It pretty much goes without saying that behind every heroic tale, whether it originates in fiction or is found in the news, whether that story is known or has disappeared from or never existed within historical record, there is an untold journey filled with struggle.
During this year’s Pride Week at the U, we were reminded of the deeply painful foundation Pride is built upon and were shown that many injustices have only evolved to hide in our framework today; but that didn’t stop the week from overflowing with solidarity, understanding, tears, laughter, advice, validation, and promise that this battle will continue to be fought until all are able to survive and thrive in any space.
If you missed any of the events, or ever find yourself needing to be reminded of the strength you possess as you write your own heroic tale, we hope you find comfort in the words of those who joined us this year, and remember: YOU ARE A QUEERO!
For a long time I was quiet, hurting, and felt powerless. Talk to people. It’s scary, but when I decided to speak up, there’s something beautiful about being surprised and finding out that most people have good intentions.
It’s easy to wrap ourselves in the Pride flag. It’s a lot harder to actually build spaces where people who are queer, who have different kind of intersecting privilege or lack thereof, can actually survive and thrive.
In the tradition of Marsha P. Johnson, black trans women are still living, laughing, loving, and creating while fighting against the structural forces that would deny their ability to do so.
Know that you don’t owe anybody anything. Sometimes we feel pressure to be ‘out’ for the cause or the movement, but just know that you’re a person too and not just a martyr movement.
Just by expressing yourself and taking care of each other, you’re having a tremendous impact on the world.
Take advantage of the LGBT Resource Center. Don’t try to go it alone like I did. Find friends, allies, people who can support you.
Dance. No seriously, I just have dance parties all the time. Sometimes when you just put on something and dance and just be you people may not totally understand it and may not totally get it; but I truly feel that they will look at you and say that this is somebody who can just be who they are and I want to be around that.
We want a place where we can thrive. We do not want to live in a space where we have to explain ourselves or be in the category of accommodations.
Mary Ann Villarreal
You belong here.
Not just at the University of Utah, but in the world.
By Emily Pantoja
October 11, 2019