Pride Rally hosted by the University’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance

Silvia Buonocore, News Editor

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The University’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) hosted a Pride Rally in Olin 268 as a part of their annual Pride Week. Vice President of GSA Jacob Adeniran ’19 organized the event and presented an opening speech.

 

Adeniran’s speech explained that this year’s Pride Rally coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Riots of 1969 occurred in Greenwich Village, New York City to protest a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, and Adeniran drew inspiration from the story in his opening address.

 

“Dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming patrons of the Stonewall Inn decided that they had had ENOUGH of being pushed around. Enough of living in the shadows. Enough of bowing their heads and hiding their true selves. And enough of the fear-mongering and stigmatization that dominated (and honestly continues to permeate) the national rhetoric,” Adeniran said. “As a police raid on the Inn escalated, snatching up everyone deemed ‘other,’ these revolutionaries fought back.”

 

The correlation of this University event to the Stonewall Riots was intended for participants of the rally to recognize the courageous work that the revolutionaries laid out for everyone to follow. Adeniran emphasized the importance of continuing to fight for equality and respect – especially on college campuses where bullying is highly prevalent. “While we recognize that much has changed, we know that much has remained the same,” he said.

 

Adeniran also spoke about the socioeconomic struggles that many members of the LGBTQ+ community endure. Specifically, regarding economic hardships faced by transgender and gender-nonconforming members, Adeniran provided the saddening example that “in Pennsylvania, it is still legal to deny housing or terminate employment for LGBTQ people.”

 

Adeniran ended his speech on a high note, emphasizing that currently, the “Trans Women of Color Collective seeks to shift the narrative in our communities from surviving to one of thriving, by striving to build economic empowerment and global networks that connect rural communities with suburban enclaves, inner-city youth with elders, donors with black trans entrepreneurs, healers with those seeking to be whole and collaborators with agitators.”

 

Adeniran shared that the GSA supports the Trans Women of Color Collective by accepting donations both at the rally and at the University’s Annual Drag Ball, which took place on March 30 at Uptown.

 

The rally also included remarks from Director of the Office of LGBTQ+ Awareness Bill McCoy and Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and faculty adviser for GSA Erica Delsandro. The keynote speaker at the event was Councilman Luis Medina, the Borough Councilman for Lewisburg’s Fourth Ward. The rally concluded with remarks from current GSA President Michael Gerber ’20 and President-Elect Akil Atkins ’22.

 

Following the rally, there was a hot topic student-led discussion entitled “Fran’s House, alternate social spaces & heteronormativity on campus” to foster positive reflection and conversation.

 

“The LGBT community at Bucknell is energized, prepared, and determined to take on the next chapter of challenges we face at Bucknell and in the broader community,” Adeniran said.

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