For 50 years, the group that owns and operates Q Nightclub and Lounge has been providing a safe place for 2SLGBTQ+ members to socialize.
The Gay and Lesbian Community of Regina (GLCR) was established in 1972 to provide a safe space for the 2SLGBTQ+ community in order to avoid persecution and attacks.
Fifty years later, GLCR president Cory Oxelgren said the social club is still serving that purpose.
“They can come here and be who they are and they feel safe and at home in this environment,” Oxelgren said.
The GLCR’s social club started out in a small house on Smith Street in 1972, according to Oxelgren.
Brian Gladwell, a long-time GLCR member, still remembers his first time going to that house.
He said he had to go through a vetting process before members would give him the social club’s address.
“They did say you can meet one of our members and if you look legit we’ll take you to the house,” Gladwell said.
Back then the club was largely hidden from the public to keep members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community safe.
“(Being a member) could have affected their employment, it could have affected their ability to rent an apartment and it could have affected their relationships with their families,” Gladwell said.
From Smith Street, the club moved into Rumors on Broad Street, before transitioning to Scarth Street Station in Regina’s Warehouse District.
“I remember going there. There was no signage, no lights and in fact, there were boards over the windows,” Oxelgren said.
The Gay and Lesbian Community of Regina moved its social club to 2070 Broad St. in 1999. (Allison Bamford/CTV News)
Eventually, GLCR decided to take down the boards and put up an awning. Oxelgren said many members expected the building to be targeted by vandalism and attacks. When that didn’t happen, the group gained the courage to move once again in 1999.
“We decided, ‘let’s do it right’ and we moved right downtown on Broad Street and had a giant rainbow sign outside our door, so everyone knew who we were and where we were,” he said.
Q Nightclub and Lounge has been in that location ever since. It is the only LGBTQ2S+ community-owned club in Canada, according to Oxelgren.
The club plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary in September.