Halloween may be over, but campus remained full of colour and wonder for another week with this year’s MacPride.
MacPride is an annual event organized by McMaster’s Queer Students Community Cen-tre that took place this year from Oct. 31-Nov. 5. The week brings LGBTQ+-identifying students, faculty and staff together to celebrate diversity in gender and sexuality and to create a space where identifying individuals can be unapologetically themselves.
“I think MacPride is a really cool opportunity to create spaces for students who identify as LGBTQ because we often don’t see representation or visibility among faculty or in the uni-versity’s institutions,” said the QSCC coordinator. “A lot of these institutions are built to kind of exclude LGBTQ students, so it’s really important to create a campaign that tells students that they are welcome and there are spaces for them if they ever need them.”
The week was filled with a variety of events ranging from educational to entertaining. Each event aimed to build community and representation across campus for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals everywhere. From drop-in style board game fun and banner painting to informative workshops on LGBTQ+ relationships, sex and bodies, there were events for every taste.
“A lot of the events are focused on bringing people together,” said the coordinator. “I think a large part of the struggle for queer students is finding other queer students, so just providing events that are very simple allows students to sit down together and kind of just talk and they can connect over that shared experience is really important.”
The annual MacPride march and rally brought hundreds of LGBTQ+ identifying students, faculty, staff and their allies together to march through campus in a prominent demonstration of both LGBTQ+ pride and McMaster’s efforts in working towards an environment in which identifying students feel both safe and welcome.
This week also saw the launch of McMaster’s new Trans Community Group. This initiative serves as a branch of peer support, exclusive to trans students and meant to provide a safer space for trans and non-binary folk.
“A lot of students come from very diverse backgrounds and a lot of those backgrounds aren’t necessarily positive,” explained the coordinator. “It’s really important that when they come to uni-versity they see that these spaces exist for them and that they know they’re safe because it can be very challenging when you’re struggling with your identity to not feel like you have a community.”
As the week came to an end, the main focus of the campaign was clear; more visibility on campus and building a community where students feel like they belong.
“The effect I’d want to see from this campaign is having students who never really felt like they had a community or didn’t feel connected, or didn’t feel safe in their identity found that space, or even saw the supportive environment if they weren’t able to come out to any of the events.” noted the coordinator.
“I hope that they now feel more comfortable at McMaster knowing that people do accept them for who they are.”