Column: Pride Month is important for everyone

Everyone should use Pride Month as a time to fight for everyone’s rights and to be proud of who you are.

It’s LGBT Pride Month on campus. This month is a time for members of the community to celebrate themselves and others as we continue to break down walls as a nation and campus that hinder us from being a truly free country. There are tons of events happening around campus for students to attend and ongoing hashtags that show just how proud and happy MU students are to be who they are, regardless of sexuality or orientation.

At this point in history, there are 37 states with legal same-sex marriage. Considering that one decade ago same-sex marriage was not legal in any state, this is major progress. More LGBT couples are getting married than ever before, and many are starting families and living happily. With so much progress, it is easy for us to forget that there is still work to be done. Legislation in our state as well as others have been working to halt and change the progress that we have made to welcome people of all gender identities and sexual orientation.

In a recent editorial by The Maneater, the editorial board admonished a Missouri state representative who introduced a bill that wanted to stop state funding for any institution that had gender-neutral bathrooms or unisex multiuse services.

To propose a bill like this one is taking us back years into a time where being discriminatory and sexist was OK. We are a progressive campus that is implementing gender-neutral housing in the next school year, because at this point, it is the best thing for our growing campus.

President Barack Obama broke news April 8 when his administration announced that his administration would be joining the fight to end conversion therapies on LGBT youth. These therapies are supposed to be sessions and practices that try to get individuals who identify as LGBT to change their sexual orientation or gender identity to one that society deems “normal.”

These therapies allow professionals to make thousands of dollars on trying to alter the way people naturally are and who they naturally are attracted to. Many times the people going through the therapy are participating because someone of authority is making them, not because they want to. There have been many cases of suicide that linked to therapies like these, which the president wants to put a stop to on a state level, according to The New York Times.

It is great that we have a president who has continuously been in support of the LGBT community and continues to exercise his power to do what is best for the millions of people who belong to this community.

To combat this step in the wrong direction made by one of our own representatives, students should continue expressing themselves this month and be proud of who they are and what they believe in. We should all also be in support of laws that plan to make life and America better for transgender or queer people.

Cisgender people need to join the fight and demand rights and equal treatment for the large population of LGBT people on our campus, but also in all environments around the world. We do have a lot more support in America than other countries, but there are still things to work on.

It should be everyone’s concern to challenge the thinking of the representative who wants to remove gender-neutral spaces and hinder us from being a progressive state and nation.

Though MU’s pride month is well underway, there are still events and ways to educate yourself. Events can be found on the StuffToDo website as well as the LGBTQ Resource Center website. Topics like respectability politics in the LGBT community and bisexuality will be discussed at the events in the latter half of the month, along with many other insightful matters.

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