Pride for all: GSA hosts a colorful Pride Weekend

Natalie Spears, Special Features Editor

The Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) hosted its very first Pride Weekend on April 1-3. With parades, panels, and parties, the weekend was a major success and promoted the celebration and awareness of the LGBTQ+ community. Multiple organizations across campus co-sponsored the event and shared their support, including Bucknell Student Government (BSG), the Office of LGBTQ Resources, and SpeakUP.

Events promoting the LGBTQ+ campus community lasted the duration of the weekend. The LGBTQ+ Q&A dinner panel on April 1, the Rainbow Run 5k and a performance by Oompa Williams on April 2, and the Pride Parade and after party on April 3 were a few of the highlights from Pride Weekend.

It was a great experience to be surrounded by fellow Bucknellians, faculty, staff, and local students as well as religious affiliates and show support for the LGBTQ community. The turnout was about what I expected but I hope for more people next year,” Somer Dice ’16 said.

GSA President Taryn Urban ’18 said that the Rainbow Run 5k and the Pride Parade were the most successful events of the weekend. Leaders of student organizations, BSG representatives, Lewisburg Area High School students, and members of the Beaver United Methodist Church in Lewisburg attended both events.

“I think the Rainbow 5k and Pride Parade were the most meaningful, in terms of making a provocative statement about use and access of public space for queer people,” Director of the Office of LGBT Awareness Bill McCoy said. “One of the more powerful statements of Pride Weekend has been the claiming of public space for the queer community. Through the Rainbow 5k and Pride Parade, the LGBTQ community established that our identities and our community should have access to and be recognized and lived out in public spaces.”

This weekend was an important University milestone, as it was the first time GSA and the LGBTQ+ community were able to garner support from such an extensive portion of the local community.

We were finally able to reach an audience that maybe hadn’t been exposed to these ideas and activities in the past,” Urban said.

Many expressed that this event made a positive impact on insecure members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“The fact that so many students, faculty, staff, and community members took part in the weekend may have been reassuring for students here who may be struggling with internalized homophobia. It’s a way of showing LGBTQ students that there are a lot of people here who support the community, and who want Bucknell to be the best place it can be for queer students and faculty,” Urban said.

While the Pride Weekend made progress through raising awareness and fostering acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, McCoy believes that there is still work to be done. He described the significant forces that have changed and challenged queer people, such as the legalization of gay marriage and presentations of trans narratives in the media.

“Some of these changes afford more access to knowledge–some people seek out learning about people different than them, while others reject or do not challenge themselves to be affected by other peoples ’ experiences,” McCoy said


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