Making a safespace for LGBTQ youth in East Hants

Emma Warwick of Belnan has brought The Youth Project’s Connect the Dots program to East Hants. It takes place once a month—the first Thursday of the month—at the Elmsdale Library in the Lloyd E. Matheson Centre, running from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Healey photo)

BELNAN: Without many options for youth in the LGBTQ community in Nova Scotia, especially in East Hants, Emma Warwick decided to take things into her own hands.

After learning about The Youth Project, Warwick said Connect the Dots is outside school and away from the stigma that still resonates within the school walls.

“I wanted a space for myself, but also one for others,” said the Belnan native, who identifies as Queer.

Connect the Dots is done through The Youth Project. It takes place on the first Thursday of the month—at the Elmsdale Library in the Lloyd E. Matheson Centre, running from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There are other locations where it is held at libraries, but the majority are in the Halifax area. It’s for those 12-19-years-old.

Warwick said the program is usually facilitated by a pair of adults, and youth can ask questions and talk about their situation. There is also an arts and crafts aspect to it.

“It’s whatever your group wants to make it,” the 17-year-old said.

What has Connect the Dots meant to Warwick?

“It’s helped to meet other people in East Hants and nice to do something that’s part of the LGBTQ community,” said Warwick, who found out when she was 12 she was Queer.

The program began at the Elmsdale Library in May, but took the summer off due to a lack of volunteers. It restarted in September.

It has got off to a slow start.

“There hasn’t been many people coming to the meetings,” she said. “We’re hoping that the word will get out there about the program.”

She said it’s not open to just those in East Hants. But those who are in the LGBTQ community that may go to Lockview High or live in the Grand Lake/Fall River area are welcomed to attend as well.

Warwick has a goal in mind with having the program in East Hants.

“I want to make a safe space for LGBTQ kids in East Hants and bring more awareness of the fact that we are here,” she said.

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Patrick Healey
Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!