A documentary series focused on the LGBTQ+ community in smaller towns is including a section about Fort McMurray.
Three residents were featured in an episode of ‘Small Town Queer’ where they documented their day-to-day lives, challenges, and triumphs living in the heart of the oilsands.
Cindy Rivers has lived in the community for over 15 years and recently came out as transgender.
She tells Mix News she continues to face many struggles from acceptance to finding a job.
“One of the interviews I went to when I showed up and introduced myself, the guy just looked me up and down and said ‘no, we’re gonna go with somebody else’ and just asked me to leave.”
Mitchel Bowers lives two lives – one as an oilsands worker and the other as Drag Queen Simma Downe.
Simma has been working on erasing barriers for the LGBTQ+ community since moving to the region, which includes reading to children in drag at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library through the program ‘Story Time at the End of the Rainbow.’
While the documentary focuses a lot on his time in Wood Buffalo, Bowers says it also takes a more personal turn
“I’ve had some big issues with family acceptance, so we also dive into that. We also touch on trying to date in this town.”
Overall, Rivers and Bowers note the majority of people living in the community are very supportive, however, they are some bad apples.
“It’s no different than any other cities that I’ve been to of this size – there’s a lot of hate but there’s also a lot of love and I think we’re gonna find that pretty much everywhere,” added Rivers.
‘Small Town Queer’ is currently available for people to watch.