Greater Napanee Pride launches new ‘safe spaces’ business directory

Photo by Tim Mossholder.

A new initiative highlighting businesses that provide safe spaces for all, irrespective of their sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expression, has launched in Greater Napanee.

Greater Napanee Pride, an organization known for its efforts towards creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Napanee, has announced the new initiative. Businesses listed in this directory will not only cater to a broader audience, but also demonstrate their commitment to creating a non-judgmental and respectful environment, according to a release from the organization, which indicated the initiative was born out of demand.

“In response to community requests, particularly from those engaged in the wedding industry and beyond, Greater Napanee Pride has initiated this directory to help the community easily identify businesses that value and uphold the principles of inclusivity and acceptance,” the organization stated.

To join the directory, businesses are required to read and agree to a declaration that underscores their commitment to inclusivity, acceptance, respect, and ongoing education regarding the diverse identities within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. According to the release, the declaration also includes a pledge to use inclusive language, respect individuals’ chosen names and pronouns, and foster an environment that celebrates diversity.

“Businesses that make this pledge showcase their dedication to creating a safe, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment, providing services with dignity, empathy, and respect,” Greater Napanee Pride stated. “Any actions, comments, or behaviours that could cause discomfort, harm, or exclusion based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression are unacceptable in these organizations.”

Greater Napanee Pride invites all businesses in Lennox and Addington County that share these values to join this initiative. The application form is available on the Greater Napanee Pride website, where the full directory can also be viewed by the public. The organization noted that the listing is valid for a year, after which businesses will be asked to renew their commitment.

“We’re delighted by the incredible support shown by local businesses during Pride 2023. This new directory serves as an extension of that support, offering businesses an opportunity to showcase their dedication to inclusivity throughout the year,” the organization shared.

“By joining our directory, businesses are given an opportunity to show their customers and the wider community that they are safe and inclusive spaces for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This initiative is another step towards our mission of fostering inclusivity and acceptance within the Greater Napanee area and beyond.”

For more information about the business directory or to join, please visit www.greaternapaneepride.com.

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