Students give LGBT group new name, image

by Brudgette Gardiner

Simpson’s group supporting gay, lesbian and bisexual students is rebranding itself this term as PRIDE.

The club — formerly known as LGBTQA — is a safe zone where students, regardless of sexual orientation, can share experiences and support for one another.

“We changed the name because there are so many different identities we felt were not represented in our old name, plus it was hard to say,” Erica Barz, PRIDE vice president, said.

Barz said all members can voice their opinions on topics discussed at club meetings, but everyone still respects one another.

With previous leaders graduating, senior PRIDE President Taylor Williams and Barz took the club in an entirely new direction.

“The leadership last year wasn’t what it could have been,” Williams said. “My ultimate goal is open visibility. I want people on campus to know who we are and what we are about.”

This year, thanks in large part to the lip-syncing drag show the group held last spring, PRIDE has encouraged more people to join. Even a large number of freshmen have shown interest in the club’s purpose.

“I hope to gain more confidence and pride in being in an openly gay society and bringing more knowledge on being gay to the community,” freshman Heather Bland said.

This year all students can look forward to many events the PRIDE is planning to host. The annual Day of Silence event will have students remain silent all day in memory of those who have committed suicide or been the victim of a hate crime. The club also will host a Night of Noise. This will be a time after the Day of Silence when students can yell, scream, dance and have a good time.

Club members also hope to put on a Halloween costume party. Students can come in costumes or drag and expect a night of surprises and fun. The date is expected to be in early November.

Any student interested in joining PRIDE can attend meetings on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in the Carver Science building. All are welcome.

“This year we are under new leadership, and we are trying to get more people so that we can have more events,” senior Josh Busick said.