New LGBTQ community hub to open soon in North Bay
NORTH BAY -- A group aimed at helping new youth members of the LGBTQ+ community in North Bay is helping them feel more accepted by creating a community hub.
The hub will be called Outloud North Bay and it will host music events, games and more when it opens.
Emma St. John is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. She recently came out as bisexual and says a service like this is vital for the youth.
"It gives kids a place to go when they need acceptance," said St. John.
When open to the public, Outloud North Bay will act as a safe haven for people who don't feel accepted because of who they are.
"Three to four years ago, I was judged because my mom was gay or because I was bisexual," said St. John. "I did face judgement for it, but we have really developed. There're more spaces and there's more support."
The idea to bring this facility to life came from Seth Compton, who was inspired when he came out as transgender last January and attended a Trans Remembrance Day vigil.
"The feedback I got from people there was that they're fearful," said Compton. "People had no safe space to hang out and connect with other community members and that really made me feel sad."
Compton says Outloud North Bay will be the first space of its kind in the city that's geared toward including not only the LQBTQ+ community, but everyone.
"We have open mic nights coming up, craft nights, we have karaoke nights and we've done some of these events in other locations," said Compton.
Before it opens to the public and starts holding events, there's still a lot more work to do. Compton says he's actively looking for furniture and more painting needs to be done.
"All of it has come together really quickly, we just have to wait until this whole COVID-19 settles down," said Compton.
Compton says more inclusive spaces will allow the youth and next generation the chance to express who they.