All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘G-SAND’

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A Gay Time Was Had By All: Wildcat Pride!

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Gay and gay-friendly Wildcats contributed to a record turnout at Charlotte’s annual gay pride street festival yesterday, marching with a Davidson banner in the Bank of America Pride Parade.

Click to enlarge.

It was the first gay pride parade held since 1994. I rode my old Comet ragtop in that long-ago parade, with my church’s flag out one side, a rainbow flag out the other, and half the choir in the back seat. I’ve pledged the Comet for Wildcat use next year. There was even talk of a higher-ed group effort by area colleges and universities, with floats and all!

I’m not the world’s most consistent activist, for gaiety or anything else. I am moody, and sometimes I am just lazy. But I do know that it is important for everyone to stand up now and then for who and what they are, to show everybody else that that’s okay. I’m even more sure of that after talking to the young alumni and current students who joined several faculty and staff members yesterday, out there loud and proud in the middle of life’s rich pageant. There were the obligatory rainbow drag queens that tend to make the front-page newspaper pictures, and there were far greater numbers of regular folks, and there was pretty much everything in between, all parading gaily forward to consistent cheers and, yes, a smattering here and there of non-love-based preachifying. (Retort du jour: [brightly] “Is there glitter in Hell?”)

It was a great day to be a Wildcat. Now back on campus the first day of school, it is yet another one. To all Wildcats: Happy year of discovering new ways of being clear and free with exactly who and what you are!

For more pictures, visit the Gay-Straight Alumni Network of Davidson’s Facebook page.

We Are Family: Everybody Sing!

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[Addendum: Here's the prayer that Chaplain Rob Spach ’84 offered at the ceremony. I'd only add a prayer that the spirit of this one spread across campus and keep spreading!]

It’s hard not to stay open-minded on a liberal arts college campus full of idealistic young people. It’s possible, mind you, but hard. Besides, it’s much more fun being open-minded. So I was happy to be among the glad throng at Thursday afternoon’s grand opening of the college’s new Multicultural House, a resource rich with possibility.

President Tom Ross and Davidson students: Changing to stay the same, together. (photo, Bill Giduz) (clickable)

Long in the making by diverse hands and minds, the house is a crowning achievement in the (all-too-short) tenure of Davidson College President Tom Ross. Ross has been a leading champion of not just diversity but inclusivity throughout his own career, and he has brought that home to Davidson. In three years, he has made it clear with his trademark, elegantly plainspoken eloquence that this school can, will, and must “change to remain the same.”

The Multicultural House,  in a defunct fraternity house on the campus’s Patterson Court social row, is one of the bricks-and-mortar ways that Davidson is doing that. It is a manifestation of principles of acceptance both broad and deep that reach back to the school’s founding in 1837. A recent iteration of those principles can be found in this statement, which Tom Ross and Dean of Students Tom Shandley posted to the homepage news feed in support of the nationwide movement against bullying. It reads in part, “We believe Davidson should be a place where those who live, work, and study see difference as an opportunity and stimulus to learn about themselves, each other, and the larger world.”

I, for one, feel that this is absolutely fabulous.

Davidson: Putting the multi in multicultural. My nametag from the open house. (Scan by Winnie Newton.)

Davidson students helping to staff the house’s programming efforts are called, appropriately enough, “Community Connectors.” Already, student film producers are scheduled to screen Perspectives, a look at race and ethnicity on campus, at 8 p.m., Wed., Dec. 1. Upcoming or recent event sponsors in the refurbished space include  the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Alpha Kappa Alpha service sorority, a house-sponsored Relaxation Day before exams, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and the Alumni Association during Homecoming Weekend.

Homecoming shout-outs: The student group Gay-Straight Alliance and the Gay-Straight Alumni Network of Davidson teamed up for a killer reception in Carnegie Guest House Saturday afternoon. Moi was staff host. I also helped staff the Cake Race that morning. All in all, kudos to Peter Wagner ’92, his fantastic staff in Alumni Relations, and everyone who pitched in for one of the best Homecomings ever: some 800 diverse alumni gathered under electric blue autumn skies. Even the trees had on their multicolorful best for the occasion!

Alumni chat in front of Baker Sports Complex during the Alumni Cake Race on Saturday morning. (Photo: Bill Giduz) (clickable)