A gender diversity workshop at Mansons Hall on Cortes last week was the first of its kind, but an organizer said the attendance was low. 

“I was a little surprised at how it wasn’t better attended than it was, because I would think that anybody, aside from interest in supporting gender diversity… and decolonization, anyone who wants to work with the public in any capacity probably should have some kind of training in gender diversity,” Facilitator Connie Quayle noted.

The public event was funded by the Cortes Community Foundation through a microgrant and was free to attend. Quayle offered a similar, private workshop for Hollyhock employees earlier this year.

Quayle, a BC certified teacher, said that those that attended the public workshop, participated in a lively discussion.

“I love how sometimes the folks on this island can get so inspired and so curious and really do sink their teeth into topics when presented with them.”

Quayle described one of the reasons gender diversity is more and more visible in Canada.

“I’ve had my human rights as a trans person protected in BC now since 2016. A few years now,” Quayle said. “And so more of us are coming out because we have our human rights protected for the first time ever.”

Quayle has reached out to the Cortes Community Health Association (CCHA) and the Cortes Island School to offer her educational services in gender diversity. The educator hopes more businesses, schools, non-profits and families, will connect with her when seeking out local resources on gender diversity. She also runs a training model where private businesses can fund the workshop and make it available to both their employees and the general public.

To hear more about Connie Quayle’s workshop, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: