Gay and lesbian challenges
By Dominic Dutt, Contributor
The Pride Community here at Douglas College attempts to build a society that is willing to accept gays and lesbians as human beings who are capable of love and are no different from their peers.
Society imposes certain expectations on people, including the expectation to be straight instead of queer. It becomes quite complicated when someone realizes they are gay or lesbian. This makes it harder for someone who is a queer, because it’s not what their peers expect them to be.
“As society progresses towards a more inclusive mentality, it is important to continue infusing the evolution with positivity, rather than abrasive pessimism.
“I like to embrace the term ‘Spread Love, Not Hate,’ as it encompasses this positive attitude to encourage acceptance,” says the Douglas Students’ Union pride liaison for the Pride Community, who wished to remain nameless. The members of the Douglas Pride Community may not always have opportunities to express themselves in a safe environment. Because of this, it is one of the top priorities when planning Pride events to allow for plenty of inclusive fun and expression. Last summer, several Douglas College students, including the liaison, walked in the Pride Parade to represent the New Westminster Douglas Students’ Union Pride Community. “It was a wonderful experience,” they said.
A hard part of being queer is dealing with potential familial upset. One always wants to be loved and accepted, but support may not always be possible with some families’ values. Having to choose between the love of one’s family and one’s partner is a prevalent problem. The Pride Community is aware of this common lack of understanding. They are available to support gays and lesbians, including their families, who may be going through this phase.
As society progresses towards a more inclusive mentality, it is important to continue infusing the evolution with positivity, rather than abrasive pessimism. A large challenge for those who aren’t heterosexual is facing unfair treatment because of their group membership. The possibility of being discriminated against or even facing an act of violence just because of their sexual preferences is common.
“A person who may not be straight often is subjected to a persona which may not exceed, say, ‘gay,’ and the schematic associations therein. I am a lesbian, yes, but I have other oddities. … It is seldom in a person’s interest to be reduced to one phrase. We are complex creatures with many facets,” the pride liaison said.
The Pride Room is located in the Douglas Students’ Union Building (DSU) in room 328, located on the second floor.