Trinity’s Wellness Team’s social media series celebrates and highlights our incredible staff and faculty at the College. The Team hopes by highlighting and honouring the work of our staff and faculty members, our students and community can get to know each other better over the next few months! In honour of Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month this month, meet Billy J. Gekas (see below or view on Instagram), Circulation Supervisor, at the John W. Graham Library.
Billy recent gave a talk at Harvard Divinity School’s Inaugural “Ecological Spiritualities Conference” on April 29, 2022 (view a recording of their talk “Introducing a Theology of Relational Accountability”) and spoke at the Metropolitan United Church’s Reconciliation Sunday on June 19, 2022 (view their remarks at the 43:53 mark in the video). Billy also serves on the Board of Directors for Toronto Urban Ministry (TUNM), and TUNM has compiled a resource guide of events for Honouring National Indigenous History Month, June 22 (PDF: 61 kb).
Posted June 23, 2022
Introducing Billy J. Gekas
Circulation Supervisor at the John W. Graham Library,
(Images: two photos of Billy J. Gekas )
Introducing Billy J. Gekas
My name is Billy J. Gekas. I am a queer, non-binary, mixed-race person of colour, 2nd generation settler born and mostly raised in Tkaronto (Toronto), Ontario, Canada.
Wellness Team (WT): Why do you enjoy working at Trinity College?
Billy J. Gekas (BG): I have the opportunity to support our community in their research with the most recent and diverse resources, that can shape future changemakers for a better world.
WT: What is your favourite location at Trinity?
BG: The Bosanquet Garden on the westside of the library and its cloisters.
(Image: Billy takes a selfie at the front of the College with the Progress Pride in the background)
WT: What is a fun memory of experience you have working at the College?
BG: In pre-pandemic times, Trinity Staff would gather for morning break to socialize over those infamous bowls of Lay’s Classic potato chips and fruit, a truly bonding experience.
WT: Why do you think it is important for us to celebrate and highlight the diversity of our College members?
BG: The more we celebrate diversity in our Trinity community, there is more visibility to how intersectional our relationships are, centering the importance of accountable and equitable care for these diverse relationships, in hopes of bringing more awareness to unconscious biases, and dismantling contexts that continually marginalize individuals and communities whose identities and experiences are not affirmed or even seen.
WT: Do you have any advice you want to share with our students?
BG: Prioritize self-care, especially in these challenging times. Practice self-love in any creative way you can muster up and do your darndest to realize how valuable you are, worthy of love and care. Embody love in all your relations and do your best to support others in this journey of life. And if you carry more privilege in life, use the power and opportunities that come with that privilege to elevate others, by creating safer spaces and more opportunities for those who have been in the margins, to finally be centered and thrive.
WT: How can our students contact you if they want to connect further?
BG: You can always reach out via email, or visit the library to schedule a time.
Any Fun Facts?
WT: Dream vacation?
BG: In a forested cabin, at Baekdu Mountain, so I can spend time practicing Yoga and Taiji Quan by the Changbai waterfalls of Lake Tianchi (Heaven’s Lake).
WT: Favourite snack?
WT: Who is your hero?
BG: Xena Warrior Princess.
WT: Are you a dog or cat person?
BG: I love both, and even though I have a past in dog training, I do lean more towards cats as my animal companions.
(Images: Billy practicing Yoga/Taiji Quan, and Billy with their cat)
Photos courtesy of Billy J. Gekas