Editorial from the Columbia College Gay-Straight Alliance Club
It is really upsetting to see how people passively walk away and move on from the topics that everyone needs to be concerned with now more than ever. It is by talking about such issues that it becomes normal in societies.
In order to make safe space for the LGBTQ+ community on our campuses we need to focus on the normalization of it, and that’s why a Gay-Straight Alliance Club is a good way to support the LGBTQ+ community. We, as members of the group, discuss actions that could help create an open-minded atmosphere at the college. We have open conversations so that members of the club can voice their opinions.
One action we recommend is hanging pride flags in places like the library, student lounges, and entrance, so people are aware that the college supports us.
We also support gender-neutral washrooms such as there already is on the North Campus. There should be one on the Main Campus too. One of our staff supporters for the Club is Larry, who said, “If you are straight, very well… Use your appropriate washroom, and please don’t make people who identify in other ways than you feel uncomfortable. That goes for all transgender, non-binary, gender fluid people.”
Some people use different pronouns for themselves than what you might assume. Some people don’t feel comfortable with either “he” or “she,” and use “they” instead. One way to make transgender, gender fluid, and non-binary people comfortable on campus is to always use their preferred pronouns.
Instructors could add more LGBTQ+ content in their classes. Using examples that include different sexual and gender minorities will make students realize they are normal things to discuss.
These are just some of the things we could do to make a safer space for the LGBTQ+ Community.
For any members of the Columbia College community who may be LGBTQ+, we want to say, “Even if you don’t feel as though you are supported and welcome as who you are and if you don’t think it is safe for you to come out, just know that we are here for you as a support group who will always try its best to promote and normalize the LGBTQ+ community at our college.”
For people who are not LGBTQ+, you can help make the campus welcoming for others by joining our club, standing up for anyone who is being bullied, and welcoming LGBTQ+ people in your classes and clubs.
Our club will try to bring more diversity to life here at Columbia College. We hope we will see you at our events!