两人, one with pink hair and the other with long black hair and glasses, hold a pride flag behind them and stand in front of the Cook Carillon clock tower.

The importance of building 社区: How GVSU students are celebrating 骄傲

June is 骄傲 Month, which recognizes and celebrates LGBTQ社区. “骄傲月”最早于1986年在美国开始 the 1970s to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which served as a tipping point in the gay liberation movement. 自 then, it has grown into a month-long celebration in many parts of 世界. 

Grand Valley State University is a key sponsor at both the 2024 Holland and 大急流城 骄傲 festivals. 大急流城 骄傲节于6月22日举行 荷兰的骄傲 是6月29日星期六吗. 除了赞助 这些节日,米尔顿E. 福特LGBT中心是 举办每周活动 整个夏天. 

Three GVSU students shared how they’re celebrating 骄傲,以及这个月对他们的意义.

罗文盔甲, a person with pink hair and rainbow earrings, sits in front of Zumberge Pond. 他们穿着一件写着 &宝贝,选择家庭.&”,
图片来源- Macayla Cramer


For 罗文盔甲, 骄傲 Month means spending quality 和伴侣在一起的时间. “我认为很多酷儿都有一个共同点 similar sentiment that our identity is so tied to 社区,” they 说. “Spending time with friends and chosen family is such an 对我来说很重要.” 

“这是骄傲的一部分 骄傲 is the celebration and queer joy that happens,” 说 甲. “It’s just so exciting to see other queer people existing in 一个让他们感到自由和兴奋的空间. 我认为有 so much focus in media and in our society today on all of the bad stuff that’s going on, just seeing queer people celebrating is super exciting.”  

甲 will begin work as a graduate assistant at the 弥尔顿E. 福特LGBT资源中心. "在 LGBT Center attracted me to nonprofit work,” 说 甲, who will be pursuing a master’s degree in public administration. “我爱 和酷儿群体一起工作. 这对我来说很有成就感.”

In addition to 骄傲 being a celebration, 甲 also 说 that the month is the perfect time to learn more about the 社区. “The goal of 骄傲 Month is not to make everyone agree 与LGBTQ+社区合作. 我是说,它植根于抗议和 社区建设. 什么事这么重要,尤其是作为一个 institution like GVSU, is that it creates this opportunity for people to learn and educate themselves, and also highlights what the 大学的价值观是,”阿默尔说.

佐伊贝尔克, 长着紫红色短发的人, sits on a bench and holds a small non-binary flag with yellow, 白色, 紫色的, 黑色条纹.


佐伊贝尔克 celebrated 骄傲 this year by attending the 大急流城骄傲节. 这次活动在考尔德举行 Plaza every year, included musical performances, food trucks, art vendors and sponsors, like Grand Valley, giving out everything from stickers and lanyards to water bottles and 骄傲 flags.

我一直期待着六月的到来。. “有 充满了积极和自我表达. 很高兴看到它 people celebrating their sexuality and identity, and be encouraged 这样做. Plus, people who may be closeted or freshly out of the closet get to see that they have 社区 and they’re not alone. It 对我来说意义重大. 大多数人忽略了我的代词或者有什么 to say when I introduce myself as they/them, but I get to celebrate my queerness at 骄傲 and be surrounded by people like me, rather 而不是感觉格格不入.” 

Seeing Grand Valley at 骄傲 and having a public queer 社区 on campus is also important, 说 Belk. “这提醒 students that it’s important to celebrate their identity and be themselves, even in places that are not welcoming. 它提醒LGBTQ+ identifying people that there are resources for them and that they 被人看见,被通缉.”

Lex燕草属植物, a person with long wavy black hair and a brown shirt, 背后拿着彩虹骄傲旗.
图片来源- Macayla Cramer


Lex燕草属植物 is doing “the whole West Michigan circuit” of 骄傲 events, attending festivals in Grand Haven, 大急流城 和其他地方. After growing up in a small Michigan town with no 骄傲 celebrations, moving to 大急流城 was great, 说 Larkspur, because “all of a sudden, those events were everywhere.” 

“Before coming to Grand Valley, basically all the queer people I knew were online, and there weren't really spaces where you 拉克斯珀说:“我能骄傲地出来吗?. “我立即参与其中 here and made some of my first in-person queer friends, which has 是伟大的. I think when you don't have those kinds of communities, it can be isolating not seeing the experiences that you’ve had 由你周围的人分享. 但是能够得到那种 reassurance and solidarity at Grand Valley has helped me feel more normal, helped me feel like there are folks out there that are like me, rather than feeling alone in a crowd that would rather not think 你的.”

A fourth-year English and secondary education major, Larkspur plans on becoming a high school teacher after graduating. “Role models in that stage of life are very important,” she 说, adding that she hopes that as a visibly out and proud queer teacher, she will provide her students with a supportive space in school that 她没有. 

“I think the biggest reason 骄傲 is important is because 世界’s not fully accepting yet,” 说 Larkspur. ”, means that it’s 骄傲, in spite of judgment and a lot of political 针对酷儿人群的行动. 外面有很多人 don’t want us to be proud of who we are, so i think its important and really liberating to find spaces where our ideintities are 庆祝和接受. 我觉得大峡谷几乎是一个灯塔 terms of supporting queer people, and 骄傲 is a great way for them 去做.”


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