Spirit Day Celebration

Alexander Gent

LC Pride hosted two workshops at the Godfrey Campus in honor of Spirit Day last month. The workshops were presented by Landon Brownfield to help attendants with recognizing the complexity of identity and respecting the way everyone chooses to express it.

Spirit Day was started by GLAAD, formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, in 2010 and is celebrated on the third Thursday in October which is national bullying month. The day is an opportunity for anyone to show support and solidarity for LGBTQ+ youth, and helps to raise awareness and advocacy for the community as a whole.

The LGBTQ+ “umbrella” keeps growing to be more inclusive to members of the community and after explaining some of the more/less common pronouns people use to self identify or prefer to be recognized as , (part of the “Ask & Honor” initiative from PrideSTL) Brownfield’s presentation explained some of the history behind the nomenclature or symbols the community has chose azzs Dannd other labels that have been bestowed upon them,

For instance, the famous upside-down triangle the community uses as symbol to  represent itself was originally a label used by the Nazis to identify homo-sexual prisoners in concentration camps during WWII. Before the term homo-sexual became as commonly used, people used the word “homophile”.

“Hopefully a presentation like Landon’s shines a light on the issue of gender identity, and it helps some people shake the fears they have” said Steve Higgins, president of LC Pride. 

“Hysteria rises up about what bathrooms a person might use, and a presentation like Landon’s seemed to me to be an excellent way to combat that, to enlighten people so they don’t feel that needless fear, simply out of a lack of understanding of the issue.”

With a smaller crowd having attended, the proceeding Q&A session was more of an intimate discussion of past experiences and philosophies on evolving political correctness surrounding the community.

When the topic of discussion turned to “Witnessing White” seminars- which, Louise Jett explained, is an educational series from the Ethical Society designed to help white people become more “woke” or perceptive of white privilege and adversity members of minorities face- and the somewhat uncomfortable feeling this self-reflection can have, Brownfield enlightened the crowd “that feeling is the tiniest taste of discrimination”.

Anyone interested in finding more information, or becoming more involved with the LGBTQ+ community can get in contact with LC Pride here on campus, or with Pride STL.

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