Local Rosslander, Brogan Pastro, in tandem with the Youth Action Network (YAN) is creating an initiative of sorts to support those in the community of non-standard sexual orientations. Another term, perhaps more well know is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, or Questioning (LGBTQ).
Pastro has been tasked with creating a video featuring prominent Rosslanders voicing their support for those, especially youth, in the LGBTQ community. This is the first initiative of it’s kind in Rossland.
“When I was growing up in Rossland there wasn’t any LGBTQ focused anything,” said Pastro. “This is why it’s so important to me that I sort of create, out of Rossland what I never had growing up but would be really helpful.”
“I spent a lot of my time not knowing who I was and that was not the best time of my life. So, I’m looking to show those who may go through that, it doesn’t have to be so negative and in fact, Rossland can be a nurturing environment.”
The video will be 5-10 minutes in length and will be screened during Rossland’s Youth Week in May.
The whole idea for the video came after the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) held a youth action summit and a few Rossland youth thought it a good idea to write a youth action grant in an attempt to gain funding for such a project. The grant was approved and the initiative is well on its way.
Pastro continued, “The gay community in Rossland is tiny, but very strong and so we’re trying to expand and not keep it sort of contained within that community. We’re looking to create a wider LGBTQ community that has a lot of straight allies.”
The group is hoping this video will serve as a launch pad for something bigger. If the beginning of the LGBTQ initiative shows promise within the community, further plans for youth are planned. One such plan would be a sexual orientation workshop with the YAN. Another step the network is taking to help is bringing in an instructor for a half-day training seminar to assist adults who may not fully know how to interact or support youth with varying sexual orientations.
Support is welcome from anyone and everyone wishing to get involved with this initiative.
Pastro said for many that associate with LGBTQ it can be a surprise to leave a smaller community to experience gay culture in Vancouver or elsewhere and see for many being gay or otherwise isn’t a big deal. He hopes to break this illusion and fear of the unknown for youth without them having to leave Rossland first.
The time for making this feels right to Pastro, now that he is more comfortable with himself and his own orientation.