Members of Destinations go hiking

I first met Dean Ellerbusch while attending a community summit hosted by The Inland Northwest LGBT Center in Spokane, Washington and later, at Chairs Coffee, a locally gay owned coffee shop where we talked about his arrival to Spokane, and his struggle-some search to find social connections within Spokane’s LGBTQ Community.

Last August, my good friend Stephen Scott and I went hiking on Mt. Spokane. While we walked the well-traveled path, we talked about how in the two to three years each of us lived in Spokane neither of us felt integrated into its LGBTQ Community. We remembered the abundance of social activities and friend making opportunities present in the other cities in which each of us had previously lived. Our discussion prompted us to create a social group for ourselves and others in Greater Spokane.

With the assistance of likeminded visionaries, we held a meet and greet that November. Attendees shared what activities interested them and with that information we began offering social opportunities beginning with a successful potluck in December. Each arriving with delectable dishes, folks of differing genders and sexual orientations entered into conversations with others they had never met. A large circle formed and that diverse group of individuals engaged each other in a positively inspirational way!

By the end of 2010, our social group became Destinations.

We’ve sought new and exciting activities to allow interpersonal relationships to flourish, offering six activities five days of every week including:

  • Walks in Riverfront Park
  • Hikes on local trails
  • Game nights
  • Bocce Ball in Manito Park
  • Movie nights
  • Conditioning workouts in Coeur d’Alene Park

Additionally, we encourage participation in other Community events.

We don’t turn anyone away based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and are welcoming of heterosexual allies. In doing so, we’re providing avenues of greater understanding within the LGBT Community and the general population. Using social settings, we’re able to learn about and accept the differences of those in our own Community, allowing us to overcome our own ignorance and prejudice. Our truly inclusive social group provides everyone opportunities to overcome preconceived ideas they may have about each other.

There is plenty of interest in what we’re doing and the future of Destinations looks promising. Our hope is that the number of people taking advantage of each free event will increase exponentially. Making friends is a great way to educate ourselves about those that differ from us. So come join us, have some fun, and make new friends.

To learn more about Destinations, visit our Facebook Page: “Destinations” of Spokane. You’re welcome to contact me, Dean Ellerbusch, at 509/328-3892. You can also Email us at

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Posted In: News & Events, News & Events, Washington