In a time of self-isolation and social distance, a Regina organization is working to ensure the LGBTQ community remains connected, online.
The UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity closed its Albert Street facility — known as “Space” — in early March to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Executive director Jacq Brasseur has helped navigate this new reality for the centre, which sees staff working remotely to keep services running.
“Research tells us that LGBT people often self-isolate all the time because of fear of discretion, fear of violence. So that’s already something we’re trying to combat every day,” Brasseur said.
“We’re working from home but we’re still here. We’re ready to answer your phone calls, answer your emails and offer you some sort of support.”
Brasseur, who identifies as non-binary, was born and raised in Yellowknife, N.W.T.
After six years of service within the local LGBTQ community, co-founding Yellowknife’s Rainbow Coalition and the Rainbow Youth Centre, Brasseur took on the role of UR Pride’s executive director in 2017.
There were two staff members at the time, including Brasseur, and the office was still located on the University of Regina campus — where it was first started to primarily serve students.
READ MORE: Shaping Saskatchewan — Brynn Boback-Lane
After securing a federal grant in February 2019, the UR Pride Centre moved to its new location serving as a gathering place for the wider community.
“What Space is meant to do is to offer LGBTQ young people an opportunity to run their own programs, or activities or events out of a physical location,” Brasseur said.
“We have a monthly DND game that takes place, we have a Queer Choir that meets here.”
Learn more about Jacq Brasseur and how they are Shaping Saskatchewan in the above video.