Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TRUSU has chosen to move online to celebrate Pride within the TRU and Kamloops community this fall. Usually, the student union holds a pride parade on campus during the fall semester, but they opted for an online approach to keep others safe.
This year, TRUSU is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to participate in ‘Virtual Pride’ by sending their supportive videos, photos, and messages to the student union by posting on social media or TRUSU’s pride forum.
“We wanted to find a way to celebrate pride where we can declare campus and the community a safe space and a welcoming place for LGBTQ2S+ people. What we’re doing is a virtual pride platform where people can send us in video submissions or photos of things in their lives that just make them happy to celebrate pride or things they want to share that make them proud,” Mackenzie Francouer, Vice-President of Equity on the Equity committee at TRUSU, said.
Usually, many groups on campus will march with TRUSU throughout campus to show the LGBTQ+ community that campus is safe. There are generally also speeches, and this year would have been the ninth parade.
“We have celebrated by hosting a pride parade on campus, where we invite community groups and groups from campus to come march with us on campus as a way of declaring TRU a welcoming place for the LGBTQ2S+ community,” Francouer said.
Although this year looks different, Francouer says it’s important that the LGBTQ+ community realizes that TRU is a safe space for them, regardless of the majority of students studying from home this year.
“I think that especially given the circumstances of [this] year, it’s really important for us at the student union and at the university to make it known that even though we can’t be together we are still coming together as a community to recognize and celebrate and validate the contributions of LGBTQ+ people to our community,” Francouer said.
“I think it contributes to the fabric of our community and how we can celebrate equity in terms of intersectionality between other marginalized communities. I think that right now, that’s important, given the context of the political climate and what’s going on in the world right now,” she said.
Anyone is welcome to post on their social media or share on the TRUSU Pride forum to show their support for the LGBTQ community.
TRUSU will be having a home participation how-to page to ease any concerns you may have. There will be a list of at-home participation ideas including posting a selfie, sharing your pets celebrating with you and other ways to celebrate the LGBTQ2S+.
“[People can] post [their] submissions on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag TRUSU, and use the hashtag #mytrupride or you can upload your submission to our online forum before Oct. 9, which is on the TRUSU website,” Francouer said.