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555 Brewing Rev

Myles explores the RR program

By Myles Sexton/

Great Taste of Canada

Canada’s LGBT’s Chamber of Commerce and the Rainbow Registered accreditation program

When you exit your home, do you ever question your well being? Do you ever worry that you will be subject to unsolicited comments on the street, and referred to in derogatory terms? Do you fear that someone might misgender you? For many, the answer to these questions would be no, and this might not be something you have ever considered before.

For the 2SLGBTQIA+ community we often use the word “safe space.” Safe spaces are places where we know we can go to not be subject to harassment, or be putting our safety at risk. Canada’s LGBT’s Chamber of Commerce has fully launched their Rainbow Registered accreditation program. The Registry acts as a symbol of LGBT-friendly spaces across the country, which is very exciting. This helps so many people within our community navigate many moments that might cause them an overwhelming amount of anxiety or stress.

As someone who personally loves to travel a lot around Canada, when I leave the comfort of my city I am always trying to find safe spaces for me to visit, from restaurants, shops, or even tour companies. Though this sometimes can be hard to navigate, or access the information, It’s very exciting to see that the Rainbow Registered website can really be a streamlined portal for this information. I asked James Murphy, who is the executive director of RTO12 / Explorers Edge, why it is important to be a part of the Rainbow Registered accreditation program.

“It’s so that we truly understand the role we are playing in our community and have the tools to serve those that choose to join our environment,” he said. I couldn’t agree more with his response. We are all a part of a community when we run a local business, and we want to ensure that everyone feels safe and included.

Explorers edge
Photo credit: Rainbow Registered Guide

Another great example of a community really coming together to make an active change for inclusiveness is The Downtown Kingston BIA which serves over 700 members. The members are made up of property & business owners in the downtown Kingston core. I spoke with the Executive Director Marijo Cuerrier and was so impressed with their efforts to really lead with education for their 700 members. 

“For all members we offered a virtual 1-hour introduction to the 2SLGBTQIA+ market and Rainbow Registration so that they could think about and possibly act on going further in the process.” 

She also shared that “In our new website, there will be a page dedicated specifically for LGBT+ members to help connect them to resources in our community that may be of interest to them.” Also changing their bathroom signs to gender neutral icons are just some of the many amazing efforts they are taking within their organization after becoming a part of the Rainbow Registered family.

Photo credit: Rainbow Registered Guide

I lastly spoke with 555 Brewing who is located in Prince Edward County, Ontario about what have been the impacts since they signed up for the Rainbow Registry and how they made their business more inclusive after. 

“We are in the process of implementing a ‘zero tolerance’ harassment policy for our staff and customers,” said Natalie Wollenberg, Co- owner of 555 Brewing. “It means that if our staff are feeling threatened or harassed by a customer, we will eject them out of our business. It means our staff feel comfortable in their workplace, free of receiving abuse - which can be common in hospitality. It also goes for our customers, we will champion this zero tolerance policy for them as well. It is of utmost importance to make sure our customers love being in our space, feel relaxed and enjoy.

555 Brewing Rev
Photo credit: Rainbow Registered Guide
555 Brewing1 Rev
Photo credit: Rainbow Registered Guide

This is just the beginning and we are looking for so many businesses and communities to be a part of the Rainbow Registered accreditation program to help create safe spaces, and inspire change. If you work with the public as a plumber, restaurant, tourism agency, electrician, retail store, or any other business, please register today! 

Myles Canfar 6 rev
Photo credit: Rainbow Registered Guide

Myles Sexton is a Creative Director, Stylist, Makeup Artist HIV/AIDS and Sobriety Activist, and Queer Fashion Nomad, based in Toronto.

Myles’s editorial work has been featured in Vogue Italia, Elle, New York Times, and Fashion Magazine. Myles has worked with celebrity clients including Grace Jones, Maye Musk, Winnie Harlow, Nelly Furtado, Lights, and Emily Hanes of Metric.

Myles has worked for over 10 years acting as a spokesperson for brands including Canada Goose, Fenty Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kerastase, KVD Beauty, Ole Henriksen, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, Marc Jacob’s Beauty, Alterna Haircare, KMS Haircare, Centrum, Body Shop, Virgin Mobile, Package, Wuxly, Tip Top Tailor, Free People, BonLook, Amazon Prime Video, History Channel Vikings, Queens Plate.

This story has been adapted from an original article available at: