C/O Esra Rakab
The QTCC provides an online space for racialized 2SLGBTQ+ students to gather and build community
McMaster University’s Queer and Trans Colour Club is a place for racialized 2SLGBTQIA+ students to connect and thrive both academically and socially at McMaster. Even while clubs remained online for the fall semester of 2021, the QTCC found avenues for students to connect. Their online workshops and their educational Instagram posts shared tips for mindfulness and how to deal with living at home during online school and the holidays.
In the fall, the QTCC held a variety of online events to encourage students to connect with one another, including a midterm destress session and their most recent workshop, A Very Queer Study Session, in which students studied together over Zoom using the Pomodoro method. The workshop also provided space to discuss mindfulness techniques and how to manage stress at home during the holidays as a 2SLGBTQIA+ student.
The President of QTCC, Emma Zhang, who helped run the workshop, shared her experience at the study session and some of the tips they gave for the holiday season.
“We leave a reminder: it’s important for us to support each other in finding ways to cope with this. [T]hen we open the floor to everyone to see what tips they could have in terms of what worked for them and then we will go with what tips we have. For example, if you can, connect to the people who could affirm your identity and community. It can be online through game nights or meeting up in person,” said Zhang.
The QTCC is continuing their events in the new year with educational information for aromantic spectrum awareness week, a coffee house they host annually at the end of February. Last year, the event was hosted online.
“Last year, we had, of course, spoken word. Also, we had people who shared their screen to show their paintings and I think some were more abstract and some were personal. Also, some people performed songs and dances that were important to them,” said Zhang.
In the month of February, the QTCC is also busy promoting educational information on their social media about Black History Month in collaboration with the Black Students’ Association.
Zhang spoke about how the QTCC hopes to provide tips on how to connect with others platonically on Valentine’s Day.
“Specifically for our Valentine’s Day post, we’re hoping to also provide some resources where people can connect platonically and we hope to address the topic of what it means to have a clear platonic relationship because as you know, queer relationships and timelines don’t really look identical to a cishet timeline,” explained Zhang.
Through every online workshop and post, QTCC is fostering a community for racialized 2LGBTQIA+ students, allowing them to still feel connected to their peers even if most students are stuck at home.
“We leave the floor and the freedom to our attendees to choose what they want to do to build the community that they want to see and I think that that is pretty powerful. And generally having a sense of solidarity of seeing people like them on the screen with them doing similar things, that’s pretty helpful. I think personally, I’ve benefited from that,” said Zhang.