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A woman holding a pride flag and shouting with glee while participating in the UBC pride parade
September 8, 2022
3 mins read

We're queer, we're here: Queer and trans visibility at UBC

Here at UBC, we strive to build an inclusive community that welcomes people of all genders and sexual identities.

We work to build Positive Spaces on campus for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary), queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) students, staff, and faculty.

A time of discovery

We recognize that familiarizing yourself with a new campus environment as a 2SLGBTQIA+ identified student may be overwhelming. However, university is a great time to explore and grow into your identity and learn more about yourself. At UBC, there are resources and spaces available to support your journey of self discovery.

Being an ally

If you’re someone who doesn’t identify as 2SLGBTQIA+, these terms and communities might be new to you. We invite you to act in allyship to queer and trans folks—to get started, access and engage with the Positive Space: Foundations course at your own pace.  

The following image breaks down what each of the letters in 2SLGBTQIA+ means. This may be a good place to start.

2SLGBTQIA+ Infographic

Positive Space at UBC

Launched in 2002, the Positive Space Campaign is a campus-wide initiative intended to raise awareness and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two-Spirit, trans and queer students, staff, faculty, alumni and allies at UBC. The campaign also addresses issues from intolerance to inclusion on campus. Its aim is to build a welcoming atmosphere and promote inclusive dialogue for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities by identifying spaces where sexual and gender diversity is supported and valued.

Here are some highlights of places and groups that are contributing to the development of Positive Spaces on campus:

The UBC Aquatic Centre

The UBC Aquatic Centre provides a universal change room that welcomes all genders. It includes private change cubicles and private washroom/shower stalls as well as lockers. The universal change room is also intended for parents to bring children of all genders into the common room, and people with disabilities who have an attendant of a different gender.

Gender-inclusive washrooms

This map provides a list of publicly accessible, single-stall, gender-inclusive washrooms at UBC’s Vancouver campus.

The Pride Collective

The Pride Collective is an AMS student resource group that offers educational and social services dealing with sexual and gender diversity at UBC. The Pride Collective supports students who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, Two-Spirit, asexual, queer, questioning, intersex, those who do not identify, and allies. They are open to folks from all racial, ethnic, class, (dis)ability, and age backgrounds.

EIO

The Equity & Inclusion Office (EIO) provides human rights discrimination advising and trans inclusion supports. Visit their Gender Diversity Hub for support with navigating the university as a gender-diverse, trans student.

SASC

The Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) is part of the AMS, the Student Society at UBC Vancouver. SASC is committed to educating, supporting, and empowering people of all genders who are survivors of sexualized violence as well as their friends and family. The SASC recognizes that people of any gender identity or expression, especially those who face multiple forms of marginalization, can experience and be affected by sexual violence. They are open to folks from all racial, ethnic, class, (dis)ability, and age backgrounds.

SVPRO

The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) is a safe place for faculty, staff, and students who have experienced sexual assault regardless of identity, expression or sexualities, regardless of when or where it took place. They can help you find a safe place to stay, get help at school or work, accompany you to the hospital, police station, or court, and explain your reporting options.

Gears and Queers

Gears and Queers is a club comprised of LGBTQ+ engineers and allies. They are dedicated to creating an open, accepting space for queer engineering students at UBC through diversity programming, advocacy, and social opportunities. Geers and Queers is open to all people regardless of romantic and/or sexual orientation or gender identity.

CiTR’s Gender Empowerment Collective

CiTR’s Gender Empowerment Collective is a group of folks who host a radio show called Intersections (as well as the previous show Babe Waves). At CiTR 101.9FM, UBC’s on-campus radio station, the Gender Empowerment Collective aims to uplift voices, issues, concerns, and experiences of women, transgender, intersex, Two-Spirit, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and genderfluid folks and allies. No radio experience is required and all are welcome to join.


As you journey on a path of self-discovery, it’ll take time to find your community—and that is okay. Be patient with yourself and move at your own pace. Remember, there are lots of resources and spaces made available to support you. You’re not alone in this journey!