Queen’s Alumni Association introduces new chapter

Queer Association was inspired by Black and Indigenous Alumni chapters

QAA to launch with panel event on Dec. 1. 
Supplied by Stacy Kelly
Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA) is introducing Queen’s Queer Alumni (QQA), a chapter that aims to build strong connections between LGBTQ2S+ students, alumni, faculty, and staff. 
QQA was inspired by the creation of Queen’s Indigenous Alumni chapters and Queen’s Black Alumni chapter
Stacy Kelly, ArtSci ’93 and president of QQA, said there have been missing opportunities for the queer community to connect, network, and advocate.
“We thought we should step up and help create opportunities for LGBTQ+ alumni and hold our own admission […] and also let current students and teachers be aware of the chapter,” Kelly said in an interview with The Journal
“It’s about finding a place where you feel welcome and affirmed. Queer folks are coming out in all stages of our life.”  
According to Kelly, an alumni chapter dedicated to Queer folks to network and socialize with a “chosen family” offers a safe space for Queer alumni to be their true selves.
“Our hope is to be able to create events, communications, activities—a safer environment for people,” Kelly said. 
“You’re only a student for a certain amount of time, [but] you’re an alumni for a long time.”
Newly established, QQA is currently based in Ontario. However, Kelly hopes to bring the network to a global level. 
“We’d like to dream big, but we had to start somewhere,” he said. 
To mark the launch of QQA, the group will be hosting a panel event on Dec. 1, where students and faculty can attend and build their network. 
“Some of the people on the panel are heavily involved with advocacy work,” Kelly said. 
With the launch event aiming to engage the student community, Kelly added QQA is also creating student positions for the chapter. 
“[The student perspective] is incredibly important to us, because we want to be able to introduce leadership for the chapter through the students, but also to connect to […] different student groups,” Kelly said. 
Kelly especially wants queer folks, wherever they are, to know that they’re supported. 
“We get many folks from wherever to join, and I hope that’s another kind of bridge [for people] who are not ready to come out yet.” 

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