• The Best Resource for Events in Kelowna, BC & the Okanagan and Your Source for LGBT2Q+ News

Category Archives: Groups and Organizations

Rainbow Women in Business – Volume 2

Samantha Elam is a mortgage broker with Mortgage Alliance, located in beautiful Kelowna. Her goal is to find a mortgage that will be a financial solution for you, not just for now, but over the 25-30 year life of the loan.

She is committed to providing honest and direct communication and building a relationship with her clients.

Your mortgage will be re-assessed throughout the life of it, not just when it is coming due and she will contact you to capitalize on an opportunity to save you money and realize your goals.

Samantha had worked for an investment advisor for years but after purchasing her own home and learning about the mortgage industry, she knew she wanted to be part of it.

It seemed like a perfect career choice as Samantha has always enjoyed working with people and numbers. She thrives on working through complex situations to find favourable outcomes, and having the opportunity to do that for her clients is an amazing adventure.

Samantha has a passion for having the financial freedom to enjoy all that life has to offer. She recognized after a bad and then a good experience with mortgages that this was an industry she wanted to be part of.

She knew she wanted to provide a service that could help others access financial freedom by benefiting from a mortgage that would allow them to own their home quicker and cheaper.

Working with a great team, Samantha has learned much from them, as the team members share their knowledge to make them the best at what they do. Samantha is a firm believer that if you are determined to learn, no one can stop you!

Some advice from Samantha about becoming a mortgage broker.

She highly recommends it. The opportunity to help others with the biggest financial purchase of their life is truly an honour.

You can contact Samantha at: elam_mortgages@outlook.com

Pride Week 2020 Dates Announced For Kelowna

Put These Dates in Your Calendar Today! 🌈

We’re delighted to announce the key dates for Kelowna’s 2020 Pride celebrations. Kelowna’s Pride Week will run from Saturday, June 6, 2020, to Sunday, June 14, 2020 – please save the dates now!

2019 was our biggest Pride ever, with over 12,000 people joining us for the Pride March in downtown Kelowna! It was incredible to see the outpouring of support from the local community. Our challenge for 2020 is to try and make Pride even bigger and better and we need your help to make that happen.

The month of June marks the internationally recognized Pride Month; in commemoration of the pivotal 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City and it is also the month Gilbert Baker’s original design of the Rainbow Pride Flag was flown at the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Pride Month is a month-long inclusive celebration of the LGBTQ2+ community and an opportunity to reflect and consider the progress still to be made in the search for equality. There will be a wide range of events taking place across Kelowna, including a Pride March and Festival downtown.

A scene from 2019’s Pride March in Kelowna – over 10,000 people participated.

Keep an eye on this newsletter, our websiteFacebook and Instagram for more details in the weeks and months ahead.

Thank you in advance for helping to make Kelowna’s 2020 Pride celebrations a huge success and for showing that no matter your gender expression or sexual orientation, all are welcome here in Kelowna.

We look forward to seeing you at Kelowna’s 2020 Pride festivities! Kelowna’s Pride celebrations are presented by TD. Thanks, TD! 

Volunteers, Sponsors, Vendors and Advertisers Needed!

We need your help! We’re in search of vendors who would like to exhibit at our Pride Festival, great volunteers who are willing to help out during Pride – there’s everything from taking tickets to snapping photos – and we’re also looking to secure advertisers and sponsors for our Pride Guide which will be published in the lead up to Kelowna Pride 2020.

Would-be vendors are encouraged to complete this form. Meanwhile, those who would like to advertise in the Kelowna Pride Society’s Pride Guide should complete this form, and those looking to run an ‘Affiliate Event’ in conjunction with Pride Week 2020 should fill out this form. Those who would like to volunteer or sponsor Kelowna Pride’s 2020 celebrations should email dustyn@kelownapride.com.

Thank you so much!

Etcetera is hiring a new Facilitator

Etcetera Facilitator

Competition Number 1B05-2020-009

The Bridge is recruiting for an Etcetera group facilitator.  The position is responsible for developing community-based group support activities with youth, age 11 to 18, who identify as LGBTQ2S+.  The incumbent works closely with youth, health and social service organizations to develop activities that address the needs of youth.

Full posting available via – https://www.indeedjobs.com/the-bridge-youth–family-services/jobs/df6d169bcc9377bc89d5

SOS Pride – February 2020 Newsletter

Here’s what’s happening in February

in the South Okanagan

PRIDE PAGES BOOK CLUB: Tuesday February 11, 2020, 6-30pm-8pm @ Penticton Library

Penticton Public Library welcomes you to a new book club which is being hosted in partnership with SOS Pride Society! 

The program is FREE; registration is required. In March they will be watching the Harvey Milk film as a follow up to the book.

This book club requires sign up, please contact Stephanie (Adult Services Librarian) at: 250-770-7786 or stephaniejames@summer.com if you are interested in attending. 

Cue’s be.Social

Our February social is happening at Cue’s Gameroom & Grill on Saturday February 22, 2020 from 7-9pm at 324 Main Street in Penticton.

We have reserved 3 pool tables that have been generously sponsored by Vantera Systems Group for this event. All attendees will be given a door prize ticket for the chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Cue’s. See you there!

SOS Pride is co-hosting a community education presentation on Thursday March 5, 6:30pm at the Cleland Theatre. 

Out In Schools is an award winning presentation that showcases short films that educate about the challenges and triumphs of LGBTQ2+ communities.  Out In Schools will be presenting in our local middle and high schools during the week with the March 5th evening presentation being open to the public and free.  It is a great opportunity for parents and community service providers to learn more about the issues facing LGBTQ2+ youth.

Our friends over at Rebellious Unicorns have launched a new website – kelowna.lgbt

Check it out to connect with other events and activities happening throughout the valley.  They will be promoting our local events too to continue to build bridges within our LGBTQ2+ communities in the Okanagan.

Speaking of amazing upcoming events, Peak Pride is a growing series of events that now includes 4 BC ski resorts over 4 different weeks in the winter.

Silver Star and Red Mountain have already taken place, but Peak Pride at Sun Peaks is coming up February 26-March 1 and Peak Pride at Big White is April 1-5.  Check out peakpride.lgbt for more information about these Pride winter celebrations across the BC Interior!

For anyone looking to learn more about our transgender community, an upcoming workshop on March 26 from 9am-2pm at the Days inn & Conference Centre hosted by SOWINS is going to be a great learning opportunity.  Check out the poster below for details about this community education event!

Penticton’s very own Boundless Belly Dance is hosting the 2nd Annual In the Name of Love event on March 27, 2020

This year’s theme is “Fearless 2020” and is shaping up to be another amazing event of performers and entertainment! They are looking for volunteers, you can contact the volunteer coordinator by email at robbogden1993@gmail.com. This event is also a fundraiser for local LGBTQ2+ counselling services. Click on the link below for ticket information that includes a secret password to find out the location!

Boundless Belly Dance presents In the Name of Love: Fearless 2020

We are already planning ahead for Pride month in June and will send out a complete calendar of events as soon as possible. 
For now, please save the date for an evening with Ivan Coyote at the Cleland Theatre on Friday June 5, 2020.  Tickets will be available to purchase on our website soon!

All of us at SOS Pride are grateful for the growing partnerships and community building that is happening to support LGBTQ2+ awareness, education and inclusion in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.

Thank you for continuing to support SOS Pride through your membership and attending our community events and socials!

Keep visiting our website – sospride.ca and SOS Pride Facebook page!

Women Empowered – Volume 1

The Day the Lying Stopped.

A personal story by Darrien McWatters

For years I had certain thoughts in my head. Simple harmless adolescent thoughts about one’s sexuality. Since I was a teen, I had tried crossdressing but had no interest in men, so I figured it was unlikely I was gay. The era was the late 80’s early 90’s so the only terms I had ever heard of were crossdresser or transvestite.

I felt I was neither of those. 

Years went by and I got married—had kids. The occasional crossdressing alone at home was still happening, but I thought nothing of it. I imagined those stolen moments were simply passing sexual fantasies. The thoughts never stayed in my head long and I would not crossdress very often.

Fast forward past the end of my marriage into a couple of different relationships. I was in my mid 30’s and I was more open about my fantasies with my partners, which consisted of a couple of girlfriends over a few years. One thought perhaps I was bisexual and just would not admit it to myself.

I still did not think so, as I still did not find myself attracted to men.

Now in between these relationships, I began to question my beliefs about myself and found myself venturing into some experimentation with the same sex. Every time I couldn’t get out of the situation fast enough. So was I gay? I still would have said no. Was I Bi? I thought not.

So why these feelings?

On to the next relationship. This one lasted for many years. We even lived together. I was much more open with her, but underneath it all, my mind was getting the best of me. I even considered the possibility that I was a sex addict. So I ended that relationship.

It was time for some real soul searching. Also, a bit more experimentation. But still, I just did not feel attracted to men. Why then did I feel the urge to dress up and feel feminine? Me, a divorcee, father of two teenage boys.

It was time to reach out to a good friend who was very well educated with the LGBTQ+ community as an advocate for teens. This was the first step to trying to figure out who I was.

I laid it all on the table in our conversation. I spared no details. I asked her to give me a label. She said if she had to give me a label, she would guess that I might be “gender fluid”. I had no idea what this meant until she explained it to me. She said it was part of being on the spectrum of being transgender.

After that conversation, she sent me numerous articles and explanations and terms about the LGTBQ+ world. There was so much to digest.

For days I read and re-read the terms, the articles, the “Gender Unicorn” illustration. Wow, could it be that I was part of the LGTBQ world? I’d had no idea it was so diverse! As my friend said, “We grew up with straight and gay and were okay with that, but there is so much more to the rainbow. That’s why it is a spectrum and the colours can blend. There is so much in between the red and the violet.”

After a few days of letting it all sink in, I knew it was time to come out to the most important person, the person that could make sense of it all. I looked in the mirror and said to the reflection, you are transgender.

That was the day I came out to myself and all the lying stopped.