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SMC club shows LGBTQ pride

Megan Reece | Thursday, April 28, 2011

Saint Mary’s kicked off its first annual Pride Week hosted by the College’s Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) Tuesday.

The week began with a keynote address by Ryan Everett, a transgender member of the community. In his speech, “Living Life in Two Worlds,” Everett encouraged listeners to live their lives in a fulfilling way.

“You really need to be who you are to be happy,” Everett said. “I’m finally living the authentic life I’d only dreamed of before.”

Pride Week continued Wednesday evening with an LGBTQ Fair in the Student Center lobby, where organizations from around the community offered students internships, jobs and volunteer opportunities.

“We want students to know that there is a supportive community in South Bend and they have the ability to expand it,” SAGA president Karen Borja said.

SAGA will present the “LBGTQ Falling Stars” workshop from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. today in the Warren Conference Room. According to Borja, the workshop will help participants reach a better understanding of the emotional challenges of the coming out process.

Pride Week concludes Friday with a campus-wide effort to show pride and acceptance, as students are encouraged to wear LGBTQ-related shirts. Borja said visible support on campus is important for promoting a safe and accepting atmosphere conducive to learning.

“We’re here to promote a safe environment for students on campus by making them feel free,” Borja said. “It’s unjust for people to have to hide who they are.”