This week, Bunce Hall lit up in rainbow colors to commemorate Rowan’s celebration of Pride Week.
This bold, beautiful color representation marked the beginning of a week’s worth of celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community at Rowan.
This week pays homage to the national celebration of Pride Month, which takes place in June.
Rowan has done a great job making sure this week is not primarily white-washed and over crowded by hetero-cisgender individuals. Important to pride celebration is the incorporation of intersectionality.
Events like Q&MI (Queering Multicultural Inclusion)’s screening of Moonlight, a movie about a young, black and gay man growing up in Miami, addressed visibility of intersectional identities in the media, among other questions.
Wednesday’s Pride Patio celebration included groups such as True Colors, Prism and oSTEM, an organization dedicated to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students and workplace professionals.
A talk by Dr. Kathryn Hobson will address that very question of intersectionality Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Student Center.
These events shouldn’t be overrun by “straight best friends” and hetero-cisgender individuals, which can actually deter LGBTQIA+ individuals from showing up themselves, as many members of the community have noted in the past. However, straight allies do have an opportunity to participate, properly, in these events and educate themselves on the problems that individuals part of these communities face everyday.
For those who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community, pride week is an opportunity to celebrate their identity in a space normally not provided to them in their everyday life. It’s their opportunity to be proud of who they are through a specific platform.
Straight allies should be careful to find ways to honor the LGBTQIA+ community this week without stealing the limelight. Find simpler ways to honor those friends in your lives.
Perhaps that includes donating your clothing to an organization that houses homeless LGBT youth, or checking in with your LGBTQIA+ friends when legislation unveils against these communities.
And let’s continue noting that it’s memorable these events are being celebrated this week. These identities are valid 365 days a year, despite what our culture might say.
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