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Queer book club launches
Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife responds to feedback from youth

Jessica Davey-Quantick
Northern News Services
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chelsea Thacker is hoping to paint a reading rainbow over Yellowknife.

Starting this month, the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife executive director is launching a queer book club.

"It's like everything that gay dreams are made of," she said.

The club, new this month, came from hearing feedback from youth and people who access the centre.

"They wanted to learn more about queerness, about transness, different perspectives, history, all that kind of stuff," she said.

"So we thought about a way that they could do that but still be engaged and have fun with it ... I'm really excited for it."

Currently, the club is targeted at people aged 16 and up.

Thacker says if there is demand, there is the potential to start a club for younger teens in the future.

What's on the reading list will be determined by the club's members.

The focus will be on queer literature by queer authors, but that can take any form - from non-fiction to literature to poetry. She'll also be on the look-out for literature highlighting the experience of Indigenous people and people of colour.

"A lot of our youth are Indigenous," she said.

"So I would definitely be trying to find a book that echoes the experience of a young Indigenous queer person ... Having young people be able to read a book that was written by someone that kind of echoes their experience makes them feel less alone."

But first, she'll have to get the books. The coalition's Rainbow Library originally started with help from the NWT Human Rights Commission and has been fleshed out with community donations.

It currently contains a small collection of books and films, available for members of the coalition.

"We definitely need to beef up our collection," said Thacker, adding she intends to reach out to the city and the public library.

The next meeting of the club will be on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Rainbow Coalition.

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