The end of April means the beginning of Pride. Guelph Pride. The annual event is meant to celebrate the Queer community in fun and inclusive ways as the push for universal acceptance continues to grow and be demanded of by both those who identify as LGBT and their allies. While no one in this country is trying to pass new laws about who can and who cannot use what bathrooms, don’t think the struggle isn’t still real, and one Guelph organization is pushing back 365 days a year.
Out on the Shelf, the library and resource centre for the LGBTQ+ community, is the organizer of Guelph Pride, but the other 51 weeks a year it focuses its efforts through the volunteer run centre. Started in 2003, Out on the Shelf came about at roughly the same time as Canada made gay marriage law. That almost feels like a lifetime ago, but as we learn in this week’s podcast with Brandon Kidd, Out of the Shelf’s library chair, his bookshelves are still some of the only ones designed to cater specifically to LGBT resources.
And it hasn’t always been all smooth sailing for Out on the Shelf. Just a couple of years ago it looked like there would be no more Out of the Shelf until facilities at 10 Carden St became available. Now thriving once again downtown, and getting ready to move with the rest of 10 Carden in a couple of months, Out on the Shelf is enjoying an albeit tenuous era of stability as it looks to the future, a new home, and new ways to serve the community.
I caught up with Brandon Kidd at Out on the Shelf earlier this week to talk about the library’s bumpy history, it’s evolution over the last 13 years, and where he’d like to see it go in the future. So let’s go to the podcast…
The theme music for Guelph Politicast is provided by Crazy Pills and their song “Break It Down” courtesy of Free Music Archive.
The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes here.
Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.
Stay tuned for future editions of the Guelph Politicast!