The Meaning of Pride

BY MIA ARCINEGAS / STAFF WRITER

Pride comes in many forms, can be expressed in countless ways, but what exactly is pride? What does it mean to be proud? Usually, the term is applied when one is proud of something they’ve done, or proud of an accomplishment. But pride in terms of queer identity is different; it is more than being proud of this part of yourself, it is about embracing a side of you that can sometimes be met with antipathy.

The purpose of pride week, pride events, and pride representation isn’t to sway people who aren’t already queer or allies to accept the queer community; rather, it is meant as an act of celebration. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where queer people can safely express themselves for the most part. That being said, let’s not forget we are in a rural-ish community in (what I think) one of the most socially conservative provinces in Canada, which is why it is even more important to show our pride. Queer people exist everywhere, not just in big cities, and it is essential to keep having outlets such as pride week where like-minded folks can gather and have a gay time.

Pride is more than just being bright, merry and open, it is also about bringing forth issues we tend to shy away from. Let’s talk about queer health, homophobia, transphobia, misconceptions, and violence, as these things are topics that aren’t always addressed. In my opinion, pride events are meant to bring queer and allied people together, but hopefully, having them can also have a ripple effect, and attract people who may want to learn about the queer community and either support it in ways big or small, or even feel at home in it. The Antithesis to ignorance and discrimination is knowledge.

Pride is something conscious, yet unconscious, ubiquitous, and with us every day, not just during the span of an event or a week. Pride is not just an active rally for change, or effort, pride is simply living your life, pursuing your dreams, loving openly, dressing how you want to dress, doing what you want to do, saying what is on your mind and not having to think twice about it. Pride is aspiring to be your best self and reach your goals. Pride is about living comfortably in the skin you’re in and then some.

Having pondered the question “What is the meaning of pride?” and having discussions regarding it, I have come to the conclusion that there is no definitive response for it. It means something different for everyone, and from what I’ve gathered, pride for a lot of people means just being able to be your authentic, unapologetic self without being chastised, or discriminated against. I will end this with a not so famous quote which some may have forgotten or never heard of, but is still relevant to this day.

“Ain’t nothin’ wrong with bein’ a little gay”.

– Honey Boo Boo child, (2012).

So You Think You Can Drag: A Recap

BY MIA ARCINEGAS / DAGLIGTALE STAFF WRITER

On February 28th, the 7th annual “So You Think You Can Drag” show was held at the Bailey Theatre here in Camrose. It was part of the series of events that made up pride week at Augustana. This was my 2nd time attending this show, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much it has evolved over time. When I was tasked to write about this I was already planning on going, so it was very exciting for me. The scale, the audience, the venue, and the performances were on a different level compared to the last time I attended.

Normally, I always jot down notes I can refer to later on when I decide to sit down and write, but this time it was completely different. There was so much going on, I felt as if I would miss something if I looked away for a moment. It seemed like everyone in the theatre was just as engaged as I was, because there was never a dull moment. The hosts were splendid, and the audience was reciprocating the uplifting energy they were giving out.

The performances were all fabulous, and I was happy to see how much diversity there was among the performers. The audience welcomed all of them warmly, and I can only imagine how nerve-wracking it must be to get dressed up, or down, in front of a crowd of strangers; naturally, I am in awe of anyone who has the confidence to get up on stage and execute routines they likely rehearsed over and over. The outfits, the lip-syncing, the dancing, the planning, and attention to detail are aspects I have always found so fascinating about drag. Seeing the lineup of performers proved how far drag has come as a whole.

With how well the event was organized, I forgot where I was for those 3 hours. I forgot I was in Camrose. This event is one of the fruits of many years of collaborative work between Augustana and the Camrose Pride Community. Thanks to the meticulous planning of those involved, we can attend a drag show in Camrose, thanks to them we do not have to venture to Edmonton to seek a like-minded gathering of people. We would not be celebrating pride in Camrose at this scale, if it wasn’t for the people at our university and community members.

Being fortunate enough to attend a drag night in this fairly small community, and looking forward to it every year is a symbol of growth in itself. For older generations, it is a sign that the right steps have been taken throughout the years, and younger generations of people living in Camrose won’t have to imagine what pride events are like, because they can attend them here. Needless to say, It was the best way to spend my last Friday night of the month. If you have never been to a drag show before, I hope reading this will inspire you to go to one in the future.

The Value of Our Rainbow and Camrose Pride Week

Trigger Warning: Depression and suicide

BY: NATALIA MCGILL

With recent talk of depression, suicide attempts, and #BellLetsTalk all over social media, I just want to say to my fellow LGBTQIA+ community members: I love you and I support you. You are all beautiful human beings bursting with light, and you are all worth something to me and to the community members who share this space with you. We celebrate your diversity, your strengths, your weaknesses, your successes, and your downfalls. You are welcome here and I invite anyone who needs support to reach out to me or to the fellow community members.

This is not an easy time for a lot of people. Winter depression is difficult, school is exhausting, and balancing everything on top of struggling to find self-love is even more difficult – especially for a lot of people in our community who have spent years (and may still have years ahead of them) trying to search for or come to terms with an identity. My heart goes out to anyone facing these challenges, and I offer a listening ear and some other resources.

To talk to me and email me at nemcgill@ualberta.ca

To talk to a counsellor or psychologist in Camrose. Contact our Nurse Navigator at 780.679.1160 or see her in 2-144.
To talk to a counsellor on campus at 780.679.1511 or email augustana.counselling@ualberta.ca.
To reach out beyond the school, contact Camrose Primary Care Network at 780.608.4927.

With Camrose Pride Week coming up at the end of the month, I would like to remind our Augustana students that you don’t have to agree with what you see but you do have to respect it. I would like to remind our sexually diverse Augustana students that just because Pride Week is happening doesn’t mean you have to be – it’s okay to be yourself quietly. And finally, I would like to remind those who are OUT and abOUT (you know) to be loud and proud all week and forever long – but do not try to pressure others to do the same.

Now, where are those rainbow roses at?!

Upcoming LGBTQ+ Events in Camrose:

Camrose Pride Week
Feb. 24 – March
So You Think You Can Drag, EsspressOUT, Tie Dying, Trivia, Panels and Talks, Queer Youth Art Show, open mic and paint night, and so much more! Check out Camrose Pride’s Facebook for more info!

Pride Week Schedule

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LGBTQ+ & Ally Symposium
March 23, 2019
Augustana Campus

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Events in Edmonton this month:

Edmonton Pride Centre
Check out their calendar for drop ins, yoga, activities, and other events.

 

Holi-Gays and Tidings of Joy

BY NATALIA McGILL

Just hear those gay bells jingle-ing, ring-ting, tingle-ing, too! Happy Festivities everyone.
I wanted to write a short blurb about this holiday season, and touch on the pressures and struggles that many of our sexually and gender-diverse comrades have to deal with during this time of year and how to be sensitive to those issues as an ally and as a part of the community.
Holidays are a magical time, full of love and generosity, and all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings; but this isn’t a reality for everyone. Please remember that a lot of people in our community have lost the support of family and friends simply for coming out and trying to be who they are.
At a time when everyone raves about family love, giving back, and the warmth and kindness of the holidays, we have members of our LGBTQIA+ community who no longer have a family to go to, or who no longer have connections with loved ones with whom they once built incredible holiday memories.
It is important to be sensitive to these experiences and try to mitigate the amount of pain and hurt we can cause by being aware of people’s reactions and body language when talking about or taking action with the holiday spirit in our hearts and minds.
As a bonus, if you can, try to offer support to someone you know suffers through a difficult time during the holidays. Offer a day of non-festive related (or related, if they are okay with it) activities to do with them. Offer an open ear, mind, and/or heart to them if they need it. And most importantly, do not try to push anything on them.
Stay safe and be well friends.

UPCOMING EVENTS WITH CAMROSE PRIDE
Pizza and Movie Night – Dec. 10, 6:00 p.m.
Contact Camrose Pride for the address.
Queer Like Me Youth Art Project + Art Exhibit (Funded by CPA) Ages 12-24
Will begin in January
Details to come next issue. Register with Nikki Featherstone by emailing her at: nkmfeatherstone@gmail.com. Contact Camrose Pride for more information.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN EDMONTON AND AREA
A Christmas Drag Spectacular – Dec.15, 7:30 p.m. @ Chic-Hog-O’s
Drag Dinner Theatre – Dec. 27, 6:00 p.m.@ Yellowhead Brewery
Fruit Loop Winter Bash – Jan. 13, 8:00 p.m. @ The Denizen

LGBTQA+ Appropriation during Halloween

BY NATALIA McGILL

People like to talk about appropriation during Halloween, and it defaults to cultural appropriation. What a lot of people forget is that you can appropriate queer culture and queer identities. Here are some tips to ensure that your costume doesn’t appropriate queer/trans/non-binary identities.

CROSS DRESSING/DRAG

Cross dressing/drag is a big no-no for people who are not exploring their identity or who haven’t been introduced or apart of the drag community. Think about all the people who were abused or killed simply for cross dressing, or dressing in drag, and now here you are doing it for fun, without consequence, without any awareness of the history of the implications.

GAY/LESBIAN/BISEXUAL

I have seen people dress up as “gay” where they’re covered in rainbows and “no they just meant gay as in happy, it’s a play on words, it’s just fun!”. Yeah, you can go tell the people who were degraded, abused, and killed holding pride flags that it’s just a fun play on words. I have also seen lesbians in the community dress up as “bisexuals” as a joke.

QUEER/TRANS CELEBRITIES

Caitlyn Jenner was a topic of conversations a while ago, where a costume of her became available to purchase after her transition. It was disgusting watching people trying to defend the costume that took someone’s identity and turned it into a costume. Again for fun right? No, it’s nice that you can be Caitlyn Jenner for Halloween, but she can’t be herself without the entire world harassing and verbally abusing her in person and online.

In general, if it is linked to gay, trans, queer, non binary, lesbian, bisexual, or anything that seems like it could be under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, it probably isn’t a good idea to wear it.

Think about it.