Rainbow flag to fly for OutWeek at UBC Okanagan

A rainbow Pride flag will fly over the UBC Okanagan campus from Feb. 11 to 15 as part of OutWeek, a week of events to raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, transsexual, two-spirit, and intersex (LGBTQTTI) issues.

"OutWeek is an event to bring awareness to the diversity that is on our small but growing campus," says Leah Bailey, President of the Pride Centre at UBC Okanagan. "It also lets students, faculty, staff, and the general public know there is a safe, supportive space for all questioning, out, closeted, and friends and allies."

This is the second-annual OutWeek at UBC Okanagan. The week of films, discussions and information displays begins at noon on Monday, Feb. 11, with a flag-raising ceremony in the campus courtyard.

"People look for symbols that they belong and are accepted," says Leanne Perry, Campus Life Coordinator. "The raising of the Pride flag and accompanying OutWeek events serve as symbols to LGBTQTTI students, staff and faculty that they matter and are an important part of our campus community.

"Realizing one has a sexual orientation or gender identity perceived as ‘different’ can, but does not always, create barriers to success for some people," says Perry. "A university is a place where people come together to achieve. We hope UBC's OutWeek helps people feel a sense of belonging and freedom to pursue their goals. We want OutWeek to demonstrate our commitment to creating, maintaining, and celebrating a supportive and diverse campus community."

In addition to the flag-raising, OutWeek activities include:

  • An OutWeek information table will be set up in the Student Services Centre foyer on Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • On Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., a public forum on diversity will be held in Library room LIB305, with discussions of awareness, celebration and community.
  • Thursday includes a Valentine’s Day Kisses give-away. Representatives from the Pride Centre wearing designated rainbow sashes will be giving away goodie bags with Hershey's Kisses, condoms, and Pride Centre information cards.
  • Starting at 11:30 a.m. each day, OutWeek films will be screened at The Well, downstairs in the Student Services Centre (attendees must be 19 years or older). On Monday, it’s religion and short story films, followed by documentary and real-life events films on Tuesday, comedy on Wednesday, romance on Thursday and cultural films on Friday.

"Having OutWeek not only promotes awareness but also shows what resources are available on campus for students to use," says Bailey. "But mostly it is a week where our big gay rainbow flag can be flown proudly and our colours shine during a time when it's grey and cold."

UBC Okanagan OutWeek at a Glance

Monday:

  • Flag Raising Ceremony at 12 p.m. (approx. 20 minutes) in the Campus Courtyard. Speakers, pizza give-away, and raising of the flag.
  • An information table will also be set up inside the Student Service Centre foyer with info and buttons.
  • Films (religion/short story) are being screened at The Well, 11:30 a.m. Must be of legal age (19 or older) to attend screenings in The Well.

Tuesday:

  • Table in the Student Service Centre (SSC) foyer with information and buttons to give away.
  • FREE pizza lunch in SSC foyer sponsored by the Peer Support Network
  • Films (documentary/real-life events) screened at The Well, 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday:

  • Diversity forum, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Library LIB305. Awareness, Celebration, and Community.
  • Films (comedy) screened at The Well, 11:30 a.m.

Thursday:

  • Valentine’s Day kisses give-away, Campus Courtyard.
  • Films (Romance) screened at The Well, 11:30 a.m.

Friday:

  • Films (Cultural) screened at The Well, 11:30 a.m.
  • The Pride flag will lowered at the end of the day.

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