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LGBTQ+ In the City: An Introduction

This is the first installment exploring the LGBTQ+ community in Niagara

Hello readers! My name is Falynn Shaw, I’m a local singer/songwriter in my 30s who is proudly queer and very excited to start this column for the LGBTQ+ community in Niagara Falls, Ontario! I would say it’s about time that we had a voice, wouldn’t you?
Unfortunately, we as a community do not have any exclusively LGBTQ+ bars or restaurants in the area, but, I’m hoping that changes in the near future.

I would like to start off by sending a special thank you and shout out to Pride Niagara for everything they do for the community, such as a dance night at the last Saturday of each month held at Detour Music Hall on St. Paul St. in St. Catharines, Ontario. They also put on “Pride in the Park” at Montebello Park in St Catharines as well. The City of Niagara Falls also does a Pride flag raising at the beginning of Pride month in June, and an illumination of the Niagara Falls. All of these things are absolutely amazing, and if have any questions or you want any information please check out Pride Niagara on Facebook for more details. The efforts of Pride Niagara and their volunteers are greatly appreciated by our community!

Now to get to the big reason we wanted to start this section of the paper. Niagara Falls as a city needs a community; not just for our amazing locals but for the millions of tourists that come and visit every year. How can we be one of the most well-known cities in all of the world, including one of the most popular places to honeymoon, and not provide anything for LGBTQ+ individuals that comes to visit our great city of Niagara Falls? I know I’m not the only person that has asked this question. I’m sure a lot of the people that visit the city are quite perplexed as well. That needs to change. Some of my best memories were of going to the old Rendezvous nightclub in St Catharines, or the Embassy Nightclub in Hamilton, and also to Club Envy which, though not open very long, was an amazing place to party. Other notables included the Breeze Bar, The Niche and the Glow Night Club.

Now, I realize I don’t speak for everyone, but, when it comes to adult members of the community trying to navigate the local dating scene it’s… not great. We rely strictly on online dating apps instead of actual social experiences. For those of you that have not had to experience online dating, I’m very happy for you, but you need to understand for those of us that are experiencing it, we need more. We need something. We need a place where we can congregate every weekend and socialize. I built so many lasting friendships while hanging out at LGBTQ+ establishments and I want the next generation to be able to experience what I experienced. We need a consistent place that we can go as a community and feel comfortable and safe. It is very important to be able to socialize with individuals that are understanding, and more importantly, just like you.

I hope this article helps people realize what our community goes through because there just isn’t enough out there. I want to bring awareness to the fact that there’s a large group of people that are definitely felling like they are missing out.

I hope you enjoyed the first edition of LGBTQ+ In The City, and there is definitely more to come, so stay tuned!

Also feel free to email The Sound if you have any LGBTQ+ news you want us to share or any events that are going on in the area.
Until next time readers. Be kind to yourself!

One Comment

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  1. There was a small gay bar at victoria and Bridge about 5 years back. I used to go there alone and just chat and dance. He finally had to close it. Neighbours complaining and no clientelle.

    I was part of 519 in Toronto and walked in the first Pride parade…only a few hundred then. Also lived in the village, College and Church and LOVED IT.

    St. Catharines does well as does Pride Niagara but good luck with Niagara Falls…so homophobic. I know, it was that way when I left ions ago and since I came back, 20 years now…It has not changed. (I am 76). It seems only a few musicians and artists are welcoming but everyone else is pathetic and has their heads up their asses. Guess they think we are all contageous…LOL. My “gaydar” picks up on all the professionals etc who are hidden/still closeted. They would all be shunned and some lose their jobs. Yes, it is still that bad here. Those of my friends who are with it, I tell them I’m not sure but I may be one of the oldest Fag Hags still living….LOL. GOOD LUCK WITH THIS. I am sure Pride Niagara will tell you the same.

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