Pride flag raised: OutWeek 2009 underway at UBC Okanagan

A flag-raising ceremony at noon Monday opened the third-annual OutWeek at UBC Okanagan. This week, Feb. 9 to 13, features events each day to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, transsexual, two-spirit, and intersex (LGBTQTTI) issues.

Activities include public readings, on-campus information presentations, and a celebration of art, music and performance off-campus in downtown Kelowna.

“The raising of the Pride Flag and accompanying OutWeek events serve as symbols to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, transsexual, two-spirit, and intersex students, staff and faculty that they matter and are an important part of our campus community,” says Nythalah Baker, Human Rights and Equity Advisor at UBC Okanagan.

Realizing one has a sexual orientation or gender identity perceived as “different” can, but does not always, create barriers to success for some people, she notes, adding that OutWeek is intended to help people feel a sense of belonging and freedom to pursue their goals, and demonstrates a commitment to creating, maintaining, and celebrating a supportive and diverse campus community.

In addition to Monday’s flag-raising ceremony, OutWeek activities include:

  • Research and information tables set up in the Student Services Centre foyer on Tuesday, Feb. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Free public readings by Michael V. Smith, Ivan E. Coyote, Anne Fleming, and Francisco Carasco-Ibanez, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11 in the Arts Building Atrium.
  • Information and displays by the UBC Okanagan Pride Centre and allies, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Student Services Centre foyer.
  • The Outing: Art, Music, and Performance Celebration, a public event at The Habitat, (248 Leon Ave., Kelowna) from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday, Feb. 13. Everyone is welcome; admission is by donation, suggested at $10 to $15.

OutWeek is sponsored by the UBC Okanagan Pride Centre, Campus Life, Human Rights and Equity Services, and UBC Students' Union Okanagan.

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