Animal-Shack

The Point of Pride

Why gay pride matters

Published: Apr 30, 2014

Robert Gaudette

Guest Writer

Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance (DSAGA) hosted its annual Spring Pride Week earlier this month.

If you walked through the quad during Spring Pride Week, were you curious as to why students gathered for the event and drew attention to themselves?

Although DSAGA members could have spent their time doing other things, these students wanted to educate and entertain the Ferris State University and Big Rapids communities about their purpose.

Unfortunately, some people are apathetic when it comes to the advancement of human rights and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community. However, you should realize most of us at Ferris are here to do something better with our lives, such as learning about people and the social issues they face.

Although DSAGA wants to educate and entertain students and community members, the main purpose of Pride Week is to educate the public about LGBT issues.

In recent years, DSAGA has transformed Pride Week into a positive learning experience rather than focusing on the negative issues the LGBT community faces. Although it’s important to recognize these issues, DSAGA is committed to making sure our campus is a safe and inclusive environment for students, faculty and community members.

Throughout my life, I have met a variety of people and have felt comfortable telling them about my sexuality. Although I generally feel safe with people knowing, there have been some encounters where I don’t reveal my sexuality in order to avoid a negative situation.

Now, I want you to think about that for a moment: has there ever been a time where you felt unsafe because of who you are?

If so, then you can relate to my situation. On the other hand, if you always feel safe, you should consider yourself lucky. People should never have to live in fear that they may be rejected or harmed for any reason. This is why DSAGA is committed to creating a safe environment on campus.

When it comes to talking about the LGBT community, there’s a common perception that not many people want to fully listen to different opinions about the topic. It’s almost as if those people are afraid to be open-minded and to have their minds changed.

When you come to college, you should realize that your mind is bound to change. That’s the entire purpose of learning, right?

Here at Ferris, one of the pillars of the university is diversity. Ferris recognizes the different backgrounds of its students and embraces the different perspectives they bring to campus.

Once you leave college and transition into your post-grad career, you’re going to continue to meet new people with different ideas. This is why it’s important to always have an open mind and embrace different people. This is especially important when you meet a member of the LGBT community.

As you continue to meet people from different walks of life, be willing to listen and be supportive when they can’t stand up for themselves. This is a great way for you to build relationships and become allies for others.

In the LGBT community, there are Allies who do exactly that. You don’t have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to be an Ally. In fact, there are a number of straight Allies on campus.

During Pride Week, DSAGA recognizes the Allies of the LGBT community. This was a great way for DSAGA to educate people about supporting this community and the human rights movement. This gives us a great way to recognize the people who supported LGBT members and thank them for their support.

Thanks to Ferris and the Big Rapids community, DSAGA can continue its mission to create a safe and inclusive environment on campus. Not only that, but DSAGA will also be able to continue its efforts to educate, communicate and promote human rights throughout the campus and community.