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Pride at SLC

Information for members of our LGBTQQ2S+ community and allies

SLC Alliance

The SLC Alliance is an educational, social, and supportive group for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and their allies at St. Lawrence College. We are a mix of 2SLGBTQIA+ community members and allies who all have a common goal of making St. Lawrence College a safer place for everyone. We supply a safe space for students and faculty of the College to meet with other members of their community. We supply educational opportunities, social outlets, and support of the natural human need for emotional connection with others. In conjunction with other initiatives of SLC we help to foster a more positive and welcoming atmosphere for all people who learn, live, and work on our campuses.

Are you interested in joining the SLC Alliance or learning more about 2SLGBTQIA+ resources at SLC? Please email pride@sl.on.ca

pride month Resources and Events

  • "A Conversation Around Pride and Culture." Tuesday, June 28, 10am. Join BHR&OD on Teams for a conversation that celebrates both Pride Month as well as National Indigenous History Month. This interactive session will offer insight into the intersections between Indigenous History Month and Pride Month. Knowledge Keeper Helena Neveu will offer Indigenous Teachings related to the history behind the term Two-Spirited followed by a meaningful conversation and reflection with SLC student Rachel Walker, Richard Webster, International Education Manager, Community Development, and Les Casson, Associate Dean, Arts, Media & Design. Click here to register.
  • Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) Resources: Educational resources on LGBTQ2S+ inclusion (PDF).
  • SLC Library: The SLC Library has created a virtual display for Pride Month.
  • Kingston Pride: Learn more about Kingston Pride events taking place June 10-19, 2022
  • Brockville Pride: Learn more about Brockville Pride events taking place June 6-12, 2022
  • Diversity Cornwall: Learn more about Diversity Cornwall resources and their Pride Parade and Festival on July 9, 2022
  • keep.meSAFE by guard.me Resources: June is Pride Month and there’s no better time to learn about issues that impact the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Even if you don’t identify as someone within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, you can always be supportive by becoming an ally. Start with these resources from keep.meSAFE by guard.me.

SLC's Community of pride

To promote awareness around the diversity of the SLC 2SLGBTQIA+ community, the EDI + Belonging Task Force and HR/OD created Pride at SLC profiles in 2021. As a continuation of this work, we invite 2SLGBTQIA+ persons and allies to share your insight into what building a community of Pride at SLC looks like. While we ask you to consider sharing your insight before the end of June in honour of Pride Month, the form will be open year-round.

SLC's 2SLGBTQIA+ employees and students participate and serve in numerous roles and play an integral part in the organization’s decision-making and operations. The diversity of their expertise, heritage, and talents makes SLC stronger. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, we are continuing on our path to create sustainable spaces of belonging.

Polina Buchan smiles outside, in the background there are many people participating at a Pride event
Polina Buchan (she/her)
Professor, School of Business (Kingston)

I'm a Marketing prof at the School of Business in Kingston, and I am bisexual. It's taken me years to be able to say this clearly and with pride, even though I have always been bisexual. My barriers to coming out have been numerous: fear of judgement, impostor syndrome, and having experienced some LGBTQ2SA+ spaces as less than welcoming to bisexual people, to name a few. But I think my biggest barrier has been lack of representation. I haven't seen many "out" bisexual people in positions of authority, in media, or at school and in my workplaces. There is an outdated 2011 study from UCLA (and not much more since then) that concluded that there are at least as many bisexual people as gay AND lesbian people combined (Gates, 2011). If that's true, where are they? My guess is, they are experiencing similar barriers to being loud and proud about who they are as I have. So, to me, building a community of Pride means being visible, so others can feel like they belong. When we notice ourselves represented in others, it makes us feel seen, heard and embraced by our communities, regardless of whether we need or want to "come out", or not.

leslie casson headshot
Les Casson (she/they)
Associate Dean, Arts, Media & Design (Incoming Dean, Faculty of Creative Industries and Brockville Campus, Fall 2022)

I’ve been an educator for over thirty years. Most of my teaching years were spent helping students improve their writing and communication skills; however, I also taught a bit of typing and drama to high-school students and have the emotional scars to prove it. I’ve toured as a musician, spent a lot of time on tractors, published a children’s book, recorded some CDs, and earned a few degrees. I tried team sports in my 40s but discovered I’m not that kind of lesbian. I’m a pretty good drummer, but a better writer. I had a spectacular mullet in the 80s, but still had no idea. I’m queer... and also nearsighted. I knew only one of these things in my 20s.

Crystal Graveline is pictured sitting at her desk at SLC
Crystal Graveline (she/her)
Student Success Facilitator

Building a Community of Pride is so incredibly important to me as an ally. I see a beautiful community of pride in my friends, family, and SLC community. A wonderful group of people dedicated to human rights and equality and I am proud to be apart of it! My child identifies as non-binary, trans, and pan and I couldn't be prouder of the person they are growing up to be. Each and every person deserves a safe space to express themselves and truly be the person they are meant to be. No matter how you identify, you are welcome and safe at SLC. Love is never wrong.

katie irvine headshot
Katie Irvine (she/her)
Student, Musical Theatre Program, Brockville

I’m Katie Irvine! I’m entering my third year in the Music Theatre – Performance program at St. Lawrence College, and I am a bisexual woman. My journey of emergence into my queer identity was a long one (despite knowing I was not straight since around the age of 10), but I’m so proud to be celebrating my first-ever Pride out of the closet this year! As someone who has only been in relationships that appear straight-passing, it took a long time for me to feel comfortable coming out because I didn’t want to appear as though I was appropriating queer culture or inserting myself into a space where I didn’t belong. The biphobic microaggressions that I witnessed within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community itself, as well as my own internalized homophobia, certainly didn’t help. However, I came to the realization that if I wanted to be my happiest and most authentic self, I needed to extend the same love I have for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to myself. I also realized that my loving a man does not negate my bisexuality, and that my feelings are just as valid as any other queer person’s! Now, I’m so proud of who I am. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Carmen Law is pictured outside, smiling, and wears a black t-shirt that says Leadership has no boundaries
Carmen Law (she/her)
Director, Belonging, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

I'm Carmen and I'm new to the SLC community! I've been very lucky to have lived across Canada and abroad. It has truly opened my eyes to so many different ways to see, feel, and experience love. Love does not fit in a box or should be hidden away. Instead, it needs to extend its reach and shared widely. I truly believe in the power of being able to celebrate who you are as a whole self! And when you have others to celebrate with, it feels even better. It was more recently, I've been more comfortable with celebrating me and then letting others in to join the party. My journey of queerness has been a long one and it continues to this day. I often told myself "love" is a construct created by large media corporations as a way to sell stories and a dream to then sell products. It was a way to protect myself, to tell myself "love wasn't real". That is, until my partner found me. Building a Community of Pride is not just about inviting all identities to the party and inviting them to dance, it's about actively making the dance floor a comfortable and fun place where people can and want to dance. We are cheering people on while they are dancing, we are sharing their dance with others! It is about building a community where we are all free to dance and dance how we want!

terry mcginn headshot
Terry McGinn (she/her)
Student Association President, Kingston Campus

For my whole life I’ve tried to be a good representative and advocate for the queer and trans communities. One of my proudest moments as an advocate was being the only out trans-identified member of a national youth summit at which issues facing Canadian youth were discussed and captured. This work informed the decisions and positions taken by the Canadian Secretary of State for Children and Youth during the creation of the Lisbon Declaration on Youth Policies and Programmes. I have worked with youth-focused community groups to help train student resource officers on ways to interact with queer and trans students in their schools. I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to be a member of many organization boards, committees, and panels aimed at improving the lives and experiences of queer and trans youth. I continue to work hard to bring forward, and look for solutions to, the issues facing queer and trans youth in all my work at St. Lawrence College and in our communities.

Kat McMillan, Library & Copyright Education Technician, stands in front of the SLC Library shelf displaying 2SLGBTQIA+ books.
Kat McMillan (she/her)
Library & Copyright Education Technician

I'm Kat and I have been working in the Kingston Library since 2016. I am a cisgender and bisexual woman who is married to a cisgender man. While I primarily identify as Bisexual, I prefer the term Sapphic. My queer journey began in Grade 10, when I kissed a friend of mine at a music festival, and not to be really corny but I liked it. I was lucky in high school that we had a good 2SLGBTQIA+ presence and almost every single one of my close friends was apart of it. A goal in my day to day life is to raise awareness that current or past relationships do not erase anyone's bisexuality, or any sexuality, period. Biphobia has no room at my table. The library is a safe space for everyone. In the adapted words of *NSYNC: "It ain't no lie / Baby, I'm bi bi bi (bi bi)".

Braydon Nicola stands outside in front of the St Lawrence River
Braydon Nicola
VP Of Student Life, Cornwall Student Union

My name is Braydon and I identify as a proud gay man. I am currently enrolled in the Social Service Worker program and loving it. I can't wait to get out there and work within our community and help others. Especially people who identify as a member of the LGBTQQ2S+ community. I think building a community of pride to means to me, being able to help build each other up and be there to support one another. To give access to the younger generation in regards to figuring out themselves and understanding their own sexuality or identity to help them grow. I didn't have access to the amount of things teens and kids have these days to help me understand what I was going through.

Tamara Quenneville
Tamara Quenneville (she/they)
Student

I identify as a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. To me, building a community of Pride at SLC means acceptance and equality for all members, and normalizing everyone and their identities. It means being able to walk freely and proudly with our identities without the fear of discrimination or potential harm.

ian simpson headshot
Ian Simpson (he/him)
Faculty in Brockville Musical Theatre Program

Ian has been a professional actor/singer for over 35 years and has worked at SLC since 2014.He has performed across Canada, the US, Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan. Of the many shows he has done over the years he is honoured to have played roles in musicals that highlight the LGBTQQ2S+ experience. he believes that discussing in class the importance of representation in Musical Theatre and hearing stories from diverse voices is imperative. Part of these discussions is examining musicals that represent the LGBTQQ2S+ community in positive ways and in the future he looks forward to more musicals and plays written by, and about, this wonderful community. “I came out in 1984 when I was a student at Queen’s and felt lucky to have had supportive friends and family. I know that this isn’t the case for everyone and I strive to be an ally and mentor to anyone who may be struggling” For 23 years Ian has split his time between his home in Canada and the San Francisco Bay Area with his partner, Rich.

Richard Webster
Richard Webster (he/him/his)
International Education Manager, Community Development

I joined SLC in 2018 as Internationalization Lead, where I led the development of SLC’s first Global Engagement Strategy, and began teaching part-time soon after. Currently, I’m the College’s International Education Manager of Community Development, working to deepen the integration of our international students and graduates in our tri-campus communities. 

I "came out" at the age of 21 when I was home from university on Thanksgiving and haven’t looked back since. I’m deeply grateful for being part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and for me, growing up with that feeling of being different became my 'superpower' in the end! It instilled in me a curiosity for the world, an interest in diversity in all its forms, a sensitivity to social inequality and injustice and an open heart. I’ve lived, studied and worked in 5 countries, traveled to many more, and today call Kingston home with my partner Ben and our dog, Archie. 

In my view, building SLC’s Community of Pride is about raising awareness, increasing 2SLGBTQ+ visibility, celebrating the community and allyship and ensuring supports and resources, including those that are culturally-inclusive, are available for our students and employees. Happy Pride this month and every month that follows!

Positive Space Initiative

The goal of the Positive Space Initiative is to foster a sense of belonging and inclusion of 2SLGBTQIA+ persons in every aspect of campus life by creating opportunities to increase awareness and engagement in our SLC community. 
 
Positive Space Training 
 
Positive Space is a 90-minute information session aimed at developing increased awareness, understanding, and acceptance of the issues of sexual identity and gender diversity at St. Lawrence College. It is available to all students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, it is a volunteer sticker campaign. After the training, Positive Space participants may choose to: 
 
Display a Positive Space signifier:

  • A Positive Space signifier identifies the intention to create an accepting and supportive environment with respect to issues of sexual identity and gender diversity.
  • Display a Positive Space sticker in a visible place that you have control over, such as your office or workspace or laptop. If you share a workspace, please ensure that your office mate is also a participant in the program before affixing the sticker to the entrance to your shared space. 
  • Participants may also add a Positive Space signifier to their email electronic signature.

Be a resource:

  • Act in a sensitive and compassionate manner towards the needs of the LGBTQQ2S+ community on campus. 
    Respect the confidentiality of those who contact you.
  • Maintain an up-to-date list of community resources.
  • Be an empathetic listener but not a counsellor. Know where to refer people who require more assistance.
  • Do not condone homophobic, transphobic, or heterosexist actions.
  • Be willing to explain to others what the Positive Space Campaign is and consider referring others to participate. 

Positive Space Working Group 
 
Positive Space training is delivered by members of the Positive Space Working Group. This group is comprised of staff members of Student Wellness and Accessibility, Human Resources and Occupational Development, and the School of Contemporary Teaching and Learning who have been trained to deliver the workshop. 
 
How do I participate? 
 
To express your interest in completing Positive Space Training, please email Ashleigh McKeil at amckeil@sl.on.ca.