To celebrate Vancouver's long history of diversity and the city's welcoming, intersectional communities, Tourism Vancouver approached advocates and positive change-makers of the LGBTQ2+ community to speak about how they experience Vancouver and share their interesting projects. Meet the locals:

Tyler Alan Jacobs: Fashion Designer & Dancer

“Different First Nations territories have their own language and every language has a term for two-spirited people because that's how far back the two spirit comes from. They acknowledge the fact that they have both genders living inside of them, and in our culture they consider it a third gender. We're more than a trend, it's who we are as people.” 

Stephanie Goodwin: Out On Screen, Executive Director

“One of the first times I ever walked down Commercial Drive in Vancouver, I remember feeling like nobody was looking at me. I remember that feeling of being totally at peace and ease with myself because I fit in. It was easy to find people who looked like me, acted like me, who enjoyed the same things as me.” 

Danny Ramadan: Author and former Syrian refugee

“When I came to here to Vancouver this beauty of the city and this openness of it allows me to be exactly who I want to be. And at the same time hold on to my traditions and wear my Syrian colours proudly. To fit into this mosaic of a city.” 

Gavin Kade Somers: Out On Screen program coordinator and artist

"Every interaction I have with a young person, whether they be LGBTQ identified or not, by bringing my authentic self forward it inspires them to be their authentic selves and find compassion for folks who are different."  

Myriam Dumont: Teacher, Founder of Queer Families of Vancouver

“For us it was very special to be in a place where the barbershop  where [my partner] would get his haircut really welcomed him with open arms. For me it was a really wonderful experience to see a generation of older Italian men just embrace our family like that. It solidified my feelings about Vancouver as being this place that was welcoming of LGBTQ communities.”   

Orene Askew: DJ O Show

“For me two-spirited is basically when you have the male and female spirit inside of you. It’s almost an honour, a blessing, to have two spirits inside of you.”

Angus Praught & Daichan Nakagawa: Gayvan.com 

“We don’t have to wear the rainbow flag and go down to English Bay, we can just go there. We don’t have a movement, we’re part of the city.” 

Jen Sungshine: Love Intersections, Creative Director 

“The second year Queer Film Festival I remember specifically going to a screening a featured Taiwanese lesbians, it was a Taiwanese lesbian love story, and I remember being taken aback and shocked that I was represented on the big screen, to see that kind of recognition."