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Gay professionals in Banff and Canmore are not that common. So just how do they meet? Read on to learn about the story of Shane and Andy, two gay professionals in a committed relationship in Banff.
Eight years ago, Shane moved here for a great job opportunity. He was in a relationship at the time but the move to a different province was more than his relationship could take. Perhaps not surprisingly, he spent five years actively looking for someone to share his life with. “I wanted a partner to understand what I do and understand the importance of education. I also wanted to be with someone who wanted a family.”
Banff was the first small town Shane had ever lived in, although it was not a typical small town. “It’s really a global environment and I could be out here.” But it was hard for him to meet a gay man who was living here permanently and fit his criteria. “It’s challenging for gay and straight people to meet someone single in their thirties here.” Eventually he realized he would have to “import’ a partner and began online dating.
Andy was living and working in Calgary. “It was hard even in Calgary to find someone to click with,” Andy remarked. “I’m not a clubber, I was trying to move up in my corporation, and not many people were out at work. That prevented me from meeting other professionals. Finally, some women at work encouraged me to go on Plenty of Fish. I had to put myself out there.”
Andy also wanted a committed relationship. “I didn’t want a hook up. That’s not who I am. I wanted someone to speak intelligently with. I’m ambitious and I wanted to be with someone who was ambitious.”
Andy pursued Shane and eventually they moved in together in Banff. Andy reflected, “The culture here is more laid back. There’s more work/life balance. I felt less stigma here. I could be fully out at work right away. I felt like I could put down roots here.”
Seems like the rest is history. Shane and Andy are enjoying their three-year relationship. They plan to start a family. Both agree it’s “very very difficult to meet professionals, gay or straight, in the Bow Valley,” but they’re glad to have found each other.
Is it hard to meet gay professionals here? How about lesbian professionals?
*Shane and Andy gave the author consent to use their names.