Chatham-Kent Gay Pride Association is a grass-roots volunteer based not-for-profit that creates opportunities to celebrate, advocate, support, mentor, and educate to enhance the quality of life for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Chatham-Kent. CK Pride partners with community groups and creates alliances with social services. The Association believes tolerance is not enough and instead focuses on building justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. It envisions a community where all people across CK are empowered to participate in a culture that is safe, curious, compassionate and accessible inclusive of sex, gender and sexual identities.
In 2023, CK Pride opened Bill's Place, Community Space on 48 Centre Street in Chatham to serve as a community hub to support their mission and host supports, programming and other events. Bill's Place is named in honour of Bill Brokenshire, a former Chatham resident. When he died in 2018 Bill left a trust fund to CK Pride, recognizing the need to create a safe space for the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Bill's vision also included the creation of two apartments above the community space which are available for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ at market rates and provide the opportunity to rent the space for private functions. This rental income helps to offset the operating costs of the community space.
Some examples of ongoing programming hosted at Bill's Place includes binder & prosthesis clinics, name & gender ID change clinics, Out of the Closet gender affirming clothing exchange, community cupboard, Pride in Recovery Group, community lounge drop-ins, movie nights, hearing screenings, social groups for youth and adults, peer support, and community meals. Every August, following the Canadian tradition, CK Pride brings 2SLGBTQIA+ and Allies together for Pride Week which includes a flag raising, pub night, and the Pride Parade and Family Fest which includes vendors, performances, foam and water fun and yard games.