Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students who attend Salt Lake Community College have a safe space on campus to express themselves without fear or judgement.
The Rainbow Pride Club is home to the LGBTQ community at SLCC. The gay-straight alliance provides all students with a place to meet and make new friends, plan events and raise awareness about local LGBTQ initiatives.
SLCC has also done extensive work to create a safe haven for LGBTQ students to not only be heard, but feel welcome and inclusive to the community.
“I have never been a victim of verbal or physical abuse on campus,” says Jerusha Cobb, president of the Rainbow Pride Club. “Whenever I tell someone I’m gay, the most that [happens] is a subject change, but everyone on campus has been really supportive.”
LGBTQ students are often targeted by bullies because of their sexual orientation. Rainbow Pride Club members acknowledged this troubling trend by joining the nationwide Day of Silence last Friday.
While ignorance and intolerance are still a part of society, the LGBTQ community in Salt Lake City is one of the largest in the nation, and many gay youth tend to feel more welcome among the city and its suburbs compared to other states.
“I just moved to downtown [Salt Lake City] from South Jordan,” says Rainbow Pride Club member Kyle Tingey. “[I] deal with judgmental people, but never incidents where I have been scared. I actually felt safer in South Jordan than downtown.”
Despite the progress the LGBTQ community has made on a local and national level over the last decade, the current political climate has raised many questions as to what will happen with LGBTQ rights in the future.
“It’s upsetting,” Cobb says. “We don’t know what’s going to happen.”
LGBTQ awareness at SLCC
SLCC prides itself on being an inclusive institution and strives to build a sense of compassion and understanding on campus.
Last year, students and employees painted rainbow crosswalks in a gesture of solidarity and acceptance.
SLCC also supports the LGBTQ community by participating in the Utah Pride Parade. The Utah Pride Center organizes the parade in downtown Salt Lake City as part of the annual Utah Pride Festival, which begins May 31 this year.
Visit the Rainbow Pride Club on Facebook to learn more about the club and other LGBTQ initiatives on campus.