Be You, Be Proud

When I was in high school I was loud and proud, here and queer, out and about… you get the idea. I went to bars and clubs in the Gay Village in Toronto, I had other queer friends, and I even went to a Gay Youth Group. I knew who I was, my family and friends knew who I was, and I loved myself. All was well.

In September 2005 I came to Laurier and I didn’t know a soul. It was like going back into the closet again. I kept a low profile, told very few people I was gay, and I wasn’t active in Laurier or Waterloo’s queer community at all. It was hard. I felt like a part of myself was missing.

By October 2006 I was in my second year at Laurier. I knew my way around campus, I knew who my friends were, and I was ready to get some queerness back into my life. So I went to a Thursday night discussion at the Rainbow Centre (RC) during “Coming Out Week” (one of the RC’s 4 annual campaigns) and felt welcome right away. I made new friends, learned new things, and felt… at home. That’s all it took; a little courage, effort, and there I was – out and proud all over again.

What is the Rainbow Centre? The WLU Rainbow Centre is a safe, fun and supportive space where everyone at Laurier and in the broader community is welcome, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We advocate for and provide awareness about the LGBTQ community, while acting as a social outlet and resource centre.

While at the RC I’ve become an activist, I’ve been educated (and educated myself) on a variety of topics, I’ve made numerous new friends, I’ve been exposed to the greater queer community in Kitchener-Waterloo, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I’ve participated in four incredible campaigns: Coming Out Week, Trans Awareness Week, Support Love, and Oath of Silence.

So when you’re ready, we’re here when you need us. Check us out at www.mylaurier.ca/rainbow or stop by Room 104 in MacDonald House!

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