Pride shines bright in the 2SLGBTQ+ community at SAIT

A group of people wearing SAIT pride shirts pose with a rainbow banner that says 'SAIT Proud'

June is Pride Month! To celebrate and honour our 2SLGBTQ+ community at SAIT, we’ve connected with a few members to share what Pride means to them.

Haejin Han waves a pride flag while smiling with the mountains in the background

Haejin Han (she/her)

Accounting certificate student

Growing up in South Korea, Haejin Han was an activist for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Working against groups who strongly opposed Pride made it difficult to confirm celebrations and secure public spaces to hold events.

Since coming to Canada, Han and her wife celebrate Pride by attending Calgary’s parade in September, decorating their home and even dressing up the family cat in a rainbow bowtie.

Now in her first semester at SAIT, Han is getting to know her 2SLGBTQ+ peers on campus.

“I was happy to see SAIT sharing a message about diversity and making campus a safe place for everyone at the information session for new students. I feel safe here and want to be part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.”

She is embracing the opportunity to own and celebrate who she is unapologetically.

“Being a student at SAIT is my first chance to be myself and to not hide or make excuses for who I am.”

Looking for ways to engage?

Han suggests listening to Ibanjiha and Sleeq — two unique 2SLGBTQ+ artists from South Korea who have inspired her through their music.

Michael Napire smiles and hugs someone wearing who is holding a free hugs sign.

Michael Napire (he/him)

Hospitality and Tourism Management student

After spending most of his life in the Middle East, Michael Napire isn’t sure what to expect for his first Pride celebration but is excited, nonetheless. As an international student, he’s looking forward to seeing the city and community come together this month, during Calgary Pride in September and SAIT’s Pride Week in October.

“Pride Month is an important time to reflect on the progress made in 2SLGBTQ+ rights, but also a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve equity and acceptance for all individuals. It’s crucial to support and uplift those voices and experiences from members of the community, not just during Pride month but throughout the year.”

Napire points to SAIT’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy as one of the reasons he feels accepted and able to freely express himself on campus, and is looking forward to participating in more activities and events.


Napire is inspired by the efforts and significant contributions to the 2SLGBTQ+ community made by musician and advocate, Sir Elton John. “I also have an appreciation for openly gay actors who have broken casting stereotypes, which is unheard of in the Philippines.”

Lukas Valentine smiles in downtown Calgary while wearing a SAIT pride t-shirt

Lukas Valentine (he/him)

Instructional Designer, Centre for Applied Education Innovation

When he started working at SAIT three years ago, Lukas Valentine knew right away he wanted to be part of Pride at SAIT.

“The committee has allowed me to connect with other members of the community, both students and staff. I’ve helped organize SAIT’s Calgary Pride participation, Pride Week activities on campus and the development of the PERS 143: Queer Inclusion and Belonging course. The committee is looking ahead at ways to make SAIT even more inclusive, so everyone has a sense of belonging.”

For Valentine, Pride Month is about blending celebration and reflection. It is a time to look back on the challenges overcome by the community and milestones achieved, and to acknowledge those who have fought for 2SLGBTQ+ rights. It is also a time to come together in celebration of each other as individuals and the unwavering strength of the community.

This June, he’ll be diving into some 2SLGBTQ+ literature, learning more about local history through the Calgary Gay History Project and supporting queer-owned businesses.

Be kind, love fiercely, embrace who you are and never forget to let your rainbow shine bright! Happy Pride, everyone!

Shout out

Valentine would like to shout out Canadian talent, Dan Levy. “He’s an actor and writer who advocates for 2SLGBTQ+ rights and representation, using his platform (and hit TV show Schitt’s Creek) to amplify queer voices and spread love.”

Celebrate the 2SLGBTQ+ community during Pride Month

Check out the Pride at SAIT newsletter for events around the city this month or pop by the Reg Erhardt Library to peruse the curated selection of 2SLGBTQ+ fiction and non-fiction reads.

The Calgary Pride Parade and Festival will be Sept. 2-3, 2023. Watch for registration to walk with SAIT in the Pride Parade.

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SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.