Why we made this issue
The Xaverian Weekly has published a Pride Issue in partnership with the LGBTQIA2S+ community at StFX since the early 2000s, and I can’t express how excited I am to be a part of the 2018 installment that you’re reading right now. My position as Gender and Sexual Diversity Student Advisor is new this year, and it certainly has been a long time coming. One of the most exciting parts about taking on this position was having the opportunity to stretch Pride Week, which has happened on an annual basis at StFX, into Pride Month.
Pride Month at X is a time when the queer community at X is celebrated and recognized, through events like educational lectures, celebrations of queer talent, social gatherings, and events of remembrance. This month at X is so important for queer staff, faculty and students, because unfortunately, we are still at a point where to be queer at X is truly to be the odd one out. As a small school in a small town in Nova Scotia, StFX is overwhelmingly heteronormative, and that can be very difficult for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, trans, queer, questioning, two spirit, and non-binary. I spent five years as an undergrad at this school, and I’m so thankful for those five years, as I met some of the most incredible people I know and made some of the most incredible memories of my life during that time. But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times where I felt this school wasn’t for me. There were many times when my identity and community were excluded from the curriculum, when I was too scared to hold my partner’s hand, where I felt surrounded by covert forms of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. There were many times when I couldn’t see myself in this school, and I can’t express to you how much easier my first two years here would have been if I could have found some sort of queer community or representation.
But we’re getting better, I truly believe that. In deciding to stay at StFX to take on this position following graduation, visibility of the queer community was my number one goal. However, in undertaking that goal, I never imagined that I would host an O-Week event where 200 first year students would attend, and then MacNeil first years would stay and help clean up. I was in awe when the room was packed to hear Dr. Frazer speak about the history of drag in Halifax and when almost all of MacDonald house came to an evening program to learn about LGBTQIA2S+ terms, issues and how to be an ally. As an undergrad, I never would have thought I would be writing the editorial for the Xaverian Pride Issue, an issue that is full of queer content, a representation that is so needed at StFX.
I guess my point is that while we have a long way to go to have a truly inclusive community at StFX, the support that I have felt so far this academic year has been absolutely overwhelming. You should never underestimate the effect that support in the form of simply showing up to events or reading this Pride Issue of the Xav can have. I can only imagine what standing room only O-Week events and X Pride Coffeehouses would have meant to first year me, someone who felt so incredibly alone. When you take time to read this issue and educate yourself on queer issues and culture, and when you come out to Pride Month events, or any of the other queer inclusive events taking place this academic year, you are doing something small but significant for the queer community here at X.
So, thank you, StFX, for making me feel more at home this year on this campus as a queer person than I ever did during my undergrad.