Health Initiative for Men (HiM) is heading to Kelowna to raise awareness of the importance of accessible queer and trans healthcare. The B.C.-based initiative aims to provide accessible health services for LGBTQ2S+ communities across the province. (Photo: Health Initiative for Men)

B.C.-based initiative to highlight LGBTQ2S+ health services during Kelowna Pride Week

Health Initiative for Men is hosting two events in Kelowna this week

A B.C.-based non-profit organization is amping up its advocacy efforts in the Okanagan for Pride Week.

Health Initiative for Men (HiM) is heading to Kelowna to raise awareness of the importance of accessible queer and trans healthcare. The B.C.-based initiative aims to provide accessible health services for LGBTQ2S+ communities across the province. It also tries to provide accessible queer and trans sex education through its More Than Sex initiative, an online resource that helps queer and trans people navigate safe sexual activities and LGBTQ2S+ culture.

HiM will be hosting booth and handkerchief code event at Friends of Dorothy Lounge in downtown Kelowna on Thursday, Oct. 28 and Friday, Oct. 29 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Handkerchief codes, also known as hanky codes, were often used by gay men in the 1960s and 1970s to covertly inform others of their sexual interests during a time when being gay was dangerous. They have since seen a resurgence, providing a way for LGBTQ2S+ folks to make connections through soft introductions.

HiM will also be one of many vendors at the Pride Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30. The festival will be held at the Rotary Commons, the park right outside the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Patrons will not be required to show their vaccine passports but are strongly encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“Health Initiative for Men is committed to strengthening diversity and inclusion within its own organization and across the province of British Columbia,” said former HiM executive director Greg Oudman.

Those interested in HiM and its various initiatives are encouraged to visit the More Than Sex website for more information.

READ MORE: Kelowna LGBTQ2S+ advocates accuse city council of performance activism


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