The college began Pride Week with the raising of the 2SLGBTQ+ flag (right) beside the Canadian flag (centre) and Ontario flag (left). Photo credit: Julien Bernier

Quinn Blue, the coordinator of the Wellness and Equity Centre loves seeing the pride flag flying in front of Algonquin College.

“I think it’s great visual representation of the inclusive environment on the campus,” he said. “I’m especially excited that we’ve started using the progress pride flag.”

From Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, the Wellness and Equity Centre hosted multiple events in celebration of Pride Week.

The raising of the Pride Flag was the first event to kick off the week.

Quinn Blue was in charge of the event throughout the week. He was thrilled and hoped students would be as excited.
Quinn Blue was in charge of the event throughout the week. He was thrilled and hoped students would be as excited. Photo credit: Gabrielle Vinette

The progress pride flag features an arrow including the transgender colours, white, pink and blue, as well as brown and black stripes with the rainbow colours.

The brown and black stipes are there “to acknowledge that our communities are not as inclusive of black and brown people as they need to be,” said Blue. “Black and brown people have always been at the forefront of our movements. These experiences need to be centered and celebrated.”

During the rest of the week, the Wellness and Equity Centre hosted a wide range of other activities. For instance, on Sept. 27, participants could make original Pride sand candles through Zoom with the supplies provided by the centre.

At another event, attendees joined MasterChef Canada winner Jennifer Crawford where they cooked and answered questions about the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

There was also an in-person movie night where people could meet at the Student Commons lawn and enjoy the movie together.

Remotely, there were many workshops. For instance, during the 2SLGBTQ+ 101 session, Blue covered the basics of gender and sexuality and barriers 2SLGBTQ+ people faced.

During Speed Friending, people could learn to make friends in a low pressure and welcoming environment. The How to Hook Up event explored where attendees could talk about online dating, pick up lines and communication.

There was also a Where to Go for Support and Community session, where people could have a conversation about 2SLGBTQ+ resources.

At that event, Blue interviewed Carling Miller, the executive director of Kind Space—an organization centered to help, educate and support people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

“Because of the pandemic we started doing online programming,” said Miller. “That mostly takes the form of Zoom calls for our discussion groups, but also we have a few online Discord servers.”

Some of the support channels are for Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour, transgender people looking for help regarding medical transitions and surgeries and more general transgender-centered chat.