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May 1, 2017 | by  | in The Queer Agenda |
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The Queer Agenda

In case you haven’t heard yet (or need a reminder), UniQ meets every week! On Fridays from 1:00–3:00pm in SU218, we either hold space for the UniQ inclined to play board games and just hang out, or we facilitate structured discussions on issues relevant to the rainbow community.

These topics range from the obvious, like the closet and coming out, to the less straightforward, like religion and relationships. In the past, we have also run a discussion on media representation, but for the reasons this column will detail, there are no plans to do so this year.

It is not to dismiss the importance of the visibility of rainbow identities in the media, particularly for our young people who are still exploring and formulating their identities. Far from it, we have found over the years that many are barely starting this journey by the time they get to university.

We have, however, noticed a tendency for our structured discussions on representation to veer towards the negative side of things very quickly, compared to when they come up naturally while socialising during board games weeks. Our kaupapa quite generally suggests that we avoid this sort of thing, which is why one of the rules for our movie nights is that there are no tragic endings allowed (next movie night is this Friday in CO119 by the way!).

We are very keen to distinguish between symbolic political struggles, like representation more broadly, and material political struggles, like access to adequate health care, housing, employment etc. that affect everyone. The inclination at UniQ has been to discuss the former at the expense of the latter, so our aim going forward is the change that.

For this week’s discussion space, the focus is going to be on a Big Picture of sorts and striking that balance. What are sources of our oppression? How does the LGBTQIA alphabet soup fit into the larger political landscape? We’ll be tackling some big questions this week, so join us!

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