A rally in support of the Cowichan Valley’s LGBTQ community attracted dozens to the sidewalk in front of the Cowichan Community Centre on Monday evening.
Kendra Thomas of the Warmland Women’s Support Services Society organized the event in conjunction with the Cowichan Pride Facebook group and the Duncan and Sylvan United Church congregations.
“This is a made-in-Cowichan response to homophobia, essentially,” Thomas said at the rally. “This is us showing up as a community to let the members of the LGBTQ community know that we are a community about diversity and inclusion and love and respect and dignity for everybody. We’re thrilled to be out here today in the community.”
The rally coincided with a presentation inside the community centre by Jenn Smith, a transgender person and a “leading opponent” of SOGI 123, a program designed to improve the safety and inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in schools.
Smith visited Duncan to deliver a talk called “The Erosion of Freedom: How transgender politics in school and society is undermining our freedom and harming women and children.”