2SLGBTQ+ organization launches online directory for queer-friendly businesses in Waterloo Region

Scott Williams is the executive director of Spectrum, Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space.

Spectrum, the region’s Rainbow Community Space, recently launched Rainbow Pages online, a database of queer-owned and queer-friendly businesses, organizations, and institutions in Waterloo Region.

“2SLGBTQ+ people like to support businesses and organizations that are affirming and welcoming to us,” said Scott Williams, Spectrum Waterloo’s executive director.

The Rainbow Pages Directory was initially launched as a printed resource in 2014, he shared. A few years later, in 2021, the team published the directory in a new magazine format. The magazine format includes interviews with some of the organizations listed and a new edition was published in 2022.

“The online directory (was) launched recently,” Williams added.

The decision to move online was prompted by the need to allow new entries to be added throughout the year. The online database also helps to collect information about businesses in a space that is easy to access.

“The goal is to have a database to help 2SLGBTQ+ people find businesses and organizations that are supportive to the rainbow community,” he said.

Entries will be added to the database throughout the year and community members who have suggestions for organizations that should be listed can reach out to Spectrum via email at info@ourspectrum.com.

Business owners or staff who represent institutions who would also like their organizations to be included can create an account on www.ourspectrum.com. They can also make updates to their listings at any time.

A video tutorial with written instructions will take individuals through the process of using the directory and creating an account to be able to add a listing.

“We review all the listings to ensure that the organizations are truly welcoming to 2SLGBTQ+ people,” Williams explained.

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Jorge Oliveira

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