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Fierté Simcoe Pride, Gilbert Centre to host inclusive holiday community feast

The feast is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and will run until 7 p.m. on Friday.
The feast is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and will run until 7 p.m. on Friday. AP File Photo

For many people, the holidays can be a joyful time to gather with family and friends for dinner. But for some, holiday gatherings are not always an inclusive or welcoming place.

This year, Fierté Simcoe Pride, and the Gilbert Centre are hoping to help fix that by hosting an inclusive community feast to provide members of the community with a safe and accessible space to celebrate the holidays.

On Friday, turkey, potatoes and various fixings will be provided at the Kiwanis Club of Barrie located at 80 Bradford St., Suite 549, in Barrie.

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One of the event’s organizers, and vice-chair at Fierté Simcoe Pride, Keegan Hobson, says the event is about providing a space in the community that allows people to celebrate the holidays the way they want to.

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“It’s two community groups coming together to provide space for folks to essentially utilize in ways that feel good to them,” he said. “Our aim is to provide food and accessible and safe space for people who may not have a way to celebrate the holidays authentically or in a way that feels good and affirming for them to come and be around their community.”

Hobson says he had been hearing from people within the community that they wanted a space to gather around the holidays.

“I definitely heard a desire within the community to have something similar to this around the holidays,” Hobson said. “Maybe not necessarily a feast but definitely in terms of having a space that was designated for LGBTQ folks to come together.”

According to Hobson, anyone looking for a safe and inclusive community to spend the holidays with is welcome at the feast.

“Our aim is to have everybody who feels like they want to utilize this space coming out and sharing it with us.”

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While food will be provided, Hobson says they are also encouraging people to bring potluck food to share.

“We are hoping to provide as much food as we can and we’re hoping that people will bring some stuff of their own to share.”

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The feast is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and will run until 7 p.m. The community feast is a dry event and is open to all ages.

According to Hobson, they are still accepting donations for the event. Those interested in donating are asked to contact keegan.hobson@fiertesimcoepride.com.

More information about the feast can be found on the event’s Facebook page.