By: Kitty Cheung, Staff writer
Dear Women’s Centre,
You hold a very special place in my heart, and I can only express this love through gratitude. I want to thank you for this safe haven, including both the All Genders Resource Area and the 24/7 lounge. With this wonderful space, you have supported my health, my education, my creativity, and my self-esteem.
You’ve always known how to help me feel comfortable in my own body. Whether you provided me with tampons and pads when my cycle snuck up on me or bestowed safer-sex supplies for if I ever wanted to get it on… you’re a giver.
Your table laden with safer-sex supplies and consent toolboxes, which caters to a variety of sexual orientations, allowed me to learn without shame or embarrassment about different kinds of sex outside of heteronormative standards — especially through the flipbooks! While the pink did rise to my cheeks to be caught pouring over their animations such an animation of two men putting on a condom before making love, you made me feel safe and unjudged with your sex-positive nature. I love how we share similar values, and that you challenge me to open up my perspective.
Perusing your feminist library, I’ve benefited from your knowledge of history, literature, health, art, and so much more. You’ve taught me so much about this world, especially from a women-centric perspective. You’ve introduced me to so many badass, intelligent ladies, empowering me to become the most badass, intelligent version of myself.
Women’s Centre, you’ve supported my education with your consistent generosity. Whether it’s the granola bars on the library coffee table that help fuel me before lecture, the coffee in the kitchen so that I can stay awake during said lecture, or that musty orange armchair that welcomingly envelops me as I do readings, I cherish you.
Thank you for giving me a safe space to take naps between classes, nestled in the arms of your comfy couches and well-loved blankets. Thank you for providing a warm place to spend the night before 8:30 a.m. finals. Being able to avoid over an hour’s worth of transit in the morning is a blessing, doing wonders to both my sleep schedule and study habits. On top of that, you have provided me with a splendid spot to cook on campus, complete with a microwave to warm up my lunches. My leftover dinners would not have tasted so good the next day if not for you.
I love that you also have a garden plot in the Embark Learning Garden outside of TASC II. Our collective planted seeds in that plot, which flourished and grew into fresh vegetables that I remember harvesting and bringing back to your kitchen, for many others to enjoy and to nourish their families.
Don’t even get me started on how active and engaging you are. Whether it was joining in on a community cooking workshop, cuddling with Ezzie the Australian Shepherd, healing with ArtThrive, or knitting with the Creative Collective, the resources and activities that you’ve provided to aid my mental health and student experience are wonderful. Even when there isn’t a specific event happening within your walls, you are free, open, and inclusive. I can always stop by to say hello.
I especially appreciate how supportive and strong you can be in emergency situations. For those of us who may have been impacted by sexual violence or who are struggling with mental health, your crisis referrals and peer support resources make you a blessing for myself and so many others on campus.
Once again, thank you for being here for me and for all of my fellow self-identified women on campus.
With love, light, and much gratitude,