In bringing out the diversity of Western University's LGBTQ2+ community, some members opened up about themselves and a topic or perspective relating to the community. 

Sydney bio (Photo)

Sydney, Feb. 28, 2019.

Name: Sydney

Pronouns: She/her

Identity: Lesbian

Year/Program: First-year social science

What do you love about your identity?

I have been out since I was pretty young, and in the past, I’ve tried to put myself into a bunch of boxes I didn’t quite fit in. What I love about being a lesbian is that I don’t have to feel like I’m faking it or like I’m sacrificing part of who I am to try and comfort the people around me. I love the perspective that it has given me and the rich history that is shared by other lesbians and myself. To me, it just feels natural, and I think that kind of authenticity is worth celebrating.

Bre bio (Photo)

Bre, Feb. 28, 2019.

Name: Bre

Pronouns: They/them

Identity: Asexual, Aromantic

Year/Program: First-year Bachelor of Education

What would you say to someone trying to practice allyship toward the LGBTQ2+ community?

To someone trying to practice allyship, I would say, with the utmost kindness and respect, if you are uncertain or if you'd like to talk more about someone's identity, especially one that you've never heard of before, please first ask if they feel comfortable speaking to you about it. LGBT2QIA+ people are not encyclopedias, and Google exists for a reason. And honestly, this goes for any marginalized identity. Wanting to learn and know more is a wonderful and kind-hearted impulse, but please, don't try to educate yourself at the expense of others.

Lily bio (Photo)

Lily, Feb. 28, 2019.

Name: Lily

Pronouns: She/her

Identity: Queer trans woman

Year/Program: Fourth-year English and biology

What is your experience being LGBTQ2+ on campus?

Two years ago, when I first came to Western, I didn't know a single person, and I was worried about how I would be treated as a trans person early in my transition. Since then, I've become a leader in the Western queer community, accomplished so many things I never thought I could (including starting a queer magazine!), and felt so supported by this community the whole time. Being queer is hard, but being a part of this community makes it so much easier. That's why it's so important for us to celebrate each other.

Ash bio (Photo)

Ash, Feb. 28, 2019.

Name: Ash

Pronouns: She/her, They/them

Identity : Genderqueer/Transfemme, Panromantic

Year/Program: First-year studio art and psychology

Why do you think celebrating being LGBTQ2+ is important?

I feel by celebrating our queer identities and being visible, we are able to help destigmatize the hetero-normative ideas of queer culture. By destigmatizing who we are from these cis-hetero notions we can help those who are closeted define themselves and express themselves with no backlash from their peers.

Vivianne bio (Photo)

Vivianne, Feb. 28, 2019.

Name: Vivianne

Pronouns: They/them

Identity: Genderfluid

Year/Program: Second-year nursing

Why do you think celebrating being LGBTQ2+ is important?

Celebrating queerness is important to me because of those who have come before me, those who will come after me, and those who are with me. I stand on the shoulders of giants who have fought for me to exist, hence I celebrate by living my life with joy and pride. To continue the revolution, I celebrate by paving a safer road for future generations to not only exist, but to flourish. As for the LGBTQ+ people of today, I celebrate, for those who cannot.

Andrew bio (Photo)

Andrew Fraser, March 1, 2019.

Name: Andrew Fraser

Pronouns: They/them, He/him

Identity: Disabled agender and bisexual person

Year/Program: Fifth-year visual arts

Why do you think celebrating being LGBTQ2+ is important? How do you celebrate yourself and others in the LGBTQ2+ community?

LGBTQ+ acceptance and celebration is one facet of resisting systemic oppression, and the simple act of loving ourselves can be incredibly radical in a society that trains us to hate who we are. I celebrate my queerness through my artwork, my clothing, treating myself gently, and supporting folks around me whenever I can.

Sade bio (Photo)

Sade, March 1, 2019.

Name: Sade

Pronouns: They/them

Identity Bi/asexual

Year/Program: Fourth-year FIMS

Emma bio (Photo)

Emma, March 1, 2019.

Name: Emma

Pronouns: She/her

Identity: Queer/bisexual

Year/Program: Third-year social work at King's University College

What would you say to someone trying to practice allyship towards the LGBTQ2+ community and your identities?

Don't assume someone else's identity. For people who are bi or pan, it is frustrating when others assume you are gay or straight depending on your partner. There are more options out there outside of that binary.

Leah bio (Photo)

Leah, March 4, 2019.

First Name: Leah

Pronouns: She/Her

Identity: Queer

Year/Program: Final year at King’s University College — a double major in sociology and disability studies

What would you say to someone trying to practice allyship towards the LGBTQ2+ community?

Be conscious of how you impact people with your language and actions, particularly in 2SLGBTQ+ spaces. Ask questions if you need to, but please don’t use folks in the community like we’re your personal search engine. Google is your friend and is full of many great resources — utilize it!

Alyssa bio (Photo)

Alyssa, March 1, 2019.

First Name: Alyssa

Pronouns: She/her

Identity: Pansexual

Year/Program: Fifth-year bioinformatics

What is your favourite LGBTQ2+ memory?

My favourite queer memory is the first pride parade that I went to in Toronto in 2017. I remember getting all decked out in rainbows and glitter and finding a great spot to watch the parade with my friends. We got to see Justin Trudeau, and near the beginning of the parade, a really cute girl came up to me and put a heart sticker on my hand! I had just come out about a year before that and was still learning how to be comfortable with my identity. The whole experience was so positive and validating, and it was so encouraging to be there with my friends and so many other queer people who were all out supporting each other. Still one of the best weekends ever! 


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