Three ideas on how to celebrate Pride this year!

By Chantal Rytz, Lily Hou, and the GSA^2 Subcommittee   

Whether it’s your first Pride or you are a regular attendee, Pride 2021 will look a bit different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions in place. The GSA^2 Subcommittee brings to you three new ideas on how to celebrate Pride this year!  

Visit and support local 2SLGBTQIAP+ owned, operated, and supportive businesses!  
  1. Motherlode Coffee YYC 

Known as the lone Female-only coffee shop in Calgary, Motherlode Coffee is currently selling their ‘No Closets Blend’ to support “End of the Rainbow Foundation” which assist refugees, persecuted in their home countries due to being 2SLGBTQIAP+, to settle in Calgary after they have been assisted to flee unsafe countries. Order it here: https://www.motherlodecoffee.ca/collections/frontpage/products/no-closets-pride-blend?variant=38050159886519 

  1. Little Rainbow Paper Co. 

Based in Calgary but serving clients internationally, Little Rainbow Paper Co. creates 2SLGBTQIAP+ cards, prints and enamel pins for every occasion. Pick up some pronoun pins, a mug or a card for your next birthday or event! 

https://www.littlerainbowpaperco.com/

  1. Plant  

This trendy Calgary-based houseplant store for all your pandemic home-garden needs is selling plant pride stickers where proceeds go to @Skipping Stone and @Camp fYrefly. https://plantshop.ca/ 

  1. Made by Marcus 

You can pick up their Pride specialty flavor, Rosewater Cardamom Pistachio, which honors Egyptian 2SLGBTQIAP+ activist Sarah Hegazi (1989-2020), who was imprisoned for flying a rainbow flag in 2017 in Cairo, Egypt. All proceeds from the pint-size Rosewater Cardamom Pistachio flavour will go to @rainbowrailroad to assist 2SLGBTQIAP+ refugees seeking asylum in Canada! Available from take-out freezers August16th – September13th  https://madebymarcus.ca 

5) Wild Tea Kombucha  

Are you friends with Dorothy? The Ruby Slippery grapefruit pink peppercorn kombucha is a refreshing drink and perfect way to support a local 2SLGBTQIAP+ organization. 100% of the profits from Ruby Slipper are donated to Skipping Stone Foundation. 

6) The QUILTBAG  

This Edmonton-based retail shop is the one-stop-shop for unique and customizable wares, including pins, buttons and local artisan goods. Check them out in-person or online: https://thequiltbag.gay/

7) Kind Ice Cream  

A queer-owned Edmonton favourite, Kind Ice Cream is scooping up some amazing flavours while saving the environment and supporting under-served groups and individuals. Check them out next time you are in Edmonton! https://www.kindicecream.ca/  

8) The Dandy Brewing Co. 

The Calgary-based staple Dandy Brewing Co. is pouring up ‘Love Nest’ – a lightly-spiced and effervescent grisette beer to celebrate the landmark Civil Marriage Act of 2005, which provided equal access to marriage in Canada for same sex couples. Grab a pack of 4 (18$) today! http://thedandybrewingcompany.com/  

Check out and follow these local queer artists on Instagram! 
  1. Jean Macapinlac (@conjeaniality) – Tattoo artist, non-binary Filipinx artist, and co-owner of Good Friend Tattoo Parlor.  
  1. Tomi Nu (@nu.ceramics, @nu.tomi) – Filipinx musician, ceramicist, and member of MIX6 artist-run popup showcase.  
  1. Cece Chow (@thetransplanter, @kokedama.ca) – Trans model, photographer, and small business owner of Kokedama.  
  1. Rezinbabe (@rezinbabe) – Indigiqueer/2S artist and jewelry maker, small business owner. 
  1. Ris Wong (@demonography) – non-binary illustrator, artist, and senior product designer.  
  1. Joshua Whitehead (www.joshuawhitehead.ca) – Two-spirit author of full-metal indigiqueer (2017), Jonny Appleseed (2018), and upcoming work, Making Love with the Land.  
  1. Robert Adam (@robertadammusic) – Local queer country musician. 
  1. Felicia Bonée (@thefeliciabonee) – Black trans drag artist, performer, and Dungeons & Dragons podcast creator (Proficiency +6). 
  1. Lanice Chep (@homoiswheretheheartis) – non-binary Filipinx/Cambodian singer and musician. 
  1. D’orjay the Singing Shaman (@17degreesofdorjay) – Black queer country songwriter, musician, and author. 
  1. Rebecca Comer (@rebeccacomer) – Playwright, performer, educator for Drama and Performing Arts, University of Calgary. 
  1. Sebastian R.M. (@sebastian.etcetera) – Artist, writer, photographer, and actor.
Grab some popcorn and dive into the art of queer films! 
  1. Saving Face (2004, dir. Alice Wu) 

Saving Face was loosely based on Alice’s own coming out story to her Chinese family. Wil, a 29-year-old Chinese American reconnects with childhood friend Vivian, and their relationship blooms. Simultaneously, Wil’s mother is unwed and becomes pregnant, and shows up at Wil’s door after being kicked out of Wil’s grandfather’s home. A romantic comedy with a happy ending, Saving Face is about love in all forms, representation, and community. 

  1. Moonlight (2016, dir. Barry Jenkins) 

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, Moonlight is based on an unpublished semi-autobiographical work (“Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”) by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Split into three acts, the film follows Chiron, as he grows from a child living in a troubled home, to a teenager confused by his queerness, to becoming a hardened drug dealer. The story explores Black queerness, within the contexts of race, class, and environment.   

  1. Rafiki (2018, dir. Wanuri Kahiu) 

Rafiki (Swahili for “friend”) is a Kenyan film, where homosexuality is illegal. Kena and Ziki come from families who are political rivals, but their relationship grows closer even as they experience pressure from the outside world. Originally banned from screening in Kenya, the ban was lifted for one week and all showings were sold out.  

  1. The Old Guard (2020, dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood) 

The Old Guard is an action film based on the comic book of the same title by Greg Rucka. Four centuries-old people with regenerative abilities find out another person, Nile, has acquired the ability. The film is filled with smooth action sequences, but is also centered around found family.  

  1. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019, dir. Shelly Chopra Dhar) 

An Indian coming of age rom-com, Sweety Chaudhary is pressured by her family to marry a man, but she is in love with a woman. A playwright pursues her, but after realizing her secret he helps her come out to her conservative family.  A feel-good movie with a happy ending, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is an absolutely refreshing film.  

Who is the GSA2?  

We are the Gender and Sexuality Alliance of the Graduate Students’ Association. The GSA2 serves the 2SLGBTQIAP+ (Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, agender, asexual, aromantic, pansexual and all gender and sexually diverse identities) and allies graduate student body at the University of Calgary. Through education and networking events, the committee works to increase the visibility of gender and sexual minorities within the university and the broader 2SLGBTQIAP+ community of Calgary. We are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ability, body size, professional experience and education, socioeconomic status, religion or other lived realities. Please reach out to us at gsa2.gsa@ucalgary.ca if you would like to learn more or if you have any questions.