Members of the UR community wore decorated white t-shirts and jeans in a show of support for the Pride Network’s “Day of Solidarity.”

President of the Pride Network and junior Dan Lioy feels that the Day of Solidarity is important not just to the gay community but to the rest of the UR as well.

“We’re doing this to help gay students know that there are people on this campus that can help,” Lioy said.

“This is also to help allies see that there are many people that share their beliefs, because it’s not always easy to be an ally. We want to help homophobic individuals see that there is a very strong gay community on campus.

“Overall, we’re doing this to make the gay community and their allies visible,” Lioy said.

Lioy also said that he is pleased with the response from the community. “There are tons of people wearing shirts,” he said. “We’re definitely happy.”

Executive Board member of the Pride Network and Director of the Safe Zone junior Beth Fox agreed with Lioy.

“We’re doing this because we want to include the whole campus in order for them to show their solidarity,” Fox said. “We’re also doing this because if we all wear shirts, it will show that we are here and expose the campus to our cause.”

“It’s also a kick-off for Gaypril,” Fox added.

‘Gaypril’ is the Pride Network’s name for April, the gay pride month which will include “UR a Drag Show” on April 5 and a show by comedian Kate Clinton on April 12, among other events.

The Day of Solidarity is being held in response to recent homophobic graffiti found on the UR campus. “This all came out of the acts of intolerance,” Lioy said.

Lioy also feels that the administration has been very supportive following the recent incidents. “The Administration has been absolutely supportive,” Lioy said. “They’ve taken a look at policies and discrepancies between them. They’ve been working very hard with students, as well.”

Interim Dean of Students Jody Asbury said that she believes events like Gaypril are important for the UR community. “It is very important to the vibrancy of our community for student identity and cultural groups and all other student interest groups to contribute to the offerings and learning opportunities here,” Asbury said. “Mela, BSU, Tropicana, and Gay Solidarity Week all are expressions of student groups and life and activity; they are important to the dynamism of life and learning here.”

Continuing, she said, “The administration is working closely with many of the identity groups and others to develop policies and orientation programs and procedures that are inclusive and support groups.

Fox believes that events like the Day of Solidarity are important to the gay, lesbian, bisexual people and their allies.

“We need to take these small steps so that people know that we exist and that we aren’t going to go away,” Fox said.

Schnee can be reached at cschnee@campustimes.org.



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