Queen's clubs celebrate Pride online

QIAA partners with EQuIP, other clubs to emphasize Pride intersectionality

A complete schedule for the month's events can be found on QIAA's Facebook page.
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Pride celebrations have taken a different shape this year because of COVID-19 preventative measures, but that hasn’t stopped Queen's International Affairs Association (QIAA) from delivering an intersectional month-long Pride celebration through social media.  

Acknowledging some LGBTQ+ individuals may not be able to celebrate Pride this year because of their home environment, QIAA leadership, including President Megan Fanjoy, Vice-President (Operations) Maddy Godin, Vice-President (Internal Affairs) Philippe Haddad, and Vice-President (External Affairs) Courtney White, aimed to create an initiative that would spark meaningful conversations online.

The Association teamed up with the Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP) and several other Queen's clubs to amplify LGBTQ+ voices within the University community, including Step Above Stigma (SAS), Queen’s Native Student Association (QNSA), Queen's Female Leadership in Politics (QFLIP), and Queen's Project on International Development (QPID).

"This initiative aims to transcend normativity, binaries, and singularized perspectives,” QIAA wrote in a statement to The Journal.

EQuIP did not respond to The Journal’s request for comment in time for publication.

The presence of LGBTQ+ members in QIAA resulted in a strong emphasis on Pride Month, according to the leadership team. 

Lauren Kube, QIAA marketing director, used her experience as a 2019-20 EQuIP committee member to facilitate the joint initiative, alongside Maddie Yule, QIAA's branding and multimedia director, and Jenna Huys, EQuIP chair. 

"We recognize that different folks within the [LGBTQ+ community] have different experiences based on their intersecting identities," QIAA wrote. "We recognize that the queer community itself is not perfect and continues to be perpetuated by racism and other oppressive ideologies."  

To acknowledge the different aspects of the LGBTQ+ community, QIAA has taken an intersectional approach to celebrating Pride—particularly in response to global Black Lives Matter protests. 

"[I]ntersectionality means that we listen and amplify the voices of those whose identities lie at the intersection of multiple forms of oppression and inequality, which work to exacerbate one another," QIAA wrote, noting the term “intersectionality” was first coined by Black lesbian scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. 

The team also named drag queens Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera as leaders of the Pride movement in the 1960s and inspiration for QIAA’s approach to celebrations this year. Both Johnson and Rivera were trans women of colour who were forerunners of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement and champions of its most marginalized members.

"[W]e recognize that Johnson and Rivera's identities are largely overlooked, both externally and internally within the LGBTQIA2+ community," QIAA wrote. 

While QIAA’s internal demographics limit its expertise on certain issues, the team explained that’s why they chose to partner with other clubs to ensure a well-rounded Pride celebration. 

"[W]e are a predominantly white and non-queer organization, similar to the demographics of Queen's more broadly," QIAA wrote. "Ensuring that we use an intersectional framework for all that we do is of the utmost importance." 

The joint celebration includes a series of educational infographics shared on QIAA's Facebook and Instagram. A complete schedule for the month's events can be found on Facebook.

Of the ten scheduled posts throughout the month, four are dedicated to collaborations with SAS, QNSA, QFLIP, and QPID. The leadership team emphasized the importance of its June 22 event, 'Let's Talk About Allyship,' which is a call to action for everyone to think critically about their own relationships with the LGBTQ+ community.

At the end of June, QIAA intends to donate $500 to Kingston-based LGBTQ+ organizations to support continued education and advocacy.

"The conversation does not stop when Pride month [ends],” QIAA wrote. “As one of the largest student-run organizations on campus, we recognize that we have a responsibility to act on our values and take concrete steps for meaningful change." 

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