Each June, Pride Month recognizes and honours the experiences and history of Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual (2SLGBTQQIA+) and other identities and communities and celebrates the positive impacts 2SLGBTQQIA+ people have had around the world.
May 31, 2023
Wilfrid Laurier University aims to create safe and equitable campuses for all 2SLGBTQQIA+ members of its community. The university will celebrate Pride Month with a series of educational and inclusive events, some of which are highlighted below.
Flying the Progress Pride flag represents Laurier's commitment to honouring the identities, experiences, and contributions of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community and its continuing struggle for social, political and economic equality, as well as the university’s commitment to the inclusion of First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Black and racialized voices in 2SLGBTQQIA+ and other equity initiatives.
The Progress Pride flag, designed by American non-binary artist Daniel Quasar in 2018, is an evolution of the original Rainbow flag created by artist Gilbert Baker in 1987. The Progress Pride flag includes black and brown chevrons to represent marginalized and racialized communities, individuals living with HIV and those lost to AIDS, while the pink, light blue and white chevrons represent the colours of the Transgender Pride flag.
"I am grateful to the many faculty, staff, students and alumni at Laurier who work to build a more inclusive community through research, education, support and advocacy."
Deborah MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University.
All events listed are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Additional events may be added throughout the month. Visit the university event calendar throughout June.
Pride and joy will take over Laurier’s Instagram account on June 1 and June 22. On June 1, tune in to learn more about Pride programming and 2SLGBTQQIA+ resources and supports at Laurier. On June 22, follow along to celebrate the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community and its contributions.
Laurier and Luther students are invited to visit the Pride DIY Fair for all things crafty, colourful and rainbow! Stations include T-shirt tye-dying, button making, face paint and temporary tattoos. Community organizations will also booth on site.
The Office of the Associate Vice-President: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion invites all members of the Laurier community to an online screening of Drama Queens. The film is a creative revision of four tales from history, myth and legend featuring gender-bent adaptations of Handel's Agrippina, Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah, Purcell's Dido and Cilèa’s Adriana Lecouvreur. Open to everyone.
As part of the Inspiring Conversations online webinar series, Laurier researchers Percy Lezard and Charlie Davis discuss topics ranging from pronoun use to gender-inclusive policies, all grounded in scholarship and lived experiences. Open to everyone.
For two years in a row, Laurier's Brantford campus has hosted Winter's a Drag community event — a colourful and vibrant celebration of self-expression and inclusion featuring performances by professional drag artists, artist meet-and-greets and prize giveaways.
Everyone has the right to use the washroom in accordance with their lived gender identity and/or gender expression.
As part of the Inclusive Washroom Initiative, Laurier has installed signage at gender-specific, multi-user washrooms intends to further increase the inclusiveness of spaces – indicating that Laurier respects and supports everyone’s right to choose a washroom based on how they identify and present.
Laurier’s Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (CSEDI) works to cultivate a culture on campus that respects and promotes equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and social justice in all aspects of Laurier – from classrooms to residence communities.
Through CSEDI, Laurier students have access to resources related to gender and sexuality through personal support and education.
Our student services offer safer spaces for students and their allies who identify with 2SLGBTQQIA+, women-centred, Indigequeer and gender-inclusive communities.
A gift to CSEDI helps the centre continue to grow to better meet the needs of Laurier's increasingly diverse student population and deliver educational programming across both campuses. It helps connect students with accessibility resources, mental health supports, EDI education and affirming care and makes much-needed updates to offerings like multi-faith prayer and communal gathering spaces.
In this video resource, conversations between 2SLGBTQQIA+ students, staff and faculty at Laurier aim to bridge the generational gap within the queer community through discussion about their experiences and learnings.
Queering Our Learnings is produced by the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management's Consent is Golden Initiative, the Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Queer Sphere and the Rainbow Centre.
During her time at Laurier, fourth-year Law and Society student Neha Verma fostered community through her work with the Laurier Brantford Queer Sphere and her research on the use of queer performance art as a tool for political resistance.
She felt uplifted by queer artists who channeled their oppression into drag and parody, using humour and eroticism to resist bigotry.
“Many of us see hate and feel defeated by it, but these artists took something painful and turned it into something that they could build community around," says Verma. "It’s inspiring to see an alternative way to respond collectively.”
As she prepares to graduate, she reflects on how research and advocacy enhanced her student experience at Laurier.
"Moving On," co-written and co-directed by fourth-year Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) student Catherine Zhang, received the Best First-Time Filmmaker Award at the Cannes Shorts Festival
The 16-minute film explores themes of homophobia and differing cultural values, which resonate with Zhang. She came out to her parents at around age 16, a difficult experience due to their pre-existing values.
Zhang’s parents immigrated to Canada from China, and it was difficult for them to understand this aspect of her identity.
“There's a lot to unpack with generational trauma," says Zhang. "Anyone with immigrant parents will experience it — the contrasting cultures and the differences in growing up."
“But time really helped with a lot of things,” says Zhang, noting her father now makes casual comments that indicate her family understands.
Laurier is proud to highlight some of its students and faculty members studying issues that affect Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning individuals and communities.
Laurier experts are available to speak about the contributions of 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals and communities, discrimination against 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities, community health and related topics.
Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies
Lezard co-authored the 2SLGBTQQIA+ Sub-Working Group’s National Action Plan: Final Report, which calls for better access to housing, health and social services, and the introduction of culturally appropriate, trauma-informed counselling for victims.
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work
Khan's research is dedicated to improving family relationships and access to health and social services for sexually and gender-diverse Muslims living in Canada. Khan received the 2021 Emerging Community-Based Researcher Award from Community-Based Research (CBR) Canada for her efforts.
Through community-based approaches, Laurier researchers in the Faculty of Social Work are working to advance health equity, policy, well-being, and inclusion for 2SLGBTQ+ community members and their families.
The 11th episode of Research Chat's Season 2 features Tin Vo, an equity-focused researcher, public health practitioner and doctoral student in the Faculty of Social Work at Laurier, is interviewed by Rosemary Dupuis, a human rights advocate and feminist pursuing her doctoral degree in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University.
Vo and Dupuis discuss how people who do not share dominant identities within 2SLGBTQ+ communities experience 2SLGBTQ+ leisure spaces.
Guy Milner (MSW '91) and his husband have established the Milner-Helfrick Award in Social Work for graduate students who self-identify as members of a protected group on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, sexual identity and/or sexual orientation.
Laurier is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion as part of its core values, and understands that the effective creation and dissemination of new knowledge must take place in an academic community that recognizes the dignity and value of each and every one of its students, staff and faculty members.
The Strategic Plan for EDI makes a number of recommendations for building a more inclusive and equitable community at Laurier. The recommendations are grouped thematically based on nearly two years of extensive consultations with key stakeholder groups. | Read More
Humera Javed holds the role of equity case work and support coordinator to provide equity-focused support to students, staff, and faculty experiencing systemic and interpersonal forms of harm, which disproportionally impact those from equity-deserving groups. | Read More
Vanessa Oliver will be responsible for leading and implementing initiatives that promote EDI across Laurier and will work closely with all members of the Laurier community to ensure the university is fostering an environment that is respectful, supportive and welcoming to everyone. | Read More