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Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Published March 1, 2024

‘Gay and fabulous’: Spring pride rally supports GLBT students

In six-inch heels and a short black dress, elementary education sophomore Jerry Wilcenski – or “Lady Enchantress,” as he likes to be called – greeted students Monday at the Queer Student Cultural Center’s spring pride rally on the West Bank plaza.

Wilcenski, who performed in drag at the QSCC’s “Drag and Dance” show Friday, said he only dresses in drag for special occasions.

“It’s for spectacle and fun,” he said. “I’m feeling like being gay and fabulous!”

Wilcenski said the rally is a good opportunity to show students they shouldn’t be afraid of gay people.

“It’s important for people to be accepting,” he said.

Kate Nelson, political science and sociology sophomore and QSCC member, said the rally is a good way for the center to get noticed on campus.

“It educates people who are a little
close-minded,” she said.

Nelson said getting involved in a campus organization is especially helpful for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students because it helps them avoid feeling isolated on such a large campus.

“I’ve always felt accepted,” she said. “I live in the dorms and am ‘out’ to everyone, and I’ve never had a bad experience.”

Margaret Coleman, a sophomore in the art department, built a sand castle on the plaza with Amy Allen, an art junior, during the rally.

Coleman said she attended the “Politics of Drag” discussion Friday – hosted by QSCC as part of Pride Week – because she thought it was interesting.

She said the rally helps gay and lesbian students raise awareness of their organization.

Allen said it is equally important for people who aren’t GLBT to support those who are.

“A lot of people feel nervous because they don’t know a lot about certain issues,” Coleman said. “They need to be informed to break stereotypes.”

Lindsey Lapp, a global studies junior, observed the rally on the plaza and said although she’s not involved, she thought it was “cool.”

She said she has a close friend that just came “out of the closet” to her.

“She didn’t tell me for two years,” she said. “I was hurt, but she was scared what my reaction would be.”

Lapp said her friend still struggles with being gay, and she still has to tell her parents.

“I feel bad, because she’s two different people,” she said.

Lapp said though she was hurt that her friend waited so long to tell her, she was accepting and reacted to the news like a friend.

Not everyone, however, is as comfortable with the gay population.

Dan Brun, a staff member with the
student group Campus Crusade for Christ, said he does accept homosexuality.

He said although the feelings of gay and lesbian people are valid, he has Christian friends who’ve had the same feelings but chose to abstain because they believe it’s wrong.

“I don’t think being ‘out’ about a person’s gay feelings is the right way to go,” Brun said.

But he said while he disagrees with many groups on campus, he does not want to point fingers.

Brun said he feels gays and lesbians are often pitted against Christians, who are sometimes unjustly blamed for hate crimes against them.

“It’s a very difficult issue to understand and to deal with in our culture,” he said.

Robyn Repya welcomes comments at [email protected]

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