Inclusion and conversation.

It is the main focus the Center for Gender Equity and Rainbow Coalition is striving for in their second annual LGBTQ week, happening this week and concluding Friday, Nov. 13 with a celebration and chance to win a 50 dollar gift card to Amazon.

Committee lead Andie Harrison said the week is aimed at celebrating people of all backgrounds and connections to the LGBTQ community but that in celebrating diversity, they

are hoping to create a safe space where students who may not feel comfortable asking open quesitons about the LGBTQ community can ask questions without fear of the stigma around it.

Students will continue to table for the rest of the week about topics surrounding the LGBTQ community. Each day of the week is themed to a specific issue: Monday being about healthy relationships, Tuesday being about the place of the LGBTQ community in the church, Wednesday being about celebrating everyone’s diverse personal identities, Thursday being about transgender awareness and Friday being about the less talked about sexualities in the LGBTQ umbrella.DSC_0184WEB

“We are trying to make everyone feel included and welcome,” Harrison said. “We want to celebrate the different little victories in each person, whether they’re queer or not.”

Another way Harrison and students involved are pushing inclusion is the focus on the celebration of allies. Harrison said they celebrate all of the work and victories allies have been a part of and want to make sure they feel a part of the celebration.

The week also included a panel discussion about the intersectionality

between the church and the LGBTQ community, which featured two pastors of different deminonations and students with religious backgrounds.

The week will conclude with a carnival celebration in the MPR with LGBTQ bingo and games all centered around beating down stigmas and discrimination.

The week is both a reflection and celebration of the supportive atmosphere at Pacific.

“There are still a lot of things Pacific could improve on systematically but the atmosphere here and support is really great,” Harrison said.

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