XINYU WEI

April 12, 2015

From May 11th to 15th, the Anti-Homophobia Alliance (AHA) will be hosting their annual Rainbow Week. The AHA’s goals are to raise awareness, promote the rights of LGBTQ students, and to focus on the issues that people of diverse sexual orientations and genders face in order to create a more inclusive environment.

This year’s theme is gender identity. During this week the AHA will encourage VP students to explore the concept of the gender spectrum and challenge gender stereotypes. For example, the gender spectrum does not only consist of “male” and “female” but also includes a range of genders.

Rainbow Week will include a featured guest speaker, movie screenings, a tie-dye station and various other workshops. The AHA encourages all students to participate actively and discuss any issues that LGBTQ students may face. The AHA leaders also urge VP students to wait for further information in the announcements as Rainbow Week approaches.

According to statistics, 74% of Canadians say that they know someone who is LGBT and 28% say that someone in their family is part of the LGBTQ community. As time advances, the number of LGBT people in the younger generation is constantly increasing, garnering much attention from society.

However, many traditional ideas, values, and beliefs of what sexual preference truly is and what it means have been woven into society and deeply embedded into the conscience of most people. The LGBT community is still not widely accepted in many parts of the world. AHA leader Pearl Finkelzon said, “If no one had ever challenged religions and ancient religious texts, today’s society would be a lot different.”

AHA will continue to strive to promote the LGBT people’s rights and eliminate any exclusion and judgement towards LGBT people. It will remain a symbol of inclusion and a push for advancement in equality, education, and justice.