Yellowknife Youth Rainbow Centre
The Yellowknife Youth Rainbow Centre, a project of It Gets Better Yellowknife (IGBYK) is a proposed community space and organization headquarters meant to provide a safer place for LGBTQ+ young people to spend time, learn, and grow as individuals. Through dialogue sessions and individual discussions with LGBTQ+ youth in Yellowknife, we’ve discovered that their reality is often one of fear, concern and involves not feeling safe in their community.
Considering the opinions from youth themselves, this Centre would comprise of a variety of things, including:
• A resource library of information provided and created by It Gets Better Yellowknife;
• A resource library of information from outside sources such as books, magazines, films, etc.;
• A hub for all Northern groups, non-profits and organizations to request resources and information in relation to LGBTQ+ issues and concepts;
• The ability to access a nurse who is safe for queer and trans people to engage with;
• Hang out space for youth to do their homework, spend time with friends and access peer support in a queer-focused environment;
• A volunteer or paid staff person who would organize and promote activities for queer and trans youth to participate in;
• Expertise on LGBTQ+ issues and identities that can be accessed by parents, community agencies and organizations, as well as government;
• A hub for all LGBTQ+ related organizations and events taking place in Yellowknife.
Who Will it Benefit?
The Rainbow Centre is a much needed addition to the current support systems in place for Yellowknife youth, and IGBYK will provide services that no other Yellowknife-based agency (youth or otherwise) has been able to provide for youth that feels safe and equitable.
As one young, LGBTQ+ youth expressed to us:
“I don’t feel safe being gay at school. I don’t feel safe at home. And even when I’m walking down the street in Yellowknife, I don’t feel safe. I just want somewhere that I can go and not be worried that I’m going to get beat up or something.”