Some people see ALLIES, Carnegie Mellon’s gay-straight alliance organization, as serving little purpose.
Many argue that our campus is a socially safe space and that ALLIES is unnecessary. While it’s true that discrimination and harassment are infrequent on our campus, problems still persist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) students. Openly GLBT students can’t join the ROTC program. Gay men can’t give blood in campus blood drives. First-year students have no options for gender-neutral housing, and discrimination based on gender expression is not off-limits based on Carnegie Mellon’s statement of assurance. While our campus is generally accepting of GLBT students, more work can be done to ensure that the environment is equally safe and welcoming for all students.
ALLIES aims to provide resources for GLBT students. We raise awareness about GLBT issues on campus, and strive to overcome discrimination. It’s an organization for people of all sexual orientations: Regardless of your sexuality, you can play an important role in helping keep people informed about GLBT issues, and in making the campus a more accepting environment.
This month, ALLIES is celebrating Pride Month, a celebration of the diverse community at Carnegie Mellon. Pride Month started off last week with a film, followed by a discussion about gay adoption. There was also a Late Night Pride Month Kickoff last Friday.
Tyler Duckworth, a Season 7 Real World cast member, Tufts University graduate, and an NCAA athlete, will be the Pride Month keynote speaker. The speech will take place Thursday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. in Baker Hall (Adamson Wing). We hope that the keynote attendees will gain insight on what it is like to be a gay athlete, and how difficult the coming-out process is — especially on national television.
ALLIES will also celebrate National Coming Out Day Monday, Oct. 13. Come to the Fence between classes to share your coming-out story or to hear other students’ stories.
The Halloween Drag Talent Show, held at 6 p.m. in Skibo on Oct. 31, is a great chance to showcase your talents and celebrate whatever makes you diverse — whether your talent is performing in drag, singing, dancing, or stand-up, ALLIES welcomes you.
For a list of other Pride Month activities, visit our website at allies.andrew.cmu.edu. To become more involved with ALLIES, please e-mail allies@andrew.