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Last December, my sister-in-law came to Calgary for Christmas and was feeling stressed about the high cost of living on the West Coast. Many longtime Calgarians have seen friends and family members leave for the greener pastures of Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, especially in the s when discrimination was more overt and the community was struggling in the wake of the AIDS crisis.

Young men in pickup trucks with baseball bats hunting for queers. You had to be careful.

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You had to watch your back. And driving away swaths of Calgarians LGBTQ, as well as their supporters means weakening the pool of people who make up the local workforce and make the city competitive for both economic investment and tourism dollars.

As more and more people left, the LGBTQ community contracted, shrinking the pool of like-minded friends and possible dates and prompting even more people to leave.

Also, the gay community was smarting because it was losing so many of its important voices in Calgary, as well as across the county. Best pubs calgary sexual health created a cultural backlash from the mainstream. But as a fourth-generation Calgarian, Allen had deep roots in Calgary and decided to stay.

Involved in both the feminist and gay rights movements, Miller says she was able to take on the activist role at the time because she found a job where she was able to be open about her identity. I was evicted from an apartment, though, when they found out we were lesbians. So it was really different.

T he most colourful illustration of how far Calgary has come is its annual Pride Parade. When Miller helped organize the first Pride rally 25 years ago, it was no more than about a hundred people gathering in a park wearing Lone Ranger masks which she stresses were worn as a political statement and not because they were trying to go incognito.

Calgary has also seen a number of institutional changes that signify major efforts to Best pubs calgary sexual health the city a safer and more inclusive place Best pubs calgary sexual health LGBTQ citizens.

Y outh education is another key area that outreach workers are looking at, and it may be the best sign of real measurable change in the city. According to documents compiled by the Calgary Sexual Health CentreLGBTQ youth are three to 10 times more likely to attempt or complete suicide than straight kids and 75 per cent of LGBTQ students and 95 per cent of trans students report feeling unsafe at school by comparison, only 20 per cent of straight youth say they feel the same.

As a result, many educators believe advocating for gay and trans kids as early as possible is the best way to help them grow to be healthy and happy adults. Kids are coming out at increasingly younger ages and are successfully lobbying for things like gender-neutral washrooms in high schools to accommodate trans and genderqueer youth, as well as any other kids who fear being bullied behind closed doors.

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