Throughout the month of June members of the UTSC community joined together in creating a colourful flower mural to help celebrate Pride Month.
Each colour of flower symbolized a specific emotion. Those who took part identified an emotion and attached a corresponding flower to the board. The result is a mural of 150 flowers, each depicting a representation of love and support for 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
“The flower mural creatively brought the UTSC community together to co-create a meaningful piece of art,” says Noor Leghari, an equity, diversity and inclusion coordinator with the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office (EDIO) at U of T Scarborough.
“Each flower signified an intention on how we will celebrate Pride and advocate for equity and inclusion for all members in our community.”
The mural was just one of many ways our community celebrated Pride Month on campus. Festivities kicked off with a Pride flag raising event on June 1 when our community gathered to raise the More Colour, More Pride and Trans Pride flags for a fifth year.
“By raising this flag, we honour the experiences and resiliency of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer people and the experiences of Black, Indigenous and racialized people in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Additionally, we raise the Trans Pride flag to represent 2-spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people,” said Nadia Rosemond, U of T Scarborough’s assistant dean, co-curricular programs and student leadership, during her opening remarks.
“I want to pause and express gratitude and love to our 2SLGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty and librarians at UTSC. I don’t know how often you hear or feel this outside the month of June, but I want you to know that you belong here. You are welcomed here.”
Following remarks and the flag raising ceremony, there was courtyard celebration in front of the Arts and Administration (AA) Building with sweet treats.
Then, on June 9, staff, faculty and students boarded a free bus to the St. George campus to take part in U of T’s Pride Pub event. Our community also took part in another tri-campus event on June 13 called Display Your Pride. All across campus our offices, workspaces and colleagues were decorated and photos were shared on social media using the hashtag #DisplayYourPride. UTSC Campus Safety also handed out ice cream treats in support of Pride on June 14.
From June 12 to July 5 The Pussy Palace: An Instagram Story, a self-led digital exhibit, was featured in Gallery 1265 at UTSC. The research for the exhibit was led by UTM Professor Elspeth Brown at the LGBTQ Digital History Collaboratory and features narratives from 36 collected interviews of patrons, organizers, volunteers and others who took part in Pussy Palace bathhouse events. The exhibit was brought to UTSC by the EDIO and the Positive Space Committee.
Members of the UTSC community also took part in the annual Pride & Remembrance Run, a 5km run/walk in support of various community charities that took place on June 24. UTSC staff and faculty helped organize a tri-campus U of T team that raised $1,350.
On June 28 Acts of Resistance: 2SLGBTQ+ Self-Defence Workshop was held on campus. The afternoon workshop offered participants an opportunity to discuss personal safety issues and to practice easy to learn, easy to remember self-defence techniques.