A 2SLGBTQ+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer) weekly social has been taking place every Wednesday evening at Brandi’s Kitchen and Bar since November 2022.
The social is organized by the Brantford Pride Committee and offers a weekly safe space for those within the 2SLGBTQ+ community to get together, meet new people and catch up.
All ages are welcome, from those with kids to older adults, the atmosphere is a family friendly chance to mingle.
The Brantford Pride Committee picked Brandi’s as it was an LGBTQ+ friendly space and it wanted to be able to support a local business that welcomed their community.
When the 2SLGBTQ+ weekly social first started up, it had ten people show up, the next time – 20 people – the number kept adding up as they held more events.
These days, the numbers fluctuate every week though Brantford Pride Committee member, Jacqui Fendley, spoke about how important it was to keep the event going for those who rely on that weekly event to connect.
“No matter what, there will always be someone here to welcome and interact with guests, unless we cancel for weather,” she said.
Fendley mentioned that when they started the event, it was important to have a place that would be accepting and welcoming of the 2SLGBTQ+ community of all ages.
“We’re just trying to find what the community wants because older, more mature queers were raised in an age where it was illegal to be out in public together. So, we just decided we would start here. Brandi’s is new and we knew she was queer positive, so we thought we’d come and support her. It’s accessible, it’s accessible as far as the bus stop and everything.”
After the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that the community needed a shared space to gather in. The City can often lack spaces for certain communities, and for Fendley it was important to get something going, even if it didn’t exist before.
“We thought that you know it’ll give the community access to getting together because of COVID everyone was so isolated,” said Fendley. “And because the community is at risk in general terms of isolation, and I think COVID was hard, it’s been important to have a space to communicate and meet new people.”
The weekly social is every Wednesday night at Brandi’s Bar and Kitchen and starts at 6:00 p.m., all ages are welcome and it is pay-your-own for food and drinks.