Bryson Morris, a third-year student studying the history of science and technology (HOST) and philosophy at the University of King’s College, is the vice president of communications for the King’s P.R.I.D.E. Society. Morris has been at the heart of organizing this week’s Pride festivities.
Though this is their first year of involvement in the P.R.I.D.E. society, Morris says they have attended society events throughout their time at King’s and has appreciated the presence of the society as a queer student.
“A goal of P.R.I.D.E. society in general is to be as inclusive as possible… at the same time, we’re a queer organization, our events are queer and you have to be respectful of the queer people at the events. It’s for us, but anyone can come,” said Morris.
Jake Norris, a third-year early modern studies and philosophy student at King’s, says he hopes to make it out to a couple of the week’s events.
“I think [Pride Week] is important in the way that any other event for equality is… I don’t like when events are esteemed as something unique. I feel like one of the most important and beautiful ways these events can be included is… in the same it’s Christmas, this is Pride Week. We’re not questioning why we’re celebrating it, we’re just celebrating it,” said Norris.
All students, no matter their gender or sexual orientation are welcome to participate in the week’s events.
Morris spoke to the panel discussion and workshop being hosted on Friday evening, saying “sexual and gender identity affects our professors and our staff, and the way we do things at King’s,” in addition to students. They also spoke of issues pertaining to access to gender neutral washrooms and respecting pronouns.
In their experience as a queer student, King’s has been an open and welcoming community to be a part of, Morris said.
“There’s still a lot of work we can do to be more inclusive and work with pronouns has not been as ideal as it could have been… not all people know how to talk about these issues. I think it’s largely a problem with assumptions,” said Morris.
Morris also notes important strides taken recently at the university, citing the Wall of Women and recent pronoun training done for the Wardroom’s staff orientation.
Reflecting on their experience with Pride Week last year, Morris says the visual support and presence of the society means a lot.
“We have tried to balance being politically involved and being a celebration of queer identity and diverse identities and all its forms.”
Morris hopes the week will be both informative as well as fun for all students at King’s.
A full list of the 2015 King’s Pride Week’s events can be found here.