Pride, resilience and love were just some of the emotions seen at Lakeland College’s Coming Out Stories. 

The event saw members of the community come out to speak, and hear members of the LGBTQ+ community tell their stories of  coming out. It was part of Lakeland College’s first LGBTQ+ Pride Awareness Week and was done in conjunction with the LGBTQ+ Society of Lloydminster.

Adrianna Girard was one of the speakers Thursday night, and spoke about navigating the challenges and triumphs of being transgender in high school, with family and in the community. She said she hopes her speech will foster further dialogue in the community.

“I definitely wanted to come out here and share my story so we can have progress. It’s time for us to speak about gender and all these things. Our society is moving vastly forward and Lloydminster should be moving with it.”

One of the other speakers was Stirling Moess, who spoke about growing up in a community and time when there was a smaller understanding and tolerance of gender and sexual identity and his own journey through transitioning. He added that he hopes this discussion will have a wider impact and let LGBTQ+ people know they aren’t alone.

“I wanted to put my voice forward to help the communication that we need to have in this community, because we have nothing. Aside from the beginnings of some Gay-Straight Alliances in the schools starting but we continue that conversation further.”

Dean of Student Services Janice Aughey added at the event that this is part of Lakeland College’s further commitment to inclusion of ethnicity, gender and sexual identity and they will be working towards safe spaces for all student gender neutral pronouns on all college documents.