As students head back to campus after a year of online classes, student services are reopening and Queer McGill is preparing to reopen their doors. This student-run service, created in 1972, provides queer students at McGill with a wide range of resources and advocates for queer student rights at McGill and in the greater Montreal community.
In an interview with the Daily, Resource Coordinator Cal Pease described Queer McGill’s role within the university: “[Queer McGill] works to uplift queer voices through our multiple creative events, such as our zine launch, art shows, and open mics. This work is fundamental because of how much queer voices are usually oppressed in these fields.”
The organization is set on advocating for queer students’ interests. “We work with the Gender and Sexuality Commissioner to focus on improving the queer student experience at McGill within the SSMU,” Pease said. “In addition, our administrative coordinator sits on numerous committees that advocate for queer students such as the McGill Joint Board-Senate Committee on Equity (JBSCE) Subcommittee on Queer People.” This Subcommittee has, among other things, spoken out against speaking events that are harmful to trans and nonbinary youths and hosted worshops and conferences for queer students.
In addition to providing queer students with a community and a voice within SSMU, Queer McGill also aims at offering support for the broader queer community. Administrative Coordinator Brooklyn Frizzle highlighted Queer McGill’s political purpose: “We take stances on relevant queer related political issues in order to heighten student awareness, actively promote queer issues, and prevent prejudicial action against our members and allies.”
On August 29, Queer McGill launched their Summer Zine, which is accessible through their website and Facebook page. It features art pieces submitted by McGill students, in accordance with the organization’s goal of providing more queer representation and visibility. The zine also serves as an update of the resources and events Queer McGill offers, both material and informational. Among those are “safer sex supplies such as condoms, dental dams, HIV self test kits and more; gender affirming gear such as binders, gaffs, packers, […] and menstrual supplies such as menstrual cups and reusable pads,” according to Pease. Students can access their full catalog on Queer McGill’s website; to request resources, students can fill out their resource reservation form.
Pease also added that within the SSMU building (located at 3600 McTavish Street), Queer McGill facilitates a staffed safer space in Room 432, where students can take advantage if a room free of overstimulating lights and scents. and an English language queer-specific library in Room 408. The organization additionally serves as a resource for information about other queer organizations in Montreal.
Regarding this year’s events, Pease specified, “Queer McGill will be hosting our weekly Gaymes Nights/Movie Nights alternating between in person and online. Every month will also have one online event and one in person event. We’ll be hosting some events that you may remember from pre-Covid times, such as our Bob Ross Night and Palentine’s Gay, as well as another Zine Launch.”
Queer McGill kicked off this year with their first in-person movie night on September 1 and welcomed everyone back with a picnic in Parc Jeanne-Mance on August 28. They also have brand new events planned for this year, such as a virtual escape room on November 13 and gingerbread house decorating on December 11.