Embarking on your journey at UBC goes beyond growing your academic self. You may also embark on a deeper journey and explore your sexuality and gender. Whether this is a new direction or something you have been thinking about for a while, here are some general tips to support you along the way.
Take a deep breath
Coming from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences, we may bring with us some reservations, expectations and game plans as to how we go about exploring these parts of ourselves. While it’s tempting to follow a timeline that ‘everyone’ is following, make sure to tune into your own situation, your surroundings and go at a pace that is comfortable and safe for you.
Explore the web
Take this phrase as you wish — the internet is your oyster! This method lends you enough privacy and less pressure to figure out what you like and don’t like. Certain platforms will be more helpful than others. Some people will turn to social media like Instagram and TikTok, while others may look to Queer media like novels, films and podcasts. There is no recipe for how one can connect the dots in a world of sexuality and gender, so give yourself the space to explore what you like and don’t like on your own.
Campus is home to a variety of groups, hubs and initiatives that are welcoming, inclusive and knowledgeable when it comes to the diverse world of sexuality and gender. More specifically, you can look into:
Courses: Within the Faculty of Arts, the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) offers a variety of undergraduate courses focused on exploring topics of sexuality and gender within historical, literary and intersectional frame- works. Some courses we recommend include GRSJ 224, 300, 306, 307 and 316, to name a few. Courses within the Critical Studies in Sexuality (CSIS) Department offer great insights as well.
Events: Having explored those topics from a more academic lens, you may wish to take things further and attend events and discussion groups centred around celebrating the spectrum of gender and sexuality. You can choose to attend in-person or online. Throughout the year, there are many campus initiatives, groups and hubs putting together opportunities for students to share their experiences in the world of gender and sexuality. One example is the Pride Collective, an AMS resource group that supports the 2SLGBTQIA+ community through resources, events and discussion groups.
Take your time
When it comes to exploring your sexuality and gender, you may go through ups and downs, certainties and uncertainties, so don’t feel pressured to have all the answers right away. At the end of the day, there are communities in and beyond our university that will support you wherever you are on your journey. And remember: sexuality and gender are fluid, so which label you choose to identify as one day can change the next.