ALLies Club serves as hub for inclusion and respect

ALLies

Penn Hall flying the rainbow flag, a symbol used in the LGBTQIA+ movement. Photo Credit: gettysburg.edu

By Kaiden Krueger, ALLies Correspondent

Welcome (back) to campus everyone! It’s so exciting to be back in the ‘Burg and see everyone. This year ALLies Club is hold­ing some pretty awesome events and we hope that you’ll join us! Before I get into all of those, let me first explain what ALLies Club is for people who are new or haven’t been involved in our club before.

ALLies Club is an ac­tivist club for individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ and allies. We strive to cre­ate equality for everyone on this campus no matter what their sexuality, sex, gender, or gender identity/ expression may be. In years past, we have worked with administration to create poli­cies and programs on campus like gender-neutral housing. We also added gender iden­tity and expression to our discrimination policy, which was a huge step towards cre­ating a much safer campus for all community members, not just students.

So how can you get involved in our awesome club? Well, for starters, we meet every week on Thurs­days at 7 pm at Bregenzer house (239 Carlisle Street, diagonal from admissions). We usually have the pride flag out, so you can’t miss us.

At our meetings we regularly have discussions of queer issues, on both a local and global scale. Every other week, we try to do some sort of fun event, whether it be craft night, or a bonding experience; it’s just a good way to relax and de-stress from the week.

Another way you can become involved is to come to our various events around campus. Our main event each semester is Pride Week. Pride Week this year is in mid October, and during this week we’ll hold a variety of events, like tie-dyeing, our first annual pride rally, and our third annual drag show. One of our most popular Pride Week events is the drag show.

It is a great time to come out and watch some professional drag perfor­mances on campus. We in­vite you to dress in whatever makes you comfortable and just enjoy the show! It’s a lot of fun and everyone really enjoys watching the per­formances. We’ve added a talent aspect where students can perform and get pointers from our guest professional queens.

So what do you do if you don’t have time to do either of those things? Well, here are some tips on how to be a great individual and respect your fellow classmates. My first tip is to always ask for someone’s pronouns. Asking about someone’s pronouns can be awkward at times, but it will make some of your fellow classmate’s stress disappear. For me, I love when people ask my pro­nouns because people who either don’t know or don’t ask use the wrong pronouns. When you take the time to ask for someone’s pronouns, it sets the tone that you are a welcoming individual who accepts people of various gender identities.

Another tip is watch your language and don’t be afraid to call someone out if they’re using disrespectful language. If someone is say­ing something homophobic or transphobic, say some­thing to them. Even if it’s just casual, like “hey, that’s not cool,” or “I’d rather you not use that language,” it helps a lot and makes our community more inclusive for everyone.

Tip number three is get Safer Zone trained. This is a program that LGBTQA Advocacy & Education of­fers every semester or by appointment. It is an edu­cational training designed to help introduce attendees to the LGBTQIA+ commu­nity and share some skills to help individuals confront homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in their daily lives. It’s totally okay if you don’t know anything or everything, because no one knows everything. But getting educated is a step you can take to be more in­clusive.

Plus, you get an awe­some Gettysburg Proud sticker. If you’re interested in being trained, or learning more about the LGBTQIA+ community on campus, feel free to reach out to our newly full-time Director of LGBTQA Advocacy and Education, Erin Duran. You can get in touch by email­ing LGBTQA@gettysburg. edu.

My last and final tip I’m going to be talking about is not discussing your friend’s sexual orientation or gender identity. If some­one comes out to you in any shape or form, please do not talk about it to other people without their permission. Sexuality/Gender Identity is something that should not be shared without permission because doing so can create a less safe environment for that individual.

One way I like to think about it is if you told your friend something you wanted to keep a secret, and they told half of campus , you would be pretty upset. It’s the same. Please, don’t out your friends, on purpose or accidentally; it’s not cool.

So I know that was a lot of information I just threw at you. But I just wanted to give you an overview. Please look out for us at the activi­ties fair tomorrow. Even if you don’t have time, we can still put you on the email list so you can be up to date on what we’re doing!

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Author: Isabel Gibson Penrose

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