Dayton Pride Festival | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian
Several campus organizations exist for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) students and staff that are using this summer to plan events for the fall semester as social-distancing guidelines are relaxed.
LGBTQ+ Alumni Society
LGBTQ+ Alumni Society exists to encourage the continued success of LGBTQ+ students, allies, faculty, staff and alumni through events and education. Similar to most campus organizations, Alumni Society has slowed down because of the pandemic.
“They are just getting back up and running at the moment. Covid put kind of a halt on all of our alumni networks and societies being super active and now they are regrouping and looking for more alumni members to join them,” Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement Brooke Leppla said.
LGBTQ+ Alumni Society will be present at the Yellow Springs Pride, Springfield Pride and Dayton Pride events with WSU students encouraged to visit their booths.
“They would love for any alumni to stop by and grab some WSU alumni goodies. Alumni can also sign up to get their newsletter as well,” Leppla said.
Rainbow Alliance is a student-led organization that allows students to discuss issues in the LGBTQ+ community and provides a safe space for students within the community. They are not planning events for Pride Month and are focusing on making plans for events this fall.
Allies of the LGBTQ+ community are invited to participate in Rainbow Alliance as their involvement can help spread the influence and acceptance of those within the community. By joining Rainbow Alliance, allies can learn how to amplify the voices of the LGBTQ+ community.
“Allies can write to our Senators about current legislation harming our community, and start conversations with family and friends to recognize and break down anti-LGBTQA biases,” Vice President of Rainbow Alliance Kirsten Spires said.
Spires enjoys her involvement in the group and how it has allowed her to become more involved on campus.
“My favorite part about being involved in Rainbow is being able to interact with so many amazing people and collaborating with other organizations,” Spires said.
Allies Organization for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Question and Ally (LGBTQA)
Allies is an informal group open to Wright State University (WSU) staff, faculty and retirees. Their purpose is to provide a safe space for LGBTQA faculty and staff through education, social events and advocacy.
At one point, WSU staff were not allowed to be openly “out” and this organization worked to empower LGBTQA staff. There are still places around the world where LGBTQA workers are forced to hide their identities in order to avoid backlash and persecution.
WSU Allies Secretary Becca Webb’s involvement in the group has allowed her to feel a sense of inclusion and acceptance.
“Being queer myself, but not visibly so (as I am married to a cis/het-man and am a cis-woman) it is also nice to be in a group that still sees me as included and values my experiences, despite being far more protected in most workspaces than many others in the community,” Webb said.
Allies is not planning any events for the summer and hopes to re-engage this fall.