The Maneater

MU LGBTQ Community and allies march in annual pride parade

Though parade attendance was down relative to previous years, students said that inclusivity for the LGBTQ Community has improved.

Two students pose for a photo at Tiger Plaza at the end of the MU Pride Parade on April 27. The annual parade, which is organized by the LGBTQ Resource Center, lead participants around campus as a part of MU's Pride Month.

About 60 LGBTQ community members and allies chanted “Whose Campus? Our campus,” at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday during the LGBTQ Resource Center’s annual Pride Parade.

The parade is one event on the wide list of activities put on by the LGBTQ Resource Center for Pride Month, which is celebrated nationally in June. The LGBTQ Resource Center celebrates it with events in April because of the limits of the academic year.

LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated each year to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan that happened on June 28, 1969. The Stonewall Riots, which were a series of violent protests that occurred after an early morning police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, are considered by many to be the single most important event in the gay liberation movement.

The Pride Parade lasted around a half hour and its route marched past most of the major landmarks on MU’s campus including Francis Quadrangle, Speaker’s Circle and Tiger Plaza.

The crowd was made of students, faculty and staff from many different backgrounds, each with different reasons for marching.

Grace Doran, the director of Greek Allies, a program aimed toward making Greek Life more inclusive and educating its members on LGTBQ issues, said she was marching in the parade because she identifies as gay and wanted to show support.

“To me it means making LGBTQ people visible on this campus because I think a lot of the times they are invisible and just demanding equality and support in all aspects on campus,” Doran said.

Vice President of Programming for the Interfraternity Council Sean Miller said that he marched in the parade as an ally to his friends in the LGBTQ community but also to support his oldest brother, who identifies as gay.

“We all have our own unique things about each other and it’s celebrating that difference instead of using the differences to divide ourselves,” Miller said in reference to the parade.

Fifth-year senior Kenny Cygeirt said that though there weren’t as many people in attendance for this parade as there were in previous years, he’s seen a vast improvement in inclusivity for the LGBTQ community on campus in his years here.

“It’s not like it was four years ago where it was a little bit more disgust or ‘why are you doing this,” Cygeirt said. “Now you continue to see people giving thumbs up, or they’re taking pictures and saying ‘good job’ and showing support, which is something you didn’t see four years ago, so I think we’ve gained traction.”

Edited by Waverly Colville | wcolville@themaneater.com

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