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Pride Month runs throughout June, and is a time to recognise and celebrate the LGBTIQ+ community. At Bond, we value diversity within our community and strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for all staff and students.

In celebration of Pride Month, we caught up with four Bondies to learn all about what pride means to them, discover their hopes for the LGBTIQ+ community in the next year, and to hear their advice for people wanting to become better allies.

Neil Delos Reyes (he/him) – Master of Science by Research (Health Sciences)

What does Pride Month mean to you? 

Pride Month is a reminder of the importance of expressing your full identity and personality. It is a time for being out and proud of who we are as people, beyond the labels that society may give us. Pride Month is also a chance to commemorate and celebrate the pioneers who have worked to change society’s view of the LGBTIQ+ community. Most importantly, it is a time to show love and acceptance for every human, no matter where they are on the spectrum of life. 

Pride Month is one of the ways our society is reminded that we are here, we are queer, and our existence is as valid and beautiful as every other living being on this earth.  

Do you have any advice for staff and students wanting to become better allies to LGBTIQ+ people in our community? 

To become a better ally, you must be inquisitive, open, and accepting. You must be open to exploring the possibilities of human relationships beyond what is represented in mainstream media. You must be able to accept that there will always be unique perspectives that may be different or could challenge your worldview. 

Neil Delos Reyes (middle-left) with Bond Ally Network members

Ali Taylor (she/her) – Office of the Core Curriculum / Faculty of Society & Design

Why is Pride Month important to celebrate? 

It's important to have a time dedicated to positivity and community, and to remind ourselves how far we've come. The news cycle has been grim of late, particularly for the trans community, so it's so important to find time to celebrate the LGBTIQ+ community, the contributions we make to the world, and all the different ways there are to live a rich and happy life. 

What do you hope to see for the LGBTIQ+ community in the next year?  

I hope to see more local awareness and support. There seems to be a lot more support services and networks available to the LGBTIQ+ community in Brisbane than on the Gold Coast. At the very least, we can work on making Bond a more inclusive space. More broadly, Australia still has so much work to do to make sure the trans community feels welcomed, supported, and celebrated.  

Do you have any advice for staff and students wanting to become better allies to LGBTIQ+ people in our community? 

When you can, speak up for your LGBTIQ+ colleagues, friends, family members, and even strangers. It can be tiring and even dangerous to always have to advocate from within the community. And, don't be afraid of things you don't know about the community  – for example, pronouns. If you're not sure, ask. Something that may not seem like a big thing to you can make a huge difference to someone else.  

Ali Taylor (right) with Bond Ally Network members

Spiro Livanes (he/him) – Bond Medical Program

Why is Pride Month important to celebrate? 

To me, Pride Month is an acknowledgement of how far we have come in the fight for equality, but it also reminds me of how much further we have to go. We need to celebrate Pride Month until there is no longer someone, somewhere, who truly believes that they would be better off dead than be gay. That was once me, not too long ago.   

Each year as we celebrate, it is important to have open and honest conversations about how we can push forward and discover new ways to make our community, workplaces, schools, and other spaces, more inclusive for all people, regardless of sexuality, gender, identity, or culture. Thanks to Pride Month and growing representation for LGBTIQ+ people, I realised who I am, and that it is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. 

How do you feel represented within the LGBTIQ+ community? 

Representation is key within the LGBTIQ+ community. It is very hard to be what you can’t see. When people start to discover their sexuality, it is important that there are positive LGBTIQ+ role models so that the vulnerable people in our communities feel empowered to be themselves without fear.  

Spiro Livanes, Medicine Director of the Health Sciences & Medicine Student Association

What do you hope to see for the LGBTIQ+ community in the next year? 

There is always more that can be done to improve equality. Recent amendment of legislation to prevent certain schools from expelling LGBTIQ+ students is a win for the community, but it is sad that such a bill made it to parliament in the first place.  

We need healthier representations of queer love to help promote safe and happy relationships. I hope to see more awareness around consent within our schools, and within our local community. I would love to see the pride flag and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags flying permanently in educational spaces like schools and universities.  

Do you have any advice for staff and students wanting to become better allies to LGBTIQ+ people in our community?  

Allies can take action with little things, like starting meetings by asking people to introduce themselves and their pronouns, or asking someone if they have a partner, rather than a boyfriend or girlfriend.  

Maeve Moroney (she/her) – Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice / Office of Marketing and Communications

Why is Pride Month important to celebrate? 

Identifying as LGBTIQ+ has not always been celebrated – it’s easy to forget that same-sex marriage has only been legal in Australia since 2017. While the rights and visibility of LGBTIQ+ people have increased significantly over time, it’s important to remember how far we’ve come and the changemakers who got us here. Pride Month is a time to reflect on and appreciate these important developments, as well as consider how we can make even more progress.  

Maeve Moroney, Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Arts alumna

What do you hope to see for the LGBTIQ+ community in the next year?  

In the next year, I would love to see the Bond University Ally Network grow. I think there is a lot of potential for LGBTIQ+ themed events, such as discussion panels and Pride Month celebrations. I would also like to see more visibility and acknowledgement of trans and gender diverse people within the Bond University community.  

Do you have any advice for staff and students wanting to become better allies to LGBTQ+ people in our community? 

When it comes to making a difference in the lives of LGBTIQ+ people, it’s often allies who have the biggest impact. My advice is to be actively inclusive. Ask people their pronouns, and include yours in communications. Buy a rainbow lanyard from the Bond Merchandise Store and assume that anyone you speak to could identify as LGBTIQ+. It’s statistically unlikely that everyone in the room will always be straight, so try to use gender neutral language when talking about partners and refrain from jumping to conclusions. If everyone committed to implementing these small actions, the overall positive effect would be enormous

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