“I do identify as a trans person, which is part of the reason that got me thinking about this years ago,” shared Ethan Jackson, one of three co-founders of Plan B Co-operative. “Whenever we need binders or packers, or ethical harnesses, or anything related to being trans and our reproductive bodies or sexuality, we basically tell our own community to go find community in other cities or towns. So how can we build our own community here?”
That need for community and space is what sparked Jackson, Samantha Estoesta, and Mary Ferguson, alongside a growing team of supporters to work together to create a community project in Kitchener-Waterloo that will see the development of a queer community space by queer folks for queer folks.
“We’re not all just at-risk people, even though it’s a very predominant aspect of queerness – but there aren’t a significant number of spaces where you can just be, or hang out – unless it’s centred around alcohol – like a gay bar,” explained Jackson. “Where is there a place where we can just go and hang out and drink coffee and make zines and do our artwork or whatever you want?”
What started out as a longing for a feminist sex toy store has morphed into the desire to create an inter- sectional trifecta of support for the queer community. Plan B, which has established itself as a non-profit worker co-operative without share capital, will focus on creating a space for all members of the queer community to establish roots in the downtown core. The space will support a coffee shop, a people’s photocopier and zine library, and sex toy store. Any profits generated will be used to pay staff a living
wage with additional funds being set aside to be granted to members who may need financial assistance.
In order to make this space a reality in downtown, the co-op has launched a campaign on Patreon to give individuals the option to donate money or other resources.
“At this stage we need funding,” said Jackson. “We need allies and community supporters to financially support our Patreon campaign. We’re obviously applying for grants and funding, but that’s still up in the air since it depends on what kind of program you’re running and what space you have.”