LGBTQ+ Resources on University of Alberta Campus
Written by: Valerie Leow
As seen in the October 2018 issue of Lazy Faire magazine
Identifying as anything other than the “cis-het” (an abbreviation for “cisgender and heterosexual”) normative can be challenging. Especially in a corporate setting, it now becomes no small feat. This normative, which permeates nearly every aspect of our society, socializes most of us into automatically assuming that everyone identifies as their biological sex, and are only attracted to those of the opposite sex. While cisgender and heterosexual individuals undoubtedly make up the statistical majority of the world’s population, the fact that non “cis-het” conforming individuals lie in the minority – although it still remains hard to determine a concrete percentage number of these individuals from just studies alone – doesn’t mean that they should be ignored by society.
We’ve come a long way as a society in addressing these issues according to the changing times, but with the remaining presence of gendered toys, labelled bathrooms, and even the common first question on each application or survey asking if one’s gender is either male or female, it is apparent that we still have a long way to go. The following is a list of some of the resources available to students, ranging from educational websites meant to provide a basic understanding of gender and sexual diversity, to a list of support groups and services on campus. The Landing
A not-for-profit service that promotes and supports gender and sexual diversity. They run awareness campaigns and educational sessions, offer peer mentorship and referrals for students, have regularly scheduled drop-in sessions, and recruit volunteers to staff said drop-in sessions. Drop-in hours are from 10am – 4 pm on Mondays to Thursdays in SUB 0-68a.
A social group for both members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies (non-LGBTQ+ individuals who are supportive of LGBTQ+ individuals) with weekly meetings every Tuesday at 5pm in Athabasca Hall. Meetings involve discussions, peer education, and events like tie-dye or card game night.
Peer Support Centre
Located in SUB 2-707, the Peer Support Centre is a service offered through the Students’ Union that provides students with a “free, confidential, and non-judgmental place to talk to someone for support”. Volunteers are trained in peer support, crisis management, and information and resource distribution within a safe space.
Counselling and Clinical Services
Offers accessible psychological and psychiatric services to U of A students to improve personal, social, and academic well-being. Found in SUB 2-600, they also supervise and train graduate students in psychology.
Sexual Assault Centre
SUB 2-705 houses the Sexual Assault centre, a safe place on campus for students impacted by sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, etc. Unconditional support, confidentiality, and respect for each individual – along with advocacy for sexual violence – are their ultimate priorities.
University Health Centre
The University Health Centre can be found in SUB 2-200, and offers a variety of services, such as sexual health services, immunizations, obstetrics and gynecology services, and more. Most of its services operate on a drop-in basis, with the exception of some with limited appointments available.
All Gender Washrooms
On the UAlberta Campus Map, single use, all-gender washrooms for transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming individuals can easily be located by selecting the “All-Gender Washrooms” option under “Quick Finds”.
Name and Gender Changes
The Office of the Registrar provides one-on-one consultations with students on name and gender changes in the University system.
Gender Inclusive Housing in Residence
A housing option that assigns students a unit, regardless of their sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.
Calls regarding either general information or specific complaints are taken 24/7 via the following phone number: (780)-492-5050. The sexual and gender minority liaison officer, in particular can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not technically on campus… But a good online resource nonetheless that breaks down the complex concepts of anatomical sex, gender identity, gender expression, and attraction into “bite-sized” pieces. It features articles, blog posts, essays, charts, and diagrams that break down and explain the components of gender and sexuality.