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EDITORIAL: CMU celebrates LGBTQ History Month with events, speakers: Be part of the community, celebrate with us

A LGBTQ rainbow flag flies in the wind.

LGBTQ History Month has already begun and it’s about more than just celebrating diversity. This month chronicles the strides our society has made in accepting the human dignity of the LGBTQ community.

“It’s important to celebrate LGBTQ History Month so we can honor the work of those that have come before us, celebrate the progress that has been made and educate on how far we have to go,” said Shannon Jolliff-Dettore, director of LGTBQ Services, “We’ve had amazing leaders do amazing work like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Bayrad Rustin and Harvey Milk. Spending a month honoring their legacy is the least we can do.”

It’s important we have this month to celebrate unique American cultural moments, while realizing how we all fit in our nation. 

However, there is still hostility, misunderstanding and intolerance in America directed at the LGBTQ community. This month should remind us how much further we have to go and it should remind us how far we’ve come.

From the Stonewall Rebellion to the elections of Kathy Kozachenko and Elaine Noble; from the assassination of Harvey Milk to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act; from Bowers v. Hardwick then to marriage equality in Obergfell v. Hodges, the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ community are all moments America can learn from and be proud of.

This month, let’s be proud of progress in acceptance, understanding and civil rights. Let’s recognize that this progress has made us a stronger and more tolerant nation.

We want to recognize the CMU students who have come out — thank you for showing your strength and sharing your experiences with the world. And to students who have not come out or are still learning about who they are, know that you are not alone.

To the students who are in transition or have transitioned — you have earned every right to the pronoun you feel is correct. No one should tell you otherwise.

Throughout October, the Office of LGBTQ Services is hosting events on campus to further celebrate and educate students. 

These events aren’t just for the LGBTQ community. We hope that anyone interested in further understanding and educating themselves will consider attending the events.

The RUHCUS Workshop begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17 in the Bovee University Center Lakeshore Room. This project is to start the healing the shame, trauma or fear students feel in their life from their sexuality or identity.

Dr. Z. Nicolazzo, the month’s keynote speaker and author of “Trans* in College,” will speak at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 20 in the Center for Inclusion and Diversity.

The Brown Bag Lunch, where students can bring their own lunch and take part in the discussion of LGBTQ liberation, starts at noon on Friday, Oct. 20 in the Center for Inclusion and Diversity.

On Friday, Oct. 20, there will be a showing of the film, “How to Survive a Plague” at 1 p.m. in the Center for Inclusion and Diversity.

The award-winning poet, Andrea Gibson, will be in the UC Rotunda at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Her poetry focuses on gender norms, politics and the struggles the LGBTQ community face in America.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, the Bi/Pan Mixer will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Lake Superior Room at the UC.

We encourage every student to attend these events.

As we celebrate this month, we should focus on learning about and strengthening our ties to not only the LGBTQ community, but to each other.