LGBT Month Flag Raising

Students stood around the J.W. Jones Student Union as Brittany Morgan-Roberts  and Mark Hendrix draped flags over the second-floor ledge. The nonbinary flag, Philadelphia’s people of color inclusive flag, pansexual flag, genderfluid flag and genderqueer flag waved as leaders spoke.

Students gathered around the J.W. Jones Student Union as Jessie Peter and Brittany Morgan-Roberts of the Diversity and Inclusion Office draped flags over the second-floor ledge. The nonbinary flag, Philadelphia’s people of color inclusive flag, pansexual flag, genderfluid flag and genderqueer flag waved as leaders spoke.

“This is important. For our students that walk by here several times a day and to see the flags is a reminder that there are elements of this University that care about them and want them to thrive as they are,” said instructor Kenton Wilcox.

Student Alex Underwood attended the ceremony. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Underwood said this event was significant to him.

“This means a lot. I have never really had this in my hometown, and now I can experience it here,” Underwood said. 

“When I was here as an undergraduate, there were very few of us who felt it was safe to come out here. There were a lot more impulses on us to stay in the closet, so what that essentially means is, we would rather replace ourselves with a stranger,” Wilcox said. 

The event kicked off Northwest’s schedule of events aiming to support the LGBTQ+ population on campus in order to inform students, staff and encourage conversations.

Northwest will host a showing of “Moonlight,” an Oscar-winning movie about a young, Black man who struggles with his own sexuality and family life. The showing will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 in Colden Hall Room 3500. 

Once the movie is over, attendees will get to have a conversation about LGBTQ+ History Month. 

The final event will take place Oct. 27. The Diversity and Inclusion Office will bring in Dr. Rikki Charlene Frucht, who will discuss LGBTQ+ community in her presentation Battle Against the Concept of Others.

Frucht is a retired Northwest history professor and taught in the department for more than 25 years. During her tenure, she served as the chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Morgan-Roberts breaks down the basics on what Frucht will be discussing.

“She is bringing insight on what is going on in the LGBTQ+ community. She will show us things that sometimes you really don’t get to see or hear about in a smaller town like what's going on in Congress, and she is going to be breaking it down for everybody,” Morgan-Roberts said.

Wilcox has been at Northwest for a couple decades, as both a student and professor, and he said there’s been a significant growth in Northwest’s acceptance of the LGBTQ community. As part of the community, Wilcox said it gives him firsthand experience of how the campus has changed over time.

“Now I think students and employees feel less compelled now and can make their own choice about being out,” Wilcox said, “There is a much greater sense among our resources with places like the wellness office for instance the very existence of a diversity office.

 

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