Elizabethtown College’s Gender & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) is helping to celebrate June’s Pride Month by educating the campus community on the history of Pride while detailing the group’s past and future initiatives.
GSA serves to increase awareness of LGTBQ+ issues on campus, provide a safe space for those in the community to meet, and help the LGBTQ+ community through fundraisers and events.
“We celebrate Pride because it gives us this space where everyone is accepted – whether you are in the closet, whether you are out or are questioning, you’re all accepted,” said GSA Co-President Samhar Almomani ‘24. “We also celebrate Pride to remember that although we have come a long way, it’s not the end of the road and we must continue to push for equality.”
GSA has been hard at work to fulfill its initiatives on campus. In the spring, the group collaborated with the Etown College Store to stock the shelves with Pride merchandise. Toward the end of the semester, GSA hosted Barry Loveland and Bill Burton, prominent historians, and writers of the book “Out in Central Pennsylvania.”
On April 9, GSA observed the Day of Silence, a national student-led demonstration where LGBTQ+ students and allies all around the world take a vow of silence to protest discrimination. GSA gave away 100 Day of Silence-themed stickers to students, faculty, and staff while working with ECTV to feature LGBTQ+ artists throughout the day.
“I’ve been really impressed with what the club got done this past semester,” said GSA Faculty Advisor and Associate Professor of Biology Diane Bridge. “The club’s role on campus is very important to ensure that everyone has a comfortable environment coming to college and help us to have a diverse community so we can all have the best educational experience possible.”
GSA is looking forward to continuing its work during the 2021-22 academic year and the group is focusing its attention on LGBTQ+ history month in October. A GSA-organized trip to Lancaster’s Pride parade is being planned, and the group is bringing historians Barry Loveland and Bill Burton back to campus with an exhibit called, “With Open Heart and Open Arms: LGBTQ+ Cuban Refugees and the LGBTQ+ Community’s Response to the Mariel Boatlift of 1980.”