Pride April 2020

Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin Counties


Issue #4 Spring 2020

Cover art by Jacqueline Demendeev

Intersex information from the Middlesex- London Health Unit

people may not discover they have intersex traits until puberty or later in life. People with intersex traits have always existed, but there is more awareness now about the diversity of human bodies. People with intersex bodies, like anyone who may be seen as different, sometimes face discrimination, including in healthcare settings (as early as infancy). People who are intersex are more common than you think! Experts estimate that as many as 1.7% of people are born with intersex traits – that’s about the same number of people who are born with red hair. People with intersex traits aren’t all the same, and some people may not even know they are intersex unless they receive genetic testing (this may happen, for example, with athletes). Intersex people are not that uncommon — they just have been mostly invisible. But that is changing. Intersex resources Locally: London Middlesex Health Unit: Intersex resource website: Facebook: Intersex London

“Intersex” refers to people who are born with any of a range of characteristics that may not fit traditional conceptions about male or female bodies. The term intersex is an umbrella term that refers to people who have one or more of a range of variations in sex characteristics that fall outside of traditional conceptions of male or female bodies. For example, intersex people may have variations in their chromosomes, genitals, or internal organs like testes or ovaries. Some intersex characteristics are identified at birth, while other PRIDE Around Town D o

“Service to all makes and models” Above: Aylmer flag raising July 23, 2019. Right (top left): St. Thomas and West Elgin flag raising July 22, 2019. Top (right): Maggie Scanlon, Co-Chair of the St. Thomas Elgin Rainbow Alliance, and St. Thomas Police Chief Chris Herridge at St. Thomas Pride in the Park (2019). Right (below): Chris Herridge getting painted at the St. Thomas Pride in the Park 2019.


unwind 226-663-9256

“Service to all makes andmodels”




PRIDE Villager

Page 2 Issue 4 • Spring 2020

To advertise here, please contact

The Pronoun Field Guide Lots of cultures use pronouns in different ways. In French, inanimate objects are referred to as male or female arbitrarily. In Swahili, there are 18 grammatical genders! In English, there are traditionally three grammatical genders. In all these languages, pronouns are used as a tool to convey essential information about who we’re talking to, or who we’re talking about. Just like names, pronouns are some of the essential information we need to know when we meet someone new, and using the right pronouns is about respect, truth and equality for people of all genders. Where to start? Ask! It can be scary to start asking people for their pronouns for fear of offending. Did you know that people who get called the wrong pronouns report feelingsof distress, anger, frustrationandsadness? Asking the question shows the world that you are an ally, and lets people know that you’re a safe and welcoming person to get to know. If someone is transitioning, or if you made an assumption upon meeting someone, it’s always a good idea to ask again! Try this: • “Hello my name is (–––) and my pronouns are (–––). What are your name and pronouns?” • “Let’s start this meeting by introducing ourselves with our name and pronouns.” • “What are your pronouns?” Avoid: - “What pronouns do you use?” Phrasing the question like this can make it sound like someone’s pronouns are a costume they take on or off, but people’s pronouns are an important part of their identity whether or not they were the pronouns they were given at birth. Instead, see the third example above for proper phrasing. - “Are you a man or a woman?” This question can be very confrontational and can force a nonbinary person into an uncomfortable position. Pronouns aren’t necessarily tied to someone’s identity, so always ask the questions above. If you ask about pronouns during an introduction, you may be surprised with the answer you get. This is not an invitation to ask someone about their transition or for an explanation. Discussing these details are often too intimate for an introduction and can make your new acquaintance uncomfortable. Would you ask any other new acquaintance about their body or question them on their personal choices? Instead, keep the conversation appropriate to the situation at hand and consider this person Transgender people can use any pronouns but, in general, a trans woman (a person assigned male at birth but who identifies as female) or a trans man (a person assigned female at birth but who identifies as male) will use the pronouns of their identifying gender (she/her for a trans woman, he/him for a trans man). Try This: - “Thomas wants a trans flag. I’ll be buying him one for his birthday.” - “I like Sandra’s new hair. She’s been growing it out, and long hair really suits her.” someone you’d like to get to know better! She/Her/Hers and He/ Him /His

Avoid: - Never use “they/them” to refer to someone who has said their pronouns are she/her or he/him. Always use the pronouns that someone told you to use. They/Them/Theirs These pronouns are often used by nonbinary or gender non- conforming people. They can be used in two ways: 1) They for a Singular Person Use the plural “they” for anyone who has told you their pronouns are for they/them/theirs. Use the same grammar as you’d use if you were talking about a group of people. Example: - “Jordan is going to be in the Pride festival this year. They are excited about walking. I know this has been a dream of theirs. I wish them luck. - “I’m excited to meet Sarah, they’re an accomplished businessperson, and I look up to them and their work.” 2) They for a Group of Various Genders, or a Person of Unknown Gender Use plural they for someone who you haven’t asked about pronouns yet, and never make an assumption. Replace the phrases “him or her” and “his/hers” with they and theirs, it’s more inclusive and grammatically correct. Example: - “I’m excited to meet Sarah, they’re an accomplished businessperson, and I look up to them and their work.” - “Everyone should be dressed formally, in a dress or suit, depending on their preference.” Neo-pronouns Neo-pronouns is a term used to refer to any pronouns created after the 20th century. Below are just two examples of neo-pronouns, but you may encounter someone who uses something else. Xey/Xem/Xyr These pronouns are pronounced like “zey, zem, zeir” and are grammatically similar to the plural “they” above. Example: - “Xey are getting xyr hiking gear ready for our trip tomorrow!” Ze/hir and ze/zir These pronouns are grammatically similar to “he/him/his” and “she/her/hers” above. Example: - “Ze went to the farmers market to get zirself some strawberries.” Pronouns, Pronouns Everywhere! Now that you know about some of the most used pronouns, you can be an ally by creating space for pronouns everywhere! You can add your pronouns to your e-mail signature, your business card, and create space for them on nametags. It

might take you some practice to get used to using pronouns in a new way, but keep an open mind, be ready to apologize for mistakes and never be afraid to ask! You’ll find yourself learning more and being a good ally for people of all genders.

Issue 4 • Spring 2020 Page 3 To advertise here, please contact

Meet Lori Girard – Umbrella I have taught high school French and English at Central Elgin Collegiate in St Thomas for 20 years and lived in the Oakridge area for much of that time.  Sometime during my second year, a guidance counsellor asked me if I had interest in starting a club for gay kids; a student had inquired and as I was young and she had heard me talk in passing about a social justice topic,  she thought maybe I could help. I agreed. I wondered if she knew I was bisexual when she asked but figured she didn’t. I was never out at work or with my family. I had had long term relationships with men and 2 children. It was easy to pass as straight. And I figured, it was really no one’s business anyway.  Eventually I met the student who asked for the club  and we quietly started the "Diversity club" I was told it was brought up at parent council as a concern but teachers defended it and said if the kids wanted it and someone was willing to run it, what could it hurt. I definitely made some blunders in those first years as I had no real idea what kinds of issues queer kids faced. As the years passed,  I encountered strong student leaders, educated myself more, got more involved in the community and our club evolved. We followed the fad of calling our club a GSA (Gay-Straight Al- liance), created a mission statement, attended conferences put on by the Thames Valley District School Board, participated in a Day of Silence annually, and an annual awareness campaign around the Transgender Day of Remembrance.  Every year we got louder and more visible in our school and in St Thomas.  During all this time, I was also spending a great deal of personal energy being a musician. I taught myself guitar and how to write songs.  I focused on finding other musicians to help me learn and played lots of gigs. I figured out who I was on stage and even released an album. I was also learning how to market myself and started to apply those skills to our GSA.  I wrote the “Wednesday song” which has regularly provided a little ear worm to remind students of our meetings on our announcements at school for over 15 years. As I grew as a musician and a person, our club grew too and so did other clubs and organizations. Pretty much every school had a GSA eventually.  I regularly played Pride and queer events solo or with various incarnations of my band “Askher.” Despite all the progress and evidence of acceptance, despite that many students came out to me, I still wasn’t actually out to my colleagues, students or family. I wasn’t out until I met my future partner, that is. When things got serious between us, I knew I would have to tell my family.  It was hard for them to understand that this wasn’t a new thing for me, I had known since I was 12 that I found both boys and girls attractive but I didn’t know how or if I should ever tell them. In the grand scheme of things,  coming out was quite easy for me as I happen to have a lot of privilege. I was in my 30s, secure, stable and I was so in love with my new girlfriend, I wanted the world to know. After watching the movie MIlk (Har- vey Milk) I was convinced I also had to come out at school. This small act was empowering and scary. I felt obliged to normalize love regardless of gender. I owed it to any queer student who did not have all my privilege to be proud, I had a responsibility to be proud of my partner. I wrote several songs about our new love, I was starting to get a solid line-up of bandmates and was considering a second album..  Now that I was out, I also got to experience many new-to-me aspects of the queer community, both positive and negative. I could now be an authentic advisor with lived experiences. We decided we were getting married.

PRIDE Villager

Page 4 Issue 4 • Spring 2020

To advertise here, please contact

beautiful video features folks from the trans community in London and their allies who understand the trans journey of love. Transition looks and feels different for every person involved. For those who are experiencing difficulties accepting and understanding them- selves or their loved ones, the community you see in the video show there is: hope, love can win and it does get easier. My now named QSA (Queer-straight Alliance) still meets on Wednesdays.  I have another 10 years of teaching and I have ev- ery intention of continuing to be the staff advisor for my school's club, continuing to write and perform music from the heart and

continuing to be an out and proud queer.  To see Lori’s video, Umbrella, go to

Then my partner told me that he is trans. He hoped that be- cause I had always said gender didn’t matter that I was finally the right person in his life to admit this truth.  Embarrassingly and unexpectedly, I fell apart. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of loss and self pity, but I loved my partner. I asked myself over dramatic questions about who I was living with and focused on how this would impact me,  Just as I was embracing my queer identity, I was having it tested, erased.  I turned to my guitar.  I wrote “ Umbrella ” quickly and with tears, a lot of tears.  Some lines were how I felt, some lines were about how I wish I felt, I wanted to be the person I thought I was: tolerant and loving regardless of gender without denying that I felt lost and scared.  I wrote “ Umbrella ” for me as ther- apy. I’ve almost always used writing as a way to package my emotions, order them so I could express them in a way that feels like I can connect with others who get it in their own way. That’s how good music impacts me. I almost immediately start- ed to perform “Umbrella” at queer events and many people ap- proached me to tell me how much the song touched them and or has helped them feel less alone. While song writing helped me feel less alone, it did take me time, therapy and a wise friend to help me learn to accept.  Two years into Mayson’s transition, we did get married and once I knew our relationship was going to survive, I made it my mission to make a music video to accompany “Umbrella” to try and show others going through transition that there is hope that their loved ones can be there during and after. Unfortunately not all relationships survive so often times in the queer commu- nity, we have to make our own family.  I wanted folks to know that they are not alone. I found filmmaker, photographer: Nicole Coenen, a proud mem- ber of the LGBTQ+ community who has a passion for creating Queer content and she was willing to do it on a budget. The


I am proud to be your representative in Ottawa and want to stay informed of the issues that matter most to you. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. My office can also assist you with:

• Employment Insurance • Citizenship and Immigration • Canada Student Loans • Passport and Travel Information • Veterans Affairs

• Canada Child Benefits • Canada Pension Plan • Old Age Security • Guaranteed Income Supplement • Income Taxes

200-390CommissionersRd.W. • LondonON N6J 1Y3 •

PRIDE Villager

Issue 4 • Spring 2020 Page 5 To advertise here, please contact

Amanda’s Journey At fifty-five years of age, I opened up to family, friends and clients about a secret. I came out to my small world that I was really a woman, not a male as was wrongly assumed for a lifetime. I was four the first time I spoke the words, “I am a girl”. I was told that people who made such claims were sent to hospitals for “treatment”. I

I started to believe that meeting the right girl, getting married and having a family would be enough. I met a woman I loved and began my life as a husband and father. We had a daughter and two sons, and everything seemed good.

My wife and I grew apart and in our twenty-fifth year of marriage, I asked for a separation, which lead to our divorce. The female in me reawakened with a vengeance. With the help of doctors and a therapist, I decided to socially and physically transition to female. Coming out was a mixture of euphoria and fear. The therapist referred me to a transgender support group. Immediately after my first group meeting, I told my sister. She became a great ally and helped me buy clothes, jewelry and makeup. Next, I told my adult children. I dreaded rejection however each of them accepted me. They were fantastic! I made a mistake by not telling their mother until a month later. She was understandably hurt by the news of my transition and angry for the delay after telling our children. My father had passed away and never knew about my gender identity issues. I wish I could have told him. He was a good man and I think he would not have rejected me. My mother didn’t take the news well and our relationship became strained. It was difficult hearing the negative things she would say, so I walked away. We haven’t spoken much since December 2015. Except for one sister who is two years older than me, I no longer have contact with my siblings. My nieces, nephews and cousins all took the news well. I owned my own business and I came out to my clients in October of 2014. Within a month, revenue dropped to zero. I was forced to close the business. I decided to go back school and began working on my Bachelor of Arts at Western. I graduated in October of 2018 and began to look for work. I have not been able to find a job. I would like to believe there are other reasons that interviews do not go well but, as a transgender woman, like other minorities, you come to recognize discrimination. I see it multiple times per week in laughter, insults, physical assaults and denial of service. It occurs everywhere. Life is much tougher than I thought it would be. What keeps me going is the elation I feel at finally being myself. I remain optimistic for the future but realistic in the obstacles and challenges of the present. I have made many true friends which makes life easier and met many people who accept me as I am.

decided to keep my secret and my pretend life as a male began. By age eight, my thoughts became dark and I began wishing I would die. I would wish on my birthday cake that I would not survive the year. In the early 1970s the news was covering a story about Dr. Rene Richards, another person like me! For the first time I felt I wasn’t alone. The story referenced other transgender people, like Christine Jorgensen. Suddenly I didn’t feel like an oddity and my variant gender identity was real. Girls became most of my friends however I had no interest in dating girls. Showing an interest in boys was out of the question. I lived in Woodstock, a conservative town. Leaving Woodstock for London to attend Fanshawe College offered no reprieve. After graduation, I intended to save money to go to Thailand to undergo a full transition to female. Unfortunately, the costs were much higher than I hoped. Much later I found out that OHIP was covering surgeries here in Ontario.

PRIDE Villager

Page 6 Issue 4 • Spring 2020

To advertise here, please contact

Rainbow Optimist Update Drag Queen Storytime

Senior staff of Elgin County, the St. Thomas Library Staff, the senior staff of the Southwestern Public Health, the staff of the Middlesex Libraries, Employment Sector Council Job Developers Network and the staff at the Workforce Planning and Development Board have already taken this workshop.  The workshop will be delivered in Middlesex County to the general public Thursday, April 23, 6:30pm to 7:30pm at the Strathroy Public Library, 32 Frank St., Strathroy. The event if free with donations welcomed by the Rainbow Optimist Club Rainbow Speakers Panel A Rainbow Speaker Panel is also being offered in rural settings. It is designed with LGBT2Q+ teens in mind but all are invited. The Rainbow Optimists want teens to be able to bring their families and friends. It depicted people who live and work in their local community and identify as LGBT2Q+. The panel members discuss careers, life lessons learned and first-hand experience of life in their community. New dates and locations are in negotiations. These incentives will open doors, give support to rural LGBT2Q+ youth, educate the community, and will create opportunities for everyone to participate and to be included in their community. Camp Ten Oaks doors in August 2005. It doubled in capacity in 2018 with the addition of our second location, allowing for nearly 200 campers. Camp Ten Oaks is the first and only summer camp of its kind in Canada. They offer children a space where they can feel not only accepted, but celebrated. For many campers, the program is the cornerstone of their year. Their varied programming allows campers to receive instruction, strengthen old skills and develop new ones with the option to participate in outdoor adventure, waterfront, arts, social justice activities and sports. They empower children and youth through play that enhances self-esteem, life skills, independence, leadership and self-confidence. Their website is NewWebsite The Rainbow Optimist have a new website: All events, workshops and fund-raisers are included on the website. Also included is a calendar and a resource section. Follow us on Facebook: This year the Rainbow Optimist have donated to Camp Ten Oaks to sponsor someone to attend the camp in August. Camp Ten Oaks is a two-location, one-week each, sleep-away camp for children and youth ages 8-17 from 2SLGBTQ+ (two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) identities, families, and communities. The program first opened its

Local Drag Queen Storytime events have gotten a great response. In the fall the Queens were on the road and were in Kincardine and Forest. In January, they were in Stratford. Dates for 2020 are now being arranged. There is one confirmed for the Komoka Library on June 6th at 11:00 am. Elgin County, St. Thomas, Stratford, Kincardine, Huron County and other areas are requesting Drag Queen Storytimes.


How are Drag Queen Storytimes funded? They are funded through donations, sponsorships and fundraisers. One of the fundraisers is Bitchy Drag Queen Bingo which has nothing to do with Bingo. It is a grab bag auction conducted by the Queens. There have been 4 very successful Bin-gos 3 in London and 1 in Strathroy. There is another one coming up in Strathroy on Saturday, April 25, 7pm to 10pm at Rusty Wrench, Main St., Strathroy. The Rainbow Optimists formed the Pride in the Park Committee in Strathroy to bring a Pride in the Park Celebration to Middlesex County on July 11th from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm. The Rainbow Optimists are working with the St. Thomas Rainbow Alliance to bring a Pride in the Park Celebration to Elgin County on July 18th from noon to 4:00 pm. The Rainbow Optimists delivers an original workshop called Creating a Safer Space for the LGBT2Q+ Communities. A safe space is "a place or environment in which a person can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm." The goal of creating "a safer space is to create a space where people can find themselves represented and reflected, and where they understand that all people are treated with respect and dignity." The organizations that have completed the workshop can offer a space: • that is positive and safe; • where the staff have been trained to understand LGBT2Q+ issues and needs; • and that understands the challenges and stigma faced by families. Creating Safer Spaces for LGBT2Q+ Communities Find us on Instagram: #rainbowoptimistclub Email: Website:

PRIDE Villager

Page 7 Issue 4 • Spring 2020

To advertise here, please contact

LGBTQ-positive books by Pamela Malins, 

These 8 LGBTQ-positive books impart lessons about diversity and acceptance. What kind of storybooks should be read to children? This question has been contentious — so much so that when I was teaching in a public elementary school in Ontario 10 years ago, certain books were kept in a separate room in the library apart from regular circulation. These were books featuring stories about same-sex families or gender diversity. In 2010, I left full-time teaching to pursue graduate studies and explore the ways young children make sense of diverse gender and sexual identities. These identities are intertwined as the ways we express our gender is often perceived as aligning with our sexuality. My research was also tied to debates surrounding the health curriculum and what was considered appropriate for young children. I also learned that other teachers also had challenges in using children’s literature that showed gender and sexual diversity. What age children should learn about sexual activities may be up for debate but learning about and discussing a diversity of sexual identities should not be questioned. In Canada, we have the right to love who we choose, and in Ontario June is the month of LGBTQ Pride celebrations. Children of same-sex families in school In 2005, Canada became the fourth country to legalize same-sex marriage. Between 2006 and 2011, according to Statistics Canada, “the number of same- sex married couples nearly tripled.” According to the 2016 Census, there were 72,880 same sex couples in Canada in 2016, representing 0.9 per cent of all couples and “at the time of the 2016 census, 10,020 children aged 0 to 14 were living in a family with same sex parents.” These children are now or will soon be attending schools across Canada. As early as kindergarten, children begin to perpetuate learned gender identities. They make decisions about what is for boys or for girls, and how boys and girls should behave. Children re-enact what they have learned from the media and adults in their lives and learn very quickly what performances get awarded with attention and praise. Gender studies scholars Harriet Bjerrum Nielsen (retired Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Oslo) and Bronwyn Davies (University of Melbourne) explored how gender identify unfolds in the schooling environment. By age two children “develop an emotional commitment to their gender” and many already behave and speak in conformity with conventional gender images by the time they arrive at preschool. Children are not only aware of sexual identities, but they also know the power that is associated with heterosexual identities in society and how it provides them access to various rights as citizens. In summary, children are very familiar with gender and sexual identities. The question has become: what gender and sexual identities? Equitable classrooms How society values some identities over others produces hierarchies of identity and power relations that influence how children make meaning about diverse identities. Children need the skills to navigate ongoing messages about gender and sexual identities found in popular culture marketing through everything from TV to toys to fast-food packaging, all of which have implications for children’s identities, particularly their gendered identities. Education researchers Wayne Martino and Wendy Cumming-Potvin conducted research in Australia and Canada with people studying to become teachers. They found that when these students were presented the possibility of using former Instructor, Western University and Assistant Professor, University of New Brunswick Reprinted with permission from World Economic Forum and the Author.

PRIDE Villager

Page 8 Issue 4 • Spring 2020

To advertise here, please contact

picture books to address same-sex parenting and non-normative sexuality, they expressed concerns about potentially upsetting classroom parents, being perceived as pushing a “gay agenda,” or being too “in-your-face.” They also worried parents would question the age-appropriateness of the material. Yet what is discussed at home, or the beliefs and cultural upbringing at home, should not silence the different viewpoints students may encounter at school. Social justice in education calls on students and teachers to dialogue about difference and refrain from judgement of what is right or wrong, but rather understand the context for beliefs and opinions and act equitably and respectfully. Picture books are a great way to approach conversations about diverse gender and sexual identities with young children. I ask teachers and parents alike, what gendered stories do you perpetuate to your children? Do they believe all identities are acceptable? Let’s prepare our children to live and work in a world of diversity and inclusion. Engage in critical questioning, be mindful of your bias, and develop respect for perspectives that are not your own. Create opportunities for children to see same-sex relationships, even if this falls outside your personal values. I invite you to find ways to challenge gender stereotypes and encourage multiple viewpoints with these books. Have you read? ’How do we solve LGBTQ+ discrimination? One word: visibility’ 1. Annie’s Plaid Shirt By Stacy B. Davids (2015, Upswing Press) Annie loves her plaid shirt and wears it all the time. One day, her mom announces her uncle’s wedding and tells Annie that she must wear a dress. This makes Annie miserable as she hates wearing dresses and wishes her mom understood. 2. The Sissy Duckling By Harvey Fierstein (2002, Simon & Schuster) Elmer likes to clean, do crafts and bake, but he is not accepted by his peers or his own father. Through Elmer’s struggles, he learns about acceptance and difference, and eventually, so do the others. 3. King and King By Linda De Haan & Stern Nijland (2000, Tricycle Press) A mother introduces her young prince to various princesses with the intention of marriage. One day a princess arrives escorted by her brother, Prince Lee. To everyone’s surprise the prince is much more interested in the brother than he is the princess. 4. 10,000 Dresses By Marcus Ewert and Rex Ray (2008, Triangle Square) Bailey dreams about magical dresses, but no one ever wants to hear about them. Then Bailey meets Laurel who is inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. They begin making dresses together and Bailey becomes the girl she always dreamed of becoming. 5. Pink is for Boys By Robb Pearlman (2018, Running Press) This book challenges stereotypes around blue for boys and pink for girls and empowers kids and adults to express themselves in every colour of the rainbow. 6. A Tale of Two Daddies By Vanita Oelschlager (2010, VanitaBooks) A boy on the playground questions a girl about her two Dads, wondering which Dad does what. The girl explains, quite simply, that one Dad does some things and the other Dad does the others. 7. Worm Loves Worm By J.J. Austrian (2016, Balzer + Bray) Two worms fall in love and decide to get married. Their friends want to know who will wear the dress or the tux, but the worms assure them that it doesn’t matter because they love each other. 8. Mom and Mum are Getting Married! By Ken Setterington (2004, Second Story Press) Rosie comes home to happiness when one of her two mothers announces, “Your Mum and I are getting married!” They can’t wait to start planning the big day. At this party, family, friends and fun come together for a joyous celebration of love.

PRIDE Villager

Page 9 Issue 4 • Spring 2020

To advertise here, please contact

Gay Hollywood in the Golden Age Several unfortunate events – the Great Depression, the rise of Hitler and Fascism in Germany, and the establishment of the Hay’s Code of behavior in film – led to a surprising efflorescence of gay and lesbian ideas, talent, and artists among those we now consider to be the cream of Hollywood’s Golden Age. While they were an obviously elite set, their words and images have, via movies, TV,

Felice will be in London in this fall sharing his stories and insights. Date and location have not yet been confirmed.

In his presentation, he shares their anecdotes, vintage photos and ex- cerpts fromhis ownHolly- wood novel to show how some found success against the odds and why they became icons of the film world. His talk with photos is based on what they told him first or second hand. Felice’s latest book is Justify My Sins – A Hollywood Novel in Three Acts . The book will be for sale at the event.

and advertising, influenced several generations worldwide of all classes, and increased the openness that led to Stonewall and today’s acceptance of LGBTQ people. For decades, hopeful LGBT actors, writers and stage directors came West to make it big One of those individuals was openly gay author Felice Picano. “Felice Picano is an American writer, publisher, and critic who has encouraged the development of gay literature in the United States. His work is documented in many sources.” Wikipedia Although best known as a novelist ( Late in the Season, Like People in History ), playwright and memoirist (Nights at Rizzoli, True Stories ), Felice was called to Hollywood in 1977 to work for Cary Grant’s Brut Productions. He returned in the mid-80s and worked with director Frank Perry ( David and Lisa, Mommy Dearest ). Even before his book tour in 1979 best seller, The Lure , Picano was openly gay. He met and was befriended by Hollywood actors and writers.


At Villager Publications, we focus on all things local, and we’d like to ask you to put local businesses at the top of your shopping list. In recent weeks, your neighbours and friends have been feeling the effects of fewer customers

➜ because of cancellations and worries about COVID-19. So, the next time you need an item or service, please, think locally first and let’s help each other get through these trying times. Thank you.

Supporting London’s LGBTQ2+ Community

Teresa Armstrong MPP London—Fanshawe 519-668-1104

Terence Kernaghan MPP London North Centre 519-432-7339

Peggy Sattler MPP London West 519-657-3120

PRIDE Villager

Issue 4 • Spring 2020 Page 10

To advertise here, please contact

Bring eco-luxe homewith London’s Yatta New online store offers curated selection of premium vegan beauty products from around the world. London’s newest online store makes it easy to shop for the vegan and eco-conscious friend or family member on your list. Yatta, launched last October by Mairi Shewfelt, offers a carefully curated selection of niche eco-luxe skincare, cosmetics, haircare and jewellery from around the globe. “Clean living has been my passion since I was a teenager,” says Shewfelt, who personally selects and tests each product on offer. “I am so excited to introduce some of my favourite luxury vegan and cruelty-free products to Canada.” Highlights of Yatta’s cruelty-free collection include: • MuLondon – The cult-favourite vegan skincare line from London, England. • Speziere Palazzio Vecchio (SPV) – A favourite of movie stars and royalty, these all-natural fragrances and skin care products are made in Florence and inspired by the perfume- recipes of Renaissance Italy. • Evolve Beauty – Hand-crafted in Hertfordshire, England, these small-batch vegan hair care products, body scrubs, and deodorants have won multiple awards. • Emma Aitchison Jewellery – As seen in Vogue magazine, this line of ethically-sourced and sustainably-made jewellery is inspired by nature. These and other brands are exclusively available in Canada through Yatta. The best part? Since you’re shopping local, you save on shipping and never have to worry about import duties.

“I founded Yatta to change the way people think about luxury,” says Shewfelt, who moved to London three years ago after living and working in Europe for almost two decades. “Luxury is about taking care of yourself, and the world we live in. It’s about using top-quality natural ingredients that won’t harm your body, and it’s about manufacturing products in a way that won’t harm the environment.” The name Yatta is Japanese for “I did it / We did it”, and it reflects Shewfelt’s belief that together, we can create a more sustainable and beautiful future. To learn more about Yatta, or to make a purchase visit: For media inquiries contact: Mairi Shewfelt at 519-673-3809 or

Living together? Make it legal! License your pet. All cats and dogs must be licensed by law. Licensing helps save animals’ lives. • Lost pets are returned home • Helps to fund animal services programs • Homeless pets get adopted

London Animal Care Centre • 121 Pine Valley Blvd, London • 519-685-1330 • Please do you part! Contact us to license your pet Lo don Animal Ca Centre • 121 Pine Valley Blvd, London 529-685-1330 •

At Yatta, our goal is simple: To provide eco-luxe beauty products and jewelry you can feel good about.

visit us @

Beauty • Fragrance • Lifestyle

Check out this unisex vegan skincare line:

Check out this unisex vegan fragrance line:

PRIDE Villager

Page 11 Issue 4 • Spring 2020

To advertise here, please contact

and chose an “economical” option proposed by a London asphalt company that will be easy to maintain. It will cost about $2000 and be a “zebra” pattern, with horizontal stripes going across the road and breaks between colours. Members of Oxford Pride will help install and maintain the rainbow. “We have the funds for that. We have no problem doing that”, she said. TheWoodstock rainbowwill be one of two painted crosswalks in the city. TheDowntownWoodstockBIAhas its own project, announced last year. The two groups say they’re open to coordinating their painting projects to minimize disruption on the roads. Events Storytime with the Queen Ingersoll June 6 12pm-2pm Ingersoll Library Storytime with the Queen Tillsonburg June 13 12pm-2pm Tillsonburg Library Oxford Pride will be hosting an LGBTQ movie evening in partnership with he Woodstock Art Gallery and a paint night is in the planning as well. The Rainbow Optimists will be actively involved with the Oxford Pride Family Day on June 20th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Go to and Oxford County Pride Facebook page for updates Please note that all events, dates and times included herein may be subject to change due to the coronavirus. Please check updated event information on websites/FB before attending. For updates on Coronavirus in Ontario, check: Being an Ally is an important job. Creating opportunities for everyone to feel accepted is not always easy. It all starts with kindness and understanding. For more information on our resources and programing visit: The Pride Understanding production team creating new tools to start a conversation

Tyrell Maas Pride Leadership Award Tyrell Maas Pride Leadership Award is presented to a secondary student who exhibits outstanding service to, and is actively involved in leadership activities in Oxford County. Nominees must be in grade eleven, or twelve attending a secondary school or the equivalent located in the parameter of Oxford County, ON. The award recipient will receive a certificate accompanied by a $500.00 financial award to be applied to post secondary institution for the recipient’s education and/or a recognized charity of their choice. The Tyrell Maas Pride Leadership Award is generously funded by the Tyrell Maas Memorial Fund and Oxford County Pride. Tyrel Maas bursary as applications open March 1, 2020. Rainbow Crosswalk for Woodstock Pride month in Woodstock will be more colourful in 2020, after Oxford County Pride got the go-ahead for a rainbow crosswalk. Woodstock council approved the crosswalk on Dundas Street in front of Museum Square requested by the Oxford County Pride Committee. Tami Murray, coordinator for Oxford Pride, said, “I hope you’ll grant this opportunity to bring some rainbow and sunshine to downtown Woodstock”. Tami says they’re aiming to complete the pavement painting by June for Pride Month. She says they’ve been fundraising for the project Pride understanding expanded their library of resources this past year to start a conversation around being an Ally. There are lots of conversations around how to be an ally and the importance of sticking up for someone who is being judged on their differences. We wanted to make sure these conversations were starting early on. Our videos and resources focus on children 12 and under, but our real audience is the grown-ups in their lives. We want teachers, parents, families and caregivers to have the tools to start early conversations- being an ally is a skill we need to develop in children as early as possible. When a child is raised to believe in the importance of caring, they are more likely to help others. Encouraging children to see themselves as kind, considerate and caring is the foundation to being an Ally. Being an Ally takes courage. It requires listening, constant learning and the acceptance that mistakes will be made. But most importantly, it requires kindness. In a world where empathy is on the decline and lack of understanding is on the rise, teaching children the importance of kindness is a skill equally important as brushing your teeth or chewing with your mouth closed. Children understanding the importance of kindness, they simply need the adults in their lives to encourage and support their good behavior.

PRIDE Villager

Issue 4 • Spring 2020 Page 12

To advertise here, please contact


Take a journey with Laurie and follow your heart. A deeply intimate navigation system like an inner compass directs one’s decisions and choices throughout an endless existence. An indestructible eternal connection to a much larger and greater wholeness that is hard to express in words. As an Ordained Metaphysical Minister from the Spiritual College of Pathways of Light, she is also a member of the Canadian International Metaphysical Ministry. This allows her to be a Reg- istered Minister within the Province of Ontario. She performs customized non-traditional weddings, memo- rials and other life transition ceremonies . Rev. Laurie Nevin * 519-854-8541 PRIDE IN THE PARK STRATHROY JULY 11, 2020

"We were so blessed to be pointed in Laurie's direction to officiate our ceremony. Her passion for Love shows from the moment you meet her. We travelled from a bit of a distance to meet Laurie, and we knew within 10min that she was who we wanted. Laurie is

an absolute joy and a ray of sunshine to be around. Her light shines so bright that it can lift your spirits in a matter of moments. We had the privilege of working with Laurie for our nondenominational ceremony. As I come from a more religious family, she was able to find a perfect balance of bringing God's presence, but not having the ceremony feel too religious.  Laurie got to know my partner and I, and made suggestions for our ceremony that made it original and truly us. She was also more than happy to join in on our wishes, like a barefoot ceremony! Even through a few "hiccups" during the ceremony (mic not working, etc) she was able to keep spirits light and happy. Laurie has a way of easing the stress that comes along with the wedding day, creating a calm atmosphere that revolves around the reason for marriage and life... LOVE. It's hard not to smile when Laurie speaks about Love, as her passion for it could light up a whole room. Not to mention her contagious laugh. We strongly recommend Laurie as your officiant! She is a rare positive flower in this world, and we hope that you love her as much as we did! " ~ Chanille & Ashley

PRIDE IN THE PARK STRATHROY JULY 11, 2020 #strathroypride

• Rainbow Flag Ceremony at Town Hall 11:30 • Sidewalk parade to Alexandra Park • BBQ 12 to 4pm • Drag Queen Storytime 1pm

• Entertainment: The Saidat Show • Community Booths and Vendors • FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

A celebration of inclusion & diversity




Know the people behind the product with two great SHOP LOCAL tools

\ Follow us on Facebook

Your local on-line directory Innovative technology for businesses to be found online


Your local community magazine

PRIDE Villager

Page 13 Issue 4 • Spring 2020 To advertise here, please contact

Seed Confections is a hidden gem found in St. Thomas at 159 Ross Street. Genevieve Scarfone, Chocolatier and Owner of Seed Confections is the mastermind behind Seed. Gen’s love of all things pastry began in her teens. It was at that An afternoon at Seed Confections with MartinWithenshaw

point she enrolled in the Culinary Management program at Niagara College, in St. Catherine’s Ontario. Upon completion, Gen moved to Muskoka, Ontario, to work 3 summer seasons at a luxury golf course resort and spent winter seasons in Banff, Alberta, as a baker. In 2009 she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where she began her career as a Chocolatier. After years working and learning the nuances of chocolate production, she took the role of sous chef at Beta5 Chocolates in Vancouver. It was there that she really developed a passion for her work. Realizing the importance of knowledge, technique, and creativity, she strived to learn everything she could. Working as a team, Beta5 went on to win multiple Canadian and International Chocolate Awards during her 3 years there. In 2015, she moved back to Ontario and settled back into her hometown of St. Thomas where she started Seed Confections. Why the name Seed Confections? Seed has 3 meanings to Gen: • Seed – The Beginning of Growth • Seed of the a Cocoa Pod – The Cocoa Bean • Seeding – A Method of Tempering Chocolate Seed isasmall batch, handcrafted, artisanchocolateandConfection Company. When science, art, and flavour are in perfect balance it can create amazing and innovative chocolates or confections. Whileat Seed I learned that chocolate is a science: temperatures, fat contents, moisture levels, and proper technique. When combined correctly, they can create a smooth ganache, a crisp snap, or a beautiful shine. In 2018 after winning bronze awards at the Canadian portion of the international chocolate awards, Seed was excited to ship their Cranberry Sage and Peach Iced Tea bonbons to the International Chocolate Awards in Italy. Seed was humbled and excited to share the news that their Cranberry Sage took home a bronze medal. It was an incredible experience for Seed to find out their chocolates are among some of the best in the world, according to this prestigious competition. During my visit Gen showed me how to make a basic sugar cookie. The most interesting thing I learned about was the bicycle cutter and the gauge controlled rolling pin. The rolling pin gauge rolled out the cookie dough to the desired thickness and the bicycle cutter cut the cookies into the desired size. Both were very useful. After the cookies were baked they were iced with white royal icing. Next was the mixing of the colours to decorate the cookies. Gen did this all with great ease and expertise. I learned a great deal.

Tools of the trade: Running pin with gauges that rolls dough out and Bicycle Cutter

Sugar Cookies 680 g Butter 875 g Sugar 8 Eggs 5 g Vanilla Paste 5 g Vanilla Extract 1900 g Flour 17 g Baking Powder 15 g Salt

• Mix butter and sugar together on medium speed until just mixed. Do not whip or cream. • Add vanilla and eggs in 3 stages. • Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together.

• Add flour mixture in 3 stages. • Mix until combined. Portion dough into sections then wrap in plastic wrap. • Put in fridge for at least 1 hour. • Roll out dough on a floured surface to about ¼” thick. • Cut out using a cookie cutter. • Bake in oven for 5-6 minutes at 350F. Turning half way through. • Cool, then ice with royal icing.

PRIDE Villager

Issue 4 • Spring 2020 Page 14

To advertise here, please contact

JEFF YUREK, MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London Here to help you with any of the following provincial matters Monday through Friday, 10:00 - 4:30: Ontario Disability Support Program OHIP Cards • Driver’s Licences Ontario Works • Birth Certificates P: 519-631-0666 • T: 1-800-265-7638 750 Talbot St, Unit 201 St. T h omas, ON N5P 1E2 Email:

Small Batch Artisan

Hand Crafted


Chocolates ~ Macarons ~ Pastries 519-207-4060 ~ Get Social@seedconfections 159 Ross Street, St Thomas, Ontario

FOOD EQUIPMENT & RENTALS We have everything you need for your next event – Call me to learn more! Kathleen Underwood 519-495-3599 • Dedicated to bettering the lives of LGBT2Q+ rural youth, their families and their communities

Follow us on Facebook: RainbowOptimistClub Find us on Instagram: #rainbowoptimistclub Email:

Russell Stagg MA MC RP RCC Registered Psychotherapist ussell Stagg MA MC RP RCC Registered Psychotherapist

Main areas of practice: couples counselling Main areas of practice: couples counselling

Publisher: Barb Botten Villager Publications P.O. Box 134, Lambeth Station Ontario N6P1P9 Photos, article suggestions, article submissions welcome. We look forward to hearing from you:

trauma/PTSD sexual abuse/assault 519.808.4386 trauma/PTSD sexual abuse/assault 519.808.4386

Ietje is in the Neighbourhood . . .

Pride Villager Issue #4 Spring 2020 Managing Editors: Barb Botten, Martin Withenshaw Graphic Artist: Cathy Wood

Ietje Kerkhoff Sales Representative Cell: 226.268.0501 Bus: 519.672.9880 Fax: 519.672.5145 240 Waterloo Street Unit# 103, London, ON, N6B 2N4

Watch the Sold signs go up !!

To advertise here, please contact Read the complete lineup of Villager community magazines, including past issues of Pride Villager at

PRIDE Villager

Page 15 Issue 4 • Spring 2020

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs