SGA Diversity Committee and CMU LGBTQ services collaborate at tabling event
“Rain-Dou-Cider”, a tabling event for LGBTQ advocacy and awareness brought fall treats with facts Nov. 6 in the lower level of the Bovee University Center.
Put on by the Diversity Committee of the Student Government Association, the tabling offered free apple cider and donuts along with LGBTQ statistics.
The tabling was a joint effort between the committee and the Office of LGBTQ Services at Central Michigan University. The refreshments were supplied by Philips Orchards and Cider Mill.
Lansing junior Mariah Ashley said the purpose was to deliver topics in an everyday setting regardless if they're often considered too sensitive and controversial for public discussion.
“I identify in the community as bisexual and (I) really want to get any awareness out there for the general public,” Ashley said. “It is not a touchy topic and there’s a lot of people who don’t know much about these things.”
Brianna McCrary, Livonia senior and Diversity committee chairperson, said the tabling was specifically focused on issues regarding LGBTQ youth.
“Our overall goal as a committee is to raise awareness to diversity within the umbrella,” McCrary said, adding that the information provided was relevant to children under the age of 18.
She said the topics provided can help students understand the obstacles of their peers and possibly their family members.
Ashley said the facts provided originated from a non-profit organization, Human Rights Campaign.
The Washington, D.C. based organization is the largest advocate and political lobby for LGBT civil rights.
The statistics provided to students at the table stated that 42 percent of LGBTQ youth say they live in communities not accepting of LGBTQ people.
Howell sophomore Sara Wright said growing up in a small town provided her with limited to no information about her own sexuality.
“It’s a personal thing for me as a member of the community to ensure there’s visibility and that people talk about the issues in the community,” Wright said.
After coming out as asexual, Wright discovered there was a lot of discussion on sexual identity taking place over the internet but there wasn't any conversations taking place in person.
She said as the SGA representative for Trout Hall Council and as a Diversity Committee member, she hopes to promote face-to-face conversation and to turn off stigmas against sexuality and identity differences.
“There is some growing that needs to happen nationally, but I think we’ve made a lot of progress,” Wright said.