HQ Lakeshore is one of Lakeshore’s newest clubs. Formed in the 2016 Winter semester by two graduating students, the club was created to provide an on-campus community and support group for LGBTQ+ identifiers.
To find out more about the club’s objectives, we sat down with Joshua Weidner, HQ Lakeshore Executive Director.
What is HQ Lakeshore’s main objective?
According to Joshua, Humber is already an inclusive community, however, he believes LGBTQ+ students need a support group:
“Most importantly we want to build that community at Lakeshore. We know it’s difficult. Lakeshore is a beautiful campus but it is basically 20 separate buildings, so it’s hard to get that sense of community, and it can be hard to get to know people. We would like to provide safe spaces – and easy places – to come and meet people, similar people or maybe people who have gone through what you are going through.”
Left to right: Kate Chystoforova, Dee Phillpotts, Randi Haskett, Joshua Weidner, Rejeanne De Jong.
What are some daily struggles that LGBTQ+ students face?
Joshua explained that he has personally had a great experience at Humber, but there are larger, more general, issues that can be found on many college campuses:
“When it comes down to an individual basis you can’t control what everyone says, feels or thinks. So a lot of the issues in colleges, that I am aware of, come from peers. It is always kind of scary coming to a new place. You want to be the best ‘you’ that you can be, but you also need to monitor whether or not the people you are opening up to are people you should be opening up to. That sucks because you should be able to be you no matter who you’re with.”
A lack of peer support can have an impact on how LGBTQ+ students view themselves says Joshua, “a lot of it, unfortunately, is self-doubt; internal struggle as well. Because they are away from home, for the most part, trying to explore and find themselves the best that they can.”
What can students outside of the LGBTQ+ community do to help?
When asked what Humber students can do to help the cause, Josh explained that the club isn’t just for members of the LGBTQ+ community:
“It’s about being open-minded; being open to learning. Don’t close yourself off because of previous biases. We all have previous biases and it’s hard to get over that. Just be open minded and welcoming. You don’t have to be fully accepting, but tolerance it appreciated. Get to know the people as people, not just labels.”
Although the club is called HQ Lakeshore, Humber North and Guelph-Humber students are more than welcome to attend the events. Joshua has been in contact with executives at the North campus who run similar clubs to broaden the club’s community, in the hopes of facilitating school-wide – not just campus-wide – events.
Do you want to find out what other clubs we have at Humber or GH? Perhaps you have a great idea for a club you would like to start? Check out the “Clubs” page on our website to find out everything you need to know!
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.