Vanier launched a semester-long initiative to celebrate Vanier’s LGBTQIA+ community called Vanier Vibrant. Vanier Vibrant took off on Wednesday March 6th, starting with Vanier Vibrant’s LGBTQ+ Community Fair. This event was held to highlight local LGBTQIA+ community organizations and resources in Montreal who set up tables in Jake’s Mall during UB. Visitors could participate in fun and educational activities to win prizes.
The fair was set up to promote safe sex and to educate visitors about LGBTQ+ sex education in particular, which is a topic that is often over-looked or dismissed completely in schools. The organizations talked about topics like HIV/AIDS protection, consent in any romantic or sexual relationship, and they promoting LGBTQ+ services that were free and accessible. Some organizations present were the McGill Union for Gender Empowerment, Jeunes Queer Youth (JQY), and sext|ed. Sex-ed pamphlets were free to be taken as well as papers with referrals to different gender/sexuality events and resources. The different tables offered free condoms, lube packets, pronoun pins, and candy.
Students responded well to the fair and found that it was very educational and informative because the people were very sex savvy and eager to have discussions. Many people also appreciated the free access to contraception and many crowded the tables to learn.
The community fair made me learn more about LGBTQ+ sex education in particular. This is a topic that is still stigmatized and unmentioned so it was nice to learn new things that everyone should educate themselves about like how individuals and their partners deal with HIV and the different tests and medications that can be related to anyone’s sexual health.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the community fair because many people would appreciate the free items offered and educational pamphlets. It is a good way to discuss and learn about safe and consentual sex as well as prevention. The fair was very sex focused and clinical so the social and relationship aspects could have used more coverage but in general, it’s a great thing that Vanier is giving this opportunity to the community and fairs like this should be accessible in every school.