In 1994, October was designated LGBT History Month, and since then, individuals across the country have celebrated the history and identities of the queer community.
But lately its been hard to think of the queer community without unfortunate and sometimes painful situations coming to mind. Though there has been a stronger push towards equality for the queer community recently, there have also been instances that have set back these efforts.
In July, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that the government would not accept transgender individuals into the military. In June 2016, 49 people were killed and 58 were injured when a man opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
We never truly heal from violence like this, and its appalling to see such a blatant disregard from our nations leader for so many American citizens. Where are we supposed to look for guidance, if not our elected officials?
When it feels like theres no hope in this world, its important to keep in mind the active and supportive queer community on Bradleys campus. Common Ground is the universitys queer-straight alliance, and the organization provides a place for students to discuss the issues facing their lives.
On Oct. 11 National Coming Out Day members of Common Ground adorned the statue of university founder Lydia Moss Bradley with a rainbow ribbon, urging students to take selfies with it and share their coming out stories. Gender-neutral housing is also in the works for Williams Hall and it could possibly be unveiled in the next year.
These steps are small, but theyre important in creating a more inclusive campus and a more understanding world.
Nobody is expected to simply move on from a traumatic or victimizing event, and its so easy to feel lost and discouraged with all thats going on in the world. Take a step back if needed and utilize Bradleys resources Common Ground, the counseling center at Health Services and many more. Everyone deserves that.