Pride Pen Pals

As we continue to reimagine our Queer Pride Festival this June, we have been looking for new ways to celebrate who we are and to connect across our communities. 

Turns out sometimes, looking for new ways leads you to… old ways.   

Remember handwriting, envelopes, and stamps? 

In the spirit of our analogue Pride programming this June, Buddies is offering an old-school pen pal matching program.

While there’s currently an unprecedented amount of digital and virtual opportunity for meeting online (and we are grateful for the ways technology is keeping us connected at this time), we want to explore some alternative-to-digital ways to forge connections and new relationships between queer folx, across generations.   

We are looking for queers from across Canada—artists, audience members, club goers, retirees, arts workers, community leaders, old or young —who would welcome the chance to write a letter (or maybe a few), and get to know someone through an exchange through the mail. A chance to share some thoughts or memories about what Pride means to you, now, or before; a chance to exchange some queer life stories and experiences, to write about what things are like right now for you. 

Participants will be matched up with each other to become snail-mail pen pals, sharing letters back and forth. We will prioritize (unless you indicate otherwise) matching people across generational lines. 

I’ve found that the medium has given me a unique opportunity to think about myself and my story, how I present who I am and my journey to date. It’s been a real opportunity for self reflection, as well as a new friendship. I’m excited for it to continue.”

– Ian, Guelph, ON

The details

  • Our initial round of matches went out on May 25, 2020, so depending on request volume, it may take us a bit of time to find you a match.
  • We’ll start by introducing you to your pen pal via e-mail, and welcome you to exchange mailing addresses as you feel comfortable.

Your name and e-mail address will only be shared with your pen pal and with Buddies in Bad Times.

Please fill out this form to participate.

If getting to a mailbox, or access to stamps is an issue, please indicate that on the form, and we will be glad to help. If you have any questions, please reach out to Stephanie Malek at


Pride Pen Pals is brought to you by Buddies’ ongoing Youth/Elders Projects, dedicated to connecting queer folks across generations (previous projects include The Youth/Elders Project stage production (2016/17), the Youth/Elders Podcast (2017/18), and our on-going “In Conversation” series (2018/19 – present).