November 16, 2018 6:47 pm
Updated: November 16, 2018 9:20 pm

Queer health & wellness conference first of its kind in Calgary

WATCH: It's the first of its kind in Calgary -- a unique conference aimed at professionals and the public is intended to better understand the LGBTQ community. Jill Croteau reports.

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A three-day conference in Calgary is designed to open up discussions about being an ally to the LGBTQ community.

Educational workshops are taking place at the new Central Library in hopes of fostering a broader understanding of how to be an ally.

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Organizers of the first annual Well Conference are offering panel discussions and workshops about the barriers and challenges facing the LGBTQ community.

READ MORE: Pride Without Prejudice: A conversation with Calgary’s LGBTQ community

Parker Chapple, with Calgary Pride, said there are a lot of gaps in access to services.

“Every single day I am misgendered,” Chapple said. “I can speak from a personal point of view, as well as a professional, and the reality is everyone wants to believe they are an ally but not everyone necessarily has the tools to be an ally.

“As an organization such as Calgary Pride, Calgary Queer Arts Society and in partnership with Alberta Health Services, we want to extend those tools to the public in an accessible way.”

READ MORE: Calgary’s Centre for Newcomers discusses LGBTQ issues to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Some of the sessions are led by service providers and health-care professionals.

“As conversations around gender identity and sexual orientation continue to expand, we’re recognizing it’s important to provide educational opportunities to support gender and sexually diverse people, allied professional as well as health professionals.”

READ MORE: New Pride flag at Calgary church celebrates inclusion, representation

The final day of the conference (Saturday) is free to the public at the new library. Organizers said this will become an annual event.

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