October has been a busy month for Fairfield Alliance, the university’s LGBT advocacy club, as they celebrated and educated the Fairfield community about LGBT History month.
Throughout October, Alliance has hosted various events such as a weekly film series, Safe Space trainings, a Coming Out Day Party and Pronoun Day, a day dedicated to getting students to look outside the traditional gender binary system. Alliance Vice President Erin Strader ’18 says that it’s important to educate students about LGBT History Month because many events related to the LGBT rights movement aren’t necessarily taught in traditional history classes.
The last LGBT History Month event is a screening of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Oct. 30 at 10 p.m. in the Gonzaga Auditorium.
A part of the Fairfield community since the ‘90s when it was known as the Gay-Straight Alliance, Alliance has always strove to make Fairfield a more accepting place. Alliance is made up of those who identify in the LGBT spectrum and their allies to promote diversity and acceptance on campus and act as advocates for LGBT issues.
“Essentially our club is trying to represent, advocate and generally just be there for LGBT students on campus — our end goal is truly just to affirm that Fairfield is a place for everyone to be themselves,” said Strader.
Advocacy, representation and education plays an important factor in the club’s celebration of LGBT History Month.
“Learning about where this movement started, and how queer people were treated historically shows how far we have progressed in the modern era,” she said, “Learning about this history also demonstrates how much farther we need to go in terms of civil rights in the U.S. and abroad, representation in media and general treatment of the LGBT community.”
Speaking on the success of the past month, Treasurer of Alliance David Gillick ‘16 said “a bunch of our new members showed up and really showed an interest in the club,” but that Alliance is still “working on strategies to advertise ourselves and our events more.”
After LGBT History Month ends, Alliance will hold a vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance in the Egan Chapel on Nov. 19 and host a table in the Barone Campus Center on World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. Additionally, the club will host other social events such as an Ice Cream Social on Nov. 16 and a Thanksgiving Dinner to celebrate their efforts as a club.
“That’s why the club and the events we do are so important to all of us, even if they are just socials, because many of us have felt or still feel the pressure of being in the closet — we want college to be a place where you can live the life you want to and be yourself,” said Elizabeth Sheehan ’17, President of Alliance.
Join the club for their weekly meetings on Mondays at 8 p.m. in BCC 200.