Q: Can you introduce your organization?
QMUNITY is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. We provide a safer space for LGBTQ/2S people and their allies to fully self-express while feeling welcome and included. Our building serves as a catalyst for community initiatives and collective strength.
Q: What is your organization’s purpose?
Our mission is to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives through services, connection, and leadership.
We value and celebrate the lives of queer, trans, and Two-Spirit people, and are committed to creating inclusive, safer spaces.
Anti-oppression and Intersectionality
We believe in a person’s right to define their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. We value our complex, intersectional identities, and operate from an anti-oppression framework.
We recognize that we operate on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of Indigenous people across British Columbia.
Q: Can you introduce yourself?
Carl@ is a non-binary gay human being who fluctuates in between the female and male gender expression. They have made positive changes by helping to build inclusive policies for recent Latin American immigrants who are fleeing violence and discrimination in their home countries.
Carl@ was one of the first to introduce to The Canadian Federal Court and the United Nations how de-homosexualization clinics in Latin America oppress the LGBTQ2S+ community by means of torture under the disguise of Rehabilitation Clinics. Carl@ has helped marginalized communities become more visible through activism, storytelling, and education.
Carl@ has inspired others to become more active in the community and has helped many organizations in Ecuador and Canada be more inclusive. Carl@ believes that kindness can make a better world for everyone and leads by example.
Q: What resources or services does your organization provide specifically for refugee claimants?
We do offer a safe space for refugee claimants to gather and ask for resources in our building without judgment. We provide them with information about our different programming such as 1) The Bute Street Clinic which is free of cost and anonymous STI testing drop-in site, 2) The Free Tax Clinic in partnership with CRA during Tax Session, 3) The Free Legal Clinic with an Immigration Lawyer in partnership with Access Pro Bono and, 4) A Free Employment/Vocational Clinic in Partnership with WorkBC, every Thursday in our main office.
We do also offer different Peer-Support Groups for refugee claimants, run by dedicated volunteers from our LGBTQ2S+ community, such as Rainbow Light Meditation, Rainbow Refugee, along with some other social and anonymous groups that can help them rebuild their lives and creating QMUNITY.
We do also offer free counseling sessions, and meaningful volunteer opportunities in our reception, or as an Information and Referrals Specialist or in specific outreach events.
We want refugee claimants to feel welcomed in a non-judgemental, inclusive space where we can celebrate together inclusivity, dignity, and respect towards gender pronouns, gender expression, gender beliefs, and the right to self-define their own sexual identity.
Q: What is a success you’ve had through your work with refugee claimants?
Refugee Claimants see QMUNITY as The Centre to feel free of judgment while they await their process to be handled by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Refugee Claimants wants to give back by volunteering with us and we welcome them as our Rainbow members of honour. We do respect their journeys and we welcome diversity since is a strength for our society.
Q: Anything else you’d like us to highlight about QMUNITY?
We are open to ideas and if anyone would like to support our QMUNITY by volunteering your time, creating a peer-support group or by becoming a monthly donor; be sure you will help us create more meaningful programming for refugee claimants and for all our LGBTQ2S+ constituents in B.C.
Learn more at qmunity.ca