The Welcoming Project


Sunshine Coast Pride Ride 2021

This is a self-led ride meeting all Covid-19 restrictions for all LGBT*QIA2S+ people on the Sunshine Coast. The ride will be held July 10, 2021. (If you are wanting a coffee beforehand at the Strait, please arrive earlier.)

You will receive a list of locations to visit over the following 2.5 hours at your own pace and in whichever order you prefer! You may ride with friends, but this is not a group ride due to Covid-19 restrictions.

We will meet at the beach across from the Bella Beach Inn and Gourmet Girl at 1:30 to wind things up. We have a limited number of Sunshine Coast Pride Ride shirts available by pre-order for $30, and a number of free handlebar pride hankerchiefs, on a first come first serve basis.

Picture of two motorcycles for the Sunshine Coast Pride Ride 2021

    Would you like to order a t-shirt?

    If yes, what size? (Shirt is unisex, additional tshirts can be ordered in any size from youth up to 5xl. Please note your size preferences in the 'what are you riding' box if you require a different size than what is shown below or ask before the ride start on the day of.

    Queer on the Coast

    The Sunshine Coast is a wonderful getaway destination for everyone – so long as you’re following all Covid-19 guidelines.

    Offering a distinctive location, which though close to Vancouver is a world away. A peaceful haven of rural coastal charm, yet full of a wide range of activities including a host of recreation and arts and culture opportunities. An ideal blend of old and new, innovative and yet still with that small town vibe.

    Pride Paddle 2012 with Talaysay Tours
    Pride Paddle with Candace Campo and Talaysay Tours, an Indigenous outdoor adventure company.

    What makes the Sunshine Coast particularly inviting for LGBT*QIA2S+ folk is its delightful social fabric, created with a tradition of embracing a very eclectic mix of people. Everyone can feel welcome and relaxed here. Watch out or you might want to move – many have!

    There are a wide range of tourist accommodation options available, many of which particularly welcome LGBT*QIA2S+ folks. Same goes for restaurants and recreation venues. I’m hard-pressed to think of any businesses that aren’t gay and lesbian-friendly.

    Sunshine Coast Pride 2018


    Sappho’s Circle – Closed mailing list with approximately 110+ members of lesbian/queer women/genderqueer). Inquire for details for how to join.

    My Coming Out Story

    by Editor/Publisher Laurie McConnell

    Laurie McConnell, super-gay
    I have lived on the Sunshine Coast for approximately 33 years, and have run for 20+ years.

    Actually, I can’t think of any businesses not gay-friendly that I’ve discovered in my long experience of living and working on the Coast. There may be a few, but I haven’t heard of them (tell me if you find any!).

    I came out as a gay woman 15 years ago, and as I am well-known in the community through this site and my volunteer work on various boards and organizations, my coming-out was quite public. To an individual, people in my broad personal and business/community networks were supportive.

    After coming out, I met and fell in love with a Vancouver woman and we made a life here, marrying in 2014 after seven years together. Unfortunately our marriage recently ended but while we were together we participated in many community events, whether they are GLBT focused or not. We attended elementary and high school functions for my two daughters, business award functions, community development meetings, and just plain social gatherings. My partner of the past four years, Susan Harman, and I, are also connected to the local women’s community on the Coast.

    While there isn’t a ‘gay area’ on the Sunshine Coast (here on the Lower Coast or in Powell River), all of our collected communities offer LGBT*QIA2S+ folks the opportunity to enjoy a Sunshine Coast getaway with a small-town flavour, where you can simply be yourselves.

    I won’t say there are never any negative remarks or discrimination, but they happen so rarely and are easily so overwhelmed by the kindnesses, inclusiveness and welcome by the community that they have not been a factor in the years I have been running this site.

    Update: having just come out as non-binary, or ‘enby’, I have experienced puzzlement and a lack of understanding around diversity of gender experience, including from within the LGBTQ community – I expect it to change!

    If you would like more information about visiting our region or moving here as a LGBT*QIA2S+ person or couple, please write me at