Pride at SAIT
SAIT is a diverse campus, and we are committed to providing an inclusive place to work and study. We will continue to enhance resources for our 2SLGBTQ+ community and effect positive change.
In partnership with the 2SLGBTQ+ community, allies and the Pride at SAIT Committee — a volunteer advisory committee from SAIT and Saitsa — we're working to provide a community at SAIT that is inclusive of and accessible to all individuals regardless of gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Definitions and understanding
We often hear that people are unsure of the appropriate nomenclature for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. There is a rainbow of definitions used in today's culture, and we recommend reviewing the definitions provided by the Centre for Sexuality and exploring some of the external link resources listed below.
We encourage gender-diverse students who would like to discuss preferred name changes in confidence to contact email@example.com.
We can help you meet with a representative who can outline currently available options, provide support with informing instructors, and offer 2SLGBTQ+ resources at SAIT.
🌈 How to be an ally
It's essential to support your 2SLGBTQ+ friends by being a good ally. Not sure how? Start with these easy steps!
When someone comes out as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, it is essential to provide them with support, understanding, and acceptance. By fostering an inclusive environment, we can create a workplace or educational institution where everyone feels valued and respected.
- Respect confidentiality: Unless given explicit permission to share the information, respect their privacy and maintain confidentiality. Coming out is a personal journey, and it's important to honor their trust.
- Listen and be empathetic: Create space for them to share their experiences, feelings, and concerns. Be a good listener and show empathy. Avoid making assumptions or judgments.
- Educate yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about different sexual orientations, gender identities, and the experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals. This will help you better understand their needs and challenges. A great place to start is with PERS 143: Queer Inclusion and Belonging at SAIT, available to staff and students.
- Use inclusive language: Be mindful of the language you use and make an effort to use inclusive terms. Respect their preferred pronouns and gender identity. If you're unsure, politely ask them what pronouns they prefer.
- Create a safe and welcoming environment: Foster an inclusive atmosphere by promoting respect and acceptance. Encourage open dialogue, celebrate diversity, and address any discriminatory behavior or comments promptly.
- Be a trusted ally: Stand up against discrimination and actively challenge stereotypes or prejudiced attitudes. Show your coworker or student that you are committed to being a supportive ally in both private and public settings.
Here are five things you can say to show your support:
- "Thank you for trusting me with this. I appreciate your courage in sharing your truth."
- "I'm here for you. If you ever want to talk or need support, know that I'm here to listen."
- "Your identity doesn't change how I see you. You are still the same person I've always known and respected."
- "I want you to know that I fully support you and your journey. You deserve to be happy and authentic."
- "If there's anything I can do to help you feel more comfortable or included, please let me know."
On the other hand, there are certain things you should avoid saying when someone comes out to you. These things can be hurtful or dismissive. Avoid saying these three things:
- "Are you sure?" or "It's just a phase." Avoid questioning or invalidating their identity. Accept their truth without skepticism or doubt.
- "I understand how you feel because I know someone who went through the same thing." Avoid making their experience about someone else or assuming that all experiences are the same.
- "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me." While it's important to respect their privacy, this statement might suggest their identity is something to be kept hidden. Instead, focus on creating an environment of openness and acceptance.
Remember, active listening, empathy, and affirming their feelings and experiences are key when someone comes out to you. Ultimately, your goal should be to provide support, validation, and understanding during this significant moment in their life.
Tips for attending your first Pride events
- Be creative: This is your opportunity to celebrate your individuality and spark joy for parade attendees of all ages. So wear your brightest colours, boldest hairdos, elaborate makeup and more. Consider the weather and dress in layers.
- Bring a friend: If you’re feeling anxious, attending Pride events with a friend or family member can take some of the edge off. The Calgary Pride Parade is also dog-friendly, so long as your furry friend is leashed and good with crowds.
- Care for yourself: Don’t let all the fun and bright colours distract you from the basics like drinking water, eating regular meals and staying safe.
- Plan ahead: Decide which events you will attend and do your research. You should know in advance if a venue requires ID, if there's a cost or tickets are required, and where the drop-off and pick-up points are.
- Show your pride: There’s something to be said about holding your head high and smiling. It feels good and shows others that diversity is beautiful. Wherever possible, permit yourself to get caught up in the moment and abandon any preconceived notions you might have.
Pride at SAIT committee
As a volunteer advisory committee, Pride at SAIT continues to work to ensure that the SAIT community is inclusive and accessible to all individuals. The committee strives to meet its mission through the following:
- working toward the elimination of heterosexism, transphobia, homophobia and gender identity oppression within the SAIT community
- outreach to the SAIT community
To learn more about the committee and how to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenna is one of SAIT's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officers.
She is a dedicated ally of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and has over 6 years of facilitation experience working with youth and young adults, teaching them sexual health, consent, healthy relationships, diversity and inclusion.
You can find her playing at the park with her kids or eating sweet treats when she isn't working.
Ashley is a Chinese Canadian settler who enjoys combining her love for education and the arts to build stronger, healthier, more vivid communities.
Ashley is a Strategic Youth Initiatives Coordinator with Student Services and looks forward to doing more great work with Pride at SAIT. Ashley is an ally of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities and has spent years working with youth to co-create safe and empowered spaces to be their own unique and authentic selves.
She is a huge cat lady and a passionate house plant collector. She often thinks of herself as a house plan whisperer! Feel free to say hi if you see her around!
Sidsel has been a SAIT instructor in the Medical Radiologic Technology Program since 2012. She has been involved with creating a Diversity and Inclusion micro-credential for MRTs across Canada and continues to advocate for the awareness of marginalized communities in healthcare settings.
Her current research focuses on implementing transgender and gender-diverse curricula in medical imaging programs.
She hopes to bring her teaching experience, research and course development experience to the role of Education and Training Coordinator with the Pride at SAIT Committee.
Kate is part of the communications team #HereAtSAIT.
She’s passionate about building community and telling stories that bring people together. As an ally of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Kate joined the Pride at SAIT committee to support initiatives to make campus a safe and inclusive space for students and staff.
Outside of work, she enjoys going on strolls with her bulldog and fostering pups needing a temporary home.
After 7+ years of experience working in disability services around Calgary, Amanda has taken her passion for accessibility for people from all backgrounds and extended it to Accessibility Services here at SAIT. There she does her best to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable.
Often found sitting in contorted positions in her office chair, this bisexual gal is excited to be welcomed into the Pride Committee, where she looks forward to helping out with many events around campus.
Outside of work, Amanda can be found playing D&D or boardgames, getting into adventures with her dog Beans, or honing her skills at one of her many hobbies.
John is the Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SAIT. He brings ten years of progressive experience in higher education administration and is a founding Pride at SAIT Committee member.
Originally from Ottawa, ON, he holds a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, a Master of Arts from McMaster University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Bishop’s University.
Lukas is an elder millennial who represents the ‘G’ in 2SLGBTQ+. You’ll find him in the kitchen baking up delicious treats or in the digital world of video games.
He’s passionate about connection and collaboration and believes we’ve come a long way as a community, but there’s still work to be done.
He believes bringing people together is the first step in creating a better world for everyone, and we can make that happen through collaboration. If you see him around, say hi or reach out if you want to connect!
Saitsa Pride+ Club
Whether you're looking to network, make new friends or give back to the community, being part of a student club is one of the most fulfilling ways to get the most out of campus life.
Visit the Saitsa Clubs website to sign up and explore other campus student clubs.
Supporting resources, services and facilities
Binary (M/F) washrooms and change rooms can present barriers to students and staff with varying needs. The committee and the larger SAIT campus have been working on various initiatives to reduce these barriers.
Recent changes include creating universal washrooms - accessible and gender-inclusive washrooms. They can be found in the following places on campus:
- Heritage Hall (AA126)
- Senator Burns building (NJ102B)
- Thomas Riley building (TT113)
- John Ware Building (E13)
- E.H. Crandell building (G102D)
- Green Building Technologies (Lab and Demonstration Centre)
See the campus map to find their locations.
These changes help reduce barriers for people with varying needs, which may include limited accessibility, lack of private space, and restrictive cultural norms in terms of gender identity and expression.
We recognize the limitations of facilities in certain buildings and are committed to reviewing these initiatives regularly.
You can feel a sense of belonging and empowerment in many positive spaces on campus.
Gender and sexuality support is available through Student Development and Counselling.
Additionally, you can contact our harassment and discrimination hotline at 403.210.4406.
Resources outside of SAITCalgary Outlink
Connect with Pride at SAIT
Sign up for the Pride at SAIT mailing list so you don't miss out on the news about events and support for SAIT's 2SLGBTQ+ community!