I feel very alone as a lesbian in Guelph, are there any places I can make some friends in the LGBT community?
Hi there, I’m glad you asked this question!
I think a lot of us LGBT*Q+ people in Guelph can feel isolated and lonely, especially if we’re not connected to people, groups or organizations that cater to us. Fortunately, there are lots of great places in our city for queer folks to connect and make friends.
Where you’ll feel most comfortable will depend on you, but I’d encourage you to check out a few different places and supports to see what fits.
Below, I’ve listed a tonne of different places, groups, and resources that you might find interesting. Do some research and check out the ones that sound the most appealing. It can be hard reaching out to new places and people, but if you go at your own pace and do what feels right, you might find that you’ll make some great connections.
In the mean time, consider leaning on friends, family, and allies to ease your sense of isolation. They may not ‘get it’ the way an LGBT*Q+ person would, but my hope is that they can still give you some support in a time of loneliness.
If you don’t have supportive friends or family, or you’re having a hard time deciding which resource might be best for you, you can always give us a call. Our trained volunteers are queer identified U of G students and alumni who have been there, and they’d be happy to talk to you about whatever’s on your mind. We’re open tonight from 6pm-9pm, give us a call at 519-836-4550.
Queer-friendly spaces and resources…
At the University of Guelph
Guelph Queer Equality
GQE is a primarily a social club on campus that operates out of the UC on the 2nd floor. It’s run by volunteers and hosts socials every week on Tuesday evenings, you can find more information about the socials by contacting email@example.com or checking out their facebook page. Their office offers a small lending library and is comfy and safe space to hang out in.
Guelph Resource Centre Gender Emporwerment and Diversity
GRCGED is all about empowering people all over and outside the gender spectrum; they advocate for anti-oppression from a feminist framework. While not exclusively queer or LGBT*Q+ oriented, a lot of queer identified folks are involved with GRCGED so you’d be likely to meet cool lesbians and otherwise LGBT*Q+ identified individuals. They have a comfy and safe lounge space located on campus on the first floor of the University Centre where you can socialize, chat, and access their extensive feminist library. They also offer workshops relating to gender equity, trans issues and anti-oppression.
CampOUT is a confidential peer support group which may be a good place to meet people and make friends if you’ve just come out, are questioning, or just concerned about confidentiality. It’s student driven and meets on a weekly basis in a confidential location. For more information, contact CampOUT at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUTline is responsible for maintaining this blog, but our main function is actually to offer non-judgemental peer support through our phoneline. You can always give us a call if you’d like to talk to someone, but if you’re looking to make friends and contribute positively to your community, why not get involved? We’re currently looking for compassionate and empathetic U of G students and alumni to help keep operate our peer support phone line. Volunteering with OUTline gives you the opportunity to learn and build valuable communication and helping skills while making connections with other queer-identified student volunteers.
If you’d like to chat, give us a call on Mondays, from 3:30-6pm, Wednesdays, from 6-9pm, or Fridays, from 1-3pm at 519-836-4550 .
If you’re interested in volunteering, fill out an application and send it to me, Liz Martin, at email@example.com.
If you’re interested in other volunteer opportunities that will put you in the path of passionate queer and allied students, look into SpeakOUT! A program that runs out of the the Wellness Centre, SpeakOUT brings together LGBT*Q+ students and allies in educating and confronting homophobia and transphobia on campus through awareness programming. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how to get involved.
In the Guelph/Wellington Community
Out on the Shelf
Also known as OOTS , this queer and allied volunteer-run resource library located downtown may be another space to check out. While they’re not primarily a social organization, OOTS does offer a safe and comfy space to hang out and they often host social events, such as the movie night later this month. If you’d like to visit, check their current hours online. You may want to call ahead before visiting to make sure they are open though, being volunteer-run means sometimes shifts can’t be covered. You can also check out their calendar to see what else is coming up.
Qlinks.ca is a web portal created by the AIDS Committee of Guelph/Wellington meant to unite LGBTIQQ2+ organizations and events. At Qlinks you’ll find a comprehensive events calendar that will give you the low-down on where to meet people and connect.
Guelph Pride exists to organize annual events to celebrate and bring together Guelph’s Queer community, their friends, and allies of all ages in safe, welcoming environment. They’ll be hosting the very first ever Winter Pride Festival at the beginning of February, stay tuned for more information!