Rally to end discrimination at St. Thomas University (+video)

    Reality check: According to organizers, Thursday’s rally was meant to be a starting point, not a solution. (Tom Bateman/AQ)
    Reality check: According to organizers, Thursday’s rally was meant to be a starting point, not a solution. (Tom Bateman/AQ)

    Rainbow flags and signs decorate the George Martin steps. A crowd surrounds the base of the stairs, roaring and clapping as a camera crew from CTV watches the events. Anti-discrimination signs with an array of slogans pop up amongst the crowd. The crowd chants and cheers, as people one by one take their turn on the stairs.

    A rally was held Thursday as an attempt to address discrimination against gender differences on campus.

    After Michelle Rayner went to the media two weeks ago about being harassed on campus as a transgendered person, she wanted to get the university behind her

    Rumours spread earlier last week that the Students’ Union wasn’t fully supporting the rally. STUSU president Ella Henry said it wasn’t the case.

    “Certainly there was some discussion and that would be reflected in the minutes but the vote went through unanimously,” she said.

    Similar to the rally against tuition increase, they say Thursday’s rally was meant to be a starting point rather than a solution.

    “A rally on its own is not going to change the world,” Henry said. “But certainly it’s a start and that’s what we’re doing here, getting something going.”

    Rebekah Wheadon, a STU student writing her thesis on gender performance in the peer community, thought the rally was successful.

    “I think the biggest issue is awareness,” Wheadon said. “A lot of people don’t even realize how poor gender identity is. Being part of the majority gives you privileges that make you blind.”

    Video by Shane Magee. Print by Samantha Both.

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