Queers 4 Peers makes Queen’s Queer community stronger

‘It’s hard to meet other queer people, especially at Queen’s’

Queers 4 Peers is providing in-person counselling services in Rideau Hall.

Queers 4 Peers is hosting a variety of events this year to offer support to the queer community at Queen’s.

The service is a new division of the Peer Support Centre (PSC) created last semester, specifically intended for queer-identifying students. It’s a safe space on campus for queer undergraduate students, according to Queers 4 Peers Assistant Manager Laylin Keyes.

“A lot of queer-students, especially in first year, struggle with making friends that they feel connected to,” Keyes said. “It’s hard to meet queer people, especially at Queen’s.”

“Unless you’re going to spaces kind of like Queers 4 Peers events, it’s hard in your day-to-day to meet other queer people.”

Queers 4 Peers has two service elements: a peer counselling service provided by queer-identifying volunteers and monthly events for queer students. Starting Oct. 3, Queers 4 Peers will be providing both online and in-person services on the second floor of Rideau Hall.

The service is extending their hours in the coming weeks after hiring an additional 11 volunteers, bringing the team to a total of 17 queer-identifying peer counsellors.

“We use [queer] as a broad term to cover all 2SLGBTQIA+ students,” Keyes said. “We have people who use a variety of pronouns, of different gender-identities and sexualities.”

Queers 4 Peers’ first event of the year was a “Plant-A-Cactus Night” on Sept. 15, which was completely full.

“We had 50 cacti, and we ran out five minutes after the event started,” Keyes said.

Keyes plans to host two queer-community events every month. She’s already moved the next event—a queer student social and paint event—to City Park to accommodate the big turnout she is expecting.

“It’s still pending approval, but I’m trying to do a pumpkin carving contest later in the month; I am hoping [the event] turns out,” Keyes said.

In January, Queers 4 Peers will be partnering with Yellow House to host a drag show at Queen’s. Event details are in the preliminary stages.

“A lot of students [have come] up to me and said they were really happy the service existed and asking about future events,” Keyes said, “There definitely seems to be a demand for queer support.”

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