Spectrum Attends Gay Pride Rally in Columbia


David Nguyen, Writer

Very rarely do people have an opportunity to put their moral and political convictions to action on this campus, but on September 4, 2010, Spectrum, the LGBT-straight alliance on campus, attended a gay pride rally in Columbia. This reporter accompanied four other members of Spectrum to march in the Annual Pride Parade, which took place on a sunny Saturday noon. The march began in Finlay Park, proceeding down Main Street, then west along Gervais, next up Park Street, and ending in Finlay Park. After the parade, the Annual Pride Celebration took place in Finlay Park from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM and featured cool entertainment and shops. While Spectrum proudly marched in the parade, the students could only briefly attend the celebration.
The students had something to say about their reasons for marching and their assessment of the parade itself. Allen Butt, when asked about his opinion on equal rights for LGBT people stated, “In a country that loudly prides itself on valuing equal rights for all individuals, the failure to protect the rights of homosexuals is doubly egregious. Further, it is a shame American Christians have failed so often to live up to their own values by condemning those whom they should love and invite to participate in a larger religious/communal dialogue.” Regarding the turnout of the parade, Julia Burger commented, “I was worried when we first got to the parade about the turnout…. Toward the end of the parade, on top of a hill, I almost burst into tears when I looked back and saw how many people I hadn’t seen at the beginning.”
It is reassuring to see students who, in balancing homework and personal lives, are ready to make clear political statements regarding issues they deem important. Hopefully, this is the start of a political awakening on the campus; Spectrum has long been an ignored and unknown RSO, but the group clearly has plans to become more socially and politically active, on and off the campus.