The Maneater

Allies and community members take 20th annual Pride Photo

About 500 people participated in the event.

Members of the LGBTQ community and their allies wore rainbow clothing, held rainbow flags and brought friends and family in front of the Columns for the 20th annual Pride Photo from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The event was hosted by the LGBTQ Resource Center as part of Coming Out Week, an annual week dedicated to education, allyship and being yourself, according to its website.

“People who don’t identify as LGBTQ were here anyway to show their support,” freshman Petar Marinov said. “This wasn’t only a pride photo but also a support photo.”

Supporters were not only human but also four-legged. Many participants brought their pets to the photo.

“Animals are the epitome of non-judgment,” senior and member of the Triangle Coalition Jessica Ellis said. “As long as you feed and love them, they’ll treat you the same as they’ll treat anyone else.”

Ellis brought her short-tailed opossum, three-toed box turtle and homing pigeon to the event dressed in rainbow attire.

Truman the Tiger joined in the photo as well.

“I feel like it was a pretty good turnout,” Ellis said. “The event is growing every year, which is really awesome. It’s not growing as fast as it was before because it is more socially acceptable to be out now, but we still got a lot of people, and it’s really uplifting to see all the people here.”

Students who attended estimated that about 500 people came together for the photo.

“This event is great,” junior and co-director of the Greek Allies Grace Doran said. “It really goes to show how many people support one another no matter who they love.”

Greek Allies works to bring Greek Life and the LGBTQ community together, Doran said.

“For a long time, LGBTQ members have had to hide themselves from society,” Ellis said. “This event is bringing together so many people who know what it’s like to struggle with non-acceptance. We are all so different, but we share one common goal of being openly us in the world.”

The event also promoted awareness and acceptance to those who did not attend the event.

“I think it’s amazing that people from the outside community came out,” freshman Tessa Valleroy said. “I know many grew up in a generation that wasn’t as accepting as the generation now, so it’s cool that they got the opportunity to come show their pride and support now.”

The event also raised awareness about a community that encourages people to be whoever they would like to be, Simmons said.

“The event is a good way to meet people,” sophomore Joshua Simmons said. “I didn’t know this many people at Mizzou were a part of the community before joining this organization. The event produces good visibility for the community as a whole.”

Coming Out Week began Oct. 9 and will continue through Oct. 17.

Information about upcoming Coming Out Week events can be found at lgbtq.missouri.edu.

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