Romantic Fiction isn’t necessarily as widely known or accepted as it’s cis and hetero predecessor. 

When asked about the main source from which she draws her inspiration for characters and story arcs, Jarrett reveals simply, “From life. I watch interactions between people, observe what they do, where they are doing it…in everyday life…and I wonder ‘What if’.”

Rather than two-dimensional stereotypes, her subjects are also fully realized characters who aren’t solely defined by their sexuality or gender identity, who Jarrett strongly feels have experienced real-life situations as they may relate to those in the LGBT2Q+ community.


Case in point: the inspiration for one of her novels, Shadows On My Soul, came from watching construction workers around town. The creative cogs began turning as she wondered ‘what if’ any of these guys decided they had a ‘thing’ for each other; and, ‘what if’ they began exploring that attraction? And, ‘what if’ one of those men were sexually assaulted by another man? What then? The narrative of Shadows On My Soul follows the story of Derek and Justin, who fall for one another and begin a romance. Derek identifies as gay, while Justin identifies as bisexual; Justin is sexualy assaulted, which leaves the two at odds and leaves the new relationship hanging in the balance as they struggle to deal with the fallout. 

“It’s not widely known, but 1 out of 25 reported rapes are committed against men,” explains Jarrett. “Seventy-five percent of the book sale proceeds went to a sexual assault hotline when it first came out. I had a lot of people buy it but said they wouldn’t read it because it was too triggering.”

Another novel, Simply Marvelous, features a trans character in the lead named Attila. A complex narrative with many storylines, Attila’s tale is full of unease, disquiet and struggle–not unlike that of most people who identify as trans. The tone of Jarrett’s work can, in her words, “sometimes can be angsty…at some point in the story there are challenges that need to be faced and it can get very serious.” 

The queer community has been overall receptive to her work, as she’s received many positive emails from readers and has had inspiring interactions with other queer folx. “Most readers feel they understand and relate to the characters, or say ‘I identify with this person, I know how they feel’,” says Taysha. According to her, the only negative comments are from straight people who say that the situations and storylines are unrealistic, which could be attributed to  a complete misunderstanding of the queer experience rather than unbelievability of the prose. 

Surprisingly, the audience for most gay romance is middle-aged straight women. “I think they got bored with Harlequin and picked up a gay romance to see what was up. They love men — what’s better than two hot men?” she muses. 


Taysha is currently working on the third and final book of the “Drakkar Coven” series, Alexander, Prince of the North, which is set for publication in early October 2020. Intrigue, romance, vampires, wolves and shifters abound, with a conclusion to the saga promising to free the title character from devastating heartache.

While queer storylines are cropping up more and more, Jarrett shares, “I’d definitely like to see more everyday, contemporary romance incorporate queer love, queer characters, and queer stories.” She reiterates, “Maybe not everyone knows that they have these kinds of people in their lives, but LGBT2Q+ people exist! We have real relationships; it’s not always just about sex. These are real feelings, real people, and real love.” 


Aside from ‘Leigh Jarrett’, Taysha also writes under two other pen names: ‘Gavin E. Black’, writer of Hot Gay Erotica with a slice of romance (because every girl needs a naughty alter-ego) and ‘Sara J. Miller’, as she tries her hand at young/new adult fiction with Halo in the Snow, a first-love gay romance.

All of Leigh’s titles are available in digital copy and in paperback from Amazon. For more information, visit www.leighjarrett.com. You can follow her on Instagram @author.leighjarrett, on Twitter @LeighJarrett, and on Facebook @leighjarrett.author; to join her mailing list, click here

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What’s Happening this week in the Okanagan! Sep 14 – 20, 2020


Tuesday, September 15 – Gender Identity Group ~ Online

This is a positive, safe, inclusive, supportive space for, gender non-conforming, non-binary, transsexual, transgender, gender queer inter-sexed or questioning (or any variation there of under the rainbow spectrum) people living in or near Kelowna or the Okanagan are to discuss matters and various topics while providing and obtaining peer support.

We meet every Tuesday from 6-8 via Discord.

For more information on this group meeting, please join the Gender Identity Group on Facebook.


Tuesday, September 15 – HIM Yoga, 5:30 pm, hosted by Health Initiative for Men ~ Online

Come stretch those knots away and do Yoga with HIM online! Just get your Yoga mat and bottle of water ready!

This session is open to all GBT2Q men living across BC. This is an online event via Zoom App. To register, please follow the link below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpduiopjIvG9aIshWI9Elri4mmz_wZXQt4

For more information, please e-mail register@checkhimout.ca. Attendance is free, or by donation.


Tuesday, September 15 – Voices Unheard, 7 pm – 7:30 pm, featuring Nicolette Rodriguez, a trans person of colour, presented by Rebellious Unicorns, Unicorns.LIVE, and Kelowna Pride Society, sponsored by Castanet, and hosted by Kanata Hotel & Conference Centre ~ Kelowna and Online

Nicolette Rodriguez (she/her) is our next guest on Voices Unheard. She is a 26-year-old trans woman of colour who began transitioning one year ago. Nicolette was born in Edmonton, Alberta but grew up in and currently resides in Penticton, British Columbia; her family emigrated to Canada from El Salvador prior to her birth. She is Vice-President at the South Okanagan-Similkameen Pride Society, and currently works at the Penticton YMCA and is studying business.

Host Jessica Samuels will chat with Nicolette about her life and experiences as a trans person and how being a woman of colour with immigrant family members continues to shape her world.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Wednesday, September 16QUSIC, 7 pm – 8:30 pm, featuring Daughter of the Moon, presented by Rebellious Unicorns and Unicorns.LIVE, hosted by Friends of Dorothy Lounge.

Daughter of the Moon (she/her) is a dream/soul/folk songstress living on the Traditional Coast Salish Territory (a.k.a Vancouver, B.C). She shares the deeper ethereal pieces of herself through song and her performance of voice & guitar have been described as haunting, yet healing. Her songs often share stories of women, the 2SLGBTQ+ community and the natural world of non-human beings. She creates with the hope of reconnecting to her own roots and inner truths – and perhaps inspiring others to do so as well.

A wild songstress, Natalie has performed in India on the banks of the Ganges, song-written on the beaches of Central America and Hawaii and has toured with her albums across Canada twice from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland and back. Her albums “Daughter Of the Moon” & “Sweetness In the Shadows” are both available on all music platforms and her next one is due for release in 2021.

Anyone wishing to attend this show in person at Friends of Dorothy Lounge may do so at no charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in attending should contact Friends of Dorothy Lounge to reserve their table by calling 236.420.4565 or by email at info@fodlounge.com. A minimum $10 donation to Etcetera Youth Group is requested for those who wish to attend, in lieu of purchasing tickets. This episode is produced with the additional support of TD. Donate to Etcetera: https://bit.ly/qusicetcetera

QUSIC episodes are generally only available to current Unicorns.LIVE subscribers; however, thanks to the support of the TD, this livestream will be available to everyone! NOTE: The episode will be available for viewing after September 16, 2020 to Unicorns.LIVE subscribers only.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Events Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Thursday, September 17 – Women’s Walking Group, 5:30 pm – 7 pm, hosted by Kelowna Rainbow Women

This is a twice-monthly walking group for women in Kelowna’s LGBTQ2+ community. This is a walk, not a hike on flat, even terrain.

For information regarding this event, please join our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kelownarainbowwomen/


Friday, September 18 – Kelowna’s Next Drag Superstar – Preliminaries, 7 pm – 10 pm, presented by Kelowna Pride and TD Bank, hosted by Friends of Dorothy Lounge, sponsored by Kanata Kelowna Hotel & Conference Centre, Fido, and Heritage Law Group.

The 9th Annual Kelowna’s Next Drag Superstar Competition is getting an upgrade this year! With the limited size of crowds able to participate in person we are creating a hybrid of online and in person events. We are also bringing you 3 nights of Superstars and we will have some surprise Celebrity Guests for you!

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Sunday, September 20 – Kelowna Pride’s Outdoor Rainbow Market, 10 am – 3 pm, hosted by House of Rose Winery

Kelowna Pride is replacing the regular vendor section of our typical Pride Festival with a farmers’ market style event this year. Come and enjoy a safe, and socially-distant shopping experience and support our local business who stand up with PRIDE all year round.e are excited to be working with House of Rose Winery to host this event.

The last few months have been tough on small businesses and we are thrilled to provide a space that will be focused on small business and entrepreneurs alike.

Small Businesses (under 5 employees) – $50+GST
Medium Business (6-15 employees) – $100+GST
Larger Businesses (16+ employees) – $200+GST***

For Vendors who donated their vendor fee, we will be in touch about next steps***

Kelowna Pride 2020 is presented by TD and is supported by FidoKanata Kelowna Hotel & Conference CentreFriends of Dorothy Lounge, and Unicorns.live. The Pride Market is sponsored by House of Rose Winery.


Sunday, September 20 – Drag Brunch, hosted by Friends of Dorothy Lounge ~ Kelowna

Get ready for a #SundayFunday. The drag is here!

Come out and see a show at Friends of Dorothy Drag Brunch (by reservation only). Seating begins at 11am followed by the performance at 12pm.

Tickets are $30 per person and include:
One mimosa or one Caesar AND an item from our brunch menu

CALL TO RESERVE! For more info go to: https://www.fodlounge.com/


Sunday, September 20 – TransParent Okanagan Meeting, hosted by TransParent Okanagan ~ Online

TransParent provides community consultation, advising and advocacy on issues related to families of trans youth. They also operate a peer support network, monthly meetings, guest speakers and a lending library of books, videos and other resources.

TransParent Okanagan meets regularly the third Sunday of every month. To find out more, check out their Facebook Page


natasha parnes and her wife

Rainbow Women in Business – Volume 8


Growing up, Natasha Parnes suffered from seasonal affective disorder, a condition brought on by the lack of sunlight during the winter months. Natasha found tanning during those darker months extremely helpful for her. Then Natasha’s mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and they discovered indoor tanning to be beneficial in coping with her symptoms.

Natasha searched Kelowna for a reputable salon she and her mom could feel comfortable in and wasn’t satisfied with what she found, so they decided to open their own salon where they could make cleanliness and education on indoor tanning a priority.

Pro Tan + was started in January 2014 after Natasha and her mom completed the smart tan certification course.

Pro Tan offers 2 types of tanning systems, low pressure, and high pressure. Each system combines different ratios of UVB and UVA to produce different benefits according to their clients’ needs. They pride themselves in educating their customers and providing a clean safe environment to feel comfortable in.

Natasha says, “Being part of the LGBTQ2+ community myself, I, of course, welcome and invite everyone to be part of the Pro Tan family.

“The tanning industry over the years has gotten a bad rap but this is why education is key. I believe everything in moderation is a good motto to have in life. I believe indoor tanning has benefits that outweigh the risks when done in a controlled environment.”

Natasha states that some of the benefits include lowering blood pressure, increasing vitamin D, helping skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne as well as helping symptoms from depression and anxiety.

Natasha’s advice on opening your own business: “Do it!! You only live once! What’s the worst thing that can happen? Remember, nothing good in life comes easy so put in the hard work and get the great results!”

Pro Tan is located at 1791 Harvey Ave.

Due to COVID, please call ahead for an appointment 778-484-4460


Who is a Kelowna Rainbow Woman?

Kelowna Rainbow Women started in July of 2019 and has grown to over 335 members since then. The group was borne of the idea that the women of Kelowna, residents and/or visitors, need a sense of community and the opportunity of a full calendar of events happening within the city that include more than just pub nights.

So, who is a Kelowna Rainbow Woman? Anyone who identifies as a woman within the LGBTQ2+ community some (genderqueer, two-spirited) or all of the time. Kelowna Rainbow Women (KRW) is an all-inclusive, zero-phobic, chill and relaxed group.

KRW is NOT a group strictly for cis-females who identify as lesbians.

Kelowna Rainbow Women is a young endeavor, and we are continuing to grow while we support each other in an online community where we share personal stories, news events, and other things that matter to us.

If you’d like to join us, please follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kelownarainbowwomen/