The Diversity Club at Florida Polytechnic University has turned its focus to the LGBTQIA+ community this October with a host of events to have fun, celebrate the community, and educate their peers on gender and romantic diversity.
“We are celebrating the rich diversity of all different types of people in the whole spectrum of gender, sexual, and romantic minorities here at our university, across the whole country, and worldwide,” said Jordyn Gardinal, treasurer of Florida Poly’s Diversity Club.
The club is dedicated to elevating the communities of ethnic and other minorities that have traditionally been marginalized or oppressed in the United States.
“It’s really important to not only bring awareness to both social and legal issues, but also to bring attention to the need for equal rights and to fight to make sure everyone is on an equal playing field, represented regardless of how you identify, who you love, or who you are,” Gardinal, a computer science sophomore, said.
The Diversity Club began its celebration of LGBTQIA+ History Month with an open discussion of what the letters LGBTQIA+ stand for and answering questions about this community.
“From the outside, it looks like our symbolism is ever-expanding, growing longer and longer with even more letters,” Gardinal said. The letters each represent distinct and important groups within the larger community: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual or aromantic, with an added plus on the end signifying the even broader range of identities and experiences.
The club also hosted a fun LGBTQIA+ trivia night on Oct. 15.
“Historically, there have been struggles for LGBTQIA+ people who weren’t recognized as they should have been: as people with the same rights as others,” said Noah Gregory, a computer science sophomore and the Diversity Club’s public relations officer. “It’s definitely good to celebrate where we are now, how we got here, and to also celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community here on campus.”
The monthlong celebration will end with the club’s second annual drag pageant at 7:45 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Saddle Creek Logistics Commons in the Innovation, Science, and Technology Building. The event will include a runway walk, on-stage interview, and a lip-sync battle. To participate in the pageant, email Gabby Sims, the club’s president, as soon as possible before Oct. 29.
“Anyone and everyone are welcome,” Gardinal said.
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