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Exploring Queer Opportunities at Trent and in Peterborough-Nogojiwanong

Written by
Tru Van Wyck
and
and
November 2, 2022
Exploring Queer Opportunities at Trent and in Peterborough-Nogojiwanong
Peterborough-Nogojiwanong Pride, 2022 | Photo Credit: Samarth Sarin

The Peterborough and Trent communities have a generous population of LGBTQ+ individuals. Queer students at Trent have access to many resources, clubs, and support. I reached out to LGBTQ+ students as well as Trent counselling services to ask for their opinion on resources offered and if the university is doing enough to encourage a safe and well represented student body. 

The Trent campus is a welcoming space for LGBTQ+ students. Around campus, including the Student Centre and Lady Eaton College, queer flags are displayed; making queer students feel right at home on campus. As well, flags are presented in the windows of administration offices and store fronts in the Peterborough area.  

The LGBTQ+ clubs offered at Trent include Out on Campus and the Trent Queer Collective. Out on Campus is a confidential space for students at all stages of the coming out process. This club meets once a week at both the Peterborough and Durham campuses and provides a space for LGBTQ+ students to discuss queer rights, issues, and community. Topics include heteronormativity, mental health, identity, and acceptance. This club is ideal for students looking for more friends in the queer community. To join, contact the club for the confidential meeting location.    

Members of the club enjoy meetings because they provide an outlet to talk about queer issues and the positives of being a part of the queer community. It helps individuals discover their sexuality and learn about the gender spectrum by hearing from other non-binary and gender non-conforming people. Members feel the club is a safe space to explore who they are and would recommend it to other queer friends. However, the club could be more accessible to students. Perhaps by offering more than one meeting time a week. Further, the club could organize more events for its members and the community outside of weekly meetings. As well, Out on Campus could have more of a social media presence to remind students of upcoming meetings and events. 

The Trent Queer Collective (TQC) classifies themselves as a Marginalized Gender Sexual Romantic Identities Group. They were founded in 1987 as the Trent Lesbian and Gay Collective. This collective has hosted bi-weekly meeting and offers events for queer students in the community. The bi-weekly meeting registration has not been updated since August and the events calendar on their website does not list scheduled events. However, I recommend you check out their social media for upcoming queer events. 

Additionally, Trent University offers mental health support specifically for LGBTQ+ individuals through the Student Wellness Centre. Evan Bates, the Assistant Director of the Student Wellness Centre, has shared information on the services Trent provides. All Trent counselors have been trained to support LGBTQ+ individuals and, if needed, can recommend students to specific services in the Trent community. Students can book an appointment with a counsellor and get a referral to Jeffrey Reffo who is an LGBTQ+ specialist. Jeffrey offers six sessions to Trent students via zoom to discuss issues directly related to being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Jeffrery is particularly skilled at coaching non-binary and transgender students. As well, for students who are looking for one-on-one services, the Student Wellness Centre funds the Trans Peer Outreach (TPO). TPO, partnered with student groups and provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge, is a peer-support group with weekly meetings accessible upon request.

Daniel Kirby, a marketing and communication specialist, provided information regarding IM Well, a free app which offers 24/7 counselling for all Trent students and alumni. Students that wish to use this service, should download the IM Well app and register with their Trent information. As well, there is a crisis line students can call to be connected with crisis management, counselling, or peer support. Students are encouraged to request what counsellor they would like to be paired with, for example someone a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Counselling services are provided in person, via zoom, telephone, or text. 

Not only does Trent University offer support for the queer community but the surrounding Peterborough area is also a great outlet for events. Such as Gender Affirming Spaces (GASP), a group that offers queer community events. Most recently they hosted a pride picnic at Roger’s Cove. A family friendly event that included free stickers and a button making station as well as treats and games for the kids. This group is breaking down the barriers between young families and the LGBTQ+ community, encouraging education and camaraderie.

Also in the Peterborough community is PTBO-NOGO Pride. An organization that contributes and celebrates the queer community. Recently, this community organized the Peterborough Pride Parade and Pride After Dark. The parade was a huge success with a great turnout and agreeable weather. After the parade, held at the Venue, was Pride After Dark a queer afterparty with performances by Sahira Q, Madeleine, and Betty Baker.

The Peterborough community also offers Pride Outside Peterborough. This club offers outdoor adventures including walking, hiking, and biking for the LGBTQ+ community and allies. The upcoming fall bi-weekly walks are November 7th and 21st. Meet Pride Outside at the Silver Bean at 6pm. on these dates to meet new friends and enjoy some fresh air. 

The Trent and the Peterborough community offer many resources for students of the LGBTQ+ community. However, clubs need to ensure they are providing updated information for the students to get involved. It takes a lot of courage to reach out to the community and these supportive groups need to be available for questions. I believe the clubs and resources for the LGBTQ+ community also need more exposure. I hope as an ally or a member of this community you feel supported and reach out to one or all of the services and clubs offered by Trent and the surrounding Peterborough community. 

 

Trent Resources

Out on Campus

Email: outoncampus@trentu.ca

Instagram: @trentoutoncampus 

Trent Queer Collective

Instagram: @trentqueercollective

LGBTQ+ Counselling

counselling@trentu.ca

Phone: (705) 748-1386

IM Well

Phone: 1-877-554-6935

Peterborough Community Resources

Gender Affirming Spaces

Instagram: @gender_affirming_spaces

PTBO-NOGO Pride

Instagram: @ptbopride

Pride Outside 

Instagram: @pride_outside_ptbo

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