Storycatchers participant Gayle Roberts (second from right) with members of Etre, the youth space of Surrey/White Rock. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey LGBTQ project ‘a legacy’

Older adults and youth work together on anthology

By Jessie Blair, special to Peace Arch News

Personal stories of struggle can inspire other people and give them the courage to face their own battles.

This was the vision Neil Fernyhough, manager of community programs at Alexandra Neighbourhood House in Crescent Beach, had when he started the Storycatchers Project.

The project is producing an anthology that aims at reducing isolation among LGBTQ older adults by assisting them to relate their stories about growing into their LGBTQ identities during times when being LGBTQ was illegal.

The individuals who participate work with a gay-identified editor and will receive a copy of the book for free.

The LGBTQ youth have taken photos for the book, and have created the art for the book cover.

The anthology will serve as a legacy for the youth to be inspired and reassured on their own journeys.

“These are timeless issues,” Fernyhough said.

“Hopefully, the stories will serve as a reminder to the youth that there were generations of people before them who fought for the rights of LGBTQ people.

“We need to remain vigilant to maintain those rights.”

The anthology will be publicized through Etre, Qmunity and Alexandra Neighbourhood House. One hundred copies are to be printed and distributed by the end of April.

For more information about the project, contact Alexandra Neighbourhood House at 604-535-0015.

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