To help celebrate the inaugural Dalhousie Pride Week, Dal News is sharing a series of perspectives on Pride from across the university community.
Name: Jasmine Walsh
Where are you from: St John’s, Newfoundland
What do you do at Dal: Assistant vice-president, Human Resources (acting) & director, academic staff relations
What does Pride mean to you?
For me Pride is, and always has been, political. It celebrates the truth in our differences. It is a measure of the distance that the LGBTQ community has come and a reflection on the journey that we still have ahead of us. I am proud to have lived through significantly improved legal equality for queer people. But our work is far from over. Globally, queer people are still routinely persecuted. Locally, members of our community are still not accessing legal protection and social inclusion on an equitable basis. Pride reminds me that we need to assemble what power we have collected and stand shoulder to shoulder with those in our community who need us.
Can you share experiences or memories that stand out from past Pride events?:
My most poignant Pride memory was the first Pride march I walked in in my home town of St. John’s, NL. We were a small contingent. It made the city uncomfortable. But banding together to stand in our truth felt really incredible. I would add the occasion of my first Pride with my daughter, Astrid, as another very proud memory.
Dal is hosting its own Pride Week for the first time. What are your thoughts on this?
It is a great opportunity for staff and faculty to come together with students to recognize Pride as a community. I am honoured by the commitment that Dalhousie has made to diversity and inclusiveness and I feel privileged to be a part of that important work on our campuses.
How are you celebrating and participating in Dalhousie Pride Week, Halifax Pride Week and/or Truro Pride this year?
I attended Monday’s flag raising at the Carleton quad. Through the week I am taking in a number of lectures at the Halifax Central Library. On the weekend I will walk with Dalhousie in the Parade and I will likely also attend Wetspot at the Garrison Grounds on Saturday night.
Why is it important for LGBTQ+ -identified people and LGBTQ+ allies to support and participate in Pride Week?
Coming together to celebrate is a way for communities to grow stronger. It remains a symbolic act for queer people to stand and be counted, without apology. Pride is our way of doing that as a community. The support of allies is so important and I feel grateful for it. I urge allies to reflect on more than just the rainbows and parade and to take opportunities to stand with us 365 days a year.
What makes Pride Week different or special this year?
Orlando. Black Lives Matter. The ongoing fight for safe bathrooms & equitable blood donation laws. These remind us of our responsibility to keep working. Dalhousie’s Strategic Direction on Diversity and Inclusiveness is our license to act, grow and change within our own community for our students, staff and faculty.
Learn more about Dalhousie Pride Week at dal.ca/showyourpride.
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