People of Georgian: 2SLGBTQIA+ equity top of mind for co-op consultant
June 9, 2023
What’s your story?
The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.
June is Pride Month, and we’re introducing you to some members of Georgian’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Happy Pride, Grizzlies!
People of Georgian: Meet Jacob Chevrier
I love my mother to pieces, but at one point I asked her, “What would you do if I turned out gay?”
And she’s like, “Oh, well, get me the shotgun.” That being said, my family including my mother have been supportive and have become 2SLGBTQIA+ advocates themselves.
I think sometimes friends and family say things offhand without realizing the impact that it actually has on people.
‘It’s an unsettling time’
We’re seeing this more often in our communities right now with so many controversies around drag queen storytimes, Target’s Pride collection, Bud Light hiring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesperson, and the York Catholic District School Board voting against flying the Pride flag…
It’s really scary. We don’t know what’s going to happen or where we’re going to be a year from now and who’s going to be there to help us protect our rights. It’s an unsettling time.
When I came out, I had people who were in my corner and people that weren’t in my corner.
Even to this day, I have queer friends who still face discrimination in their workplaces, and I’m kind of taken aback by that.
You don’t always feel safe as a queer person, whether it’s at a doctor’s appointment, grocery store, or on a walk.
At Georgian, and beyond, if we can make small adjustments to make others feel welcome even in a small way, that is really important.
Even having a conversation with a student who might be queer and outwardly identifying myself as a member of the queer community to let them know they have somebody in their corner.
How can they be successful if they can’t be themselves and they’re not seeing themselves reflected in our systems?
‘You have to hold yourself accountable in front of that glass mirror’
Georgian invested in a Centre for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging and hired a director. We’ve started to see some progression, more training, and more representation across the college.
I know we have a long way to go, but we’ve come quite a long way over the years. Without acknowledging that past, we’re not acknowledging that we made any advancements, right?
You have to hold yourself accountable in front of that glass mirror. That’s one of the hardest things to do.
I make mistakes to this day. I’m not perfect, but you grow and learn from mistakes. You still have to stick up for what’s right, even one little step at a time.
Jacob Chevrier, a Co-op Consultant and alumnus of Georgian’s Business and Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Management and Leadership) programs.