I'm fairly social in the LGBTQ2S+ community, and I’ve noticed that MacEwan’s name comes up as one of the top places in western Canada when people talk about which universities have the best Pride events. At the same time, as a student here I can see ways we can improve and work to make our community feel safer.
I found a really good group of friends through InQueeries, and this year I got really involved – I marched in the parade and one of my profs asked me to be a panelist at an event talking about inclusion and intersectionality at MacEwan. I never imagined doing something like that, but I learned a lot and noticed one important point that kept coming up in different ways: tolerance isn’t enough … the priority needs to be acceptance. We need to celebrate people so they feel comfortable in who they are regardless of their identities.
But inclusion is going to require more diverse voices – not just people who look like me. I’m a trans man who has had a lot of privilege in his life and that means that people tend to listen to me. We need to include voices of queer people of colour or people who have disabilities and also happen to be gay. The only way our future will be inclusive is if we’re all learning together.
That means we’re going to have some awkward and uncomfortable conversations, but we need to have them to make room for learning. A good place to start is by asking people you know in the community how you can be a good ally and what that might look like. For some people, it could mean asking someone for their pronouns when you meet them. That can foster a sense of safety. If you’re curious about someone’s identity, ask them if they’re comfortable discussing their identity with you. Tell them you’re curious to learn. Ask them to describe it to you. But before you ask questions, make sure to think about whether they’re questions you would like to be asked.
Pride Week can be a time when people feel like they can question their identity. It’s a time to be self-reflective – and that’s a really positive thing I think we could all do more of.
– Blair, 2nd year student, Social Work
Pride Week in Photos
Take a colourful look back at how we marched, shared, supported and dressed in our best drag
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.