Adelphi's LGBTQ+ students, and the welcoming environment they find here, are points of pride for the University.
Being rejected by your family. No longer feeling welcome in your community. Suggestions of conversion therapy. Wishing people would accept you for who you are.
These are just some of the painful struggles described by the speakers at Adelphi’s Coming Out Panel. Held on October 11, 2018, it was the signature event of Adelphi’s activities in honor of National Coming Out Day. The day was recognized not only as an opportunity for LGBTQ+ individuals to come out if they chose, but also for allies to publicly declare their support for members of the LGBTQ+ community, something Adelphi University has made a priority.
The panel consisted of four Adelphi students and was moderated by Jason Spradley, assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), who is responsible for multicultural programming and community service initiatives. Each panelist shared intimate, uplifting and even painful memories of coming out to family and friends for the first time. First-year student Alex Trujillo, a survivor of the Sparks Middle School shooting in 2013 in Nevada, said the experience made him realize life is too short not to live as your authentic self. Panelists shared stories of coming out to friends and family, their reactions and how relationships changed as a result.
Panelists also shared their thoughts on dating within the LGBTQ+ community and offered advice to those who could be struggling with identity, sexuality and acceptance. They also expressed how they felt comfortable being themselves at Adelphi and that coming out felt like coming home to a very accepting community.
Points of Pride
Adelphi’s LGBTQ+ students, and the welcoming environment they find here, are points of pride for the University. From empowerment groups and mentoring to 40-plus all-gender-accessible restrooms, Adelphi University has made a priority of supporting, accepting and including its LGBTQ+ students. “The number of students who identify as part of this community has grown,” said Spradley, “and we’ve introduced several initiatives to ensure students feel safe, comfortable and accepted by their peers, including the LGBTQ+ Empowerment Group, LGBTQ+ Task Force, Safe Zone Training Program, LGBTQ+ Mentoring Program, LGBTQ+ Career Resources, 40-plus all-gender accessible restrooms and the Dinner and Dialogue Series.”
As a result, Adelphi’s Campus Pride Index (a national ranking benchmarking tool measuring an institution’s commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and programs) rating has gone up from a 3 to a 4.5 out of 5, a major achievement. “The University is very proud of the improvements being made on campus in regard to the LGBTQ+ community and looks forward to continuing to improve, celebrate and support students in the future,” Spradley said.
National Coming Out Day may have concluded, but Adelphi’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, LGBTQ Adelphi and CSI will be hosting a number of events throughout the year. On Monday, October 29, CSI presents a Drag Show in which Jiggly Caliente, a contestant from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, will play host to professional drag queens Frida Cox and Zarria Davenport as well as student performers. On Thursday, November 15, LGBTQ Around the World will present an overview of the status of gay rights around the world. On Friday, November 2, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures will hold a showing of I Am The Queen, a film that follows the personal journeys of trans women from a Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago. And, according to Spradley, events are planned for Transgender Awareness Week, Tuesday, November 13, to Saturday, November 17.
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