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This Woman Turned a Antigay Street Preacher's Pulpit Into a Safe Space

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Xtra she remembers well the day in 2013 in the Old Strathcona district of Edmonton on the corner of 104 Street and Whyte Avenue when she was verbally assaulted by a man on a pedestal spewing hate into his microphone.

She told Xtra the moment, which she captured on video, of the man declaring that her rainbow hoodie was “the devil’s way of reaching out,” left her not just frightened for herself, but also others who were struggling with their identity and who might have heard the man’s hateful rantings and, even worse, taken them seriously.

Years later in early 2020, Pearen had a conversation with Corey Wyness, the director of OUTpost which provides safe spaces and services for queer youth in downtown Edmonton.

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