LGBTQ+ Awareness Week: More than a week of awareness
By Malycki Minon-Sosa (TheLorian)
The LGBTQ+ community has faced discrimination and continues to face adversities because of who they are as people. Oct. 12 – 17 marks Loras College’s LGBTQ+ Awareness Week which will include a wide array of tabling with information on various topics displayed in the Alumni Campus Center. While this event is directed by Student Life, many other tables highlight other areas of campus such as Athletics, Spiritual Life, Center of Inclusion and Advocacy, and more. This week not only stands as a celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month, but also gives voice to those who may otherwise go voiceless.
While spreading awareness from a variety of topics, such as the differing pride flags and their symbolism, an understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation, and intersectionality; this week also hopes to do more than simply educate Duhawks on key concepts within the LGBTQ+ community.
As for many differing minority groups, representation and visibility is an important step to creating an environment that empowers and celebrates said groups. This week is meant to be filled with celebratory and empowering events. Many LGBTQ+ identifying students struggle to find sense of community on many college or university campuses and while Loras College is no different, Student Life and the Center of Inclusion and Advocacy hope to ease this struggle and set the Duhawk community a step above the rest. Educating fellow Duhawks, even those who are not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, is important in creating a sense of visibility.
Education can create a sense of understanding and in turn create a deeper empathy for those whom may identify as LGBTQ+ on and off campus. This empathy creates a welcoming environment for not only students, staff, or faculty who are a part of the community or allies of the community, it also holds the potential to spread off campus into the greater Dubuque Community and allow others to find a space where they know they are represented.
Though visibility does not come without hesitation, often times many fear that Catholic teachings speak out against the LGBTQ+ community and turn those within it away. This week of visibility also hopes to dispel those fears. Spiritual Life will also be holding space during this week sharing the understandings and teachings of Loras College and its own Catholic identity. This Catholic identity is one that not only opens its arms to those within the LGBTQ+ community but also empowers them to find their voices.
It is important to inform people that one can be a member of the LGBTQ+ community and also practice within the Catholic Church. Loras College continues to be a progressive institution that empowers its marginalized students, and while not perfect, thrives to attain perfection through events such as this week of celebration and understanding for its LGBTQ+ students and those who find home within the Catholic Church.