Pride Week coming to MRU
Usually held around the summer months in Calgary and around the world, pride week at Mount Royal University is coming earlier in the year to raise awareness among students.
Joshua Cadegan-Syms, administrator for the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University’s Pride Centre, said the week’s events are meant to get students talking.
“I think it is a good opportunity to meet people you might not have had an opportunity to meet before — with that comes a variety of ideas and perspectives,” he said.
“Being queer is not an entire personality, but an aspect of their personality,” he added. “It is important for people to connect to other people outside the community who can relate to other aspects of who they are as well.”
From Feb. 6 to 9 the Pride Centre will host events including Gay Karaoke, the Queer Artist’s Festival and Gender Bender at The Hub and the campus’ West Gate. Gender Bender has been a part of Mount Royal since the mid ’90s, said Shareen Samuels, manager of the Students’ Association’s volunteer centres. The event served as an “anchor before we had a Pride Centre and a Pride Week.”
“Gender Bender is a cabaret — it has had many different incarnations,” Samuels explained. “Every year the student volunteers are very much in charge of what it feels like.”
This year, the Bender has a variety of shows on tap: a professional will dress up volunteers as drag queens and some students will put on musical performances.
Colten Mielke is a second-year student at Mount Royal. He said the subject of pride remains a touchy one. “I feel like the subject is taboo in our culture,” he said. “I think any chance to raise awareness, whether it be at Mount Royal or anywhere else is a good thing.” However, Mielke said he doesn’t plan on participating in the event.
“I am definitely in support of people who do it, but I feel like I’m kind of more reserved.”
For more information on Pride Week, check out the Pride Centre’s open house on Feb. 7 in room Z204.