Queer Identities Week helps to bring the community together

Queer Identities Week helps to bring the community together

Events aim to create more safe and social spaces

Oct. 24 to 30 marked Queer Identities Week on campus—a week where LGBTQ+ resource groups organize events that focus on varying aspects of the community.

There were a number of events held throughout the week that aimed to provide support and resources. Some of these events included a red scarf knitting event in support of AIDS awareness; a femme flagging workshop with the Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity (GRCGED); a showing of the award-winning film Tangerine at Sunday Cinema; and a Meet the LGBTQ Profs night at the Bullring. Each of these events provided spaces for students to celebrate their identities while remaining in a safe and supportive environment.

For Thursday’s Meet the LGBTQ Profs Night, students were given the chance to mingle with professors who identify as part of the community. There was representation at the event from both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a variety of professors from programs such as English, anthropology, and computer science.

Students from many different programs had the unique opportunity to see their professors speak about their connection to the LGBTQ+ community.

The event was put on in partnership with a number of on-campus student groups, including OUTline; the Student Help and Advocacy Centre; Guelph Queer Equality; and GRCGED. The event was facilitated by Chelsea Mulvale who became part of the OUTline team this year.

In an interview with The Ontarion, Mulvale explained that OUTline is a “support service run through Student Life primarily for LGBTQ+ folks [where volunteers are] trained to know about different resources on campus and in the Guelph community.”

OUTline’s values were summarized by Mulvale to include peer support, sex positivity, anti-oppression, anonymity, and confidentiality.

One of OUTline’s main initiatives this year is to create more space for LGBTQ+ folks on campus.

“We realized that the community is somewhat fragmented and people don’t know where to find each other,” said Mulvale regarding the idea behind the event.

“You are not alone—and this event in and of itself shows that. We have professors, we have grad students, we have T.A.’s and other students that are LGBTQ who are out there [and] we’re working to make more spaces available so that you can find all of us.”

Mulvale believes that the creation of more space for LGBTQ+ folks on campus will help towards solving this issue.

In the future, OUTline hopes to bring back the beloved Rainbow ’Ring Tuesdays event at the Bullring, which offers a safe social space to meet fellow students and allies in the community. Mulvale also mentioned of the possibility of future events that could be held at Gryph’s, Brass Taps, or the Grad Lounge for LGBTQ+ students.

Photo by Victoria Kiely.