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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

A Candid Interview with a 2SLGBTQ+ Advocate

June 30, 2023

To celebrate the ending of pride month, I wanted to share this brief interview with a student. My goal is to explore their personal perspectives on Pride Month within Ontario Tech. I found that their experiences provide valuable insight into the significance of this month-long celebration in both their own journey and within the Ontario Tech community. Let’s get into the questioning!

What does Pride (Month) mean to you?

Celebrating our overcoming of injustice dating back to the Stonewall riots. Along with looking forward to a future free of discrimination and more acceptance of identities across the 2SLGBTQ+ spectrum.

How are you planning on celebrating pride this year?
If I can, I would like to attend a pride parade; if I can't, seeing my friends out, proud, and living their full authentic selves is enough for me.

What pasts pride month events by Ontario Tech did you enjoy? Looking forward to any events this month?

I've never experienced Pride Month at OTU, but in the past, I've been the leader/involved in some way in different GSA's and similar organizations. I did also attend a TDOR event with OTU where they brought in a transgender alumni who spoke about her experiences during her transition and how she found herself. So coming from that perspective I can hope that we see more queer voices and queer people demonstrating that we can live our lives happily despite not fitting into the cis/het box. I think just seeing people express themselves freely is such a refreshing thing, especially when you're younger and you don't see people who look/act/feel the way you do. I know that having access to the correct terminology, support, and role models has been incredibly healing for me.

What would you like to see the university/community do for pride month?

Not being misgendered would be great. Also, having more of the STEM community accepting new identities; because I find that the STEM environment is not made for this part of the community. STEM seems to be made up of a certain checklist, and if you don't check off every box it can be a very hostile environment and not make you feel welcome.

Is there a Pride-related issue on campus you would like to address?

I feel like groups of presumably cis guys are always looking at me. I feel like I’m taking up their space. Before I had a binder, I dressed androgynously, and I found that they would always look at me, and I felt alienated.

Do you have any 2SLGBTQ+ role models?

Schuyler Bailar, he's the first transgender swimmer for Harvard. He is also the first publicly documented NCAA D1 transgender man to compete as a man in any sport. I look up to him because he is educated about trans/queer issues and is very out and proud about it. He has dealt with various mental health issues as well. Having someone with these experiences while being so open about it; it’s very valuable for young queer people. It makes you feel less alone, and doomed to a life of anguish because you don't fit in.

What are some misconceptions people have about the 2SLGBTQ+ community?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that all of the community bases their entire personality on their sexuality or gender. Being outspoken about these kinds of topics doesn't necessarily mean it’s your whole personality. Cis/het people make it more about sexuality than 2SLGBTQ+ people do, disregarding that we also know what it's like to have ideals shoved down our throats. We just want to fit in and be accepted.
By Morgan Bailey