Brock Pride is striving to continue creating a positive and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students and their allies. In the coming year, the club seeks to help address common issues members face in the Brock community through regular programming and meetings.
Brock Pride is the official club dedicated to fostering safe and supportive social interactions between students of diverse backgrounds. The club focuses on dealing with relationships, coming out, sexuality and gender issues. Brock Pride also pursues the advancement of equality, acceptance and fair treatment of Pride issues such as homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism.
“Sometimes LGBTQ+ people can feel isolated and alone, like they are the only ones around and sometimes even have struggles related to [being a member of the LGBTQ+ community],” said Valerie James, the club executive in charge of community outreach. “Having an organization like this lets these students connect with others, form friendships and have a good social circle to which they feel connected. On top of that we work to make the campus a safe, inclusive and positive space for LGBTQ+ students. We also have weekly hangouts and monthly events where attendees can experience a relaxing and fun environment where everyone is welcomed to join.”
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 will mark the first of many weekly opportunities for the LGBTQ+ students of Brock University to come together, foster community, discuss and enact change on prominent issues and create a support network.
“Our first meeting is an introduction to the executive team, letting people get to know each other and socialize a bit. It helps people get comfortable with the environment and others around them. We also usually have a game or activity planned [for the meeting],” said James.
During the month of March, the club hosts a fan favourite, the annual drag show. Throughout the year the club also hosts a number of movie nights, an open mic night and a night in which students can decorate a pair of their own jeans. All club events are posted on ExperienceBU and the club’s Facebook page.
James finds that the club’s events tend to be well received by both members and non-members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“The [community] seems to enjoy what we do and we see a lot of familiar faces returning regularly. Students who don’t identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community seem to be more curious about what exactly it is we do and what we are about. We generally get a warm and positive response from [those] students.”
Brock Pride welcomes students who are still learning about the LGBTQ+ community — and exploring themselves. It strives to provide support when possible, as well as to connect students with necessary resources.
“Some of the smartest things you can say [are] ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I need assistance’. You’re not alone, there are so many people that care about you and are willing to help you. Not just in your life, but here on campus too. Never be afraid to reach out, to be your true authentic self,” said James. “If you have struggles, there are always others who understand. If you ever feel down and depressed, remember: you’re still in this, you’re still here, you’ve got this, you’re a warrior and nothing has been able to take you down [so far]. If getting out of bed in the morning is all you can manage to do, that means you gave that day everything you had, you overcame, you triumphed and you did your best.”
Interested students are invited to engage with the club on Facebook where they post updates for weekly hangouts and upcoming events. Students can also reach out to the club by email at firstname.lastname@example.org where one of the executives will be more than happy to respond and answer any questions. All members of the community are invited to attend Brock Pride’s weekly meetings this and every Tuesday in Thistle 133 from 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.