By Alyssa Jackson
Photo of Pride flag retrieved from thoughtworks.com.
The University of Lynchburg has an affinity group called “GSA”, which stands for Gender and Sexuality Alliance. They provide a safe space for people who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ Community and Allies.
Junior Josiah Randles, the president of the GSA club states that “GSA is a safe space for our LGBTQ+ members and allies on campus. We serve as a safe space for LGBTQ+ people to grow, to fellowship, to learn more about the queer community, and to also teach our allies about the queer community, and how to be a great ally.”
GSA has many events planned for this year, including Lavender Week. Lavender Week is a pride celebration week from October 16 – 19, and helps to promote, educate and teach people how to be a good ally.
Junior Caleb Adams, GSA secretary states, “It can feel like the world is a dangerous place, and it often can be, but the world is full of so many good people. If you don’t feel safe to come out to everyone all at once, that’s totally normal. Start slow and with people you trust.”
Adams continues, “Also, find other LGBTQ people near you. Getting connected with other people who share some of your experiences can be the most life changing experience of your life, at least I know it has been life changing for me.”
Another event that GSA will host is the upcoming Paint and Sip on October 10, which will be located in Pete’s Place at the Drysdale Student Center.
Sophomore Mei White states for people who struggle with their identity and coming out, “I would tell them it’s ok and to take your time with coming to terms with who you are. It’s not going to come to you right away even though you want it to. And I’m always here if they want to talk or just have someone with them to sit with. When you are ready to come out you can. It’s no one else’s decision to make you come out.”
You can learn more about the GSA affinity group here