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Luther PRIDE organization attends Chicago conference

Members of Luther PRIDE in Chicago.

Members of Luther PRIDE in Chicago.

Photo courtesy of Wyatt Anians (‘19)

Photo courtesy of Wyatt Anians (‘19)

Members of Luther PRIDE in Chicago.

Sam Mitchell, Staff Writer

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Luther’s PRIDE organization traveled to the Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC) in Chicago on Feb. 17-19 to engage in group discussion and workshops.

Eleven members of People for the Rights and Inclusion of Diversity and Expression (PRIDE) organization attended the conference, which featured the theme “Standing in Solidarity.”

According to Luther PRIDE Vice President Hannah Will (‘17), the conference features workshops regarding various topics, such as intersectionality.

“Intersectionality, for example, is if someone is gay, Latino, and middle class, and then there are all different things in their life that come together,” Will said. “The topic is talking about how those things play with each other and what that means for that person.”

Will added that there are also workshops on the topics of various movements, such as Black Lives Matter and Queer People of Color, that offer support.

Luther PRIDE secretary Wyatt Anians (‘19) explained that workshops in the past have focused on topics such as how to be “A Better Ally to the LGBT Community,’” and “Gay Sex Ed.”

“There’s just a plethora of workshops that go on,” Anians said. “Last year I attended sessions about things that usually don’t get talked about. [These sessions address] a lot of things that some educational systems lack, as well as what society just generally lacks.”

Will said that between PRIDE’s meeting topics, which switch between both social and educational concepts for the LGBT+ community every other week, the conference will hopefully spark ideas for them to help to better educate the Luther community on what PRIDE believes in.

Anians added that the conference allows for expression of self and exposure to others who are also accepting.

“A lot of students who identify with LGBT have not been exposed to mass amounts of people in the same community,” Anians said. “When you come to MBLGTACC, thousands of allies get go to identity forums for the groups who you specifically identify with and there you are able to relate with people and have conversations with them. You are all just understanding each other, without having to explain who you are.”

Luther PRIDE member Pablo Alonso (‘17) said the conference provides a weekend of relaxation for allies of the LGBT community and those who identify as a gender, sexual, and romantic minorities.

“It gives you energy to say ‘Wow, there are all of these people who are just like me, but also different in their own way’,” Alonso said. “There are just a lot of people who are accepting of you.”

MBLGTACC began in 1993, with many colleges in the midwest attending to show support with the LGBT+ community. According to Will, Luther students have attended the event for several years.

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