Reflections on Finding Your Authentic Self

In our first blog post for 2017 we hear from Beckham Ronagham. In this blog piece, Beckham candidly discusses the process of transitioning while at Queen’s University. Through poetry, Beckham explores the many emotions involved in their own transition.

During 2010-2012, my third and fourth year at Queen’s University, I came out as transgender and transitioned to living in a male gender role. While in my heart, I identified as genderqueer and with gender-neutral pronouns.

I found the culture of masculinity at Queen’s toxic and challenging. I conformed to certain expressions of masculinity I did not identify with. I dressed in a particular way in order to be perceived as male. Meanwhile, I dressed in sequins, bright colours, and flashy fabrics, behind closed doors and in safer spaces. Only to those closest to me did I share my authentic gender queering self. I wrote this poem in 2012, Continue Reading »

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Moving On: The Inevitable Post-graduation Transition

Julie Harmgardt is our December 2016 blogger. In her piece, Julie explores the process of transitioning from being a university student to the “adult world.” In particular, Julie looks at this process of transition from the perspective of persons living with a disability.

There are many exciting “firsts” in our lives as young adults. The first time you drive a car. The first time you go on an official date. The first time you host a dinner party and don’t burn the food. The first time you travel solo. The first time you live on your own at university or college.

For people living with disabilities, the next “first” can be intimidating, time-intensive and outright exhausting, instead of exhilarating: graduating university and entering the down-right scary “adult” world. It’s a lot more complicated than securing a job, going apartment-hunting, packing up personal artifacts and moving into a new apartment in a bustling city and effortlessly beginning a new chapter. Continue Reading »

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Reconciling Two Visions of One World

In the November edition of our blog we hear from Dr. Paul Chaput. In his blog piece, Paul beautifully captures through poetry the complexity of seeing and understanding the world through multiple lenses and ways of knowing.

It is an honour to contribute to Together We Are. My wish is to give you an inside view of the world that I experience daily while contemplating decisions regarding human interaction with the environment. To create a place from which to begin, I will introduce you to two disparate worldviews and explain why reconciliation of one with the other is challenging. Then, through poetic imaginings, I will paint a picture of the reconciliation of brothers.

It is my privilege and challenge to see the world through the lenses of both European and Indigenous worldviews. European explorers were apparently motivated by the prospect of riches and the gratitude of King and country. Continue Reading »


Queen’s – A Home Away

The October edition of our Together We Are blog is by Theresa Yamson (Sci ’95). In this blog piece, Theresa looks back on her time at Queen’s and the family she developed throughout her university years.

The old adage that to “really know a people you must live amongst them” holds true for most aspects of our lives, and provides a richness to our cultural development that I can truly attest to.  Since my childhood I’ve been fortunate to visit, and in some cases spend a fair amount of time in a number of countries worldwide that I like to think I can appreciate enough about different aspects of culture.  One of these places that for me holds many fond memories and opened up a wealth of cultural experiences, and to which I owe some of my strength of character today is Kingston, Ontario.

Being an international student at Queen’s in the mid-nineties was fraught with challenges that today most students would fail to understand – key being the lack thereof of  connectivity.  Continue Reading »

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The Comfort of the Classroom

In our first blog post of the 2016-2017 season, Precia Darshan discusses the classroom and the courage needed to ask questions and meet new people.

Despite working in a few office settings, being a student is my primary profession. During my time at Queen’s, I have had the pleasure of joining two faculties: the Faculty of Law and the Smith School of Business. From experiencing the dynamics of both student bodies, I have come to believe that there are some phenomena that are universal across any faculty.

Apart from craving Starbucks in unison, the behaviour of students in classrooms holds an uncanny consistency to it. For one, students often sit in the same spot. Why? Some potential answers: A) They did it the week before. B) All of their friends are around them. C) The professor was visible at most times during the lecture.

Is sitting in the same seat the most conducive to learning? Continue Reading »

Welcome to Year Two of the Equity Office Blog!

Thank you to all of our contributors and readers from 2015-2016. We enjoyed your honesty, unique perspectives and thoughtful engagement.

In honour of the 175th anniversary of Queen’s University, the 2016-2017 blog will shine a spotlight on Queen’s alumni. Over the course of this year you will hear from both current and past students (undergraduate and graduate), staff and faculty. Each month check-in to see what our latest blog contributor has to say on the topics of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Check out our contributors’ profile page for the full listing of 2016-2017 Together We Are bloggers.

Oh and don’t forget, YOU are part of this conversation as well. Together We Are all part of the Queen’s and broader Kingston community and therefore your comments and feedback are welcome.

Continue Reading »