Network hosts ‘Spring Fling’ social March 13
Natalie Hamilton

About 20 years ago while participating in Pride activities in Toronto, Sterling James saw something he didn’t like that has motivated him to make the world a better place for people who have a developmental disability.

A group of people with developmental disabilities were essentially shunned by the other Pride participants. Since then, Sterling has made it his purpose to ensure people who have a developmental disability and are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer and two-spirited (LGBTQQ2S) are welcomed into the community.

“I’m essentially a gay male passionate about working with this population and now we have a forum,” says Sterling, a member of the Rainbow Discovery Alliance and a manager at the Spectrum Society for Community Living.

“It’s so important” people who have a developmental disability and are LGBTQQ2S have a space of their own, he says, noting the general community is “much more open” then it was two decades ago.

Enter the Rainbow Discovery Alliance, a support network for LGBTQQ2S people who have a developmental disability.

The Rainbow Discovery Alliance is hosted by posAbilities and includes allies from Spectrum Society for Community Living, Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion, Lighthouse of Hope Christian Fellowship, Vancouver Coastal Health, Qmunity and others.

The group is holding a Spring Fling dinner March 13 at 6 p.m. at the Fountainhead Pub on Davie Street in Vancouver.

“I’m hoping we have a pretty good turnout,” Sterling says.

Anyone interested in LGBTQQ2S issues and their allies are welcome to attend.

Sterling expects the evening will be social, with the opportunity to get together and chat. “We’re trying to increase awareness (about the network). It’s starting to grow.”

He says the Alliance is still in the stages of defining its purpose and determining next steps.

For instance, there are a variety of upcoming Pride festivals, along with a gay film festival in the summer, which present the opportunity for participation.

“There’s a lot of stuff in Vancouver and we need to explore more,” Sterling says.

For more details on the dinner, click here.

For more details about the Alliance, call 604-299-4001, e-mail rainbow(at) or visit the Alliance’s Facebook page.

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