KAMLOOPS - With several hundred people attending Thompson Rivers University’s first Pride Awareness Week the event was a great success and everyone who attended was better for it.
“People who attended the event were either very well informed, and teaching us new things, or eager to learn more,” student union LGBTQ representative Megan Graham says.
An initiative of the TRU Students’ Union and facilitated by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer club on campus, the week introduced people to the Genderbread Man. This popular online graphic, from the website It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, is used to help explain sexuality in non-binary terms. According to the Genderbread Man, sometimes it’s 'and’ or ‘but,’ not always ‘either-or.’
Graham admits the concept of gender being is a new, and possibly, difficult idea. It is also something we think we understand but, according to the Genderbread Man, we probably don’t.
While Graham did not have an exact number of participants to the event, she estimates that between 150 to 200 people came out on the first, and biggest, day. She was pleased not only with those who repeatedly showed up, but the new faces she saw from day to day.
“I didn’t really have any expectations, Graham says, but was particularly happy with the reach of the event. A group from 100 Mile House had contacted the group wanting a copy of a video they had shown as well.
In a time when students are still targeted in school because of their sexual orientation, prompting the Kamloops-Thompson School District to enhance its bullying policy to include anti-harrassment regulations, it's hard to say whether pride week is something openly accepted by the community at large.
Graham surmises that those who opposed the event simply did not engage.
"(Perhaps they thought) don’t talk about it I’m tired of hearing,” Graham says, adding the event did not receive any negative or hateful feedback.
It is the intention of the Student’s Union to hold Pride Week again next year.
“I am very hopeful. I have a high, positive outlook,” Graham says about seeing more support from the community as a whole.
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