To you, a happy National Coming Out Day
Letter to the Editor | Friday, October 11, 2019
As the officers of PrismND, the sole undergraduate student-led LGBTQ+ organization at Notre Dame, we serve many purposes. Through our organizational meetings, we provide a platform for our community to bring forth the issues they are the most invested in, whether pastoral, educational or otherwise, all with the intent of uniting our community and University. “Because the University values GLBTQ students in the Notre Dame community, as indeed it values all of its students, the University is committed to fostering an environment of welcome and mutual respect that is grounded in its Catholic mission.” Through our partnerships, we strive to validate and reaffirm the intersectionality inherent in not only our mission as an apolitical queer organization, but as active members of our campus. With our weekly HangOUTs, we aim to provide a space that is not only accepting and respectful of all, but one that serves the purpose of cultivating the invaluable authentic friendships.
We did not anticipate as an apolitical organization having to defend the sanctity of life within our own membership base. We did not anticipate mediating a war focused on the recognition of our struggles. We did not anticipate individual attacks on those that have walked with us since the beginning. We did not anticipate this.
We recognize the validity and importance of free speech at our academic institution; after all, it is in part how our organization has had the ability to flourish today.
However, freedom of speech historically does not equate to freedom from consequences.
Outing their queerness to a national audience and compromising their safety.
Undermining the struggles of queer students on campus.
Is this what it means to be Catholic?
This will not be tolerated. Not by us. Not by our members. Not by our campus community.
Our Lady’s vision is one of inclusion and respecting the human dignity of all, especially the most vulnerable amongst us. We share Our Lady’s vision.
We have run out of sweatshirts, sunglasses, pins, stickers, baseball caps, polos and pretty much anything adorned with rainbows. We see these rainbows every day pinned to backpacks and adorned on laptop cases and dorm room signs, and view them as a powerful reminder of spaces and friends we can go to seek support and safety.
For our allies: we also need you to show it and help us in defending those who have been scared into silence. We encourage you to speak out. We encourage you to seek out educational opportunities on campus, such as Deacon Ray Dever’s upcoming presentation “Walking with God’s Children,” sharing his experience as both a Catholic Deacon and the proud dad of a transgender daughter. Learn from the experiences of others. Listen to those who are affected. Grow in your allyship.
For our LGBTQ+ students: you are loved, welcomed and valued as a full member of this University. We are honored to serve you as we work together towards a more inclusive campus.
Together, we are the community, We Are ND.
So once again, Happy National Coming Out Day to our students, faculty, alumni, mentors, allies, advocates, and friends. And cheers to many more to come.
PrismND president, senior
PrismND co-vice president, junior
PrismND co-vice president, architecture senior
PrismND treasurer, senior
PrismND secretary, senior
PrismND historian, sophomore
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.