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LBGTQ+ community members feel left out of UPEI student union's Love and Sex Week

Justin Clory, a UPEI student, thinks the Love and Sex week recently held at the university fell short of being inclusive to all members of the LBGTQ+ community. Grace Gormley/
Justin Clory, a UPEI student, thinks the Love and Sex week recently held at the university fell short of being inclusive to all members of the LBGTQ+ community. Grace Gormley/ - The Guardian

By Grace Gormley
The Guardian

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Members of UPEI’s LBGTQ+ community say the university’s student union missed an opportunity to promote love of all kinds during its recent Love and Sex Week.

The week, dedicated towards promoting healthy sexual relationships, has left some UPEI students feeling disappointed and demanding change.

Justin Clory, a fourth-year political science major, attended some of the events during the Love and Sex Week, such as sex education, single mingle sessions and sex trivia.

For Clory, sex trivia was the most discriminatory event. He says prize tickets at the popular trivia night were based on gender and implied that all participants were heterosexual.

"You could have taken gender out of it and had the exact same thing."

He also noted there were no events specifically for queer students.

"It was all very normalized. When you normalize the queer community, it silences it and pushes it back."

Clory and members of the group Queer Collective wrote an open letter to the student union voicing some of these concerns. Queer Collective formed at the university two weeks ago after feeling there was a void for a safe space for the LBGTQ+ community.

"The letter wasn't to place blame. Hopefully, it will help make next year's event better."
-Justin Clory

The student union could have taken advantage of the week to help educate students on the LBGTQ+ community, something other Canadian universities have done in the past, said Clory.

"I'm gay, but I could have learned some of the issues that transgender people are going through.”

When asked to comment, the student union directed The Guardian towards a public apology released on its website Monday. It stated, “although we believe some progress was made, we acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Queer Collective's open letter has received far more attention than expected, said Clory.

"The letter wasn't to place blame. Hopefully, it will help make next year's event better."

Making changes might be in his own hands, since he is currently in the running for student union president.

"It’s issues like this that get me fired up to run for president."

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