Advocating for the 2SLGBTQ+ community

Inclusive community

Advocating for the 2SLGBTQ+ community

Queen鈥檚 Yellow House Student Centre for Equity and Inclusion is helping students find an inclusive community during Pride Month and throughout the year.

By Communications Staff

June 11, 2024


Yellow House Pride sign making event

A student holds up their sign for the Kingston Pride Parade outside Yellow House during the recent Pride sign making event on campus.

The Yellow House Student Centre for Equity and Inclusion at Queen鈥檚 University supports 2SLGBTQ+ students throughout the year with programming and resources that help them feel at home on campus. For Pride Month, a time of celebration and protest for the 2SLGTBQ+ community, Yellow House will be helping students and people from across Queen鈥檚 and Kingston mark this significant time of year.

鈥淎mong the joy, celebration, parties, and rainbows of Pride is a recognition of queer history and activism, those who have fought for what we have, the roots of Pride as a protest, and a continued call to action for allies and queers with privilege to stand with us year round to advocate for our whole community,鈥 says Kel Martin, Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor, Yellow House. 鈥淲e must come together to advocate for human rights: access to housing, food, healthcare, jobs, and safety for all members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, especially youth, BIPoC, trans, disabled, and other marginalized queer folx most impacted by current hateful rhetoric and violence. Freedom and peace for all can only be achieved through collective solidarity; we must stand together and advocate for each other to create a gentler world for us all.鈥

Yellow House helped the Queen鈥檚 community get ready for this year鈥檚 Kingston Pride Parade by hosting a sign making event with the at 140 Stuart Street on June 7 open to all Queen鈥檚 community members. They will soon collaborate with The Shift Project to set up a booth at the Pride Community Fair at Confederation Basin on June 15, where they will offer face painting and facilitate a community mural. Yellow House is also posting Pride-related content on social media on the theme of 鈥渟olidarity through activism鈥 to teach people about 2SLGBTQ+ activists and raise awareness about the work that remains to be done.

Pride sign making event

Members of the 成人大片 community making signs for the Kingston Pride Parade at Yellow House.

Retreat for gender diverse students

These Pride activities come on the heels of a series of Yellow House programs for 2SLGBTQ+ students this past academic year, including the first annual Gender Diverse Wellness Retreat to Elbow Lake. The retreat was collaboratively designed and led by Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor Kel Martin (Yellow House), and 2SLGBTQ+ Psychotherapist Shannon Gendon (Student Wellness Services) and brought together 15 trans, non-binary, genderqueer, agender, and other gender diverse students for two days of activities that helped them create connections, reflect on their experiences, and celebrate their identities.

鈥淚t was so meaningful, both for myself and for the students, to be in a space where everyone around them was also trans and non-binary, and every element of the trip was planned and led by trans and non-binary people,鈥 says Danny McLaren, EDI Coordinator, Yellow House. 鈥淚t is so rare that trans people get to serve our own communities, and it was empowering for students to be able to see this and to interact with trans adults and elders, be fed by trans chefs, be taught by trans facilitators, be cared for by trans wellness practitioners. Students shared how this weekend was special because it was a rare moment where they weren鈥檛 hyperaware of their transness in terms of how it marks them as different from cisgender students 鈥 but instead, how they felt their transness connected them to each other.鈥

The retreat was carefully designed by and for the gender diverse community. Those leading the retreat, supporting facilitators, and student staff were gender diverse and carefully selected to design and deliver activities for the attendees. Five local community members helped facilitate activities throughout the retreat and provided mentorship to students. They represented the organizations , , , and . Activities at the retreat included song circles, meditation, discussions of poetry and literature, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and making art. All of these were tailored to honour gender diverse experiences.

鈥淎s student staff, this retreat was so beautiful to organize and facilitate because we witnessed just how significant every little action could be for those of our peers who don鈥檛 have trans community elsewhere,鈥 says a student staff member at Yellow House who helped plan the event. 鈥淚 got to see that for other gender diverse students, this retreat was an introduction to acceptance, joy, and safety in a way they鈥檇 never experienced before. When we were younger we were busy explaining ourselves and looking out for our safety while other kids got to enjoy camp games, so this experience was really healing - we hiked a forest and sang songs around a campfire among only safe people.鈥

Learn more about the activities, events, and resources for 2SLGBTQ+ students offered by Yellow House on their website, and for the latest updates.

Learn more about gender and sexuality resources available at Queen鈥檚 on the Inclusive Queen鈥檚 website.

Pride in Kingston and on campus

The Kingston community is also recognizing Pride with a series of events around town during Kingston Pride Week, June 8-16. Some activities include the Kingston Pride Parade (June 15, 12:00-1:00 p.m.), the Kingston Pride Community Fair from (June 15, 10:00-5:00 pm at Confederation Basin), and Kingston Pride in the Square (June 15, 7:00-11:00 p.m. in Springer Market Square).

Yellow House at Kingston Pride 2023

Yellow House ran a button making table at the Kingston Pride Community Fair in 2023.

The are inviting others in the Queen鈥檚 community to march with them in the Kingston Pride Parade. They will be meeting at the Memorial Centre at 10:30 a.m. on June 15.

Learn more about Kingston Pride activities and how to take part on the .

On campus, Athletics & Recreation is hosting weekly Pride Rides cycle classes at the ARC.

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