Recently-elected Pride Liaison discusses aims for next school year
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
Last week, the recently elected DSU Pride Liaison, Milo Leraar, discussed aims for the coming year within the pride collective including a push for Douglas to incorporate non-gendered washrooms and for better queer representation and understanding within the college.
“The last collective meeting was really awesome. There was a lot of diverse opinion in representation at the meeting,” said Leraar. “I’m hoping that can continue on so that we can put a lot of intention into making this not only a queer safe space but safe for people of all identities.”
Leraar noted the plans shift towards collective decision making, preferring for those who use the space to make decisions together.
“Right now, [as Pride Liaison] you’re also the coordinator for the centre. With that, I have heavy involvement but I like to do things on a friend-to-friend, peer-to-peer basis,” explained Leraar. “In transitioning to a collective-based model, the duty of coordinator will be lessened. To the DSU board, I’m the Pride Liaison but to the collective, I’m the board liaison. My role in the collective would be to take what they want to the board.”
There is also talk of a learning panel for faculty to understand the issues that LGBT students deal with. Concerns were raised on LGBT content in nationwide post-secondary curricula at the Canadian University Queer Services Conference in May which serve as the basis for the pride collective’s outreach goals for the year.
“I was at this workshop [in Newfoundland] and they were presenting this study done on university curricula and how queer representation was presented in classes and they found that the only classes to even talk about queer issues at all are women’s studies, social work, and abnormal psychology,” said Leraar. “Those are the only three that there is consistent representation in. Even at Douglas, I took a psychology of gender class that didn’t talk about trans people.”
Although the pride centre is an LGBT-focused space, Leraar was adamant in maintaining that the centre should offer itself as a safe space for other social demographics that face oppression.
“As someone who is involved a lot in the queer community, especially in Vancouver, it can be racist and white-centric. It can be about rich white gay men doing their thing,” said Leraar. “If you just call it an LGBT space, that’s what it can become.”
The DSU pride centre is also planning to move a floor below in the DSU building. At that location it will be closer to the non-gendered washroom in the building.