The Importance of Pride

Monday, October 17th from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM the library held its annual Pride event!

This year’s event featured food, bracelet-making, plenty of rainbows, a scavenger hunt, and a presentation of LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff members reading letters that they have written to describe how their gender or sexuality has impacted their life and/or the people around them. These letters are now on display at West Charleston Campus Library. To sum up the event, we asked one of our attendees, Caylynn Sprigg, to write an article about her experience.

Pride events can be challenging to write about. There are as many opinions about the idea of Pride as there are people who know what the event is, and the debate surrounding the event tends to get highly emotional. It is with that fact in mind that I make this statement.

The following is my opinion.

It is essential to provide a place where people that share a similar experience can gather and support one another in a safe environment, free of the vitriol and hatred that tends to dog such events.

It is crucial to allow people to share their opinions and experiences with one another, whether they share the same type of experiences or not. In this way, people can learn more about one another and erase the divides that they may feel exist between them.

It is critical to recognize events that are rooted in the history that we do not hear about with any sort of frequency, but that belongs to all of us, regardless of whatever negative feelings one may have toward a specific event or movement.

The CSN Library recently held its annual Pride Event. I was one of the attendees.

I spent a wonderful three hours with everyone that came. Conversation flowed freely, and the group moved from one craft to another, drawing with rainbow crayons on a giant sheet of butcher paper, attempting the scavenger hunt, making bracelets, and throwing confetti at one another. I highly recommend a confetti fight to anyone who has never had the experience.

Seeing a group of people coming together to support one another unconditionally is an experience that I sincerely hope to repeat, and that I hope everyone may have in the lives: be it at home, work, or in any of the areas of their life.

The event’s organizer, Tavish Bell, is a spectacular human being who is sensitive to the emotions and needs of those around her, as well as the change that she would like to see in the world. She received an anonymous letter, written by a young woman to her grandmother. The letter was the beginning of the Pride event, and the starting point for an outpouring of support from those who attended, as well as from many people who were not able to make it to the event.

All of the letters that were written are currently on display in the West Charleston Library.

I highly recommend that anyone seeking to understand what another person sees, and feels, about their life take a few minutes to read each letter and imagine the emotions behind each and every stroke of the pen across paper. Such things cannot be paraphrased, or simplified. They do not deserve to be.

I hope that each and every person that wrote a letter, or that attended the Pride event, or that identifies with Pride finds what they are looking for, whether it be acceptance from family members, a way to release emotions toward family who is not accepting, or a way to break free of those who are unaccepting and refuse to change, or something else altogether.

There are as many possibilities as there are people, and I think that’s incredible.

Making Pride Day bracelets

Tavish reads Pride letters