Aurora Caraballo / Equinox Staff

Pride club may be the perfect opportunity and outlet for LGBTQ+ students on campus to feel welcomed.

“Being LGBTQ+ is something to be proud of and to celebrate. They build a community around acceptance, joy, and honoring the authentic selves of their members,” said Hunter Kirschner, Pride club advisor and Coordinator of the LGBTQ+ Student Support.

The pride club has evolved in the three years he has been the advisor.

“I have witnessed a shift in their focus from a visible student org on campus that would hold large-scale events for KSC and the Keene community to a tight knit community focused on the well-being of themselves and their members as LGBTQ+ students and their allies at Keene State,”  Kirschner said.

President of Keene State College Pride, Gretchen Moore, also talked about how her mission for the Pride club is to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ students to be themselves.

“We have in-person and zoom meetings, we try our best to make everyone feel included,” Moore said.

Moore continued to talk about how important it was for LGBTQ+ students to feel safe and supported. Especially right now since COVID-19 has made it very difficult for students to connect. Moore talked about how LGBTQ+ students on campus just want a place to belong and be accepted by the community.

“If everyone worked harder to understand, and be tolerant and supportive of the community, it would help the Keene community evolve and be a safe space for everyone,” Moore stated.

Keene State Pride Club Secretary Alice Browne, talked about how her favorite thing about the Pride Club is that she is connected to other members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“It’s just so nice to meet like-minded people who have similar life experiences to me. Back home I didnt know many other transgender people, but now I know quite a few,” stated Browne.

Brown continued to talk about how the pride club has a respectful and welcoming atmosphere. “It brings a sense of belonging to students who don’t necessarily feel that they fit in.” Browne stated.

Browne continued to talk about how even when there are disagreements it is always respectful and encourages people to be themselves and feel safe to have their own opinions.

Head of Public relations, Vithevy Barton, expressed how the pride club is mainly using social media as a way to reach out to the community.

“As public relations, we will be putting out advertisements for our events and our club; what we are about and that we are here,” said Barton.

Barton expressed how social media is a big part of getting information out even though it is still early in the year.

“It’s extremely important that  we are still able to have these connections even with COVID,” Barton stated.

If you are interested in the Keene State College Pride Club their meetings are on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in the mountain view room. The room is right above the Night Owl Cafe.

 

Abigail Lashway can be contacted at:

alashway@kscequinox.com