The Pride and Trans flags are flying proudly at Humber College as the college celebrated the start of Pride Month with a flag raising ceremony on June 1.
The flag raising is a symbolic representation of Humber’s commitment to and support for 2SLGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty, and the broader community. The flag raisings were organized in collaboration with Humber’s LGBTQ+ Resource Centre and the 2SLGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group, which honour the identities and self-expression of two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex members of the Humber community.
Flag raising events were held at both the North and Lakeshore campuses and featured several speakers, including the co-lead of Humber's 2SLGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group and Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences English professor Matthew Harris.
Harris spoke about the importance of the flags and what it means to see them flying.
“The power of these flags resides not in the actual configuration of the shapes and colours on their fabrics, but in what they represent overall,” said Harris.
Harris added that what the flags represent must be defended and supported with real and substantial action.
“As we raise these flags today, we need to remember the promise and obligation of them. We need to do more to make Humber a brave and inclusive place, a place where everyone no matter their sexuality, their gender identity, their race, their religion, or their disability can relax their shoulders, exhale a deep breath, and live a full, productive, and meaningful life.”
Derek Stockley, associate vice-president, Academic at Humber, said the college has committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming community and to being one of the healthiest campuses in the country.
“I (mentioned) before these goals do not have a conclusion, these goals are a journey that never ends and how these opportunities to celebrate along the way are important markers,” said Stockley. “So, thank you once again for the privilege to share a few words, an opportunity to be a part of this celebration and to reaffirm my own commitment to helping Humber become and continue to be an inclusive community.”
Kimberly Daniels, who served as the emcee of the flag raising event at North Campus, is the interim manager, equity and student life at Humber who works closely with the college’s LGBTQ+ Resource Centre. She issued a powerful call to action for those looking to support the community.
“While today we mark Pride and, in many ways, this is a celebration, this is also a reminder for aspiring allies to reflect on the spaces you occupy and the systems you’re a part of,” said Daniels. “This means learning and unlearning unconscious bias to transphobia and homophobia, this means making intentional efforts to create safer spaces by reflecting on whose voices are at the table when you make decisions on policies, programs, and services. This means using inclusive language, attending workshops on how to be a better ally and, most of all, this means understanding systems of oppression and not being complacent to these systems.”
Pride Month celebrations continue at Humber throughout June with events and activities. You can find out more by visiting Humber’s LGBTQ events webpage.