Champlain College Women’s and Gender Center’s Americorps Member Callan McNamara shares a brief history of Pride Month, Champlain and Burlington-based resources for LGBTQ students, and an opportunity to share your pride with the Champlain community.
Why do we celebrate Pride Month? The first pride parades were a reaction to the Stonewall Riots which happened in 1969. During the 1960s, homosexuality was still a punishable crime and there were various laws that discriminated against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people. One of these laws prohibited bars in New York from serving alcohol to gay patrons, which caused gay bars to often operate without liquor licenses. Police raids and brutality swept the community until one raid at the Stonewall Inn pushed the community to protest. Led by trans activists of color, Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, as well as many others, the Stonewall Riot is often cited as a transformation in LGBTQ activism in the United States.
Although Pride is often associated with parades and rainbows, it is also an opportunity to reflect on the people who have made the advancements in LGBTQ rights possible for current members of the community. Although advances have been made since the 1960s, there is still discrimination and oppression felt by many and Pride should be a time for continuing the fight for LGBTQ rights today. In addition to reflecting on the past and looking toward the future, Pride is very much about celebrating the present. Pride is also a time of celebration, gender euphoria, loving oneself, and self-care! Pride is an excellent time to discover your identity and to be unapologetically you. Although social distancing may delay many of the larger parades and in-person festivities across the nation, it can never stop the love toward oneself and between your family and chosen family for those celebrating together with their loved ones.
Throughout June, the Women’s and Gender Center Instagram (@champlainwgc) will be highlighting some amazing “prideful spaces” on campus as well as sharing some virtual and in-person events you can join us in celebrating. Although Pride month takes place in the month of June, we encourage you to follow us for content lifting up our LGBTQ community all year long. We have compiled a list of resources for Champlain students with a focus on supporting those in the LGBTQ community. Whether you are a new student or you are coming back to campus this Fall, these resources can be a great first step in finding your prideful spaces at Champlain and in Burlington. This list is only the beginning and we encourage you to discover your own networks of community and support throughout your college career.
The Women’s and Gender Center provides a comfortable, inclusive, and fun place for students to hang out, meet new friends, and have good conversations. Students of all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome to call this place home, and we hope you will! We also facilitate educational and supportive programming around our three major themes: leadership and empowerment, gender and sexuality, and sexual violence prevention. All are welcome.
- Chosen Name Process: The Women’s and Gender Center can help you be referred to by your chosen name in class and on campus. Contact Lisa Mazzariello at Mazzariello@champlain.edu for more information!
Include+ is a student-led LGBTQ group that meets biweekly in the Center, after regular office hours. Joining Include+ is a great way to make friends as a new student and build community with other LGBTQ individuals at Champlain. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Trans Social is a student-led group for transgender individuals that meets virtually. Joining Trans Social is a great way to explore your identity as well as have fun and build community and affinity. Email email@example.com for more information.
Champlain College’s gender-inclusive housing community is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of diverse gender identities in a supportive and safe residential environment. This community offers students the ability to share a room regardless of their sex or gender identity. Students living in the gender-inclusive housing community will grow and learn alongside members who share their interests in social issues, history, and legislation surrounding gender-inclusive policy, practices, and communities.
All Champlain students have access to the Champlain College Counseling Center, staffed by our counselors who are available to talk about a variety of issues. Whether it is an adjustment to college, anxiety, identity development, relationship concerns, or anything else, students should feel confident that Champlain counselors are an excellent, confidential resource to turn to.
As a part of their tuition, all students also have access to healthcare services through the Student Health Center. The Student Health Services team can provide comprehensive care from wound treatment and medication management to reproductive healthcare and more. Staff at the Student Health Center are versed in working with transgender and non-binary patients and can work with students to get the care they desire.
Pride Center of Vermont is the region’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and the health and safety of LGBTQ Vermonters. The center has many reoccurring events such as the LGBTQ fiber arts group and queer critical mass bike ride!
Outright VT is a youth-focused organization that is building a Vermont where all LGBTQ youth have hope, equity, and power. Their youth programs, groups, and queer youth space (unless otherwise stated) are for queer and questioning people, ages 22 and under.
Burlington’s Riverside Health Clinic provides a variety of services especially for those in the LGBTQ community. The Transgender Health Clinic can help patients with services like routine GYN care, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings, and primary care for transgender patients, including referrals and preparation for gender confirming surgeries. Their Be You Clinic is another great option for judgment-free healthcare for the broader LGBTQ community.
Vermont CARES works for and with Vermonters affected by HIV/AIDS to promote well-being through a continuum of prevention, support, and advocacy services.
How are you celebrating Pride?
🌈 Reading Books from LGBTQ Authors?⠀
🌈 Practicing Self-Care?⠀
🌈 Attending Pride Events?⠀
🌈 Just Being Your Lovely Self?⠀
All Champlain College community members including students, alumni, families, staff, and faculty are invited to share a photo with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, showing how you are celebrating Pride Month!